Maybe your wedding really was the happiest day of your life. You stood across from your beaming partner, exchanged vows, and dreamed lofty dreams of a happily-ever-after. You committed to sickness and health, and you promised to stick it out until death.
It all seemed so limitless and so promising. The relationship just felt so natural and so solid. You never thought you’d want to be apart, and you certainly never thought you’d want a divorce.
Do you look back at those beautiful pictures now with a sense of agony and sadness? Do you wonder, how did we go from there to here? And do you feel paralyzed with how to move forward?
Understanding Divorce Ambivalence
Maybe you keep wondering if you’re really happy with your partner. Or, maybe you know you’re not happy, but you feel hopeful that the dynamic can improve. Perhaps, you’re motivated to make things work, but you’re not sure if your partner is on board. Making a decision that feels right for both partners can be overwhelming.
In today's world, divorce can seem like a perfectly good solution to the problems in your marriage. However, divorce comes with its own set of problems and stressors. For example, you may have shared assets or children. The idea of dividing and untangling the life you two built together may feel daunting or even impossible. The unknown of how all this will happen can create a feeling of limbo - should I stay or should I go?
You may also question if the marriage can be salvaged. Have you two just lost your connection, you wonder? Is there a way to actually solve those problems you keep encountering time and time again? Do you just need more intimacy, date nights, or better communication?
Remember that ambivalence is normal. Relationships can ebb and flow, and the various stressors we encounter undoubtedly make us question the people in our lives. Continuous tension or discourse in your marriage sets a natural stage for considering other options.
Seeking Professional Guidance
Whether you’ve definitively decided you want a divorce or you’re having random thoughts here and there, talking to a professional can be tremendously valuable.
Individual therapy can help you process your ambivalence. You may not be ready to talk about your concerns with your spouse just yet. But with your therapist, you can explore the issues present in your relationship. You can work together to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses.
Sometimes, both partners seek individual therapy. This can be a fantastic option for both of you to increase your self-awareness, foster your own emotional well-being, and learn new ways to be attentive and compassionate in your relationship.
Many people also benefit from couples therapy. Although it may seem like a last-ditch effort, couples therapy doesn’t need to be an option solely reserved when the relationship becomes catastrophic. In fact, many couples benefit from professional guidance- even when things are going well. If you realize that your marriage is likely over, couples counseling can the two of you begin the separation process in the best way possible.
Your therapist will help you work together to solve problems and resolve conflicts so that you can either work on building a successful marriage, or work on the best path forward for going your own way. It’s not about taking sides or assigning blame; it’s about finding mutual strategies for happiness.
If you have decided you’re ready to move forward with a divorce, divorce counseling can help you navigate the related stress, fear, and uncertainty. This counseling allows you to move forward and heal from the relationship.
You don’t have to travel into this uncharted territory alone! Divorce counseling provides you with a compassionate and nonjudgmental space for the challenges associated with facing your new reality.
Taking Care Of Yourself During This Time
What will happen to your children if you separate? Who will keep the house? Will the two of you aim to remain friends?
Divorce inevitably evokes many, many questions, and there’s a good chance that you won’t have any of the answers at the beginning. As a result, many people find themselves bogged by stress, paranoia, fear, anger, and regret. These emotions, while normal, can be so overwhelming that they lead to impulsive and unproductive decisions.
It’s best if you prioritize taking care of yourself during this vulnerable transition. Aim to eat well, exercise, and get adequate sleep. Reach out to friends for healthy support. Make sure that you practice self-care regularly. The more you prioritize your emotional well-being, the stronger and sharper you will be during this process.
Final Thoughts When You Want A Divorce
Let’s be honest. Nobody wants to want a divorce. We all hope for the happily-ever-after.
Unfortunately, the reality is that marriage is difficult, and divorce may be the best option for your emotional wellness. While stress is unavoidable, this doesn’t need to define your life. Despite the circumstances, you can heal, move forward, and create an even better identity for yourself.