Some couples just know when their marriage is over, but others remain hopeful that they’re just going through a rough patch that will pass in time. Sometimes that’s the case but you have to keep your eyes open to what’s going on and read the signs that your spouse may already have one foot out the door.
When only one of you is nurturing your marriage long-term, it is very likely that divorce is imminent. There are signs that can give you advanced warning as to whether you should start seeking legal advice to protect your own best interest. When you’ve been with someone long enough, you know when things simply feel off. Maybe you can’t put your finger on it but below are some examples of what you might experience when your spouse has already left your marriage.
1. Your spouse shows no interest in communicating
Communication is required in a marriage to prevent misunderstandings that can lead to arguments or serious problems -and to resolve them. When you are the one constantly chasing after your spouse to fix things and he/she regularly avoids solving issues, it’s a tell-tale sign that he or she has given up and simply doesn’t see value in the effort. Staying in a loveless marriage is certainly much worse than ending up alone. Putting on blinders instead of accepting the inevitable will only place you in a detrimental position instead of being prepared.
2. Your spouse becomes emotionally distant
Part of the reason you get married is to emotionally support one another throughout life’s ups and downs. Partners are supposed to be able to trust each other, and to lean on one another when things get tough. When that support system leaves you feeling like you’re on your own, it’s typically for one of two reasons. Either your spouse is internalizing something and he or she doesn’t feel comfortable placing the burden on you, or your partner has mentally checked out of your marriage. One sign that this is happening is that your spouse never seems to listen to you anymore. The longer this goes on, the more likely it is to end in divorce.
3. Your spouse avoids making plans
Maybe your spouse uses work as an excuse to be away or maybe it’s more blatant like having standing plans with friends every week that just can’t be broken. When your spouse shows more interest in spending time anywhere but with you, pay attention. Living separate lives and intentionally neglecting your marriage can only last so long before the neglected partner sees the writing on the wall and either leaves or seeks attention elsewhere.
4. Your spouse is being disrespectful
Did your significant other start out as a doting partner who sang your praises to everyone and was typically complimentary of you? Doing the little things that show you care about someone is one way of showing respect for them and your relationship. When those actions stop it can be a sign of indifference to you and your feelings. When that behavior completely turns toward overtly trying to hurt you, that’s a red flag you want to be leery of. Making comments about other men or women your spouse finds attractive can signal an affair is going on or is at least being considered. Taking disrespectful digs at you, whether in private or in front of friends or family, can be a precursor to domestic abuse and the need for an Order of Protection.
5. Your spouse suddenly cares more about their appearance
Is your spouse doing things out of the ordinary to improve his or her appearance without any obvious reason? Some couples talk about getting in shape together after a health scare or because they want to be around a long time for their kids or grandchildren. When only one of you starts taking an interest in spending hours at the gym, changing hairstyles, buying new clothes, or even buying a new car, it’s very likely a sign of trouble.
6. Your spouse develops different, or suspicious, financial habits
Money is always a hard topic for people to discuss but when you’re married, it’s a necessity. Not every couple shares the same financial goals or even the same financial responsibility – and a marriage can still work, so long as you’re both up front about it, and come up with a way to reach a compromise that you both stick to. But if one spouse breaks the agreement, or suddenly starts picking a fight over money, it can devolve into something else entirely. It can also result in secret behaviors like one of you diverting funds into an account at another bank that your spouse doesn’t know about. Keeping things like this from one another is a powder keg waiting to explode.
No matter what you think you see among other couples who seem to have it all, the perfect marriage doesn’t exist. No marriage is immune from experiencing problems but when only one partner is willing to address them and work on improving things, you need to consider your options.
The seasoned Maryville divorce attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. have successfully worked with many clients across East Tennessee to find the right path to end their marriages. We understand it is not a one-size-fits-all process and care about both the short and long-term needs of our clients. Schedule your free consultation today by calling a member of our caring legal team at 865-982-8060, or we invite you to complete our contact form.