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When is it too late to save a marriage? Should you try counselling first? 

Technically Speaking… 

Until the divorce papers are signed and finalized, it’s technically never too late to save a marriage.  Many couples have miraculous stories of saving their marriages from the brink of divorce and re-building something better than ever. If you’re worried that it’s too late to save your marriage—it’s not, especially if you and your spouse are both willing to do what it takes to save a marriage. However, you don’t even need both parties to be working to save the marriage in order to come back from the brink of divorce. In fact, there are many resources for people who are working to save their marriage after their spouse has already checked out. The Love Dare is a book that is specifically about how one party can begin working on saving the marriage even after their spouse has checked out. If you and your spouse are on the brink of divorce, and you want to save the marriage, you may need to get a mental health professional involved in order to help you, especially if you’re the only one who’s trying to fix it. 

What Are the Signs of a Failing Marriage? 

The signs of a failing marriage may differ from couple to couple, so it’s difficult to give a complete list of signs that your marriage is failing. However, there are some issues that tend to signal that there are problems within the marriage. If you realize that you have contempt for your spouse, that may be a sign that the marriage is in trouble. Or, if you and/or your spouse are having an affair, that may be a sign that there are problems in the marriage. Lack of sexual intimacy, having the same argument, and keeping secrets may all be signs that you and your spouse are having marital problems. If you have any of these signs, or even all of these signs, don’t panic. Remember, it’s not necessarily too late to save the marriage, especially if you and/or your spouse are willing to work on the marriage.  

At What Stage Do Most Couples Get Divorced 

According to the data we have, there are two particularly high-risk periods in a marriage. Couples are most at-risk for divorce during the first two years of their marriage and during years five through eight. Most couples get decide to divorce around the six to seven year mark. However, the lengthy divorce process can add years to this. So while the average marriage lasts eight years—according to census data—that number doesn’t account for the period of time which couples were waiting for the divorce to be finalized. This means that the actual average may be closer to six or seven years. It’s theorized that marriages typically fail in the first two years due to challenges that the couple faces while adapting to each other’s needs. Years five through eight may be more likely to cause a divorce due to the stress that having a child can bring, or the lack of novelty in the marriage. 

Is It Worth Fixing a Broken Marriage? 

It is absolutely worth it to fix a broken marriage, assuming your spouse isn’t abusing you or the children. Studies actually show that most people who are unsatisfied with their marriages become satisfied with their marriages after a period of five years. Another thing to consider is the fact that divorce is not a magic wand. Many people think that divorce is going to make them happy because it will remove their spouse—who’s actively making them unhappy—from their life. While divorce will likely remove most, if not all, of the problems you’re having with your spouse, most people come to find out that they’re exchanging one set of problems for another. Generally, the problems that come with a divorce are just as bad, if not worse than fixing your marriage. So, in most cases that don’t involve abuse, it is worth it to fix a broken marriage. 

What About the Kids? 

A lot of people say that it’s better to get divorced so that their children don’t have to see a bad marriage and learn bad habits from it. While it’s not good for children to witness a lot of marital conflict, there is a flip side to this. Children with parents who didn’t divorce are less likely to get divorced themselves. One reason for this could be that the kids learned commitment from their parents who had conflicts and worked through them. So, while divorce may help your child avoid seeing marital conflict, it may also rob them of the opportunity to watch their parents overcome conflict. This isn’t to say that you should stay together and let your kids witness a bunch of conflict. On the contrary, you should do what you can to make sure your child is never present during fights. However, getting divorced just so your children don’t see conflict isn’t necessarily the only good option. 

Is It Better to Divorce or Stay Unhappily Married? 

Whether it’s better to get divorced or remain unhappily married will depend on your circumstances. While you could save your marriage, it may not be worth it—especially if both parties have checked out, or at least one party is too hurt and betrayed to forgive. In situations where there’s domestic violence or child abuse, it may be dangerous to stay unhappily married as opposed to leaving. Only you can know whether or not divorce is the best decision for you. If you’re considering divorce, CoilLaw is here for you. Contact us today to get started with your initial consultation. 


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