3. How would a divorce affect my child(ren)? This is a really big one. Common sense says that a high-conflict marriage is worse than an amicable divorce but the latter seems to be the exception, especially when custody arrangements keep you locked in constant conflict with your ex.
A recent publication by Drs. Friedman and Martin, based on an eight-decade longevity study, fuels fears of the devastating impact of divorce on children. In my experience as a clinician, what's most damaging to children is a high level of conflict, so whether you divorce or not, if you have children, the two of you will have to figure out your communication. If divorce is inevitable, consider collaborative divorce mediators and co-parenting counseling to keep the conflict level to a minimum.
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4. Have I done what I can? The desire to break up usually stems from not wanting to accept how things are going now. There is nothing wrong with that! Unhappiness can be a valuable indicator that something is wrong and must change. But what if you could learn how to express what’s unacceptable for you in an effective manner and actually be heard by your spouse?
In many cases, there will still be time to divorce at a later date but there may not always be time to save your marriage. Make sure you've tried what's possible with your marriage before you call it quits. The issue right now isn't whether you're committed for life but whether you can commit to working hard for a while to try and see what can be saved.
Once you have worked hard on changing yourself, you are in a much better position to declare your marriage hopeless when your spouse is not responsive. True, working things out is an uphill battle and you will likely need the help of a skilled professional, but since you are probably your own worst critic, unless you have tried an all-out effort to change things, you are much more likely to second guess yourself later and battle feelings of guilt.
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No one takes divorce lightly and not every marriage can or should be saved. Everyone's circumstances are different and only you know your particular situation. The most important factor is to not make decisions in isolation but to get yourself the support you need and deserve.