.”..to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part..”

The above are famous sacred words of the traditional protestant marriage vows.

Marriage vows vary from Protestant to Catholic, Lutheran to Hindu, but one common thread runs through them: how enduring they are expected to be.

Nothing in this suggests that marriage should end unless death occurs.

However, this is not so, as many marriages go through challenging situations that lead to the union’s demise.

Marriage is a sacred union under God, and the vow to one’s spouse must be revered.

It is also a journey with twists and turns.

While some unions endure the storms and emerge stronger, others come to the valley of decision and part ways forever.

Today, we will consider the signs that a marriage cannot be saved.

What are the telltale signs that holding on to a marriage is a lost cause?

Please read on.

8 Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

    Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

“Can two walk together except they be agreed?” the prophet Amos asked in the Bible.

Agreement remains a major issue that determines the health and future of a marriage.

I am reminded of a comprehension passage I read in primary school about how a man taught his children, who were always at loggerheads with each other, about unity using broomsticks.

He asked one to take a broomstick and break it.

He did it easily.

Then he asked him to break the entire broom bunch, but the boy tried to break it to no avail.

That was the lesson: the power of unity!

No matter the resolve of a party in the union to save and transform it, if the other person is not on board, it will be akin to vigorously pouring water into a basket.

In fact, the frustration of wanting to save what the other party is bent on destroying is enough to drive one crazy.

A marriage can get to the point of no return if one of the two people in it decides to refuse to pull their weight.

It will only end up making the marriage a dead weight.

Like the old man in my story told his children, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

    Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

Toxicity of any kind is what it is: toxic.

It can also kill.

Marriage is meant to be a wholesome union, but when it becomes so toxic, the people involved can barely recognize each other again.

Then, this might just be the last breath.

Marriage is that relationship where two people are intertwined and rub off on each other.

In fact, after years of being together, some couples start to look alike.

After years of marriage, every married couple will tell you how much they have changed due to their partners’ influence.

A dead end may be imminent if the marriage is now the breeding place of everything toxic and the parties involved have dented each other beyond repairs.

    Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

While cheating is not the deal breaker for some, it is the end of the discussion for others.

Before we even start looking at the reasons a person cheats on their spouse or talks about how sorry they are, let us acknowledge how terrible cheating is!

Cheating is an absolute dishonor of your vows and a total disrespect of your spouse!

Imagine that some people who have made cheating their second skin, like chameleons are constantly changing partners.

How disgusting.

There’s only so much a person can take; soon enough, the entire union might be off the cliff.

    Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

One of my favorite marriage songs is “Love Is Not a Fight” by Warren Barfield.

One of the lines says, “Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for.”

Sadly, some unions are literal war zones laden with weapons of mass destruction, and violence gradually became as easy as drinking water.

For people in violent marriages, if the parties are not willing to work things out, the marriage may never be saved.

Women or men who are in marriages with domestic violence are usually scarred badly by the incidents, and the best advice to them is to “leave to live.”

    Communication is the lifeline of any relationship; without it, the “tower of babel” confusion will be a couple’s daily reality.

Without communication, a healthy relationship is impossible.

Thus, a sign of a marriage that cannot be saved is the total collapse in communication.

When the wife says A and the husband says Z, then wahala dey (meaning – there is trouble)!

How will they connect or understand each other enough to thrive?

In the words of my Nigerian brothers and sisters, “God Abeg o!”

    Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

No matter how beautiful it is, a house built on a faulty foundation will come crashing one day.

Similarly, a marriage built on the foundation of lies cannot be saved; it will fall like a pack of cards!

I once heard a story of a happy couple who remained happy until the wife found out that her husband had killed her father before their wedding.


I remember another story of a lady who married the man of her dreams only to discover later that he was gay and his best friend was his lover.

To make it worse, she walked in on one of their sex rendezvous and got the shock of her life.

How about the gist of a guy who found out he would never father a child but, under false pretenses, got married, and his wife had to find out later?

Lies know no gender, but one thing is sure: Nothing lasting can be built on a foundation of lies.

    This one is as complex as complex goes.

Some marriages end up becoming like a decade’s worth of spiderwebs and are very hard to navigate.

Think of trying to mend a shirt only to discover that the thread has tangled up and won’t get loosed easily.

It sounds stressful to even think about!

But this is the reality of some people.

The issues in their marriage are not just regular; there are also layers and layers of conflict, thus complicating the resolution.

This particularly happens in marriages where they allow external or third-party interference.

The marriage ends on a journey of no return.

    Signs A Marriage Cannot Be Saved

Fertility challenges happen in marriage, and while the challenge might come from either male or female, I’d like to acknowledge how much of a strong determinant they are to the marriage’s survival.

For instance, a man or woman with strong family values and a desire to raise a family may not be willing to remain married to their partner if they have an irreversible fertility issue.

Usually, people will say, “What if the tables were turned?” but my perspective is that this is a dicey situation, and it would be unfair to ask the other party to give up their dreams of being a mother or father.


Sadly, people who love each other have parted ways, and their marriages have dissolved because of this.

Even though the article says, “Signs a marriage cannot be saved,” I would like to end with this twist.

Never say Never!

I have heard of situations where the signs mentioned here were in place, but the couple decided to give it another shot; they sought the help of a professional marriage counselor and put in the work.

With their sustained efforts, their marriage started to blossom again.

If dried-up or dead plants can be revived again by water, then even hopeless marriages can be saved with the right balance of effort and guidance.

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