The old song by The Clash might be catchy (and it might even be stuck in your head now), but you probably don’t feel much like singing when you’re considering whether you should get a divorce or not.
If your marriage has been in trouble for a while, you’ve probably thought about the idea of a divorce more than once.
But it’s not always easy to give up on a relationship. That’s especially true when you really do love your spouse, yet your marriage is struggling. After all, divorce can have a huge impact on your life, the lives of your kids, family, etc.
There are a few important things to consider before you truly decide if you should end your marriage or not. Keep these things in mind, and you may find the decision is easier than you thought.
Ask Yourself: What Is Motivating My Thoughts?
If you’ve thought about filing for a divorce before, ask yourself what the reason was. Did you just get into a fight with your spouse? Or have you been disconnected or “broken” for a long time? Considering your underlying motivations can make it easier to make a smarter decision.
Some people use the threat of a divorce to get their spouse to change or to try to improve their relationship. Unfortunately, that rarely works. Divorce shouldn’t be used as some kind of wake up call. Filing for divorce won’t magically make your spouse a different person, and it won’t save your marriage overnight.
Getting a divorce for the wrong reasons can leave you feeling empty, guilty, and wondering whether you made a mistake.
So, think about why you’re really considering a divorce. If it’s a lasting issue that you feel can’t be resolved, you may want to consider individual counseling to gain some clarity.
Don’t Listen to Your Emotions
It’s easy to let emotions drive you, especially in a relationship. But when you’re considering whether to get a divorce, your emotions shouldn’t be in full control. You’ll have them, and it’s important to listen to them and understand where they’re coming from. But they shouldn’t be the driving force behind your decision.
For example, don’t let a heated argument trigger your decision to get a divorce. Give yourself time to calm down. Think about the positive aspects of your marriage.
Giving the state of your relationship some serious thought will make it easier for reason to take control, rather than your feelings.
Think About the Aftermath
There are a lot of different factors to consider when you decide to divorce. One of the hardest things people have to deal with is the aftermath. A divorce can be a long, drawn-out process. That’s especially true if you have kids, property and assets to split, etc.
Keep in mind that your divorce will affect more than just you. (Though, that shouldn’t be a reason to stay in a marriage that isn’t healthy.) Think about how the divorce will affect your family, children, etc. Talk to them about it. If necessary, set resources in place to help everyone get through it. This could include talking to a professional, attending support groups, etc.
You’ll also need to think about what a divorce will mean for you, financially and logistically. How will your lifestyle have to change? Are there things you’re willing to give up or get rid of? Will you have to get a different job? Will you have to move?
Again, these aren’t questions that should keep you from doing what’s best. But considering them ahead of time can make them feel like less of a shock if you do decide to get a divorce. Remember, you are not alone. The therapists at the San Diego Divorce Counseling Center are here to support you.
If you’re going through a divorce or you need help re-engaging your sense of self, please contact the San Diego Divorce Counseling Center at www.DivorceCounselingCenter.com and click the Book Online button, or call us at 619-865-3203, to set up an appointment.