As common as divorce has become nowadays, it rarely comes as a complete shock to partners. More often than not, the relationship has been deteriorating steadily over time. By the time the partners engage a divorce lawyer, the separation has been a long time coming with some Signs Your Marriage Will End in Divorce.
Even then, many couples say they wish they had paid more attention to the warning signs. Perhaps they could have done something to Salvage the marriage.
What kind of warning signs indicate that a marriage is likely to end in divorce? Here are e a few signs of divorce is coming. to look out for.
Signs Your Marriage Is Headed For Divorce
1. Lack of Communication
Communications has been presented as this complex concept without which a relationship cannot survive. While the latter is true, the former is not. It is simply about talking to each other.
Couples should be able to talk to each other about anything and everything. Talking builds an emotional connection on which many other aspects of the marriage grow. When they stop talking, it is a sign of trouble.
These are a few red flags to look out for in regards to talking to each other.
Partners can’t talk to each other about their problems. Who do you call when you are having a bad day? Who is the first person you tell the good news when you land a new job?
Who is it you tell when something is weighing down on you? Your partner should be the first person you talk to whether it is about a life crisis, a celebration or a cool billboard you just saw downtown. When your partner is no longer your go-to person it is a sign that you have drifted apart. You no longer feel connected to them.
Don’t care to listen to your partner’s problems. Yes, you should be your partner’s go-to person to talk to. What if you are that person to your partner but when they do talk to you, you feel absolutely no interest in their issues.
You literally struggle to sit quietly and listen to them talk. When you do, your mind keeps straying to something else.
It sounds quite cold but it does happen. If you find yourself totally disinterested in your partner’s woes and joys, it is a sign that you have mentally and emotionally disconnected yourself from them.
The reason a spouse takes time to listen to their better half is that they love them and care enough to desire to help. When you can’t do this, you have probably fallen out of love with your partner.
2. You Don’t Argue Anymore
You may think it is a good thing when you never argue but it is not. The two of you are two adult individuals with different opinions and ways of doing things. It is normal and expected that couples have arguments here and there because it means both parties are being themselves.
On top of that, arguing means the two of you are making an effort to smoothen things out and make your life together better for tomorrow. Staying silent to keep the peace leads to resentment. When you argue it is a fight for each other. A fight for the relationship.
When one or both partners are unwilling to argue, it shows that they have lost the will to fight for the relationship. When one or both partners have lost the will to fight, the marriage is likely headed the divorce way.
Addiction to drugs, alcohol or other forms of addiction definitely does not go hand in hand with marriage. When one partner is abusing alcohol, for example, they lose touch with themselves and with their partner. The alcohol takes precedence over the relationship. They would rather be out drinking than spending time with their partner.
Apart from time with partners, addictions always put a strain on the family’s finances. It could be that the partner with the habit spends more than the family can afford to spend on alcohol.
Quite often the individual’s ability to work and earn is hampered, therefore placing further financial strain.
Socially, people with any form of addiction have strained relationships with their spouses. Many have been known to be physically and emotionally abusive to their partners.
4. Effect on children
When there are children involved, addiction in a marriage becomes even more complicated.
When one parent is a drug or alcohol addict, it puts additional strain on the other parent to play double roles. It also affects the children’s psychological development when one parent is always high.
Children who grow up with one parent in drug or alcohol addiction are at risk of developing self-esteem issues or relationship issues. There are higher chances of themselves developing similar addictions later in life.
This is why the other parent often opts for divorce. To protect themselves and the children.
We cannot be overly judgmental if one partner in a marriage is struggling with an addiction. The greatest challenge arises when they are unwilling to seek help. If your partner is addicted to drugs or alcohol and is not willing to get professional help, the marriage will almost certainly end in divorce.
5. Dull or Non-Existent Sex Life
Sex is not everything…but it is a big, very crucial part of every marriage. Without it, the two of you easily lose sight of your connection. The emotional connection can fade off quite quickly.
Problems in the bedroom are a sign that the relationship is ailing.
That said, it is important to define what constitutes a problem and what doesn’t. Changes don’t necessarily mean something is wrong. If you and your partner don’t have sex as often as you used to in the early days, perhaps there isn’t much to worry about. Life happens. We get older, we get busy and exhausted.
The excitement of brand new love wears off. It is normal for frequencies to drop. In a healthy marriage, however, it just drops. It doesn’t die altogether. There remains some desire in both partners to engage in this form of intimacy on a regular basis. The average American couple has sex at least once a week.
If you are both physically well and healthy and find that you go months without sex, it is a sign that all is not well. Marriage counselors say they sometimes see couples who have gone for years without any physical intimacy.
They live in the same house but are nothing more than roommates.
You are no longer physically attracted to your partner. A loss of physical attraction is one of the most common causes of dull sex life. You no longer look at your wife and see the incredibly beautiful woman you once saw. She looks at you and somehow the tall, dark handsome man she fell in love with is not there anymore.
This happens when couples get bored with each other. The human mind is wired to seek novelty.
When that dies out some people get bored. In other instances, a loss of physical attraction happens as a result of anger and resentment from long-standing unresolved issues. It is impossible to have warm, loving feelings towards someone who continues to hurt you and has no apologies to make for it.
6. Future Plans
You know your marriage is headed for divorce when one or both of you makes plans for the future and the other is not included in them.
For some people, it happens subconsciously. Every time they think about the things they want to do and accomplish in the distant future, somehow their spouse is never anywhere in the daydream.
In other instances, it is conscious and intentional. Your spouse is planning to move to another state, has already started looking for a house and you have no idea about it. Chances are you are not part of his plan.
Plans which don’t consider a partner’s interests. For some couples, one partner makes plans for major life changes and does not care if these changes will affect their partner or not.
Picture a husband who takes a job offer in another state and goes ahead to plan a family move, never letting his wife in on the progress as it happens. Never mind that she has a stable job and a promising career which she would have to leave to be able to move with the family.
When he eventually tells her the plans are solidified.
I and my syndrome. Married couples should have common goals. It should go without saying that you are a team. When the team mentality dies, it is a sign that divorce might be up the road.
When partners begin to think of their relationship in terms of ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ the team mentality is gone. Make a point to listen to the pronouns your partner uses in their ordinary language. Do they use I, me and mine or we, us and ours?
7. Unending Infidelity
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), between 20% and 40% of divorces in America happen as a result of infidelity. There are lots of reasons which have been put forward to explain why it is so common.
Even then, many marriages have survived after infidelity. Cheating can be forgiven. If it happens once or twice and the couple is willing to move past it, they can put it behind them and have a happy marriage.
However, for this to happen, the partner who cheated must be genuinely remorseful. They must commit to let go of the extramarital relationship and focus solely on their partner.
They must vow to stay true to their partner from then henceforth. If the partner who cheated is not remorseful and continues to maintain the extramarital relationship even after committing to end it, divorce is in the horizon.
Difference between remorse and guilt. If a relationship is going to survive infidelity, the cheating partner must be genuinely remorseful and not just guilty. What is the difference?
Guilt is more about the offender than the offended partner. They feel bad for what they did but that’s about it. It is a valid emotion but it is not enough to rebuild the relationship.
Remorse, on the other hand, is a deeper emotion. It includes regret and automatically comes with a promise not to go down that road again. A remorseful person acknowledges how their actions hurt their partner.
Put simply, remorse says ‘I hurt you, please forgive me.’ Guilt says ‘stop making me feel guilty for what I did.’
8. The Thought of Your Partner with Someone Else Doesn’t Bother You
It is normal and quite in order to be filled with anger, hurt and jealousy at the thought of your partner with someone else. It shows that you care. You want them for yourself.
In some marriages, one partner is not hurt by the idea of their spouse with someone else. When this happens, you genuinely love your partner and want the best for them but are not in love with them.
You want them to be happy. If that means being with someone besides you, it is fine with you.
There is a difference between sharing your life with someone and merely living under the same roof. This kind of indifference shows that the partner mentally checked out of the relationship a long time ago.
They are no longer emotionally invested.
9. One or Both Partners Have Given Up
All marriages have their ups and downs. Sometimes the lows last for weeks, sometimes months. No matter how low the low times are, each partner lives with a sense of hope that the dark cloud is just that… a passing cloud.
It will come to an end and the relationship will be great again. Simply put, there is always hope for a better day.
You know your marriage is head for divorce when one or both of you no longer harbor any hope of the relationship getting better. When this happens there is little chance that the marriage can be salvaged.
They say that no problem in a relationship is unresolvable. There is truth in that but every resolution takes continuous conversation. It takes lengthy discussions where each partner speaks their heart and the other listens and takes these words into consideration.
If one partner is unwilling to talk or listen, it shows that they are no longer willing to make any effort. One person’s effort, no matter how great cannot save a relationship.
In some instances, the partner who has given up may not necessarily be quiet. They may listen to their partner’s suggestions of ways to solve problems but every solution suggested is put down. It is dismissed as impossible.
10. Financial Infidelity
Sexual infidelity or cheating is considered to be the ultimate sin in marriage. There is another form of infidelity which is perhaps more common in marriages than cheating – financial infidelity.
This is when one partner holds accounts or stashes of money, possesses credit cards, incurs debt or spends large amounts of money without the knowledge of their partner.
While you would not be expected to consult with your partner for every dime you spend, it is expected that the two of you be on the same page in regard to family finances.
It is more common than we think.
Few studies have been done on this issue but those that have been carried out indicate that as many as 41% of couples in America have or have had some form of financial infidelity in their marriage.
Although it is not a new concept, our parents and grandparents grappled with it, technology today makes it easier. You can sign up for accounts, make deposits and withdrawals and make purchases for just about anything from your computer. Nothing shows up in the mail. A cellphone is sufficient to do a lot of damage.
Every couple would define financial infidelity differently. Is it based on the amount of money spent? Is focus more on basic openness rather than amounts? Perhaps for others, it has to do with the implications. A huge debt, for instance, will have a significant impact on family finances.
In cases where one of the partners doesn’t have a predictable, steady income, financial infidelity could come in the form of undeclared incomes or under-declared incomes. Lying about unpaid bills is another form of money cheating.
Whichever way you choose to define it, there are some telltale signs which should raise your eyebrows. When in isolation they are probably nothing to think twice about. If you notice a combination of a few of these, it is time to ask a few questions.
- Unusual spending. Your partner suddenly buys herself a pricey cellphone, has been on a couple of shopping sprees and is shopping for a new car. You know what she earns and she definitely cannot afford any of this stuff.
- Questions about money elicit defensive reactions. A question as simple as ‘hey honey did you pay the power bill?’ elicits a harsh defensive answer. An answer which doesn’t give you a clear yes or no answer. When one is hiding money secrets or poor spending discipline, they feel guilty about their behavior. They feel attacked even when you are not aware of their mistakes.
- They spoil you with gifts. If your husbands bring you a bouquet of flowers every so often and he does it today there really shouldn’t be much to worry about. If your wife picked up a sweater which she thought would look nice on you, it’s nothing to have a debate about. We are talking about showers of gifts. Lots of expensive jewelry and holidays which you know you cannot afford. If your partner suddenly shows up with an expensive piece of jewelry and it’s the sixth time this month, there is something to worry about. Chances are your partner is using these gifts to distract you from hidden financial dealings.
- Cash only payments. If your partner has always preferred to make payments using a credit card and suddenly starts paying everything in cash, there may be something to hide. Cash is preferred when there is something to hide because it doesn’t leave a paper trail as credit and debit cards do. It is best when one is trying to hide what money is being spent on.
Salvaging a Marriage on the Brink of Divorce
Like mentioned earlier, no marital problem is unresolvable. As long as the two partners are willing to talk about it and find a workable solution, there is hope.
If you have noticed a few or many of these signs that your marriage will end in divorce, it is a sign that you need to look into the issues urgently. It doesn’t mean that your marriage is doomed to end. You can make a decision to salvage it.
Here are a few expert tips on how to climb back up from the edge of the cliff.
Consider professional marriage counseling. Bring in a professional mediator. An outside eye and ear will be able to see things objectively and help you see them as such.
Many men would rather die than see a counselor because they believe they will be attacked. That is not the case. Counselors are trained to be objective and make sure that both partners are heard. A counselor can easily identify weaknesses in communication and help you find ways to communicate better.
See the world from your partner’s point of view. The proverbial expression here is to ‘walk a mile in their shoes.’ After the anger has died down, try to put yourself in your partner’s place.
Your partner is a sane, reasonable adult. There must be a reason he feels he is right. There must be a reason he feels the way he does. Many couples say doing this made them see the conflict in a whole new light.
Hit the reset button and start over. Go back to default settings and then set new ground rules. After discussing the habits and behaviors in each partner which drove the other up the wall, it is time to set new ground rules and live by them.
There are many more signs that a marriage is ailing. These are just a few of them. The most common issues which every marriage counselor opens their speech with are communication, finances, and infidelity.
Others include emotional detachment and addictions.
If you have observed any of these signs in your marriage, all is not lost. Let them serve as a warning for you and your partner to work things out rather than a prophecy of doom for the marriage.