For some, once they have reached the absolute end of their rope, they decide just to get on with it. For others, though, this is almost the hardest part: making that out loud declaration.
I had an acquaintance once who took over three months to actually say the words out loud. His wife of more than 15 years and mother of their two kids had spent the last two years of their marriage as an extremely competitive female bodybuilder. He was really struggling to relate emotionally, physically and mentally to the person she had become.
In addition to this, she had discovered that she was in love with another woman. She proposed to her husband, who happened to be a very successful businessman. But while he was away on business trips, her girlfriend would come and live at their house (with their two pre-teen kids) and then when he returned, she would go back to being his wife.
Wha-a-a-a-t?? Seems like a no-brainer to get out of that situation, right? Still, he would lie next to her night after night and say silently, “Say it, say it in 1-2-3 NOW!” Why on earth was it so hard? He was in hell!
The reality is that they had built a life together. At one point, they had the same goals and dreams. They had two kids. It would represent an enormous financial setback. It was embarrassing!
This is one of the first and most important considerations:
Your timing, your feelings, your decision-making process — they are yours and yours alone. NO ONE can know exactly what you think, feel and know. You need to proceed at the pace that feels right to you, period.
If you think you are at the point of no return, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does every situation, no matter how trivial, seem to end up in conflict?
- Do you or your spouse continually bring up past hurts that have clearly not healed?
- Have you lost all respect for your spouse and/or vice versa? Would you say it’s impossible to rebuild?
- Are your life goals and direction out of sync?
- Does your spouse try to undermine your individual growth?
- Have one or both of you changed your primary value system?
- Does compromise end in resentment?
If you answered “yes” to the majority of these, you are definitely on the road to divorce.