5 Things To Consider Before Getting A Divorce

Love, Heartbreak

The implications to take into account before making a life-changing decision.

Divorce is so common these days that it boggles the mind. Of course things change with the passing of time, and no one expects everything to be the same, but divorce 50 years ago compared to now is a completely different animal. It's more common for sure, but also more socially acceptable, considered more healthy, definitely more likely, and considerably more possible than ever before.

An end to a marriage can be obtained quite easily in most states, and there are ways to expedite the process if you so desire. But are there costs associated with this facile process, and do people doing the deed know the price they might pay? Before you go through with a legal severing of a marriage from which there's little chance of turning back, consider the following questions.

Is It The Right Thing To Do?

This a big question, and it will mean different things to different people in different situations. The first thing to consider is, the right thing for whom? Maybe you feel as though you have no other option, and for you it is the only possibility. But there may be other people to consider in this situation. Obviously, the effect of divorce on children must be weighed against the effect of bringing them up in a possibly dysfunctional home. And the effect on your spouse has to be thought about, even if it ranks far below your own needs. Can you live with what it might mean to him or her? There will come a point in this process where you must decide whose needs are a priority. If the consistent answer is your own, then you have a clear answer to the question posed - it is the right thing at this time, for you.

What Are Your Expectations?

Many times faulty human beings live in a kind of fantasy world. They believe that if only they were not stuck in a loveless marriage, if only they were with the right person, they would be able to find true love and therefore real and lasting happiness. But the more experience you have with love and relationships, the more you begin to see that an intimate relationship is a crucible of sorts that determines a person's character and determines a timeline of life events. What may matter more than the particulars of the experience is the experience itself - with major exceptions of course. If there is abuse of any kind in a marriage, or a situation where deception has taken place, or any of a dozen other justifiable issues, then it is likely that divorce is the only possible scenario. Just be sure that you can honestly assess your situation and categorize it accordingly, and that your expectation are not unrealistically high.


How Will Life Improve?

Speaking of expectations, many of you who are considering divorce have fantasies about a better life afterwards. You think that if you were only free from the chains that bind you to this person, you would be free and able to pursue true fulfillment and contentment. And while the impetus for this feeling is perfectly understandable, you have to be very cautious about taking a course of action based on such a fantasy. Our fate is often to wind up in a situation that was never foreseen, and certainly not desired. Be sure that your ideas about a better life have a chance of happening in the real world - and if they do, than don't hesitate.


How Will Life Get Worse?

The corollary to the above question is obvious. It is completely possible that your circumstances will change for the worse if you go through with a divorce. You could have financial problems, you could be estranged from children, you could lose family relationships and the approval of people close to you, you could harm your reputation in a close-knit community. All of these disadvantages are valid and should be considered.


What’s In It For You?

The biggest question is the most obvious one - is this the best thing for you to do at this point in your life, all things considered? It's the all things considered part that matters here, because it is rarely the case that a person considering a divorce has carefully thought through all of the possible results and ramifications of their actions. You are the one who is making the decision, and you are the one who will have to live with the consequences of that choice. If you have given careful thought to the possibilities and have made an informed decision based on reality, not fantasy, then you have done your best in a difficult situation. That's all anyone can expect from you.


Explore YourTango