Most people don't wake up one day and suddenly decide to get divorced. Sometimes an event -- like an admission of adultery -- prompts one spouse or the other to file for divorce, but most of the time a marriage just gradually disintegrates.
Absent a triggering event, how do you know that your marriage is really over and not just in a slump?
Experts say that you can look for these signs:
1. You no longer have the same goals. Part of what makes a couple click is wanting the same things out of life. If something's changed for one of you, no amount of couple's therapy is going to make you both want the same things again.
2. You don't have time for each other and you don't really want to make the time, either. If the idea of a vacation with your best friend sounds exciting but the idea of a vacation with your spouse sounds like too much hassle to bother, you've probably stopped enjoying each other's company. The odds are good that physical intimacy and communication have both already gone out the door.
3. You no longer trust each other. This can take a number of forms. If either of you is going through each other's email accounts, social media messages or texts, that's a sign that trust has vanished. You may also no longer simply trust your spouse with your innermost feelings. If you find yourself editing your conversation so that you don't give you spouse too much information, that's a good sign that you've already emotionally distanced yourself.
4. You've already started seeing things as "mine" and "yours." If you and your spouse have begun keeping separate bank accounts or referring to certain things as exclusively belonging to either yourself or your spouse, like "my boat" or "your credit card debt." That's a clear indicator that you no longer think of yourselves as a couple who share fortune and misfortunes alike.
If you believe that it's time to call a formal end to a marriage that's already over in many ways, it's time to talk to an attorney about a divorce. For information on how our firm can guide you through this transition period, please visit our page.