Are you thinking about divorce and untying the knot? Before you do, consider these three questions first. They may save you a lot of time, money, and, most importantly… your marriage.
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Let me be super clear right off the bat: I am not a therapist that vilifies divorce. It’s great when people can work things out, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. I’m not going to tell you that you need to keep trying at all costs or that there’s a magical cure-all pill that will fix everything.
If you are thinking about divorce, it’s okay; you’re not a bad person. While it may be a difficult pill for those around you to swallow, maybe it’s what needs to happen for long-term happiness and fulfillment. Frankly, some people are better off separated.
It’s not my place to decide whether or not you stay together. That’s your choice.
But! Before that ship sails to the land of single people…
Answer these 3 questions to see if divorce is the right path for you:
1. Have you tried talking out the issues with a professional?
When we are tense, and our emotions are high, we reduce our ability to hear and think things through logically.
This can result in you and your partner having the same fights over and over again.
This is why a professional such as a therapist, mediator, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), etc., can be useful. They may see things you don’t. They can help translate some of the messages that just aren’t getting across to your significant other and/or have you see things from a new perspective that you haven’t considered.
Sometimes there’s a stigma attached to seeking couples therapy, but trust me: I’ve worked with a ton of couples, and every single one has been happy to have the support, whether or not they chose to stay together.
If you care about your relationship, then give it a shot!
2. Have you asked your partner for specific actions to address the issues?
This may seem silly, but many times when we get upset, we focus on the problem and believe that the other person should just know why we’re upset, what the issue is, and how to fix it.
The truth is, they don’t! People aren’t mind readers! Most people, even your own partner, may not see what you see.
I’m not saying it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card, but in a world full of stressors, anxieties, work, and juggling 1001 things, your partner may not know what the problem is or even see it as a problem!
So have a conversation.
Tell your partner what’s making you unhappy. Offer 1 or 2 solutions that could make things better.
If you don’t have the conversation and they don’t know why you are upset, you can’t really blame them.
If you bring it to their attention and offer solutions, and they do nothing, THEN you can blame them all you want!
3. Are you holding onto your old ways?
We change. It’s a fact of life, and our relationships are no different. The relationship you were in last month is not the same one you’re in now.
I’ve seen so many couples spend their time attempting to recapture the grandeur of how their relationship “used to be”… and fail. Not because they aren’t trying hard enough but because they’re in a different place now. No relationship stays the same forever.
Instead, look at who you are now, what your goals are (individually and together), and what your morals and values are. Are you both still in alignment or not?
The past may not be changeable, but the future is. Maybe that future has something that is worth staying for, and maybe it doesn’t. That conversation is worth having.
If you want to stay together and make it work, sometimes you have to start from a new place rather than recreate the past.
Divorce is a big red button in your relationship. Once you bring it up, it can change the dynamic of your relationship forever. If you are going to press that button, make sure you have considered all of your options first!
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