3 Questions to Ask to Avoid a Divorce

You’re fighting all the time. Or maybe the constant tension means that you barely interact. Perhaps you’ve just grown so far apart that it’s like you’re living different lives.

When things get truly tough between spouses, it can start to feel like divorce is inevitable – but is it?

Not always. In fact, in most situations where both people are willing to put in the work, the marriage can not only be saved but strengthened, so that things are better than ever.

Here are three questions to ask before getting a divorce.

1. Have you clearly talked to your partner about what’s bothering you in the relationship?

After we’re with someone for a long time, we develop a shorthand with them. We know what they’re thinking, and they know what we’re thinking. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

Unfortunately, this mentality can lead people into believing that they’ve been clear with their spouse about their feelings, when in reality the other person doesn’t understand what’s going on at all.

2. Have you both set clear expectations for your roles in the relationship?

Often people grow feel frustrated with the role they or their partner take in the relationship. This can be as big as one person working while the other stays home with the kids or as relatively small as one of you handling the finances while the other mows the lawn.

It doesn’t matter who does what, but it does matter that both of you understand and accept the roles you each expect from the other. If you want to change your role, then you need to talk to each other about what kind of changes you’d like to make.

3. What would life be like without your partner?

When people start to consider divorce, they tend to focus on all the bad things they won’t have to deal with anymore. The fights. The stony silences. The frustration.

Before you move forward, though, think about the other side. Obviously, there are some positives, or you never would have married this person to begin with.

If you divorce, you’ll no longer have someone to share happy moments with you. To support you when you feel down. To sleep next to at night. To join you at the movies or out for dinner. To deal with the finances or handle household chores. Or whatever.

The point is to really think about what you’ll lose… and not wear rose-colored glasses about what you’ll gain.

Here’s one final question to ask: have you sought professional help?

With the guidance of an experienced relationship therapist, you can learn tools and techniques to help you communicate without fighting and gain a deeper understanding of each other’s needs. And that can empower you to create an even happier marriage than you had before your current problems!

Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
605 Wynyard Rd
Wilmington, DE 19803