Do you want to get divorced? The decision to divorce is critical, with consequences that can last a lifetime. Marital problems, pain in your relationship and frustration with it does not always mean divorce.
Below are questions you should ask yourself before you get divorced. Go over these questions together, as a couple. Should you decide divorce is the answer for you, at least your spouse won’t be blindsided by your feelings.
1. Do you still have feelings for your spouse?
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 divorce and then realize you’ve made a mistake. If there is any love left, seeking couples therapy will mean not suffering feelings of loss after an un-needed divorce.
2. Was there even a marriage to begin with?
If your marriage has never been anything more than two people living together and getting their own needs met then divorce may be the answer. Marriage is a unified coupling of two people who work for the best interest of the relationship. Married couples work together for the good of the relationship. If there is no couple; only two people fighting for their own needs now would be a good time to either commit to changing the dynamics of the relationship or parting ways.
3. Is it divorce you want or, are you just threatening divorce?
Are you angry at your spouse and threatening divorce out of frustration over the problems in the marriage? Do you use threats of divorce to get your way or as a means of having power over your spouse?
Are you frustrated and feel that threatening divorce will finally get your spouses attention and they will take you seriously? If it is solutions you are looking for, threatening divorce will not get you where you want to be. You need couples therapy for that. If it is divorce then stop threatening and take a mature, informed step in the right direction.
4. Is your decision to divorce based on emotional reaction or true self awareness?
If you are ready for divorce you will have let go of any emotional attachments you have to your spouse. These are good feelings and negative feelings that often come into play during marital conflict. Deciding on divorce at a time when you are overwhelmed with emotions won't solve problems. It generates problems and compounds any hurt and frustration you may be feeling.
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, the divorce process will be riddled with frustration, anger and distrust of the motives of your spouse.
5. What is motivating you 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 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 isnt 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.
6. Have you thought 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 childrens 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. Dont let guilt over wanting a divorce stand in the way of helping those hurt cope with the divorce.
7. Are you able to act in a mature way after the 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 you divorce.