In the beginning, marriages can be a lot of fun! You get engaged, walk down the aisle, honeymoon at the beach and spend time day dreaming about the life you will build together.

However, as time goes on, situations and people change. Over time, you or your partner may begin to question the relationship and the stability of the marriage. You may be contemplating separation or you may even already be living independently.

And, while most rocky marriages can be revived through marriage counseling, guidance and therapy; sometimes, after all other support avenues are exhausted, divorce is simply the answer.

How do you recognize trouble in the relationship? While each relationship has its own living, breathing dynamic, there are some early warning signs that commonly arise in couples seeking a separation.

Communication Issues

It is no surprise that one of the leading causes of divorce is communication issues. More specifically, a lack of communication can lead to separation and divorce. A couple needs to work as a team. They need to be able to come to each other for support and understanding. They also need to be able to talk about both the little and big things in life.

If you and your spouse constantly feel at-odds and can no longer have conversations about things that matter, it may be a sign that the marriage is rocky.

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

What is another major sign that it’s time for a divorce? A lack of intimacy in a marriage can be a bad sign. Intimacy is an important part of marriage. It is the main difference between a friendship relationship and a romantic relationship.

There may be lulls or times when you need space, or one partner may be dealing with medical issues, but if you can’t remember the last time you were intimate (sexually or emotionally) with your partner, this could be a red flag that the relationship is in trouble.

Trust is Number One

During your life, your spouse is supposed to be one of the main people that you can trust completely. It is impossible to feel comfortable in any marriage if there is a lack of trust.

Many things can lead to a lack of trust including infidelity, lying, and disrespectful behavior. It is not a good sign if you constantly second-guess your partner or have trouble believing the things that they tell you.

There is Contempt

Contempt is a major marriage killer. It can range from resenting your partner to full-on despising them. Your mood may change from positive to negative when they walk in a room. They may criticize your every action or stop treating you like an equal. Whatever the reasons for the contempt, no marriage can last if these feelings of bitterness and anger are not addressed.

Stepping Out

If you or your spouse cheats on the other – it may be time for a divorce. Cheating can come in both physical and emotional forms.

While some couples recover after infidelity, many do not. If your spouse has cheated on you it may be time to seek counsel and discuss your divorce and separation options.

Loss of Yourself

Some relationships can be consuming. At first, it is intoxicating to be with your partner. However, as time goes on, you may start to feel like you have lost yourself. You no longer have hobbies that you enjoy or you no longer make any time for yourself.

In every relationship, you need to be able to still be you. The loss of self can lead to relationship problems and even separation.

Toxic Relationship

A toxic relationship is one where the dynamic has changed, and it is full of negative energy. Where you were once happy, now all you feel is dread or contempt. Some toxic relationships can even turn mentally, emotionally, or physically abusive. While some toxic relationships might be worked on with marriage counseling, any type of abuse is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.


The marriage may be over, and it may be time for divorce if you no longer care about the relationship. It means that you have already given up. You may be dreaming of a different life that does not include your spouse. If you no longer care about your relationship and you have already given up, it is a sign that it may be time to start leading separate lives.

Contact Law Offices of Parnell, Michels & McKay

Our law practice covers every area of family law and includes all divorce and post-divorce issues, unwed parenting and property issues, domestic violence, adoption, guardianships and other family issues. Our family lawyers ensure that our clients understand the law as it applies to the issues they are facing. We are sensitive to the relationship changing between couples and work to bring the issues to a conclusion promptly and fairly with sensitivity and compassion. Contact our office today and we will help you with move forward with your legal separation, divorce and post-divorce issues.

At Parnell, Michels & McKay, our law practice covers every area of family law. This includes all divorce and post-divorce issues, unwed parenting and property issues, domestic violence, adoption, guardianships and other family issues.