No one ever gets married with the expectation that they’ll get divorced one day. Everyone wants the happily-ever-after after walking down the aisle. Unfortunately, the shocking divorce statistics in the U.S. show otherwise, with nearly 40% of marriages ending up in divorce.
Divorce is a heartbreaking decision to make and can be a drawn out legal process with long-lasting consequences for all involved (especially if there are kids in the mix). Therefore, it should be a decision arrived at after significant contemplation. Therapists and divorce coaches have observed that few couples are fully emotionally prepared for the divorce, even when they’ve already begun the process; and often, at least one of the parties is still on the fence regarding the decision.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself before making the final decision and help avoid regrets later on:
- Have you tried everything you could to fix the relationship, and is your spouse willing to put in the work as well?
If you couldn’t manage to fix things between yourselves, did you at least go and see a trained professional to work with you and your spouse? If so, was the therapist the right fit for you as a couple? And can you confidently say that you gave it 200% effort? What about your spouse? It takes two to bring a relationship to its knees, and it will take two to get it back up unto its feet. If one of you is not able or willing to participate in the process, it will be very hard to save the marriage.
- How did you get to this point?
It’s hard for anyone to be objective at the best of times, but when you are stuck in an emotionally charged situation, it’s even harder. Yet, this is the time that you have to be brutally honest with yourself. What exactly led you to this juncture? Is it because you weren’t able to resolve conflict in a constructive way? Did you simply grow apart? Or was there a lack of communication? Did you fall out of love? If it’s a matter of feelings, there are actually very successful ways of regaining those feelings. This is a time when you need to take a long, hard look at yourself and the part you played in the decline of your marriage. Because, if you don’t, it’s possible history will merely repeat itself in the next relationship.
- What about the children?
Any child of divorce will probably tell you that their parents’ divorce was a point in their lives that had an impact on them, one way or another. Even if you make the transition to two households as easy and conflict-free as possible, they will still be affected. You also need to think of the future: will you be able to handle a new romantic partner’s involvement in your kid’s lives? Blended families have many complications and the divorce rate for second marriages are even higher than for first.
- Why did you get together in the first place?
It’s very hard to see the positives when you are in such a negative space. What attracted you to your spouse in the first place? Are any of those characteristics still there (even if some may irritate you now)? Should you perhaps just refocus your attention back to what goes right instead of constantly rehashing what went wrong?
- Do you believe divorce will solve your problems?
Divorce trades a set of known problems for a set of unknown problems. If you make the difficult decision to move forward and end your marriage, there can be a sense of relief that you won’t have to live every day with this person with whom you can’t get along. However, if your life remains intertwined with theirs (as it will if you have children together—even grown children), you must recognize that there will be new issues to learn to walk through.
If you have answered all these questions, and still decide that divorce is the only and best solution for your situation, you need a legal team to handle the matter with the sensitivity and efficiency it deserves. Contact Hollwarth Law Firm today at (903) 234-0711.