Divorce: The Easy Way Out—Or Is It?

Love, Heartbreak

Not every marriage can be saved, but many end unnecessarily. Saving your marriage might be worth it.

We are human: Often weak, selfish and overwhelmed. That's why we are quick to say "It's just not working anymore." It feels easier in the moment to just give in to the urge to back off and walk away from a tough situation. Did I mention we're human?

Women and men handle stress during a marriage in different ways. Whether you are a wife or a husband, the issues remain the same for the both of you and the divorce experience has been known to be quite destructive, depending on the particular couple and how they went about the process. But how can you avoid it?

While not every marriage can be saved, there are a great number of marriages that are dissolved unnecessarily. That uncertainty is why you want to do some careful thinking before you make a final decision to divorce.

When a relationship starts going downhill, people will often go through four phases:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Acceptance

Let's explore how we move through and sometimes get tangled up in these phases.

When you feel like your spouse doesn’t feel anything or no longer cares about you or your relationship, it’s possible they may be going through the denial phase. While it might be easy to believe that your spouse feels nothing for you anymore, that may not be true in the least. Everyday life can tear people apart and feelings can get lost and become recognizable.

In short, your spouse may be denying that they ever felt anything at all, or even denying that they’ve done anything wrong. You yourself might be in denial, or maybe already be in the anger phase, or both.

However, while you and your spouse might not be feeling anything right now, those other phases will eventually come around.

When that happens, you—and your spouse—will eventually experience the utter devastation that only the breakdown of a marriage can bring. Feelings of loss, failure and grief are not uncommon.

Unfortunately, for some people that sense of devastation comes after the divorce has become final or after the relationship has really been damaged beyond repair. In the throes of the relationship’s death, you’re often too cloaked in the four stages to really feel the pain; the pain that might have given you some much needed insight into what's causing the breakdown of the marriage. This awareness can lead to resolution before it's too late.

Additionally, without doing some serious work on what's causing the distress, you will have to consider the fact that you will always be living with the thoughts and doubt about how much you actually contributed to the divorce. Could you have done more to prevent it? Was it your fault? Did you try hard enough?

On top of that, these feelings of doubt or inadequacy could very well influence any future relationships you may enter into. If you doubt that you have what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship those feelings of insecurity will always be there. This is the 'baggage' we all must carry with us if we don't examine the contents of our life and get rid of the uncertainty. That's why it might be worth exploring every avenue to repair a wounded marriage before making the decision to divorce.

And finally, of course, there are financial considerations. In many cases, getting a divorce leads to multiple complications and either party can be left with loads of debt as well as a lower income. That's not to say that money should be your only consideration but, you must be honest about what you will be facing financially if you don't pursue and thoroughly exhaust all avenues to save your marriage, if that is even possible.

Keep in mind that the same money that currently supports one household will soon have to support two households. This may often include expenses you didn't have before, such as child support or additional travel expenses. Recreating another set of household goods is another consideration that can really add up financially after a divorce. New furniture, new rent, new utilities and anything currently shared will have to be replaced, either by you or your spouse.

So, whatever you might be feeling right now, even if you are deeply entrenched in any of the four stages, stop and think. Consider the potential consequences that might come as a result of a divorce. Consider the possible challenges you might be faced with during and after a divorce.

Getting a divorce might sound like the easiest route to take when a marriage might feel as though it’s impossibly difficult to resolve. However, divorce will come with its own set of unique emotional, physical, spiritual and financial challenges.

In the end, working with your spouse to heal the wounds of a struggling marriage might be worth the effort.