Would you be blindsided if your spouse asked for a divorce? Many people don’t see a divorce coming because they miss important signs. People will often engage in a pattern of specific behaviors when they are preparing to leave a marriage. Here are 10 signs your spouse is thinking about or planning a divorce.
Your spouse has given up.
While arguing all the time can be a sign of a troubled marriage, people who have already decided to leave will sometimes just stop fighting altogether and give up. If your spouse no longer shows a desire to work for your marriage, the relationship might already be over in your partner’s mind. If you suggest counseling and your partner refuses to consider it, that may also be a sign that the other person has just given up.
You’ve stopped having sex.
Sex typically ends when a relationship is doomed. Your partner may have built up so much resentment that sex with you is no longer an appealing idea. Your partner may also be getting sexual needs met outside your marriage. When couples no longer connect on an intimate level, the marriage can suffer and die.
Your spouse doesn’t want to make plans.
Partners who are preparing to leave a marriage will often refuse to make plans for vacations, holidays and other events because they do not believe the relationship will still be intact when those things occur. Some people will not adamantly refuse to make plans but will become vague about agreeing to future commitments.
Your partner is suddenly very critical of you.
Everything you do from the look on your face to your tone of voice seems to annoy your partner. Habits you have that never seemed to bother your spouse before have become sources of conflict. When you are in love with someone, you may be inclined to overlook undesirable behaviors or even see them as cute, but this changes when you fall out of love.
You and your spouse focus on something other than your marriage.
When marriage begins to hurt, the two people involved may look for something outside the marriage to be the focus of their lives. Partners’ lives may begin to revolve around children, friends or work in an effort to distract themselves from the failing relationship.
Your spouse has a victim mentality.
People who are talking themselves into divorce may try to convince themselves and others that they are victims in their relationships. They may suddenly accuse their partners of being abusive or of treating them badly.
If your partner has recently begun to accuse you of abusive behavior, take a hard look at yourself to be sure there is no truth in the assertion. If you are truly not treating your partner badly, it may be a sign that your spouse is looking for an excuse to leave.
Your partner has been keeping secrets.
Happily married couples usually share everything with each other, and there is no need for secrets. If your partner has recently begun hiding phones, keeping financial information away from you or going out and refusing to tell you where, something could be very wrong. If your spouse suddenly puts passwords and locks on technology that has never been locked before, there is probably something going on. A spouse who has nothing to hide has no reason to keep information from you.
Your partner has made big financial changes.
Be wary if your spouse suddenly decides to start moving accounts into different names, taking out lines of credit that are not shared or attempts to put property in one name only. People who are planning a divorce will often prepare for financial changes by making changes in accounts and property. Your spouse may be concerned about losing money.
Your spouse is engaging in self-destructive behaviors.
Behaviors like alcoholism, drug abuse or self-harm will sometimes show up before a divorce. This can be because your spouse is dealing with emotional pain that has come from the breakdown of your relationship or because your partner simply no longer cares about staying healthy for you or your children. Self-destructive choices can sometimes lead to financial problems and parenting issues as well as the break-up of a marriage.
Your spouse lies and cheats.
If you discover that your spouse is habitually lying to you or has been cheating on you, it’s time to prepare for the marriage to end. Spouses who cheat with no remorse are not interested in keeping a marriage together, and a partner who lies to you is not behaving like a loving spouse. This is a sign that the person no longer cares about you or the relationship.
A divorce can be a terrible blow, but it’s easier to handle when you know that it’s coming. You can’t be absolutely sure that your spouse is considering divorce until you are told about it, but these signs are an indication that a breakup could be imminent.
If you see these warning signs in your own marriage, speak to your spouse. It may be helpful to arrange counseling to save your marriage. You may also want to speak to a lawyer so you can protect yourself if your spouse does file for divorce.
By Chris Hildebrand of Hildebrand Law, PC.