The holidays are a time of year for introspection. They are a stressful time trying to please family members and friends and providing the children a memorable celebration. In an unhappy marriage, it might be a time you are evaluating how to proceed.
My clients often ask “Am I doing the right thing by getting divorced?” Unfortunately, there’s no right answer. Just like each person is very different, so is each marriage. One couple’s bickering may be the way they communicate, for another it might be verbal abuse.
In the case of domestic violence or abuse, physical or emotional, leaving is your safest bet. When that feels impossible, seek help from local resources (for New York 1-800-621-HOPE).
What if your choice is less obvious? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you being heard? Does your opinion count? Is your partner making all the decisions in the relationship without consulting you, or belittling your thoughts and ideas?
- Do you and your partner share time together on a regular basis? Do you prefer it when he/she’s not around? Would you rather go out with your friends than your spouse?
- Do you two argue constantly? Do you feel like you’re constantly on edge when you’re around your spouse or anticipating him/her coming home?
- When you think about the future, is your partner in it? Do you imagine there’s a ‘life on the other side?”
- Do you both co-exist, perhaps as roommates but not really spouses?
There are many issues that contribute to the breakdown of a marriage, these are just a few. If you find yourself answering yes to most of these questions, I strongly encourage you to seek marriage counseling. If you still cannot make the relationship work, then it might be time to get some divorce advice. Ask your divorced friends and family members about their experiences, do some googling or talk to a Certified Divorce Coach® to learn more about what the process entails.