When is divorce the best option? No one ever plans to get divorced soon after getting married. Almost everyone expects to live happily ever after, even though statistics show that nearly one half of all marriages end up in a divorce or separation.
When finally it turns out that you’re more likely to end up with a broken marriage, you might start feeling like a failure – even though you never think that way of a divorcing family member or friend. And if you have children, it can intensify this feeling as you may feel like you’re depriving your kids of the privilege of having an intact family.
When is it better to divorce than stay married?
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk in Online Christian circles about giving spouses in abusive marriages “permission to divorce and leave.” Some religious leaders have been accused of telling women in abusive marriages to stick it out to the end. The message being that these women can single-handedly save their marriages by highlighting and practicing “The Power of a Praying Wife.”
Luckily, some new pastors have experienced a shift in their mindsets and no longer give this sort of advice. It is indeed a heavy burden to put on a woman who’s already dealing with numerous emotions, a possible betrayal, and even continued abuse… to be expected to be the one who fixes it all.
Deciding whether to divorce or not
Before making any major decision, take your own temperature. Do you want to try and save your marriage, or does the idea of separating from your spouse give you a sense of relief even though the problems identified are fixable? Check out for signs that your partner wants a divorce. Ask yourself; are there things that can make you NOT want the divorce? If there aren’t any, then you’ve got your answer.
If you’ve identified things that, if resolved, can save your marriage, the next thing to ask is if your spouse is willing to work with you to fix them. Is he or she ready to go to counseling with you?..and such things. You, however, need to look within yourself and decide if you’ve done enough to make the relationship work or if you’re willing to put in extra work. If you’re satisfied you’ve done all you can, you should then ask your spouse if he or she is willing to make the necessary changes. If your spouse ignores or makes promises without making any changes, you might be facing the harsh reality that he or she doesn’t commit to making your marriage spring back to life.
An unwanted divorce
There are times when the victim doesn’t want the divorce, sometimes even the abuser doesn’t want that, but it is necessary so that one or both spouses can revert to emotional health or stop these negative behaviors.
Couples are often faced with extremely difficult situations like abuse, adultery, etc. However, each of these situations requires special considerations and there’s no clear cut solution for them.
Signs divorce is the best option for you
When there’s abuse in the marriage
Abuse could be physical, psychological, emotional, financial, sexual, or even reproductive. Most abusers in marriages want to control the relationship and exert their power over their partner. Their needs always take priority.
Sometimes emotional and psychological abuse is more damaging than physical abuse because it affects the brain. If there’s a pattern of abuse in a marriage, it’s sometimes best to leave. While ending such a marriage can be best for all involved, it’s sometimes dangerous to leave an abusive partner. You probably want to work with a domestic violence shelter in your community who’ll help you leave safely.
Where there is infidelity
Most Americans say they would end a marriage if they’re cheated on by their partners. However, almost 60% of them still find the will and strength to fight for their marriages even after suffering infidelity in their marriages. An excellent resource for people who want to recover from marital infidelity is this book “Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On—Together or Apart.”
Infidelity can take many forms, including physical, emotional, or even habitual porn use. Most unrepentant adulterers will never admit to their physical cheating and will always say “we were just friends,” or it was “just an emotional affair” or even “it’s just porn.”
Consider getting help from a well-trained marriage counselor to help you heal. Recovering from marital infidelity can be extremely difficult if you have no one’s help. Such a person can help you decide what to do and help repair your marriage if the two of you decide to stay together.
Untreated addiction or criminal activity in the marriage
Addictions come in various forms, such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, etc. All these consume a person’s mind, and they eventually ruin relationships around the person. If your partner is facing such addictions, you could get in touch with organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and see if your spouse can get help. While some recover, sometimes, it’s separate from the addict until you can see some positive progress.
Other reasons when divorce is the best option
- When the marriage itself is hurting your kids
- If you miss opportunities due to prolonged misery in the marriage
- Announcement of a different sexual orientation and none of you wishes to stay together in light of this information
Do divorcing couples get back together?
Reconciling back together needs the commitment of both spouses. Researchers approximate that 10% of married couples in the U.S. have separated and reconciled back together. About 33% of separated couples try to get back together, and a third of this ratio succeeds. This, however, will depend on several factors such as age, their level of education, religion, etc. One particular research indicated that couples that reconciled had 2 common themes; one, getting back together was their top priority, and two, they sought outside help from a religious or professional figure.
I want to save my marriage but my spouse doesn’t
Sometimes spouses wish to fight for their marriages but there’s really little you can do legally once the other spouse is ready for the divorce. Others want the divorce but still love their spouses. For some, too much time might have passed or too much might have happened to consider reconciliation.
While the future may look bleak, some actually go ahead and remarry. This could be an excellent opportunity to learn how to be a better spouse in the future marriage.