There is no easy way to end a relationship, and when you’ve been married to someone with the intention of it lasting forever, breaking up is hard. But let’s face it: sometimes you just know that things won’t last.
Although a recent study published last year by the University of Maryland showed that divorce rates are dropping (to the tune of 18%), we realize that some marriages aren’t stable. Some people stay married even when there are telltale signs that doing so may not be in anyone’s best interest.
This could be true even after surviving infidelity or seeking marriage counseling. The emotional pain of splitting may not outweigh the pain of toughing things out. So, how can you tell if things are too tough to go on?
Prevention gleaned advice from a few psychologists and counselors who specialize in relationships. While all believe that some connections can be healed with work, there are certain instances where it is healthier to part ways. Here are some of the signs that your marriage should end:
Lack of R-E_S-P-E-C-T
This works both ways, but if either you or your spouse mistreat your significant other, that spells trouble. Is someone being mean? How do you view your partner as a human, member of your household, or other half?
Dr. Melanie Greenberg urges couples to examine whether they can spend a lifetime without respect. In her opinion, there are a few situations where divorce can be avoided – such as mental health issues – if both people want to put in the work.
You’ve Checked Out
No effort is being made to solve problems and work through issues as a team or individually. Dr. Jennice Vilhauer points out that when marriage is rocky both partners need to be willing to participate in saving or rebuilding it. There has to be equal effort, whether therapy is involved or not.
In Love/Like with Someone Else
Okay, so infidelity comes in different forms, but if you or your partner want to see other people or want to be with the side object of your affection on a permanent basis, it’s time to walk.
Trust can be difficult to gain if a someone harbors their own trust issues, but it can be harder to regain once it’s lost. If you or your spouse have trouble giving or holding on to trust, it is time to examine the sustainability of your union.
The Kids Aren’t Alright
More than a handful of divorced couples have shared that their children asked when they were splitting up. If they are witnessing tension, arguments, or general discontent in the household, kids may flat out ask if or when you are getting a divorce. Dr. Vilhauer says that although many parents want to stick it out for the kids, it can be harmful for them to grow up in an environment where the parents aren’t happy.
This one may seem obvious, but there are factors that may cause a person to feel he or she can’t leave an abusive relationship. The bottom line is that abusive relationships are not safe. Someone who is physically, mentally, or emotionally abusive is not fit to be in a healthy relationship and needs to get help. If you or your children are being abused, leave immediately and seek help from a professional.
Financial squabbles can spell doom for a relationship if couples aren’t on the same page. If one spends too much, is controlling about money, or there is a lack of accord on saving, then it may be time to evaluate your future with your spouse if things don’t change. Psychologists find that when money is used as a tool of power to manipulate a person or relationship, it tends to lead to a breakup.
Of course, there are other factors that contribute to a broken marriage – such as communication – but each person has to decide for themselves what is a deal-breaker and if things are worth saving.
Experts urge each partner to seek counseling throughout the divorce process to sort through any unresolved feelings. Some may learn that they want to stay together, and others may find that counseling helps the split to be less contentious. Either way, don’t be afraid to get assistance from a professional.
Have you gone through a divorce and were there signs that you were headed there? Did you avoid a split by working on one of the above issues?