Do you want to get divorced? The decision to divorce is critical, with consequences that can last a lifetime. Marital problems do not always warrant a divorce, especially if they are small short-term problems.
Not sure if a divorce is right for you? Below are questions to ask yourself before you begin the discovery process. Go over these questions together so both of you can express your feelings in a healthy, safe, and structured way. This way, should you choose divorce is the answer, neither of you will be blindsided by the decision.
Is Your Marriage Really Over?
Have your feelings diminished or are you feeling powerless over a problem in the marriage and due to this, there is a lack of emotional closeness. If there are still feelings of love and affection then you should work on the relationship before deciding on divorce.
You do not want to get caught up in the emotions of a situation like a divorce and then realize you’ve made a mistake. Married couples work together for the good of the relationship. Both people should either commit to changing the dynamics of the relationship or part ways. If there is any love left, seeking couples therapy will mean not suffering feelings of loss after an unnecessary divorce. If you and your spouse are just two people fighting for their own needs, then a divorce may be appropriate.
Are You Just Making Empty Threats?
When people are frustrated or angry, they can resort to unusual tactics to get what they want—don't make this mistake with a threat of divorce. It is legal action after all, which means the implications are broader and more harmful than may be intended.
When looking for a solution to your marriage, couple's therapy would be a great place to start. If no compromise can be made or if the differences between you trump your commonalities, a legal split may be warranted.
What Is Your Real Motivation to Divorce?
Are you hoping that a divorce will mean your spouse will start treating you better? Maybe they will realize what they have lost and will make the changes you need them to make. If so, you are divorcing for the wrong reasons. Divorce will only promote conflict, not resolve it.
All a divorce will do is end your marriage and split apart your family. If you want a change in the dynamics between you and your spouse, it isn’t a divorce you want. Something to think about; once you have divorced, your spouse is free to form emotional attachments to others. If that thought is uncomfortable, think twice before making a decision.
Are You Making an Emotional Decision?
Arguments rattle everyone involved. When this is the tenth dispute with your spouse, the bad feelings will sit with you for some time. When your emotions are high, do not make any rash decisions. You may be forgetting about all the good in your history, which clouds your judgment.
If you are ready for divorce you will have let go of any emotional attachments you have to your spouse. Unless you can look at your spouse as an individual who deserves your respect, even during the divorce process, you are asking for trouble. If you cannot, your frustration, anger, and distrust of your spouse will never subside.
What About the Negative Consequences of Divorce?
Divorce can mean a loss of dreams and goals. Even if you are positive it is a divorce you want, you need to have a support system in place to help you deal with the stress associated with divorce.
You need to be able to face your children’s pain and be there to help them cope. If you are the one wanting the divorce, you will have to deal with the pain of others. Don’t let guilt over wanting a divorce stand in the way of helping those hurt cope with the divorce.
How Will You Act After Divorce?
Your attitude will determine what kind of life you will have after the divorce. Will you be strong, take responsibility, and let go of any anger and resentment? Or, will you remain bitter, resentful, and feel like a victim? The attitude you choose to live with will determine, not only the kind of divorce you have but the quality of life you have after your divorce.