5 Troubling Signs That Divorce May Be Your Only Option

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 Signs That Divorce Is The Best Thing For Your Marriage

Ending a relationship is often a devastating experience. Ending a marriage is even more daunting.

The longer you're with someone, the more disruption "ending it" causes. Whether relationships are good or bad, we come to rely on the other person's presence in our lives and without them life feels scary — unknown. Making the decision to leave a relationship takes courage and conviction.

Of course, nobody dreams of divorce when first entering a marriage, however the reality is that a hefty number of marriages will result in just that. Does this mean that our society takes marriage less seriously? Or, does it mean that we are less willing to continue in unhealthy relationships?

One thing we DO know, is that women initiate divorce more often than men, which could mean that women feel more empowered to leave their marriage than they did 30 years ago.

Nonetheless, if your heart is telling you it's time to leave ... here are 5 signs divorce really is the only option left: 

1. You feel completely isolated

You notice that you see your friends less frequently and when you do, you don't feel the same feeling of connection that you once did. People who once held an important space in your life and offered you valuable guidance seem to have lost their value. Even when you are with friends or family, you find that you still feel isolated and alone. Feeling isolated amongst those with whom you once felt close to could be a sign that you have lost trust or faith in those around you.

If your partner has subtly undermined your "close" people, it's more likely that you will feel this way. Having formerly strong, close relationships undermined is a sure sign that your partner doesn't have your best interests at heart, or feels jealous of your other close relationships. It's time to analyze the reasons for this and assess whether your partner respects the people with whom you feel connected.

2. You constantly second guess yourself

Even if it's a simple task, such as buying groceries for dinner or choosing a restaurant for a meal, you notice that you worry about making the wrong decision. Your mind goes back to all the times your partner criticized your choices, however simple, and you feel afraid of disappointing your partner again.

You do remember a time when you felt confident in yourself and your choices, but you can't seem to find that part of yourself anymore. If your partner repeatedly chips away at you by undermining your choices, then perhaps it's no longer about your choices — but, about their standards.

If your relationship has damaged your self-esteem, this is a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship, which requires some deep reflection and hard work.

3. You keep reflecting on times you should or could have left

If you find yourself reminiscing about a time when it would have been simpler to end the relationship, but now feel stuck because your lives are too intertwined, this could mean that you actually still want to leave. Fantasizing about having the strength, resources or conviction to leave the relationship is a sign that there is an underlying desire go, or at the least, take your power back within the relationship.

If you reminisce about times when you were stronger, then it means that your gumption has weakened. Healthy relationships foster strength and self-esteem, and if you don't feel this, then it could be time to reevaluate the relationship.

4. You feel that nothing you do is ever good enough

You try as hard as you can to do things in a way that pleases your partner, yet no matter what you do ... you're still criticized. Even though you're doing your utmost to create a good life or a happy relationship, it seems your partner often finds a reason to let you know why your best just isn't enough.

Once you're at at this stage, it's very difficult to even see that you're in an unhealthy relationship. You begin accepting all the messages from your partner that you aren't good enough. Deferring to your partner constantly about whether you're good enough, only to find yourself being put down, means there are detrimental dynamics taking place in the relationship.

5. You lie to those around you about how the relationship is going

You notice that when you talk with friends or family, you often talk your relationship up, even though you know in your heart that things are dire. You look back on communications with others and struggle to see the truth in what you tell them.

If you are covering up the dysfunction within the relationship, this is a sign that there's no returning from this kind of dynamic. If your partner is adamant that discussions about the relationship remain private and only between the two of you, that's a problem. Needing to hide how things really are is damaging.

Healthy partners encourage their loved ones to create spaces to vent or discuss the relationship in an honest way, so if this isn't happening, that's a red flag that the relationship is moving towards some very harmful undercurrents.

While the signs above are only meant as a guide, most of us know in our hearts (and our guts) when things are bad for us.

Perhaps, there's a multitude of reasons why leaving a marriage is unthinkable including financial ties, children and other mutual responsibilities.

Making sure that you have the strength and resources to cope in whatever situation you choose is vital, but staying in a relationship that is destroying you from the inside out is detrimental. Seeking professional help or talking, honestly, with trusted confidants could help you to see the truth of the situation and know what the next best move could be.