Although some divorced couples manage to rekindle their romance, they are the exception to the rule. Most ex-spouses merely tolerate each other; many barely manage to do that much. Ending their marriage carried a distinct note of finality. For them, there was no turning back.
The decision to get a divorce should not be taken lightly. It will herald a new beginning in your life. Whether that beginning is good or bad depends on whether your marriage is meeting your needs or has the potential to do so. If it’s broken beyond repair, divorce may indeed be the best option.
Below, we’ll list several items to consider before you and your spouse decide to call it quits or divorce. Your decision, of course, is a highly personal one that should reflect your feelings, expectations, tolerances, and priorities. With that in mind, take the time to discuss the following points with your spouse.
Figure Out Why You Want a Divorce
Married couples split up for numerous reasons, from adultery and alcoholism to money matters and simple boredom. Some people get divorced because they want to get a reaction from their partners. Others do so to enjoy the “advantages” of singlehood. Still others want to relocate, and their spouses are unwilling to follow them.
Think carefully about the reasons you want to end your marriage. What outcomes are you trying to achieve? Is getting divorced the best way to achieve them? Only after you clearly understand your motives can you decide whether to proceed.
Have You Tried To Save Your Marriage?
A lot of couples decide to end their marriages without making an effort to reconcile. For example, they dismiss the idea of marital counseling. Or they avoid each other and remain unwilling to communicate openly about their problems. Rather than trying to work out their issues, they decide to terminate the relationship.
If you’re convinced that your marriage is beyond the point of saving, you and your spouse will likely be better off in the long run getting divorced. But it’s difficult to know whether your marriage can be salvaged unless you’ve made a conscious, focused effort to that end.
Determine Whether Divorce Is Really Your Goal
We noted earlier that some spouses threaten to file for divorce as a way to invoke a reaction from their partners (e.g. to make them angry). They have no real intention of following through with the threat. Although individuals who make such threats may enjoy the short-term results they want, they play a dangerous game. Such threats erode the trust shared by the spouses for one another.
If you have suggested divorce to your spouse, make sure you intend to go through with it in the absence of changes occurring in your marriage. No good will come from making idle threats to file for divorce.
Be Aware of the Effect on your Children
Most people assume that kids are worse off when their parents get divorced. Unfortunately, that alone keeps countless couples from ending their troubled marriages. Many couples endure years of misery and call it quits only after their children have become adults.
It’s important to realize that the dynamic shared between you and your spouse plays a large role in whether your kids will suffer after you split up. For example, constant yelling and bickering can create a stressful environment that prevents children from feeling secure. That can have ripple effect that influences other areas of their lives, including their concentration, appetite, and interaction with their peers.
Divorce can indeed have a negative impact on kids. But it is not always the case. There are some circumstances in which dissolving a marriage can increase the stability in a young person’s life.
How Will A Divorce Improve or Impact Your Life?
Ending your marriage will introduce a number of positives and negatives. Rarely does divorce lean completely toward one side or the other. Weighing the pros and cons will help you to make a rational decision based on your expectations.
For example, you’ll likely experience sadness, stress, and feelings of isolation after getting divorced. (To be fair, many individuals cope with such feelings even while married). You may also confront financial hurdles, particularly when you try to establish credit or buy a house.
On the other hand, ending your marriage may allow you to finally break free from an oppressive relationship that is unlikely to improve. That freedom can lead to greater happiness and a distinct sense of fulfillment later in life.
The better you understand how getting divorced will affect you, the easier it will be to decide whether it’s the right option. If you find that the pros outweigh the cons, consult a divorce attorney to ensure your rights and interests are protected while bringing your marriage to an end.