Deciding to end your marriage is anything but a casual decision, no matter how long you and your spouse have been married. Although disentangling your lives is more difficult the longer you’ve been married and the more assets you’ve acquired, any divorce can be an emotionally complicated and frustrating time.
If you have been considering divorce, or suspect your spouse may be, you might wonder if there are ways to tell if splitting up really is the right decision. Fortunately, divorce doesn’t happen out of the blue very often – there are often very clear indicators that a marriage isn’t working out, which could signal that the end of yours is near.
Although recognizing these signs can help you prepare for divorce, keep in mind that the future is unwritten. Should you notice any of the signs below in your marriage, you and your spouse may be able to successfully address them. That said, you may have already tried and failed – in which case, you may wish to contact a divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
1. You & Your Spouse Don’t Communicate Well
Communication is an essential component of any relationship. When communication between spouses is healthy, each feels free to express their thoughts and feelings to the other and expects to be heard in a way that addresses those thoughts and feelings.
Communication problems can manifest as an unwillingness to talk about what someone is really thinking. It can also be an unwillingness to address problems they’re experiencing in the relationship. Both of these issues can develop when previous attempts to communicate were met with hostility, ridicule, or for another reason that prevents one spouse from opening up to the other.
When communications problems persist, they can quickly unwind any marriage. It can be harder to be honest with your spouse, make decisions together, and work out differences. Conditions like these can increase the risk of divorce over time.
2. Your Marriage Lacks Trust
Not only do many marriages hinge on communication, but trust plays an essential role as well. When spouses trust each other, there don’t have to be concerns about fidelity, money, or other issues that are important in any marriage.
When a marriage lacks trust, however, the ground is fertile for suspicion and contempt. Spouses might question each other’s motives and every move, especially those that seem out of character. A lack of trust often goes hand-in-hand with communication issues, which can cause the marriage to deteriorate much quicker over time.
3. Your Marriage Lacks Intimacy
Intimacy between spouses is very important, especially when it involves physical and emotional bonding. It’s not uncommon for sex to change a bit after marriage, especially in terms of frequency, but mismatched libidos can cause big problems in a marriage if spouses don’t address their needs or are unable to effectively communicate them.
The same goes for non-sexual forms of intimacy, such as cuddling, other forms of physical affection, and sharing an emotional connection. These are just as important as sex in any relationship.
4. Your Relationship Isn’t a Top Priority
When people get married, they grow together. That growth can include new children, new jobs, new hobbies, and other new aspects of life. Priorities can shift and change throughout marriage, but spouses who’ve relinquished their relationships to each other, as top priorities, may be at risk of divorce.
5. You Have a Plan to Leave
You don’t always have to be alarmed if you find yourself thinking about divorce, but you should pay more attention to what you’re thinking and feeling if you’re coming up with plans on how to go through with it.
If you’ve researched divorce lawyers or perhaps read articles like this one to ascertain whether or not your thoughts about divorce are idle curiosities, it could be a sign that you’re more serious about divorce than you realize.