How do you know when is it time for divorce? Hopefully never.
Still, you may come to a point in your marriage when you are wondering whether to divorce or not. What is that threshold, that magic line where you finally decide enough is enough?
It’s Best to Avoid Divorce if Possible
Before you pull the trigger and choose divorce, consider if there is any other way. It’s one thing if you are in a truly horrible or violent situation. But if it’s just a question of feeling restless or not in love anymore, that can potentially be fixed.
If people in arranged marriages can learn to love each other more over time, then it’s possible that you can regain “that loving feeling” once again.
Consider all your options before pulling the divorce trigger. This might include marriage counseling, taking a little break, or doing some personal reflection first.
When to Know It’s Time for a Divorce
At some point, however, it may be appropriate to look into a permanent separation. When do you know it is time for a divorce? It will of course vary individually depending on the person, but here are some issues that might be that turning point:
1. Your Spouse Is Abusive
Physical and emotional abuse should never be tolerated. It should especially not be tolerated when it is directed at your children. If you are in a situation where your spouse is regularly beating you or abusing your kids, then you need to immediately call a domestic abuse hotline and get some professional help.
You could be putting your own life and the lives of your children in danger if you do not get out of the situation.
While it is possible for an abusive spouse to change, they need to be in serious therapy and committed to changing. If you decide to give your spouse a second chance, you will still need professional help to see you through.
2. Your Spouse Is on Hard Drugs
Drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can be very dangerous and cause people to act in ways that are problematic. If your spouse has a chronic drug problem and is not willing to get help (this also can apply to alcoholism), it might be time to get out of the marriage.
3. Your Spouse Is Cheating and Unrepentant
Sometimes cheating is a way for a partner to avoid their own personal issues. Getting attention from a new person can feel empowering and exciting. It is also very flattering. So sometimes cheating is not personal at all. Other times, it is a sign that the marriage is not doing well.
Either way, cheating can be a huge problem, especially if your spouse has no interest in stopping the bad behavior.
Sometimes, a spouse will promise they will “never do it again” only to repeat the infidelity over and over again. Constant patterns of lying should be taken seriously. This is probably a good time to consider divorce.
4. Your Spouse Is Involved in Crime
This may seem far-fetched for some, but plenty of average, middle class suburban people have been shocked to find out that their seemingly straight-laced spouse was involved in criminal activity. Whether it is selling drugs illegally on the side, engaging in prostitution, involvement with a criminal element, or embezzling company funds, crime is not something you want to be involve in.
5. Your Spouse Is Ruining Your Finances
This isn’t just about going through a hard time such as during unemployment. Spouses who are wasting the family money on gambling or frivolous purchases can cause a great deal of damage to the family. If the spouse is unwilling to get their spending in order, you may need to consider whether it is time for a divorce.
Sometimes, Divorce is No One’s Fault
While spouses can often cheat or do things that are bad and wrong, sometimes we need to divorce even though our spouse did nothing wrong. “Irreconcilable differences” refer to no-fault divorces where neither party did something that caused the divorce. It may just be that you have changed. You are now a Buddhist when you once were a Catholic. And now your spouse wants to spend his time as a missionary in Africa.
Ultimately, to know when it is time for a divorce is up to you.