Earlier, the word “divorce” was associated with some sort of failure. It was perceived as the “easiest” way to get away from marital problems. Thus, terminating the marriage has long been considered something shameful.
However, it’s not uncommon in the modern world as now people are more concerned about their emotional health and well-being than how society perceives them.
So, when is divorce the best option?
Typically, when marriage issues reach a critical scale, and there’s practically nothing to save. That’s when married couples start thinking about ending their marriage.
But what are these issues, and what situations indicate that divorce is the right decision?
Keep reading our article to find answers and determine when divorce is the best option or at least one of the possible scenarios for your family life.
The decision to divorce your spouse should not be taken lightly. Marriage and family therapist Rebecca Hendrix says, “Deciding to divorce is a huge decision that will have ripple effects on all areas of your life for years to come.”
So even if you think your marriage failed and nothing can be saved, you should stop and take a break to analyze the situation.
Don’t make spontaneous rash choices. It can lead to irreparable consequences. First, you should talk with your spouse about the problems in the family and try to find ways to solve them. You can discuss everything together or attend marriage counseling to get some outside help.
Before deciding to leave, you need to think divorce over to the smallest detail. However, try to focus on your feelings and desires only. Since you are making this decision, you are the one responsible for it. So you should be satisfied with the results you get.
Ask yourself the following questions to understand whether divorce is right for you and see if you are ready for such a step.
Before deciding to get divorced, you need to understand your inner self. Ask yourself: “How do I feel about my spouse?” Is there love between you two, not to mention mutual understanding and respect?
Despite financial issues, power struggles, lack of intimacy, and other marriage problems, some wives and husbands considering divorce may still have strong feelings for their partners.
If you still love your better half, perhaps the desire to get a divorce is your way of getting away from problems.
Remember that working on a relationship is better than a hasty decision to get divorced. What’s more, if you still love your spouse, a breakup can escalate the feeling of loss and put you in an even worse emotional state than you are now.
The decision to divorce your partner should be clear. It should not be based on emotions solely. You need to be able to support it over time.
A person who wants to end a marital relationship must let go of any emotional attachment (love, hostility, resentment, etc.). Remember that emotion-based decisions are short-lived and often do not solve the underlying problem.
For instance, spouses who want to get divorced because of anger continue to live with these emotions even after the divorce is completed.
Those who choose to divorce, not just an emotional whim but a sincere decision, can admit that their spouses are independent individuals with their characters, interests, hopes, etc. They respect them for that but are ready to move on as they have considered their reasons for divorce.
Rightly so, you should ask yourself, “Isn’t my desire to get divorced emotionally reactive?” right after answering the question about feelings for your spouse. Indeed, being ready for divorce means having a lower emotional attachment to your spouse.
The “correct” answer to this question is “I want to get a divorce.” Any other answers, desires, and intentions show that you are not ready to end your marriage.
For example, if you hope that divorce will change your partner or make them treat you better, you may just want to threaten them.
Spouses who constantly threaten their other halves with divorce lose credibility. People may do it because of anger or irritation or to gain power over a spouse. However, this approach is not a healthy one.
A person ready for divorce understands and accepts that they can give this relationship nothing more and are ready to discuss it with their spouse without blame.
Remember, divorce can’t change a person or correct someone else’s mistakes. Divorce can simply end the marriage and free each spouse for a new and happier life.
How to know when divorce is best for me?
If you’ve asked yourself this question, you have been doubting your marriage for some time. And, most likely, your relationship doesn’t make you happy.
Below you can find 10 possible situations when divorce is a good idea.
Some of them can be changed, and some can be prevented. However, both spouses should be willing to work on their relationships to restore their marriage.
Abuse is a wake-up call for divorce. If there is violence in the marriage, the marriage is worth ending. Otherwise, the consequences can be dire, both for your physical and emotional health.
Some people believe there is only one type of abuse - physical violence (assaults or physical restraint of freedom). However, there are different forms of abuse everyone should be aware of:
If there are signs of abuse in your family, you should seek help from special organizations that help victims. For example, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline that supports anyone experiencing domestic violence.
Here we are talking about addictions people can’t or won’t stop that have been going on for some time. In this case, the type of addiction doesn’t matter, whether it’s an alcohol, gambling addiction, or drugs.
An addicted person does not grow, does not move on, does not progress. They drown in the swamp of their addiction. If they take a helping hand and do not try to get out of this swamp, the person trying to help them will drown as well.
People living with partners with addictions are also co-addicted. As a result, they may have many psychological problems, which are extremely difficult to fix without professional help.
Cheating is a very controversial and common topic among the reasons for divorce. The American Psychological Association found that infidelity is the main reason for 20-40% of divorces in the USA.
What is cheating for you? Can you forgive it? Can a loving person cheat? Does adultery equal betrayal? These questions can be answered only through the prism of your marriage.
For some people, cheating is having sex with another person, while for others, it’s even texting someone else. However, one thing is the same for everyone: divorce can be the best option after infidelity if it crosses out everything between you and your spouse, and you can’t forgive it.
Statistics show that most Americans won’t forgive cheating. According to a Gallup poll, 64% of US residents would not forgive infidelity, including 38% who say they would definitely not do so.
Others may decide to give their relationship a second chance. For example, they can visit an experienced psychologist or marriage counselor to help rebuild their marriage and cope with infidelity if the spouses want to stay together.
One of the obvious signs of impending divorce is the lack of sex. Either you rarely have it, or you don’t like it at all. When that happens, the distance grows between spouses.
Everyone can have relationship crises when you just don’t feel like having sex with your partner. If it is temporary, you shouldn’t worry. But if you can’t remember the last time you had sex, chances are your marriage is in trouble.
So you should think about how that happened and what to do next.
The silence between partners and unwillingness to discuss relationship problems may lead to a divorce in the future.
If you and your spouse don’t talk and deal with conflict situations together, it can be a sign your feelings have cooled. So the question here is whether you want to rekindle the fire. If you do, you can try to save the marriage. However, your spouse should also be willing to do it.
If nothing changes and no one wants to do anything, it is better to end the relationship than to pull a sinking ship.
Habit keeps hundreds of thousands of people together. Of course, many couples are connected by feelings, but when the feelings fade away, and people don’t admit it, they begin to live by inertia.
You’ve probably heard the phrase: “We’ve been together for 5/10/15/... years. We’ve been through so much.” Perhaps these words are stuck in your head as well.
It’s a classic example where the couple is united by fear of changing something rather than love and mutual respect.
A habit is a way to hold on to a past you don’t want to let go of. But it doesn’t make people happy.
Not only did you stop being jealous about your partner, but you also became absolutely indifferent to where, how, and whom they spend time with.
Not being jealous indicates that you are confident in yourself and your spouse. It means you trust them and understand that you can’t tie another person to yourself.
But feeling indifferent to your partner’s life suggests that you, most likely, do not have any love for them. It signals that you live two different lives that don’t intersect in any way.
Is divorce an option if you have kids in marriage? The answer is it can be.
If, after years of marriage, you value your spouse only for being a good parent, it may be time to think about divorce. There may be no point in saving the appearance of marriage for the sake of children only.
Experience shows that children may not appreciate the sacrifices parents make. The atmosphere of falsity in the family can hurt them more than the divorce of their parents. Besides, co-parenting can be an acceptable option if both parents want to participate in their child’s life.
Lindsey Light, a HuffPost contributor and single mother, agrees that unhealthy marriage does more harm to kids than divorce. She says, “If you’re a parent with young kids, getting a divorce is better than staying in a bad marriage because these are formative years for them.
They will likely seek out and emulate the types of relationships they see modeled. I want my relationships to be happy, healthy, and mutually respectful so that my children never settle for anything else in their own lives.”
When a marriage brings discomfort and negative emotions, spouses try to get out of this situation and start looking for support and help “on the side.”
This escape from an unhappy marriage can take various forms: parenthood, friendships with new people, work, addictions, etc. However, the essence is the same - it’s a way for people to run away from problems in their relationships and fill their lives with positive experiences they stopped receiving in marriage.
If you are dreaming about how your life would be without your spouse or in other relationships or started to receive all your positive emotions and necessary support from other people, these are clear signs that divorce may be the right decision for you.
Many divorcing couples do not seek professional help at all or think about it too late. If you are just waiting and hoping that things will improve by themselves, you have chosen the wrong tactic.
Don’t wait until things get really bad to ask for help. The sooner you notice problems in your marriage and start working on them, the better chance you will restore and improve your relationship.
However, if you or your spouse feel that divorce is better than family therapy, perhaps it is in your situation.
Moreover, if you convince yourself that everything will work out after a certain event (moving to a new apartment, having a child, changing jobs), your relationship is in crisis. The fate of your marriage depends on how deep it is and how you deal with it.
When it comes to ending a marriage, everything is purely individual. Only you can decide whether divorce is the best solution for your situation.
The 10 situations we have listed above are just the basics. In real life, there may be many more. But most importantly, spouses can fight some of them if they want. However, be careful when dealing with abuse or addictions in your marriage. It can have dire consequences for your and your kids’ physical and mental health.
Once you decide it is better to divorce your spouse, it’s up to you how the entire divorce process will go and whether it will become another psychological trauma.
That’s why it is crucial to move on in the most civilized way. You may have different options depending on your situation and state of residence. But some of the most popular are uncontested and collaborative divorce.
To proceed peacefully, you can discuss all aspects that worry you together with your spouse either on your own or with the help of a family psychologist, divorce coach, or mediator. It will help you and your spouse solve marriage-related issues and start moving towards a new life.
But if you have any second thoughts about ending the relationship, you shouldn’t make hasty decisions. Instead, try to assess the situation, talk to your spouse, and understand whether you have a common vision of your marriage.
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