8 Signs Divorce May Be in Your Future
Couples divorce for a variety of reasons, and while no two relationships are exactly the same, there are a handful of warning signs that your relationship could be heading in the direction of a permanent separation.
If you've tried counseling, therapy and other forms of mediation, but you’re still feeling criticized, lonely, resentful or distant from your partner, it may be time to part ways.
Divorce isn’t easy, yet making the decision to split can drastically improve the lives of every member of the family—especially if the relationship has reached abuse of any kind. In conjunction with your intuition, consider these eight factors that signal it’s time for a divorce.
1. You feel constantly criticized.
According to renowned relationship expert Dr. John Gottman, criticism is one of the main reasons why marriages collapse. If your partner criticizes you or continuously shuts down your opinions and desires, you’re left feeling defensive, guarded and afraid to be vulnerable. Love and intimacy can’t occur without willingness from both parties to discuss and listen to each other’s views.
2. Your disagreements seldom get resolved.
No couple agrees on everything; however, if you tend to argue about the same things over and over, blaming each other for problems without taking action toward a compromise, it could signal that neither you or your spouse are willing to budge. Stubbornness and openness cannot coexist, and the former is disastrous for a relationship that demands improvement.
3. You feel like you’re the only one trying.
Both parties must be deeply committed to noticing and improving their behaviors for the greater good of the partnership. If you’re working to get the marriage back on track, but your spouse isn’t, it might be time to move on without them. Remember, behavior speaks louder than words—consider your partner’s actions and inactions a form of honest communication.
4. You don’t prioritize intimacy.
Relationship expert Cathy Meyer writes that a lack of regular emotional and physical intimacy in a marriage is a bad sign, as “sex is the way adults play and enjoy each other.” Over time, if one spouse is seeking more intimacy and the other wants distance, it can erode the love and trust between the two and lead to a serious emotional disconnection.
5. You're only staying together for the kids.
Although many couples try to make their relationships work for the sake of the kids, staying in an unhappy marriage actually teaches your children the wrong things about love, hindering their emotional development instead of protecting them. Reconsider your motives if you claim to be staying together for the good of your offspring, as they learn from your decisions every day.
6. You're being unfaithful to your spouse—or vice versa.
An affair runs much deeper than a physical relationship, especially in the digital age. If you’re seeking out and participating in emotionally-charged Facebook chats or texting an ex or other potential suitors, you’re being unfaithful on some level. Regardless of where the need stems from, these behaviors only lead downhill and are grounds for a split.
7. You’re focusing your energy outside the marriage.
Whether you’re working late hours to avoid being home, purposely participating in activities without your spouse or focusing all of your energy on your children, these behaviors over a long period of time can signify a lack of interest in the health of your relationship. If you seek emotional satisfaction from places and people other than your partner, it may be time to rethink why you’re still together.
8. You’re scared to start over.
As humans, we’re programmed to stay in situations that are familiar, even if they’re not necessarily what’s best for us. If you're only staying with your husband or wife because you consider it the “lesser of two evils,” your relationship could be in serious trouble. Follow your gut instinct and find the support you need in order to make this big life transition.
Most often, people consider divorce as a last resort after years of internal red flags and a growing body of evidence that the relationship truly isn’t working out—no matter how hard you try. Emotions and commitments are complex, and you must be willing to face the challenges head on in order to do what’s best for yourself and your family.
If you need help with a family law matter, our attorneys at Smedley Law Group can provide you with the professional advice you need to make an educated decision. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.