One of the biggest mistakes I made when I got divorced was waiting far too long to do it. I should have pulled the plug on our marriage as soon as we started leading separate lives. Instead, I hung in there for a few more years “for the kids’ sake.” During that time, our children were exposed to many colossal blowouts they should never have seen.
Even if you both know your divorce is inevitable, it’s still difficult to be the first one to say it out loud (and mean it). The responsibility of being the one to end it—and the guilt that goes along with that—can be hard to bear. I learned the hard way that the guilt I felt later because I didn’t end it when I should have was a lot worse.
That’s not to say that this is going to be the case for everyone. Leaving when you should have stayed can also be regrettable. It’s a tough choice, but it’s one many married people face at one time or another.
10 Signs It’s Time to Get a Divorce
Some of you may be reading this because you’re wondering if you’d be happier without your spouse, while others may be reading it because you already know you want out. Whatever your situation is, if any of these signs you need to get divorced sound familiar, it may be time to get a good lawyer.
You’ve Lost Confidence
When you are constantly devalued and criticized and you are your partner’s last priority, it can become difficult to feel good about yourself. Especially if your partner seems to enjoy belittling you in front of friends and family or in public. If your self-esteem has taken a hit due to your marriage and you’ve lost confidence in your own worthiness and abilities, consider that maybe you are still in the relationship because you’ve been made to feel like no one else will want you.
You No Longer Feel Like Yourself
You may be pretending to be someone you aren’t to please your partner. You may also be hiding your true feelings and the goals you want for your future because you’re afraid you’ll anger your spouse. If you can’t be true to yourself in your marriage, it may be healthier to end it.
You’re Lonely When You’re Not Alone
You might know exactly what I mean by this even without any explanation. Your spouse doesn’t care that they don’t share common interests with you, and they don’t even look up when you’re speaking to them. If you feel like a ghost in your own home whenever your partner is around, you may want to burn some sage to drive yourself out of the house.
You See Completely Different Futures
You dream of a white picket fence and three children, while your partner sees themselves traveling the world. You want to be the couple who grows old together and holds hands while you sit on the porch. Meanwhile, your spouse is looking into polyamory. When your hopes and dreams for the future are desperately out of sync, it may be time to part ways. It can hurt you worse than it has to and keep you from the future you were meant to have if you don’t.
Everything Is Your Fault
If your partner is blaming you for everything, chances are it’s because they can’t stand you anymore and they’re looking to find fault in your every move, word, and breath. You don’t need to expose yourself to this toxic behavior. You deserve to be with someone who enjoys and appreciates who you are.
You Can’t Forgive (Or Forget)
Whether the issue is an extramarital affair or your spouse said something so awful that it can never, ever be taken back, if you’re still dwelling on the past and you’re angry and you can’t move beyond it, it may be time to move beyond your spouse. One sign that it’s time is if you bring the issue up every time you fight.
You Don’t Care Enough to Go to a Counselor
My ex said I had to go to the marriage counselor by myself because I was the only one who was unhappy with the marriage. Um, that’s not how this works. If one or both of you doesn’t care enough to try to change anything or work your problems out, you may have to accept that your marriage has run its course.
You Want to Fight About Everything
If you’re always looking for a fight and you look forward to getting to take a cheap shot at your partner, your anger may be turning you into someone you wouldn’t like. Consider the fact that you might be intentionally provoking your spouse into divorcing because you are afraid to be responsible for ending the marriage.
You’d Rather Be With Anyone Than Your Spouse
By the end, my ex and I didn’t even attend each other’s birthday parties anymore. There was literally anyone else we’d rather be with than each other, and we made no attempt to hide it. We loathed each other, and it was obvious to everyone around us—especially our kids. Once a marriage has reached that point, there may be no turning back.
Your Blended Family Didn’t Work Out
This can be one of the most painful reasons to end a marriage. Even if you still love each other, you may not be able to take another day of battles with step-children, drama with their other parent, or clashing with your jealous ex. If this is a constant source of stress and there is no end in sight, there may not be a solution to this problem. Eventually, it will eat you alive if you let it.
When You Know It’s Over
If you’re already acting on your exit strategy by making plans for a future without your spouse, it’s already over. Ditto if there is abuse involved and if you can’t think about anything but divorce. Addiction that your partner won’t try to get treatment for is also a deal-breaker. If you see your own marriage in any of these examples, it’s time to check out this comprehensive divorce guide.
No one can tell you whether or not divorce is the right choice in your situation, but you may already know it in your heart. It’s important to trust your intuition. If your gut is telling you it’s time to leave, it probably is.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t stay together for the children’s sake if you know you want to leave. Divorce is never pleasant, but once you grow to resent each other after years of forced marriage, your divorce may end up being much more unpleasant than it needed to be.
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