In the United States, approximately 2.3 out of 1,000 people end up getting divorced, with the US having the third-highest divorce rate worldwide. Additionally, fewer people decide to marry now than they did in the 1990s.
Even with the ever-changing landscape of marriage, ending a marriage is never an easy decision. It’s common to feel guilty that you haven’t done enough to make things work. To avoid this, it’s best to consider specific factors before you take the final step.
Keep reading this guide to learn six things to consider before deciding to end your marriage.
1. Have You Identified the Problem?
How can you attempt to fix the problem if you don’t know exactly what it is? Sometimes issues can sneak up over the years, and it’s all too easy to think they’ll solve themselves.
You might feel like you need a stronger emotional connection, more affection, or more space to do other activities. Regardless of the reason, you should see if your spouse is willing to make a list of their issues too.
Seeing everything written down will help you come up with solutions if there are any.
Remember, many people split up because they can’t find a way to balance each other’s feelings. For example, you might want more attention while your spouse wants to give less attention.
Having an honest conversation about the problems also helps you determine if it’s a matter of core differences or if you can reach a compromise.
2. Do You Feel Loved and Accepted?
This is an excellent time to honestly ask yourself if the marriage makes you feel loved and accepted as an individual. Romantic love is fantastic, but sometimes in marriage, you can feel disconnected from the chemistry you once had.
It’s essential to keep in mind that this chemistry changes throughout relationships. Though you may have experienced an intense connection initially, you likely still have a bond; it just feels different.
But if you no longer feel safe, loved, and accepted, it’s a signal that a much deeper problem is going on. Likewise, if your spouse doesn’t feel that same connection, it’s time to have a conversation.
However, even the best conversation won’t fix the issue if you no longer have those feelings for your partner. Sometimes things happen over time, causing both people not to care like they used to.
If you or your spouse aren’t willing to try to build a more meaningful relationship, it’s best to go your separate ways.
3. Have You Had Productive Conversations?
Before getting a divorce, you’ll need to try to have open, productive conversations. Ideally, you and your spouse must feel calm and ready to listen to each other.
The focus should be on understanding each other’s points of view. Otherwise, any conversation you have will end up in an argument.
Try focusing on your partner’s perspective and see if you can understand where they’re coming from. Be open to their ideas and suggestions. Conversely, your partner needs to be open to how you’re feeling. If initiating a conversation is challenging, try to improve communication by writing a letter.
Writing your feelings down is a great way to get the point across without getting heated too quickly. Take a step back if you cannot have productive conversations without fighting. If neither of you is willing to compromise and hear each out, it can be a sign that things have changed too much.
4. Have You Tried Counseling?
Before deciding on a legal separation, ensure you’ve explored all options, like marriage counseling. Even if you’ve had discussions on your own, counseling allows for a different space to have these discussions.
Seeing a professional relationship counselor can help you and your spouse work through issues effectively. Marriage counselors are pros at finding ways to revitalize your marriage and reach a place where you can be present together.
Many marriage counselors use methods like emotionally focused therapy (EFT). EFT is an effective therapy that helps people to improve emotional bonds in relationships. It identifies negative interaction patterns that lead to conflict and helps to reframe these behaviors.
Although marriage counseling can be beneficial, you must both be committed to attending appointments and doing the work.
It’s helpful to remember there was a reason why you initially fell in love with your spouse. Counseling offers you solid relationship advice and may unlock why you started to drift apart in the first place.
5. Have You Let People Interfere in Your Marriage?
It’s never wise to let other people influence your relationship decisions, but it’s often difficult to avoid. Most people turn to friends and family for advice and support when a marriage breaks down.
While talking to people about what’s going on in your life is fine, it becomes an issue when your focus is on others, not your spouse. Additionally, too much outside interference can distract you from your own feelings and thoughts.
Don’t forget; this is your relationship. It’s not up to anybody else to decide what happens between you and your partner.
Refocus on your spouse and eliminate any outside distractions. This way, you won’t make decisions based on other people’s opinions.
6. Have You Tried Everything?
There comes a point when you’ve tried everything possible to save your marriage, and nothing works. This can be a difficult point to reach, and you may feel a lot of guilt about how you’re feeling.
At this point, it’s best to talk to a legal expert like a Chicago divorce lawyer about how to end a marriage. Believe it or not, it’s possible to resolve conflicts calmly.
Find an experienced attorney in your area to walk you through the divorce process. You can begin getting a handle on sensitive areas like finances and child custody and figure out a balanced approach.
Do some research to find a reputable lawyer you’re comfortable with. You can start with the divorce lawyer found here.
Consider These Factors Before Ending a Marriage
Considering the factors before ending a marriage will help you make the best decision for your situation.
Ending a marriage is never easy, but sometimes when people grow and change, it’s a necessary step. Do your best to remain calm and talk openly with your spouse. Don’t hesitate to find an experienced attorney to help you through the process.
Be sure to read the rest of our blog articles to learn more helpful lifestyle tips and tricks!