10 things to try before getting a divorce
1. Spend Quality time
Spending quality time with our spouse is something that many us neglect over the years. And this can often lead us to lose connection with each other. Sometimes the connection gets lost that we consider getting a divorce If you are considering getting a divorce, evaluate how much undistracted time you spend with each other. Chances are, it’s not much. Go to dinner or on a walk, and leave your phones and other distractions at homes. Spending focussed time on each other will either help you figure out your problems, or bring you back to reconnection.
2. Focus on your spouse’s admirable qualities
As humans, we all have to focus on negative aspects and forget about positive aspects of most things that we do. One bad thing happens in a day, and we focus on that rather than all the positive things. We tend to do the same thing with to our spouses. We focus on the things about them that annoy us or drive us crazy.
Instead we should concentrate on why we love them, and what they do to bring joy into our lives. And let them know what you think! It’s shocking how much telling each other why you admire and love them helps someone really know how you feel, and helps keep a positive vibe in your marriage.
3. Increase physical affection
This doesn’t necessarily mean have sex more. In fact, there are many studies that show physical affection that does not lead to sex is beneficial to marriages. Of course, sex is important, and should be regular. But expressing physical affection with no ulterior motive, is an incredibly effective way to show your partner that you love them.
4. Evaluate your personal well-being
This is where you need to evaluate what you are really feeling. Are you feeling disconnected to your spouse? Or are you unhappy with other aspects of your life. This was a recent discovery for myself. My marriage wasn’t in great shape, but a lot of that was because I was unhappy with my career prospects. So, before getting a divorce, do some soul-searching and find out what is the real problem. Outside stressors affect our perception of our relationships.
5. Stop making assumptions
We assume so much about our partners, without ever asking or talking about what our feelings are to each other. And even when we do, it’s common that we continue to assume what we think our partner is thinking, rather than trust what they are saying. If you are thinking about getting divorce, you are probably in this boat.
You need to stop assuming that your partner is trying to hurt you, or that they are doing something just to make you mad. It’s unlikely that they are. It is essential that you learn to trust your partner’s words and actions. This will help you regain trust in them.
“Should I get a divorce?”
6. Be Honest
Most people consider getter a divorce in silence. By that, I mean that you probably aren’t talking openly with your spouse about your marriage doubts. And there’s a good chance that there’s other things you’re not being completely forthcoming about. If you’re at the point where you’re considering divorce, communication has probably broken down to the point where you can’t and/or don’t want to try to share your feelings or concerns any longer.
While this is an understandable position, it only contributes to the problem. If you are considering getting a divorce, it is important that you be honest with your spouse about the things that are causing your feelings. The more specific you can be, the better. If you are displeased with communication, intimacy, parenting styles, or anything else, it is imperative that you be honest about these issues and address them quickly. The longer you let a wound sit, the more it will fester, and longer it will take to heal. If something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it sooner than later.
When’s the last time you’ve given an honest, sincere apology to your spouse? Of course, if you’re thinking about getting a divorce, you may not be thinking about giving apologies. You’re most certainly feeling hurt because your marriage has not turned out the way you planned. Here’s where empathy comes into play: your spouse is feeling hurt too.
You may be thinking a lot about all the things your partner has done to hurt you. Surely, you have done something to that’s hurt your spouse too. This is the time to shift your mindset and take a compassionate look at your spouse. If you’re considering a divorce, but still holding on – apologize. This will let your partner know that you care about them, and that you want to work on fixing things.
8. Accept what you can’t change (and weigh the options of what you can do)
You’re bound to discover some fundamental differences between you and your spouse over a long period of time. These differences can be difficult to deal with sometimes. Maybe you have different religious convictions, different interests, or different political beliefs. Over time, you may be wondering how you ended up with someone who’s so different from you.
Differences are not a bad thing. But for the most part, you can’t change these differences either. Would you change your political beliefs for the sake of your spouse’s comfort? Probably not. You shouldn’t expect your spouse to do it for you either. The best way to handle the differences between you and your spouse it to accept them as they are, and learn to enjoy the value that they bring to your life.
9. Manage your expectations
Marriage challenges often arise because one partner’s expectations are too high. It’s not a bad thing to reach for the stars, but reality also plays a role. One thing that might be obvious to one partner might not be obvious to the other partner. Here’s the reality: your spouse cannot read your mind.
If something has happened that you didn’t like, don’t expect that your partner automatically knows. Likewise, don’t assume that they did it on purpose, just to irritate you. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. If something isn’t working for you, it’s your responsibility to say something. Expecting that your spouse can read your mind and “just know” you don’t like something sets your marriage up for failure.
10. Let go of the past
The past can haunt you. There are painful memories and experiences we hold on to. Your brain does this, in part, to protect you from future situations that could harm you. But holding on to these hurtful memories can always put your marriage in harms way. It’s perfectly acceptable to process these experiences, but once you’ve done that, it’s time to let go and move on.
Holding a grudge for something you spouse has done in the past only hurts your marriage. It sends a very clear message that, no matter what they improve, there’s nothing your spouse can do to change their standing with you. It shows them you are unwilling to forgive and show love. And ultimately, holding on to a grudge will make you unhappy.
Take some time to understand your emotions and the actions that have hurt you. And then, share those feelings with your spouse and find some closure.
“Should I get a divorce?”
Hi, I’m Mike Sullivan! I’m a blogger who loves finding ways to make life a little happier – for me, one big way to do that is through nourishing my marriage. I’ve been with my awesome wife, Katie, since 2010. Believe me, we’ve had our ups and downs! That’s why we started this blog – to help other people get through difficult times in their marriage. Join our free Facebook communityof other folks working toward happy marriages too!