Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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How can I know if it's time to divorce my spouse?

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. Even those New York couples who seem to have it all together in public likely have their secret disputes and conflicts. You may be among those people, or you may have deeper issues with your spouse. Perhaps you are having more rough patches the longer you are married, or perhaps your spouse's behavior is becoming increasingly difficult to excuse.

No matter the particulars, if you find yourself considering the option of divorce more frequently as years pass, you may be wondering if it is time to take steps to end your marriage. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when it is the right time to divorce, there are some indicators that the damage to your relationship may be irreparable or the damage to your own well-being may be imminent unless you make a change.

Signs it may be time to go

Without question, if you are in an abusive relationship, it is in your best interests to seek protection, both physically and legally. Living in fear of violence or verbal abuse is no quality of life, and you may be placing yourself and your children in mortal danger if your spouse's inability to control his or her temper continues to escalate. However, there are other reasons why remaining in your marriage may be detrimental to your well-being, for example:

  • Your spouse has an addiction to drugs, alcohol or pornography.
  • Your spouse insists you stop the pursuit of your personal goals.
  • Your spouse chooses your forms of entertainment.
  • Your spouse keeps you separated from your family and close friends.
  • You have to constantly beg to have your needs met.
  • You feel your spouse is trying to change who you are fundamentally, including your system of beliefs.

If you are constantly thinking about the problems that exist in your marriage, contemplating the option of divorce and living as if your marriage is a ticking timebomb, you are likely in an unhealthy relationship.

Counseling and therapy work wonders for many couples, but if these are not options for you, you would benefit from seeking advice from a legal advocate. For example, marriage counseling might do little to help your situation if your spouse is an alcoholic or compulsive gambler. Those types of issues are deeper than the marriage and may be beyond your ability to work through to a positive resolution.

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