Contemplating Divorce? Know When to Go and What to Do When You Leave

The silhouette of a woman opening curtains, looking out a balcony window at the sunrise.

Your marriage might be showing signs that it is unraveling and divorce may be in your near future. It’s common that a marriage doesn’t end up exactly as envisioned. It’s hard to plan that far ahead, and a divorce doesn’t necessarily mean an end. It’s also a new beginning. If you’re not sure whether to stay in your marriage or move on, here are some indicators that suggest your marriage is reaching an end.

Lack of respect
If your spouse doesn’t respect you, that is an indicator that the marriage is failing. A good marriage needs mutual respect, and once that respect is lost it can take a great deal of work to fix it.

Excessive fighting
If communication has broken down and you’re fighting regularly but not resolving the issues your marriage is facing, this is a good if indicator that your partnership is not meant to be.

Focuses on hurtful events from the past
If your partner continuously brings up things from the past to hurt you or blame you for the current problems in the relationship, they’re showing no interest or concern for your feelings and fixing the real problems in your relationship.

Plays the blame game
If your partner refuses to take responsibility for the problems in your relationship and routinely tries to blame you or others for all of the problems, it’s setting the marriage up for divorce.

Your spouse shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself. If they are making degrading, nasty, and argumentative comments towards you, that is emotional abuse. It’s better to end the marriage than to continually feel insecure and victimized.

No one should stay in a marriage that is physically abusive. If you’re being abused, you might be too scared to leave. But there are resources and people who can help you in your situation.

Marriage counseling can help make both partners aware of the problems in their marriage and give each person the tools for making improvements. If therapy fails or your partner refuses to get help, the issues above are all valid reasons for filing for divorce. Before you jump into it, it’s important to know exactly what may lie ahead. Here are some things to consider before filing.

Educate yourself
Knowledge about the divorce process will help you plan accordingly for what you’re about to face. Being prepared will help take out some of the stress when you’re actually going through the process if you’re prepared. Understand where you stand financially by gathering critical documents that provide proof of income, joint accounts and other marital assets like property and retirement accounts. Understand what your financial future looks like and make plans to adjust your lifestyle.

Contact an attorney
You want to talk to an attorney with years of experience in family law so they can explain the divorce process to you. Your lawyer should make you feel comfortable and offer a referral to a counselor so you can be certain that you have explored all other possible options before filing for divorce.

Establish a support system
Divorce is stressful and emotional. Having a group of family members and friends to help you get through it is essential. Hiring a therapist can also provide a healthy outlet to explore your emotions in a divorce and help you plot out plans for your life when the divorce is final.

Far too often couples file for divorce based on their emotions even though it is a decision that can impact every aspect of their lives for years to come. While divorce is the best choice for some couples, the decision is best made after careful and thoughtful consideration.

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