What to Consider Before Filing for Divorce
From issues related to child custody and paying child support to the emotional components of being divorced, if you’re considering it, there’s a lot to weigh. Sometimes, we might think a decision is right if we’re in the heat of the moment, and we later realize it’s not.
There are some careful considerations to be made before filing for divorce, including the following.
Does Your Spouse Really Understand Your Concerns or Frustrations?
If you’re thinking about divorce, your spouse may ultimately feel blindsided if you mention it. That’s because we might not always be communicating as clearly as we think we are. For example, you may think you’ve voiced your concerns to your spouse extensively, and yet they’re not making an effort to work on these areas.
However, your spouse may not even realize your concerns. Maybe you haven’t been clear, or perhaps they’re not really hearing what you’re saying.
Regardless, you want to ensure that your concerns are understood before you make any further decisions. A lot of problems in a marriage can be worked on and remedied if both parties are willing.
What Is Your Motivation For Divorce?
There are many reasons you might want a divorce. You could think a divorce is a way to change the dynamic between yourself and your spouse, or maybe to make your spouse take notice. There are other ways to go about achieving many relationship goals aside from divorce.
Is It An Emotional Decision?
If you are in the midst of a heated argument or you’re feeling extremely emotional at the moment, give yourself time to calm down.
When you’re experiencing very strong emotions, it can cloud your judgment.
You also have to think about whether or not you could be in the midst of something in your life that’s impacting your judgment. For example, maybe you’re struggling with boredom or you feel like you could be in a mid-life crisis. In these instances, a divorce is unlikely to make you any happier.
Ending your marriage isn’t likely going to target whatever the underlying emotions or feelings are in a lot of cases.
You have to consider that even if you’re the one who wants a divorce, your feelings of sadness, loneliness, or anxiety may end up being worse after you do. A divorce doesn’t make your problems disappear and it may make them worse.
Are You Unrealistic?
It’s very common to have lofty expectations of marriage, and that’s okay. High expectations can be a good thing, but maybe you’re expecting things that simply aren’t attainable by any person or relationship.
You have to look deeper and see if perhaps you’re expecting things that simply don’t exist and then taking out your frustration or disappointment on your spouse unfairly.
Have You Tried Everything?
Divorce is emotionally, financially, and sometimes even physically draining. You may be tied up in court for years, your financial situation will completely change and you will likely only see your children half the time.
Of course, none of these things are a reason to stay in a bad marriage, but is your marriage actually bad or does it need work? If it needs work, have you tried everything to get the relationship where you want it to be?
How Do You See Your Life After a Divorce?
Are you painting a picture that’s too rosy? Do you think your post-divorce life is going to be perhaps fun or exciting? It’s possible, but if you’re overestimating how much better life will be after a divorce, you need to be realistic with yourself.
What will your relationships with your friends and family be like? Do you see yourself jumping into another relationship quickly? If so, that could indicate that maybe your issue isn’t as much unhappiness with the marriage, but perhaps you want to feel excitement again.
Overall, there’s no one who can tell you whether divorce is the right or wrong answer for you. There are situations where a marriage isn’t salvageable, but are you at that point?
Could you fix the relationship with communication and perhaps counseling? Do you want to work on the marriage, and is it worth it to you to make it work? What are the hurdles and challenges you would likely face post-divorce?
These are all important things to ask yourself. Marriages, like other relationships, can ebb and flow and have ups and downs, so don’t make a huge decision based on potentially fleeting feelings.
By Susan Melony