So, you are thinking about getting divorced?
Maybe you still love your spouse, but you are no longer “in love”. Perhaps you are considering how a divorce will affect not only yourself, but also your children and/or others that care about you and your family. Besides the emotional impact of a divorce, finances can be devastated.
For certain, divorce should never be considered lightly and only should be pursued after great thought.
>> Maybe you are the person who just found out your spouse wants “out”.
If so, you may have been caught off-guard. It is not unusual for one partner to feel that, although things could be better, there should be no thoughts of divorce only to be shocked by their partner who feels divorce is the answer to the problems of the marriage.
You may have even been planning a family vacation or working on some long-term planning only to be hit over the head with this difficult news.
Most couples going through a divorce are totally unprepared even if they are the ones that want the divorce.
And, of course, the decision to get a divorce can lead to years of negative consequences, some of which cannot be easily anticipated. Usually, when a divorce is begun, one or both spouses are really not ready for a divorce. That sounds strange because obviously one of the parties wanted “out” – so doesn’t that mean they want a divorce? Maybe.
>> Sometimes, a party associates temporary, but fixable, problems with a need to get divorced. Sometimes, it seems easier just to get divorced then to put in the effort that would be needed to fix the marriage.
We all have stress in our lives and in our marriages that can lead to poor decisions and knee-jerk decisions.
Sometimes, we do not realize that the situation is just temporary and some seemingly hopeless situations are not so hopeless. The point being that before we make a decision to divorce, we really must face ourselves and ask ourselves critical questions to know our true feelings and true thoughts about the current situation.
And to face ourselves in the mirror, while not always pleasant or quick, is a necessary step before taking any divorce action. To really examine our intentions and the underlying emotions, a licensed therapist can be hugely helpful and is sometimes required to make a breakthrough, one way or another.
And, I do not mean just marital counseling. (see The 4 Types of Counseling)
You may also need individual counseling. The counseling is not to “fix” you or to necessarily change your mind, but to help you get a clear look at yourself and to allow you to reach your own conclusions about the course of action you should take. Someone who is there to support you when appropriate, but also someone who will challenge you when you are wrong. This process will help you to make better decisions and to lesson the chances that years from now you look back and question your ultimate decision.
>> Often, people only think about ending the pain as quick as possible.
But the decision to divorce is itself a process and should never be rushed. Friends and family may try to be helpful by encouraging you to get the divorce over as soon as possible, but that can lead to very negative consequences that can reach far beyond the conclusion of your divorce case, especially when there are children involved or significant property to be divided. Friends and family often think you should just “rip off the band-aid instead of feeling the pain.
The problem is that many problems (cuts/wounds) are more than skin deep and cannot be solved with a quick removal of a band-aid.
If the deeper problems are not dealt with, they will come out later. The body and mind are pretty amazing about making sure problems are dealt with one way or another. What you don’t want to happen is for your body and mind to later have problems that come with underlying stress and unresolved feelings.
Getting the divorce over with may seem like a good idea right now as you sit in pain, but if you don’t spend the time to adequately examine and understand your thoughts, emotions and feelings, you may be making a decision to divorce when a divorce is not even necessary.
Not only does a quick decision to divorce cause issues during a divorce, you are most likely causing legal problems long after the divorce is over. You also may be creating roadblocks that will keep you from moving on after the divorce.
Therefore, it is critical that you, at the very least, seek individual counseling and ask yourself tough questions about whether or not you are really ready for a divorce (see 3 Basic Questions that MUST be Answered Before Making a Decision to Divorce).
And if both parties are willing to go to marital counseling, in addition to individual counseling, that is even better.