Divorce could be one of the most difficult experiences of your entire life. If you are worried that your marriage is devolving and divorce may be on the horizon for you in the near future, it’s natural to wonder whether this is truly the end or if you have a chance to reconcile and fix your marriage. Ultimately, every marriage is different, and every married couple will encounter unique issues. If you are concerned about a possible divorce in the future, you should know the common warning signs that divorce may be in your near future.
Your spouse should be a source of comfort and reassurance after a stressful day at work or when you are struggling with personal issues. If you find yourself dreading coming home at the end of the day, or if being around your spouse doesn’t inspire you with happiness like it used to, this could be a sign that your marriage is failing. This could also be an indication that you and your spouse need to do some work to fix your relationship if both of you want the marriage to last.
It’s important to remember that general unhappiness in a marriage may not be caused by the marriage itself. For example, if your spouse seems detached and distant lately, they could be struggling with stress from outside of the marriage and do not wish to burden you with it, or they may have an undiagnosed mental health condition such as anxiety or depression. If you or your spouse seem unhappy in your marriage but cannot point an exact cause, it’s worth trying counseling to see if you can understand the situation more clearly and find a solution.
Frequent Unpleasant Interactions
You and your spouse should provide comfort and peace to one another. If it seems like every interaction you have had with your spouse recently has been unpleasant, this could indicate a breakdown in communication or other issues the two of you need to address if you want the marriage to work. Think about recent interactions you have had with your spouse. Have the majority of them been unpleasant, neutral, or pleasant? If you and your spouse seem to never enjoy each other’s company anymore, this could be a sign that marriage counseling could benefit your relationship. Otherwise, the two of you need to consider the possibility of ending your marriage in the near future.
It’s natural for married couples to argue about various issues. Some couples have disagreements about money and household finances while others argue about raising their children or managing relationships with other family members. If it seems as though you and your spouse have been having more heated arguments more frequently in recent months, it’s time to consider whether you want to fix this trend and reverse course or if you need to consider the possibility of divorce in the near future.
There are several options you may wish to explore when it comes to reducing conflict in your marriage. Marriage counseling can improve communication between the two of you. Many spouses argue because they are not entirely clear about each other’s intentions or perspectives. Some people have trouble articulating their thoughts clearly, and counseling may help you improve the way you communicate with your spouse and reduce the number of fights the two of you have.
Doubts From Friends and Family
Have friends or relatives expressed a desire to see your marriage end? Has a loved one remarked about their beliefs that your marriage is unhealthy or broken? While you should not let others dictate the course of your life, some people have trouble seeing issues within their marriage without the input of others outside of the relationship. It’s important to separate unfounded doubts from others and legitimate concerns about the health of your marriage. If someone outside of your marriage has expressed concerns about your relationship, or if they tell you about things your spouse has said and done without your knowledge, it is vital to be objective about these issues and discern the truth for yourself before making any rash decisions.
The Romance Has Dwindled
An ideal marriage should be equal parts friendship and romantic attachment. If you and your spouse are rarely intimate with one another and your relationship feels more like the two of you are just roommates rather than married spouses, this could be cause for concern that your marriage is devolving into a platonic relationship. Everyone has different needs when it comes to intimacy and romantic attachment, it’s natural to worry about the health of your marriage if you feel like your spouse isn’t interested in you the way they used to be. If you have tried raising these concerns with your spouse but they have been dismissive or uncooperative, this may be a sign that they have lost interest in maintaining the romantic side of your relationship.
In some situations, a married person may do something that is unforgivable to the other spouse, or it may be enough that the other spouse has no desire to salvage the relationship. For example, if one spouse has an affair and infidelity is a deal breaker for their spouse, this can be enough to end a marriage on its own. In the event your spouse has done something that has completely changed your view of them, you may not have any second thoughts about filing for divorce. Other examples of “final straw” behaviors may include domestic violence or discovery of a severe substance abuse problem, especially if the spouse has engaged in deception to hide their substance abuse disorder.
Is It Time to Divorce?
Every marriage has unique challenges. If you have experienced one or more of these warning signs, do not take this as an automatic sign that you need to brace for divorce. There are many ways you can repair a marriage in distress, as long as both you and your spouse want the marriage to work. Some of the steps you can try to fix your marriage include:
- Marriage counseling. If you and your spouse have issues communicating or feel like you cannot reach common ground on some issues, an outside marriage counselor can help you break through these communication barriers and rekindle your affection toward one another. Some marriage counselors will focus on communication, while others can provide sex therapy or encourage a couple to adopt new strategies for overcoming or avoiding conflicts in the marriage.
- Financial counseling. Money problems are one of the most common causes of fights between married spouses. Regardless of who you believe to be at fault for you and your spouse’s financial issues, a financial advisor can provide valuable guidance for helping the two of you overcome these issues and form new financial strategies to empower your future together.
- Legal separation. If you and your spouse have been fighting constantly and the idea of divorce has been raised by either of you, it’s worth considering a legal separation so the two of you can cool off before proceeding with a more complex divorce. Legal separation is functionally similar to divorce in many ways. The two of you will decide child custody rights over your children, develop a child support agreement, reach alimony terms, and divide your marital property. The two of you may eventually decide to reconcile. If not, your legal separation will serve as an entry point to divorce proceedings and make the divorce process easier and faster for both of you.
It is almost always worth exploring at least one of these options before proceeding with a divorce. Counseling can help you and your spouse improve your communication with one another, address the practical issues of your marriage, and potentially grow closer together. If you are both convinced that you need to end your marriage, these steps can still prove valuable for the future and help you deal with one another more amicably and even enhance relationships with new partners in the future. If you are unsure whether you need to start preparing for divorce, it’s worth speaking with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible about your concerns.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Whether you are trying to save your marriage or you are preparing for an inevitable divorce, an experienced attorney can provide valuable legal guidance for your situation. Your attorney can help you take advantage of support resources like marriage counseling or assist you in filing for legal separation. If you decide to go ahead with your divorce in the future, the attorney will already be familiar with your situation and help you navigate divorce proceedings with confidence.
The Khalaf Law Group has years of experience handling the most complex divorce cases in California. We understand that every marriage is unique, and every married person will have different needs and priorities when it comes to addressing marital difficulties. Divorce could be one of the most stressful experiences of your life, but you can approach the situation with a clear conscience when you know that you tried everything you could to fix your marital problems. When you are ready to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney, the Khalaf Law Group is here to help. Contact us today for more information about the legal services we provide and how we can help you navigate the divorce process in California.