Updated: Feb 7, 2021
Should I get divorced? You just got through the December holidays and have had some time to reflect upon your life. The new year is here, and you are likely considering resolutions. Should I lose weight? Should I stop smoking? Should I do "dry January"? Should I spend more time with my children? We all make resolutions. As you get older, you do not make them quite as often because we all know people do not always follow them. Regardless of what resolutions you do (or do not) make, the one thing that you really need to be thinking about this time of the year while you are doing all these other things is what's going on with your marriage.
Are you in a place where you should think about getting divorced? While I would never tell somebody they should get divorced, the odds are that you will have this thought at some time in your marriage. It might be a passing thought, or it could be something that you think about often. It is a very personal decision that everyone needs to make for themselves. However, there are often signs that your marriage is ending and that you need to get a divorce.
There are signs of a Divorce
If you are not in tune with signs that a divorce is coming, then it will creep up on you. When it creeps up on you, you do not have time to plan and prepare. As you know, we believe that you must plan and prepare for divorce in order to get the best possible outcome. But, if you do not know the divorce is coming-if you do not know the signs-how in the world can you decide it is time to prepare for divorce? You cannot! Therefore, the most important thing is recognizing the signs that you need to get divorced or the signs that a divorce is coming.
You just need to keep your eyes open. There are normal fights, and there is fighting every day. There are times when you do not want to speak to your spouse for a day or two, and there is going a week without having a meaningful conversation. You have to always figure it out. Are you just have a typical fight, or are you heading toward a divorce? Let us talk about some of the signs.
Winning at All Costs
Is winning everything? If you have a situation where when you and your spouse fight, and you feel like you always have to win or your spouse always has to win, you have a problem. It is definitely a sign that you guys are not a marital unit anymore. You are no longer in a give and take relationship. Marriage cannot be about always winning. There has to compromise and mutual respect.
Arguments must always be done in such a way that you are preserving your relationship. If it is always about winning and who is in control and power, your marriage is not going well. It is a huge red flag, and you really need to take a step back and see what else is going on.
We never Argue
Another reason that your marriage might be on the rocks is that you never argue. If you are in a relationship where you just do not talk to each other, you have a problem. If you do not even want to "fight" with your spouse because you just do not really care anymore, maybe because there is nothing left to fight about, your marriage might be dead.
Provoking your Spouse
If you want to provoke your spouse during arguments, it is not a good sign. Guys, if your wife always wants to push you and push you and push you, it is not a good sign. Always finding to provoke your spouse is not a sign of a healthy marriage. We've been talking about the different arguments: not arguing it all, always having to win, and then provoking.
This sounds interesting, but the bottom line is you should have some arguments with your spouse, but they should be healthy They should be compromised based because that's a solid healthy relationship is that you are able to reach agreements with your spouse. So if you have some issues with healthy discussion, open your eyes, and see whether or not the marriage might be in trouble.
Your heart is Frozen
Does your spouse send your heart racing? Here, we are not talking about racing in a good way. If you have a negative physical reaction when your wife in the room with you, your body is telling you something. If you are annoyed all the time with them, really think about what is happening. When you are annoyed with them, it is rarely about whatever it is they are actually doing. It is usually about the fact that you have some issues with the relationships. These issues may be so internal that you are not consciously aware. If the thought of being married to your spouse for a lengthy period of time gives you heartburn, probably also not a good sign that you should stay married.
Hiding Your TRUE Self from your Spouse
Are you hiding from your spouse? If so, that is another huge problem. If you cannot be your authentic self anymore, why are you in this marriage? If you are trying to be something you are not to please your spouse, where is the future going? Once your spouse realizes that you have been hiding your true self, it is likely going to move you towards the marriage ending. So, if you are having to hide your real self, it's a bad, bad sign.
Social Media Blitz
This is one of the tell-tale signs that there is a problem. Has your wife, all of a sudden, gone on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to convey that your relationship is so wonderful? If someone needs to tell everyone how wonderful their relationship is, it is typically not a sign of a healthy relationship. Why do you need to tell everybody that relationship so wonderful? If your wife starts to go on social media and go crazy about just how wonderful the relationship is and starts to overshare things way more than normal, that could be a sign that things are falling apart. You need to pay attention to that. So, pay attention to your spouse's social media because you can get a lot of clues about what is going on.
Everything comes before your Spouse
Is there is always something that comes before your spouse? If that's going on with you, that's another red flag. What we mean, is your wife's job coming before you. Are her friends coming before you? Are your kids coming before you? If that is the case then you really have a problem because she (or you) is putting other people above the person that should be the most important person in her life. You might think kids should be the most important people in your life, and they're very important. But your spouse is really important. And, if you are putting everybody in the world in front of them, that's a big sign that the marriage is in trouble. Open your eyes and watch what is going on around you!
"I" and "Me"
Are you and/or your wife always using "I" and "me?" Marriage is a team sport. You are a unit. You file tax returns together, own property together, and have joint bank accounts. You are a single unit and if all of a sudden it's all about me me, me, me, me and I. "This is what I need" and "this is what I want." That is a sign that the marriage is starting to crumble because now it's not we anymore. So, look out for those kinds of words coming out of your wife's mouth. And if you are starting to say them, look in the mirror and decide whether or not the marriage is starting to crumble around you.
Who is your Go-To Person?
Has your wife stopped being your go-to person? If something is wrong in your life like you had a bad day, do you go talk to your wife about it? Something bad happened at work, or your friend pissed you off, or your parents pissed you off, do you go to your wife first? Whatever the case is, most people go to their spouse first, right? One of the joys of being married is they have to listen to you whenever you are having a bad day. So, if you or your spouse stop going to the other first and you start going to somebody else, it is a problem. Consider something good, like a promotion at work. If your first instinct is to tell someone other than your wife, you are likely not connected to them anymore. That may mean divorce is coming, so pay attention.
Can you forgive your wife? Can she forgive you? If you guys get to the point where you cannot seem to forgive each other, "Houston, we have a problem." You need to be able to fully forgive and make peace with your spouse. If every day it's all about bringing up something that happened in the past and holding it over somebody's head and being resentful all the time, that's not a recipe for the long term survival of a marriage. If you see your wife doing that, or if you are doing that, you are probably already on the road to divorce. So just look in the mirror, keep your eyes open.
Do you already have an exit strategy? What we mean is have you already started contemplating what it is going to look like when you get divorced. Have you already started thinking about how you are going to move money around or that you are going to look for a new job? If you are starting to think about life after marriage, that means, in your mind, you are already done with the marriage. The same thing is true with your wife. If you get any signs that she is already looking for an exit strategy, which could be as obvious as she visited with a divorce attorney, or as subtle as opening a separate bank account after 10 years of marriage, see what else is going on.
Always Thinking About Divorce
If you are constantly thinking about getting divorced, guess what? Divorce is coming. If you are constantly thinking to yourself, "should I stay?" or "should I go?" If your wife is constantly talking about divorce, that is likely what she wants. You must listen to what your spouse is saying. You just listen to the words and watch the body language. Look at what they are doing. Look at what they are not doing. Look at your interactions because all of those things are going to tell you a lot about whether or not your marriage is going to survive.
Plan and Prepare for Divorce
If your marriage is not surviving, you must take steps to ensure you do not get screwed. You have got to start preparing. You've got to start planning. Even if you think there is a possibility that your marriage is over there is no harm in taking some steps to do some simple preparation. Just because your marriage is dying does not always mean that you are going to get divorced because there are always ways to fix things. That is what marriage counseling is all about. But, if you think divorce might be out there, particularly if you think your wife's thinking about it, you need to at least consider planning and preparing for divorce.
Planning is what the Men's Divorce Planning Bootcamp is all about. It's all about helping you take those steps to start preparing for divorce. If you need help, come see what we can do for you. Remember that you only live once!
This blog is based upon Episode 24 of the Get Divorced Without Getting Screwed Podcast. Listen to it here.