Some people have said that they waited too long before divorcing, but I have yet to hear someone say they jumped the gun and initiated one too soon.
There are many factors involved in determining if and when a divorce ought to commence. A main one seems to be regarding children and their ages.
One man felt that he stayed seven years too long in his marriage, choosing to wait until the last child went off to uni. He stated that the love was gone and the marriage was dead – however he stayed because he wanted to see his kids every day.
In hindsight, he thinks it harmed his sons witnessing coldness and disinterest between a married couple.
Another stayed in an unhappy marriage since her husband was their sons’ Boy Scout troop leader. She thought the boys would feel more secure with both parents in the home. Eight years post-divorce her sons are still asking what took her so long to file for divorce.
When to Divorce
For those on the fence about whether to stay or go, The Divorce Magazine UK has a link to various resources that are invaluable in the pre-divorce period too.
There are instances when a line is crossed and one spouse chooses to exit the marriage quickly. For example, a lad let slip that his father was showing him and his brother internet porn. The woman confronted her husband who denied it, but she said that she was having it investigated. He left her right away and she filed for divorce a week later. No amount of counselling could have changed her opinion to stay in this marriage.
Other times the admission of an affair brings on the death of a marriage. The betrayed spouse may not want to bestow another chance on the guilty party, so proceeds with filing for a divorce.
When there is abuse – get yourself, the youngsters and pets out of the house. That does not automatically mean a divorce is imminent – just that safety is the top priority. Sometimes with therapy and anger management classes, the abuser can be rehabilitated and the marriage is salvageable.
One criteria for deciding upon divorce is how much inappropriate behaviour is witnessed or directed at the children. When one parent is knocking around the other one – that is detrimental for the kids to see.
It is hard to watch a spouse self-destruct via alcohol or drugs. One may be supportive, but wonder when enough is enough.
Consider getting therapy or joining Al-Anon. “Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not. For some of our members, the wounds still run deep, even if their loved one may no longer be a part of their lives or have died.”
Some people have included in the parenting plan that the impaired parent is not allowed to drive the children anywhere. Visitation can be at a relative’s or at a Children’s Contact Centre.
A couple can drift along in different directions and find themselves without much in common. This can happen when facing an Empty Nest.
What some couples have done was to take up a new project, such as buying a fixer-upper cottage in the UK or abroad. This injected a new vitality, passion and focus to their lives and relationship, plus gave them something to talk about.
Several couples took up a sport or hobby, such as golf. They hit the links at home as well as in exotic locales. Others discovered a shared interest and became certified in scuba diving or volunteered with EarthWatch.
When boundaries are violated or a spouse is disrespectful and belittling, that is I when have seen couples getting divorced. Relationships may limp along until one or both decide to put it out of its misery with a divorce.
The opposite of love is not hate, but rather it is indifference.
Wendi Schuller is a published author who has conducted classes on various subjects. She draws upon her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, providing a blueprint to guide women through this difficult transition. Schuller hired an attorney for a court divorce, but decided to go the collaborative route instead and has worked with a mediator post-divorce.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce