If you’ve been happily married for a few years, it’s a common thing for the passion to fade away. Maybe you made a huge mistake or your partner did something that can’t be forgiven. So you both started considering divorce as an option and a way to let go of a bad marriage.
It’s a scary thing especially when you start the preparation phase. Calling attorneys, making copies of financial documents, fear of being single again and feeling lonelier than ever, are just a few of the things you’ll go through if you put an end to your marriage.
However, there’s another possible scenario. Couples that have been trying to stay strong in the face of all the signs that divorce is near without any success. Eventually, divorce seems to be the only solution to their marriage problems.
However, instead of facing the divorce and talking about it openly, both partners might choose to distract themselves from it.
Life gives us many distractions at any moment so it’s easy to leave any thoughts of separation behind for as long as you can. But at the end of the day, the issues between you and your partner are still there, reminding you that you’re trying to fix something that might be unfixable.
Here are five signs that you need to let go of a bad marriage.
1. You don’t care about each other’s feelings.
That might be hard to say out loud, but you can tell if it’s true or not. If you’ve been feeling like your partner doesn’t acknowledge your feelings, or if he/she has been telling you this but you don’t think so, then there is a serious problem.
Lack of honest communication is just one barrier preventing you from working things out.
In the worst case, both people in the relationship stopped considering the other person’s feelings a long time ago. That creates a form of balance and might even make the divorce easier to handle.
You know how they say indifference is the opposite of love? Well, the moment you see signs of it in your marriage, do something about it.
2. You don’t do things together anymore.
One of the best things at the beginning of every marriage is to do things together, spend time after work and during the weekends, try new things and experience excitement with one another.
After years, however, the desire to spend time together daily or even weekly might go away.
When two people prefer to spend their free time on their own, or with anyone else outside of the relationship, it means they don’t appreciate their partner that much and don’t want to keep each other company. That creates distance which can only get bigger as the years go by.
If you have been noticing this but looking in the other direction, then you’re distracting yourself from the fact that it’s time to let go of a bad marriage.
3. Your priorities have changed.
When career or children become a priority, your marriage and keeping it healthy and passionate isn’t on top of your list anymore.
But any time you refuse to make time for each other, don’t get intimate when you have the chance, fail to acknowledge the other person’s emotional needs, think of yourself as an individual and take decisions without considering what your partner wants, the void gets bigger and the love vanishes.
The longer that happens, the closer you get to facing divorce and letting go of a bad marriage.
4. You’re not resolving your conflicts.
If you think about your relationship from a decade or years ago, you may remember how making compromises was satisfying because you loved your partner. Now, however, they don’t seem to deserve it.
When compassion and appreciation disappear, you’re left with judgment and criticism. Conflicts arise more often, but what you do next is crucial to whether or not the marriage can survive.
Resolving conflicts every time there’s an argument is the healthy way to deal with this. If you avoid them, however, the distance between you two will continue to grow.
Not resolving conflict is a sign of giving up. Not just on your partner but on what you’ve built together.
While that’s not something that makes divorce the only option, it leads you in that direction.
5. You fight in a different way.
If your arguments are caused by one issue but end up being about 10 others, it means your conflicts have escalated over the years and you might be angry at each other all the time.
A marriage is headed for divorce when the way you communicate has changed, especially the way you fight.
If fights happen more often, are more intense or completely different from what you remember from the beginning of the relationship (you might not even recognize the person you’ve become if you never used to yell that much), then things are pretty bad and you should seek guidance outside of the marriage.
Whatever the case, don’t distract yourself by finding new hobbies or expanding your social circle. This is something you have to deal with now.
Staying Together for the Wrong Reasons When You Should Let go of a Bad Marriage
Some couples are so terrified of getting divorced that they prefer to settle for the way their marriage is and keep living without passion, attention or support.
They are afraid to be alone and can’t identify themselves as an individual outside of the marriage. In their eyes, it seems like they will become no-one.
Others don’t want to bother with all the paperwork, the money it costs to get divorced, the discomfort of telling friends and family and hurting the children. So they stay together and pretend to be there for each other.
But being in a relationship for the wrong reasons isn’t helping anyone. If divorce is near, you can easily tell that. However, that requires honesty both with yourself and your partner.
Counseling is one way to find what’s really going on and whether you’re distracting yourself trying to avoid the fact that your marriage is failing.
Do your best to leave blaming and judging out of this. The honest conversation you must have with each other should happen as soon as you notice some of the signs above or anything else that seems like a warning that divorce is near.
Do Both of You Want To Save Your Marriage?
If you both have the desire to give your marriage another chance and even rebuild the love after the emotional damage, that’s great. But you should be ready to make your partner and this relationship a priority again and do a little something every day to make it stronger and bring the passion back.
Marriage is not easy. But to make it successful and let it last a lifetime never distract yourself from the little things that don’t feel right.
Notice how your behavior and feelings change over the years and acknowledge each transformation in how your partner thinks, speaks and acts too. Then, try to see the reason for this and be ready to act upon it right away.
Split the chores at home and look for the balance in each aspect of your marriage. Don’t forget to listen, think of fun things to do with your partner, and maintain the positive vibes in your family.
However, when you notice something that makes you think divorce might be down the road, don’t avoid that thought. Bring it up and solve the issue before it has escalated.
Sarah Williams is a professional dating advisor and lifestyle blogger. She loves motivating people to reach their highest potential and create a leaner, sexier, stronger, body and mind. You can connect with Sarah on Wingman Magazine.