How to Know When It’s Time for a Divorce

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All relationships go through rough patches. But when considering a permanent separation, how do you know when to call it quits? How do you know when it’s the time for divorce versus staying in the relationship and trying to make things work?

This post will discuss some common reasons people decide to get divorced to help you better understand your relationship. It will also outline some signs that it may be time to consider getting a divorce.

The Most Common Reasons for Divorce

While every relationship is different, some common things contribute to difficulties in a relationship. Common reasons for divorce include:

  • Infidelity – If one or both partners are unfaithful, feelings may be hurt. Infidelity can be an insurmountable betrayal of trust. If trust dissolves, the relationship suffers.
  • Abusive – If any type of abuse — emotional, physical, sexual, or financial — is present within the relationship, there is a lack of safety. Feeling unsafe in relationships isn’t healthy. Both partners can be abusive toward one another in various ways.
  • Finances – Money can be a large source of stress in relationships. If one partner makes more money than the other, there may be an imbalance of power, which can lead to issues. Maybe both partners bring in money, but there’s still not enough to support the family, which is extremely stressful. Alternatively, partners may disagree about how to spend or save money.
  • Intimacy Issues – It’s common for partners to have periods in their relationship where intimacy and sex are less of a priority, such as when people first have children. But, if one partner has a higher perceived need for intimacy or sex, they might begin to resent the other. If one partner is experiencing physical issues, or if sex is painful or no longer enjoyable, it can strain the relationship.
  • Age – If one or both partners are young when the relationship begins, they may not have understood what a lifetime of commitment truly entails.

Common Signs When a Divorce Might be Beneficial

No set of rules tells you when it’s the right time for a divorce. Rather, the process involves you taking a hard look at the state of your relationship, how you feel, and what you want for yourself in the future. If it’s safe and there are no threats of abuse, try to communicate the best you can with your partner as you navigate this process. They may have insights into the issues or feel the same way you do.

The following are signs it may be time to consider a trial separation or divorce:

  • Lack of Respect – Respect is fundamental to a healthy relationship. If you find that you or your partner are having difficulty respecting each other, it’s cause for concern. A lack of respect could be due to many factors, including resentment, anger, or disinterest.
  • Abuse – Abuse in a relationship is something to take seriously. Abuse is a serious breach of trust and is a red flag of potential further danger. If you feel unsafe, contact your support system and local resources for domestic violence to help you leave your relationship.
  • Unwillingness to Compromise –  If you or your partner are more frequently finding that you don’t want to compromise in terms of wants and needs in the relationship, it may be a sign that a divorce would be beneficial. A lack of compromise can sometimes stem from anger, hurt, or inadequate communication, but it can also result from a lack of compatibility. You are generally more likely to compromise if you’re in a relationship with a compatible partner who you’re willing to make compromises for.
  • Increased Arguments – If you find that you and your partner are arguing increasingly more, so much so that you’re in a fight or disagreement nearly every day and it’s becoming unbearable, that’s an essential factor to consider in your decision about getting a divorce. While partners may experience more frequent arguments during times of stress, it should not be a common occurrence.
  • Breach of Trust – If you or your partner has broken trust in the relationship, rebuilding may be challenging. Rebuilding trust takes time and hard work. Some people may not want to put that effort into a relationship with someone who cheated or lied to them.
  • Lack of Joy – If you have a certain lack of happiness or joy within your relationship, that is a significant factor to consider when considering a separation or divorce. You and your partner deserve happiness.

Counseling Can Help

If you’re considering a divorce, counseling can help you in several distinct ways:

  • You and your partner could attend couples counseling to attempt to work through some of your issues. Counseling creates a safe space for honesty and can help you and your partner work through conflicts if that’s something you want.
  • Alternatively, you could use a mental health professional for mediation if you have decided divorce is the best option. Mediators help people compromise when making tough decisions. This way, you can receive impartial feedback from a third party in deciding things that go along with the separation or divorce.
  • You can also look to a therapist to help you work through some of the emotional changes that can come in a failing marriage. A therapist who specializes in divorce will help you improve your self-esteem after or during a divorce, improve your resilience, and enhance your happiness in a way that works for you.

All Counseling can help you connect to a therapist if you or someone you know is considering getting a divorce. Whether you’re searching for a couples counselor, an individual therapist, or something else, All Counseling’s online therapist directory is easy to use.