Finding “the One” is full of smiles, kisses and bubbles of happiness.  Weddings are often planned a year in advance in contemplation of the best day to kick off the rest of your life.  Arguments are few. Life is funny in that way.  We never really know what’s around the next corner.  When the honeymoon phase fizzles out and arguments begin to arise more often and harshly, those bubbles of happiness can disappear.  Months or years of fighting and trying to make the marriage work may have you questioning whether you made the right decision.  Divorce?  Should I leave?

Finding yourself in this place can happen overnight.  For some, it’s as a quick a physical fight, for others it may take time for other signs to mount up.   There is no math for when it’s time for a divorce, but if you find yourself and your marriage in the situations below, it may be time for a divorce.  Or divorce is lurking…

1 – You make future plans without them.
If you find yourself daydreaming about living a life without your spouse or make solid plans for the future without consideration of your spouse, it may be time for a divorce.

2 – You stop communicating – listening and talking
Communication is vital and the heartbeat of a marriage.  Being the one that is always starting and trying to have a conversation can be emotionally draining.  It oftentimes means you or your spouse is disinterested, and can lead to feelings of loneliness.  When you don’t share your daily experiences, your concerns or needs because you don’t want to talk to your spouse, or feel as if you won’t be heard, it may be time for a divorce.

3- Someone else besides your spouse has your attention.
Cheating is huge. For most, a deal breaker.  Infidelity may be emotional and/or physical.  There is an intimacy that comes with confiding in someone, and there is a closeness shared in physical relationships.  For some it only takes one affair to make them want to leave, for some it may take many.  In this case, it’s important to recognize that someone who has cheated multiple times is likely going to continue.  This not only presents a trust issue it can lead to feelings of self-doubt and a lack in self-worth.  Many try to bring marriage back from infidelity.  It is hard and may be insurmountable.  If you find yourself or your spouse focusing on someone else, it may be time for a divorce.

4 – Ex-lovers as friends.
When you or your spouse still has a close relationship with an ex-lover, it can lead to doubt and a lack of trust.  Turning to an ex after a marital argument can open windows for cheating or give an impression that may be hard to overcome.  Either way, there are three people (or more) in the marriage where there should only be two.  If you find yourself or your spouse confiding in an ex, it may be time for a divorce.

5 – No physical intimacy.
Coldness in the bedroom can lead to distrust, emotional and mental health issues.  More often than not, it provokes the belief that you or your spouse is cheating or disinterested.  Relationships can be misleading in the beginning with a high sex drive.  When normalcy and the routine of life set in, physical interaction may wain. For many, sex is an expression of love and closeness, and being refused can lead to feeling unloved and unattractive.  If you find yourself begging your spouse for physical intimacy, it may be time for a divorce.

6 – The shut-down. You stop caring.
Just going through the motions can weigh heavily on your mental well-being.  Constant fighting can wear you down.  Being ignored can weigh you down.  Being underappreciated can wear you out. Symptoms such as these may cause you or your spouse to turn away from the marriage and possibly indulge in risky behaviors.  This is a breeding ground for resentment.   When you find yourself not caring about your spouse or your marriage, it may be time for a divorce.

7- You don’t hang out together any more.
Where you once enjoyed being around each other, spending time together is a thing of the past.  You go places and experience new things by yourself.   You or your spouse have no desire to discover new things with the other, and put off hanging out.  When you find yourself looking forward to enjoying something new without your spouse or have a lack of interest in doing what your spouse likes to do, it may be time for a divorce.

8 – Your spouse is demeaning.
When your spouse cuts you off when you’re talking it can make you feel unimportant and disrespected.  Feeling undervalued can lead to feelings of resentment and spark feelings of self-doubt.  If your spouse is constantly making you feel that your feelings and thoughts don’t matter, it may be time for a divorce.

9 – Physically abusive.
No one should put their hands on you.  Ever.  It’s time for a divorce.

10 – Secrets.
Keeping someone in the dark about the truth can lead to an array of issues.  This can be as simple as sharing half-truths.  It’s not a total lie, but it’s not the full story.  Situations such as then can give false impressions, leaving couples on different pages or different books, entirely.  If you find that your spouse has been misleading and keeping secrets, it may be time for a divorce.

11 – Kids or no kids?
Tensions can easily rise when couples discuss raising a family.  Especially when one partner desires a family more than the other.  Children change the game plan. Let’s not forget the issues that may arise in blended families. Can the step-parent discipline the children?  Are there boundaries that make the stepparent or stepchild feel left out?  If you and your spouse are on different sides of the fence with no compromise in sight, it may be time for a divorce.

12 – Money.
No money, more money…it can all lead to problems.  When couples don’t communicate how they plan to handle finances it can lead to arguments.  Joint bank account or separate bank accounts?   You or your spouse have a secret account?  Large, unexplained amounts of money disappearing from your bank account? Does your spouse have to pay child support or spousal maintenance from a previous relationship that is costing you money? Arguments over who is paying for the groceries, mortgage and costly spending habits can quickly arise when there is a lack of communication.  If you find yourself constantly fighting over money, it may be time for a divorce.

13 – Your mental and emotional well-being is at stake.
No one is going to love you like you.  Mental health is just as important as physical health.  Don’t find yourself looking in the mirror failing to recognize who you are.  If fighting for your marriage alone has caused you to suffer from depression and questioning your self-worth, it’s time for a divorce.

If you find yourself in one or more of these situations and thinking about divorce, please contact a  Chicago, Illinois Family Law Firm for a free consultation.