10 Tell-Tale Signs of a Divorce Ahead
Four in ten first marriages end in divorce.
While no one wants to be a statistic, sometimes it's inevitable. If your marriage isn't what is once was, it might be time to file for divorce.
It can be hard to know when it's time to call it quits. When there are so many emotions involved, you might find it easier to stay, even when you know you shouldn't.
In this article, well tell you the most common signs of a divorce we see from our clients. If you can identify with a lot of them, you may need to contact a lawyer.
The Most Common Signs of a Divorce
Not sure if your marital problems are severe enough to be grounds for divorce? Read on to find out.
1. Lack of Communication
Communication is vital for a happy, functioning, long-lasting marriage. A lack of it is one of the first signs of a divorce for many couples.
You need to be open and honest with each other about your feelings, your plans, and your general daily lives. If you're not, you won't be able to overcome the obstacles that come with marriage.
It's not just about talking. You need to understand each other's non-verbal cues, too. When you know your partner inside and out, you can often tell when they're upset without having to ask. This is because you pay attention to their individual body language as well as what they say to you.
If one or both of you is no longer communicating, things can start to fall apart. When there's an elephant in the room, you need to address it. Otherwise, it could turn into one of the early signs of a divorce ahead.
It may only start as small things at first, but they can quickly snowball into something much more serious. If you bottle things up every time you're upset or angry with your spouse, they won't be able to fix things. Eventually, it could all come out in a huge argument that could change the course of the entire relationship.
If you're no longer communicating with your partner in a healthy way, ask yourself why. Is it the usual bump in the road, or could it be one of the glaring signs of a divorce?
2. Emotional Withdrawal
Are you reaching out to someone else for the emotional support you would normally get from your spouse? While it may only seem like something small, this is one of the first signs of divorce.
You might find yourself becoming emotionally attached to someone else, whether it's a friend, a work colleague, or someone you met online. Some people see this as another form of cheating.
You might feel as though your partner isn't still capable of giving you the emotional input you need. If you start to withdraw from your emotional connection as a result, they'll eventually feel it.
From there, the two of you could grow more and more distant. If the matter isn't addressed, it's a slippery slope downhill from there.
3. Your Lives Become Separate
Are you and your spouse seeing less and less of each other?
When you both have busy lives and careers, this isn't out of the ordinary. However, if you're not making time to spend with each other, things can start to fall apart.
You might be feeling as if you don't want to spend as much time together anymore. That can be a red flag, too. If you're not opening up to your partner and letting them know how you feel, it could be a sign that a connection has been lost.
This can lead to other problems later down the line. It's best to try and correct this as early as possible. If you're finding that your efforts aren't coming to fruition, it might be time to go your separate ways altogether.
4. You Avoid Spending Time Together
Do you sometimes wish your partner would just leave you alone? Has their presence become a nuisance rather than a comfort?
We all need our own space, but when it comes down to it, you should look forward to spending time with your spouse.
You might be making excuses not to see your partner without even realizing it. Staying late at work and spending more time with your friends are common ways to do that.
This is one of the more subtle signs of a divorce that can go unnoticed for long periods of time. You might put it down to differences in personality, having separate interests, and trusting each other.
If you're spending more and more time away from each other out of choice, it's a bad sign. You might just not enjoy their company anymore.
5. Intimacy Wanes
The 'honeymoon period' can only last so long.
It's only natural that you'll go through periods where you aren't having as much sex as you used to. However, if this becomes a constant theme in your marriage, alarm bells should start ringing.
When you and your spouse are no longer intimate, you may start to feel as though they're no longer attracted to you. This can cause insecurity and resentment to build, and these emotions will leak into other aspects of your relationship.
There are lots of different reasons why couples stop having sex.
Libido goes up and down over time, and it's not always mutual. That's where the issue lies for many couples. Mismatched sex drives can cause lots of problems between partners.
If one of you just doesn't feel like having sex anymore, the other may become frustrated and offended. In some cases, this can even lead to infidelity.
However, this isn't usually a stand-alone problem. That's why it's one of the main signs of a divorce.
If you find that you're just not in the mood anymore, it could be an indication of other underlying issues between you.
6. Repeated Arguments
All couples fight from time to time. As much as we hate to admit it, it's part and parcel of marriage.
Whether it's about money, trust issues, family plans, or just what to have for dinner, you're bound to fight now and then. The way you do it is what really matters.
Even when you don't agree with each other, it's important to maintain respect. You have to allow your partner to tell you how they feel. Then, you have to make sure you really listen when they do so, and are willing to take on what they have to say.
Instead of storming off, keeping score, or making petty attempts to get back at each other, you need to resolve conflicts in a dignified manner. If you're having trouble doing that on your own, marriage counseling can help.
Pay attention to what happens before, during and after conflicts arise. Poorly managed disagreements are often one of the signs of a divorce.
Does your partner respect your views? Are they willing to apologize when they've upset you? Do they take steps to make the changes that you both agree on during these conflicts?
If not, counseling could be a lost cause. Arguments that become frequent and unresolved can indicate that things have turned sour. Perhaps you just aren't right for each other anymore.
7. You're Not on the Same Team Anymore
Loss of trust can happen gradually over time, and eventually, you might feel as though your partner doesn't support you anymore.
It could be in the way they respond to you. When you vent to them about things that are bothering you at work, do they make you feel as thought you're the one at fault? Repeated incidents like this may cause you to become closed off.
When you're vulnerable, you need to know that your spouse is there for you. After all, you're supposed to be a team. Not working together is one of the signs of a divorce that can be difficult to accept.
They should be the closest one to you, and the person with whom you feel most comfortable sharing your secrets. Isn't that part of the reason why you married them in the first place?
This has to go both ways. If that support system is no longer there, it's one of the signs of a divorce.
8. Constant Criticism
Have negative feelings completely taken over your marriage?
There are bound to be things your partner does that irritate you. It could be anything from the way they chew their food to the way they discipline your children. You need to handle these feelings in the right way.
Constantly nit-picking and criticizing is not the way to do it. That causes resentment that can break a couple apart. You're allowed to be annoyed by your husband or wife, but holding disdain for them is one of the surest signs of a divorce.
Weigh up all the things that they do to annoy you against all of the things you like about them. Write them out in a list if you have to. If there are more negatives than positives, you have a serious problem on your hands.
You should be able to look at that list and see a multitude of reasons to stay with them. If you don't, it's might be better for both of you to walk away.
9. Date Nights Become Non-Existent
Dating doesn't have to end after marriage.
In fact, it's essential that you take time and effort to do fun things as a couple, no matter how long you've been together. If you don't, the spark can easily begin to fade.
This doesn't have to include grand gestures like weekends away or trips to fancy restaurants and hotels. It could be as simple as cooking a nice dinner, buying a small gift, or just sending a sweet text to let your partner know you're thinking of them.
These things keep romance alive, and it's important that effort is made to keep it going on both sides. If your partner isn't doing these things anymore, it could mean that they're not as invested in the relationship as they once were.
However, it could just mean that they've dropped the ball. When relationships last for many years, spouses can often stop putting in as much effort as they used to. It's a natural reaction as you become comfortable.
Talk about it as a couple and try to work through it together. If that doesn't bring the spark back, you might just have to admit that you've fallen out of love with each other.
10. Serial Cheating
The last item on our list of signs of a divorce is one of the most difficult.
Affairs are one of the most common causes and signs of a divorce. It's a huge betrayal that can be hard to come back from.
However, cheating doesn't always spell the end of a marriage. Plenty of couples work through it together. Some of them even allow sex with another partner as part of a mutual agreement.
However, boundaries need to be set and respected for a marriage to work. If your partner is repeatedly straying from you, the deceit and disrespect can be hard to overcome.
How many times can you forgive them? If they're a serial cheater, it's unlikely that their behavior is going to change.
In that same vein, if you're finding yourself looking for intimacy elsewhere, your marriage could be on the rocks. People don't cheat when they're happy. It's often one of the signs of a divorce being something they desire.
If cheating is an issue in your marriage, try to get to the root cause of it. If you can't overcome it as a couple, a divorce is likely to be on the cards.
Take the Next Step
If you've spotted some of these signs of a divorce in your marriage, you'll need some help.
A divorce can be an extremely difficult process to go through. As well as paperwork, marital assets, and court proceedings to go through, there is a huge amount of emotional labor involved.
A family lawyer can guide you through the legal process to make it as easy as possible.
It's important that you find the right person to help you through this stage of your life. They need to be experienced and supportive, with a great track record of previous divorce cases.
Make sure you do your research and explore all of your options before deciding which law firm to go with. To help you decide who's right for you, use our list of questions to ask a divorce lawyer.