4 tips for answering one of the most difficult questions you’ll ever ask.
If you’re wondering “Should I get a divorce?”, you’re in a tough spot. My guess is you didn’t just happen on this thought out of the blue either. There’s been a lot going on.
Maybe what’s been going on has been your spouse’s doing. They haven’t been communicating with you. They’ve been abusive. They’ve cheated. Or they’ve done something else.
Maybe what’s been going on has been your doing. You’ve stopped talking with your spouse about what’s important to you. You’ve given up. You’ve started self-medicating to deal with the pain you’re feeling. You’re having an affair. Or you’ve done something else.
Whatever has brought you to the point of asking yourself “Should I get a divorce?” you’re ready for things to change, but you’re not sure how to make things better or if “better” is even possible.
No doubt about it this is a really tough spot in which to find yourself. If you choose to stay in your marriage, what are the chances things will get better? And if you choose to divorce, how do you even begin to make that work and how will it impact the kids? This is one of those times when it would be really helpful to have a crystal ball to show you which path to take.
The question “Should I get a divorce?” is one that only you can answer, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck trying to answer it by guessing.
Here are 4 additional questions to help you get closer to answering your question about your marriage’s viability:
- Are you dealing with one of the 3 definite signs you should get a divorce: abuse, untreated addictions despite requests that the addict get treatment, setting an abysmal example of marriage for your children? If you are, then divorce is your best way forward.
- If you see your behavior as at least part of the reason you’re asking yourself if you should get a divorce, are you willing to change your behavior? If you are, then there’s definitely hope for your marriage.
- If you see your spouse’s behavior as at least part of the problem, are you willing to have a calm, respectful conversation with them about how their behavior is impacting you and your marriage? If you are, then filing for divorce isn’t the right way forward at this moment.
- Are you willing to do what it takes to know for certain if you can save you marriage? If you are, then it’s time to put questions of divorce behind you and focus your efforts on doing everything possible to make your marriage better until it either becomes better or it becomes obvious that it will never be better.
Only one of these 4 additional questions has the potential to give you an immediate definitive answer to the question “Should I get a divorce?”. The others postpone reaching an answer in favor of learning more about you and your spouse which you might view as a delay.
But the delay in reaching an answer about your marriage’s viability is critical to being able to make the best decision possible for yourself – and for your family.
So as uncomfortable as it is to contemplate the question “Should I get a divorce?” is, it’s only by examining what is possible by asking different questions that you’ll ever arrive at an answer that allows you to know you’ve made the best decision possible.
Looking for more support and ideas for dealing with a difficult marriage? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Unhappy Marriage.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and personal life coach. I help people just like you who are struggling with questions of whether they can save their marriage. You can join my anonymous newsletter list for free weekly advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with me directly in my Time Trade calendar.