How Do You Know It Might Be Time for a Divorce?

You know it might be time for a divorce when:

How Do You Know It Might Be Time for a Divorce?
  1. Your spouse abuses you
  2. You have fundamental differences over important life goals
  3. The marriage is making you unhappy
  4. There is no intimacy
  5. There are serious disagreements on financial matters
  6. Your spouse is unfaithful
  7. Your best efforts to save the marriage have failed
  8. Other negative factors hurt your marriage

A divorce is a significant and tragic event in anyone’s life. Before asking your divorce attorney to file a petition, we urge you to look inwards and introspect whether you are partly to blame for the problems. (The exception to this is abuse; no one deserves to be abused, no matter what they might have done.) If you are, a course correction is called for. If you are not the source of the problems and are 100% convinced that these issues are more or less permanent, divorce may be the only way out. The decision to divorce must not be impulsive, based on ego, or because of a temporary problem that can be fixed. This life-changing event must be thought through. Even if you have an iota of doubt that your decision may be wrong, we urge you to communicate with your spouse and try and resurrect your marriage by opting for counseling or therapy.

That said, here are a few telltale signs that signal that it’s time to part ways:

Abusive Spouse

Physical, emotional, sexual, or verbal abuse should not be tolerated by a spouse. Though disagreements and verbal fights are common in any marriage, any form of abuse is toxic and non-negotiable. An abusing spouse typically wants to control you and devalue your self-esteem. Abuse can take any form – physical beatings, gaslighting, manipulation, financial deprivation, stonewalling, triangulation, etc., and it may be a signal that there is no point in continuing with the marriage.

Fundamental Differences

Fundamental differences in life goals without any chance of reconciliation can be another sign that the marriage is on the rocks. For example, if one spouse wants to start a family right away while the other spouse wants to focus on his/her career. Another example could be that the spouse who wants to start a family agrees to wait for a few years till the other spouse’s career takes off, and then when the time comes, the other spouse goes back on his/her word. Likewise, there may be other irreconcilable differences related to other life goals that can trip the marriage.

Unhappy Marriage

If your marriage is such that it keeps giving you pain, stress, worry, or unhappiness, then it is time to analyze where things have gone wrong and to take appropriate action. If the problems that are causing distress are long-term in nature and there is no way these can be fixed, then it may be time to think of divorce, rather than continue suffering and compromising on your mental as well as physical health.

Lack of Intimacy

When the spouses love each other but the marriage is sexless or when a marriage is full of sex and yet there is very little or no connection, then it could signal that it’s time to divorce. A lack of intimacy and being disconnected from your spouse means there is no more emotional bond with your spouse. That is when you may start pondering whether there is any meaning left in your relationship and in spending your entire life with him/her. It can happen in marriages of convenience or when couples tie the knot on impulse without much thought and without discussing their likes, dislikes, and goals.

Disagreements on Financial Matters

Continuing differences in monthly budgeting, saving, overspending, gambling, etc., can strain the family’s finances and cause a lot of distress in the marriage. Of course, these issues can be resolved with some effective communication. However, if both spouses are not in agreement and the financial habits of one, or both spouses, are causing regular distress, it may be time to move on.


A spouse may be having an extramarital affair on the sly, and if he/she gets away with it, he/she might do several encores. Well, infidelity is betrayal and once there is betrayal in a marriage, the unfaithful spouse will always be seen as untrustworthy. A spouse can cheat because he resents the other spouse for whatever reason or is unhappy in the marriage. Once a spouse cheats, the marriage loses its original flavor and it could slowly depreciate and lead to a parting of ways.

Marriage Can’t Be Salvaged

When your best efforts to save or improve your marriage have failed and no amount of effective communication can salvage it, then it could signal time to divorce. There is no point wasting your time, energy, and efforts on a futile exercise.

Other Factors

An irreparable communication breakdown, growing resentment, lack of respect, extreme selfishness, the feeling of comfort in being left alone, or staying on for the sake of the kids are some other factors that can intensify the feeling that it’s time for a divorce.

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About the Author: Marco Brown
Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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