- Gender and Relationships
Thinking About Divorce A lot? How Bad Is It?
Where is all this coming from: separation, divorce?
Whether you just got married or have been married for years, the word "divorce" keeps coming into your mind. Sometimes you know the cause and other times you don't. For those, who are serious about keeping their marriages intact, yet hear and see this word (as if it is beckoning you to do something) you are in a spiritual fight with yourself and those around you. If you are a believer in God, you know that there is an enemy that hates all things spiritual--to be in a marriage is a spiritual union between man and woman honored by a righteous God, so why would satanic influences support that?
You knew going into the marriage that the road wouldn't always be easy, this is why you have to do what you can to survive in or out of the marriage. Have you expressed your relationship concerns to your partner without mentioning divorce? And what was the result? If there is much complaining, yelling, threats, avoidance, and more, then no wonder you are thinking about wanting out.
Healthy relationships don't make you frequently think about wanting to get away. You don't feel stressed when someone you love comes around. You aren't nervous or angry when a partner comes home or when you go home to the individual. You definitely don't plot revenge or wish him or her evil. If this sort of thing is going on, you can turn how you feel around by holding yourself accountable to some things while doing what you can to make wrongs right.
There are so many temptations in our world--the kind that wreak havoc on marriages. The challenges of fighting them all can be a bit much for the weak-minded, unhappy, desperate, confused, and lonely; therefore, some will slip. Far too many married men and women get entrapped into things because they allow them. Some couples are living double-lives with secrets. Others are lying often to get needs met by partners. Then there are relationships that are simply headed nowhere because one or both parties just don't want to do too much to make things work. In another capsule on this same hub, there will be a list of "seeds" or causes that lead or grow into divorce. Check to see if your relationship has any one of those seeds growing.
It isn't any wonder why the word "divorce" starts showing up in minds and out of mouths with so many relationship challenges, but if you want to make things work in you marriage, you will need to find the underlying causes of why you feel the way you do. People, places and things can present problems that weren't there before. So think about the kind of conversations you might be having with others. Are those people in miserable marriages? Why would you be chatting with sad people if you want a happy marriage? Consider what you have been watching on TV, listening to on your radio, and where you might be going that is promoting negative emotions too, not just what a partner is or isn't doing for you and possible children. Are you and a partner getting adequate sleep, eating well or getting out and about? Are there new mental health problems? These issues will affect one's mood, and then like a domino effect, the things that use to be okay come crashing down sometimes all at once making you feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel when there still is. The little things have a way of heightening problems.
Of course, you can't force someone to change, but you can share your concerns, tell him or her what you would like to do to make some changes, and ask the person to share his or her feelings and what might the individual be willing to do to improve some things.
Now if no matter what you do the voice within keeps telling you to "Get out! He's not changing! You need to talk with a divorce attorney! Why are you still here?" then there is definitely a good reason to investigate deeper and enlist some outside help if need be. Are the issues hormonal, strange or making you feel uncomfortable in some way? Why is there still such a need to escape your situation even after changes has been made? Are you the problem, is it your partner or are you both going through some things? Sometimes the uncomfortable feelings, voice within, and other signs are warnings for more drama to come, are you willing to go through what is ahead come hell or high water? You can either ride the storm out or take cover away from it. Sometimes separating for a time helps some couples. It doesn't have to be a formal marital separation. You can vacation for a time, change your schedule, visit a park during lunch hour, or do some other things to get time for yourself to sort some things out in your mind.
One thing is for sure that anyone who keeps hearing or seeing signs of a future divorce, it doesn't mean anything good for you or those involved.
What is in your power to change in your marriage?
Imagine What It Might Be Like If You Could Never See This Person Again
Sometimes a reality check is needed to shake some people out of their fantasy worlds. People can be in a world today and then gone permanently tomorrow. Is that what you really want? Okay, well think about it. All the help he or she provides, gone. He or she might take the children and the pet so they are gone too. The residence will most likely change especially if you can't afford to keep it up. Also, think about someone else obtaining the money he or she once received. The probablity that someone new will be coming into your life will expect some financial contributions to have fun, go places, and more.
You just might find yourself in love all over again, meeting someone's family, celebrating holidays with the in-laws sometimes, and then listening to someone tell you "How WE need to...and you should consider...and what about?" You most likely will argue your point. Doors might slam, silent treatment, make-up sex, and then back to your daily routines similar to what you have right now. You will most likely find yourself right back where you once were: with a new family (possibly a newborn), spending money, dealing with in-laws...etc.
Just a thought.
If You Should Divorce...
While the fantasy plays out in your mind about ending the realtionship, just know if you do decide to go through it. Here are just a few things, you might want to stop doing right now.
1. Being emotionally and/or physically abusive with your partner and children. If he or she thinks you plan on breaking up, there is a good possiblity this person will be stacking evidence against you particularly when money and children are at stake. You might want to start being on your beat behavior.
2. Don't start any new relationships on or offline. If you do, you will hear about in court later. He or she just might have proof.
3. Start making yourself more available to be involved with your children. This will be a factor when the mediator puts his or her report together. Are you really caring for the children like you claim?
4. Avoid relocating or taking on a new job at this time. If the job takes you out of town often times, the parent who lives in the school district will win physical custody of the children.
5. If you enjoy drinking, partying, and doing some other recreational activties that don't look very family friendly, you might want to quit now.
6. Keep your personal business to yourself and don't share anything with mutual friends. They just might testify against you later.
7. Start collecting any information you can that will make you look good and dare I say it, your partner look bad. Divorce is war and if you are already feeling odd about getting the process started, you aren't ready to do battle.
Thoughts on Separating
What makes you feel like divorce is a possibility?
What Does a Child Think About Divorce?
Let's Talk Problem-Solving While You Still Can...
What is the most important thing you need to start doing in your marriage?
How do you know your relationship is coming to an end?
- 4 Signs Your Marriage Is Doomed For Divorce
Are there tell-tell signs that a couple's marriage will end in divorce? Renowned researcher Dr. John Gottman thinks so. For 40 years, the University of Washington psychology professor and his team at the Gottman Institute have studied thousands o...
Common Problems in Marriages
Loss of love
Employment Problems (i.e.) no job, working too much
Lack of Communication
Family and/or Friends Influence
Extreme frugal living
Drinking and Drug Use
Confused, don't know why
Physical and/or Mental Abuse
Health problems (i.e.) lack of sex, obesity, frequent aches and pains
She's Crazy - book for battered men
I Did It with No Regrets
I knew a week after the marriage that something was terribly wrong. Did I start getting the divorce paperwork together back in 2000? Nope. What about the following year? No. But I did start the process two years into the marriage, I was still thinking about the divorce but scared--really fearful of the outcome, so I ripped the papers up.
In his thirties at the time, the ex wasn't the physically abusive type, but he had a way with words. He could curse like a sailor when angry while arising the kind of emotions within you that you didn't know you had. I should have known better when he told me about the many people over the years he challenged during our courtship.
As I grew older, it didn't take much for me to do battle with him. In between praying, fasting, church attendance, and other spiritual things, the verbal challenges steadily increased. I felt God was angered with me in that stressful relationship, I hadn't listened to him back in 1998.
You see, back then I was single in my early twenties, living in a studio apartment in a busy metropolitan city with buses, cars, and people walking quickly up and down the narrow sidewalks. There were restaurants within walking distance, a drug store, churches, a hospital, and other useful businesses. It was prime real estate and a great location for the creative type. But I had become lonely especially during those cold, winter days. At times I was idle and found no solace in reading, writing and creating artwork. I will be the first to admit that was an issue for me--I stayed to myself a lot. Had I kept busy after leaving college, and did more things besides work, maybe I wouldn't have paid so much attention to those couples holding hands as they walked by me.
The First Meeting
As I walked down a busy street headed toward the front door of the large apartment building, I would meet that handsome gentleman who was warm and friendly. He invited me out and I thought it was quite nice--a needed change. We did what most couples did during the spring of 1998 (dinner, movie, sex...) but sooner rather than later I would have my regrets while in that relationship.
For some of you, you may have tried to look the other way when it came to the early warning dating signs like I did. Some included: his having too many female friends/former lovers, corresponding or calling these people quite often, visiting them while lying to me about the details, taking advantage of my money and time, using sex and cheap gifts to distract me from his personal weaknesses, and acting as if he was such a great catch when it was obvious he had issues with women including his own mother. But I gave him the pass, because I had my own issues. Back then, when I predicted my own future with that man, it was bleak, the writing was repeatedly written on the wall, yet we would break up then get back together and tread in the murk and the mire of past unresolved personal and family issues anyway.
I made excuses for what I knew was wrong when it came to him. I even compromised my faith and went against biblical scriptures just so that I could keep the peace and get fleshly needs met. I naively thought that a righteous God would co-sign on my decision to marry someone who repeatedly warned me, "I'm not into God like you...Why do you want to get married anyway? I have been there, it's not what you think." But silly me, a first time wife, was oh so happy marrying someone who had been married before (sigh). I wanted so much to be a part of a happy family--a fantasy that I was trying to make reality with the wrong person. So I prayed, planned and prayed some more. God wasn't answering. However, one of his messenger's warned me two days prior to my marriage date after two years of dating the man, that I didn't need to get married. Did you notice what I said? The evangelist told me I didn't need to get married, God had used her--He knew something I refused to know. In that moment, I reflected back to 1998 and other times when God warned me not to even get involved with the man, but I ignored wisdom. I really wanted to know why, what was so wrong with my decision, and I learned the hard way, some people can't love.
Only minutes before I was due to get married back in the summer of 2000, I was in the bathroom alone looking in the mirror, saying, "I don't really want to do this. It just doesn't feel right." I left my wise self in that mirror and then proceeded to walk into a small courtroom with baby in my womb and said my vows at the Justice of the Peace office. The only smart thing I did, I had no debt to pay after the marriage! Remember those early warning signs I mentioned earlier? Well they continued throughout the marriage. He only got better covering up some things, the more I exposed them. There was no more Ms. Nice Girl with me after repeated arguments, I was tired of being played like a fiddle!
We had our issues with money, the signs were obvious. I didn't have enough to share and he wasn't the type that liked to spend his. But I would manage to come up with money in a crunch and helped him out more times then I could count. I should have known better. Everything was a challenge from keeping food in the refrigerator to wondering sometimes whether where he said he was going was the truth and was he spending his money on whoever doing whatever.
A second baby was born and we felt the emotional, financial and physical stress. He cried more than the other, he had more issues and he went from developing quite rapidly to slowing down. At that time, I knew there was something different about the child, but I managed as best I could. Sure, we loved our children and yes there were happy times, but they were often short-lived. We didn't plan for the babies. We knew the consequences of taking too many chances unprotected, but they were here, and there was much work to do with them. You can learn more about motherhood challenges on my blog and in my book When Mothers Cry.
Effort to Make it Work
As the relationship matured, we hired babysitters and did date nights. We traveled and discovered new neighborhoods together, but things had changed and I really didn't want to pretend any longer. He was listening to a relative who didn't always have our best interests in mind. I was receiving my share of criticisms from those in my family, who said everything but, "I told you so."
The stress of crying, diaper changes, little money, little patience, temptations, sickness over the years, cheating, and relatives' involvement in our marriage would seal our fate.
As mentioned before, I had grew weary of the front--you know the one you put on with people that looks like you are a happy couple when you're really not. I was tired of the couple sessions with us trying to express our feelings and reaching some sort of resolve. Many of those discussions ended in arguing and swearing. (Emotional abuse is a major issue, see my blog). I could no longer withstand the name-calling and other ridiculous stuff. I had become sick, physically sick, with worry when I thought of where his body might have been when he wasn't with me. I had been losing weight on and off because I never wanted to rock the boat when it came to making purchases--I can't tell you how frustrating it is to make sacrifices and still don't come out ahead with a cheap person! You are always the go-to person when it comes to the more expensive items a person like this doesn't want to buy much of anything from brand names to travel (even when it isn't your idea).
I had to let go after a couple of separations over a seven year period. Notice, I didn't break up all at once, it was a gradual process, I needed to breakup within my mind first, next my body would follow and then my spirit. This sort of thing takes years. I had to learn to operate as a single person within the marriage in order to survive outside of it. I refused to walk away with regrets. I had allowed myself to do all I could do when the initial thoughts of divorce would come and go during the early part of the marriage. You shoo those away when you know you aren't ready. Sometimes they are hormonal, triggered by something you heard, watched or a health issue. But then there comes a point when you can't dismiss those thoughts of divorce any longer especially when all you seem to do is worry, cry, fight, and walk on egg shells in a miserable marriage. Those breakup thoughts that keep coming every time you hear a partner's voice or are asked to do just one more thing, those are the serious ones. They don't go away easy. They affect your appetite, give you a headache, cause you to lose sleep, and more. It seems like you are drawn to people who have divorced too. You find yourself spending much time reading and preparing for divorce. Once you are there, you are on your way to the point of no return.
The thoughts of "I should have...would have...could have..." are absent when you know you have done all you could. You don't think about those things. But for people who do believe there is just one more thing, "I could have done to save my marriage...", they are the ones who have their share of regrets. They are usually the main problems in the relationship whether they choose to admit it or not.
People in emotionally and physically abusive relationships might even have their regrets because of the way they started reacting to their abusers toward the end of the relationship--doing things like finally fighting back and then feeling bad later. It is best to shake that stuff off! Abusers will try to make you feel guilty about those times you blew your stack. You were in survival mode, you did what you felt you had to do. Don't beat yourself up about those times!
Some will throw up scripture about what the Bible says. This is irrelevant the day the believer stopped listening to the Lord and doing his or her own thing in a relationship. When someone has made up in his or her mind to do what he or she wants, the bible is no longer significant in one's life be it right or wrong. You can't hold yourself to biblical precepts when you or the person you are with stopped believing and obeying. Sure, God hates divorce, and yes a partner could possibly win over the other, but then again that just might not happen--you don't have your lifetime waiting for that sort of thing especially if you are being emotionally and physically abused. If a partner is a cheater (this is abusive too), you have your way out of a marriage and don't let anyone tell you any different.
Stop by YouTube channel: nmenterprise7. Look up your issue, I have plenty of videos on dating, marriage and relationships.
- Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help - Growthtrac Ministries
Growthtrac is your trusted source for Christian marriage resources | marriage preparation, marriage enrichment, and marriage help |Build a Better Marriage!
- SurvivingInfidelity.com - Support for Those Affected by Infidelity and Cheating
Surviving infidelity support forums for those affected by Infidelity and Cheating
- DivorceCare - Divorce Recovery Support Groups - DivorceCare
DivorceCare is a divorce recovery support group where you can find help and healing for the hurt of separation and divorce.
- Tools to simplify shared child custody. - Our Family Wizard - child custody, parenting time
Our Family Wizard is a resource for divorced parents, providing visitation and child custody schedules, calendars, parenting plans and other co-parenting tools for facilitating child custody arrangements.
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© 2015 Nicholl McGuire