You’ve talked, argued, screamed, and even cried. And now, you are tired. Tired of trying to fix your marriage and have a happily-ever-after with your spouse.
Deciding whether to give up on your marriage or try further is not an easy call to make. You may be too tired to try anything else at one point. And yet, you may not want to give up all those good years for a few bad ones and may want to start all over again. But how do you know for sure you’ve had enough?
In this MomJunction, we tell you about a few signs to look out for and find the answer to your question, “should I get a divorce, or not?”
Signs You May Want A Divorce
The decision to get divorced should not be a hasty one. Don’t decide to walk out when you are angry or sad because the decisions you make when you are emotional are an attempt to numb that pain for the moment, and once the moment has passed, you might look back and regret what you did.
Instead, try to think of reasons to stay or not stay in the marriage. You can also look for these signs in your relationship, which may help you decide if you should get a divorce.
1. There’s No Communication
There are disagreements in every marriage, and openly talking about them will help you both come to a consensus. But lack of communication in the marriage, and a clear unwillingness or long standing inability to address the issue, is a bad sign. When neither of you has anything to say, or you know that nothing positive is going to come out of a discussion, then a disagreement turns into an ugly fight that makes it difficult for you to go ahead.
2. One of You Has Changed Drastically
Time and experiences indeed change people. But if your marriage is affected due to such personality changes, then it could be a problem. People change in different ways as they age, and your partner may not be the same person you fell in love with. If you are unable to accept your partner as they are, even after relationship counselling, living together becomes difficult. And the only option sometimes is to walk away.
3. No Efforts to Patch Up
Yes, you both are unique individuals with different perspectives. But as a couple, it is essential to understand each other and try to do certain things to stay together. If neither of you wants to put in the effort, even when the relationship is taking a turn for the worse, it is clear that you do not care enough to make it work.
4. You are Not Yourself
Do you think your partner will reject you after a certain point in the marriage? Are you trying to hide your true-self just for your partner’s sake? Well, there’s no way to make a marriage successful when you are someone else other than yourself. If you are compromising who you are for a relationship that is not working, and this is not a pattern you play out in many relationships, it could be time to call it quits and take care of yourself. If it is a pattern that you notice in other relationships, consider working with a therapist who can help you improve your self acceptance and security.
5. One of You Is Stonewalling
Stonewalling is the term used to describe the ‘silent treatment,’ which is often worse than fighting. It is when one partner is not ready to talk and does not respond to the other in spite of being coaxed. Such behavior hurts your partner and marriage. Not knowing the reason for being stonewalled can leave you perplexed, and result in disappointment, anger, and maybe resentment.
If stonewalling persists and the problems seem to pile up in the marriage, maybe it is time to take the next best step for yourself, even if it is walking away from your spouse.
6. You Are Not The Priority Anymore
When you are married, your partner and your marriage are your top priorities after yourself. But if either of the partner’s priorities have changed and the spouse is not given the importance they deserve, it could create a disconnect. When your spouse refuses to make you a priority, won’t hear your concerns and has excuses each time you confront them, you should stop and reflect on what you are doing in the relationship and what the relationship is doing to you.
7. You Are Blamed at Every Step
Instead of taking responsibility, your partner blames you for everything that goes wrong in the marriage. You are called names, verbally abused and are disrespected by your spouse. You start believing that it is all your fault and feel guilty even for your partner’s mistakes.
When your partner is not interested in talking and cleaning their mess, it shows a lack of interest in the marriage.
8. Your Partner is Cheating on You
It is rightly said that the past should be left in the past. So, if your partner is still friendly with his or her ex or is having an extramarital affair, then it is a red flag right there. You cannot keep holding on to your partner or compromise your dignity for their weaknesses. Unfaithfulness or infidelity is something that cannot be forgiven easily and the damage is lasting.
If your partner shows no regret or remorse for cheating on you, it suggests that they may not be seeking your forgiveness and may not even care about saving the marriage.
9. Diminishing Intimacy Between You Two
If either one of you is expressing disinterest in sexual life, then there may be something wrong with the relationship. If your relationship lacks physical intimacy, which is a part of a healthy marriage, then that could be a sign that the marriage is not working.
Note: Sexual intimacy is not a priority for all couples, some are happy to value a long standing trusting relationship, even in the absence of sexual pleasure.
10. Ego Rules Over Love
Fighting to win every conversation and proving that you are always right is another sign that you do not care about the other person’s opinion or perspective. Conflicts arise in every marriage, and couples need to listen to and understand each other to resolve them. But if one partner’s overpowering ego is dominant in the marriage, it may seem almost impossible to resolve the issues and make the marriage work.
11. Distrust and Disrespect
In a marriage, respect for each other is as important as love for each other. If one partner is mocking the other frequently, rejecting their ideas, and letting them down often, it is not a healthy relationship.
Lack of trust is also a reason your partner disrespects you. If you think you are not getting the respect or attention you deserve from your partner, or if he or she is always suspicious of you, it is a sign to move on.
12. You Think You Can Live Alone Peacefully
Do you keep thinking you’d be better off living alone than with your partner? If your marriage is straining you mentally, and in your head, you are planning to live alone, away from your spouse, then you should give those thoughts some attention and figure out what you want to do about the relationship.
13. Your Children are Getting Affected
When your marriage seems to fall apart, it’s the children who get most affected. Watching you always fight or argue can be traumatizing for your children. How you behave around them can affect their personality drastically, making them misbehave, depressed, or fall in with the wrong crowd. If you are sure that your kids will suffer less if you walk out of a failed marriage, it could be time to think about a legal separation.
14. Marriage Is Not a Priority
When other things (friends, work, or colleagues) take priority over your marriage, it may leave a negative impact on your relationship. You spend more time with other people or at work and barely spend any time with your spouse. This widens the gap that is already there between the two of you and leaves the marriage in shambles.
15. You Both Already Started Moving On
In a marriage, two individuals come together to do everything as a couple. But if you are not supporting each other, and living your individual lives, then it cannot be called a marriage. A healthy association is all about ‘we’ and not ‘you’ and ‘I.’ If you and your partner are happy living your own solo lives without the other, it is a sign that the marriage is no more important to either of you.
Are any of these signs familiar to you? If yes, you would want to know what to do.
What To Do Next?
If the signs indicate that it’s time for you to walk out of the marriage, then set your emotions aside and practically deal with the situation.
Start with knowing about:
- The legal grounds of divorce
- Financial settlements, alimony, and joint investments
- How to talk to your children about the divorce
- Child custody
- Your living situation, and
- Legal representation – find a lawyer who can take up your case
Divorce is a big decision to take. If you are unclear about how to proceed, talk to your family about it, or go to a marriage counselor for guidance. Evaluating your relationship and talking to your closest friends and family can help you make the right decision in your life.
Although tough to wade through, divorce is not the end of the world. It can open a new chapter where you can live freely and happily. It’s far better than living in a loveless marriage filled with compromises, regrets, and unhappiness.
Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comment section.