When growing up, we’re told the marriage lasts forever. You meet someone special, you get married and you’ve found your own happily ever after. When you married your significant other, you vowed to be together forever. And then, come the alarm bells, the signs you are ready for divorce.
Little did you know then that living with your spouse would get difficult in just a couple of months or a couple of years. But it has, and you’re staring at the stark reality that you regret your marriage.
15 Signs That You Need To Get A Divorce For Sure
As per a study, the U.S. divorce rate fell from 9.7 new divorces per 1,000 women age 15 and over in 2009 to 7.6 in 2019. But, before you see that as a reason to stick around in a bad marriage, the marriage rate decline also hit an all-time low last year, with just 33 of every 1,000 unmarried adults tying the knot as opposed to 35 in 2010 and 86 in 1970.
Remember, every marriage is unique and shows its cracks in different ways. If you have not tried to divorce-proof your marriage, chances are that these signs will show themselves sooner. The signs are always there but people keep trying to think that everything would work out in the end. It’s tough to accept that your marriage is cracking and so many people are in denial that they are steering a sinking ship and they need to jump out of the marriage at the first opportunity.
That’s why despite years of physical and mental abuse, marital rape and infidelity people stay on in a marriage. Sometimes in a marriage that seems perfect from the outside, the signs are there and if your marriage shows these 15 signs then don’t be surprised to that’s it’s time for a divorce.
1. You cannot trust each other
The foundation to any relationship is based on mutual trust and understanding. However, this never seems to happen in your case. A happy marriage is more than just physical satisfaction. It means coming home to a person you can be vulnerable in front of.
For Pamela, her marriage to Tony meant she could come to him when she faced problems at work or in her social circle. Tony was her first person to go to for venting or for advice. Five years into their marriage, Pamela found herself turning to colleagues or friends to share all her problems.
This, according to emotive behavior therapist Jui Pimple is one of the first signs of a failing marriage. “Trust is paramount,” says Pimple. “When something important takes place and you turn to a friend instead your partner, that’s indicating the end of a marriage.”
Trust issues can develop because of several reasons. It could be cheating, misunderstanding, lying, etc. When you find yourself absolutely unable to create a space for trust and understanding with your spouse, it could be one of the signs that you should get a divorce.
2. The communication gap is massive
Clichéd as it may sound, communication is key to a successful relationship. The lack of communication affects a marriage deeply, and could be one of the signs of an emotional divorce.
A lot of times, you observe a pattern in your spouse which leads to baseless assumptions. This practice of mind-reading is a major culprit in the communication gap, which then creates a domino effect of arguments, blame games and more misunderstandings.
Alternatively, no matter how hard you try to communicate your feelings with your partner, you cannot find the kind of response you need. If you or your spouse are never open to a difficult conversation and the communication gap seems to know no bounds, take it as an indication that it’s time for divorce.
Related reading: 10 important components of trust in a relationship
3. You avoid spending time with them
It is great to spend some time apart from your spouse. Being in a marriage does not mean being around each other 24/7. Reading a book, going window shopping, spending time alone in a café, even travelling alone when married, etc. are all healthy habits to grow as an individual person. But using those habits to avoid being around your partner is one of the sure signs you are ready for divorce.
“When your partner is not your priority, there’s definitely a problem,” Pimple says, adding, “actively avoiding one another shows that there’s a rift in your relationship.”
A happy couple follows their respective routine and indulges in their personal recreational activities, all the while looking forward to sleep next to their loved one talking about their day. But do you now wait to get into bed only after your significant other is asleep? Or worse, do you excuses not to come home for days at an end? If the answer to these questions is, “yes”, maybe these are signs you should get a divorce.
4. Your spouse is never your priority
A girls’ day out, a boys’ night out, an office party, etc. are all independent important activities for a person. When these activities stop being just an independent event and more of an excuse to be away from your spouse, an unhealthy marriage begins especially when you haven’t spent any time at all with your partner in a long while.
For Janice and Matthew, marriage was all about having their own interests and friends. But soon, they realized they were spending more time with friends and on their own, than together. “It was almost like the signs of an emotional divorce,” Janice said. They separated a year later.
Your spouse stops being your priority when you use your friends or office work as a distraction or an excuse to not go home. Avoiding alone time at any cost and not prioritizing your significant other even when they need you is an intimation for a divorce.
5. You are defensive in all your statements
A healthy relationship means sitting down from time to time, discussing each other’s behavior in a respectable manner. A feedback that is put across by saying, “I love you, but I wish you’d help me do this.”
But lately, you’re noticing yourself being defensive about anything that your partner says. You’re unable to handle even sensible criticism, almost as if you do not wish to give them the right to say anything to you.
You diminish their opinions and are ready for a retort with a sword of sharp words, closing any possible door for open communication which is a very good way to make your partner feel angry and frustrated. This could definitely be one of the signs of a failing marriage.
Related reading: 15 Signs your Marriage Is On The Rocks and Almost Over
6. Your heart races when you think of them
A racing heart does not mean butterflies in the stomach, feeling a happy nervousness at the thought of being with them like one does in the initial stages of a relationship. Here, your heart races in stress and fear of facing another moment with your partner, something you would immediately avoid if you could.
Give attention to what your body is trying to signal at. Do not take the physical responses of your spouse’s presence lightly. You will find yourself popping blood pressure pills if you do not address these reactions. A negative physical reaction is the biggest red flag that you need to make the first call to a divorce lawyer.
7. The criticism is incessant
Anything, and literally anything that your partner does sets you off. The actions could be as insignificant as dropping a bowl by mistake, or sneezing in the middle of a movie. Throwing tantrums with generalized statements like “You always do this” or “You never do that” are all negative criticisms that can never have positive outcomes.
If you’re unable to overcome constant irritability with whatever your partner does and any move of theirs is a push to criticize, consider it as a sign that you regret your marriage and want a divorce.
“Criticizing your partner all the time shows a lack of respect,” says Pimple. “No relationship can survive unless there is mutual respect between spouses.”
On the other hand, if it is your partner that cannot put a stop to negative, demeaning criticisms no matter how hard you try, that is also an indication that you need to split up with your spouse. Unconditional love is a long lost fantasy now.
Related reading: 12 Signs Of A Control Freak
8. Your conversations are contemptuous
A contemptuous conversation indicates a lack of value in a relationship. You will notice a gradual shift in approach whenever you have a conversation with your husband/wife. There will be countless sighs, eye rolling, sneering comments, name calling, and hostility. Even your body language will alter. You will either point fingers at your partner or talk with arms and legs crossed.
Every other statement exchanged by you and your partner is overloaded with taunts and general mockery. None of you are willing to hear each other out either. Treat this as a sign that you’re heading for a divorce and start taking action before it gets worse.
9. You do not address the elephant in the room
You will argue about everything and all of your arguments are rude, condescending and contemptuous. Yet, neither of you are willing to address the actual problem. You would have a massive argument about something that your spouse did three months ago, but you cannot get yourself to actually talk about what is bothering you, even if that means you have to spend countless nights being mad at each other.
That’s just what happened with Rob and Elsa. A few years into their marriage, there was only sullen silence and huge arguments about things that didn’t matter at all. There were just too many communication problems in the relationship. Unable to resolve their differences, they divorced in a few months.
If you have stopped caring about what your partner has to stay, and you would rather sweep all the issues under the carpet, this is a physical demonstration that a divorce is necessary.
10. The only game you play is the blame game
Openness and acceptance? What’s that? All you and your partner do is blame each other for ruining your respective lives. Both of you seem to think that you’ve given so much in your relationship, but the other person just doesn’t seem to appreciate it and they would much rather put in efforts to ruin the bond. Playing blame-games seems to be the only thing you feel comfortable with.
If every action of your spouse starts off a blame game and none of you are able to approach the matter in a level headed manner, the entire relationship is a red light signing that a divorce is much needed.
11. Forgiveness has stopped being an option
Every couple argues. But most couples apologize to each other and move on. Somehow, you do not want to forgive your partner. Your marriage has transcended all possibilities of forgiveness. All that there’s left is more arguments and more issues.
For Archie and Ramona, there was constant friction, since Archie felt Ramona was spending too much time with a colleague. Ramona tried to convince him that it was nothing, but Archie would not be convinced. “Maybe it was an emotional affair,” Ramona says, but it never came to anything more. “But in Archie’s eyes, I had been unfaithful and he never forgave me.
“An emotional affair, or even being near one, is a danger to any relationship,” Pimple warns.
If this is the case, and forgiveness is an impossibility, do yourself a favor and find a good divorce lawyer. A relationship with no space for forgiveness and moving on is as good as a dead relationship.
Related reading: Uncontested Divorce: Step-By-Step Procedure and Benefits
12. You stonewall each other
After one point, you will grow tired of fighting with your partner and you will shut them out. This is called stonewalling. You avoid arguments by withdrawing yourself from the relationship. This means that you stop paying any heed to what your partner is saying, almost as if you’re giving them a silent treatment.
You make only monosyllabic conversation with them only when it is absolutely mandatory and in the worst case, you ignore their existence even when they are sitting right next to you.
This means that you are overwhelmed by the mere presence of your spouse and you feel disconnected all the time. You are tired, and this is a sign that you regret your marriage.
13. You’ve stopped initiating in bed
It is normal to not have physical desire for a short time in a marriage. The reasons could be tiredness, sickness, responsibility of the kids, etc.
However, if you don’t feel the chemistry with your partner without any reason for a long time, it is an indication that your marriage is dying. You are drifting apart in your relationship and you know it’s been the story for quite long now.
The situation definitely calls for a divorce if you have physical desires and you want to be intimate with someone, but you do not want that someone to be your partner. Save yourself with dignity before it leads to cheating and get a divorce.
“Physical intimacy is important in a healthy relationship,” Pimple says. “When you don’t feel like doing it with your partner, or you’ve both lost interest, it’s definitely a red flag.”
14. Verbal and physical abuse has become frequent
According to a study by WHO, worldwide, almost one third (27%) of women aged 15-49 years who have been in a relationship report that they have been subjected to some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner. Abuse can also be verbal, mental or emotional, and directed at a partner of any gender. Either way, there is no excuse for it.
There is no love valuable enough to allow abuse. If you or your partner cannot tolerate each other’s presence without abusing each other verbally or physically at any given point, immediately get a divorce.
15. You’ve begun strategizing a split
Do you imagine different situations in your head where you and your spouse get into a fight and you declare a divorce? Or have you already started giving excuses to stay away from home, all the while planning a split? If your instincts are constantly directing towards a break up and divorce is all that runs through your mind, there can be no bigger sign that you need a divorce as fast as you can.
It can be difficult identifying the toxic traits when you want to desperately hold on to a marriage. If you are able to relate to at least 4-5 of these signs, your marriage is practically shouting for a divorce. Understand it and act accordingly. Good luck.