Divorce is one of life’s most difficult decisions and it must be approached slowly and in a calm and thoughtful manner. Saving your marriage should be your first idea, not your last. Before embarking on the path to divorce, begin your decision making process by writing out the answers to the following questions. The act of putting your thoughts on paper is a method of evaluation that will bring clarity to your process and assist in guiding you toward a rational decision.
Before you speak with an attorney, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you tried couples counseling?
- Have you and your spouse taken the time to talk about and identify the problems in your relationship?
- Do you really listen to each other?
- How well do you compromise?
- Do you schedule quality time together?
- When you argue, do you fight fair?
- Following a dispute, can you make up without holding a grudge?
- Are you partners working toward the same goals?
- Are you willing to accept mutual responsibility for your issues and work on your problems together?
While pondering your future, take a good look at your marriage and evaluate what it would take to make your relationship work. Avoid allowing your romantic expectations to demand too great a presence in your decision making process, but instead look at the bigger picture and address the requirements that would make your relationship worth saving.
- Do you respect and value each other?
- Are you considerate of your spouses’ time?
- Are you able to communicate with each other about sensitive topics?
- Do you spend quality time together?
- Are you functioning members of the same team?
- Do you allow each other enough alone time?
While creating a list of the pros and cons for staying married vs. being single again, consider the following:
- Your children
- Your career status
- Your financial situation
- The life style changes that would occur following a divorce
- The emotional and financial costs of divorce
- Being single again
- Dating someone new and having to deal with their issues
If, after addressing the pros and cons of your relationship, and having carefully considered your physical, emotional, intellectual, financial and spiritual needs, the next logical step may be divorce. Although ending your marriage is difficult, it sometimes offers the best possible option for 2 people who are ready to make the transition toward a new and better life.