One of the biggest misconceptions people have of marriage is that they will always be happy with their partner. The effects of romantic love are so intoxicating that people mistakenly believe it will last forever. Then, when the romance begins to dwindle, many relationships struggle to survive. Some even place their whole happiness on the status of their relationship, but being happy has to be an individual job. You can’t make someone else responsible for your well-being. Read How To Live A Happy Life if you need to decipher whether your unhappiness stems from you or from your partnership.
WHEN YOU’VE TRIED IT ALL
In our modern times, the need for instant gratification is probably the highest it has ever been. Between provocative advertisements and suggestive social media pictures, sex is in our face all day long. It’s no surprise then that infidelity remains one of the top reasons why people separate. So, to combat any more temptations from arising, you stopped speaking with ex-lovers. You even went as far as completely erasing their contact information from your phone. Social media may have been the next thing to get monitored and then eventually eliminated. Still, the temptation was there.
Some couples know that the best thing to do to rectify the situation is to spend time together. However, it has to be quality time, and discussions about money, bills, or children are better left for another day. For some, spending quality time together is enough to rekindle a relationship. Unfortunately, other times it leads to even more disarray.
Finally, after much pondering, many partnerships decide to look into couples therapy. Quite a number of relationships have benefited from therapy and were able to reconcile. For the sake of your marriage, release any stigmas you carry about seeing a therapist to resolve marital issues. Couples therapy is quite an insightful tool. Yet, with any therapy, expect to discover some hidden truths. And sometimes, the truth is that divorce is the only happy ending in sight.
The very first thing you should do when considering a divorce is to speak with a lawyer. According to Stacey G. Schmidt, a family law and divorce attorney, each state has its own variation of the law when it comes to dividing up assets, alimony, custody of the children, and calculating child support. Don’t walk into a courtroom naively expecting to receive everything you want. At the end of the day, there is always a compromise that has to be reached. Therefore, prepare yourself ahead of time.
Before coming to the decision of getting a divorce, you should make sure to put all important documents in a secure place. Gather birth certificates and social security numbers, for you and your children. Also, make copies of financial records, like bank accounts and asset information. These documents are vital to the divorce proceedings. Not having access to these can be a major hindrance to the process and your day-to-day life.
There is a reason why so many experts recommend having an emergency fund when getting a divorce. Money is one of the top reasons why people experience marital problems. Some marriages go into debt trying to survive, while others battle over their lucrative assets. Having an emergency fund can reduce some of the financial burdens you may face after the divorce. At a minimum, you should save enough money to cover your living expenses for a year.
DON’T DO IT ALONE
The psychological effects of getting a divorce are substantial. Anyone suffering through this experience should consider speaking to a mental health professional. Parents may want to have family counseling sessions so that their children can also receive treatment. For those families with a strong religious foundation, parents may want to hold counsel with their church leader instead. Regardless, spiritual advisers are a valuable resource when trying to heal from traumatic experiences.
This is a decision that will affect not only your mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being, but also that of your family. The same consideration you gave to getting married has to be the same you give to getting a divorce. This New York Times article, 11 Questions To Ask Before Getting A Divorce, does a great job of pushing you into doing some soul searching. Ask yourself these uncomfortable questions before making such a big decision. It’s the only way to get to the truth of what will make you happy.