First things first: you are not alone. Whatever the reason is for you reading this article, one thing remains applicable to almost everyone: we know someone who is or was divorced. Going through divorce can be a long and difficult process and a relationship can begin to fester a long time before seeing a lawyer. If you are considering a divorce, there are other solutions you may have considered before going down the legal route. Ultimately you need to consider what the best option for your happiness is.
As we develop and we grow older, our relationships also change over the course of time. As the dynamic of a relationship changes, it is important that couples revise it so that they can cope with the changes and correlate their feelings and states of mind. Many times, couples forget to do this and this leads to small issues snowballing into big issues that can be, at this stage, very difficult to deal with within the relationship.
1) Have you considered therapy?
Sometimes relationships don’t go the way you think they are going to go. Therapy, also known as relationship counselling, is the act of advising a couple in recognising and reconciling differences in the relationship. A therapist acts works with the couple to acknowledge repeating patterns of stress upon the relationship and helps to implement strategies for managing that stress. Simply agreeing to therapy is a sign that you care about the other person enough to work on the relationship.
Therapy can be helpful in a number of situations. It may be useful if you argue over small issues that quickly escalate, or bigger issues, such as money or infidelity, where your significant other is not seeing your perspective. It can also be of use if the relationship is stagnant – a short course of therapy could help you see in your partner what you saw all those years ago. The most important aspect of therapy is to enter the treatment with an open mind and willingness to absorb the help as well as ask many questions. You may find yourself learning a number of lessons about how relationships can be worked. Most importantly, you may learn about yourself as an individual as well as how you function in a relationship.
2) Have you taken time apart?
Sometimes, it is a good idea to step away from a situation enabling you to take a deep breath to digest and assess your options. If therapy is not working for you, you may find it best to take some time apart from your significant other. Couples may separate for a number of reasons, such as to strengthen the relationship or to gain some perspective regarding their feelings. Spending time apart from each other may have some benefits that lead to reconciling, such as putting factors into perspective or seeing how your partner fits, or does not fit, in your lifestyle.
Before embarking on separation as a tool to enhance a relationship, it is good to communicate with your significant other what is expected during this period, ensuring that you are both on the same page.
On the other hand, there are certain situations in which separation may not be the best option. If your feelings about the relationship are of confusion or you are unsure whether after the separation you will want to stay with your significant other, it is best to communicate that in order to avoid major disappointment. Therapy, in its many forms, may be the best option to explore. There are many forms of therapy to explore such as group, couple or individual therapy. Only you know which option is most beneficial for your unique situation.
3) Have you discussed with your loves ones and friends?
It is very handy to lean on your loves ones and friends during a difficult time, you may find it comforting to lean on family and friends for advice and guidance. However, it is ultimately your decision and it is important to remember that not all advice is good advice. Your family and friends care deeply about you and your well-being, probably more than they care about your partner, so be warry of biased or misleading advice.
4) Is it financial?
Are you staying together because you have bought a house together, you have a shared bank account, or because it will be too difficult financially to split up? That shouldn’t be a factor because you can get legal help to ensure you obtain what you’re entitled to.
Marriage encompasses many factors that stretch beyond and are far more important than finances. This is important to remember in situations that are emotionally or physically distressing. We can give you legal advice on how you maintain your financial status if you decide that divorce is the best option for you.
5) Happiness comes first.
Happiness is the most important aspect to consider in all of this. If you’re unhappy and have considered all the above you need to do what you think is right. Sometimes, after we have exhausted all of our options, divorce is the lesser of the two evils and amicably separating can be the best option for both of you. It may not be easy at first, but, “time is a healer” and ultimately, your happiness is key.