If your marriage is struggling, it’s only natural that you’re considering whether a divorce could be the solution. However, it’s a very serious step to take. How can you be certain that you’re taking the right course of action?
All couples considering divorce will face one of these three dilemmas:
- Both partners want to get divorced but aren’t sure if they’re taking the right action. Divorcing has a major impact on their children’s lives, their lifestyle and economics. In such circumstances, the best decision is one which isn’t ego-driven or emotionally based.
- Only one partner wants the divorce, leaving the other party feeling helpless. The emotional devastation is intense. Their life changes beyond recognition in a short space of time and it can be hard to confront the marital issues due to the hurt they experience.
- Both partners only want to get divorced because they feel their marriage isn’t working. Each will blame the other for their marital problems and anger is a major feature.
In all three of these dilemmas, fear is a common element, and in all of these circumstances, the process of divorcing can become combative and prolonged.
In order for any divorce to be respectful and collaborative, it’s important for the couple to both be ready for a complete separation of their lives, emotionally, practically and legally. There are 8 questions for couples to answer to prepare for this.
1.Are You Still Harbouring Feelings For Your Spouse?
Lots of people who think they want to get divorced still have feelings for their spouse. However, the closeness and intimacy in their relationship has gone. In such circumstances, working on the relationship before going down the path to divorce is very important. Without trying to restore the intimacy in the marriage, feelings of loss can be overwhelming.
2.Were You Truly Married In The First Place?
For a couple to be truly married they must have developed a relationship which was centred around the concept of “us”. Many couples who get divorced never had a marriage in the true sense in the first place. They were simply two individuals who focused on their own requirements and needs. While they may have shared a house and raised children together, they were competing with each other the whole time instead of being unified in their position.
3.Are You Only Threatening Divorce?
Lots of couples having a heated argument threaten divorce, but aren’t really ready to take that step. Couples who are frustrated and angry or who want to gain more control over their partner often take this course of action. Sometimes, partners use this threat as a sign that they need changes to be made in their relationship. However threatening divorce regularly causes a loss of credibility. Couples who really are ready to get divorced should be able to discuss the situation calmly and without blaming each other.
4.Am I Reacting Emotionally?
When someone is truly ready for divorce, they are capable of making an unemotional, clear decision. They no longer have a strong emotional attachment to their spouse. People who are only divorcing due to anger remain angry, often for years following the divorce being finalised.
5.Why Do I Want A Divorce?
If your answer to this includes any other reason other than bringing the marriage to an end, it’s a sign that you’re not ready for a divorce. If you hope that, by divorcing, you’ll force your partner to change, pay for all the hurt they’ve caused or realise what they’ve lost, your reasons are all wrong. Divorce can’t change the way that your partner feels and thinks.
6.Do You Have Internal Conflicts Surrounding Divorce?
Everybody going through divorce has conflicts. Often, people feel guilt or betrayal while recognising their life will be much better once they’ve left the relationship. Being able to recognise that conflict and acknowledge it is a vital element of preparing to divorce
7.Are You Able to Handle The Consequences Of Divorcing?
Divorce causes grief and change. Hurt, disappointment, failure, rejection and loneliness can all invade your mind during this process. You need supportive friends and family around you at this time to help you through the tough times both practically and emotionally. Another major consequence of divorcing is the need to confront another person’s emotional pain. Be prepared to have to hold onto the decision to end your marriage even when others are going through significant emotional distress. This is even the case if your partner is the one who wants to divorce and you don’t want to take that step. Some questions to help you to realise if you’re ready to handle the consequences of divorcing include:
- Am I happy to change my lifestyle, traditions and finances?
- Am I prepared to accept my children’s anger and sadness?
- Am I ready to accept that I will feel afraid and insecure at times?
- Am I willing to let my spouse go spiritually, emotionally and mentally?
If your response to any of these four questions is no, you’re not yet ready to take the step of divorce.
8.Are You Prepared to Control Your Life Maturely And Responsibly?
Whether you want to divorce or whether you’re the victim of your partner’s desire to separate, you need to have the right response to the situation. Having the right attitude towards divorce is vital if you want to avoid bitterness and acrimony between you. If you’re ready to divorce you should also be ready to take decisions which protect both of your rights equally and which are good for both parties.
If you can answer all eight of these questions, you are in a better position to ensure that you truly are ready to divorce your spouse and that you are in the right place mentally and emotionally to handle the process in a collaborative and respectful way. By working together rather than tearing each other apart, it’s possible to have a positive divorce that puts both partners in a stronger and happier position.
If you need help with your divorce or separation call The Divorce Manager on 0800 294 0452 to book your FREE consultation.