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How do you know it’s time to divorce?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP April 13, 2021

Believe it or not, this time of year is a common one for people to think about ending their marriages. It makes sense, if you think about it. Over the holidays, marriage troubles can become harder to handle. You want to make things fun for the kids, but differences in your lifestyle, spending habits, or personalities keep coming up.

Many people wait for the holidays to be over and then contact a divorce attorney. But how do you know if the time is right for you?

It’s personal. It’s different for everyone. Every marriage is its own story, and the decision to stay or to leave is yours alone.

Have you tried and failed to fix the marriage?

One factor you might consider is whether you’ve tried your best to make it work. Perhaps you’ve tried therapy, but it didn’t make enough of a difference. Or, perhaps your spouse refuses to engage in therapy. You’ve talked to your supportive friends and loved ones. You’ve gone around and around, but nothing changes.

If you find yourself talking more to your friends than your spouse, that may be a trouble sign.

Divorce over 50 is increasing in the US

These days, it’s much more common to divorce later in life. So-called “gray divorce” has doubled, according to a study by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research.

This may be in part because people are living longer. Many people do stay in unhappy marriages until their children leave home. Then, the empty nest signals that is time to move on. When you’re 50, it’s hard to justify staying in an unhappy relationship for the rest of your life when that could mean 25 or 30 more years.

Once your kids are raised, you may feel like you can no longer tolerate the situation for the rest of your life.

Have you talked about it?

You loved each other at one point, but now life is unmanageable. Have you discussed your feelings with your spouse? Or is it too hard? Keep in mind that your spouse may be unhappy, as well.

“Try to do everything you can to save your marriage, but if you’ve grown apart, then you need to be courageous,” advises one man who talked to “I felt trapped. It was a primal feeling. Staying married wasn’t fair to her or me. Life’s pretty fragile,” he added.

Whatever you decide to do, get support. Talk to a therapist or a concerned friend. Only you can know if your marriage is over, but caring people can help you come to the right decision.