Many people will go to extremes to avoid divorce. They view divorce as a sign of personal failure and would prefer to preserve their marriage if at all possible. It is certainly admirable to do your best to prioritize keeping your marriage vows to your spouse. However, there are many situations in which divorce may be the healthiest and safest option.
Here are six signs that divorce may be the best option for someone who is in a struggling marriage.
1. Abusive behavior
The first time a person becomes violent toward their romantic partner, the abuser promises that it will never happen again. Unfortunately, sometimes it does happen again. Often when there is a pattern of intimate partner violence, and escalates with each incident. Verbal and psychological abuse may turn to physical abuse, which can eventually lead to hospitalization. Those in abusive situations often need help both to leave safely and to protect themselves during a vulnerable time.
2. Unhealthy situation for the children
Especially when a couple has children, part of their responsibility is to model a healthy and functional relationship, and to keep their children safe from physical and emotional harm. Although divorce can be difficult for children, it can be equally or more damaging to observe parents sharing a truly unhealthy relationship.
3. Mismatched financial values
When one spouse is a compulsive shopper or demands luxury goods on a fast-food budget, spouses may not be able to maintain a financially-solvent household. When couples are nearing retirement or are enjoying their retirement age, dangerous spending habits can be particularly concerning. When differing financial priorities lead to consistent lying, divorce may be the only viable option.
4. An act of infidelity
One spouse discovering that the other has been unfaithful is likely to cause major disruption in the relationship. Sexual relationships and even emotional infidelity can destroy the foundation of trust for a marital relationship and potentially lead to divorce. If counseling has been unsuccessful at helping a couple find a way back to health relationship, it might be time to divorce.
5. Intractable mental illness
Many people struggling with mental health issues get the support that they require to overcome their conditions. However, there are also many people who do not seek treatment and whose symptoms eventually worsen. If someone refuses help or if they are unresponsive to treatment, their spouse may eventually have to consider ending the marriage.
6. Insurmountable communication issues
The marriage may not be salvageable. when:
- Spouses will not adjust their behavior after receiving critical feedback, or when
- Spouses refuse counseling to address their behavioral and communication issues
When spouses are not able to talk to one another without fighting or when one spouse ignores the other, it does not bode well for the longevity of the marital relationship.
When one spouse has shown they are incapable of changing or is simply unwilling to do so, divorce may be the only option for the safety and well-being of the other spouse and the children of the relationship. Recognizing signs that divorce is the best option can help those in unhealthy and unhappy marriages.