How do I know if divorce is the right answer? – Rebecca from Des Moines, IA
As infuriating as this answer probably is… you will know, without a shred of doubt, if divorce is the right answer. Every story is different and every person has their point of no return in a relationship. Therefore, no one can make the decision for you and no one can tell you when enough is enough or if your relationship is beyond repair – although some will definitely try. However, if you are in the gray area and don’t know what to do there are some things you can do to try to find clarity.
Familiarize Yourself with Other People’s Experiences
Read about and research other people’s experiences in both saving a marriage and proceeding with a divorce. Prior to and during a divorce, feeling isolated is common and it can be very difficult to talk about your situation. Context can help greatly with this. Knowing that others have come back from the brink can be inspiring and uplifting. What is involved with a divorce and what post-divorce life might look like will help you decide if divorce is the right answer. Hearing real stories and finding real data can provide perspective and valuable insight. At the very least, many people dealing with the same thing share your feelings and emotions.
Seek Counseling and Therapy
Seriously, why wouldn’t you? Call it something else if you need to – coaching, life strategizing, whatever works. This is a BIG decision and you want to make sure you have your head on straight and that you are truly making the best decision for yourself and your family. I have met and worked with some amazing mental health professionals in my career. Health professionals commit to helping you work through the issues that associated with your potential split. If a divorce is the right decision, they can help you move forward in a healthy way.
Learn About Divorce
Spend some time learning about the different types of divorce and the processes and costs associated with them. Divorce will take an emotional and financial toll on you and your spouse. You need to know in advance what that could be. Divorce shouldn’t be a reactive, impulsive decision; but rather, a well thought out choice partnered with research and preparation.
However, the most important thing is your safety. Your mental and physical well-being and that of your kids should always be paramount. If you are in any danger, all other considerations should take a backseat and you should seek help. Whether or not to divorce is the right answer, the decision impacts many aspects of your life and can have a large ripple effect. Before you utter those four words, “I want a divorce”, make sure it truly is what you want and that you are fully prepared for the process and the fallout.
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