Divorce is complicated and wrought with emotions. You may feel:
- guilty for breaking your vows and leaving your spouse
- worried children will blame you for breaking the family
- ashamed for failing your marriage
- angry at the situations that led you to this decision
- sad that your dreams of a happy marriage and family will end
- fearful of a life without a partner
- relief for seeing an end to your unhappiness
With so many conflicting feelings, you must ask yourself if a divorce is actually what you want. Is it really what you need? You’ll be surprised to know that many people who say “I want a divorce” actually don’t know what they want. They know that they are unhappy and they want a change. But is divorce the only answer? Is divorce the right answer?
Deciding to get a divorce is a big decision. Unlike popular belief, it is not a good idea to rush through a divorce so as to minimize the pain. You owe it to yourself, your spouse, and your family to really think about what you need before you jump into action. If you are thinking of getting a divorce but are unsure if this is the right path, ask yourself these questions.
What to Ask Yourself
- Do you still have feelings for your partner?
If the answer is yes, then it might be worth it to work on your relationship rather than filing for divorce. Love doesn’t come easy, if you have someone who you still love, why not try to figure out what’s wrong and fix it rather than ditching it.
- Why did you get married in the first place?
Some people get married for the wrong reasons. A few years down the line, they wonder why they are married at all. In this case, because the marriage was not built on a strong foundation, it might be appropriate to get a divorce.
- Do you really want a divorce or are you mad?
Sometimes in a person might demand a divorce out of anger or frustration. 0r they use divorce as a threat. Either way, don’t brandish divorce as a weapon. Find the root of the problem rather than use divorce as the go-to, easy fix.
- Why do you want a divorce?
The only good reason for getting a divorce is because you want to end a marriage. If you want a divorce as a way to make your spouse suffer, or as a way to get your spouse to treat you better, then these are bad reasons for a divorce. Getting a divorce to make your spouse suffer is probably not going to work. In fact, you may find yourself in the worst situation with your spouse not feeling any of the pain you hoped to inflict. Similarly, if your spouse is not treating you well, it is likely they will continue to treat you poorly after the divorce. Get a divorce if you want to end your marriage not because you want to send a message.
- Resolve your personal conflicts.
Some people come into a marriage with their own baggage. Either they have issues with their own parents, or perhaps they have issues with previous relationships. Before you ask for a divorce, resolve your own conflicts. Your problem may not be with your spouse, rather it’s with your previous experiences. Resolve these before you move forward.
- Can you handle the post-divorce consequences?
Sometimes divorce can sound so easy, “Let’s get divorced and everything will be better.”Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some post-divorce issues include:
– emotional roller coaster
– anger or blame from children
– disappointment from parents and other family members
– changes in finances, lifestyle, and traditions
– fear and insecurity of having no partner (back up)
– wistfulness or longing for the way things were.
If you are not ready for the post-divorce consequences, then you should think again about getting a divorce. Although you may not experience all of the above, you will surely experience at least some of them. If you are not ready to take on the blame that extended family may place on you; or you cannot live with less money, then you should consider solving your marital problems rather than face the post-divorce consequences.
The point here is not to deter you from a divorce. Rather, it is tips and advice on what to ask yourself before you file for divorce. If you are getting a divorce for the right reason and you are ready to take the consequences for your actions, then you will be able to manage the divorce better. Doing so will make for an easier divorce mediation process will be smoother, less emotional, and less traumatic. Your post-divorce life will be easier too because you would have thought of the consequences and have agreed to accept the new challenges.