Making the decision to divorce, in most cases, takes time and soul searching on the part of one or both spouses.
I’m not a divorce promoter, someone who coaches clients to divorce. Not unless one of the behaviors below has taken place. If a marriage is exposed to one of the following behaviors by a spouse, in my opinion, the marriage is over.
As great as the marriage once was these behaviors indicate the marriage is on its last breath.
And, if it was once great it can be hard to accept and pull the plug in spite of how egregious a spouse has behaved. There isn’t enough life support, marital therapy or allowances that can be made to keep the marriage alive in some situations. Don’t second guess your decision to leave, just leave.
4 Behaviors That Bring An End To a Marriage:
1. Child Sexual Abuse:
In high school, a close friend was molested by her father. It was a scandalous event in which my brave friend told the school counselor after her mother refused to intervene at home on her behalf.
Her father was sentenced to several years in prison and her mother visited him on Sundays and made certain her young daughter knew he would be returning to the home after his release. Aside from the "Ick" factor of remaining emotionally and sexually intimate with a man who molested her child think of the emotional damage done when she repeatedly turned a blind eye to the damage done to her daughter.
According to the National Center for PTSD, “If childhood sexual abuse is not treated, long-term symptoms can go on through adulthood.” These may include:
- PTSD and anxiety.
- Depression and thoughts of suicide.
- Sexual anxiety and disorders, including having too many or unsafe sexual partners.
- Difficulty setting safe limits with others (e.g., saying no to people) and relationship problems.
- Poor body image and low self-esteem.
- Unhealthy behaviors, such as alcohol, drugs, self-harm, or eating problems. These behaviors are often used to try to hide painful emotions related to the abuse.
And that is for children who have a parent to support and advocate for them. A marriage is NEVER more important than the needs of a child, especially in the case of sexual abuse by a parent. This should be a no-brainer.
2. Domestic Violence:
When I use the term domestic violence I’m talking about physical, emotional and verbal violence and abuse. If it is normal for a spouse to hit you; if the neighbors can hear the screaming yelling and cursing over the sounds of their television and you know longer trust your own judgment, get out.
No marriage is worth living in fear, walking on eggshells or doubting your own sanity. Run, from it, don’t walk!
3. Serial Cheating:
Infidelity can be forgiven once. When cheating becomes a recurring theme in a marriage, there is no longer a marriage. If your spouse has had numerous affairs that's an indication there is no commitment to you are the marriage. Why are you hanging in? It’s one-sided and marriage is a partnership where the well-being of both spouses is taken into consideration.
A spouse who repeatedly cheats is only concerned with their well-being. Don’t allow someone to treat you that way. Show some self-respect by showing the cheater the door.
4. His/her family and friends don’t like you:
If you’ve done nothing to incur the wrath of your spouse’s family and friends then your spouse has said something that reflects poorly upon you.
Think about it, why do we dislike people? Because they’ve done or said something to harm us or, because we’ve been told something negative about them. If you can say, with 100% certainty, that you’ve treated your spouse’s family and friends respectfully and received no warmth in return, it’s time to stop wondering what is wrong and accept the fact that it is your spouse stirring that pot.
Some marriages are beyond fixing. Some spouses are beyond sacrificing for. If you’ve faced one or more of the above behaviors in your marriage it is time to focus on how to move on, get over it and get on with your life.
If you aren’t able to do that, it is time to find a counselor and find out why you are willing to accept less that you and your children deserve from a marriage.