For many couples, the decision to go through with a divorce is made many years; even decades after all the signs reared their ugly head. All the signs have been there, and the couple begins co-existing as a separate entities. The problem is that the five life changing, little words, Do you want a divorce,’ never seem to escape from either partner’s lips.
Today, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. In every single one of these marriages, one brave soul had to bring up the question first. The hard part is that in most divorces even if two people are unhappy, the ultimate decision is made by one. And being the one person to bring up divorce puts you in a very vulnerable and disadvantaged position that causes this person to be the ultimate ‘bad guy!‘
One of the reasons that having the guts to ask the question in the first place is so difficult is because you don’t really know how your spouse is going to react. And the fear of the unknown can be debilitating, so much so that many people would rather remain in stagnated marriages than breach the subject.
When you do finally ask the question, chances are your spouse will feel a world of emotions all at once. They might be relieved, angry, or even sad. And their immediate reaction to the news will likely include some pretty impromptu conversation that will likely come from their spontaneous reaction. Not knowing what exactly to expect can be tricky. And worse, what if you say the words based on the signs that you believe the marriage is over, only to find that your spouse agrees, wholeheartedly and goes down without even so much as a fight. This response too can be heartbreaking. After so many years of marriage, you want to believe that things are fixable, that maybe the idea of a divorce will be so traumatic to your spouse that they will be willing to finally listen and help rectify the situation.
On the other hand, if they are angry, defiant, or even resentful then the relationship you have with this person changes so dramatically in one single instant. In fact, it will be the very first time that your partner sees you as an individual, apart, separated from the marriage. And this can be very painful.
There is also the other issue that perhaps you don’t really want a divorce. And that instead of speaking from your heart, you are speaking based on what you think your partner wants. After all, the marriage has been completely dysfunctional for years now, and they certainly don’t treat you with the respect that you deserve. What if you are wrong though, and what if once you say the words you cannot take them back and your partner is so hurt by the statement, ‘Do you want a divorce,’ that the damage is beyond repair.
Things to Consider Before Asking for a Divorce
Obviously, there are lots of things to consider. The truth is that most couples who find themselves getting a divorce know that’s where they were headed years earlier. But because of convenience, hope, or even a sense of ease the subject was never properly or honestly breached. The thought of not knowing what a divorced future holds, is often at the very least more secure than a marriage that is not working. And once the cat is out of the bag, she is normally very hard to get back in.
On the flip side, there are plenty of couples who get into fights and disagreements and are constantly threatening divorce or lying down ultimatums during the argument. This is not the same as asking for a divorce for real. And the burden is on you to make sure that your partner understands this, that this time it is for real. This is why it is not the best idea to bring up divorce in the midst of an argument or fight. Instead, find a calm moment and use it as a way to gain entry into the world of divorce.
When you are ready to finally know for sure whether your partner wants a divorce, there are definitely some things that you should have pre-investigated and thought out. If you have any children, they should be your first consideration. Yes, things will be different but by making a plan and thinking about ways to best suit their needs, you can take the edge out of the divorce. You should also think about living arrangements. If you are going to ask for a divorce, make sure that you have done a little research about housing costs in your area and the best way for the two of you to afford them. Think about your job, and decide if it will be enough to get you through a divorce, or if you will need to look for another one. If the latter is true, it won’t be a bad idea to go ahead and start searching. Having some things thought out, finding resources, and checking out your options will definitely enable the divorce to start out without excess conflict.
You should also be prepared for the fact that talking about divorce, for real, will make the situation very real for you. Even though it may be exactly what you want, it will likely still be very difficult for you and you may find yourself surrounded by nostalgic emotions and sadness. These feelings can cause you to second-guess your efforts to bridge this conversation and may even make you react in a counter-intuitive nature. Resist these feelings, knowing that they are only temporary and hold firm to take your happiness and your future in your own hands.
Remember, that you aren’t alone. There are millions of divorced couples out there. Even before you talk, you might want to consider visiting a support group for people going through divorce to gain an instant support system.