I bet there are more books on divorce than they are countries in the world (obviously). However, most of them either offer advice to people who are already divorced or ready for one. But, how about the people who aren’t so sure yet?
Getting to that point where you can clearly say, “I’m ready for a divorce,’ takes a lot of conviction. That’s because no one really enters a marriage thinking it won’t work —at least not those who want a life-partner and a lovely family. However, people change, circumstances change, and then you’re left with a million-dollar question, “am I ready to get divorced?”
I have been there, so I know the tension, anxiety, and uncertainty that could cloud your life around that period. However, because divorce is no joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly, you have to be at least 95% sure you want to go through with it.
The fact that you’ve said, “I’ve had it up to here, it’s over,” a couple of times doesn’t mean you are ready. So how can you actually tell? Sit back; I’m sharing some essential tips on the topic, so keep reading.
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Your marriage may be rocky, and things may seem bleak now, but there are some questions you can ask to help clear your mind on the matter. How do you feel about your partner? You must have loved and even respected him once, have those feelings changed over time?
When you look at your husband and have no respect for the man he has become, then maybe you are ready for that divorce. Mutual respect is important in any relationship, so when what he has done makes you lose all the respect you had for him, that’s a clear sign it’s time to move on.
Some partners threaten divorce when they feel like it could help or motivate their partners to do better. Is this the case here? Do you secretly hope that your spouse will shiver at the thought of losing you and become a better man? Well, I’m not saying this doesn’t happen; that just means you aren’t ready for a divorce.
Here’s the thing, threatening your partner with a divorce may not change him, especially when he is harboring thoughts of getting one as well. So, before you let the cat out of the bag, ensure this isn’t a scheme to actually repair your marriage rather than save it.
Couples fight, argue, keep malice, argue again; it's all their partners’ faults. However, when asked, do you still have feelings for him/her, sometimes their answer is “of course.” Now, I understand that love isn’t enough to keep a marriage alone; other factors must be in check as well.
A divorce is a serious and maybe even final decision; once one partner crosses that line, they may never want to work on things again. So, if you still have a little inkling of love for your partner, you should do all you can now to work on your life with him.
The divorce process could be long, exhausting, and demanding. You would have to get a divorce attorney and explore your legal options before the actual divorce proceedings start. Are you ready for all that?
Let me add this to the list; there’ll be several people shaming you, family members saying you could have fought harder, kids blaming either party for not considering their feelings, and of course, the divorce process itself.
Am I mentioning these things to discourage you? Not at all. But you see, when you have considered all these things and still feel strongly about getting a divorce, then that means you are ready.
You’re going to have the rest of your life to think about this decision, so at this point, you need to make sure it’s a wise, emotionally independent one. Emotionally fuelled decisions could change at any time. You could want to throw in the towel today, and that feeling could change in the next few weeks.
That’s why you have to sit down (maybe with a counselor) and rid yourself of all the emotional attachment on the matter. Focus on this: what are your strong reasons for wanting a divorce? At this point, you're not thinking about your feelings; it’s no longer a ‘he hurt my feelings’ matter.
The decision has to be sincere, so that means you’ll have to be truthful to yourself and your spouse about the ‘real’ reason you want to end things.
I have watched my single friends hang out whenever they want to, go partying, and have the luxury of just waking up and making a random or spontaneous decision. That’s quite normal; even couples who aren’t even in the ‘danger zone’ have those fantasies.
However, if that’s all you think about every time you come home, at work, or on your drive home, then that’s more than just a fantasy. Just remember, getting a divorce is a life-changing decision, so ensure it’s what you want, and the reason isn’t just not wanting to be in a committed relationship anymore.
Have you ever turned a can of milk over and emptied its contents into another container? Maybe you even shook it a bit to ensure all its contents came out. Do you feel like that? Like you have had honest conversations with this man, suggested therapy, even gone for counseling, but nothing seems to stitch the tears in your relationship?
That’s a hard blow, and a good reason to end things. Maybe he’s a compulsive cheater, an emotional abuser, has anger issues, or just won’t change some annoying and unhealthy habits. If you have done everything you know to make things work and feel practically empty and outdone, it may be time to let go for good.
I know someone who married a man from a different religion. At the time, it felt like a good decision. He wasn’t forcing her to convert, he respected her beliefs and values, and most importantly, he loved her.
However, as the years went by, things changed, and he started to have the idea that she should convert to his religion. He wasn’t just trying to persuade her but wanted to influence her choice strongly. At that point, she felt betrayed, misunderstood, and disappointed because that was something he promised never to do.
When your partners’ values have changed, and he isn’t ready to budge, it may be time to close that chapter of your life.
Good and healthy communication is one of the strong foundations any marriage must rest on. The relationship suffers when communication is absent. I mean, if both of you don’t like yourselves enough even to speak, that’s a good sign right there. However, I’m not merely talking about ignoring each other; I’m talking about long months of a ‘hey and hi’ kind of communication.
How has your sex life been over the past months or even years? I talk to some couples, and they say things like, “My husband and I haven’t even kissed, talk less of having sex for the past few months.” That's scary and quite concerning, especially when the reason isn’t medical. Is this the case in your relationship?
Once sex and intimacy get thrown out the window over time, and you have tried all you can to bring it back, then maybe it’s time to let go.
You guys have been fighting for some time now, some life events have had you at each other’s throats, and all you can think about is a divorce. However, for the past week, there’s been peace, laughter and everything seems to be okay. But, you still can’t shake the feeling of getting a divorce away. That’s a sign that you honestly feel you can’t live with this person anymore.
It takes two partners to make a marriage work. And even in the most daunting situations, when the two parties feel they like their marriage is worth saving, they could work towards achieving just that. However, if you are the only one thinking like this, you have a good reason to end things after trying all you can.
Please don’t get me wrong, being focused on other parts of your life is great. But are you doing that as a distraction? When your safe haven is going for yoga or hanging out with friends, or even a pet project, you may be drifting from your relationship on purpose.
If that doesn’t change in a while and you keep getting busy just to ‘escape the space’ at home, then you may be ready for divorce.
When you are no longer communicating with this person, or feel extremely tired of trying to make things work, those may be one of the signs. Also, check your feelings for your partner, have they been thoughts of disdain or even nothingness for a while? (and I don’t mean two days.)
Once you start considering ending your marriage, it’s time to hire a divorce attorney. You’ve probably thought it through but may not know how to get a divorce; that’s why it’s best to explore your legal options first.
After taking some time to heal and feel ready to start processing all the emotions and responsibilities that come with dating, you’re probably good to go. You’ll also know when you actually ‘want’ to rather than just feel the need to date.
When that intimacy you used to share fades away, and you start feeling like strangers in the same house, that’s an unhappy marriage. When the two parties can no longer have fun or engage in exciting conversations, then the relationship has probably run its course.
If the initial thought of getting a divorce stemmed from more external strain than internal issues, then it’s probably worth saving. You still have doubts about leaving because you feel both of you can work things out.
Getting a divorce may sound great to you at first, but you have to ensure you are ready for the actual process. Did you go through all the factors? Did they help in any way? I sure hope so. If you enjoyed reading this article, I would love to read your comments. And hopefully, you can share this with someone else who may be unsure about going through with a divorce. Good luck.