You didn’t enter into marriage with the goal of getting a divorce, so exiting it isn’t a decision you take lightly. The question is whether you align with the signs you are ready for a divorce.
When money, people and promises don’t show up where they are supposed to in a marriage, things can get challenging. But it’s important to ensure divorce is the right path for you, because stepping out of a relationship is hard. Trust me!
Often, clients tell me they just know now is the right time. I get that. You see, if you feel something isn’t right, you shouldn’t ignore your intuition. Remember that any choice you make will be the right one for you if you trust your instincts and your heart.
The other ways to answer how to know when you’re ready for divorce is to educate yourself. Education gives you not only power, but also the confidence needed to follow through with either staying and working things out, or putting things in motion to begin the divorce.
To start that process, separate emotion from logic and look at the facts by moving through each of the signs you are ready for a divorce. This will help you reaffirm whether divorce is right for you.
1. Not able to resolve conflicts or fights
Arguments are a normal part of a relationship. So if you’re arguing, don’t automatically think that something is wrong with you as a couple. It’s when multiple arguments fail to reach a resolution that real problems occur.
As a couple you should be able to come to a compromise. In fact, if you truly love each other, you’ll go out of your way to reach an understanding to end the argument, whether it’s about financial health or your children’s well-being.
If you or your partner continually fight or argue, and you’re unwilling to come to a compromise each time or look for a solution, then this shows you may be ready for divorce.
2. Communication has ceased
As mentioned, arguing (and then finding a resolution) is healthy for a relationship. It shows you’re communicating and listening to each other.
When communication stops, we take away the means to understand each other and work through problems. Communication is one of the key ingredients to a healthy marriage.
Maybe it’s your partner who shows a lack of communication. Perhaps you’ve made all attempts to work through counselling to open up those lines of communication to no avail. Or maybe it’s that you’re no longer willing to communicate with your partner and can already see things breaking down. This is where you’ve reached a point of giving up or not wanting to fix the problems.
3. Feel you’re living separate lives
That lack of communication may go a step further when you start to live separate lives, even if you are still under the same roof.
In some cases, that first warning sign is when you find yourself consumed by a new hobby or interest as a way to escape your marriage. You can find excuses to always be working on your new interest, and you may have no desire to share your passion for your new interest with your husband or wife.
In other cases it may be infidelity by your partner. If they’ve been living a second life with someone else, it’s a sign you should get a divorce or pursue marriage counseling.
4. No desire to be intimate
Ah, remember that intense passion you had for each other when your relationship began? Over time you may feel the flame that burned hot in the early days seems to have not just dimmed, but completely gone out.
It’s true that some marriages work perfectly fine without the need for intimacy, especially if both parties are willing and able to agree to this. But when one party is being deprived of the intimacy they desire, then it doesn’t bode well for a healthy relationship.
It may be that you need to find a way to bring passion back into your relationship. Or counselling may help you open up to each other.
If not, then the party seeking intimacy may find it elsewhere, which leads us back to point 3 – living separate lives and the start of divorce proceedings.
5. A loss of respect for each other
All marriages have moments when hurtful words are hurled about regarding the lack of reliability, trustworthiness or truthfulness there is. We’ve all been there, when we feel annoyed or upset about something and usually the person closest to us cops the brunt of our emotions.
The issue lies when unreasonable criticism is constant or when there’s ongoing belittling or disregard for your perspective. This sort of lack of respect can erode your self-worth over time.
The other disrespect comes in the form of domestic violence. In this situation, seek help to safely remove yourself from the situation and ensure your ongoing safety and that of any family members you may need to take with you.
6. A lack of care or empathy
How empathetic are you towards your partner? Say they’re suffering a physical ailment, or they’re under a huge amount of stress at work. Do you ask about their well-being? Or have you caught yourself saying (or thinking) “I honestly don’t care”?
If you reach that point as a married couple, it’s one of the signs you are ready for a divorce.
When we lose the ability to care for the other person, we’ve fallen out of love for them. If you no longer care about how they’re feeling, you’ve removed yourself from the partnership already.
Other scenarios might include saying hurtful things about them in front of others, being unwilling to help them when they ask, or refusing to want to work on the marriage if one party is keen to try therapy.
7. You’re able to accept the consequences of divorce
It’s easy to make rash decisions when emotions are high or to threaten the other party with divorce as a scare tactic, but it rarely serves us well.
If you’ve spent time looking at the pros and cons of getting a divorce and you aren’t wanting to take the step to punish the other party, then you can move ahead knowing you’re making the right decision for you.
Do your research to ensure you’re well educated with what’s involved financially, emotionally and mentally during and after divorce. It will give you a more realistic idea of what a divorce could mean for you with regard to children, activities, networks and belongings.
What if you show signs you are ready for a divorce?
Our choices make us who we are. And yes, sometimes those choices might not be easy. You will have much to learn, but you will be grateful you listened to yourself. Were you ever hesitant to make a decision that turned out to be a big blessing? If so, you will know what I mean.
I have been refined through the fire of divorce, so I know only too well the emotions you’re feeling. If you’ve already been through marriage counseling, but the challenges above have continued, then it’s time to start the divorce process.
If the thought of divorce leaves you feeling overwhelmed because you don’t know all the steps or are afraid of the process, download the Complete How To Prepare For Divorce Checklist.
If you have private questions that keep you awake at night, then before you approach a divorce lawyer I encourage you to start with Privately Preparing For Divorce.
This training program will help answer:
- What you should know before you get a divorce,
- What are the stages of divorce, and
- How to cope with all the paperwork, emotions and stress?
You don’t have to go through it alone. We can help you separate your emotion from logic in a divorce to provide you assistance, preparedness and relief. We will help you gain clear direction for your divorce and life for less than a typical initial consultation with a licensed divorce attorney.
So if you’re ready to go beyond the signs you are ready for a divorce and start to take action, our 14 licensed professionals – including medical doctor and attorneys – can help. They speak on the spiritual, physical, financial and legal aspects of divorce from their lifetime of expertise.