What Are the Signs You Are Ready for Divorce?
Learn how loss of respect, loss of intimacy and lack of empathy destroy the marital relationship
Signs You Are Ready for Divorce
Do you know the signs you ready for divorce?
You want to know if there are signs you are ready for divorce. If so, what are they? You may even ask yourself, "is anyone ever ready for divorce?" These are important questions. The answers are in this article.
Ending a marriage is serious. Nobody should take it lightly. Based on our analysis and many years of experience, here are three signs we think are the best indicators you are ready for divorce.
Divorce sign number one – Complete loss of respect
The complete loss of respect may be the biggest sign divorce is around the corner. A complete loss of respect means the following.
- You do not believe your spouse to be credible, reliable or truthful, and
- You do not believe your spouse’s perspective merits your attention or appreciation.
It is not common for spouses to lose some level of respect. Marriages have their difficulties and the challenges are not necessarily a sign it is time for divorce. What we refer to here is a prolonged and completely loss of respect.
The following are what we notice accompanies this loss of respect.
- Domestic violence, which is the ultimate display of a lack of respect.
- Dismissing the other spouse’s perspective as irrelevant or incorrect without any real dialogue or objective evaluation.
- Constant and unreasonable criticism by one spouse of the other.
- A frequent and ongoing disbelief of the other spouse’s statements or claimed perspectives.
- Regularly minimizing the other spouse’s contributions to the family.
You cannot have love without respect
You may have expected us to write about the loss of “love” instead of respect?
We do not believe you can have love without respect. The very nature of loving another person is a deep respect for the other person. When respect completely leaves the relationship, the love is gone. That is why the lack of respect is the first sign you are ready for a divorce.
Divorce sign number two – Loss of attraction and intimacy
Most marriages start with attraction that then leads to intimacy. A loss of attraction and therefore intimacy is the second sign you are ready for divorce.
Infidelity is a common result from a loss of attraction and intimacy
Most spouses who consult with us knew the road ahead would lead to divorce the moment they stepped outside of the marriage or they learned their spouse did so. While infidelity may be situational and not necessarily a sign you or your spouse are ready for divorce, that is in our experience the exception.
Read our guide on how adultery affects divorce
Is attraction and intimacy still a sign in an “open” marriage?
Yes, because even in an open marriage, the spouses are still attracted and intimate. An open marriage is not a lack of either. It simply means the spouses agree there will be sexual intimacy with others, in addition to each other.
Divorce sign number three – Lack of empathy
Empathy refers to the ability to understand each other’s feelings, emotions and perspectives. It is an honest collaboration regarding each one and the ability to communicate openly and honestly about it.
“I don’t care anymore”, if those words are sincere, are words spouses on the brink of divorce often think or speak. A persistent and genuine lack of caring is a lack of empathy. That is why we believe it is one of the key signs you are ready for a divorce.
Lack of empathy takes many forms. We see it in broken marriages in the following circumstances.
- Dismissing or not caring about a spouse’s physical or mental health challenges.
- Unwillingness to help a spouse when he or she is under significant external stress.
- Selfishly placing personal interests over that of the family, especially in times when the family’s focus and unity must be strong.
- Denying a spouse’s request to speak about the marital problems, including a refusal to participate in therapy.
- Deliberately taking action or making statements that a spouse knows is hurtful to the other spouse.
- Placing blame on marital problems entirely on one spouse despite the objective evidence to the contrary.
Are there other signs you are ready for divorce?
These signs are not in the top three but that does not mean they are not important. Many of the following signs are the “effect” from the “cause” of lack of respect, loss of intimacy and loss of empathy. You should carefully watch for these actions as they may mean your spouse is ready for a divorce.
- Deception about money.
- Detachment from family responsibilities.
- Heightened sensitivity to personal privacy.
- Defensiveness about whereabouts and actions.
- Significant and sudden change in habits.
Are there signs that you or your spouse are ready for divorce?
Marital problems only get worse if you ignore them. There comes a time when you and your spouse should seek counseling. If your spouse refuses, you should still speak with a mental health professional. You will need the tools to recognize the signs you or your spouse are ready for divorce.
If that day comes and you know divorce is inevitable, the next, most important step is to consult with an experienced divorce attorney.