A dilemma implies that being torn between two choices, each of which has some undesirable elements. This article outlines what couples need to do to face the numerous dilemmas associated with divorce. But first, they must identify their unique dilemma. Couples facing the possibility of a divorce face one of these three dilemmas:
I want the divorce but I am not sure if it is the right decision. Since going through a divorce impacts the lives of your children as well as your lifestyle, economics, and marital investment, the pressure to make the "perfectly correct" decision is enormous. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. The best case scenario is to make a decision that is not emotionally based or driven by your ego.
I do not want the divorce but my spouse does. Being in this reactive place will leave you feeling out of control and helpless. You will experience intense emotional devastation as your life will be changing before your eyes without you having any say in the outcome. In addressing this dilemma, you need to ask yourself if you are clinging to familiar, safe ground and to a marriage based on illusions. It is not easy to acknowledge and confront the problems in a marriage, especially when you are feeling so hurt by your partner.
I only want this divorce because my marriage is not working. If this is your dilemma, then you will want to avoid responsibility at all costs by blaming your partner for the demise of the marriage. There will be tremendous preoccupation and anger about how your partner caused you to make this decision. The amount of noise generated from this blaming will be in direct proportion to your unwillingness to risk expressing any of your own fears and sadness. If this doesn't occur, the divorce proceedings to follow will be riddled with tension and conflict as well as a continuation of the blaming.
This article was originally published at The Relationship Doctor Bruce Derman
. Reprinted with permission from the author.