The 4 Most Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Deciding To Get Divorced

Photo: Andrey Zhorov / Shutterstock
sad woman looking out window

If you’re asking yourself, "Should I get a divorce?", you're no doubt in a tough spot in your marriage.

My guess is you didn’t just happen on this thought out of the blue either. There’s been a lot going on.

Maybe it's your spouse’s doing. Maybe they haven’t been communicating with you, they've been abusive, they cheated, or they did something else that made you want to leave.

Or maybe it's your own doing. Maybe you’ve stopped talking with your spouse about what’s important to you, you’ve given up, you’ve started self-medicating to deal with the pain you’re feeling, you’re having an affair, or you’ve done something else.

Something happened and it made you say to yourself, "I want a divorce."

Before making any decisions, there are some deep questions to ask yourself to better understand what's really going on in your relationship and whether or not it is salvageable.

RELATED: How To Tell If You Should Get A Divorce Or Try To Save The Marriage

Whatever has brought you to the point of asking, "Is my marriage over? Is it time to divorce and let go?", you’re ready for things to change, but you’re not sure how to make things better or if "better" is even possible.

No doubt about it this is a really tough spot to find yourself in.

If you choose to stay married, what are the chances things will get better? And if you choose to get divorced, how do you even begin to make that work and how will it impact the kids?

This is one of those times when it would be really helpful to have a crystal ball to show you which path to take.

Only you can answer your inquiry, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck trying to answer it by guessing.

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself when you're thinking about divorce and wondering if it's not too late to figure out how to save your marriage.

1. Are you dealing with one of the 3 definite signs you should get a divorce?

These signs include:

  • Abuse
  • Untreated addictions (despite requests that the addict get treatment)
  • Setting an abysmal example of marriage for your children

If at least one or all of these are in your marriage, then getting a divorce is your best way forward.

2. Are you willing to change?

If you see your behavior as at least part of the reason you’re asking yourself if you should get a divorce, are you willing to change your behavior?

If you are, then there’s definitely hope for your marriage.

RELATED: 9 Questions You Must Consider Before Filing For Divorce

3. Are you able to have a respectful conversation about it?

If you see your spouse’s behavior as at least part of the problem, are you willing to have a calm, respectful conversation with them about how their behavior is impacting you and your marriage?

If you are, then filing for divorce isn’t the right way forward at this moment.

4. Are you willing to do what it takes to know for certain if you can save your marriage?

If you are, then it’s time to put questions of divorce behind you and focus your efforts on doing everything possible to make your marriage better until it either becomes better or it becomes obvious that it will never be better.

No one said married life was easy but it doesn't mean you can't save it when something goes wrong.

Only one of these 4 questions has the potential to give you an immediate definitive answer to the question, "Should I get a divorce?"

The others postpone reaching an answer in favor of learning more about you and your spouse which you might view as a delay.

But the delay in reaching an answer about your marriage’s viability is critical to being able to make the best decision possible for yourself — and for your family.

So, as uncomfortable as it is to contemplate the question of whether you should divorce or not, it’s only by examining what is possible by asking different questions that you’ll ever arrive at an answer that allows you to know you’ve made the best decision possible.

RELATED: Why Leaving An Unhappy Marriage May Not Make You Any Happier

Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach. She works with clients who are struggling with questions of whether they can save their marriage. You can join her anonymous newsletter group for free advice.

This article was originally published at Dr. Karen Finn's blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.