For couples who are talking about divorce, it is important that you consider many factors before making a decision. The emotional turmoil related to a strained marriage can make it difficult to think clearly and make a well-considered decision about whether to divorce or stay together. For other couples, the pain of infidelity or grief can make it difficult to think clearly about the future of the relationship.
It is important that you’ve considered many factors before deciding on divorce. Sometimes it takes time to consider these issues and ask yourself some important questions. At other times, a marriage counselor can help you consider your options carefully.
What Do you Envision Life to Be Like After Getting Divorced?
Have you thought about what life will be like if you actually do get divorced? Sometimes people think that the grass is greener on the other side. They envision a life of happiness and freedom without a realistic expectation of what life might actually be like.
Divorce doesn’t solve all problems. In fact, divorce creates new problems for most people. It is important to examine the likely negative consequences of divorce. Loneliness, financial problems, and custody issues are some of the most common problems. However, most people tend to think about what they want to gain from divorce without really considering the negative consequences.
If you find that you only think about how much better life will be, spend some time thinking about your expectations. Examine the negative consequences you will likely encounter. Envision your life on a day to day basis by yourself and remember that being single won’t mean your life will automatically be better or easier.
What is Your Motivation to Get Divorced?
Take time to carefully examine your true motivation for divorce. Sometimes divorce is a permanent solution to a fairly temporary problem. Make sure that you don’t get divorced over a problem that could be solved with some assistance.
Also, take a look at whether or not divorce actually is likely to solve your problem. For example, if you think that divorce will allow you to gain respect from your spouse who doesn’t take your threats of divorce seriously, it isn’t likely. If you can’t get along while you are married, it’s unlikely you will get along during and after a divorce. For couples with children, you will be forever linked to your spouse and it will be important to get along after you divorce.
Is it Possible that Counseling Could Help?
Many couples divorce without ever seeking counseling. Various reasons given for not attempting counseling include people’s belief that it won’t help, lack of desire to put in any effort, and a belief the marriage is too damaged to be repaired. Marriage counseling can help couples even if they have already decided to get a divorce. It can assist them in making the transition more smoothly.
Counseling can also help even if only one person agrees to attend. Sometimes one person can make a big difference in the marriage, even if their spouse refuses to participate. And if you do divorce, counseling can help you deal with the grief and changes as well.
What is Your Role in the Marital Problems?
Problems in the marriage are never one person’s fault. If you are blaming your spouse for all of your marital difficulties, it is important that you take a step back and carefully examine your role. If you haven’t identified what you could do differently to help the marriage, don’t get divorced just yet.
If you can honestly identify your role in the problems, take a look at what, if anything, you want to do about it. If you think you’ve already tried everything, make sure this is true. Many people try one or two things, or wait a month or two and if change doesn’t happen, they feel like it’s over.
Does Your Motivation for Divorce Involve Feelings for Someone Else?
Unfortunately, many divorces result from someone’s feelings toward someone else. If you think that your life would be better if you were married to someone else, don’t make any hasty decisions to get divorced. Again, the grass isn’t always greener.
When someone fantasizes about how much better life would be if they were married to a co-worker, a friend, or anyone else, it makes it impossible to make a rational decision about whether or not to get divorced. For people who are engaging in an affair this becomes especially complicated. Affairs don’t have to be physical either. Emotional affairs can be equally as complicated. Even online “romances” can really blur decision making skills.
If you have feelings for someone else, don’t assume divorce will solve your problems. People fall prey to believing “My life would be better if I was married to so-and-so,” or “I’d have a better life if I were with that person.” If you’ve developed feelings for someone else, your emotions will be running wild and it will be impossible to make a good decision.
The fantasy of a new lover can be alluring. Most affairs don’t end in happy long-lasting relationships. That’s because they are not usually based on realistic expectations. Instead, they result from people thinking that a new relationship would make their life better yet in reality, it doesn’t meet those expectations over time.