Years of marriage can take their toll, and when people consider filing for divorce, they will also have questions about it being the right move or not.
Life is unpredictable. It throws you countless problems that could lead to conflicts and exhaustion.
This could be due to different factors, from the seeping boredom of the monotonous day-to-day routine to sudden life changes and stress.
Unresolved issues tend to pile up to the point where it seems like your partner doesn’t bring you joy anymore. You may feel hurt, angry, or just plain tired of everything right now.
The next thing you know, you find yourself thinking that ending your marriage is the only solution. And it may be!
But always remember that divorce usually opens up a plethora of problems you must be prepared for.
The aftermath, when not taken into account beforehand, may hit you like a train. And it can get overwhelming.
Quitting your relationship means leaving the life you’ve built for so long with this very partner you carefully chose. It means saying goodbye to the person you love or once loved the most.
So, it’s only fitting to take the necessary time to examine and find the right questions to ask yourself before filing for divorce.
I highly encourage you to step back, reflect on the questions below, and, at the very least, gain insights into the situation you’re in.
Hopefully, this can provide you the answers you need and prepare you for your path ahead.
1. What has led you to think that divorce is the best option?
Now try to slow down a bit. This question may release a lot of emotions, and it can cloud your perception really fast.
Try to keep an open mind. You can even do some meditation first for clarity!
Carefully recognize the lens through which you’re looking right now. You want to be as objective as you can.
Sometimes, bad times in marriage can last for so long that it starts to feel like the relationship itself is the problem.
Is the decision coming solely from a place of stress? Are there outside influences as to why you feel this way?
Perhaps there’s an overarching theme you’re not fully seeing.
2. Did you clearly voice your concerns and expectations about the relationship?
You must speak your truth clearly or, chances are, you’ll be misunderstood.
You may have subconscious expectations for your partner rooted in your belief system. And they may have those, too.
As human as we are, there are needs we want to be met. You are two different entities with different values and personalities.
So, it’s crucial that you both communicate them well to each other. Make sure to state which can be negotiable and which are not.
Trust me; setting clear boundaries instead of suffering in silence can work magic to your marriage and even to your well-being.
No behavior will change unless one is aware of the concerns. So don’t leave your partner blindsided!
They deserve the chance to know where this is coming from and perhaps work things out.
This will also prove helpful in your future relationship should you stop questioning and actually decide to file for divorce.
3. Have you considered your possible role in the problem as well?
This can really be a bitter pill to swallow, but it opens up many realizations toward yourself and your limitations as a person.
Are you having realistic expectations toward your partner? Or are you imposing all your wants without considering their side?
You may even have unresolved trauma or insecurities that you’ve unconsciously projected to your spouse. This is the time to pinpoint them without bias.
Your partner is as imperfect as you are, and they can’t be all things you want them to be.
Also, it’s important to understand that they aren’t solely responsible for your contentment and delight. You should be your own source of happiness.
They are your teammate in life and not your savior. So make sure you’re not putting them on a higher pedestal, and you’re also doing the necessary work for yourself.
4. Are you taking other people’s advice more than your own judgments?
We tend to ask for other people’s counsel when we feel lost and confused.
After all, it’s also important to seek outside help and see from other people’s perspectives. But, chances are, your loved ones can’t fully give objective views of the situation.
This is especially true if your parents have gone through a divorce as well and you seek their advice based on their experiences or a friend who doesn’t want to see you hurt anymore.
Always remember to listen to yourself first and dig deep into your intuition.
Should you need help, it’s best to ask for outside counsel like your therapist or even a minister. Talk to those people who can see both sides and can provide a fair assessment.
5. Are you financially prepared?
This is a major issue you must consider head-on.
Married couples naturally share income and expenses. And so, divorce is also inevitably financially exhausting.
This is why it’s crucial to start thinking about this as early as possible when considering divorce.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to stay in an unhappy marriage solely due to money. But you must also be smart on how to delve into it when the time comes.
Consider asking a financial advisor’s help regarding the cost of the divorce as well as the money you’ll be needing in the aftermath for your personal expenses.
Take into account your credit score and cash flow. You have to remain rational about this!
Not to mention if you have children, you must ensure that you’ll be able to cater to the financial responsibility it entails.
Doing so can make you feel grounded with your finances and even make you feel safer with your choices.
6. If you have children, how can you minimize the harm divorce brings to them?
Sometimes, couples get too caught up with their battles that they forget how the separation can greatly affect their children, too.
While you shouldn’t prolong your agony when in a miserable relationship, you must take into account the changes it entails on the lives of your kids first.
You and your partner will always be their parents. That means you’ll always be co-parenting together regardless of whether or not you’re under the same roof anymore.
And the divorce won’t make it any easier.
You will hurt your children regardless.
But the biggest of all questions is, how can you minimize the harm the act of filing for divorce brings to them?
Not to mention, there’ll be a high chance of your spouse having a new romantic partner. And, of course, they’ll be around your kids sooner or later.
Will you be ok with blended families? How are you going to handle this?
Your kids’ needs and safety should always be among the top priorities when considering divorce. They shouldn’t be the ones suffering from your marital problems.
7. Would you really be happier and have a better life without your spouse?
This is a really tough one, so you might want to take a moment and truly listen to your heart.
Have the strength and courage to ask yourself whether what you have now is worth giving up for what you’ve envisioned after the separation. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?
This is crucial in actually finding your happiness. So, don’t rush answering this question, even if want.
To give you a clear idea, you can try visualizing your life without your partner and take a look at your life as it is now. Which one seems more ideal to you and brings more joy?
8. Is there a way to save the marriage?
Consider other options besides this drastic measure.
My advice is to give marriage counseling a try first before anything else. Then, find one that is a good fit for both of you and is highly qualified.
Encourage each other to be as honest as possible while being respectful to each other. After all, there’s no need to be rude and coarse, right?
You can also develop other ways to help save your marriage at this crisis point. What can you do or your partner needs to do to possibly fix things?
Legal separation may be better
For those who aren’t aware of this yet, you and your spouse can opt for separation before divorce.
This involves literally living apart while still being legally married to each other.
It gives you an overview of what life would be without each other and have separate lives- from your living spaces to finances.
It enables you to prepare for what’s to come and think clearly about what you really want. This can provide enough space for each other to figure things out.
A Take-Home Message: Is Your Relationship Truly Doomed?
At the end of the day, the question of filing for divorce or not is a question that only you and your spouse can answer.
No relationship is perfect. It’s only how we make them.
If you can, and you’re willing, set a certain amount of time, say a year, to try and turn things around.
That way, you wouldn’t find yourself divorced, feeling alone, and wondering what could’ve happened if only you tried harder.