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Things to Consider Before Getting a Divorce

Updated on January 25, 2016

Family Eating Lunch

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man holding a ringFamily eating lunch
man holding a ring
man holding a ring | Source
Family eating lunch
Family eating lunch | Source

Divorce image

Divorce image- IMAGE OF A CAR WITH INSCRIPTIONS JUST DIVORCED
Divorce image- IMAGE OF A CAR WITH INSCRIPTIONS JUST DIVORCED

Getting divorced

Ending a marriage is a very serious matter that concerns not only the two persons involved but in some cases children. Ending a marriage is nothing like ending a relationship because marriage and relationship are two poles apart.

In a relationship, it is strictly a matter between two lovers but marriage splits involve family and extended family. In the African context, marriage is not only between the two persons but involves a joining of each other’s family.

Even religious doctrines make divorce a difficult choice after the marriage has been contracted and some faiths are totally against it.

However, is ending a marriage through divorce an option?

According to Christian scriptures, God ordains marriage for man so Christians and other religions find breaking this sacred pact very difficult and traumatic. Divorce can be considered only when certain factors and conditions are present in the marriage.

Divorce is a very tough period for both individuals, because it comes with extreme emotional baggage depression and drastic lifestyle choices. There is anxiety uncertainty, fear, self-doubt but might also lead to better things and a more secure future.

Before seeking divorce there are certain things you should consider which might be valid reasons why you shouldn’t get divorced.

Family law, divorce and bills

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Divorce. image of broken heartbroken heartFamily law , divorce and bills
Divorce. image of broken heart
Divorce. image of broken heart | Source
broken heart
broken heart
Family law , divorce and bills
Family law , divorce and bills | Source

Coins

Coins
Coins | Source

Reasons why you should not divorce

Reasons why divorce should be considered a last option include the promise made at the alter to weather the storms of life together. This is a serious reason because it comes with commitment, selflessness, and devotion towards each others well being

Financial difficulties

Having financial difficulties during marriage comes with the territory so considering divorce because of finance is wrong. If your partner is making concerted effort to get out of financial debt without headway this is not enough reason to end the marriage.

Every low and middle class family struggle with unpaid bills, so overcoming such challenges together is very important. Divorce removes the joint financial investment each person puts into the success of the family unit and after the divorce, each partner would face financial challenges alone.

Starting life afresh

Mother and Child
Mother and Child | Source

Starting afresh

Divorce means you are going to start afresh losing your home and assets that you struggled so many years to acquire. Getting a divorce especially in the western world has literally wrecked a previously financially sound couple.

They lose everything and pay regular alimony if children are involved; starting afresh is difficult especially if you are coming out of a long marriage.

Angry man pointing

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A happy family
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A happy family
A happy family | Source

children

Children
Children | Source

Children in marriage

The children’s happiness and security is a valid reason why you should not consider divorce as an option. Children in a marriage suffer the brunt of divorce because the judge usually gives the child to one of the parents.

In most cases, the children are given to the mother with visitation rights offered to their father. However, this is not a set and fast rule and it could swing either way. Unfortunately, the innocent children become victims of a custody battle, unpleasantness, and bitterness between mum and dad.

They suffer depression and psychological problems sometimes blaming themselves for the split. Although having children in the marriage is a compelling reason to stay married with proper counseling the children might eventually understand that your happiness is also important.

A family unit

A family unit
A family unit | Source

Why divorce is not an option

Divorce affects many aspects of your life including the following.

1 Deep emotional problems

2 A change in lifestyle

3 Leaving certainty to uncertainty

4 How it affects the Children

5 Facing financial difficulties

6 Starting afresh

Lifestyle changes

Getting a divorce comes with hard choices and lifestyle changes especially mutual friend’s acquaintances and family. Unfortunately, family and friends also get hurt because they are forced to choose one side over the other.

It is commonplace for both of you to have the same friends, enjoy the same restaurants and social or religious gatherings. Being divorced affects every aspect of each others already established lifestyle and considerable changes and adjustment is required.

Dealing with your emotions

Divorce is an unpleasant event that affects both parties mentally and phychologically. Feelings of sadness, regret, unhappiness, anxiety and even depression is common after the split. It takes time to heal but with the love of friends, family and counseling you would be just fine.

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Physical violence in marriage

Physical violence in marriage
Physical violence in marriage | Source

Reasons why you should seek divorce

Although there are many reasons why you should work at your marriage, there are other reasons why divorce is the only option.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is one of the most compelling reasons why a spouse should seek divorce. There is no place for physical abuse or violence in marriage. Most abused women tend to think it is their fault or start thinking its something they are doing wrong. That is just the feeling of a traumatized mind and is far from the truth.

Physical abuse can cause accidental death, debilitating injury, deep fear, and physiological problems. Nobody should live in fear of his or her spouse so if you are in such a dangerous marriage then divorce is the way out.

An abusive spouse would never change even with counseling so you should seek divorce before it is too late.

Infidelity: What every couple should know

Marriage and Divorce

Happy family
Cause of Divorce
Strengthen Marriage
Love
Lies
Communication
Friendship
cheating
Commitment
Trust
abuse
Counsel

Infidelity

Infidelity is also a serious problem in some marriages but has different effects on marriages. Some women seem to tolerate infidelity especially in Africa but have you considered if circumstances were reversed?

There is not a man alive that can accommodate the infidelity of his wife, but the choice of divorce because of infidelity lies squarely on the couple. Although the trust is betrayed if you can forgive, his/her discretion then there is hope for the marriage.

However, if you cannot forgive the discretion then seeking a divorce is the next logical option.

Sad woman

Sad woman
Sad woman | Source

Neglect

Neglect is also a serious problem in some marriages and is a contributory factor to other problems in the family. Neglect could lead to extramarital affairs, resentment, anger and other negative behavior and feelings.

Communicating your feelings of neglect and sadness might rectify the situation but neglect alone is not a compelling reason for divorce.

Do Not Neglect Your Spouse

Love

Once the love is gone then the union might not stand the test of time, try hard to find that love you had. Love is a two-way thing and marriages suffer when love does not exist. Some marriages are built on friendship not love and the couple live happily for many years.

People grow and change with time so you might find yourself married to a stranger whose ideals and lifestyle seems foreign. Affection, tenderness, and friendship are all elements of love, so when it’s lacking the marriage is in trouble.

Friendship is a strong bond so even without romantic love divorce might not be necessary.

Conclusion

Never rush into a divorce unless your life depends on it, consider other options like counseling, family intervention and communication. Be prepared for change in finances, lifestyle and handle other emotional backlash as they come.

Although a good sex life is important companionship, love and stability are most needed in successful marriages. Compromise is good but never at the detriment of your peace, happiness, and inner tranquility.

© 2014 femi

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    • tony55 profile image
      Author

      femi 2 years ago from Nigeria

      Kerry Gleeson you are right unhappiness is the number one reason for divorce, what leads to divorce can be very complicated. Even a good decent man might have character traits that are difficult to overlook.

      About the images I used depicting happy family units, it was deliberate to reduce the effect of writing an unpleasant topic like divorce.

    • Kerry Gleeson profile image

      Kerry Gleeson 2 years ago from West Virginia

      The photos chosen, show happy families with happy children. The chances are good that if you are considering divorce, no one in the house is that happy. Divorce does not break up a happy family, it breaks up an unhappy family.

      Whether or not the children become pawns in stuck in the middle depends totally on how the parents behave. If the parents put the children first and leave them out of the dirty details, there is no reason for them to be stuck in the middle. The chances are also good that if they were put in the middle during the marriage, they will be put in the middle of the divorce. If they were not, they won't be.

      Judges tend to choose the parent who is most stable and who has done the majority of the child care until that point, which is why the mother generally gets sole custody. If the father is the one who did the majority of the care, and is more stable he will get sole custody. In some cases it is a 50/50 split. Once children reach 14, in most states, they are given the opportunity to decide where they want to live.

      Children are better off in a happy, supportive, singe parent home than they are in a miserable, dysfunctional two parent home. I spent 20 years very unhappy. I ignored the red flags when I was 23 and I married him any way. I took my vows seriously and I stayed and tried to make it work. I thought as long as there was no physical abuse and no adultery, I would be there "until death do us part". I wasted my entire 20's and 30's with someone who did not appreciate me. He loved me and he loved our children, but he was not a good husband and he was not involved in their lives. He was not abusive physically but he was lazy, he was not really present and I did all the parenting, only to hear later what I did wrong. We did not fight about money, we had no money and what we had he controlled. He wasn't mean about it really, he was just in control.

      He put my in laws wants and needs above mine, but he was a nice guy.

      I prayed and prayed about it. I tried and tried but you can not fix a marriage when only one person is trying.

      My children are happier now. I am happier now. It is harder but we are happier now. Divorce is not always as cut and dry as people think. It's easy to cast stones and say these are the only reasons to divorce when you are not the unhappy party involved thinking that "until death do us part" can not get here fast enough.

    • tony55 profile image
      Author

      femi 2 years ago from Nigeria

      Wow, You've touched on a lot of very serious issues concerning marriage, relationship and divorce. Divorce is tough on everyone involved and should be considered as a last option.

      dashingscorpio thanks for you writeup.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      When one strips away all the hurts and financial expenses a divorce is nothing more than a public admission that a mistake was made in the (mate selection) process. We all acknowledge that human beings make mistakes! And yet many people refuse to accept the fact that many people marry the "wrong person" for themselves or get married for the "wrong reasons". Oftentimes people ignore "red flags" and hope things will improve overtime.

      A lot of folks believe it's too "easy" to get a divorce. However the reality is it's too easy to get married! Las Vegas even has "drive thru" wedding chapels!

      Maybe if getting married were as expensive as going through a divorce more people would put a lot more thought into (choosing) the "right mate" for themselves instead of getting caught up in a whirlwind of "infatuation" and pursuing a fairytale ending for their lives.

      The U.S. divorce rate hovers around 50% and over two thirds or 66% of all divorce filings are initiated by (women). An unhappily married man is more likely to cheat than to run down to the courthouse and file for a divorce. Even the friends of mistresses say: "The husband never leaves his wife."

      It's almost a cliché to hear "Men are afraid of commitment". The reality is a lot of men are afraid of divorce! That's why they don't want to marry.

      I suspect better career opportunities and higher pay for women has made it possible for them to choose to leave unhappy marriages that their grandmothers or great grandmothers would have stayed and endured.

      The more options one has the less crap they'll put up with!

      Children are likely to enjoy being raised in a single positive household more than being in one where their parents are in a loveless marriage producing a toxic environment. Staying in an unhappy marriage does nothing but teach your children what is "acceptable" in a marriage. They're likely to choose similar spouses for themselves.

      Divorce should not be approached lightly but neither should entering into marriage! Marriage is about building a life together and not a prison. Staying in an unhappy marriage because you have children is equivalent to blaming them for the years of unhappiness you endured.

      Most people who say divorce is "easy" have never personally gone through a divorce. We've gotten to a point in our society where we say a marriage is "successful" merely because a couple has stayed together. It doesn't matter if they sleep in different rooms, cheat on each other, live like roommates, or never have anything to do with one another. As long as they haven't filed for divorce we believe they hold the key to a long lasting marriage. If one has no "deal breakers" and have decided they're going to stay married no matter what happens (physical/verbal abuse, infidelity, alcohol/drug addiction, children born out of affairs, neglect of affection and sex, and draining the family finances...etc

      At some point you have to wonder if they're staying because of their "vows" of if they have no self-esteem whatsoever and lack the "courage" to break free and change their lives. Some people use their vows and their children as an excuse for not making healthy changes.