Marriage can be difficult in ways you may not have anticipated when you first said ‘I do’. The situation is compounded by the reality that there is no universal formula for a happy relationship or road-map we can use to successfully navigate through the difficult times. While some couples eventually move past periods of turmoil, others wonder whether or not divorce is the solution.
It’s a question that only you can answer. Divorce is a highly personal decision and only you can truly know what the best move is for your circumstances. But unless there are urgent reasons for leaving your spouse, such as domestic violence, it’s generally advisable that you ask yourself the following four questions and provide honest answers.
Do I want a divorce or simply a happier marriage?
The answer to this one is especially important, as there’s a huge difference between a marriage that’s simply unhappy and one that’s irreparably broken. Some couples contemplate divorce when all they really need is marriage and or personal counselling to assist them with serious relationship challenges.
Do I have unfairly high expectations for marriage?
While there’s no reason why you should tolerate shabby treatment or disrespect, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether your expectations are unreasonably high. Do you expect your spouse to read your mind and tell when you’re unhappy? Should you share your priorities 100% of the time? Should you always agree on financial matters? These aren’t necessarily irreconcilable differences: even the happiest couples are not always on the same page.
Have I taken an honest look at my own role in the problem?
No one is perfect, so we all contribute to our own problems to a certain extent. Maybe we’re quick to lose our temper when things go wrong or, conversely, shy away from speaking up until we reach a boiling point. Perhaps we’re dismissive of any perspectives or opinions we don’t share. While you are not responsible for your spouse’s actions, you are responsible for yours.
Do I still love my spouse?
Everyday stresses and challenges associated with marriage can cause some of us to lose sight of the love we originally had for our spouse. While love doesn’t cure all, it can be the foundation for getting the help needed to repair your marriage.
If you decide in the end that divorce is the best option, your next step should be to contact an experienced divorce attorney in your local area. If you reside in Southeast Michigan, call Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC for advice and assistance. We will provide legal guidance and representation throughout the divorce and any post-settlement modifications that may be required, so that you can move on toward a happier and more fulfilled future.
~Originally posted in February 2017~