Are you unhappy in your marriage and wondering whether divorce is right for you? Here are some thoughts that could help.
Divorce is a reality and is common in our society. In this article, I’m not advocating for or against divorce. I’m advocating for whatever resolution is in the best interest of the couple that leads to their lasting happiness. So let’s get to it.
Here are 7 questions to ask yourself when considering divorce:
1. Why am I thinking about divorce?
The magic is gone, you’ve both tried but intimacy can’t be restored, you’re having thoughts of starting something romantic with someone, infidelity
2. Am I in love with my spouse?
Loving someone and being in love with someone are two different things. You can still love him because you’ve been together for many years, he’s your best friend, he’s the father of your children, etc. But those intense love feelings seem to be gone. You know, the ones where he’s the first thing you think of when you wake and the last when you fall asleep, you look at him and get turned on, when he touches you it feels like he’s in love with you.
3. Is it alright to even consider divorce?
How do you feel about vows, religion, societal norms?
4. Is it alright to talk to my spouse about divorce early on?
Afraid of reaction, what if she doesn’t feel this way and is shocked, will she suspect infidelity?
5. What would be the ideal outcome if we DIDN’T get divorced
If not divorced, how would you want your relationship to change? If you divorce, do you remain in each others’ lives in some capacity?
6. What are the logistics when someone gets divorced where you live?
The waiting period, hire lawyers, splitting up assets, moving/selling a home, children’s school.
7. If you have any, how will you tell your children?
Kids as young as tweens and even younger can sense that something is wrong in your marriage. Even if this is true, it could possibly be traumatic for them to learn you’re getting divorced. On the other hand, maybe it’s more traumatic for you to stay unhappily married for years. In that case, what are you modeling to your children about what is a healthy relationship?
Consult with people
I highly recommend you speak with one or more people about this life-changing decision, whether you get divorced or not. Family, friends, and coworkers can all be valuable resources and support for you. However, also consider that all of them bring subjective views because they know you and likely know your spouse.
When speaking about issues as important as divorce, ideally all of us need to be completely objective, however, that’s almost impossible for many when having been involved in someone’s life. One outside objective resource is a couples therapist.
A successful therapeutic model involves each spouse having therapy on their own and then coming together in couples sessions. This provides them the opportunity to individually work on and synthesize their feelings before meeting together where they speak about and resolve general concerns, instead of the discussion getting stalled by very specific details.
For example, in the individual sessions, the spouses can discuss their views and expectations on intimacy in this stage of their relationship, and how things have been going lately.
In the couples session, instead of talking about last week when you tried to initiate sex and feel you were rejected, explore how over the past six months there’s been a pattern of whenever she wants to get intimate, he says he’s not in the mood or is tired.
I hope this article is helpful to you. Divorce is a serious and important topic that requires intense thought, discussion, and more thought. In certain situations, divorce provides the best way each spouse can be happy and live a fulfilled life.
And the process of considering divorce and ultimately deciding not to has value as well. It can rekindle the relationship and remind each other of the importance of things like intimacy, not taking each other for granted and continuing to work on the relationship.