Is This Grounds for Divorce or Do I Stay Married?

grounds for divorce

Deciding if it’s grounds for divorce takes time, energy, and the wisdom of an objective third party.

Deciding if your partner’s behavior is grounds for divorce is often as clear as mud. Here are a few things to consider when you’re wrestling with the idea of divorce.

This article is for the thousands of women who are wondering if they should leave their husbands. How do you know if your marriage is good or bad, worthwhile or not?

One of the hardest comments I received lately is from a wife whose husband is verbally abusive. They have a young family, and have been through a lot of stress lately (including his sister’s death). Is the husband struggling with his grief and anger, and taking it out on his wife? And, is that okay for a little while?

I don’t know. The only person who can figure out if a marriage is worth saving is you (the person in the marriage).That said, however, I often lean towards staying married and working things out because I believe we jump into divorce too quickly.

Divorce rips individuals, children, relatives, and even friends apart. It affects the extended family, and has often devastating emotional, financial, social, and professional consequences. But, divorce can be the best decision you ever make for you and your family.

Is This Grounds for Divorce?

How do you know if divorce is the right decision? You sit down with an objective mentor or counselor, and talk about it. Don’t expect to make a decision in an hour – though if you’re ready, it may take only minutes! Don’t ask what you should do about your marriage on a website like this, and expect to get good advice. I don’t know anything about your history, personality, lifestyle, marriage, or children. I can’t tell you if you have grounds for divorce or if you should work on your marriage.

Talk to a counselor or someone you trust. I’d avoid talking to people I know are biased or who have their own agendas (eg, your fearful, old-fashioned mother who thinks staying married is the best decision no matter what the husband does).

Remember that one person’s grounds for divorce is another person’s reason to stay.

If you’re tired of making all the effort in your marriage, you may think it’s time to get divorced. Your neighbor, however, may believe that doing all the work in a relationship is the wife’s job. Why would you get divorced if things are unfolding the way they should?

Nobody can tell you what “grounds for divorce” will push your marriage over the edge. It’s up to you to figure out where you stand, why you stand there, and what will tip the scales one way or another.

That said, however, there are some solid reasons for getting divorced – and even for staying married.

Grounds for Divorce

  • Abuse – physical, emotional, mental, or sexual – of you or your children
  • Abuse of other people
  • Animal abuse or cruelty
  • Lack of trust or honesty
  • Continued effort on your part to make changes in your marriage and life; continued resistence on your spouse’s part to walk alongside you
  • Addictions

But what if your husband is fighting his addiction to drugs or alcohol? It’s not grounds for divorce if he wants to change, is it? I don’t know. It’s up to you – and how you want to live your life.

Reasons to Stay Married

  • A sincere desire on your spouse’s part to work on your marriage
  • Solid action towards saving your marriage (eg, marriage retreats, reading books on healthy marriage such as The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage)
  • Engagement in marriage or individual counseling
  • Open, honest communication
  • A long-term perspective (eg, your husband is struggling with grief or stress, and needs support as he finds ways to heal and grow)
  • Faith or spirituality

Deciding if something is grounds for divorce is a process that takes time and thought. Or, maybe there isn’t a “right” answer – maybe either route becomes right if you commit yourself to it.

What do you think?

For more tips about getting divorced versus staying married, read 4 Signs Marriage Counseling Will Help an Unhappy Relationship.

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3 thoughts on “Is This Grounds for Divorce or Do I Stay Married?”

  1. Dear Nicole,

    Thank you for being here, and for giving us a peek into your marriage!

    Have you considered going for counseling on your own? It may help to have an objective opinion, and a support system to help you figure out your options. You are a smart, loving, kind, courageous woman – I could tell from your comments – and having a backup support system will make you stronger, smarter, and healthier.

    It’s normal for people to fight when they are being challenged. You aren’t just sitting back and “taking” it from your husband, and he’s reacting out of fear, anger, and insecurity! He doesn’t feel like he’s in control of you, and that scares him. He’s on the defensive, he’s attacking you — and it’s about HIM, not you.

    I understand you not wanting to share custody of your daughter, but sometimes it’s the only option. Would it be better for her to be raised by you and him as a divorce couple, or in your marriage the way things are now?


  2. Hello,
    i am the proud mama of a beautiful baby girl who just turned one last week :) She has brought me so much joy and yet, so much has changed in my relationship with my husband since her birth.
    Ever since she was born, my husband and I have fought like never before. We always got along before her birth, mostly due to the fact that I am an easy going person who is willing to pretty much “go with the flow”. My husband, on the other hand, is very much in the “need to have a plan” type of person. He is very regimented and organized, whereas me, ehh, not so much :)
    He has undermined my decisions as a parent, telling me since she was a newborn that I wasn’t doing things “right”, whatever that may be… I told him that this criticsm was not helpful, especially since I was/am still struggling with PPD.
    When she was only three months old, he told me that things between us was not working anymore and that he thought he should leave. The ensuing nine months have seen this “threat” rear its head several times. This past weekend was the final time.
    I recently read the Verbally Abusive Relationship and starting setting clear boundaries about what type of behavior and speech I would no longer find acceptable. Now, I am accused of challenging him and turning my family against him.
    Things between us have distintigrated so far, I am not sure how they can be repaired. I offered many times to go to counseling, but he refuses. I am not sure I even want to be married anymore, but I don’t want to share custody of my daughter. This stems partly from my own personal experiences.
    Not looking for any answers of course, just looking for some sympathetic ears or eyes. Thank you so much for reading!