If you are in a marriage that is not working, how do you know when to call it quits? There is no definitive answer to when you should file for divorce but there are some signs to look out for.
Of course, there are some non-negotiables that no one should have to endure, such as domestic violence and coercive control. If you are dealing with a domestic violence situation, engineering a divorce can be fraught with complications and even endanger your safety. Speak to one of our divorce attorneys confidentially about how to plan your exit. Our attorneys have years of experience in family law and law enforcement and can help guide you through a difficult situation.
In other situations where you experience frequent ups and downs, or the marriage is lonely and unfulfilling it can be more difficult to decide what to do. Keeping a notebook or journal can help you monitor your feelings and record events and interactions to give you perspective. While every situation is unique, the following are a few signs that you or your spouse might be ready to end your marriage:
- You cannot imagine a future with your spouse and dream about living a different life. If you are living with your spouse but imagining yourself somewhere else all the time it may a sign your marriage is headed for divorce. You could be fantasizing about what it would be like to be single or to be in another relationship. You and your spouse might have difficulty reconciling life goals, and neither of you is present in your marriage.
- Your relationship is dramatic, emotionally draining and you are always fighting. Do you experience “the 4 horsemen” in your marriage”? The psychologist Dr. John Gottmann identified, contempt, criticism, stonewalling and defensiveness as the biggest predictors of divorce, with contempt as the worst factor. If one or both of you is frequently aggressive, demeaning or your relationship frequently devolves into fights it could be a sign that your marriage is unworkable or there is emotional abuse in your relationship.
- One or both of you have had an affair Infidelity, including emotional infidelity, can be a sign that you and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to expectations of intimacy and emotional fulfillment. In many cases people embark on affairs because they do not want to admit that the marriage is no longer working for them.
- You do not function well as a team and/or you feel like your spouse does not pull their weight If it is difficult for you to work together as a team and/or your spouse does not pull their weight when it comes to parenting, household responsibilities or financial responsibilities your marriage might be in trouble.
- You have drifted apart and prefer to spend time away from your spouse If you no longer look forward to spending time with your spouse and you get most of your fulfillment by seeking out activities and friendships outside your marriage it could be a sign that you don’t share the same interests as your spouse and your marriage isn’t working.
- Your spouse is transferring or liquidating marital assets If your spouse is liquidating assets or transferring assets to your children, a business partner, or a trust it could be a sign that they are planning to leave and are trying to avoid giving you what you are entitled to in divorce. In these cases, you should keep careful records and contact a divorce attorney as soon as possible.
Ending a marriage is an extremely difficult decision to make, but if you are ready to move on, it might be the most positive decision. We call these items above, the “Divorce Warning Track.” If your marriage is draining, combative or you feel it has run its course, you should speak to an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney to discuss your options. Call us today at (617)539-1010 ext. 111 or email us at email@example.com . Thank you.