Is it ever right to divorce? Of course, divorce should be avoided whenever possible. It's not a solution to marital problems. Just an escape hatch. If you don't master the art of fair fighting, communication skills, empathy and compassion for the needs of your partner, divorce is not likely to be of value in your life. Chances are you'll move on to another relationship, bringing with you the same unresolved baggage and issues which is destined to lead to new discord with your new partner.
That said, there are signals that divorce might be the best option for a couple. These include:
If one or both partners reach a point of disrespect for their spouse, there is little that can repair that damage. Sound relationships are based on respect. With awareness and work, relationship problems can be healed. But once the glue of mutual respect is gone there is little that can make a marriage work.
Major parenting conflicts
No two parents are in agreement at all times. However, constant fighting and discord around parenting issues hurts everyone in the family, especially the children. In many cases, the family dynamics work more smoothly when there are two parental homes for the children — and reduced conflict around them.
Emotional, verbal or physical abuse
Abusive treatment on any level is a signal the marriage is not serving or supporting your psychological needs. Put downs, threats, sarcasm, fear tactics, control strategies and other behaviors are all signs of abuse. Don't wait for things to escalate to a physical level. Leave as quickly as you can.
You owe it to yourself and your spouse to do everything you can to resolve marital conflict before deciding to divorce. Seeking out professional support is always smart as an objective professional can provide insights that can inject new life into a marriage. However, and that's only IF both parties are on board to give it a chance. Once you've explored all avenues, then you can close the door on your marriage knowing there is no unfinished business left behind.
Of course, if you're a parent, divorce does not end the relationship with your spouse. For the sake of your children, it is important to make every effort to co-parent effectively and give your children the gift of love from both parents whenever possible.
Rosalind Sedacca is a Divorce & Parenting Coach, author and founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network for parents. Get her free ebook, articles, coaching services and valuable resources on divorce and parenting at www.childcentereddivorce.com.