Have you thought about the future of your marriage? When considering should I get a divorce or not, it’s complicated. This choice carries less social stigma than in past generations, and there’re many reasons that divorce occurs, in the U.S. nearly half of marriages end. However, new research from Denmark reveals the reasons behind divorce are different than you might expect. The most common reasons for divorce weren’t abuse, infidelity, or financial problems. They were:
- A lack of love or intimacy,
- Communication problems,
- A lack of sympathy/respect/trust
- Growing apart.
If these problems are plaguing your marriage, it could be time to talk to your partner and take stock. Communication with your partner is important when trying to decide if you should get a divorce. Your partner may have ideas for how to fix them and be willing to put in the work.
There’s a possibility that you don’t want to have this conversation with your spouse because you’ve fallen out of love with him or her. If one or both of you are not in love anymore, there is a chance that you’re ready to move forward as single people. While a strained marriage could continue as a living arrangement or a business partnership with an external focus on the children or joint finances, it would not feel the same as it did when you married for love and made a vow to one another.
Think about your spouse now. If he or she doesn’t spark feelings of love and commitment in your heart, then it’s important to reflect on why you would stay in the marriage.
What Should You Do If Your Marriage Has Deteriorated?
Many couples can remember a time when their marriage was healthy. It’s hard to be honest with yourself when weighing up the question ‘should I get a divorce’. At one point, you felt invested in the relationship, anticipating each others’ needs and treating each other with respect. Sex was a regular part of the marriage, as was spending quality time together.
If it’s hard to remember that time, ask yourself what has changed and is it beyond repair or not? The bottom line is: your marriage could be over if you’ve stopped feeling connected to your spouse. If there’s little or no physical intimacy, then your emotional connectedness is temporarily or permanently eroded. If you cannot discuss marital issues due to a communication breakdown, then it will be difficult to fix the marriage.
What Happens When Love is Undermined?
There are many ways that the marriage bond weakens over time. You may recognize less frequent intimacy or both spouses saying hurtful comments to each other. Marital decline might include knowingly doing things that would upset your spouse, but the possibility of being discovered doesn’t deter your behavior.
Another possibility is reaching the point when you are actively imagining romance with someone else in your life. Such thoughts are dangerous, but they are common once a marriage’s initial passion and commitment have faded. We all dream about being a different version of ourselves and tend to want the forbidden.
You expect your partner to meet all your physical, emotional, and social needs even after ennui sets in, but this is a recipe for failure. The marriage will only survive and thrive if both partners are willing to keep nurturing the bond.
How Will You Know If It’s Time For a Divorce?
Consider these questions when exploring your reasons for divorce with your partner:
- Do you think about being intimate with another person? If your marriage is based on exclusivity, then you’ve discovered a red flag. Although it’s ok to have these thoughts over the course of a marriage, infidelity threatens to destroy the trust you share with your spouse.
- Do you believe your spouse can no longer meet your needs? Most people won’t be content staying in a relationship with a partner who doesn’t meet their physical, emotional, or romantic needs.
- Can you survive financially? If you’re the spouse who earns less, the laws in your state may provide for spousal support. However, people considering separation or divorce often seek additional job training to prepare for living alone.
- Can you raise children as a single parent? This fear stops many unhappy couples from seeking a divorce. They don’t want to cause unnecessary upheaval or emotional pain to their kids. So think through how you would approach this.
- Do you still love your partner and want to live with him or her in the same home? If the answer is no, then you owe it to yourself and to your spouse to end the relationship. It takes courage to be the petitioner in a divorce case.
- Is there abuse in the relationship? Any kind of abuse, emotional or physical, should not be acceptable in a marriage based on love and is a reason to go as soon as possible.
You probably wouldn’t be reading this unless you sensed trouble at home. Contemplating divorce could mean feeling disconnected from your partner and wondering if the single life would be better. If you can’t make this marriage work, there will be future relationships that are a better fit for the person you are now. It’s important to remove the mystery of divorce by being honest with yourself. Why stay if your marriage is broken? And if it can and you want it to be fixed, be willing to put in the hard work.