What to Consider Before Signing Those Divorce Papers
Divorce statistics are ever changing, but currently most divorces occur in March and August and roughly half of all marriages end in divorce. Although it seems like a quick fix, divorce is a process that usually goes on for years. Marriage experts believe that half of all divorces wouldn’t have to happen if couples were able to find ways to work out their differences. However, many couples get tired and exasperated when they don’t see changes in their partner or their situation. This frustration may lead couples into a relationship with someone else, and they end their marriage without considering what life will be like after divorce.
If you’re feeling angry, resentful, and tired, ending the marriage seems like a solution, but many times it’s the beginning of more problems. I highly encourage you to step back, consider these suggestions, and try to work through your marital struggle; at the very least, you will gain insight into your contribution to the divorce, so you don’t set a pattern with unsuccessful relationship partners.
Are your expectations realistic? Believing your partner can be all things to you is wishful thinking. Your partner is your teammate, but not your parent or savior. Making them solely responsible for your happiness is not being fair or emotionally mature. Maybe it’s not your partner you have to change but your thinking.
Are you valuing other people’s advice instead of your vows? Maybe your parents split up when you were a child, and you were never exposed to couples working out problems together. You can love someone and disagree with them. In fact, that is one of the most important lessons parents can teach their children. It’s okay to argue and have differences as long as you maintain respect.
How will you make it financially? In the heat of the moment, couples forget that they share income and expenses. You should not get divorce without knowing your credit score or income after a divorce. Taking care of your children must be a top consideration.
If you have children, how will you co-parent? Unfortunately, many couples get caught up in themselves and their own pain. Kids suffer, too, and parents must put their child’s needs and safety as a top priority.
Will a separation work better? If you’re constantly angry, resentful, and sad, getting a divorce won’t fix these things. A separation gives you time to think and work with a therapist.
There are some problems you cannot fix in marriage like abuse and addictions. However, there are many people who get divorces only to later wonder if they should have tried harder. My best advice is if you are struggling in your marriage, set a time limit. Give your marriage one year to try and turn things around. Go to counseling, learn to communicate better, attend marriage retreats, spend quality time together, and put your gadgets away when you’re together. Prioritizing your marriage and spending time together can turn a struggling marriage around, and that’s a lot less stressful then going through a divorce.