Every marriage has its rough patches. Usually, individuals are able to smooth theirs over with their spouse and repair any damage that has affected their relationship. But if those rough patches continue to occur, or if you’re in an especially prolonged rut, you might be wondering whether it’s time to consider divorce. It’s a big decision, and breaking the news of your intent to end the marriage can be difficult to walk back if you later change your mind.
Therefore, you should make your decision only after careful consideration of whether divorce is right for you. But how do you know when a rough part of your marriage has turned into something more toxic and unrepairable?
Signs that it might be time for you to get a divorce
A quick Internet search will yield a lot of results for signs that divorce is just around the corner. As a result, it can be hard for you to cut through the noise and properly analyze your next steps. That’s why we encourage you to think of each of these signs in the context of your unique situation and whether they’re something you can and should live with or if you’d be happier without it:
- Lack of communication: A successful marriage requires communication. You and your spouse need to be able to talk out your disagreements, but you’ll also want to be able to talk about your plans for the future and the things in life that interest you. If meaningful communication has decreased or stopped entirely, it’s going to be harder to keep your marriage together.
- Lack of respect: While communication is key to your marriage, so is respect. Belittling, condescension, and dismissiveness can all lead to resentment, conflict, and a lack of empathy. Any of these characteristics can doom a marriage, and your exposure to them may lead to emotional and psychological harm.
- Lack of effort: Marriage takes work. Effort needs to be put in to retain physical intimacy and interest in each other, otherwise the relationship will grow stale and both spouses will find themselves miserable. So, if you, your spouse or both of you have given up on putting in effort to maintain and build your relationship, it might be time to move on.
- Infidelity: If you or your spouse have entered another relationship, trust has been broken and it’ll be very difficult if not impossible to repair. But physical infidelity isn’t the only type of infidelity that might come into play in your marriage. Financial infidelity is a real issue, too. If your spouse is using your marital funds in a way that you don’t support, you might feel like your marriage has trapped you in a financial nightmare from which you need to escape.
- Increased escapism: When a marriage sours, one or both spouses may turn to behavior that helps them escape their relationship. This might be something as minor as spending time with new friends, or it might be more severe such as when one spouse engages in substance abuse. If you or your spouse are trying to find ways to escape the marriage through behavior, it’s probably time to do so formally through divorce.
Do you want to learn more about what divorce looks like for you?
There’s a lot to know about the divorce process. Although that can be overwhelming, you can take the time that you need on the front end to learn everything you can so that you’re more prepared for the road ahead once you kickstart your divorce. Therefore, we encourage you to continue to read about what divorce will look like for you and how you can confidently navigate the process so that when all is said and done, you’ll be able to move onto the next chapter of your life in a physically, emotionally and financially healthy way.