Marriages are a complex blend of rewards and challenges. The balance hopefully skews positive, and the benefits outweigh the shortcomings. Still, that balance may not always be clear, so it is good to do a mental check-in to see if the relationship is everything measures up.
7 questions to weigh
One or both spouses may have doubts about the marriage’s sustainability or see some trouble spots. Perhaps they worry that the spark is gone. Here are some typical questions that a therapist may ask. Thinking about your answers may provide some clarity:
- Why do you want a divorce? Divorce terminates a partnership, but it is not an act of revenge, providing victory, changing their mind, or righting wrongs. Any answer that does not involve ending the relationship should give the spouse or couple pause to consider their motives.
- Is there a willingness to end the marriage? Every couple disagrees on things from time to time, which can leave them feeling angry or frustrated, but divorce may not be the solution. Nevertheless, threatening to leave when there is a disagreement is unhealthy and a red flag to address.
- Is it about you or your response to them? Those whose decisions are reactions to the actions of others may not understand the underlying issue causing the reaction. Divorce may not address the issue.
- Can you adjust to the consequences? The changes can leave some feeling bereft of purpose (particularly if the kids are not around). Some also feel isolated from friends or family who disagree with the decision. It can also be an economic issue where life is not as comfortable.
- Was it really a marriage? Not every marriage is fully functional and provides the desired support. It may lack happiness, emotional support, fidelity, a sense of partnership, or love.
- Do you still have feelings for your spouse? While coparenting requires a certain amount of cooperation, regarding the relationship as broken beyond repair is a reason to end it.
- Are you willing to take control and act responsibly? Now that the marriage is over, how spouses address the challenges of starting anew will dictate their ability to realize the untapped potential they felt missing from their lives.
Your answers can map the next step
The marriage may not be perfect, but the answers may indicate that continuing is the best option. Conversely, the answers may make it clear that it is over. There are a lot of details to iron out, hard decisions to make, and other issues to address. Having clarity in your purpose can put the divorce in a more positive light and prepare you for your next step as a person.