Marriage is seen by many as an institution that will stand the test of time. Nobody gets married with the intention to separate at some point, but years of misery and anger can make even the most optimistic newly-wed couple consider divorce down the road. Regardless of what friends and family members might say, everyone has a right to their own sense of happiness and safety.
Have you been asking yourself, “Should I get a divorce?” Although everyone’s relationship is different and unique to their situation, there are a few signs that indicate it might be time to separate.
Your Needs are Unmet
Marriage is a partnership; both spouses must work together to support one another and meet whatever needs each person has. These needs will vary between persons and couples. Some people require daily physical contact to feel that they are loved while others just need a few words of encouragement every once in a while to get them through the day.
Whether they’re physical, emotional or spiritual, you and your spouse both have certain expectations. Problems can arise when these expectations don’t align and needs aren’t met. There are a variety of stressors in life that can drastically affect a relationship in the short-term: finances, family issues, employment, etc. If you and your spouse work together, it’s possible to come back from these situations. However, in some cases, things just don’t go back to the way they were. This may have you asking the question, “Do I get a divorce or not?”
If over a period of months, or even years, you find yourself or your spouse contributing less to the partnership or ignoring the needs of the other person, it may be best to move on and find a more fulfilling relationship.
Intimacy and Infidelity
Most people require a certain level of intimacy in their marriage. Whether it’s emotional or physical, this closeness sets the relationship apart from normal friendships. As with any other need, problems can arise if this requirement isn’t met. The easiest fix would be to talk to your spouse about your feelings and express the lack of intimacy between the two of you. Of course, things aren’t always that simple.
If someone feels a lack of intimacy in their relationship, they sometimes look for it elsewhere. An extramarital affair is stereotypically portrayed as a physical, sexual relationship, but emotional cheating is equally as common. If you or your spouse are being unfaithful, it is a symptom of problems in the marriage. At the very least, you and your spouse should seek counseling, or contact a divorce attorney to explore options in the event the marital relationship ultimately breaks down. This can give you some clarity if you are wondering, “How do I know if I should get a divorce?”
No matter the state of your marriage, no one should ever live with abuse. If you believe you are a victim of physical or emotional abuse, consider contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). In such a situation your safety and the safety of any children you might have is of the utmost importance. Focus on separating yourself from your abuser and then immediately begin divorce proceedings when you are safe.
When Should I Get a Divorce?
You may also be wondering if it is the right time to get a divorce. There really is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. A variety of factors can come into play, such as finances, insurance, and parenting. This is why it is best to seek a consultation with a divorce attorney or therapist to help you weigh your options.
When it comes to finances, you need to determine whether an immediate separation of finances is necessary, what support obligations must be met, and what debts or expenses need to be taken care of before proceeding with a divorce.
The needs of any children should also be taken into account. Before making a decision, it is best to take some time to determine what is in the best interest of the child or children. This could mean separating right away or waiting months, or even years.
Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in Chicago
If you’ve decided that divorce is the best option for you or your family, contact the attorneys at Conniff Law Offices. Our Chicago family law firm strives to protect our clients and their families in uncertain times. Whether your case is uncontested, mediated, collaborative or litigated, our attorneys can provide invaluable guidance and empathetic support throughout the process.