Should I Get a Divorce?
Should I Get a Divorce?
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide
Ending your marriage is a huge decision, and since you’re reading this article, clearly you’re not taking it lightly. It’s probably weighed heavily on you for a long time, which is so tiring.
Nobody considers divorce unless they’re really hurting and hopeless that things will get better.
You’d like answers. What’s the best path? Which choice will make you happier in the long run?
No expert can tell you what’s right for you. Only you know if it’s best for you to end your marriage.
But that doesn’t mean you need to make such a big decision all alone.
They’ll help you get clarity–and maybe even find the wisdom you need at such a tough time in your life.
1. Ask Yourself: Am I Happy?
“Am I happy?” may seem like an easy question to answer–of course you’re not! You wouldn’t be contemplating breaking up your family if you were.
You have lots of reasons to feel unhappy, which is why it seems so contrary even to ask this.
The reason I ask is because I was once very unhappy in my marriage too, and I felt that it was because my husband wasn’t doing a good job making me happy.
But it turns out I just wasn’t good at being happy myself.
In fact, when I first tried to make myself happy every day, I had no idea where to start.
I was resigned to having too many obligations–too much work, too many bills, too much housework, too much responsibility. I thought that’s how life was and I just had to suck it up and slog through.
Thankfully, I was completely wrong.
When I started prioritizing my own delight over working more, I felt so much lighter and more joyful.
If I had divorced in search of that feeling, I would have had a rude awakening that I still wasn’t very happy.
This question is worth seriously asking yourself because it turns out only happy people have happy relationships.
How could you make yourself happy despite the circumstances in your marriage? If you do divorce, of course you’ll be the one making yourself happy then. Why not start now and see how it looks?
Of course, it may not solve all your relationship problems. I get that. It didn’t solve all of mine either. But getting happy was the indispensable first step to having the playful, passionate marriage I have now.
2. Are You Angry?
Here’s another deceptively easy question: Are you angry?
Of course you’re angry!
I know because I was furious myself when I was on the verge of ending my marriage.
Although I didn’t go through with it, part of me wanted to file for divorce not just to escape the pain of interacting with my husband but also to make him hurt too.
I’m not proud to admit that I wanted to show him how it felt to be rejected and abandoned.
Because the truth is that under all that anger, I was hurt. Very hurt.
My anger was a cover for my hurt. I felt safer being livid than I did admitting I was devastated that he wanted nothing to do with me and only wanted to watch TV.
It was much scarier to admit I was hurt than to defend myself with a snappy insult. But when I finally did respond like a mere mortal woman instead of a human steamroller, I was amazed at how much better my husband responded to me.
Instead of swiping back and forth at each other, I saw him respond with protection and offer comfort when I revealed my vulnerability by saying “ouch!” when I felt hurt.
These days I know that when I’m mad, it means I’m hurt. And hurt is a much more connecting feeling than snippy retorts.
I also know it has never been my husband’s intention to hurt me, with the key word being “intention.” We live so close together that sometimes we hurt each other accidentally. My first response is still to get mad at times, but then I can ask myself if maybe I’m hurt underneath.
So far the answer has always been “yes.”
Keeping in mind that he didn’t mean to do it, just like he didn’t mean to step on my foot last week, helps me recover from the hurt without having to air a grievance to him, which can create defensiveness.
3. Have I Cleaned Up My Side of the Street?
Of course you’re noticing that your man has shortcomings and how painful they are to live with. That was my experience also. I couldn’t take his detachment and inattentiveness for one more day!
But as with every story, there are two sides.
When my marriage was at its lowest point, I wasn’t very dignified.
I told my husband he was so negative, which is a rather negative thing to say.
I blamed him for being so critical, which is a critical thing to say.
I wanted him to be more spiritual, which wasn’t very spiritual of me.
I said a lot of mean, ugly things. I rolled my eyes in disgust, criticized him and complained incessantly. These are not qualities I aspire to, and I didn’t feel good hearing myself say those things.
In other words, my side of the street needed plenty of cleaning.
But I didn’t know any other way to be! I didn’t see where I had another option except to find fault.
Something told me, though, that I’d be taking myself with me wherever I want–even into a new relationship after I got divorced–and that some of those less appealing qualities might go along with me unless I improved the only person I could: me.
I’m unspeakably grateful that I learned the 6 Intimacy Skills™, which taught me how to do that. They’ve been the best self-improvement program I have ever undertaken.
And without my broken marriage to practice them in, I’m not sure I would ever have gotten the miracle of feeling so confident, calm and dignified–not to mention loved every single day just for being me.
It’s something I wish every woman could experience. And I know of no better way to get there than by starting out wondering if you should get a divorce.