How to Know When It's Possibly Time to Get a Divorce

05/27/2015 09:21 am ET | Updated May 25, 2016

Deciding whether or not to get a divorce is hardly something to be taken lightly. Overall, I do generally think that relationship issues can and should be worked out before making the decision to separate and do any filings.

However, there is mostly one absolute "deal breaker" where I think it's necessary to get a divorce if this is present and that is abuse. Any physical or sexual abuse towards either you or any child is, in my mind, an absolute "no I'm done with this". Nobody deserves to be in an abusive relationship, so if that is going on then it is worth getting away as quickly as possible.

Now, if your marriage doesn't involve any kind of abuse and you're contemplating a divorce, then this takes more introspection. The following are some potential reasons to consider getting a divorce:

#1 - One or both people refuse to try. Maybe one person has wanted to talk about issues or attend couples counseling, but the other person refuses to do these things. They don't want to talk about it and they don't want to work at it.

When you're in this place, it makes it really hard to improve any of the conditions. Every relationship requires a team effort. If the two of you are unable to find a way to work together then it doesn't leave much room for relationship success.

#2 - There's a disagreement on whether to have children or not. If one of you really wants kids and the other one really doesn't, it may be a sure sign to get a divorce. Here's the fact of the matter: Deciding whether or not to bring children into the equation is a big step. It's

Having children requires a lot of time and energy and for someone who may not even want kids, it's not fair to give them something they didn't really want in the first place. That being said, it is also not fair to not give children to someone who really does genuinely want them. So if the two of you aren't in the same place when it comes to having children, then it may be time to go your separate ways.

#3 - Someone cheats... a lot. If one partner is or was cheating and it continues to happen then this may be a sign that a divorce is in order. In order for a marriage to work, the two of you both need to have the same wants in the relationship. It can't work out if one of you wants to be monogamous while the other prefers to have more open relationships.

Ultimately, I think one of the most crucial questions to ask yourself and meditate on is this: When I envision our future together, do I see us moving in the same direction or not?

Can you foresee the two of you working together as a team? Can you foresee the two of you maintaining a mutual level of respect and love for one another? Do you both want the same, or similar, things in life?


Relationships are complex and there are a lot of variables at play, so there isn't really a specific "checklist" to help you determine whether to get a divorce or not. It all boils down to whether or not you are willing to work at it and if the other person is willing to work at it with you. Without a mutual willingness, there is not a lot that can happen to improve the quality of the relationship.

Jennifer is a self and relationship coach and the founder of Her mission is to help women tap into the love that they possess within themselves to create more loving relationships in their lives. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.

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