Some say that your wedding day is the happiest day of your life.
You walk down the proverbial and literal aisle with a vision and hope for a happy and fulfilling life with your partner. What you don't expect is for your vows to be undone. And yet, such is life.
My divorce, like most divorces, was painful.
I felt shame. I felt misunderstood. And yet, it became one of the most impactful aspects of my adult life. I'd like to think that it started with an honest conversation around my WHY behind saying goodbye.
Ultimately, leading me to break a deep and emotional promise.
You may be starting to have these conversations with yourself, as well. You have put the work in by going to therapy, trying new communication tactics, or giving each other space. But, things are just not working out. It may be time to consider your options. There is no shame in doing what is right for yourself.
While I am certainly not advocating for the number of divorces or separations to increase — according to Wilkinson and Finkbeiner, that number is 50% in the United States — I would like to share insights from my own experience on how and when to take the turn to say goodbye to things that no longer serve their purpose in life.
So, if you have come to a point where you've exhausted all avenues and feel like giving up, or one seemingly "small" argument with your partner seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back, this is for you.
Here are 5 signs why you may want to walk away from your partner and end your marriage:
1. You and Your Partner Don’t Want To Hold Each Other Back
Have you been daydreaming about what you could be doing if it wasn't for your partner? Do you feel like your partner doesn't support your dreams or interests? Not all relationships are worth holding onto forever, especially ones that keep you from moving forward and becoming better every single day. If you find yourself never spending time with your friends, lacking passion for the things you used to care so much about, or feeling drained or judged in your marriage, your partner may not be allowing you to blossom into the person you're supposed to be. The same goes for you holding your partner back; your relationship may not be allowing either of you to grow, and that's not beneficial.
Along with the craziness of 2020 came a quarantine that none of us were expecting. Maybe you were quarantined alone; maybe you got lucky and were able to quarantine with your friends, or maybe you were quarantined with your spouse. You thought it would be filled with quality time, helping to revive your love, but in reality, it just drove you two further apart. You've been able to push your relationship onto the back burner and ignore the problems that existed until you were locked into a house with your partner and had to face them head-on. If you feel ready to step away from your marriage, you are not crazy, and you are definitely not alone.
2. You Don’t Want To Model an Unhealthy Relationship for Your Children
Far too often, couples stay married because they have children and feel that their children would be hit too hard by divorce. But here's the truth: children have a harder time when unhappy parents stay together than when they split up. You'd rather be a single parent that models love and joy than model an unhealthy, unhappy relationship for your children. They should know what real love looks like, and settling for someone or something that doesn't make you happy isn't providing an example of love. It's best that your children don't grow up in a home filled with negativity, anger, and resentment, or lack of friendship between you and your partner. If you decide divorce is the best option and kids are involved, be sure to communicate openly with them, give them notice to prepare themselves for what's to come, and prioritize the relationships that both of you have with your children. Put your focus on a successful co-parenting relationship, which is still a beautiful example to set for your children.
3. You Get To Hit the “Reset” Button and Get a New Outlook on Life
You may be a completely different person than you were when you first got married. Maybe you've become more confident, more independent, or simply want a "fresh start" in life. Marriage may give a sense of security that you're used to, but divorce can provide a fresh perspective on what's really important in life. Give yourself an opportunity to grow independently (not that you can't within a marriage), find new hobbies, and experience new things on your own. You deserve to take a breath of fresh air and experience life in a new light.
4. There Is a Clear Path for You To Meet Your “Match”
There is someone in this world for you (and if you just want to be single, good for you)! But if you are truly looking for someone that matches your energy and the life you want to live, he/she is out there. Staying in an unhappy marriage is just keeping your "match" from finding you. It's keeping you from going out and meeting people that may be a better fit for your life. When you end a marriage that you feel stuck in, you're opening up a door and clearing a path to find that "perfect" person- not perfect, but perfect for you.
5. You Will Be Able To Devote Your Energy and Time to Other Areas of Your Life
Instead of placing all your energy into trying to understand or save your relationship, breaking it off will allow you to devote more time to yourself (and your kids, if you have them). Take time to do the things you have always wanted to do but never had time to. Pick up that hobby that your partner thought was a waste of time. Go back to school and get that degree your partner said you "didn't need." Start that business that you've dreamt of since you were little but weren't given the support to get it off the ground. The world is waiting for you; you can choose what's worth your time and energy.
If you have tried everything to save your marriage and you are still unhappy, it may be time to think about divorce. It is one of the hardest decisions individuals will ever have to make, but in some cases, it is the best course of action and may end up being the biggest blessing.
Think about what your partner brings to your life. Does your partner help you grow and thrive, or do they hurt you and stifle your growth?
The bottom line is this: Would you feel happier without your partner?
If you feel that your life would be significantly more joyful, hopeful, and filled with more happiness, then divorce may be what's best for your relationship. Ultimately, you know your relationship and your family best, so the decision is yours. No matter where you are in your relationship journey, just remember: You are not alone.
WRITTEN BYArsiak Vartenian