Marriage is a complicated institution. Though it is often filled with joy and celebration, there are also significant challenges that come along with being married. Many of these challenges are normal, and lots of couples experience hardship from time to time. However, some rough spots are not normal, and actually signify that a divorce may be best for those involved.
While some people sense that their marriage is coming to a close, others are taken by surprise when their spouse files for divorce. By understanding some common and basic signs of divorce, you can better prepare yourself. What’s more, if you catch the warning signs early enough, you may be able to keep your marriage intact if you’d like to do so.
We’ve assembled some common signs that your marriage may be in jeopardy.
- You No Longer Communicate Communication is difficult, but it is key to a healthy marriage. If you realize that you and your spouse are having difficulty saying what you mean, there is a communication blockage. This often leads to larger problems such as resentment, misunderstandings, and arguments.You should be able to communicate openly with your partner in order to express your needs, gain clarification, and give and receive support. If, for whatever reason, you feel as though this is impossible, you likely have a real problem.
- Significant Values or Priorities Have Changed Many times, relationships are built upon shared values and beliefs. These may be religious, financial, ethical, spiritual, or moral beliefs, but no matter what they are, they are often important to the individual. When finding a partner, many people look for someone who shares their values.In time, values can shift and change. While sometimes a couple grows into new beliefs together, other times only one of them has a change of heart. If this belief was central to their personal connection, the relationship may no longer be viable.For example, let’s say a husband and wife begin their marriage as devout Christians. However, over time, the wife begins to question her faith and eventually leaves the church. In some scenarios, this may not be a big deal. However, in other relationships, the husband and wife may struggle to find common ground when they do not share a faith.
- You Struggle Frequently If most things in your marriage feel hard, it may be time to consider divorce. Though marriage can have rough patches, if you are struggling to maintain even the most basic relationship, you are struggling more than you have to. Not every discussion should be an argument, and every task should not feel insurmountable.
- Your Relationship Is Overwhelmingly Negative You should have mostly positive interactions with your spouse. This can be anything from a smile to an easy conversation to physical intimacy. No matter what the interactions are in your daily lives, they should be net positive. In fact, experts say that for every one negative interaction, you should have 20 positive ones.Negative interactions can be events such as:
- Dismissing one another’s feelings
- Ignoring one another
- Failing to clearly express needs
- Passive aggression
If you find that a significant number of your interactions are negative, you may want to consider couples’ therapy. If most of your interactions are negative, divorce may be a good choice.
- You Avoid Your Partner You should want to see and speak to your spouse a large portion of the time. Of course, there may be days when you’d rather be alone, but overall, you should not feel as though you are actively avoiding your spouse. For example, do you take a long route home from work to minimize time with them? Do you pretend to be asleep when they come to bed so you don’t have to talk or be intimate? These are avoidance tactics and are a significant sign of divorce.
- You Don’t Have Your Own Life Relationships should enhance your life, but they should not be the center of your world. Though your partner is important to you, healthy relationships exist when each member of a partnership has a rich and independent life apart from their spouse. Are you able to go for dinner or drinks alone with friends? Do you trust your partner to do the same? Do you each have friends outside of the relationship? If not, you have a codependent relationship. These setups are unhealthy, and often burn out and end in divorce.
- You Aren’t Happy No one is happy all of the time, but if you are constantly unhappy in your relationship, it is time to leave. Marriage should be a source of love, support, and joy. If you do not derive joy from your marriage at least sometimes, you need to free yourself to be happy.
What Should I Do If My Marriage Is Over?
If you fall into one or more of the above categories, divorce may be on the horizon. Though this can be difficult to accept, it is important to know that many people are significantly happier outside of a marriage that has run its course. If you want to be sure, talk therapy and honest conversations with your spouse can help to determine if divorce is the right avenue. Many people who suffer from the above conditions find that it is.
When you decide that your marriage is over, you must find an attorney right away. The process of divorce is complicated, and things can go south very quickly if you don’t have proper representation. Your attorney can talk you through the process and help you to navigate the emotional and legal aspects of divorce. With a good attorney on your side, you can be sure that the divorce terms are in your best interest and you set yourself up for a new life that is right for you.
Contact Stange Law Firm of the Midwest
When it comes to getting divorced in the Midwest, no one is better equipped to help you than our expert attorneys at Stange Law Firm. With decades of experience, we fight for your best interests throughout the entire process. Contact us today.