Should You Get Divorced Or Stay Married?

By

Should You Get Divorced Or Stay Married?
Deciding if divorce is the right step is a painstaking process for anyone... is it right for you?

Jim walks in and shares this story ... “My wife May is pregnant by her lover. She says she has come to her senses, loves me, and wants to save our marriage. My family practically hates her and wants me to divorce her and have nothing else to do with her ever. I don’t know what to do.”

Every year situations such as this are repeated more times that one might imagine. One person does wrong, consequences arise, penitence hits and the straying spouse begs for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Jim’s case illustrates a pinnacle of marriage problems; May is carrying her paramour’s baby. If Jim takes her back, what happens to the baby? Do they keep him? Do they put him up for adoption? Do they give him to his biological father? In a stressful time like this they might even ask if May aborts?

Tough questions, but essential if they consider reconciliation. May is pregnant and weeping, worrying, or wanting things to be the way they used to be does not change that.

Most times the cases are not quite as severe in consequence as that of Jim and May, but they are almost universally bad. One spouse has an affair but no disease transmits, no babies germinate and no physical evidence remains. Or one spouse has some kind of addiction rather than involvement with another person; gambling, porn, alcohol, or drugs. It might be that one spouse verbally, mentally, or emotionally abused the other. The similarity is that the actions of one cause the other to want out of the relationship.

Whether one person actually leaves depends on many factors including religious beliefs, cultural expectations, the depth of hurt, influence from family or friends, how close the couple was before the occurrence, alternatives for the future, repetitiveness of hurtful behavior and more. For example, a woman may stay with her physically abusive husband because her religious beliefs are that she can divorce him only if he commits adultery. On the other hand, a woman may discover her husband had a one-night-stand more than twenty years ago and decide the pain is so strong that she cannot live with him again.

Deciding whether to forgive and reconcile, or to end a relationship and move on, often is not an easy decision to make. However, there are certain things to consider that may help in making the best decision. Consider these:

Be Careful Who You Listen To
When one is hurt, taking advice from friends and family may be the least wise thing to do. Typically, people who care deeply feel hurt by what someone has done to the person they love. They tend not to think in terms of forgiveness and reconciliation but in terms of punishment and alienation. In short, rather than being objective, they may be anything but. Wiser counsel typically comes from those who are not directly involved. Even better, listen to third parties who are skilled and experienced in working with people and know something about relationships (like us).

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Joe Beam

Author

Joe Beam is an internationally respected marriage and relationship expert. He founded Beam Research Center, an organization that provides marriage help to hurting couples through a powerful workshop called Marriage Helper 911. For more information, click here.

Location: Franklin, TN
Credentials: Other
Other Articles/News by Joe Beam:

Lover or Spouse - Who Should I Choose?

By

“I’ve never loved anyone the way I love her. I never knew I could feel like this. So deep. Fulfilling. Amazing. I can tell her anything; my dreams, my fears, my strengths, my flaws.” John spoke slowly but fervently as he explained his relationship with Sheila . It was not his idea to visit with me; he had come because another friend asked him ... Read more

He Cheated; Should We Get Divorced?

By

Since 1994, I have worked with thousands of marriages affected by infidelity. Sometimes the straying spouse is emotionally enmeshed with her paramour and intends never to return. Other times, the unfaithful mate feels remorse and asks for forgiveness and reconciliation. When that occurs, the hurting partner often struggles with deciding whether to divorce or ... Read more

Should You Divorce An Unfaithful Spouse?

By

"Everybody in my family tells me to divorce her. My mom will be furious if I don't. She called Shelly some pretty bad names. Called the guy she was involved with worse names. She insists that I file immediately." "Why haven't you?" I asked. "I don't know. I'm hurt. Deeply. But we had fourteen years together. My ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular