People all think that divorce happens quickly, all at once. And I can understand why it seems that way.
So many people who’ve been through a divorce can pinpoint an exact moment that their marriage ended. A moment in time that changed their life forever.
But it doesn’t work that way at all. There a million little things that build up until the volcano that is your crappy marriage finally explodes. And when it does, there’s lava everywhere.
There’s always a moment though. One straw that breaks the camel’s back (I’m so metaphorical today)— something that happens that you will look back on and say “Yup. That’s when it all ended.”
The Day I Knew My Marriage Was Over
We’d had so many fights. Threatened divorce so many times. He’d slept in couches and in motels.
I’d spent countless nights in the guest bedroom.
But it was always in so much anger. And once the anger subsided, we just kept sloughing along in the same way we’d been doing for years.
Until one day.
One day when I sent a family member a slew of text messages about my husband. About how he just wasn’t the one for me. That I couldn’t handle one more second with him.
Then my husband needed my phone. He’d misplaced his, and was going to use my phone to ping it. And I couldn’t hand it to him. If my friend texted back, or if he’d read the text message I sent, then he’d see what I said about him.
He would know how, without anger, without any sort of argument, I really felt about him. And that wasn’t something I wanted to share with him.
And that day. In that quiet, seemingly innocuous moment, my marriage ended. We decided that day to divorce, and started making the plans.
How Do You Know When Your Marriage Is Over?
It’s not like there is any one sign that your marriage is over. Sure you’re fighting all the time, that’s a red flag. By plenty healthy marriages have all sorts of fighting.
Sure couples therapy can help, but we’d been to see a variety of marriage counselors. Is there a point of no return? Always. I know you want to save your marriage, but after a long time, it’s sometimes just too hard for a married couple to stay that way.
It’s hardly ever something giant. The crazy thing that makes shocks you to the core. Those things you can get through. It’s the moment you realize you don’t want to “get through” it together that brings the big change to life.
And so, it’s something I try to remember. I don’t make decisions out of anger. Volcanoes rumble before they explode. They give off a lot of warning.
Watch for the warning signs. To make your marriage better pay attention. Spend time with each other. Work on your own mental health.
Don’t sweep the little stuff under the rug. Don’t ignore issues just because they aren’t massive.
You and your marriage will be better off for it.