We are shown visions of valiant knights on white chargers and mad love affairs in the movies. They always have passion, no matter the trial, and end with a happily ever after. But, love and commitment in real life is much harder than those fairy tales and rom-com movies.
It isn’t uncommon to be in an unhappy marriage. As you navigate the waters of a turbulent marriage, you may be asking, “Should I stay married or get divorced?” or searching for “Signs you should get a divorce.” I’m here to answer those questions and more as a marriage, relationship, and healing expert.
If you are struggling with a challenging marriage, you are not alone!
According to the US Census Bureau:
- Around 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce.
- The rate of failed marriage increases with each subsequent divorce (73% of third marriages end in divorce).
- A divorce happens every 13 seconds, which is 6,636 divorces per day and 46,523 per week.
That is a lot of struggling, anger, and hurt right there! Every marriage goes through tough times and bad patches, but how do you know if you should get a divorce? Is there a better way to heal the hurt with your best friend and find your own happily ever after?
I have been married to my husband, Jon, for over 40 years. We have been through at least six very hard patches where we seriously considered divorce and had a “bad marriage.” I get it. I know how tough marriage can be and how repetitive the patterns could be. We got to the point where we joked in our frustration about how we should just record the retorts in our fights because we had been to that place so many times before—we were on repeat!
Are you looking to eliminate that pain and end the harmful cycle of pointless fights? If you are at the end of your rope and looking for a different solution, I can help. You are here because you are desperate for a change and considering a break-up. I want to help you make the best decisions for your situation.
In my own marriage, Jon and I finally decided on a divorce. As soon as the words left our mouths, we had an instant, unmistakable, and inspired thought—yes, both of us had that same thought! We realized that divorce wasn’t the answer to our problems. If we left our marriage, we were only going to take our negative energies with us. We were going to create the same pattern in the next relationship and the next. We needed to divorce our thought patterns and toxic energy—not end our relationship with one another. We succeeded and have been happily married since that watershed moment years ago.
Here are some questions I want you to reflect on before looking into a divorce lawyer or starting the divorce process.
Should I Save My Marriage or Get a Divorce?
If you are in this hard spot, I don’t envy you. I know all too well the feelings of hurt, anger, and exasperation that come with this line of thinking. If you are here, it’s because things have gotten bad or you’ve met someone else.
I’m going to be honest—it could be you. You could be the problem here just as easily as your partner. Usually, it takes two to tango. So, here are some hard-hitting questions I want you to ask yourself and answer truthfully. They stem from the heart of reasons people struggle in an unhappy marriage.
Is the Problem Out of Your Control?
The first real question you have to ask is whether or not you are being abused. If there is mental or emotional abuse, then you need to put your foot down and demand it end. If your partner is trying to keep you from other friendships, controlling or calling you names, then those are signs of emotional abuse and you cannot accept that kind of coercive control or abuse any longer. If you are afraid to demand a change because you aren’t sure the reaction would be safe, then you need to leave your relationship now.
Do not play around with an abusive partnership. You may feel scared and unsure of how your world would keep spinning, but once you take those steps you will feel free.
If you are afraid of violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233
If you aren’t sure if you are being manipulated or emotionally abused, then please read my blog on how to recognize and heal from emotional abuse.
But, not every disagreement or word spoken in anger means abuse. So, if you are on equal footing and feel you can call your partner out on their problems, then chances are your energies are simply butting heads. And, you may find you are being overly critical or too willing to get into those angry exchanges of vitriol.
Am I Looking for a Way Out?
Are you really trying to find a reason this isn’t working? Maybe you are just following a toxic pattern within your family. Maybe you’ve found someone else or you feel there could be better options out there. Your own toxic energy could be sabotaging your relationship so you have an excuse to bail.
If you are a self-sabotager, then this is a really critical question for you to answer.
It might be extremely difficult to answer this question on your own. It will certainly take a lot of mindfulness and self-reflection of how you are approaching conflict resolution.
- Are you being fair?
- Are you trying to make accommodations or are you pushing buttons to cause reactions?
- Is your partner trying to meet you halfway?
- Have you been clear with your needs?
- Are you trying to meet the needs of your partner and are they trying to meet yours?
- Are you talking to a professional or looking for support on social media or from friends and family members who have a bias in your favor?
You should not have to walk to eggshells in your relationship or accommodate your partner’s perspective on everything, but your energy shouldn’t be negative and you shouldn’t be an instigator either. You can always find the bad and point out the problems if you allow your energy and thoughts to stay negative.
Is There a Family History of Divorce?
Energies can pass on and you could be the carrier of that negative energy. If your parents got a divorce, then that same problematic thinking or relationship energy could be impacting your marriage now. You may not have seen a healthy relationship modeled and you aren’t sure how to create a stable marriage yourself. Jon and I came from these kinds of broken homes and struggled with bringing that into our own relationship. In Mastering Affluence, I cover the solution for breaking free of generational curses like this that could be undermining your efforts and good intentions. You can buy Mastering Affluence here!
If you have a history of divorce in your extended family, then you can break the cycle with some of my simple tips! And if you don’t, then there could be other reasons driving your floundering relationship.
Do I Believe My Spouse is Able to Change?
You can’t demand someone change on your own timeline.
You can’t demand they align with your perspective on everything.
If you don’t believe your partner can change, then you could be projecting disbelief and distrust into their lives. They will play out that failure for you because you perceive it to be that way. To bring healthy change, you need to open up the space. Tell yourself that you believe that your partner will change and is already in the process of changing, they are willing to take accountability, willing to open themselves up.
If you get to a place where you have believed in reasonable change and there is a refusal there from your partner, then you have to ask “Am I in a toxic relationship?” Like abuse, there are some circumstances that you cannot resolve and you cannot wait for the other person to get right. But, check to ensure you absolutely are not part of that problem, or you are in danger of taking part of that toxicity right along with you.
Is This a Pattern in my Story?
When I was a young girl, my father was extremely dominant and my mother followed a highly submissive role. The men in my family—brothers and uncles too—did not listen to the perspectives of women. I felt unheard by men, and I formed a belief that men didn’t hear me.
The reality is, I began to internalize this energy. It affected my self-worth and self-esteem well into my adult life.
Once you start believing something—negative or positive—it will start to materialize. This is the whole concept behind the Law of Attraction! You can purposefully realize good things into your life, just as much as you can accidentally realize negative things into your life. Part of this stems from the intentions and mantras you speak in your head. You can repeat, “He can’t hear me. He won’t listen to me even if I speak up. We are just going to fight again.” or you can repeat, “He does hear me. He cares about me. And he will listen to me.” Both will be true. Which one would you prefer?
If you notice a pattern in your own story—how you have experienced past lovers, genders, or friendships—then you need to take a careful look at what you hold true in your marriage. Do not let the pattern continue by creeping into your subconscious thoughts. Will it to be different and you will be shocked at how things change.
Do I Feel ‘Out of Love?’
There is a concept that when the butterflies are gone, or that feeling has changed, that it might be time married couples move on. But, if we can will ourselves to experience and become certain things, then we can will this as well. Choose to believe that you love your husband, but more importantly, let me introduce you to the true love of your life:
Yep. You should be the love of your life. You have to love yourself first to even start to love someone else the way they deserve to be loved. See, when God told us to love others as we love ourselves, the assumption is that we love ourselves! Sometimes our self-love can become selfish and self-centered—which is unhealthy. But, our self-love can be non-existent too—and this is also unhealthy!
You have to love yourself. You have to appreciate who God made you to be and realize your value despite all flaws. That doesn’t mean you won’t work to improve yourself, but it does mean you will stop hating and punishing yourself. God loves you, so I want you to believe His truth and love yourself before you try to love your spouse.
As you love yourself, you will find all the demand and pressure you put on your partner is gone. You aren’t clinging to them and depending on them to feel a certain way. You start to fill your own needs, and you stop neglecting yourself. Your spouse doesn’t hold the keys to your happiness—you do.
Do I Believe Divorce is the Only Way Out?
The hard truth is: people get divorced every day when they shouldn’t. Do you want to know another, equally hard truth? Every day, people don’t get divorced when they absolutely should.
Your situation is your own.
If you feel torn or are struggling to know what to do, talk to a divorce coach or try marriage counseling. If you haven’t already gotten a third party involved, it may be time. If you have tried that and can’t get things right, then it might be time to end the marriage. If there has been infidelity, lying, or abuse, then it may be time to end the marriage. It is a hard decision and one you don’t have to make alone.
Get Help to Heal Your Marriage
There are some things we know for sure when it comes to unhealthy relationships and divorce:
- You are going to face problems if you are married. It’s inevitable.
- The divorce process is devastating and causes damaging emotional and financial aftermath.
- Divorcing and remarrying does not improve your chances for a better outcome.
But all the details are different for each person, their past, and how they choose to approach their future. In my own story, we chose to divorce the bad energy in our relationship and not each other. This inspired me to write Mastering Affluence.
I can help you work through barriers in your own journey that are affecting your relationships. Join my Healing Center and let’s heal the pain that is holding you back in your life. Get help and find the happily ever after you deserve.