Like a roller coaster, all marriages have their ups and downs. One minute you’re flying high with excitement, the next minute you’re wishing you never got on the ride. So when is it time to call it quits and file for divorce?
When you first got married you likely never thought you would be contemplating all the reasons you should leave your spouse for good. Making this decision isn’t easy and you may find yourself going back and forth on the decision for months or even years.
Divorce isn’t something to be decided lightly. There are many things to consider such as children, finances, and whether you’re truly ready to move on.
9 Signs It May be Time to File for Divorce
1. You’ve Given It Genuine Consideration
Some people claim they want a divorce, but they don’t truly mean it. Many couples have threatened divorce in the heat of an argument but would be mortified if their spouse called their bluff.
If you want divorce help for deciding if it’s time to end things, do this: imagine you are divorced. Really imagine it. This means that you will have to:
- Tell your children (if any) of your divorce and decide who gets them on which days
- Find a new place to live
- Tell your friends and family
- Handle your financial situation
- Potentially get a job
- Never get to spend time with this person again
Furthermore, imagine that your spouse has moved on and is in an intimate relationship with someone new.
If the reality of these things does not upset you or outweigh your urge to leave, it may be time to say goodbye.
2. There Has Been Ongoing Infidelity
If you or your spouse are cheating on each other openly or in secret, with little or no remorse, it is definitely time to part ways.
3. Your Spouse Is an Addict Who Won’t Seek Help
Addiction can create many messy problems in a marriage. This does not mean you must abandon your spouse because they have an addiction to drugs, gambling, sex, or alcohol if they are seeking help for their problems.
However, if having these things in your marriage is causing you physical harm, financial ruin, or emotional turmoil, you may consider leaving.
4. You’ve Stopped Caring
What once charmed you about your partner now drives you crazy or leaves you feeling indifferent. You no longer desire to spend any time together, do not dress up or try to look nice for your spouse, and genuinely aren’t concerned with your spouse’s life.
5. There Is No Partnership
Your marriage should be a partnership. You are taking on the world together, making decisions together, and always have each other’s back. If this is no longer the case in your marriage, you may have had a mutual drift in love for one another.
6. You’ve Been Unhappy for a Long Time
No relationship is happy 100% of the time. However, the good times should outweigh the bad ones in a happy, healthy relationship. If you are no longer happy or have fallen into a serious depression because of your marriage, this is definitely an indication that something needs to change.
7. Your Relationship Is Dangerous
One non-negotiable when it comes to your marriage is when there is ongoing verbal or physical abuse. Even if you are not being physically harmed, emotional abuse can be just as damaging to your health.
One of the biggest pieces of divorce advice to consider is whether or not staying with your spouse puts you in emotional or physical danger.
8. Your Children Are Suffering
As a parent, it is your job to ensure that your children are growing up in a healthy, happy family atmosphere. Physical violence or mental abuse should not be tolerated. If you believe that your children are in physical or mental danger, you should seriously consider separating or divorcing your spouse.
9. You’ve Tried Everything to Save Your Marriage
Divorce is not something that should be decided on a whim. It’s serious business that affects more than just you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse.
The biggest piece of divorce advice for knowing when it’s time to file for divorce is when you know that you’ve exhausted all other options to try and save the relationship.
This may include, but is not limited to:
- Instituting a regular date night: Studies show that regular date night can improve the quality of a marriage. It improves communication, builds sexual chemistry, carries a playful novelty, helps couples reconnect, and offers a level of stress reduction. All that in just one night a week!
- Addicts Seeking Help: The spouse who is addicted attends therapy or went to rehab in order to take control of their sickness and put the marriage first.
- Daily Gratitude and Attitude Changes: Doing little things like saying please and thank you or telling your spouse what you appreciate about them is important. Studies show that the highest predictor of increased relationship satisfaction is expressions of gratitude within the marriage.
- Seeking Therapy: Marriage counseling is the best way for couples to fix their relationship. A counselor will help them learn how to communicate, fight fair, problem solve, and create tools in which to deal with the issues in the relationship.
If you have tried all of these things and there is still no relief from the mutual unhappiness in your marriage, it is time to call it quits.
Proceeding with a divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. Before you file for divorce, ensure that you have done everything possible to save your marriage. Seek counseling and try to reconnect. If all else fails, proceed with a divorce and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.