In our experience it’s rarely one thing that signals the end of a marriage. Rather than a monumental argument, it’s likely to be a gradual build-up of problems and issues over a period of time.
Having advised clients on separation and divorce over a number of years, we’ve compiled a list of seven tell-tale signs that a marriage is no longer working.
1. Spending time apart
If you’re spending more time away from your spouse, effectively running parallel lives, then you might want to ask yourself why. If it’s because you actually enjoy spending time apart and feel a sense of relief when you’re away from your partner, then it might be a sign that you’re coming to the end of a marriage.
2. Lack of responsibility
Dealing with infidelity during a marriage or relationship will undoubtedly be hard, but it can be overcome with professional help. However if there is no remorse or acceptance on behalf of the person who has cheated, then it will be virtually impossible to move forward.
If your partner is no longer interested in what you’re doing to the point of being disdainful, then it’s a sign that something isn’t right. Similarly if your partner is no longer the first person you want to share something with, it may be worth considering when and why this changed.
Aside from the day-to-day talk about what’s for dinner and who’s picking up the kids from school, relationships thrive on good, open communication. But it’s the meaningful conversations that count – being able to share problems and dreams without fear of being judged. When you’re no longer really talking with your partner, feelings of emptiness and loneliness will start to appear and the connection and emotional bond you once had is likely to go.
5. Is the grass always greener?
If you’ve been going through a particularly tricky period of conflict, you might already be imagining a life without your spouse, where you feel happier, less stressed and more energised. If this is the case, then it’s a sign that you’ve emotionally already left the marriage.
6. Giving up
It might be that your partner refuses to go to counselling or won’t even talk through your problems. If one of you has already given up on the marriage, then you won’t be able to save it single-handedly. And even if you do go to couples counselling, if one of you really doesn’t want to make the marriage work, then it’s time to walk away.
7. Lack of physical contact
A lack of any physical contact between you and your husband or wife should start alarm bells ringing. Little intimacies, such as kissing, holding hands and cuddling, go a long way in helping a marriage survive and ensure you both feel loved and supported.
Andrew Meehan is individually recommended for family law by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500. He is also a Resolution accredited specialist solicitor for divorce cases involving complex financial and property matters.
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