First things first: Divorce is not something to be taken lightly. The emotional and financial fallout from ending a marriage can be tremendous and traumatic for all involved.
Your partner is an addict.
Gambling. Sex. Alcohol. Drugs. Any or All. It doesn’t matter. This is a slippery slope and not one that you want to deal with.
Unless your partner is truly ready to get help or is solidly in recovery—and you’re in a program for partners of addicts, such as Al-Anon—it’s usually best to leave.
Being married to an addict can lead to legal and financial problems, as well as emotional abuse. Growing up in an addictive household can also cause severe damage to children, who may falsely believe that they’re responsible for their parent’s bad behavior.
You’re being physically or verbally abused.
This one’s non-negotiable. Period. No Excuses! It’s time to go. Yes, men can be abused too and they are more likely to not say anything for fear of being called soft, a punk or weak. Abusive relationships for the most part do not stop because the cycle of violence continues to repeat itself. Even if you aren’t in physical danger, verbal abuse can be extremely harmful, as it can take a serious toll on your mental and emotional well-being.
As with addiction, living in a household where there’s abuse puts children at risk, even if they aren’t the ones being physically harmed.
One of you wants children and the other doesn’t.
If you want to have a child and your spouse doesn’t, then neither one of you is going to be happy in that marriage. The only way a marriage can really work is if you both have a similar vision of who you are as a family. This is an issue that needs to be discussed early in the relationship so there is no misunderstandings or discrepancies on what each of you want.
There’s infidelity without remorse.
Cheating doesn’t have to be an automatic marriage-ender. The specifics matter a lot: Was it a one-night stand or a secret love affair that lasted years? Was it purely physical, or did one of you forge an intimate bond with someone new? Just as important—or perhaps even more so—is how the partner who strayed approaches the aftermath. Marriages DO survive infidelity but it will take a lot of work to rebuild the trust and respect that inevitably was lost.
You Simply Just Grow Apart
It doesn’t sound very dramatic, but sometimes a marriage subtly and quietly dissolves over the course of many years and there’s simply no going back. That’s sometimes a problem for couples who pair up very young. Truthfully, as individuals we should always be growing, evolving and changing. It can be hard to remain cohesive if you do not have things in common. Unfortunately, this is the reason many marriages dissolve.
It’s Time To Go
If you’ve gone to counseling; sought out advice from family, friends, and/or clergy; and have done just about everything you can think of to save your marriage, and the situation is still lousy, chances are you’d be better off solo.