Consider These 5 Factors When Contemplating Divorce

It's a big decision.

divorce negotiations

 Getty Images/Maskot

The first step in the divorce process is probably the most difficult step you will take during your divorce: making the decision to divorce at all. There are wrong ways and right ways to go about taking that first step. Below are things to avoid when trying to decide if divorce is right for you.

Don’t Give Up on Your Marriage Until You’ve Done Everything to Solve the Problems 

Solving problems means letting your spouse know that the problems in the marriage have become so stressful that you are considering divorce. Nine times out of 10 you both play a role in the problems in your marriage. It is only fair that you both have the opportunity to work toward solutions to the problems together or with a marriage counselor.

Divorce should only come after you've earnestly put every effort into saving your marriage. Communicate about the problems in the marriage and work together toward compromises and solutions. If after working together the problems remain, find an outside resource such as a marital therapist to work with on finding solutions.  

Don’t Become Involved With Another Person

New relationships are for after you are divorced. Introducing a third party into an already bad situation only makes the situation worse. If you have an affair out of fear of being alone once you separate then you need to deal with your fear of being alone instead of attaching yourself to someone new just to keep from having to face your fear.

Looking outside your marriage for solutions to problems in the marriage only exacerbates the problems and clouds your judgment when the bottom falls out and you are left to make the choice between your marriage and your affair partner. 

unhappy couple
 Getty Images/skynesher

Don’t Allow Anger to Drive You to Divorce

The decision to divorce should be made when you are level headed and free of emotions. This is especially true if you have children. For the children’s sake, it is important that whoever decides to leave the marriage is able to do so in a civil and respectful manner.

Important decisions like divorce should never be driven by feelings of anger. Your anger toward your spouse won't last forever and you don't want to one day realize you made the wrong decision based on irrational emotions. 

Don’t Leave an Unhappy Marriage Until You Can Take Care of Yourself Financially 

Alimony is not guaranteed these days and even if it were, child support and alimony may not provide a sufficient lifestyle for you and your children should you divorce. Think about building a career of your own before thinking about divorce.

If you have no marketable work skills or let your career go to stay home and raise your children, you should not divorce until you have taken the necessary steps to be fully financially independent post-divorce. 

Set up a bank account in your name and begin contributing to that, when you can, to prepare for setting out on your own.

Share Your Wish to Divorce Only With People You Really Trust 

Find a trusted confidant or therapist but don’t talk about your unhappiness with just anyone willing to listen. Should you decide not to divorce, you may have to fight the gossip that spread around social circles. Marital problems are personal. They are problems you share with your spouse, not your family and the entire neighborhood. 

The decision to divorce can be painful. You need to know that your decision will have a lasting impact on yourself, your spouse, and your children for years to come. Take your time, use a level head, and take into consideration not only what divorce will mean for you but also for all involved in your decision.

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