5 signs you are ready for Divorce

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date published

3rd January 2015

written by

Emma Heptonstall

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date published

3rd January 2015

5 signs you are ready for Divorce

5 signs you are ready to get divorced www.emmaheptonstall.com

So, its January.

The tree has been taken down and you’ve dropped the children off at school. Perhaps you’re  at work or you’re a stay at home mum. Whichever.

Your thinking about  the big “D” word that lots of women like you think about in January..

I’m not talking about your Diet, I’m talking about Divorce.

There I said it.

I said what you’re thinking, because that’s why you’re reading this. You are wondering whether you should get divorced.

Don’t worry, it will be our secret until you are ready to tell your best friend or your mum. It won’t come from me.

You know that divorce is a big deal, you know that it will change everything and you’re not really sure if you want to do it. You’re unhappy with the way things are in your marriage, you feel like you can’t go on like this anymore… but how do you really know if you’re ready to get divorced?

There’s no right or wrong answer. Some women just know, others are less sure.  This post will help you recognise 5 signs that you are ready for divorce.

5 Signs you’re ready for Divorce

 

1. You can Be honest with yourself

Being honest with yourself is the biggest favour that you can do yourself when you are thinking about divorce.

Divorce is just a legal process and actually, it’s really quite simple and straight forward. It’s the feelings surrounding divorce that takes its toll both emotionally and financially.

It’s how you deal with your feelings that makes the difference in your divorce.

In the article I wrote Help! My husband wants a Divorce, I suggested an exercise to help work out what you want in your marriage and to look at whether your needs are being met. If you need help with this, you can check it out here.

If you are being honest with yourself about how you feel, about the fact that you are unhappy and want to end your marriage, you’re ready for divorce.

 

2. You’re willing to ask yourself “Is my marriage really over?” and accept the consequences

This applies equally to whether divorce is your idea or not. The truth is, marriages don’t end because of only one person. They end because one person is unhappy. Usually, both people are; if only they’d be honest enough to admit it.

It maybe that you or your spouse has strayed, but remember, infidelity doesn’t come from nowhere.

People in emotionally happy marriages don’t cheat. Fact.

I know that’s hard to hear right now, particularly if your husband has cheated on you. It might be that you’ve cheated on him and feel guilty about it.

I’m not making excuses for either of you, nor is this about blame.

It’s about that gut wrenching honesty that you’ve ignored for a while.

If the thought of getting divorced fills you with terror about what will happen to you and the children, you’ve got more work to do before you ask for a divorce.

If however, you’re ready to accept that maybe your marriage is over and although scared about what that means, you’re willing to move forward, you’re probably ready for a divorce.

 

3. You’re willing to take responsibility

Remember, there’s nothing you can do to change the behaviour of your husband, you can only change yourself. If you want to. It may already be too late, but if it’s not, what are you willing to do to change your behaviour in your relationship? Are you willing to really hear what your husband feels? Are you willing to do things differently? Are you willing to be open and vulnerable to share with your husband how you feel, and ask him for what you really want? If the answer to these questions is no, you are ready for divorce.

Communication is the key to a successful relationship; it’s also the key to a successful divorce.

                                                                           Emma Heptonstall ∼ The Divorce Alchemist

 

4. You recognise that you and your husband have different values without blame

As we go through life we change. Sometimes we grow  with our partner at a similar rate. Sometimes we don’t. Its normal.  It’s just the way it is. When two people have very different values in a  relationship it can be challenging. Blame and anger often surface.

Perhaps you’ve started arguing. Arguing more than you used to.

Disagreeing with your partner is normal and its healthy to express your differences. But consider this.

Are your arguments solution focused? Are they trying to resolve the situation to mutual benefit; or are they about control, manipulation and blame?

Wanting a divorce when you are angry and blaming isn’t healthy.

Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about anger, blame and fighting that would be described as domestic violence. If that’s you, you can find support for that here.

I’m talking about the anger, frustration and blame you feel because your relationship isn’t working.

Divorce maybe inevitable, but you need to find support to deal with those feelings first. It maybe that your marriage isn’t over. Maybe you need help to get back into communication with your husband.

Getting back into communication will give you the clarity needed to make a good decision about divorce. Communication is key a successful relationship, it’s also the key to a successful divorce. If you accept that you and your husband have different values which mean that you can’t be in an intimate relationship from a place of calm, you’re ready for divorce. If you’d like a free 30 Minute Consultation, you can book it here: Consultation

5. You think about being divorced even when things are ok

It’s easy to think about getting divorced when you are unhappy, annoyed or upset. Perhaps you’ve threatened divorce in an argument. At that moment you mean it.

Things calm down and you forget all about it. Your relationship limps along for a few more months. Perhaps because it’s coming up to Christmas or you’ve been busy.

It’s January now and, if you’re honest, even though Christmas ‘wasn’t that bad’, you thought about getting divorced whilst watching your husband playing with the children and your parents haven’t got a clue how unhappy you are. If this is you, you’re probably ready for divorce.

Sometimes it can be really confusing and scary just taking those first steps to think about whether you are ready for divorce. Divorce coaching can help you get clear on whether divorce is right for you. It can also support you through the process if you decide that’s what you want. If you’d like a free 30 minute confidential chat, you can book your appointment here: Consultation.

Perhaps you are already clear that you are ready for divorce. Downloading my free e-book The smart woman’s Divorce Guide  – How to get control of your divorce before it gets control of you will help you get clear about what practical steps you need to take to manage your divorce.

 I’m Emma The Divorce Alchemist, I support women like you to transform their experience of divorce through coaching. You can  get to know me better here.

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29 Comments

  1. Anon

    Thank you for your blog, your words and insight. This has helped me during a very confusing stage in my marriage.

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Thank you Anon, do feel free to pop by regularly! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Tracy

    Thank you – helps clarify some questions

    Reply
  3. Kathryn

    Thank you. I have known for a while that although I love my husband I can’t make him happy and it’s made me unhappy through the course of two years. Only now we are seperated do I feel lighter although sad I also feel happier. I believe I am ready.

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Hi Kathryn
      It’s good to have that realisation even if its sad. You will find it easier to move forward. I run a private Facebook Group if you’d like to join its bit.ly/LadiesWhoLeave

      Emma x

      Reply
  4. Sonya

    I know I haven’t been happy for the last 10 years since I found out about his affair. He won’t talk about it so I feel there’s no resolution. I’m afraid to be alone. Most of the time I feel like we are just two people living in the same house , we never talk about things that matter, just the kids, bills, his business. Sometimes I think I want to leave but I don’t know how I would support myself, I’m almost 50! Maybe I should stick it out, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Because of his affair with a family member, I have no family. I am so embarrassed by it I haven’t told my few friends. I have no support. I just feel so alone.

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Hey Sonya
      Well done on reaching out and committing your thoughts to writing. This is the first step. Think about what you would like your life to be like – this is often the first step. You don’t have to do anything else. Know that you are worth it and deserve to be happy. Fear of being alone is very common, and often people realise that they are less alone on their own than they were when they were single because it gives them freedom and a new perspective on themselves.

      Emma x

      Reply
  5. Mer

    I wish I had an answer for all my questions. I have so much to think about, and I answer some of these thinking, is it my fault things are this way? I try to change and he doesn’t. I just wish I knew what to do.
    Most of these questions I am ok with, but with 2 young kids I don’t want to wreck their lives. I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Hi Mer
      Your children need you to be a great role model for them. Leaving isn’t the thing that damages children, its the way the adults handle it or staying in an unhappy relationship that teaches them that you should accept being unhappy in life. Remember that you will never change him – we can never change others, only ourselves 🙂

      Reply
  6. meg

    I think I want a divorce from my husband of 4 years. we have been together for 7 years. We have 2 children together and he has a dauggter from a previous relationship. He keeps changing jobs and taking jobs in another state. This time I at least have a job, but I feel like I wouldnt be able to make it on my own with 2 small children. he has threatened me with divorce several times. has even moved out for 2 full weeks a couple years back.

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Hi Meg – I wonder what it is that is driving the feeling that you couldn’t make it on your own with two children. Is that something you believe or something that he’s encouraged you to believe about yourself. If he’s moved out before and you’ve survived I’m guessing that you could make it. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes. If you are unhappy and not living the live you want, you owe it to yourself and your children to change your choices. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Stay taking small steps forward each day to get clear about what you need to do and who might be able to support you in all different ways.

      Reply
  7. Karla Santiago

    I’ve been married for 6 years, we’ve been together 9. I love my husband so much, we have a 9 month boy. He is such a great dad and he really tries hard to make me happy, but I’m not. For a long time I’ve been feeling that I don’t want to stay married to him. I think that I’m just not in love with him, we lost complicity. Almost two years ago I found out that he was starting an affair with a co-worker and it was horrible. The details hurt me so much that I can’t even write about it. They never got to have sex but they were planning it and I saw all the messages they had for almost 3 weeks. We began therapy and dating, then came our baby. I’ve been feeling very sad for almost 3 years now. I just want us to be happy, and I really don’t think we’ll be happy together.

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Thank you for sharing your story and your honesty, Karla. Sometimes just accepting that it’s over is the hardest part. Sometimes people fall out of love and the most kind and sweet thing that you can do is release them to find someone else who can love them. You too deserve to find happiness in or out of a relationship. Your son will thrive having two parents that are happy, even if that’s not together. I’m guessing that you’ve already explored the difference between a sadness that might be within you and the dynamic of your relationship as a source of unhappiness. If it’s right that you let go of the need to keep ‘trying, be sweet with yourself and take your time.

      Reply
  8. Melissa

    I am so confused. My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years. We have a daughter together. We argue a out my family often. Lately are arguments are big blowouts with a lot of blame and name calling. Who can hurt the other person more. There’s never a solution it keeps going in circles. I don’t know which way to turn.

    Reply
  9. Amrita

    Emma this was something very helpful for me. My marriage has hit a rough patch and my husband does not want a relationship with me. He treats me do crudely – a far cry away from the days we were together and got married 8 years ago.
    My heart weeks but I know I need to handle this as painful as it may seem!

    Reply
    • emma Heptonstall

      Hi Amrita
      I’m glad you found this topic useful. Keep seeking what you truly desire and you will find the strength to move forward.

      Reply
  10. Karla

    Hello! I filed for divorce back in May. I found out July last year that my husband was emailing nudes to other woman also was engaging conversations about the woman coming over to my house after a few drinks. We went through separation 3 years ago as soon as I moved out I found out I was pregnant with 2nd baby (his) so we decided to give it all we got and make this family work. After a couple year July last year I found out that he was emailing these woman the dates that I wasn’t home the days that I was out of town with his kids taking them to see grandparents. Keep in mind we have been mArried for 11 years. I asked for a divorce August last year but I delayed it because i wanted to make sure. He is active duty military so he ended up getting deployed November-end of March. When he got home I was still feeling the same done and over with it. I know I deserve better my kids deserve better. His excuse was that he was feeling empty inside but he has a history of doing this before and I let it go every time. Anyways I filed and we still in the process. Well 4 weeks ago I started having second thoughts like I missed my husband or the person I met 10 years ago. I’m scared to break my family or the unknown part. I told him about my second thoughts he claims his deployment and our situation made him a more mature and different person. We decided to start from the begging as friends but you know how that goes . Everytime I see him on his phone it remind me of that every time I see him it reminds me of my pain. I guess I haven’t forgive him I have no idea how. I go back and fort I want out of this because I know I deserve a better husband Igave him so much of me and he didn’t appreciate any of it. I’m a good wife !! And I know it !! But then the other part of me obviously still feels love for him and still has the questions what if this is the one? I don’t want to break my family I have 2 young kids one 8 and 2ish. I had pause the divorce just because I’m so hesitant !!!!! I know yll can’t tell me what to do but any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Emma Heptonstall

      Hey Karla

      Inside you is the answer you seek. Are you afraid to acknowledge it? Do you love your husband still or the idea of him I wonder? You are a strong woman, who knows she deserves more. Ask your fear what it really wants for you – it’ll likely tell you it wants to keep you safe. Keep asking and keep asking and you will uncover what you truly want. When your own fear recognises that you truly want connection and recognition as a woman, partner and mother, you can work with your fear to find a way forward – whether thats to suggest couples counselling and the anxiety that can bring, or to reignite the divorce so that you can find the life you want.

      Emma xx

      Reply
  11. Kasey

    Hi Emma,
    My husband and I have been married for 4 years and together for 7. We have a beautiful two year old son together. My hubby and I separated about 8 months ago. If I may be honest, we had an easy breezy relationship until we had our son. It is so awful to say that, because of course, he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me! However, my hubs wasn’t ready when it came down to it! Typical problems after baby. We decided to stagger work schedules to avoid the high prices of daycare. Financially struggling, always exhausted, not enough time for each other/date night, and him wanting to hang out with his buddies and drink definitely caused some resentment. We were arguing on a regular basis. We became totally disconnected, like strangers! Lonely, angry, sad, and terrified about damaging my sweet baby, I finally left. Started the divorce process prematurely at that time. After 3 months of serious separation, I started to come around and agreed to try to work things out. At the beginning of our separation, I started grad school and moved home (another city about an hour away). Since we have reconciled he has lied to me several times about going out with his buddies and drinking! I always hold my ground (or so I think) for a short time and then rationalize the situation! Last month, at the close of my semester, we made an offer on a home, which would have been our first house! During the inspection period, he lied about going to work, went out with his buddies, didn’t tell his family that was babysitting or I, and proceeded to drink too much and not come home! I snapped! Backed out of the house and told him I wanted to separate… AGAIN! Long-winded story, I know! I am so torn, Emma! I don’t want to become another statistic for a failed marriage! I don’t want my son to be shoveled back and forth between households. But I am absolutely miserable. For so long, I have put aside what I want. We all know how having a child can be somewhat of an identity loss. For awhile it was all about my little one and what was best for him. Now the tables are turning. I am working my ass off- going to school, working, and functioning as a single parent most weeks! I know I deserve better… but are these problems worth throwing away a marriage!? I feel like I try so hard to be loving and understanding. I devote every spare minute to this family. Honestly, I have never been so confused in my life. At this point, I really feel my emotional stability dissipating! How is it possible to really be 50/50 on such a matter? I’m trying to be honest with myself and gain any type of direction! Any help is appreciated!

    Reply
    • Emma Heptonstall

      Hi Kasey,
      Your story is very familiar – wanting the best for you and your son and sometimes they feel like competing desires. I invite you to consider this: if you stay in your marriage as it is, are you and your husband together, able to be the role models you want to be for your son. What patterns and lessons will be learn? What will he learn about personal responsibility and happiness? What will he learn if you leave?

      Emma xx

      Reply
  12. Pat

    Hi my husband and i have been married 14 years i work from home and have 5 kids. 3 are addopted and one moved out. My husband is a great provider and hard worker, he makes sure the kids and i are taken care of. I met him when i was 17 and married at 20. I have never been on my own or had to take care of myself. He pretty much has the final say in just about everything conserning the house, the cars, my job, and even the kids. If he dont agree with my ideas, well they just dont happen. I feel trapped. I try to make the best of it but i am so unhappy that it is taking a toll on my mental health. I am snappy with the kids and have 0 ambition. I think about divorce but i am so scared he will make it extreamy difficult and will use the kids against me. He is way smarter then me and will find a way to ruin me. Please help.

    Reply
    • Emma Heptonstall

      Hi Pat
      Thank you for reaching out and writing. Yours is a very common situation. Often times, the thought of leaving is worse than the actual doing. Start by thinking about where you would live and what you would do. What are the things that you were once passionate about or interested in? When we begin to think positively about life after divorce, it makes the leaving easier because there’s something to look forward to. You are not alone. If you’re on Facebook, consider joining Ladies Who Leave group – you’ll see that there are lots of women in your situation.
      Talking first steps means that you get to think more clearly about the life you’d love to be living, rather than the one you have.
      You say that your husband is a good provider but somewhat controlling. He may be shocked and angered that you want to change your life. Have you asked him to consider marriage therapy because you are unhappy. THat’s often a good place to start because you have the support of an independent person whilst you are speaking. If he refuses, he can see the cause and effect of his behaviour if you do decide to leave.

      Reply
  13. Tony

    There seems to be a lot of blame on the husband in this article. Does the same rationale apply to irrational wives?

    Reply
    • Emma Heptonstall

      Of course Tony absolutely! All divorce information applies to both men and women. This article isnt about blame. Blame isnt helpful. It’s about seeing what’s really happening and your own role in it. This site is aimed at women that is all!

      Reply
  14. Jacquelyn Grube

    Oh boy, my story is quite different…I’m 57 and my husband is 67. We’ve been married 25 years this September, together 31. We have a 22 year old wonderful daughter who just graduated college and will be beginning her own life soon. He never wanted kids and has not always been a ‘present’ father (emotional). Throughout the years I have weathered much demeaning, blame and yes physical threat. We’ve had some good years and yes I lov(ed) him. He has never ‘gotten’ or had the marriage connection, devotion, ride or die bond. We have not been intimate for 4 years, he takes blood pressure medication that is part to blame. He was prescribed Viagra around that time, per his request, and has never taken one that I’m aware of. Since he has rarely expressed and desire to meet my sexual needs. I have endlessly tried to involve him in tools and exercises in ‘communication’ throughout the years, the last few with ultimatums. I at the point in my life I am completely drained of any hope of daily happiness. I’m emotional drained and tired of trying. I’m am very strong willed and I was brought up not to take any shit from anyone. I have been an ICU nurse for 35 years and am ashamed of myself for allowing someone to treat me that way. I’m not really scared of divorce just terrified of the grieving. I’m constantly crying and spending time alone. My husband just keeps going through his normal daily activities as if there is nothing different. I haven’t worn my wedding rings for over a week now and he hasn’t even noticed. My daughter has and I have always been honest with her about my feelings and have spoken about her father in a negative way several times. She is very close to both of us and it’s affecting her deeply, It makes me feels very selfish but as stated before, she graduated college as a Dental Hygienist this week and will be starting her own life. Thoughts on a ‘gray’ divorce?

    Reply
    • Emma Heptonstall

      Hello – ‘gray’ divorce can be some of the most liberating of all. You know yourself. You’ve raised your family. You still work hard. My guess is that you are already grieving for the relationship you didn’t have that you’d hoped you would. Wouldn’t you love to experience that whilst you’re still young? It’s often hard even for older and adult children to accept that their parent’s marriage is over but it isn’t your responsibility to stay in an unfulfilling marriage to spare your children’s feelings. The end of your marriage isn’t the end of their family unit – that will always remain.

      Reply
  15. Zoe Campos

    It really helped when you said that there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding on divorce. Oftentimes, women who have been neglected for so long just know that it is time to leave the relationship and I’m in this exact situation. I don’t know if I should blame him for serving in the military for a long time, but the lack of understanding on his part certainly convinces me that it’s time to consult a divorce attorney.

    Reply
  16. Kassie

    I’ve been married 15+years and I think I am ready to divorce my husband. We don’t communicate well and he blames me for everything that goes wrong. I just sit in silence as he lectures me on how to be a good wife. He says I am not a good mother. He criticizes my mental health, friendships, upbringing, etc. My confidence is now in the toilet. I tried everything to be perfect but nothing is good enough. I dread coming home to him, being intimate with him or even talking to him. I do love him, but I am not in love with him any longer. I find myself daydreaming of being in a happier relationship with someone else. He’s recently started making comments about my weight but when I started working out, he asked me why was I concerned about my looks. I’m so drained.

    Reply

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