Heartbreak

16 Warning Signs You're Heading Toward A Divorce (Or Probably Should Be)

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woman thinking about divorce while sitting next to her husband looking at his phone

I'm not a genie with a crystal ball, but when I look back at my marriage, there were signs of divorce and red flags that our relationship was falling apart that I missed while I was in the thick of it.

Truly, no one can predict each and every divorce, although some situations are more obvious than others.

Relationship Restoration Coach and the Founder of the Institute of Genetic Energetics Larry Michel explains, “Statistically, the two most common reasons cited for divorce are infidelity and financial issues. Right behind that are a dozen more ‘excuses’ for separating or divorce.”

Aside from the numerous rationalizations couples use as grounds for divorce, Michel says that “perhaps the only healthy reason to consciously uncouple and that is lack of a shared vision and radically different values and no vision for the partnership.”

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Here are a few early signs of a failing marriage that I missed before I got divorced. If you notice any of these in your relationship, you may be headed there as well.

16 Signs of divorce to watch out for

1. You go to bed at separate times.

OK, so if you and your partner always do this, then it isn't a big deal. Some people are just on different sleep schedules.

But if you and your partner always retired together at night and suddenly are not (and it's not because the partner's work schedule changed), there could be trouble on the horizon.

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2. You avoid sex.

If you're hearing, "I'm tired honey," or you're the one saying those three evil words in an attempt to reject sex, there could be trouble a-brewing.

3. Your partner picks up a new hobby that takes up all their time.

If your loved one takes on a hobby that is new and becomes all-consuming to which you rarely spend time with him or her, this could be a bad detour in the relationship.

4. You start to ask permission to do every little thing.

This is one hidden sign of divorce: you didn't feel you had to but now feel you must ask your spouse's permission to do things, whether they are big or small.

It may be that he is trying to control you, or it could be an issue you are creating on your own. Either way, it's a bad sign.

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5. Your partner is spending more time on social media.

If those social media habits start to take over, be very wary of what's going on in your partner's social media world. He or she may not be cheating, but may be seeking social interaction outside of you to an extreme. Or feeling lonely.

6. You take too many selfies.

When women are heading toward a breakup, are in the divorce process, or are feeling neglected by their partners, the selfie count goes up. A selfie you share with others is sharing a part of you and is a way to connect with other people by sharing your face, although not in an intimate way like how a relationship would function.

A selfie can make you feel empowered and attractive. Too many selfies may suggest that you are not feeling so attractive and validated in your relationship; therefore, you would like others to appreciate you. Looking towards the outside for approval rather than looking inward is a big sign of divorce.

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7. One of you is taking a spiritual journey — alone.

If one partner starts to delve deep into a religion or spiritual path that the other partner is not "in on," this is a clear sign of two people taking very huge and most likely, permanent paths.

Michel adds, “Divergent values are at the core of why marriages or committed partnerships struggle and dismantle themselves.”

8. You're having trouble at work.

If one spouse is having difficulty at work, there may be more going on in his or her head that doesn't include work, but instead, marital dissatisfaction.

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9. Your spouse is working a lot more.

If your spouse is MIA and constantly working, he or she may indeed be working. Either way, it's a sign of martial trouble.

Either the spouse is diving into work to avoid home life or is not working as much as he or she is claiming to.

10. Your spouse suddenly changes their appearance.

Is your spouse doing a makeover or in a rush to lose weight, yet he or she doesn't want to exercise with you or doesn't want to dress up or show off his or her new look for you? That new look may be for your partner ... or someone else.

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11. Your partner is talking about new things.

Is your spouse's conversation suddenly different? Is he or she chatting about new topics unfamiliar to you? There may be people in your partner's life you don't even know about.

12. You have family drama.

If either your family or your spouse's family detests the other partner, this is a huge red flag. It may seem like it won't affect your marriage in the beginning, but let me tell you: love does not conquer family drama.

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13. You're physically present but emotionally absent.

If you or your husband/wife are present with each other, but are absent — as in, not listening to each other speak, sitting next to each other but overly engaged in tech or phone, not being affectionate but are in the same room together, it's one of the big fat signs of a failing marriage.

14. Your spouse has a new friend they confide in.

Your spouse has a new friend he or she confides in often, eh? Warning. Warning. Warning.

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15. You don't spend quality time together.

Did the two of you used to spend quality time together and now everything is a separate event? Divorce is in the cards unless you two start to have fun together, again — and not just fun apart from each other.

16. You have a fear of being vulnerable.

If one of you is afraid to share either things that happen or your feelings, it's a big sign there is trouble in paradise. Happy couples may not like sharing certain things with their spouses, but they still do — and those worried feelings are not so pressing or huge!

When considering the larger picture, “Infidelity and dishonesty, financial issues, inequality, health and appearance issues, lack of intimacy, physical and emotional abuse,” Michel clarifies, “are all the result of divergent values and lack of a shared vision that is unresolvable with even the most conscious and compassionate communication.”

The bottom line, as Michel reveals, is that “The same stories and beliefs that determine the values and visions are typically also the very reason why shame, blame, guilt, resentment, and judgment fuel the dismantling behaviors. With these emotions present, no relationship can stand the test of time."

If the issues between you and your spouse are above this threshold though, there is the chance you two can work things through, and that there is hope after all.

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Laura Lifshitz is a writer, former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate who writes about divorce, relationships, women’s issues, and parenting for The New York Times, Women’s Health, Working Mother, PopSugar, and more.

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