How long is too long to wait for relationship improvement?

“When it comes to marriage, or long-term monogamy, we have to take the good with the bad, the weak with the strong. But what I’m not hearing here is a clear sense that your boyfriend is troubled by the inequalities in the relationship, that he’s working on his problems, and that he recognizes the sacrifices you’re making for him.”

This Advice Column addresses something I see in my divorce cases. Spouses who feel like they have done all the heavy lifting for far too long, without reciprocation. Marriages definitely fluctuate in the sharing of responsibilities and contributions over time. Good marriages require a lot of effort, and sometimes waiting.

But in my practice I also see the consequences of waiting too long to divorce. Spouses who leave a marriage with long-standing feelings of inequality often feel unfairly treated by Maryland divorce, property, and alimony law. That by sticking it out, they are punished because it feels like the law calls on them to share more than they think is fair, after giving so much already.

Spouses in the shoes of this advice seeker should at least educate him- or herself about the legal consequences of waiting…and waiting too long.

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