The thought of divorce can be scary and overwhelming. That’s why a lot of people end up suppressing these thoughts. But this can be dangerous, as burying your thoughts and feelings about a failing marriage can leave you trapped in a toxic relationship.

So, how do you know when it’s time to call it quits on your marriage? Let’s look at some characteristics that may be indicative of your marriage coming to an end:

  1. The focus is on winning arguments: All couples argue from time to time, but the way those arguments play out and resolve can be indicative of the trajectory of your relationship. Therefore, if you and your spouse are focused on winning the argument at all costs, you’ve both lost prioritization on preserving the relationship and working through your differences.
  2. Provocation is present: Many failing marriages see an extraordinary amount of provocation. Some of this provocation may be attributable to one spouse’s subconscious desire to end the relationship. It’s unhealthy to live in an environment where your buttons are pushed and you’re always in a state of heightened alert.
  3. You can’t be yourself: You should be comfortable in your relationship with your spouse. If you feel like you have to act like someone you’re not when around your spouse, you can’t truly be happy.
  4. You put everything else first: In a lot of failing marriages, one or both spouses prioritize any and everything else over their relationship. They may put work, their children, or their friendships with others first, which can cause the marriage to flounder.
  5. You lose trust: If you no longer trust your spouse with your most intimate fears and thoughts, and you feel like you can no longer talk to them about the things that are important to you, your marriage may be headed toward dissolution. After all, you’re probably feeling pretty lonely if you cannot celebrate with and confide in your spouse.
  6. You can’t forgive: If infidelity has occurred in your marriage, trust has been broken. Even if you try your best to repair your relationship with your spouse, sometimes it just isn’t possible. If you’re in that situation now and constantly find yourself stuck in the events of the past, you might want to consider if it’s better for you to just end the marriage.
  7. You fantasize about leaving: If, even after you consider the scary reality of actually breaking out of your marriage and starting a new life on your own, you still want to leave your spouse or are excited by the prospect of starting a new life, it might be time to think about marriage dissolution.
  8. You don’t listen to those who tell you to stay: When you discuss your marital struggles, you probably have some people who advise you to stay in your relationship. These individuals might point out the benefits of remaining married to your spouse or the difficulties of getting divorced. But if even after hearing that you still advocate for why it would be best to leave, you might be ready for divorce.

Are you ready for the next steps?

If several of these signs are present in your marriage, you might be ready for the next steps, which means preparing for and actually filing for divorce. But there’s a lot to consider in these matters, which is why you shouldn’t go into the process blindly. Instead, you may want to have a zealous advocate on your side who will help guide you, step by step, through the process and argue for an outcome that is right for you. If that’s the kind of ally that you want on your side, now may be the time for you to look for the attorney who is right for you.