If you’d leave a relationship for issues that have nothing to do with third parties or abuse, you should probably end a marriage that’s plagued with those issues too. Your vows may pose as a hurdle to making that decision, but if you and your spouse are obviously not as invested in the marriage anymore, then there’s no more reason to stay.
But of course, filing a divorce is easier said than done. For one thing, the kids may feel overwhelmed, confused, and resentful about their parents separating. For another, divorce involves a lengthy and complicated process that will divide your finances, marital properties, and other assets. Such may cause a dispute between you and your ex, even if you initially ended things on good terms.
Thankfully, a good divorce lawyer can minimize the chances of disputes, and speed up the process in turn. They may also help you maintain a good relationship with your kids as the divorce proceedings occur. But before calling it quits with your spouse and turning your life upside down, consider first if any of the situations below apply to your marriage:
1. Irreconcilable Differences
This is one of the most common reasons for divorce. When couples can no longer put up with their differences, especially major ones like values, they often resort to fighting, avoiding each other, or cheating. But divorce isn’t necessarily the solution to irreconcilable differences. If you and your spouse are willing to give your marriage another chance, seek marriage counseling, and that may just do the trick.
When one of you becomes an alcoholic or a drug addict, your marriage will surely go sour. Addiction alters the brain, potentially making you abusive, violent, and simply not yourself. As such, you may put your spouse and kids’ safety at risk.
But a marriage doomed by addiction is also salvageable. If the addicted spouse is willing to go to rehab, and their spouse and kids are supportive of it, then their recovery may even strengthen your marriage and family.
3. Financial Issues
Money alone doesn’t cause divorce, but the stress of living in poverty definitely does. True, you’ve vowed to stay with each other for richer and for poorer, but if your spouse doesn’t do anything to improve your financial situation, then it’s best to revoke your “I do.”
You may support your spouse temporarily if he/she lost his/her job. But if on top of his/her lost job is mountains of debt, then it’s completely understandable if you’d lost your respect for him/her. A responsible spouse manages their finances well, and if they fail at this without remorse, you don’t have to endure the consequences.
4. Unmet Expectations
Before getting married, you probably had expectations from your partner and expectations from the marriage itself. But due to various circumstances, your expectations weren’t met. Maybe he was a gentleman when you were just dating, but turned rude the moment you got married. Alternatively, maybe he was expecting you to maintain your fit body and was upset when you gained weight due to pregnancy and childbirth.
Expectation issues can be resolved through communication, counseling, and adjustment. If you both accept the reality that change is inevitable in a marriage, then you might be able to stay together. But if your unmet expectations cause hostile, violent, and toxic behaviors, then make your way out by filing a divorce.
5. Different Parenting Styles
If you are a strict, authoritative parent, while your spouse is lenient, you may have some problems in raising your children. Your kids will surely favor the lenient parent, as they are unable to see the love and care behind your disciplinary tactics.
Contrasting parenting styles don’t only strain your marriage, but also your relationship with your kids. If you and your spouse aren’t on the same team, your marriage may go stale, and you may lose both your spouse and your kid. You can resolve this issue through communication and compromise, but if none of you are willing to adjust, you may be better off separated.
6. Good Parent, But a Bad Spouse
This issue can be related to the situation above. If your spouse loves your children dearly but is rude and neglectful to you, you may become conflicted on whether it’s still worth it to stay in the marriage. You may consider staying for the sake of your kids, who have a good relationship with your spouse. But often, children who grow up with parents constantly arguing develop a corrupted concept of a “healthy” relationship. If you continue staying with your spouse, they may grow up seeking the same type of toxic relationship.
Therefore, choose yourself in this situation, and save your kids from bigger heartbreaks in the future by filing a divorce. If you and your spouse can fix things in the end, that’s great. But also remember that once you allow toxicity in your life, it can fester until it destroys your well-being. So it’s completely fine if you choose freedom.