How Do You Know It’s Time To Stay Or Divorce?
When you reach a place where your marriage has become so difficult that you are facing the possibility of divorce, the emotional consequences can be truly devastating. You may want to stop a divorce until you’re sure you’re ready to make a rational decision.
There are no easy answers when it comes to this situation. And everyone’s situation is different. The reality is, not all marriages work out.
The only thing you can do is create the best opportunity you can for rebuilding your marriage. The statistics show that almost half of all marriages fail. It’s a grim statistic, and one that can be disheartening when you are trying so hard to beat the odds and make your marriage work.
In some cases the pain and injury caused in a relationship is just too awful to repair, or one or both spouses are just too worn out from trying to make their relationship work. There are also some wounds that don’t heal because the betrayal is just too great.
Well-Meaning Divorce Advice
If you are considering the possibility of divorce, the most important thing to understand is that no one can tell you whether or not it’s time to leave your marriage. There will be many people trying to help you with your decision, thinking they know what is best for you. They may be well-meaning, but they do not live your life—only you can do that.
Keep in mind that every person who is in a marriage has to live with some undesirable personality quirks or different behaviors in his or her spouse. Hopefully these are minor issues.
But it’s your experience, no one else’s, so only you can know whether or not you can continue to live with these traits in your spouse. Only you can make the choice to continue working on your relationship or choose to divorce. You’re the one who has to live with the consequences of your choices. And you’re the only person who really knows what you can live with and whether or not what you get out of your marriage is worth the emotional price you pay for it.
Here are some things to consider to do to stop divorce from happening until you are sure about what works for you:
Step 1: Get Your Marriage into the Best Shape Possible
If you’re wondering whether or not you’ve done everything you can to save your relationship, make sure you’ve first gotten your marriage into the best shape possible before making a decision to divorce. This way, you will have a true picture of what you’re really giving up should you decide to divorce.
Uncover the good in your marriage so you can make an informed choice about what you are leaving behind.
Step 2: Set the Clock
As you work to get your marriage in the best shape possible, set an imaginary alarm clock for yourself that will go off at a certain time that you choose, whether it’s a few months from now or a year. When that clock’s alarm sounds, reassess and decide whether to stay, leave, or reset the clock for an extension.
This will help you find the strength to put out a good effort if you know it’s only for a limited period of time, not forever. Most of us can do almost anything if it’s time-limited.
Step 3: Give it Your Personal All
Since this is your last ditch effort, give it your all by being the best spouse you can be during this time—regardless of how your spouse acts. That way you will know that you have done your best for your marriage. If it comes down to a divorce, your conscience can rest easy that you really put forth a good-faith effort.
While you’re at it, avoid using the “divorce” word until the alarm you have set is going off, or you know the relationship isn’t going to work. In the meantime, act like a family together and assume your relationship is going to last.
My best to you as you work to save your marriage and wrestle with the divorce question.
Have you considered divorce? If so, what do you see as the pros and cons?
Is your marriage, given the circumstances, in the best possible shape for you to make such a decision?
Are you worn out from your efforts and struggling to find the strength to go on?
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,