For anyone struggling with the decision.
It’s one of the most difficult questions you’ll ever ask yourself: “Is my marriage over?” It’s rarely a simple yes or no that you can confidently offer as a response. (There are some circumstances when you should immediately choose to divorce, but, thankfully, people dealing with those situations usually already know they need to end their marriage).
You’ll struggle with this question for several reasons.
“Is my marriage over?” is a highly emotionally charged question. Your emotions ping pong between upset, sadness, fear, worry, nostalgia and a whole host of others as you struggle to figure out your answer. And when your emotions are so strongly engaged it’s almost impossible to think clearly.
The stakes are high when you begin asking this question. You’re facing a fork in the road. Either you stay or you go. There’s no in-between.
Although you’re asking yourself “Is my marriage over?’”, the truth is that your answer will impact many more people than just you. Obviously, your spouse and kids (and pets) will be deeply affected by what you choose. But so will your family, your spouse’s family, and your friends. It’s a whole lot of people to consider.
With all this going on, you’re also stressing about making the right decision. And that, unfortunately, is unlikely to happen with all these thoughts and emotions swirling around!
So, let’s look at your question “Is my marriage over?” from a little bit of a different perspective.
But before we do that you need to calm your mind and body down just a bit; so, take a deep breath or as many as it takes for you to relax just a bit.
Now, the truth of the matter is you actually have three options here instead of just the two you’ve been worrying about.
Your first option is to stay where you are in all the uncertainty and stress. If you’re OK with the status quo and living your life like this, then this is what you should choose to do.
Your second option is to choose divorce. Choosing divorce might sound simple or even like you’re taking the easy road, but, trust me, there’s nothing easy about divorce. (if you’d like some ideas about what to expect when you get divorced, you’ll want to get my special report “Contemplating Divorce? Here’s What You Need To Know”).
Your third option is to choose to give your marriage everything you’ve got until the correct decision is obvious to you. This doesn’t mean that you just figure out what to do on your own. It means that you exhaust every option you can think of including talking with people who have made their marriage work for the long-haul, going to counseling or coaching together, reading books and articles on making marriage work, talking with people who have gotten divorced, and getting individual counseling or coaching.
This third option isn’t easy when you consider the effort involved, but it’s the only way you’ll know with certainty that you’re making the correct decision for you and your family.
And once you know that you’ll be able to honestly answer “Is my marriage over?” and proceed with your decision without a second thought.
Originally posted on DrKarenFinn.com in a slightly different form.
Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach. She works with clients who are contemplating divorce and want support in making the right decision for them. You can join her newsletter group for free advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with Karen directly in her Time Trade calendar.
Photo credit: Getty Images