Everybody has been to a wedding or two where they walked away thinking, “This won’t last.”
They’re usually right — the signs that a couple isn’t headed for marital bliss can be pretty big when the bride gets into a fight with her new mother-in-law at the reception and the groom has to be drunk to say his vows.
But the signs that marriage isn’t meant to be forever can also be fairly subtle. There are a few that could, potentially, take you by surprise.
How to tell your marriage is falling apart
In general, the experts say that you should trust your instincts: If something feels like it’s off, it probably is. However, the external signals that your relationship is ending can also include:
- You have no conflicts. You and your spouse have stopped arguing — but you aren’t exactly agreeing, either. You just seem to have reached a point where nobody feels like it’s worth the effort to fight.
- You can picture life alone. If you find yourself fantasizing about what life might be like if your spouse isn’t in it, you probably already have one foot out the door.
- You’re no longer first on each other’s list. When something important happens, who do you tell first? Who does your spouse tell? If you aren’t each other’s main source of emotional support or help, that’s a clear sign that you don’t really operate as a team.
- You have no idea what to talk about. Unless it’s the kids, chores, the car or the house, you just don’t have a lot of conversation with your spouse — and you don’t really care. You aren’t that interested in their day, and they aren’t that interested in yours.
- There’s a lot of alone time. Maybe your spouse is clearly more interested in going out with their friends, and you’re happier curled up with a book. Lately, that’s the status quo, however, rather than an occasional thing.
- You have nothing in common. It happens. Ideologies fade and change, and couples drift apart. If you aren’t on the same page politically, morally and most other ways, you probably aren’t good together.
If you’ve started to feel like you would be happier divorced, the first thing you should do is gather your financial papers and speak with an experienced legal advocate. That way, you can start to plan an exit strategy that will let you move on as peacefully as possible.