Some people threaten divorce every time they have a fight. It’s easy to say things in a fit of anger that you don’t mean. Maybe you even do mean it, at the moment. But it’s not a word you should use lightly. Once the “D” word is out of your mouth, your relationship changes and you are in a danger zone. If you don’t want problems to escalate, think before you say you want a divorce. There’s so much to consider.
Children come first, of course. Considering how a divorce will affect them is a complex issue, and only you can determine the short and long-term ramifications for them. In the end, you will want to tell them you did everything you could to stay together. Here are some more things to consider, whether you have children or not.
Could this just be a rough patch? Every marriage has its ups and downs, like any relationship. Maybe you’re in a down period. If it’s so down that you feel you want to leave, take a time out. Let the crisis pass so you can sift through emotions and determine what your real feelings are. When you’re not so exhausted from emotional turmoil, you may have more energy and will to do the necessary work to repair and restore your marriage.
Are there aspects of your marriage worth saving? Sometimes couples get caught up in a toxic pattern of negativity. One partner will complain about the other’s habit of dropping wet towels on the floor and the other will shoot back with another accusation. Before you know it, they are focusing only on the other’s weaknesses and the relationship has gotten out of hand. If they can think about the good parts of their marriage and focus on what they like about their spouses, they are in a position to begin to repair and rebuild.
Conflicts can mean rebirth. Sometimes, when your marriage is threatened by a major event, such as infidelity or substance abuse, there seems little hope. But it can also mean that real growth is ahead if the addicted person can overcome his habit, or the cheating partner can stop for good. Then you have a chance to reboot your marriage and create a new, stronger and wiser relationship. It will be different from the marriage you had before, but it can also be even better.
Know you’ll have problems with any partner. No relationship is free of strife. You may have different problems with someone else, but you will have problems. Are the ones you have now so insurmountable? Because you could start over with someone new, but who knows what issues you’ll face? Do your best to heal your current relationship before you give up. A new relationship may only get you embroiled in another set of problems. If your marriage is even a little worth saving, give it your best try.
In the end, if you and your spouse have any desire to make your marriage work, postpone the path of divorce until you’ve given your marriage everything you’ve got. There will be challenges, sure, but anything worth having is worth working for. If you both want it to work, you can do it.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact