Even the healthiest marriages experience ups and downs. Disagreements and arguments between spouses don’t necessarily mean that a relationship is doomed to fail.

However, when the actions of a hostile or uncooperative spouse begin to take a toll on your mental or physical well-being, it’s likely time to reevaluate your marriage.

Signs of a toxic relationship

Abusive spouses can be subtle or direct. Some of the signs of a toxic marriage include:

  • A lack of trust between spouses, including infidelity
  • Hostile communications, such as yelling, name-calling or passive-aggressive behavior
  • Spouses who try to control their partner’s thoughts and actions
  • Constant lying, showing a distinct lack of respect
  • One-sided relationships where one spouse takes but gives nothing back
  • Feeling emotionally drained by never-ending conflict
  • Making excuses to others for a spouse’s poor behavior
  • Physical abuse

First and foremost, if you experience physical abuse from your spouse, take immediate steps to safeguard yourself and your children, including calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Determining when to move on

In some cases, counseling can help Pennsylvania couples find their way back to common ground. However, once a spouse’s actions cross the line, it can be hard to repair the damage. It can be even more difficult for some to consider divorce, especially if they have children together.

But continuing a toxic relationship can be much more harmful to children than removing them from a hostile environment. In most cases, divorce offers freedom, resulting in a healthier household, stability for children and improved physical and mental health, which can instill confidence.

You don’t have to go it alone

Even when spouses find themselves in a toxic relationship, divorce can still be a frightening prospect, causing uncertainty over their personal and financial future. That’s why it’s advisable to consult an experienced family law attorney who can replace fear with facts.

A lawyer trained in collaborative divorce can often help save time, money and stress to reach an equitable outcome to achieve a fresh start. However, knowledgeable lawyers understand when a more aggressive approach is necessary to protect your interests.

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