For some people, the thought of their marriage coming to an end is a devastating and unsettling thought. For others however, it can signal the opportunity for a fresh start and a new beginning. Either way, there are very often a number of tell-tale signs and red flags that seeking a divorce is the right decision.
If this is something that you’ve been thinking about, it’s important to remember that no one divorce is ever the same, and only you will know whether it’s a decision that’s right for you and your future. Here we’re taking a look at some of the things that may just give you some food for thought.
Be honest with yourself
Firstly, before taking any action, it’s worth taking time to think seriously about what life might be like after divorce, and to really consider how that makes you feel. You might surprise yourself.
Do you feel relieved? A sense of calm? Or does the thought steer you in the direction of making changes that could help to improve your marriage or relationship? Whilst there’s no right or wrong way to feel, being honest with yourself is absolutely vital, and will help you look to the future with clarity.
You no longer trust your partner
there are several reasons that could result in the erosion of trust within your relationship. Financial infidelity is just one example, and it’s on the rise. In light of the relentless cost-of-living crisis, deception around finances – hidden debts, disagreements about spending etc – can put real strain on a relationship, especially if it’s one built on already shaky foundations.
Whether because of known infidelity, financial deception or secrecy around their whereabouts or activity, a lack of trust in your spouse or partner can cause insurmountable problems for you both. Only you can decide whether or not any trust lost can be rebuilt.
You’re fed up with the behaviour of your spouse or partner
Since the introduction of the no-fault divorce, it’s no longer possible for you to cite ‘unreasonable behaviour’ and a reason for your separation on your divorce petition (you can read more about the changes here). That doesn’t mean to say however, that it won’t play a part in your decision.
There are all sorts of behaviours that might lead you to the conclusion that your marriage is over, ranging from the irritating and annoying, to more worrying behaviours such as physical and emotional abuse, narcissistic behavioural traits, gaslighting and coercive control.
Whatever your circumstances, seeking advice from an expert family solicitor will help you to figure out your options, and decide what’s best for you. For more information about where you can seek support for all forms of domestic abuse, read one of our previous blogs here.
You’ve tried everything
Successful relationships require effort. Not just from you, but from your spouse or partner too. If you feel that things are one-sided, and that you’re the one putting in all of the work, all of the time, this can lead you to feel as though there’s no longer any point continuing with the relationship.
Perhaps you’ve done everything you can to rekindle your relationship, but feel one or both of you have emotionally checked out. You might have had lengthy discussions about your differences, or sought the advice of family and friends. You may have even tried couples counselling. If you feel it’s not making a difference, or you don’t want to spend any more time trying to make the relationship work, this might be a sign that it’s time to call it quits.
Your feelings aren’t reactionary
Sometimes things are said out of anger and wanting to hurt the other person. Occasionally you might have even threatened divorce in an argument, knowing full well that this is not what you really want.
Many couples argue and disagree, and that’s completely normal for them. However, if you’re noticing that you’re arguing more often, or that it’s getting harder to reach a common ground or a compromise, or perhaps you care less and less about the outcome, then that’s definitely something to think about.
In addition, it’s worth keeping in mind that snap decisions made in a place of anger aren’t always the best ones long term. Always try to see beyond wanting to hurt the other person as a reaction to a particular situation, and take time to consider what it is you really want before you make any decisions.
You’ve simply fallen out of love
People change. And whilst some people change and grow together, others change and grow apart. With all its ebbs and flows, life puts pressure on relationships – changing jobs, children, illnesses, financial troubles – the list goes on. Sometimes it just so happens that you’re simply not the same people you were when you met, and separating to lead your own paths is the right thing for you to do.
The breakdown or ending of a relationship isn’t always signalled by big arguments or heated disagreements – sometimes it can just be the passage of time and realising you’re no longer on the same page.
If you recognise any of these signs in yourself and would like to start a discussion about your next steps, our team are ready to support you. We’re here for you, no matter what your circumstances are.
Just get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help.