Are you considering a divorce? Not sure what to do? Being ambivalent about divorce is normal because there’s no way to be certain you’re doing the right thing. Being unhappy is stressful and we want to end the pain. However, don’t rush into divorce simply to make yourself feel better. Take your time ending a marriage. It’s a big decision, so before deciding to divorce, consider the following signs you might need to untie the knot.
1. You Have a Sexless Marriage
I don’t mean you haven’t had sex for three weeks. I’m talking about no sex for six months to a year or more. If you aren’t having sex, why are you staying together? If sex has become a power struggle or source of rejection, your marriage may be over.
2. You Can’t Compromise
All couples argue. However, if you find yourselves having the same fight over and over without settling anything, your marriage is in trouble. There has to be give and take to make a marriage work. If you don’t know how to compromise, your marriage isn’t working and you may need to get out.
3. One of You Is Having an Affair
Most people think an affair is having sex with someone other than your spouse. That’s not the only way to be unfaithful. If you are cheating on your spouse emotionally, it’s time to give your spouse respect by either stopping the affair or getting a divorce.
4. You Show Contempt For Each Other
Arguments are inevitable in a marriage. It’s how you handle disagreements that makes the difference between a healthy marriage and a disaster. If your disputes disintegrate into shouting matches where you call each other really bad names, go away angry, and give each other the cold shoulder for a week, that’s a sign you may need a divorce.
5. Marital Counseling Isn’t Working
Marriage counseling requires a commitment by both spouses to work on their relationship and make changes in their behavior. If one spouse is trying to fix the marriage while the other spouse isn’t, you’re wasting your time and money going to marital counseling and you need to consider getting a divorce.
6. The Relationship Is Abusive
If you live in a home with shoving, hitting, or threats of violence, you need to get out immediately. There is no excuse for physical abuse. The cycle of family violence begins with a single shove followed by remorse. If you let it go, you risk falling into a recurring cycle of violence, remorse, blame and more violence. When physical abuse happens, get out.
7. You Don’t Trust Each Other
A healthy marriage requires love, trust and respect. If you and your spouse feel contempt for each other, it’s probably time to get out of the relationship.
8. Your Interactions Are Mostly Negative
All couples have times when things go wrong. Experts say the ratio of positive to negative interactions in a healthy marriage should be about five to one. If your interactions are mostly negative, it’s time to consider a divorce.
9. You Can’t Communicate Feelings
Are you afraid to share your feelings with your spouse because it might cause a fight? Will he or she listen to you when you want to tell them how you feel? Does your spouse care? Are your needs being met in the marriage? If you can’t share feelings with each other, it may be time to divorce.
10. Do You Put Each Other Last?
If your spouse is last on your list of priorities, your marriage is headed for the rocks. You should either move your spouse higher on your list or get a divorce.
When considering a divorce, ask yourself how many of the following characteristics are true of your marriage: Do you have a sexless marriage? Is it impossible to compromise? Is one of you having an affair? Do you feel contempt for each other? Did marriage counseling fail? Are you in an abusive relationship? Do you mistrust each other? Are most of your interactions negative? Is it difficult to share feelings? Do you place your spouse last among your priorities? If you answered “yes” to seven or more of these questions, you should contact a collaborative divorce attorney immediately.