If you are really “done” with your marriage, I want you to consider ALL your options before you get divorced. I am not telling you not to get divorced. Sometimes that truly is the best option. However, more often than people realize, there are other things that can be done, even when you think your marriage is over. Deciding to get a divorce may provide you with an initial feeling of relief. There will now be an end to your frustration and you can “start over”. Well, yes, and no. The truth is that divorce does not end the pain of a difficult marriage, especially if you have children. Think about the following…
- The initial and ongoing financial cost. If you are in debt, you will still be responsible for that debt after the divorce, even if it was your spouse who incurred it. Legally, debt collectors can come after you for all the debts your spouse incurred. If you do have savings/investments, they will be split. You will not get it all, no matter what your spouse has done.
- Setting up and maintaining two different households – with less money.
- Your children. If you are trying to protect your children from an out of control spouse, you will not be able to when your child has to go visit the other parent. You will not be there to mitigate the situation. You will have no control over who is there. Yes, you can take him/her to court, but that hurts the children too, not to mention the financial and emotional cost of doing that. And then of course, many times out of control spouses simply ignore the courts and do what they want to.
- The best case scenario. Is it worth the cost – especially the cost your children will be required to pay.
- The worst case scenario. I know you think the divorce will allow things to finally get better, but that does not always happen. What if you have a serious health issue? Is your new boyfriend/girlfriend going to stick by you then? What if you don’t find someone to have a relationship with? What if you find someone you fall madly in love with who has children who try to kill you while you are asleep? What if you can’t afford to pay the bills? I know we all have to prove that we are “independent”, but at what cost? The most independent person in the world still has issues (s)he needs help with. How independent are we really? The fact is, human beings need each other.
- The possibility that your life can get radically better without getting a divorce. Yes, it can. You may think you have tried everything, but you have not. You have tried some of the same things over and over. If you are going to have to deal with the difficulties of life after divorce, why not approach the difficulties associated with staying married in a more creative fashion? Your family and friends who are urging you to get divorced care about you and don’t want to see you so upset. That’s why they want you to get divorced. Once again, sometimes that is the least bad option. But just as you would try many different forms of medical treatment to avoid surgery, why not try some marriage treatment and avoid divorce if at all possible.
- The pain you are experiencing as a message calling you to rise to the challenge. You can learn whatever you need to. I will believe in you, and hold your future happiness in my heart until you can believe in yourself.