The big ‘D’ word – Divorce is a step in your life which might be filling you with dread. It is the ending of what once was a beautiful relationship. It’s sad and heartbreaking and at the same time, you may even be very angry at your other half, prompting you to take an impulsive decision. You have to be quite sure about getting a divorce, as it’s something you cannot come back from.
Sometimes you may be too frustrated and in pain due to some problems in your relationship, but might be a resolution, and you need not take the final step. It’s very important to do some soul searching before filing for divorce, as it is a decision which you have to live with your entire life. Here are some questions you have to ask yourself, in all honesty and with a cool head and heart before you head down that road:
Questions you must ask yourself before filing for divorce
1. Do you want a divorce motivated by emotions (anger, disappointment etc)?
Sometimes people initiate a divorce process when they are overwrought by emotions due to relationship problems. Feelings like anger, disappointment, depression, boredom can make you lose sight of the value of what you have with your spouse.
One of the things to consider before filing for divorce is to make sure that the reason behind the emotional turmoil can or cannot be solved. Maybe you can seek professional counseling, especially if you are overwhelmed by conflicting emotions. One moment you want out of the marriage, and the next you can’t bear to think about divorce.
2. Do you love your spouse?
If you’re still in love with your spouse, feel affectionate towards him/her, then you should definitely rethink your divorce decision. Whether you love or don’t love your spouse is one of the questions you should ask before going forward. Why not attempt to mend your relationship, on your own, or go for marriage counseling if you still have feelings for each other? Many couples on the verge of divorce have benefited from counseling and were saved from an unnecessary divorce.
3. Are your simply threatening divorce or are you really serious about it?
Before filing for divorce, one of the things to consider is whether you are using the threat of divorce to get some attention from your spouse. You may have started threatening with divorce in order to have power over him/her, or as a last ditch attempt to get him/her to listen to you.
Making threats is a very bad idea, as the situation may spiral out of hand, and you may be divorced before you know it! Never bring up it up unless you’re sure about it and then take the plunge and inform your spouse of your intent to divorce. If both of you are having problems, then your spouse might be thinking of the same thing.
4. Did you ever have a marriage worth keeping?
Take a good look at your marriage – was it ever a marriage in the true sense of the word, or just two people staying together in the same house? Marriage is more than an agreement to share the housework and finances. There has to be emotional bonding, love and respect for one another, and if there isn’t, it’s best to get out of the meaningless relationship. So before filing for divorce, and if you’re having second thoughts, don’t, because there is no couple or marriage anyway.
5. How would your divorce impact your children?
Children are the ones who are most affected by the divorce of parents, at least initially. Try your utmost to resolve your differences so that you are not haunted by feelings of guilt later. You both have to sit and talk to the children, and explain that you cannot live together any more, but you still love them.
It’s been seen that those children of divorced parents who are showered with love and affection by both parents equally come through the separation with much less trauma, and manage to adjust well to the new equation. Like many modern couples, you and your soon-to-be ex can work an amicable arrangement to look after the children, and even plan to take holidays together!
6. Who gets what?
The stickiest part about divorce is the division of the assets, even though there may be very little. You either have to decide to be generous or fight for every bit. You may be getting the house and car and your spouse the cash or investments. Financial division is what to know in detail before going in for a legal separation. It’s not always about material goods, people fight about pets too! If you really want to keep the dog/cat, you may have to give up a favorite painting.
7. Do you have a support system?
Before filing for divorce, look around you and see whether you have some people who can help you through the traumatic time. There may be family members and friends who can keep you grounded through the tough time. Look for support groups which are also a great help, as you meet people who have gone through the same experience and can offer you the support and strength you need.
8. Is your affair worth your marriage?
If you are having a relationship outside your marriage – it could be an online ‘emotional’ affair or a full-blown passionate affair, and this is driving you towards a divorce, you have to take a step back and see whether you are really, truly invested in all ways towards the other person.
Before filing for divorce, you have to take a deep breath and see whether you want to give up on a marriage in which you had invested so much of yourself. Funny thing is, once people realize the real reason for the affair was boredom, then they find things which interest them, such as dancing, any sports or painting, volunteering and so on.
Marriage tends to lose its sparkle after a period of time. It could be due to different interests, incompatibility, financial problems or just the tedium of living day in and day out with the same person gets to you. But remember the marriage vows, and go for divorce only when your marriage is a complete disaster.