You might be surprised to know that a lot of people who get divorced can’t really pinpoint a moment that they asked themselves, “Is my marriage over?” and gave themselves a definitive answer. In fact, sometimes people who file for divorce are still a bit unsure about whether they’re doing the right thing.
However, there are some signs that the answer to that question is yes. Here’s a quick look at what many experts suggest are marriage-enders.
Is My Marriage Over?
First things first: Only you can decide if your marriage is truly over. Naturally, if your ex has already filed for divorce, you’re in reaction mode – and because California is a no-fault divorce state, you either go along with the process or you don’t… but it’s going to happen regardless of your feelings.
These are five signs that many experts suggest signal the end of a marriage:
- You’re already living in a single mindset.
- One of you has been unfaithful.
- You and your spouse don’t communicate.
- You feel like your spouse causes you nothing but stress.
- You’re not able to be yourself.
Let’s take a closer look at these.
#1. You’re already living in a single mindset.
If you think happy thoughts about being single and on your own, and your spouse is nowhere in the picture, your marriage could be over.
“Up to a point, imagining being single can be a healthy safety-valve, allowing us to think about how things could be different, while also enjoying the comfort and security of a loving relationship,” says Dr. Becky Spelman. “If you just seem to annoy one another, and no longer have any fun, your fantasies about single-hood may show that you are already mentally ‘checking out’ of the relationship and planning to leave.”
Related: Social media and your divorce
#2. One of you has been unfaithful or abusive.
Once trust has been broken in your marriage, it’s very tough to get back – and sometimes it’s impossible. If you’re asking yourself “Is my marriage over” after a traumatic event, the answer could be yes.
Also, says Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., “Physical, emotional, sexual abuse raises significant warning signs about the health of a relationship.”
Related: Is adultery illegal in California?
#3. You and your spouse don’t communicate.
In a survey that covered 886 separating couples, a striking 55 percent said that they “grew apart” and 53 percent said that a “lack of communication” was the cause of their splits. If you and your spouse are no longer able to communicate, your marriage may be over. You can still decide to work on your marriage, though – as you can with most of these points – but ultimately, it’s up to you whether it’s worth the work to repair it.
#4. You feel like your spouse causes you nothing but stress.
Does thinking about or seeing your spouse make you happy, or does it stress you out? If just thinking about your spouse makes your blood pressure rise, it could be time to seek outside help or file for divorce. When we say seek outside help, that could mean talking to a therapist or counselor, talking to a trusted friend, or talking to an adviser you trust, such as a religious leader.
#5. You’re not able to be yourself.
If you ask yourself, “Is my marriage over?” and you realize that you just can’t be yourself within the relationship, you may need to evaluate where your relationship is right now. Sometimes people report that they no longer recognize themselves, which is incredibly difficult to deal with. If you used to be a happy, outgoing person who was always ready to have fun, but now you’re irritated, depressed and socially withdrawn, it’s time to take a good look at your relationship and see how that’s affecting who you are.
Are You Thinking About Divorce?
Divorce isn’t always the answer, but sometimes it’s the only possible answer. If you’re considering divorce, your best bet is to explore all your options – and that includes talking to a divorce attorney who can explain the process and answer all your questions.
Call us right away at (209) 546-6870 or get in touch with a Stockton divorce attorney online to schedule a consultation today.