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Signs You're Heading For Divorce

Signs You're Heading For DivorceSometimes it is difficult for people to tell when they’ve reached the point of no return in a relationship.  The following are several ways to know a relationship is over, whether it was doomed from the start, or has taken a definite turn for the worst.


No Desire to Be Around One Another

If either of you (or both) shudder at the thought of spending time together,  that is a pretty decent sign that the wheels are falling off and divorce forms are in your future.  When it gets to this point, though, it is usually a relief to both people when the marriage is ended.  If you hate spending time with someone, the chances are likely that you aren’t exactly a blast to hang around yourself.  As in any war of attrition, there are no winners.  Instead of waiting for the other person to make the move, be the bigger person and just do it.  Otherwise you could be waiting for a very long time.


No Communication

Communication is the foundation upon which all relationships are built, whether they are your marriage or not.  When people stop communicating with one another, it shouldn’t be a surprise that relationships go south.  No one is a mind-reader, and to have a resentment based on something that you have not even spoken to your spouse with is really kind of ridiculous when you think about it.  Not giving your spouse the opportunity to give their side, to say their piece, is not fair to them.  Sure, life isn’t fair, and after that one time when they did this, that, or the other thing, why bother asking?  But all of that is beside the point.  Without their direct input, it is doing both of you a disservice by not giving them the opportunity to provide their input on a relationship in with you are both involved.


No Respect

When one or both spouses no longer have respect for the other, and there is no desire to regain that respect (or even establish it in the first place), then it is time to go.  This is, of course, assuming that the matter has been brought up explicitly and repeatedly.  Speaking from a male perspective, I can assure most women out there that, yes, we men do not catch on to subtlety too well.  Looks with the stink-eye are as effective on a dog as they are on us.  Actually, they are probably a bit more effective on the dog.  The point is, sometimes we do not realize that we are being disrespectful, and if the matter was made verbal, in clear and unmistakable words like, “You do not respect me,” or “That is completely disrespectful,” then it is probably time to start gathering your things if the behavior has persisted.


…It’s A Question of Trust…

Whether or not your marriage crumbles to dust (sorry, couldn’t help a solid Depeche Mode reference) depends on your ability to trust your spouse.  It is an uncomfortable feeling, but the reality is that if you don’t trust your significant other, then you probably shouldn’t be with them in the first place.  For better or worse, building trust requires that you allow people to be in situations where they have the ability to violate that trust.  If your spouse gets mad every time you leave the house, it may be time to leave that relationship.


To Be Happy or Right?

Although this is more of a bit of advice than a sign that a relationship is ending, there’s an old saying:  “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?”  Sometimes, even if you know you are right, is it really such a big deal to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home, even if you picked something up on the way home the day before?  Is it really worth the arguing and bickering and silent treatment that lasts for days on end, or just pick up the milk?  Obviously, this same principle does not apply to every single microcosm of marital interactions, but really, pick and choose your battles, and you might be surprised how much better things get.  Before you know it, you may be surprised that you were even thinking of filing for divorce.  If you aren’t going to look back on the situation in a week or a month and say, “Man, I really shouldn’t have gotten that milk”, then just do it.


Hyperbolic Statements

Hyperbolic statements are statements that are exaggerations which aren’t meant to be taken literally, but instead are used for effect.  However, this can make language very difficult to read, especially if you and your spouse get animated when you disagree.  “I work my fingers to the bone every day, and you don’t appreciate it” sounds a lot different than, “I work really hard every day, and you don’t appreciate it.”  Any time communication gets skewed, whether intentional or not, it is bound to create chaos in any relationship.  This principle often goes hand-in-hand with…


It’s Not Just What You Say, But How You Say It

“Maybe if you didn’t hang out with Chris all the time, maybe it wouldn’t be like that!”  These statements do not serve any other purpose than to hurt someone because you felt hurt and didn’t know what else to say.  You didn’t know what else to do, so you figured hurting them was better than taking one on the chin.  When people get hurt, they want to hurt back, and it is no wonder that these types of arguments just disintegrate into ugliness rather than actually solving anything.  Instead, let your spouse know if something is bothering you before it gets to the point of passive-aggressive jabs.  When things get to this point, it is often hard to recover a relationship because one jab quickly turns into an all-out emotional boxing match without a winner.


No More Turns

At about the age of two, child psychologists have proven that most children are able to comprehend the idea behind taking turns.  Why, then, is it so uncommon for one person to make all the decisions and/or all the concessions in a relationship?  If that person is you, then you’ve had the control for longer than you should have, and it is your turn to share.  If your spouse is the one doing it, point it out to them.  They might not even be aware of it, or not realize that you want your turn.  Insist on having your turn.  Marriage is give-and-take.  Having one person always giving and one always taking is doomed to failure, and will almost certainly end with a divorce forms service being used.


You For Them, Not You For You

True love is characterized by wanting the best for someone regardless of what that means for your own personal, selfish reasons.  Note, selfish is not always a bad thing.  Wanting to have a happy life for both of you together is selfish, but so is wanting to be in a relationship when you know the other person does not want to be.  It’s a horrible cliché, but it’s true:  if you love someone, you have to be willing to let them go.  If one person is staying out of fear that they are going to do something to hurt the other person (or that the other person will hurt themselves), that is a toxic relationship for both of you, and should have ended a long time ago for both of your well-being.


Growing Apart

No one should want to be the same person at 50 as they were at 20.  People often say, “You’ve changed, man!” like it is a bad thing, but really, we all change, and especially early in life, our goals and aspirations, our dreams and our wants, look a lot different in our twenties than they do even in our thirties.  Sometimes people just grow into different individuals.  That does not mean they are good or bad–it just is.  Sometimes we think we know what we are doing, and at the time it actually is the right decision, but years later lots of people come to the realization that,  “Maybe we didn’t have all the answers after all.”


With the willingness and knowledge of the problem, many of the things that lead to divorce can be avoided.  However, this willingness needs to be sincere, and both people need to have it.  If that isn’t the case, it is only a matter of time before a relationship caves in, and a matter of how much unhappiness you’re willing to put up with until that happens.

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