What are the first signs of divorce?

How do you know when a marriage is really over? How do you know it’s time for a divorce? Signs divorce is inevitable. Signs you’re heading for divorce. What are the signs of a marriage in trouble?

The first signs of divorce are clues the marriage is in trouble.  We discuss 10 of them. They’re indicators of a deteriorating relationship. Understand, your marriage is not a failure because one or more of these indicators exist.

In looking back, most divorcing spouses perceived the end coming for a long time. Others had no idea. They never saw divorce coming. These clues are warning signs. An alert system giving spouses the opportunity to fix problems and mend their marriage. That is, if they’re both willing to try.

Listen to your gut. You can change yourself if you truly want to. But changing your spouse? That’s outside your control.

What are the best clues?

Here are the first 10 signs of divorce, in no particular order.

  1. The first sign of divorce is hostility.

This is heightened and sustained anger. The relationship keeps you agitated, off balance, in a constant state of distress. A single word or facial expression sets-off an argument. You’re mean to each other. You provoke, criticize, and blame each other. The bickering and fighting seems constant, often over trivial matters.

  1. The next sign is lack of communication.

Talking things over seems unproductive and pointless. You avoid discussions because they devolve into arguments. Feelings get hurt. Defenses go up. When you have news, you don’t tell your spouse first. You share it with someone else who, you believe, genuinely cares.

  1. Lack of intimacy is a sign. As is infidelity.

  2. Apathy is a sign.

What are the first signs of divorce?

What are the first signs of divorce?

You are apathetic about matters important to the marriage. You don’t care if the marriage survives or not. Married life is boring. There’s no future together worth talking about. There’s just no there there.

  1. There’s also indifference.

Neither spouse cares enough to fight for the marriage.  They’re done with it. When indifference rules the marriage, both spouses simply do their own thing. Your spouse doesn’t pay attention to you or what you have to say. The arguing has stopped because the negotiating has stopped.

  1. Feeling solitary is a sign.

You feel alone in the marriage. You could be sitting side-by-side and still feel lonely. Only you see problems that need fixing. You avoid being home, because home is an unhappy, uncomfortable place. You may not want to be alone with your spouse.

  1. Living divided lives is a sign of divorce.

For you, everyone else takes priority over your spouse. Especially the children. There is no “us.” There is only “you.” Your day. Your schedule. Your business. You only spend time with your friends and family. You vacation separately, worship separately, grieve separately. 

  1. Being isolated is another sign.

You feel isolated, unimportant, invisible. Your spouse avoids or ignores you. And spends more and more time with friends or family members. 

  1. A sign of divorce is being soured on the marriage.

You list the pros and cons of being married to your spouse. Counting more negatives than positives. You feel disrespected. What you want to fix isn’t changeable. But you cannot live with the status quo.

     10. The final clue is planning your freedom.

You develop an exit-plan in your mind. Your freedom plan. You think about leaving. About divorce. About being married to someone else. About living a better life on your own. “If she’s gone, I’ll take the kids and keep the house.” “If I leave, he’ll pay alimony and child support.”

These and other signs of divorce can lead to weight gain, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and mental health concerns.

With all signs of divorce, there are solutions.

Steps you can take to improve what isn’t working and strengthen weaknesses. Even if the marriage truly is over, there are ways to improve your relationship. So you can understand why you feel the way you do. So you can understand your spouse’s point of view.

All of this can help you through the divorce in at least two ways. First, by helping you adjust to co-parenting under a parent plan. And second, by helping you reach a better settlement and marital dissolution agreement (or MDA).

Is divorce in your future?

Start by talking to someone outside the relationship. Consult a mental health professional with experience helping people in these situations.

Before proceeding with divorce, you need to be confident. Confident you did everything possible. Confident you tried to bring your partner around to a different way of thinking or behaving. Confident that now is the time to part ways so you can start planning a new life for yourself.

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