“I want a divorce.” Has this thought ever crossed your mind? Don’t worry; you are not alone. Hundreds of couples face marriage problems daily, and the way we handle those problems can make or break a marriage. Maybe you’ve broken the news to your spouse, or perhaps you haven’t acted on your feelings yet. Regardless of your relationship status, there are many things to think about before you work on divorcing your spouse. Before you say, “I’ve already thought about this long and hard, and my mind is made up”; look at it from a different perspective. This article teaches the four questions to think about if you have told yourself, “I want a divorce.”
If your spouse could walk a day in your shoes, what would they say? How would they feel about your daily experiences? Marriage problems typically stem from feeling misunderstood or disrespected by your spouse. Many couples misjudge each other. One thinks the other doesn’t help enough around the house or with the kids, or the well-being of the household falls entirely on their shoulders.
The other spouse feels the same way. They feel tapped out from the magnitude of responsibility and could use empathy. They feel alone, blamed, and overwhelmed while a demanding spouse adds to their stress. Sound familiar? Sometimes infidelity is a part of the problem. One spouse feels trapped, and an affair seems the only escape from mental and emotional hardship. Both parties resent each other for their feelings when they should have a conversation instead of feeling this way.
Before Deciding, “I Want A Divorce”, Identify the Reason Why
Before serving divorce papers, the first question you should contemplate is, “why do I want a divorce?” Break down the things that have led you to this point. Is it feeling unhappy or hurt? Did your spouse have an affair, and it’s hard to trust again? Are you just done because of years of fighting and frustration? Or do you believe that marriage shouldn’t feel this hard?
Many times, couples seek divorce instead of seeking communication. By sharing your feelings with solutions in mind, you can make your marriage last.
It starts with understanding why you are not happy. Most problems have solutions. Don’t say anything to your partner if you cannot find a solid answer to the question. You need to figure out what is leading you to feel unhappy. Surprisingly, many marriage problems originate from emotional childhood pains. It’s important to consider if your past is affecting your future. If childhood grief is a possible cause, you need to go back and heal from what happened in the past.
Do I See It From My Spouse’s Point of View?
The second question is, do I want a divorce, or should I look at it from my spouse’s point of view? Think about this. Half the time, the stories we tell ourselves are not the end-all truth. We assume our spouse’s actions based on what we perceive and the stories we tell ourselves. Instead of jumping to conclusions, ask your spouse what’s going on in their daily lives. Sometimes what they’re going through contributes to their attitude. Connection is the energy between two people when they feel seen, heard, and valued. They can give and receive without judgment, gaining comfort and strength from the relationship. Do you think your spouse would say they have felt heard and valued by you?
Express Empathy Towards Your Spouse
Conversations can quickly turn into heated arguments where couples scream and point blame. Even if you don’t believe you are at fault for your marriage problems (which is not true), start the conversation with an empathetic mind. See the conflict from your spouse’s outlook.
How often do I respond negatively to my spouse?
Does my spouse feel criticized by me?
Do I make them feel belittled, disrespected, or insecure?
Do they believe I don’t listen or care about their emotions?
If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions, ask. Calmly ask your spouse to explain why they feel a certain way without getting angry, defensive, or attacking. Doing this stops you from creating negative stories about your spouse. Mastering the art of a healthy conversation is one step to a better marriage and preventing divorce.
Have You Told Your Spouse You Are Unhappy In a Non-blaming way?
Your spouse is not a mind-reader, and knowing what your spouse is feeling isn’t all black and white. Typically, when we express to our spouse why we’re unhappy, we do it in a way that attacks the other, putting all the blame on them. “I am feeling this way because YOU did this.” “I am unhappy because YOU don’t put effort into this marriage.” Do you see how your spouse may become defensive, leading to arguments? To them, this is not true.
They believe they are putting tons of effort into the marriage, and you do not see that. When we negatively express our unhappiness, we disconnect. We push our spouses further away from us, turning away from them, feeling even less loved and respected. Approach your spouse with the mindset of “how can we work together on this?” You are a team. The minute you begin to think you’re not a team with your spouse and that your spouse is the enemy, it becomes “I want a divorce” in your mind.
You may be thinking. I’ve tried. I’ve done it. It’s never worked. We’re in a toxic marriage, things are so terrible, and all of my friends are saying I should get out. Before doing that, sit on these questions:
Have I sought to empathize with them to pursue their point of view?
Have I identified why I’m not happy?
Is this unhappiness coming from them, or is it coming from something in my past to overcome? Have we tried to approach these issues as a team?
Have I honestly done all of these things?
Do I want a divorce?
Are You Working to Have The Best Marriage Possible?
There’s a difference between feeling alive and just living. The same concept goes for a marriage. We go through the motions of being with someone, and after a while, they’re just there. It turns from a marriage to a simple cohabitation, and you stop doing little things for each other. You stop complimenting each other, spending time together, respecting each other, and working as a team. Here’s the truth, divorce hurts. It will hurt you. It will break your current spouse and your kids. We are not forcing you to stay married but trying to help you find alternatives and connections again. Before seeking a divorce, seek conversation.
Marriage Helper Holds a 70% Success Rate for Stopping Divorce.
Based on Marriage Helper Research, couples divorce because they no longer feel loved, liked, or respected. If there were a way to get your spouse to see life from your outlook, you would probably be in a better place away from filing for divorce. Our couples workshop offers a way to reconnect with your spouse, build intimacy, and fall in love again. We have a 70% success rate of bringing couples back together because our programs are just that life-changing.
Finally, get your spouse to see your marriage through your eyes, feel remorse for their actions, and learn about your faults in your marriage as well. We are all about healing and forgiveness, and through this couples workshop offered virtually and in-person, you won’t be thinking, “I want a divorce”, but instead, “I want to be better.” If your spouse doesn’t budge on attending the couples workshop, we have a solo spouse workshop if you wish to stand for your marriage and rethink your divorce. Contact us to learn more or schedule a strategy call with one of our client representatives here.