Nobody expects to have a divorce in their future when they say "I do," but that doesn't stop plenty of marriages from ending. If your marriage is on the rocks, you may be wondering whether your partner intends to file for divorce (or if you should take the plunge and do so yourself).
Understanding the signs of a failing marriage can help you decide whether divorce is right for you, or if you want to try and save your marriage.
You Feel Isolated from Your Spouse
One of the more telling signs your marriage may be on the rocks is if you feel consistently isolated from your spouse.
If you don't feel like you can openly share your emotions with your spouse, it may indicate that your communication needs work. Alternatively, you may feel like you aren't "safe" to express yourself around your spouse. That's a more serious issue and could be the result of an emotionally manipulative partner.
Marriage is a partnership. You should get married to someone because you feel as though spending time with the enhances your life. If you feel isolated, it may be time to start thinking about how and your partner can address that issue, or whether it can be addressed at all.
You & Your Spouse Don't Address Issues as a Team
You've heard it a million times: Trust and good communication are vital pillars of any healthy relationship. To that end, people in happy marriages often take a "team" approach to issues, even if they're addressing a problem that concerns one partner more than the other.
For example, let's say one party in a marriage begins to develop a drinking problem. In an ideal relationship, the spouses would work together as a team and see the substance abuse itself as the issue they're combating.
However, in a less healthy relationship, the non-alcoholic spouse may see the substance abuse as a moral issue or be incapable of separating the problem from their partner, resulting in them shaming their partner for their alcohol use. Alternatively, the alcoholic spouse may not take their partner's concerns seriously or get angry with their partner for bringing the issue up. Either way, a couple that fails to address the substance abuse as a team, and instead attack each other as opponents, will be less effective at maintaining a healthy marriage.
If you find that discussions with your spouse often devolve into a "blame game," it may be a sign that it's time to visit a family counselor and work on problem-solving your differences more effectively or consider ending the relationship.
You (or Your Spouse) No Longer Put in Effort
Author Matthew Fray wrote an article for the Huffington Post a few years ago called She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By The Sink that quickly blew up. In the article, Matthew discusses how his failure to address issues that were important to his spouse but not as important to him (like consistently putting away used dishes) eventually led to the end of their marriage.
Relationships take work. In any marriage, both partners have to consistently devote time and effort to taking care of things that matter to their partner.
If you find that you don't really care about helping manage the aspects of the marriage that your partner is concerned with—or vice versa—it could indicate a deeper rift in the relationship.
No two marriages are the same. An issue that may result in divorce for one couple could be easily addressed by another. If you feel your marriage is on the rocks, you should consider seeing a couple's therapist with your partner—they may be able to help you identify key issues in the marriage and repair your relationship.
If you do decide moving forward with a divorce is the right move for you, we can help. To schedule a consultation with experienced family lawyers who can help you tackle your divorce with confidence, contact us online or via phone at (310) 455-8364.