Marriage takes a lot of work and even then it doesn’t always work out. While it’s natural for a marriage to experience ups and downs, recognizing when it’s time to divorce can be difficult. So, how do you know when your marriage is over and it’s time to consider separate futures? Here are a few signs that it may be time to consider divorce.
Lack of Trust or Respect
A strong, healthy marriage is based on the mutual respect and trust of one another. Before you think about divorce, talk to your spouse and explain the way you’re feeling. Discuss whether or not there’s anything that could improve the situation.
If your spouse comes to you and says they no longer trust or respect you, be willing to listen with an open mind. After they share how they feel, take a turn to explain the situation from your perspective. If you are the one who has lost trust in or respect for your spouse, consider speaking with them about your feelings in a non-accusatory way. If the trust can be repaired, tell them what you need. If you feel the situation is beyond repair, don’t give them false hope.
Sometimes circumstances require a third party to help a conversation move along. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from an unbiased friend, family member or a counselor. If you no longer trust or respect your spouse, and there’s no chance of repair, it may be time to move forward.
Counseling Hasn’t Helped
For many couples, marriage counseling is a step to try to get a relationship back on track. Whether you’ve grown apart or you keep having the same fights over and over, a counselor can help you get to the root of the problems and make a plan to move forward.
Counselors work with couples to improve and change behaviors for the greater good of the marriage. Unfortunately, counseling doesn’t always work. If you don’t feel like the professional is connecting with you, it’s okay to try someone else. The first person you see isn’t always the right fit.
Sometimes one spouse is more willing to participate in counseling than the other. If you have to force your spouse to join you, they may not be willing to put in the effort to make improvements. This may be a tell-tale sign that it’s time to consider divorce.
Lack of Intimacy
Intimacy involves the physical and emotional aspects of a marriage. Empathy and intimate engagement from both sides are needed to make a marriage work.
Working on building trust and respect may be another step toward restoring intimacy in your relationship. If one or both of you disengages, it may be a sign that your marriage is in trouble. Couples counseling can help address these issues.
If you’ve exhausted all of the options to restore this essential part of your marriage, it may be time to consider a separate future.
No Conflict Resolution
Every couple argues from time to time. If you find yourself having the same fights repeatedly, your marriage may be in trouble. If it feels like everything you do leads to criticism and bickering, that’s another sign that something isn’t working.
Maybe you think your marriage is okay because you don’t fight anymore. Sometimes, spouses find themselves so frustrated and exhausted that they end up completely disengaging and no longer fighting back. Although this scenario is quieter than arguments, a lack of care is never a good sign.
If there isn’t effective communication within a marriage, conflicts can be very difficult to resolve. As a result, couples are often left feeling closed off and unwilling to compromise or apologize. Over time, this can create a distance between spouses that is difficult to rebuild.
You’ve heard the old saying: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. If you find it challenging to compliment your spouse, your marriage may be heading toward divorce. Similarly, if everything your spouse does annoys you and you find yourself going out to be away from them, it may be time to consider a separate future.
Staying Together for the Children
If the only reason you’re still married is for your children, it’s time to reconsider the reasoning behind your plan. Children are incredibly intuitive and can spot animosity from a mile away. In addition, children tend to emulate relationship patterns they learn from their parents.
If you had to pick, would you rather stay in one tense and unhappy house or split your time between two happy, healthy homes? At the end of the day, your family’s happiness and security are the most important. Children are resilient and will adjust to a new living situation. Children do well when their parents do well. Your love for them remains the same whether you’re married or divorced.
If you’re only staying together because of your children, it may be time to consider a separate future.
Consider Your Options
If you recognize the signs that it’s time for a divorce, contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices to explore your options. Collaborative divorce gives couples the opportunity to work together with a group of professionals to come to a mutually agreeable outcome, outside of the courtroom, that’s in the best interest of their family.
Specializing in collaborative divorce, mediation, and family and juvenile law matters, Kristine has over two decades of experience working with children and families experiencing difficult transitional life events.