In 1979, the rate of divorce was just 5 per every 1,000 Americans. Now, just 40 years later, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.

This jump is not the result of more poorly matched pairs, but a change in the way society considers divorce. Today, divorce is more like a parachute, than a last resort.

You’re putting more into it than your getting out of it

One way to think about a healthy marriage is by comparing it to a bank account. Think of every time you do something to help the other person as a deposit and every fight as a withdrawal. Sometimes, they’ll be withdrawals, but if there are enough deposits, your account should keep growing. A healthy bank account is a healthy marriage.

But, if you feel like there are too many withdrawals or the account has become stagnant, it’s not going to be worth as much to you. Eventually, the account will be empty and there won’t be a reason to keep it.

The children aren’t in a happy household

Could you continue with the way things are? Maybe. But, what will that teach your children about their relationships? They may learn that they should ignore problems in order to please their partner or they may learn that it’s not important to be respectful or caring toward their partner.

Neither of these lessons will lead to happy relationships — platonic or romantic. Remember that if you and your spouse are consistently unhappy with one another, your whole family is affected negatively. A divorce will be hard for the whole family, but it also may be what’s best for everyone in the long-term.

You’re being taken advantage of

No one would knowingly choose to love someone who will take advantage of them physically, verbally or financially. If you’ve found yourself in this position, there are other options!

Think of it this way. If you discovered your loaf of bread had gone moldy, you wouldn’t keep eating it. You’d go to the store and buy a new one. The time and expense of this act wouldn’t compare to caring for your health.

A toxic relationship is the same. Once it goes bad, trying to salvage the good parts won’t keep the mold from spreading. Choosing divorce may be necessary to maintain your physical, mental or financial health.

Divorce is a parachute

If any of these situations apply to you, choosing divorce won’t kill your marriage — it’ll save you from it. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for not going down with the plane.

A skilled lawyer can make matters easier on you by setting your expectation and guiding through proceedings.