Am I Ready to Get Divorced?
If you’re asking yourself if you’re ready to get a divorce, chances are it’s been on your mind for a while. Relationships can break down with time and life changes, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
There are no prizes for staying in an unhappy marriage— if what once suited you no longer does, it’s understandable to consider divorce as an option. However, it’s not a decision to take lightly or make on the spur of a moment. In reality, many of the below questions should first be looked at when considering whether or not you’re ready to speak to a family therapist or marriage counselor.
Our blog details some of the most important questions you should ask yourself when considering counseling or divorce. For further information, personalized advice, or to book an appointment with our legal team, contact us at Truce Law today.
The Reality of Divorce
Divorce is one of the most stressful life events somebody can experience— it ranks second on the Life Change Index Scale (The Stress Test), according to a study published by Dartmouth University. This alone can inhibit people from seeking legal advice regarding their marriage, to simply reduce this stress by avoiding it.
However, it isn’t that simple. Staying in an unhappy, unfulfilling, or abusive relationship can cause more harm in the long run, so don’t let fear surrounding divorce play a part in your decision making. Get help and consider these factors:
Signs You’re Ready to Speak to a Marriage Counselor
You Use ‘I’ Instead of ‘We’
While it’s healthy to retain your individuality and sense of self within a marriage, there are certainly aspects that come from a ‘we’ point of view— “where are we going to live?” “Which car should we buy?” “Where should we go on vacation?” When you start to ask yourself these questions without inherently factoring in your partner, repeatedly, that’s a sign you’re partway towards no longer seeing yourselves as a team.
You’re Staying Together ‘For the Kids’
When you have children together, it adds another layer of questioning to your decision-making process. Divorcing could mean so many logistical changes for the kids, such as where they would live (and when), if they would need to change schools, and how you would spend future holidays.
Keep in mind that while your children may be upset initially, this can pale in comparison to how an unhappy household or parent can affect their livelihood. Even if you and your spouse keep your arguments behind closed doors, kids— of all ages— pick up on things and can sense when something is ‘off’. This leads to tension. With a good family therapist you can explore what’s best for you and your children.
You Don’t Fight
You may associate miserable marriages with fighting, whether it be yelling matches or hissed heated discussions. While this can certainly be the case, if you don’t argue at all with your spouse, this can be a sign you’ve already given up on the relationship.
When you can’t be bothered explaining your reasons for something and just resign yourself to “there’s no point, they won’t understand or listen anyway”, it indicates the issue has been going on for long enough. When this starts to happen with everything you used to put the effort in to discuss, it can indicate you have no fight left in you for the relationship at all.
You’re Overcompensating Online
You may find yourself online more often, noticing social media posts featuring happy couples seemingly in love. If you think “Well, I have that, too,” and begin your own posting spree praising your partner for being such a great husband, wife, mother, father, person in general— it’s time to take a look at why. You may be doing this subconsciously as an effort to ‘prove’ your relationship to others and cover up the truth.
Similarly, if your spouse is the one suddenly acting one way in person and portraying a completely different relationship online, they may be doing this themselves. The need to ‘save face’ in public (including online) can be a red flag.
You’ve Got the Future Planned— And It Doesn’t Include Them
Even if your plans are just thoughts drifting by, it can be a sign you’re moving on emotionally from the marriage. Signing up for online dating profiles ‘to see what’s out there’ may be harmless in your conscious mind, but underneath you could be more interested than you think. Daydreaming of a future without your spouse may indicate they’re not as crucial to your future plans as they used to be.
It’s important to take charge of these issues early. When they arise reach out to a professional who can help you work through and evaluate issues in your marriage before they lead to separation. If you’ve worked with a counselor or are just past that point, we empathize and will do everything we can to make the divorce process as pain-free as possible. To get in touch with our divorce lawyers, click below to contact our office in Seattle, Tacoma, or Olympia.