You see someone driving down the road. Their car is in bad shape. They’re driving irresponsibly.
It’s an accident waiting to happen!
Well, just like there are signs when a person may end up in the ditch with their vehicle, there are signs when a couple is headed for divorce—the inevitable crash of their relationship.
Their marriage is in bad shape. They’re fighting a lot, acting irresponsibly.
A divorce waiting to happen!
So, how about your relationship? Where is it heading?
Signs That Your Marriage May Be Headed for Divorce
Of course, every relationship is different. Marriage has complex dynamics; it’s not one-size-fits-all. However, there are some unhealthy patterns that can reveal signs that your marriage could be headed for divorce.
Consider a few:
1. Increase in Frequency and Intensity of Conflict
A significant and noticeable increase in the frequency and severity of disagreements does not bode well for your relationship. Especially if you let the fighting seriously escalate, with anger and resentment lingering over a long period of time.
Also, a pattern of arguments and fights over the same thing can be a sign that you’re headed for trouble. For instance, you start with one issue and usually end up returning to an old, unresolved problem.
2. Changes in Communication Style
Consistently dysfunctional communication, such as going from talking in a normal voice to always having to snap and yell at each other, is a big, red flag that something is wrong. More subtle, but just as alarming, is when your conversations are superficial.
Certainly, you don’t have to talk about meaningful things all day long, but it’s not good if you can’t find anything substantial to say. If you keep the personal stuff shut up inside, you create a distance that can deteriorate the bond between you and lessen your affection for each other.
The same problem arises when only one of you is always speaking. Listening and hearing your spouse slowly dies off.
3. Lack of Respect and Taking Responsibility
It may have started with an innocent complaint, then it transforms into criticism, and eventually into judging your spouse’s personality. Now, the constant criticism and lack of respect you have for your mate are eating away at the foundation of your marriage—the love you once felt for each other.
Everything becomes your spouse’s fault. This inability to take responsibility for your part in conflicts or your own problems can be a very strong indicator that your marriage may be headed for divorce.
4. Growing Indifference
While growing outbursts are certainly not a good sign, the opposite—indifference—is just as dangerous. No longer caring about your partner is a signal that you’ve emotionally disengaged. And if you remain absolutely disinterested in putting forth any effort to improve your marriage, the future of your relationship is looking bleak.
5. Complete Disconnection
Indifference eventually leads to you spending less and less time together until you’re living completely separate lives. Not being together actually feels like a relief to you. At that point, you have suffered a genuine disconnect. Perhaps you’re already making future plans without each other. Your marriage is in a dire state—with one foot out of the door.
Keep in mind, that these signs could mean that you’re headed for divorce. The probability is there, but not certain. Every marriage has ups and downs to navigate and some can be pretty intense. The likelihood of it failing depends on how you handle the problems.
However, if you’ve noticed at least some of the above-mentioned signs in your relationship, it’s wise to seek out a marriage counselor. A skilled therapist can help you get to the core problems and address underlying issues so that your marriage never has to experience a fatal crash.