No one can decide for you, but here is a way to make the decision easier for yourself.
Hands down the most common question I hear working in the divorce arena is this: “How do I know whether or not I should get a divorce?”
The question is not only terrifying, but it is truly one of those that each individual can only answer for him or herself.
I have personally experienced the excruciating pain of asking that question myself, and I have been engaged in conversations with numerous others struggling with the same inner-debate. The question is not only terrifying, but it is truly one of those that each individual can only answer for him or herself.
I am a firm believer that no one can or should be rushed into this decision. Over the course of these conversations, however, I have developed a methodology for coming to know what your inner-self is telling you is the right thing to do.
Here is my (as yet un-patented) 2-step method by which to think it through.
Imagine your child as the husband or wife currently in your shoes, living in the marriage you are living in. If you do not have children of your own, imagine a beloved niece or nephew, or even yourself as a small child. Place a picture of that child in front of you.
Ask yourself this question. How would you feel seeing your own child as an adult living in the marriage you are living in?
A. Do you feel happy and satisfied that the child you are looking at is in that relationship?
If your answer is yes: Great! By all means, keep doing what you are doing and let us all know so we can learn from you!
If your answer is no, move on to B.
B. Do you feel somewhat content for your child, but concerned by a troubling disconnect or dissatisfaction you observe has crept into that relationship over time?
If your answer is yes: Raise the conversation with your spouse now and consider options for finding help reconnecting and resolving differences before it’s too late.
If your answer is no, it is deeper/worse than that, move on to C.
C. Do you feel sad for this child? Angry at their spouse for treating them that way? Disappointed with them for allowing themselves to be so ill-used?
If your answer is yes: Get. Out. Now.
Even if your answer is C, you may still not feel ready to take that huge leap of faith required to let your spouse know you want a divorce. That’s OK too. This is your life. However, I would encourage you to seek further guidance from a therapist, coach, trusted friend, or the like.
“We only have one life to live” may feel trite and over-used, but it is used so often because it is true.
Have you been through this decision-making process and found another question or method that helped you decide to stay or to go? If so, I would love to hear about it!
This post is republished on Medium.
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Excellent point. Something even more to chew on I think is to reverse genders in children (since I’m a guy, would I want my SIL to treat my daughter the way my ex-wife did).
Excellent. Tweeted to all my divorce contacts. Wish I’d done this with myself earlier.
Thanks Jenny. And just think how great it is that you didn’t wait any longer!
I love this perspective, Arianna. Taking yourself out of the picture and trying to make the decision for someone you love unconditionally is brilliant. We should love ourselves that way, of course, but I’m not sure I know anyone who does.