12 Signs You're Headed for Divorce
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On The Rocks1 of 13
By Woman’s Day
While healing an ailing relationship is usually what we all want, sometimes it’s wise to know when to let it go. We've highlighted 12 universal signs showing that divorce might be on a couple's horizon.
The Clock's Ticking2 of 13
“The clock starts ticking on the end of a marriage as soon as one spouse puts the [couple’s] problems out in the open,” says Bryce Kaye, Ph.D., author of The Marriage First Aid Kit. “The more time that passes after that without any effort made, the lower the odds are that you’ll stay together.”
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You’ve “Uncoupled”3 of 13
Couples whose marriages are over, or nearly over, have usually disconnected from each other, says Elayne Savage Ph.D., author of Breathing Room: Creating Space to Be a Couple. “If you’re no longer spending any time together—and if it feels like a relief not to be with each other—you’ve already disengaged from the marriage.”
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You Have Issues4 of 13
Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After, says that if one spouse repeatedly brings up an issue, asks for help and makes it clear that the marriage will not last unless they both commit to solving it, but the other spouse refuses to go along, the marriage is in trouble.
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One Spouse Won't Try5 of 13
“One partner can’t do all the trying on his or her own,” says Bowman. “You can’t go anywhere like that.” A good rule of thumb: If it’s been a year with no progress, it may be time to call it quits.
There’s No Respect6 of 13
One of the most important aspects of a healthy marriage is mutual respect, says Savage. When that’s gone — when one partner consistently feels dismissed, rejected and condescended to you’re in a bad place. “Marriages that reach this place are toxic — you’re no longer civil, and all discourse is either attacking or defending.”
You're Not A Team7 of 13
In healthily humming-along marriages, both partners work as a team on everything from parenting to supporting each other in career and personal ambitions. “If you’ve both started moving in completely separate orbits, or if you’re not working together on day-to-day issues, it’s a sign of serious trouble,” says Savage.
Loyalty Is Unclear8 of 13
Infidelity is an enormous hurdle for a marriage to overcome, but just ending the affair is not enough, says Kaye. For a marriage to fully get past one spouse’s adultery, the unfaithful half of the couple cannot maintain a “friendship” with the former lover.
There’s Imbalance9 of 13
A major part of marriage involves trying to fulfill your partner’s needs while also making sure your own needs are met. It’s a lifelong dance, a give and take, and it requires constant communication. But if your partner continually refuses to listen to what you need or refuses to share his own needs, you’re not in a good place, says Kaye.
One Spouse Is a Serial Cheater10 of 13
After the kind of affair a couple can recover from, “there are regrets, apologies and a promise to put an end to it and seek counseling.” Not so with the serial cheater; that’s a problem you can’t fix, and likely spells the end of your marriage.
The Cheater Blames the Other Spouse11 of 13
“Some men — and stereotypically this is men — are just not cut out for marriage; they are unable to remain monogamous, even if they seemed to have wanted to get married,” says Bowman. What’s worse, they manage to put the blame for their philandering on you, usually for being too jealous or controlling.
You Disagree on Kids12 of 13
“If someone’s close to either side of the will-we-or-won’t-we-have-children fence, you can work through it. But if not, and having a child is a life goal of yours, you may be looking at the end of your marriage,” says Bowman.
You Don’t Talk13 of 13
No problem in a marriage can be solved without open communication. If you’ve reached a point where all you ever talk about is things like who needs to buy milk, you’re in trouble, says Savage. “Lack of personal, intimate exchange in a marriage is a very bad sign, especially if you are talking to others.”