Divorce Quiz: Signs you need a divorce

older couple on couch after taking divorce quiz

This divorce quiz won’t make your decision, or tell you when to get a divorce. Yet, it outlines some signs you need a divorce. More importantly, you can clarify your reasons for a divorce or renewed commitment. Your questions and confusion about the decision to divorce are healthy. Even unsatisfying marriages may meet a complex mix of emotional, financial, and logistical needs,

A divorce will impact nearly every aspect of your life, in potentially positive and negative ways. Thus, it is essential to make your divorce decision only after careful, non-reactionary soul-searching and consideration.

The Non-Negotiables: Signs your Marriage is Over

Is there any form of physical or emotional abuse, lying, cheating, or stealing (including lying about joint finances)? These behaviors nearly always result in divorce. Is the offending spouse responsible and accountable for their behavior? Are they getting professional help? Even if the offending spouse was remorseful, if it happened again after promises were made, then divorce is very likely.

An addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or porn, or a mental illness that is being denied, defended, and untreated makes a divorce highly likely. These “non-negotiable” factors were excluded from the quiz statements, because any one of them is a high predictor for divorce.

Similarly, there are some sentiments and qualities that highly predict a divorce. If any of the following are true for you, then the question is not “if”, but “when” to get a divorce:

  • I can’t recall or describe a positive, joyful time we’ve shared together.
  • One of us threatens and regularly talks about divorce, even during calm, non-fighting times.
  • There is a tone of disgust or hatred in our daily interactions for months at a time, even when we aren’t fighting.
  • My skin crawls when they touch me and I have no physical affection or attraction to them at all (or vice versa).

The Divorce Quiz

During 20 years of professional divorce mediation, I have helped hundreds of couples through divorce, reconciliation, and the agonizing decision to divorce. During this time, I have observed the factors that most indicate which direction the relationship will take. This “signs you need a divorce” quiz has 25 statements designed to provide guidance around the decision to end your marriage.

On some scratch paper, make three columns labeled “yes,” “no,” or “sometimes.” For each statement, make a slash mark in one of the three columns that best fits your answer. However, if you are 100% certain that your spouse would respond “yes” to the statement, then count it as a “yes”. For best results, take this “Should I Get a Divorce Quiz” when you are calm and clear, not amidst marital fighting and drama.

 

25 Divorce Quiz Statements

  1. My spouse is so critical, demanding, or controlling that I can’t ever relax and be my authentic self.
  2. We have no shared projects, goals, or dreams we are working on towards the future.
  3. When I am being outwardly disrespected by family or friends, my spouse does not protect me, support me, defend me, or “have my back.”
  4. We tried to heal our relationship wounds and traumas with professional help. We were unsuccessful and have given up.
  5. Sex is off the table, or if we do have sex, I feel empty and sad during and afterwards.
  6. I share my life’s struggles and triumphs with others, but not my spouse.
  7. We are constantly, bitterly arguing and my nervous system never actually calms down.
  8. I only do things with, and for, my spouse when it directly benefits me.
  9. The other areas of my life (eg. work, friends, recreational, spiritual) are satisfying, it is only this marriage that is bringing me down.
  10. I increasingly don’t enjoy, or dread, spending time with my spouse.
  11. We no longer have curiosity about each other, or ask each other about their day, experiences, or goals.
  12. I believe our marital issues are their fault, and I don’t want to grow or adjust myself that would support the changes I want to see in them.
  13. Neither of us knows how, or tries, to repair the relationship after a fight or hurtful incident has occurred.

 

Quiz Break: Take a breath and relax before responding to the remaining 12 questions.

  1. I am yearning for an affair and secretly flirting or exploring on-line dating.
  2. There is an overall power or work imbalance between us which benefits my spouse, which they refuse to address.
  3. Neither of us has any clue about the other’s attachment wounds, or a desire to help the other feel safe, secure, loved, and appreciated.
  4. My spouse is defensive and has never taken accountability or apologized for actions which have negatively impacted me.
  5. We do not know each other’s “love language,” or refuse to express love in a manner that is meaningful to each other.
  6. When talking to friends or family about my marriage, I rarely have anything kind or positive to say.
  7. I have fully considered the negative effects of divorce on the children. I believe divorce is best because I want my children to see their parents healthy and happy.
  8. While we are both miserable in the marriage, neither of us has made any efforts to get help or develop new relationship skills.
  9. We do not try to develop forgiveness for mistakes made by the other.
  10. There really is no fighting…because we don’t interact. We just avoid each other.
  11. I have been suffering with the decision for over two years, but I cannot re-commit myself to reconciling and restoring this marriage.
  12. We have tried at least three marriage classes, couples’ support groups, or couples’ counselors, with no improvement or hope.

Scoring the Divorce Quiz

First, translate the slashes from the “maybe” column. For every two “maybe” slashes, make one more slash in the “Yes” column. Next, count the number of marks in the “yes” column. These marks are the factors that are likely to lead towards ending the marriage.

If you have fewer than six “yes” marks, then your marriage is probably salvageable, and you may be going through a developmental stage in the relationship. This is an invitation for you both to grow, mature, heal some old hurts, and learn new skills with the support of a qualified counselor, mediator, or therapist. Not sure where to start? Focus on the statements for which you marked a “yes.”

If you have between 6 and 12 “yes” marks, it is still possible to repair your marriage. However, this level of difficulty will definitely require a consistent, daily commitment to making the required changes with support from a counselor. You may also consider taking a trial separation, while you assess if you both have the fortitude to work on saving the marriage over the long haul.

If you have more than 12 “yes” marks, the likelihood your marriage can be saved and restored is extremely low. You may have considerations about the best time to get a divorce, and you may want to begin working on your own divorce readiness.

Divorce Quiz Flaws and Limitations

There are several limitations and flaws with the design of this “should I get a divorce” quiz. While the statements are equally weighted for the quiz, they are not equally weighted in your life. What is unacceptable for one person might be merely an irritant for another, based on your core beliefs and values. What statements did you respond “yes” to that feel particularly intolerable? Those can be a useful focus for any counseling work you do.

Additionally, consider that none of the difficult behaviors in this divorce quiz are unsurmountable. The behavior might be a disguised adaption. In other words, it may be a festering wound that could be transformed once the resentment, and grief are properly healed.

Lastly, your perceptions can change greatly depending on your mood. For more accuracy, take the quiz a couple of times at least two weeks apart. Take the quiz when you feel emotionally centered and when you are agitated. Or take it with the help of a good friend. Your friend can provide feedback if any of your answers do not seem accurate.

 

Read “Am I really ready for a divorce?

Read “How to get a divorce in Oregon