How to Know When to Call it Quits on Your Marriage
One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How do I know if I should file for divorce?” There is no one right answer to that. However, if you’re asking the question chances are your marriage may already be terminal. There are generally four litmus tests that demonstrate the viability of a marriage. If you’re facing one of the most difficult decisions you might ever make, ask yourself these three questions.
Has something happened that can’t be forgiven? Any two people can live together, but if something unforgivable has happened, it won’t be a marriage. It will be something else. This is incredibly personal and requires absolute honesty. It’s not about wanting to forgive. It’s not about thinking you should. It’s about reality. Can you forgive or not? If you can’t, you shouldn’t stay. It’s punishing for both parties.
Can you live with what is? Assuming your partner will never change, can you live with it? Sure, people can change. Sometimes they do. Most of the time they don’t. If you can’t live with the person you have and there isn’t a plan and commitment to change, you should end the marriage. You can’t love anyone enough to make them different.
Are you the only one still working on your marriage? Even if your partner is still living at home, if they’ve left the marriage emotionally and don’t re-engage you don’t really have a marriage to save. It takes two. If you’re down to one, it’s probably already over and the rest is legalities.
Have you done everything you can? Ending a marriage when you feel like you could have tried something else will haunt you. Couples who try professional help, even if it fails, report feeling more peace about the decision to divorce. When you leave everything on the field, so to speak, if it ends, you can walk away much more certain and that’s a big deal. Bottom line, if you’re even thinking the word divorce, it’s time to get a professional on board.