5 Things Not to Do When Deciding Whether or Not to Divorce

Caucasian couple arguing on sofa
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Getting divorced is easy, no-fault divorce laws make it so. Deciding whether or not to divorce, the first step in the divorce process is probably the most difficult step you will take during your divorce.

There are wrong ways and right ways to go about taking that first step. Below are things I believe no one should do when trying to decide if divorce is right for them.


5 Things Not to Do if You Are Thinking About Getting a Divorce:


1. Don’t give up on your marriage until you’ve done everything in your power to solve the problems in your marriage.

Solving problems means letting your spouse know that the problems in the marriage have become so stressful that you are considering divorce. Nine times out of ten you both play a role in the problems in your marriage. It is only fair that you both have the opportunity to work toward solutions to the problems together or with a marriage counselor.

Divorce should only come after you've earnestly put every effort into saving your marriage. Communicate about the problems in the marriage and work together toward compromises and solutions. If, after working together the problems remain, find an outside resource such as a marital therapist to work with on finding solutions. 

2. Don’t become involved with another man or woman due to the unhappiness in your marriage.

New relationships are for after you are divorced.

Introducing a third party into an already bad situation only makes the situation worse. If you have an affair out of fear of being alone once you separate then you need to deal with your fear of being alone instead attaching yourself to someone new just to keep from having to face your fear.

Looking outside your marriage for solutions to problems in the marriage only exacerbate the problems and clouds your judgement when the bottom falls out and you are left to make the choice between your marriage and your affair partner.


3. Don’t allow anger or an argument to drive you to the point of filing for a divorce.

The decision to divorce should be made when you are level headed and free of emotions. This is especially true if you have children. For the children’s sake, it is important that whoever decides to leave the marriage is able to do so in a civil and respectful manner.

Importance decisions like divorce should never be driven by feelings of anger. Your anger toward your spouse won't last forever and you don't want to one day realize you made the wrong decision based on irrational emotions. 

4. Don’t leave an unhappy marriage, one in which you are treated respectfully if you do not have the ability to take care of yourself financially.

Alimony is not guaranteed these days and even if it were, child support and alimony will not provide a sufficient lifestyle for you and your children should you divorce. Think about building a career of your own before thinking about divorce.

If you have no marketable work skills or, let your career go to stay home and raise your children, you should not divorce until you have taken the necessary steps to be fully financially independent post-divorce. 

5. Choose wisely who you share your wish to divorce with.

Find a trusted confidant or therapist but don’t talk about your unhappiness with anyone willing to listen. Should you decide not to divorce you will then be known in your social circle as the person who is unhappy in their marriage. Or, the person who talks poorly about their spouse. Marital problems are personal, they are problems you share with your spouse, not your family and the entire neighborhood.

Run your mouth about how unhappy you are and you'll have a lot of explaining to do when your spouse finds out. 

I don’t have to tell you how painful the decision to divorce can be. If you are reading this article, you are fully aware. You need to know that your decision will have a lasting impact on yourself, your spouse and your children for years to come. Take your time, use a level head and take into consideration not only what divorce will mean for you but, for all involved in your decision.