Making the decision to separate or divorce is, for most people, one of the hardest decisions they will ever make in their lifetime. Here at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, we have guided many of our clients who are ambivalent regarding the simple question:
“Is seeking a divorce the right thing for me?”
In certain cases, such as relationships with domestic violence or a partner with substance addiction, a marital separation or divorce is without a doubt the correct route to take, as research shows that these relationships are outright dangerous. On the other side of the spectrum, there is also strong evidence to support that ending a marriage isn’t always the best step to take and that trying to salvage the marriage may be in you and your family’s best interest.
At the end of the day, only you know the full details of your relationship, meaning that only you will be able to fully decide what is best. We are fully aware of how overwhelming the divorce process can be, and that there are many questions associated with the process. To help you decide if divorce is the right step to take, we will shed some light on the information we have gathered working with our clients over the past 40+ years.
Will I Find Happiness Again?
Whether you believe you will find happiness in your current marriage or outside of it, you’re right. It is very common for those contemplating divorce to have two opposing thoughts:
“Should I get a divorce so I can find happiness again on my own?”
“Should I remain in my unhappy marriage for the sake of my children, and attempt to find happiness again while married?”
The answer to these questions depends on different contributing factors, which include:
● Is your spouse willing to take the necessary steps to improve your relationship?
● Are there glaring “red flag” problems that must be addressed?
Signs That Your Marriage May Be Failing
While it is very possible to revive and renew a struggling marriage, there are also many signs that point to the continuing deterioration of your relationship. Some of the most common signs we have seen in our clients include:
● You and your spouse no longer have anything in common and do not communicate - Living in silence with your spouse is a red flag that your marriage is on its last legs. Engaging in meaningful conversations with your significant other is something that helps keep a relationship healthy and mutually beneficial.
● Constant fighting - If you’re feeling as if every move you make is being watched by your partner, or you are criticized incessantly with every word and action, it is probably safe to say that you can also “do no right” in their eyes. While every relationship has its ups and downs, constant bickering in a relationship is a sign that it may be best to consider options, including separation and divorce
● Lack of care about personal appearance - While the honeymoon phase of looking “perfect” for your partner typically comes to an end at some point, a change in your partner’s hygiene habits and personal appearance for the worse may be a sign they are losing interest in the relationship. They may be taking the relationship for granted.
● Poor habits - In the same vein, changes in daily habits and routines may make you incompatible, including compulsive spending, watching pornography, playing video games all weekend, or refusing to socialize with friends and family. These are habits that may increase over time and cause conflict in the relationship but are not yet in the category of addiction.
● Intimacy is no longer in the picture - This is perhaps one of the most concerning signs in a relationship. Intimacy is something that allows partners to bond and connect on a very emotional level. If your significant other is showing a lack of desire to show intimacy there may be a larger problem brewing. Infidelity may be an issue. Be sure to discuss why they are feeling this way to see if there is something that can be done to fix the problem.
While these signs do not always provide evidence that a marriage is doomed to fail, it is worth talking about with your partner if you see any of the actions on this list and feel as if they are negatively impacting your marriage.
Are there “Mandatory” Reasons for Divorce?
There are signs that a marriage may be headed to divorce, and there are things that happen that are more than a warning sign. Some couples are faced with extremely difficult situations in their marriage, such as addiction, abuse, and unfaithfulness. In most marriages, these require a different approach:
● Addictions come in many different forms which include, alcohol, drugs, pornography, video games, reckless spending, and gambling.
● Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous may help your spouse recover from addiction.
● In some cases, the addict can recover and the marriage may be salvaged. However, it is recommended to separate from the addict and give them time to see if progress can be made.
● Each situation is different, and by no means is this meant to say that marriages with addiction are a lost cause. Be sure to consider your specific situation and take the proper steps accordingly.
● When abuse is present in a marriage, it is a large red flag. Abuse is not a trait of a healthy relationship, and should almost always be a sign that your marriage is not viable.
● While abuse can be overcome, it is something that should never be tolerated and absolutely doesn’t have to be. Studies show that abused spouses and children are much better off in the long run once the abusive marriage has come to an end.
● If you or your children are in danger at any time, be sure to contact local law enforcement.
● Ending a marriage with domestic abuse can be very dangerous in certain situations. This is where working with an experienced New York family law attorney will help ensure the proper steps are taken to handle your situation accordingly.
Contact us today (516) 773-8300 to schedule your free case evaluation. We want to help make sure you consider all of the options when it comes to making decisions about your family and your future.
Cheating / Unfaithfulness / Infidelity
● Most Americans express that they would end their marriage if their significant other were to cheat on them. Each individual defines cheating differently. However, the reality is many couples who have dealt with an unfaithful partner stay in the marriage.
● One of the most common reasons for staying in a marriage with an unfaithful partner is for financial convenience and for the benefit of children.
When It’s Time to Consult with a Family Law Attorney
Are you still not sure whether or not your marriage has come to its end? It may be time to meet with an experienced New York family law attorney to see what the right plan for your situation is. We are known as leaders in the family law field because our compassionate attorneys work closely with our clients to achieve the best possible outcome.
Schedule your free consultation today at (516) 773-8300. We would love the opportunity to discuss how we can help.