Choosing to end a marriage is likely one of the most difficult choices people have to make. No one makes such a big commitment as marriage with one foot already out of the relationship. And coming to the realization that your marriage has fizzled out is always a difficult ordeal. No matter how fully committed you were to your significant other before the marriage, things don’t always turn out the way you expect it to.
But divorce is a huge step to take, especially when there are kids involved. For many couples, staying in an unhappy marriage has a lot to do with them believing they’ve already invested a substantial amount in that relationship. If you are agonizing over the decision of whether or not to file for divorce, there are steps you can take in this process.
Ten Signs Your Marriage May Be Over
1. You no longer spend time together.
While spending time with friends and having alone time is perfectly OK, you need to worry if it’s a weekly go-to or if you both spend more time with other people than with each other. When you are in a loving relationship, you want to spend time together. If kids, work or friends come first, it means that you are looking for any excuse to not spend time with your spouse.
2. One of you has stopped arguing.
Not saying that constant arguments are a good sign, not arguing at all is definitely a red flag. Believe it or not, arguments can be healthy if they don’t involve pointing fingers, placing blame and the need to ‘win.’ Productive arguments are a way of fighting for each other and fighting for the relationship. Never arguing is akin to not being bothered anymore.
3. You do not show your true self around your partner.
Hiding your true self involves filtering yourself and hiding your beliefs from them. If you think your significant other will not respect your beliefs and decisions or will reject you for them you are not in a fulfilling relationship.
4. Oversharing on social media.
Feeling the need to show how great your relationship is, is a sure sign of overcompensating. You know your relationship is not that great and is really falling apart, but you are not ready to accept that and overshare in an attempt to cover up the truth.
5. You’ve gone from ‘us’ to ‘I’.
When you get married, you want to share everything in your life with your significant other. This mentality requires teamwork. When teamwork goes out the window, you no longer have a common goal and maybe a sign your marriage is over.
6. They are not the first person you go to when you are having a bad day
Them no longer being your “go-to” person is a sign that you don’t feel you can talk to them and that you can’t rely on them for emotional support. Whether a crisis or celebration, the first person you should want to talk to is your spouse. If that’s not the case, that’s a huge red flag. The opposite, you not wanting to hear about their problems, is also a huge sign of something missing from your marriage.
7. They never give their undivided attention.
You cannot expect to receive their undivided attention all the time, things, such as work or kids, may require their immediate attention. But if they are always on their phone around you and you are never receiving their full attention, they have probably lost interest in the relationship.
However, Divorce Is Urgent When:
You are at the center of an abusive relationship where one or more of the following occurs:
- You are being isolated from family and friends.
- Your spouse uses physical force to intimidate you.
- Your spouse constantly resorts to name-calling. While not physical, this is still a form of abuse: emotional.
- Your spouse threatens you. The threat can range from hurting the victim, hurting someone close to the victim or suicide. These are all means of coercion.
- You are not allowed to hold a job, do not have access to the bank account and are only given a weekly or monthly allowance.
- Pretend that the assault wasn’t that bad. “I just pushed you, it’s not like I hit you.”
- Blaming the victim and saying that the victim provoked them.
Before Making Any Major Decisions
- Seek professional help Just be sure to find a professional licensed counselor that works with couples and that has a good amount of experience.
- Prepare a backup plan in case things don’t go the way you intended them to, especially if your safety depends on being separated from your spouse. You may not have to use it, but better be prepared for all eventualities.
- Try to reduce stress in your life. Do some yoga, meditation or go to the gym. It’ll help you be more clear-headed when trying to make a decision.
- Take some time away to view your marriage more clearly.