HOW TO TELL IF YOUR MARRIAGE IS HEADED FOR DIVORCE: Helpful divorce information and advice for someone whose marriage is in trouble
What are the signs that you are headed for divorce? There are probably many different nuances and signs and ways that are unique to each situation. But I think there are some universal things that everybody will experience. That’s why we did the Divorce Quiz: Is it time to call the Divorce attorney to help you figure it out as a threshold matter. You should consider taking it…
That said, there are some tell tale signs definitely signal that your marriage is in serious trouble. Before your marriage ends in divorce, here are some other signs to look for so that you can take appropriate steps to save your marriage. This list is hardly exhaustive:
- One sign that you are probably headed for divorce is that you can’t find a single good thing to say about your husband or wife. Whereas you used to wax poetic about this person, now you only refer to him or her by insulting epithets both to their face and behind their backs. You badmouth them to friends, families and strangers and even to the kids. That’s a good sign that it’s over and it’s a matter of time before one of you seeks a divorce lawyer to end the marriage.
- Another sign that you are headed for divorce is: You like it when they are gone. Whereas you used to love hanging out with this person, all of a sudden you find that the job that takes him or her away for weeks on end is the greatest thing that has ever happened to the marriage and to your life. You like being alone, or at least outside of the company of this person. Actually, you wish they would stay gone for much longer spurts of time. With this person gone, you feel peace, you are inspired, you feel free, you feel happy. With them there, you are depressed, on prozac, and are miserable as can be.
- The third sign that your marriage may be headed for trouble is that you have stopped doing things together as a couple. Including dating each other. It’s all about the kids, work and paying the bills and fighting and fighting and fighting. There is zero romance in the marriage. Flowers? Chocolate? Sex? Purlease. It’s pure drudgery. It’s making you fantasize about someone at work. Maybe you’ve even started having extra-marital affairs, a lot of them. And you don’t care if your spouse finds out.
- The fourth sign you are headed for divorce is when even your closest friends start asking you if you’re heading for divorce. And they are probably doing this based on their observations of you and your spouse, or based on the things one or both of you are saying about the other. Friends know these things. They feel it. Sometimes outside parties know even before the couple that the marriage has hit the skids.
- The fifth sign that you’re marriage is in trouble is that you’ve been in marriage therapy but neither of you see the point in continuing the relationship. It’s hard even to get one or the both of you to summon up enough motivation to go to the sessions. Nothing has changed in the marriage since you’ve been going to the sessions anyway. No amount of counseling seems to make any difference in the relationship.
- Yet another sign you are headed for divorce is that you are fighting constantly. This is the obvious one. And these are not just fights. These are drag down, dirty, horrific cuss outs that leaves one or both of you in tears based on the things that are being said: dehumanizing, insulting, threatening things that no person should say to another, and that no person should have to put up with from another — especially not one’s spouse. Constant fighting is probably the cause of more divorces than such things as adultery. If the fighting is physical as well as verbal, then the chances of divorce are increased.
- Another sign you are headed for divorce is that you are having serious financial trouble. You may even feel angry about the fact that the other party is overspending or somehow mismanaging the money. Money problems is probably the biggest deal breaker in a marriage. Especially in a bad economy. If someone is gambling away the family fortune, overspending, unemployed or accumulating excessive or unnecessary debt, this could very well destroy their marriage. Money issues can cause couples to have zero trust in their spouse, which tends to wreck a marriage very quickly (the break down of trust, that is).
- Another way to know if you are heading for divorce is to look at your sex life. Have you and your spouse stopped having sex? Or worse, does the thought of having sex with this person make you feel sick? Is it fair to characterize the situation as, if you never have sex again with this person it would be too soon? Is the mere touch of this person unbearable? Have you begun to find their smell intolerable? Then the marriage has probably left the station. It’s only a matter of time before some one of you gets a divorce lawyer to help you file for divorce.
- Adultery could signal that you’re headed for divorce. For more than one reason. First of all, if your spouse finds out, you may get slapped with divorce papers because he or she will just head straight to a divorce lawyer if they even suspect you are cheating. Additionally, if you are the one having the affair, you may find that you are having much more fun with this person and feel much more connected to this person than you ever did to your spouse. You can scarcely imagine your life if you had to give your lover up. You need this person more than you want to be married to your spouse.
- Finally, a simple sign that you’re headed for divorce is that you have been thinking more and more about getting a divorce. You may have even consulted with a divorce lawyer on the phone, you’ve been checking out divorce blogs, visiting divorce forums and talking to friends about how unhappy you are in your marriage. You’ve begun to think of yourself individually, and not as a team with this person. Or maybe you sense that the other person has stopped thinking of you as a member of the team and has checked out of the marriage. There is an undeniable distance physically, psychologically, emotionally…you just feel that something fundamental has shifted and has changed. That’s probably because the marriage is over and you are headed for divorce.
If you are really over the marriage and want out you may want to know how do you tell your husband or wife you want a divorce? Read this post. If you want to save your marriage, read all our posts in the category MARRIAGE and seriously get to work to recalibrate the situation.
Original version published January 23, 2009