Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Most couples spend more time trying to decide whether or not to get divorced than they do decide to get married. You meet ‘the one’, fall madly in love, get engaged, plan the wedding, get married. Some couples take time between getting engaged and getting married, typically to ensure more financial security. Yet, when deciding to divorce, the weight of the decision seems so much greater, particularly when there are children to consider.
Indeed, when you get married, you’re imaging a fairytale life, family, home, growing old together, who wouldn’t want to move forward? On the other hand, life post-divorce can be anything but a fairytale. Given that you’re now imagining life alone, supporting yourself financially and not being sure you’ll ever find another partner, it makes the decision that much more gut-wrenching.
I speak to a lot of individuals in complete mental turmoil about their marriages. On the one hand, they are incredibly unhappy, on the other, the idea of divorce is terrifying. There’s no crystal ball that will tell you exactly what your life will be like post-divorce. So how can you know what to do?
I’m not an advocate of divorce, unfortunately, it’s a reality and I do my very best to support those who need it. You definitely shouldn’t make the decision lightly. Here are a few things to consider before you decide to get divorced:
- Have you expressed your unhappiness with your spouse? How many of us believe ‘he should know.’? Your partner isn’t a mind reader! Sitting on the sofa watching football is the greatest afternoon for him yet you’ve been accommodating him for years as you sit seething, silently wishing for the game to end. Does he know how you really feel?
- If you have discussed your feelings with your spouse, how was it communicated? Did you gently explain that you appreciate what he likes and that you have needs too? Or did you accuse him of hijacking your weekends with sports games?
- Have you resigned yourself to the fact that he/she will never get you? Have you thought about what brought you together in the first place? Didn’t he/she get you then?
- Have you tried marriage counseling? Communication breakdown is often the main cause of your unhappiness. Going to a skilled marriage counselor can help you open up the lines of communication and determine if the issues are resolvable or if there truly is a chasm that can never be closed.
If you do decide that the marriage is not repairable, your marriage counselor may be the right person to help you both through the transition. With the right planning and support, you will have a better divorce process and maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-spouse.
I’m a firm believer in the right to choose a happy life. I know it’s not that simple. Some people think that staying is easier, they’re willing to sacrifice their happiness so as not to rock the boat. They exist in a marriage, simply because the alternative is too frightening. I think we all deserve better than just existing, we deserve to live!