How do you know divorce is the right thing to do?
In this blog, we’ll explore how to answer that question for yourself and your marriage. Read on…
Are you Ready for Divorce?
Not every marriage works out—as evidenced by the statistics on divorce, a sobering one out of every two marriages ending in divorce, with remarriages progressively higher, depending on whether it’s a second or even a third marriage.
Is it really possible that none of these unions had any hope? Or were people too quick to press the “easy” button and head for the hills when things hit a rough patch?
Deciding whether or not to divorce is a highly personal decision. I cannot tell you what’s best for you: only you and your spouse can make that decision. However, I would caution that divorce should never be taken lightly. It’s not something you want to make a decision on in the heat of the moment or otherwise rush into. There is many a couple who has divorced that experienced no small amount of regret at their decision, going on to wonder, “What if…?”
If your spouse cheated on you, right now, you may not even be able to think clearly, let alone make such a huge decision that will impact your life. Until you’ve worked through the emotional pain of an affair, you are not ready to know what’s best for your marriage and whether or not to work on saving the marriage.
And if you and your spouse have simply allowed your bond to slip, you may think meeting someone new is the answer. But every new relationship requires the same types of things: time, attention, respect and commitment. Relationships need what’s known as “TLC:” tender, loving care. If you don’t have the good habits formed in this relationship of providing such, what is going to be different in the next relationship?
Often, people really do grow apart. They can no longer find common ground. But that’s one of the keys: they look for common ground, they don’t just leap to divorce proceedings.
Here are 3 tips to help you decide if you and your spouse are ready for divorce:
Tip 1: You Have Rebuilt Your Marriage into Best State Possible
It’s easy when you are upset, discouraged or in a state of apathy to think divorce looks like your best option. The problem is, you don’t know what you’re really giving up because you are viewing your marriage from its current position of rock bottom.
What if you built your marriage to the topmost point possible? Then, you and your spouse could look at the marriage—at its very best—and understand what it is you are giving up. Maybe you rebuild your marriage to its utmost capabilities and still find a lack of common ground. At least you know that you did your best.
Tip 2: You Have Worked through any Anger, Bitterness, Resentment
If your spouse has cheated on you or in some other way betrayed your trust, you may want to first work through all of the emotional pain you are feeling before making such a large decision. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, as they say, and if you’re in a state of only being able to see what’s wrong, your decision to divorce may be leaving out the good that still remains in your relationship with your spouse.
Once you’ve worked through emotional pain, you are more even-keeled, and therefore better able to make a logical decision rather than one that is based strictly on emotions.
Tip 3: Set a Time Frame
It’s one thing to say, “Well, we’ll give it a try and see how things go…” and then quickly lapse back into the state you’re currently in.
But what if you and your spouse committed to giving it maybe six months or one year, and then put all of your effort in it? Just doing so may rekindle the spark you thought you’d lost!
During that time period, don’t discuss divorce. Simply commit to being the best you can be, and ask your partner to commit the same. Many couples have found that when they set a time frame, they didn’t feel as “trapped” and therefore freer to relax into the relationship and in changing some of their own behaviors.
My best to you as you contemplate divorce and whether it’s truly the answer for you and your spouse.