You’ve built a life with your spouse and perhaps even started a family. You’ve both committed to doing what’s best for each other and your children. But, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean things always work out.
Maybe, you’ve tried everything to strengthen your marriage or corrective measures like couple’s therapy or counseling to revive your relationship. However, you still have love and want what’s best for each other. If you can’t coexist as a married couple but still care for each other, your divorce can still be your greatest accomplishment together.
Love Doesn’t Always Equal Marriage
I’ve seen couples get married, riding the momentum of romance and love, without doing the proper work beforehand. Typically, money and family play a big part in unraveling marriages, and love alone is just not enough to fuel a marriage. It takes preparation, financial planning, familial support, openness, honest communication, and so much more to manifest a successful union.
If those key things weren’t there at the altar, resolving major conflicts during the marriage is often an uphill battle. Even the best intentions may still result in an impasse, with divorce as the last viable option to avoid a never-ending cycle of conflict and emotional distress.
Divorce doesn’t mean you hate your partner.
On the contrary, the deep feelings you have are still real and valid, even if you get divorced. If you’re going through a divorce, view it as a powerful commitment to consciously move on with your lives. In fact, the divorce process can be peaceful and amicable. Afterward, you can continue to wish the best for the other person and even love them like you would a platonic friend or family member.
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People Change and That’s OK
Over time, so many things can change: your priorities, interests, jobs, friends, financial situation, family dynamics, religious observance, mental or physical health — the list goes on. One or both of you could be changing in opposite directions, and it’s completely understandable.
Perhaps, you’ve tried to find ways to incorporate each other’s changes into your lives but simply can’t make them work in a way that continues to celebrate and empower your marriage. This situation is not uncommon.
It also doesn’t mean that you need to make compromises you’ll resent either. That’s usually a lose-lose situation and can take a toll on your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The truth may be that you are now different people who want and need different things. If you’ve chosen to divorce, you can see the decision as a sign of respect — honoring each other’s new trajectories while preparing to walk new ones.
You’re Not Growing
Another common reason for divorce is when a marriage becomes stagnant. It no longer contributes to you and your partner’s personal or collective growth and success. This could result from a lack of autonomy, poor communication, or playing tit-for-tat when settling disagreements. If you’re continually reaching an impasse when issues arise, chances are you’re not learning from your conflicts. As a result, you’re not growing either.
As a couple, it’s prudent to recognize the signs that you’re not playing on the same team. If you’ve elected to divorce out of a chronically stagnant marriage, acknowledging these signals shows that you love and respect your partner enough to allow them to lead the lifestyle that works for them, even if it doesn’t involve being married to you.
Didn’t Pass the Stress (or COVID) Test
Living during quarantine, the stressful bobbing and weaving through COVID regulations, or any other challenging circumstances (e.g., infidelity, illness, foreclosure, death) can reveal how your marriage responds to stress tests. You may have learned a lot about yourself and your partner, especially if you have radically different coping methods and solving problems from pressing situations.
These big moments can be tough to overcome without complete alignment, goal-setting, and future-mindedness. I’ve come across many couples who simply have incompatible philosophies or approaches to managing or recovering from high-stress events. If you and your partner have agreed to divorce, it’s important to remember that even though some obstacles were insurmountable as a married couple, you can still root for each other to succeed in your respective next chapters.
Divorce Can Be a Stepping Stone
Ending a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ending the love you have for your partner. Divorce can be another act of love you perform, allowing each of you to thrive and grow separately. For those with kids, I’ve seen divorced parents succeed, even through the challenges of COVID. There’s no bitter end to a relationship if you don’t want one!
If you’re looking to achieve a successful and loving divorce, you and your partner must work hard to succeed as separate individuals, communicate well, and work through the divorce mindfully. Navigating these conversations and covering the issues important and relative to your situation is vital. Feel free to reach out to me for a consultation on making a loving divorce come to fruition.