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Are You Ready For Divorce?

Are You Ready For Divorce?

Three Key Questions You Must Ask Yourself


Q: Am I ready for divorce?

Couples always ask, when do they know it’s time to divorce. Usually, they know, but are hesitant to act because the loss is great, the future unknown and change is difficult. Financial problems, infidelity, domestic violence and addiction are common reasons couples seek divorce.

Many have been unhappy for a long time and have emotionally exited the relationship some time ago. Rarely spouses see themselves as contributing to the problem which leads to blaming. Excessive fighting, withdrawal of affection and dismissive behaviors seldom address the underlying emotional issues. Feeling unloved, unheard, betrayed or undesirable are some of these emotional issues.

Here are three things to consider when asking yourself the question: "Am I ready to divorce?"

1. First identify your underlying needs, desires and wants that are not being met.
How do you personally fill those needs? Then ask yourself, can my spouse realistically meet these needs? What qualities do you want in a partner? Does my partner possess these qualities? Many times spouses try to change one another, only to be further disappointed. You can only change yourself, and your relationship to these issues.

2. Ask yourself, can you individually or together better solve the martial problems.
Often times, spouses remain together for financial reasons. Becoming self sufficient financially not only shifts the relationship, but increases self-esteem, decreases depression, and also provides a good role model for children. Alimony and child support rarely cover all the financial needs.

3. Be realistic and do your homework prior to separating.
How will you financially take care of yourself? Devise a financial plan, future goals, and childcare plan. Research the costs of hiring an attorney, mediation or arbitration. Will you seek sole or joint custody?

Planning helps to give you a sense of control and helps you look towards the future, rather than dwell on the past.  

Clare Heicklen is a marriage family therapist with an M.A. in clinical psychology. She has worked in private practice in adult, child and family therapy and is a member of the American Associationf or Marriage and Family Therapy. She can be reached at pmjh@sbcglobal.net .

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