The Love Has Disappeared
A lot of people will say they married their best friend. And this is a good thing. But if you realize that you are no longer interested in being intimate with your best friend, it may be time for a divorce.
It isnt uncommon for married couples to still be close friends but no longer love each other. If you find yourself in this situation, it is best to have a cordial divorce while maintaining the friendship.
Can An Unhappy Marriage Survive
Yes, and many unhappy marriages never end in divorce. That doesnt mean happiness returns, though.
Survive? Yes. Thrive? No, says Talia Bombola, a certified psychodynamic licensed marriage and family therapist from Newport Beach, California.
Bombola explains both partners must be committed to change if the relationship quality is to improve. Otherwise, unhappy couples who stay together out of fear of change or complacency may stay married but find happiness persistently dwindles.
There’s A Lack Of Respect
Having an understanding, respectful, and trusting relationship with your spouse is vital. If one or both partners is simply disrespecting the other on a frequent basis, that may very well be grounds for divorce.
In the world of couples’ therapy, there’s something called the “four horsemen” that predict divorce. According to research by The Gottman Institute, the one behavior out of the four that is the biggest indicator of divorce is contempt.
According to licensed marriage and family therapist Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, contempt is often a symptom of long-standing resentment or disapproval toward your partner, which then comes out in arguments in the form of condescension and mean-spirited communication. “At minimum, it is very mean, and at worst, it becomes emotional abuse. It also has been connected to health issues for the partner the contempt is directed toward, including a lower immune system,” she notes.
Contempt can be addressed, but if it’s pervasive and partners are unable to change the way they view and treat each other, the relationship may not be healthy to remain in.
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When Is It Time To Divorce
Some of the critical signs you need to observe while deciding to get a divorce:
You’re Unable To Communicate Effectively
If you’re curious what else the above research found, about 44% of the participants said communication problems were a primary factor in their decision to separate. If you’re constantly arguing and unable to connect verbally in an effective way , that’s not something to ignore.
Communication skills can absolutely be improved, but pay attention to whether your efforts to do this as a couple have consistently failedor if one or both of you just refuses to put in the effort anymore.
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Understanding What Comes After A Divorce
The decision to divorce should never be made in the aftermath of a fight. Divorce is final and should be considered carefully, not just for its impact on you, but also for its impact on your children. When you divorce, what ramifications will reverberate through your life and the life of your family? Will you have enough money to sustain your lifestyle including important small details such as trips to the movies, piano lessons or your weekly take-out Chinese food? Are you ready to leave the family house for a tiny apartment? Are you ready to divide the Impressionist paintings you’ve collected over the last 20 years, your mint collection of rock ‘n’ roll singles or the living room set you bought from the furniture master in Milan?
The answers, for many, might be straightforward: The emotional relationship with their spouse is largely negative, for one or more of the reasons listed previously. Why else would divorce be in the air?
Your Partner Is Narcissistic
“I see a lot of divorce where a partner seems charismatic, but its actually the facade of very intense narcissism,” Skyler explains. Wondering how to tell if your partner is a narcissist, exactly? It usually means they lack empathy, and typically demonstrate entitlement, vanity, arrogance, and controlling behavior, Skyler says. If you are married to a narcissistic person, its possible that you have fallen victim to their particularly charming behaviors without noticing the negative oneswhich is common.
So, if you have inklings that your partner might be demonstrating some of these behaviors, it may be a sign that something deeper is wrong.
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If You Have More Than 2
Can you imagine another 50 years with this person? What does that life look like?
Breaking up a marriage can be one of the hardest things to do but think long term.
If you have a pit in your stomach after reading this, it may be time for some kind of action.
It could mean setting time aside to sit down and openly talk to your partner about your feelings, going to counseling or maybe even starting the separation process. Living unhappily is not necessary and there is usually a light at the end of every tunnel if you look hard enough.
Dating coach Bela Gandhi is the founder and president of Smart Dating Academy
You Or Your Partner Have Shut Down
Stonewallingdefined as the complete withdrawal from interaction within a relationshipis a huge sign that things may not be able to be worked out. Edelman says that partners who resist working on the relationship because they have become emotionally unavailable may not be capable of getting back to a place where they feel like they can be vulnerable. once that wall is up, it’s hard to come down.
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Double Checking Have You Exhausted All Your Options
If youve decided that divorcing is the right course of action, stop and examine whether youve tried every possible remedy.
One of the reasons we believe that divorce is so common is that the stigma is no longer attached. People arent ostracized because theyve gotten divorced.
In the past, couples were often trapped in bad marriages. This was especially true for women because their rights were limited and women were unable to earn an income as an equal.
Added to this unfair dynamic, getting divorced made them socially unacceptable for polite society. It was a scary proposition, and many women stayed in terrible, even abusive, marriages.
Today, divorce is very common, and not at all looked down upon. But that can sometimes mean that couples decide on divorcing without making sure theyve done everything possible to save the marriage.
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A Partner Is Having An Affair
For some individuals, infidelity is the end of a marriage. They cannot forgive their spouse for the affair. Some spouses can work through infidelity to continue a committed relationship.
If your spouse wants to be with the person, the marriage is over. It is a clear indicator that it is time to seek a divorce. Some states recognize infidelity as a ground for divorce, but California is a no-fault state for divorce actions.
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Youre Fantasizing About The End Of Your Marriage
If youre laying in bed at night unhappily thinking about all the ways your life might be better if you and your spouse were no longer together, this may be a sign your marriage is at risk, Brito says.
That said, its normal to have attractions and fantasies that exist outside of your relationship. “The problem is when you make plans to act on those fantasies or attractions, or if you make plans to leave,” Brito says. So, if you’re already plotting your exit strategy, a divorce may be inevitable.
You Find That Youre Chronically Unhappy
If you wake up every morning next to your partner conscious of the fact that youre miserable in your marriage, that’s a red flag for the health of your relationship, Skyler says.
Its not that you should feel actively “happy” at all times when youre married, but if theres both a distinct absence of happiness and an active sense of sadness or disappointment when together, consider that a pretty clear sign youre not in a great place, Skyler explains.
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Has Your Spouse Been Unfaithful
Florida is a no-fault state for divorce actions. You do not need to have specific grounds for divorce, such as adultery or abuse, to obtain a divorce. However, if your spouse has been unfaithful, it could be the end of your marriage.
Some couples can overcome cheating through counseling. However, if your spouse has repeated affairs or you cannot forgive your spouse and forget about the affair, it may be time to consider a divorce.
It’s I And Me And Never We
Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and the author of Tell Me What You Want, agrees. He says that the language we use when talking about our relationships can predict a break up. “The pronouns you choose are a sign of how close you feel to your partner.” So, look out for what expressions you find yourself using.
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There’s Been Some Infidelity
If you or your partner have committed infidelity, this might make it difficult for you to move forward in your marriage. That said, it often depends on the severity of the cheating, Skyler notes. Chronic infidelity, for example, can be extremely difficult to move forward from, she says.
However, if the cheating was a one-time occurrence or rather mild in actionsuch as a drunken kiss at a bar versus repeated sex with a loverit might be easier for you to work through. All of this is dependent on how severe of an offense you perceive infidelity to be in generaland everyone views it differently, Skyler says.
Get The Divorce Help You Need
Speaking to a divorce attorney does not mean that divorce is inevitable. Some people consult an attorney before they are sure about proceeding with a divorce at all. A divorce attorney may even recommend a temporary separation to give both parties some breathing room. Many couples actually decide to stay together after consulting a divorce attorney and engaging in a trial period of separation.
The point here is that divorce attorneys have experience with hundreds of different couples and their unique situations. They can provide guidance on local laws, financial implications, and an overview of the entire divorce process. Knowing what to expect can take some of the intimidation out of the idea, and it allows you to make realistic plans based on objective advice.
If youre wondering whether its time to start considering divorce, remember the points discussed above. For many people, taking a sober look at their situation with those in mind helps to clarify it, and validates what that little voice in the back of their head has been telling them for some time.
We specialize in services to men seeking a divorce. To get an idea of what to expect, we recommend that you download our Free Divorce Guide for Men. It will answer many of your preliminary questions and provide a general overview of the process in the state of Washington. Get in touch with a Seattle divorce lawyer.
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There Is A Lack Of Intimacy
Intimacy is an important part of any relationship, and marriage is no exception. Physical intimacy helps to solidify the emotional connection between husband and wife, and it can be a source of pleasure and comfort. However, if intimacy starts to dwindle, it can be a sign that something is wrong in the relationship. There are many reasons why couples may become less intimate over time, including busy schedules, stress, and disagreements. However, if the lack of intimacy is left unaddressed, it can cause tension and resentment to build up over time. If youre not feeling as close to your spouse as you used to, its important to talk about it. Lack of intimacy can be a sign of marriage trouble, but its also a problem that can be resolved with effort and communication.
There’s No Common Ground On Important Issues
“We all know the saying, ‘opposites attract,’ but unfortunately, that’s not necessarily true,” Anzab admits. At the beginning of a relationship, points of difference may be exciting, refreshing, and motivating. However, there is usually a limit on how much you’re willing to compromise. Anzab adds, “Non-negotiable needs, such as deciding on a place to call home or whether or not you want children can become sources of resentment and detachment.”
Generally, when you love someone, you make an effort to be flexibleespecially when it comes to accommodating our partner’s needsbut sometimes, you may have to put your foot down and choose what you want. If your partner refuses to meet you halfway on essential issues or she has non-negotiable needs that are worlds apart from yours, you may be headed for a split.
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Different Views On Having Children
Whether you have children should be something you agree about prior to the marriage. However, some people simply arent honest. Other times, one party might change their mind after the fact.
If one spouse wants to have children and the other spouse never wants to have children, its a good reason to divorce. Neither party should have to compromise on this if they dont want to.
Its a lifetime commitment to raising a child. To go along with this, finding that your spouse used manipulation in this area is a huge red flag to get out of the relationship.
Weve seen couples where the husband got a vasectomy without the wifes knowledge or where one party or the other damaged birth control methods without their spouses consent. You should never force someone into this type of decision against their will.
Your Spouse Is Always Busy
If your spouse is always busy, it may be a sign that they want a divorce. Of course, there could be other reasons for their busyness, such as work or family obligations. However, if you have noticed that your spouse is suddenly much busier than usual and they are avoiding you, it may be a sign that they are unhappy in the marriage and are looking for an escape. If you are concerned about your spouses sudden busyness, talk to them about it. If they are able to share their feelings with you and explain why they are busy, then it is likely that their busyness is not a sign of trouble in the marriage. However, if your spouse is unwilling or unable to talk to you about their busyness, it may be a sign that they are considering a divorce. In this case, it may be best to consult with a divorce attorney to discuss your options.
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You Don’t Have Anything In Common Anymore
If you want to know whether your marriage is over, just think about the conversations you have with your spouse. When you got together, you probably loved nothing more than spending time on your collective interests. But if those things you thought you had in common turned out to be things you or your spouse just pretended to like in order to woo each other, you might be in over your head. As the list of common interests between you and your spouse wanes, so too do your chances of making it work in the long run.
There Is An Emotional Distance
One of the first signs of divorce is emotional distance. As people begin to drift apart, they often stop confiding in each other and sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings. Instead, they bottle up their emotions, which can lead to resentment, bitterness, and anger. In some cases, spouses may try to reconnect by going on dates or taking vacations, but these efforts are often unsuccessful. The reason is that emotional distance cannot be resolved without first addressing the underlying issues that led to the disconnection. If a couple is unable to do this, then the relationship is likely to continue to decline until it eventually ends in divorce.
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