To many, divorce is a dreaded word, the last resort at the end of a long road. For others, it is the promise of escape from a detrimental situation. No matter what has brought up this word, it is a difficult choice facing many couples today. Before seeking a divorce, there are several factors to consider. If the relationship is physically abusive, the most important thing is to stop reading this and seek help from appropriate resources to ensure your safety.
Can We Fix It?
This first question is one that has probably already crossed your mind. It could be that a dead marriage is being confused for an unhappy one. There are ways to come back from unhappiness and rediscover the love. Assess the issues and see if the challenges are ordinary or difficult milestones in the marriage. Perhaps the marriage is in need of a change rather than an end.
Who Can Help Us?
Sometimes couples therapy is used as a comedic trope in hit sitcoms. It is portrayed as a situation where one side is invested, and the other half is not really sure why they are in couples therapy, to begin with. However, in real life couples therapy can help. Talking about issues can help solve them. However, don’t let a therapist tell you the marriage is over or expect them to just fix everything.
Ultimately, the best resource to help your marriage are the two of you. A therapist can help break down the communication barriers and open up those closed doors. Perhaps you have tried communication, but your partner hasn’t truly heard, or vice versa. Roles may have become murky in the face of significant life changes, and it has become hard to work through those changes.
Is it Something Else?
Anyone can tell you that life is a great big beautiful mess. The breaking point may have been reached because of other factors in your life. Unemployment, financial duress, miscarriage, infertility, or other outside sources can serve as stressors leading to divorce. Living in a state of high stress raises the tension all around and lowers resilience in the face of stressful situations. This is when all the little things begin to look more like mountains. If the issues are practical or emotional ones, try working them out before turning to divorce. Big problems do not have to be handled alone if the partnership is strong enough to share the load, especially if grief and loss are involved.
What About the Kids?
For those with children, the route of divorce expands beyond the sphere of two people. Children can be huge factors in a marriage staying together past its lifespan or coming to an end. If the children’s safety is at risk (and your own), establish safety first and then handle the legal implications of a divorce.
If you are staying together “for the kids,” ask yourself why. How would their life change if a divorce happened? Would their quality of life suffer? Are you constantly fighting with your partner? If so, children might flourish without the absence of a tension-filled, argumentative home. If you are staying together for the kids, reassess the effort you have placed into your marriage. Perhaps it is time to reinvent yourself as a partnership to benefit the family.
How Does Divorce Even Work?
Since divorce isn’t a process people typically plan for, this is a pertinent question. Divorce arrangements require legal input from experienced sources. Divorce attorneys can assist in advising how to approach disputes, divorce, and potential custody or property issues. Strong representation is important to create a less stressful experience in the midst of a tumultuous time. The hope is for a cordial separation, but sometimes the reality is bleak.
At the end of all this, divorce is a personal decision. Only you can answer the question of what is best for you, your partner, and others involved.