How bad does a marriage have to be before we call it quits? Most marriage counselors don’t come right out and tell their clients when enough is enough, instead focusing on helping couples work on their issues and rediscovering what they love about each other. But Steve Ing isn’t that kind of counselor. He’s a marriage and family therapist who recognizes when it’s time to throw in the towel.
So when should you cut your losses and move on? Ing says these are five great reasons to get a divorce:
- Physical abuse - This is hands down the top reason a couple shouldn’t stay married, according to Ing. If your partner is physically violent with you or threatens your safety or your life, all bets are off. “In perpetrating physical abuse, they have given up any moral right to the sanctity of marriage,” Ing says. “They are self-disqualified from further consideration. Get out!”
- Emotional abuse - Right up there with domestic violence is abuse like name-calling, putdowns, guilt trips, silent treatment and other emotional manipulation. No one can thrive in a relationship like that, even if they can survive it.
- Refusing to do anything about an obvious problem - We’re talking about things like substance abuse here. When one partner regularly checks out of life with substances, the other person is essentially on their own anyway. So even though they’re still legally married, the essence of the partnership is gone and at that point, it’s time to move on.
- Your mate is incapable of love - Or they’re not capable of loving you and either way it’s a tough one to admit. For most of us who are fully able to love others, the idea that there are people who just can’t do it is difficult to understand. But for some folks, including the 17% of the population estimated to have a personality disorder, love is just beyond their capability.
- Pathological levels of passivity in solving life’s problems - Some people just can’t seem to helpfully participate in problem-solving conversations with their partner. They’re not physically or emotionally abusive, they’re not abusing substances and checking out of life and they might even love, at least on some level. But they’re not a real partner to their spouse and leave them on their own to figure everything out.
Source: Psychology Today