Divorce is never an easy topic. After all, most people do make that walk-down-the-aisle decision in sincerity. But it's not uncommon for a marriage to crumble over time, even if you aren't fully aware of its loss. With that in mind, it's wise to be on the lookout for things you didn't realize are signs of impending divorce.
There is a whole set of steps that happen long before those divorce papers are signed, after all. Sometimes the damage takes a long time to build before one partner finally has to call it quits. Before then, though, you can pay attention to these little signals that may point to a marriage that's ending.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing, as there are certainly couples who will do better apart than together. But if you don't want to be blindsided, paying attention to whether you can argue in a healthy way, for instance, can tell you a lot about the state of your marriage. If you dread coming home to your spouse, and you keep rehashing the same old argument, then maybe going your separate ways is better for all involved. Whatever the case, hopefully you and your spouse will make a call one way or the other, instead of lingering in this hostile setup for too long.
1. Avoiding Home
Do you dread returning home each night, choosing instead to work late or run errands as long as possible? As noted in Prevention, if you put off going home at night, this is a clear red flag that something is going poorly in your relationship. Chances are, this means something about spending time with your spouse is off-putting.
2. Frequent Silent Treatment
In some ways, the silent treatment may seem like an acceptable response, because at least you aren't yelling at one another. But as noted by The Huffington Post, couples who use the silent treatment on the regular may sabotage the long-term wellbeing of their marriage. A total block on communication is rarely a productive way to work through conflict.
Sure, no one likes receiving criticism. But if you're constantly on the defensive and meeting your partner's complaints with more complaints, then this is a bad sign, as noted by PsychCentral. This is not to say that your complaints are invalid, just that both partners should listen to each other's concerns. (Granted, sometimes this is easier said than done.)
4. Lack Of Emotional Connection
Sure, you don't have to disclose each and every feeling you've ever had to your spouse. But as noted in Psychology Today, if you don't share any emotions with your partner, and become disengaged, then this may point toward a pending divorce. Emotional intimacy is a crucial component of a healthy relationship.
Most of these other factors can be worked through, provided both partners are willing to put in the effort. But one partner holding contempt, or thinking the other person is beneath them, is pretty much a death knell for the relationship, according to a piece by John Gottman in the Journal of Marriage and the Family. It's tough to bounce back from such a deep lack of respect.
6. Lack Of Sex
Granted, there are some couples who just don't need a lot of sex to keep the relationship going. But in general, a lack of sex often points to impending divorce, as explained in Health Guidance. For many couples, that passion is necessary to fuel a romantic relationship.
7. Hiding Money
Do those bank statements leave you scratching your head? As explained in Time, if your spouse appears to be hiding money, then it's possible a divorce is headed your way. At any rate, your partner does not want you to know the truth of their spending habits.
8. Conflict Avoidance
It may seem like conflict avoidance is the best way to keep everybody happy, but in reality it can rot away your relationship. According to Business Insider, agreeing to disagree may not keep the peace at all; rather, you're both just maintaining a steady level of unhappiness. All of that pent-up anger has to come out eventually.
How much time do you really spend with one another? According to Woman's Day, if you or your spouse is online or at work all the time, then it's possible you've uncoupled. Basically, you've backed away from the relationship already.
Sure, money can stress out just about everybody now and then. But as noted by Good Housekeeping, failing to pay down debts, or taking on new ones, can greatly decrease marital happiness. Working together to form a functional budget is a much better move.
This is one of the more difficult problems to address in a marriage. But according to MSN, if a partner deals with any addiction, from gambling to alcohol, then the marriage may be in trouble. Until the addiction is addressed, divorce is likely on the table.
12. Envying Other Couples
Clicking through Instagram pics of your friend's trip to Paris with her husband may leave you feeling left out. According to The Telegraph, comparing your relationship unfavorably to others may point to feelings of deep unhappiness in your own marriage. It's worth remembering that you never really know what's going on with other couples in private.
13. Repeat Arguments
Sometimes a healthy argument can help you clear up an issue once and for all. But as noted in Reader's Digest, if you and your spouse argue about the same thing repeatedly, with no resolution or end in sight, then this is a bad sign. In some ways, this drama rehash could indicate a lack of interest in the relationship overall.