Divorce is the hardest decision to make sometimes and many people struggle with “Should I get a divorce?” There is a push and pull between keeping and ending the relationship. Let’s talk about how we can contemplate divorce in the first place.
There are big emotions people experience before choosing divorce; unloved, disrespected, alone, and hopeless are a few. Many people try everything in their power to change the marriage. One may try to talk things through, crying many tears, plead with the other person, argue their points. When this leads to no change, hopelessness seeps in and people may shut down emotionally in the marriage. Some may say there is no use in trying when the other person is not willing either. The marriage may feel one sided. There may be times where no one wants to bring up the issues because it will cause a fight. Neither person may want to fight because it disturbs the peace in the home. Even though there are no arguments, there’s still animosity being in a stalemate situation, which typically leads to a bigger divide. Why? People are left to their own perspectives. Each of us can have thousands of thoughts roaming in our head about anything and everything.
What I have found to be the worst situation is that if one person believes that their partner doesn’t want them or love them, they are emotionally cutoff from their partner. If you perceive that your partner doesn’t love you because how they acted when they came home from work could be wrong. Our perceptions are not always right. We don’t and won’t know until we talk about it. If you feel you have tried, but your partner doesn’t respond in a good way let’s look at why. From my experience I see people struggle to find the right words to communicate how they feel. Talking about feelings is hard. If you are trying to say something without starting a fight a different approach may be necessary. Here are a few suggestions:
- Take time to really think about the feelings you are experiencing. Write them out.
First, we have to identify them. Take time to reflect on what you were feeling. Write it down. Ask why you were feeling that way. If you are angry, because something your partner did ask, “why am I angry about this?” It may lead you to identify other feelings, such as disrespect, and supported, and loved. When you identify these emotions, those are the ones you want to tell your partner not just “I am angry with you.”
- Ask your partner when would be a good time for them to talk about your feelings.
The problem though is you may not want to re-address the issue because it was yesterday and today is going well. It’s better to talk about hard things when emotions have deescalated, though. It doesn’t make it easier. Also you may be ready to talk, but your partner isn’t. From my experience it is better to talk about issues when everyone is ready. The reason for this is both parties are able to hear the other person at times. When people are angry or hurt, they can’t use or won’t use the rational part of their brain, sometimes. Why? Because, when we are hurt or angry, we think with our survival part of the brain, the amygdala. This is where we will choose to fight, flight or freeze. Our partner will do the same.
- Focus on ‘I’ statements, such as “I feel distant from you.”
Most people want to resolve issues, but don’t do it due to fear. Fear can consume someone and leave them ignoring their own needs. This leads to silence and an appearance that everything is OK. They don’t talk because of how the other person will respond. They don’t talk because it’s not a big deal. If you feel any type of way, it’s a big deal and good to talk about. Also, there is fear that resolution won’t happen. Fear can kill a marriage. Assumptions can too.
- Try to refrain from becoming defensive and critical toward your partner.
Since the only person we can control is ourselves, let’s look at what you can do. Ask yourself, how did I tell my partner what I was thinking? What was my body language like? How was my attitude? Was it an appropriate time? All this matters!
So the sum of why divorce can be an option to solve marriage problems is because we can’t or won’t do anything else. It’s the last resort after long suffering. But maybe you don’t have the right tools to fix the problem. Participating in couples counseling, a therapist can give you the ways to communicate differently. They can provide a different perspective and imperative feedback for both parties. If you have not tried marriage therapy before I encourage you try. People can change if they are willing to put in the work.