Yesterday, I got a Facebook message from Amy in Ann Arbor, MI. Amy wants to know whether she should continue her attempts to save her marriage, or whether it’s time for a divorce:
Hey Brad, so my husband of 11 years and i have been having marital problems for about two years now, and we’ve tried hard to work out our differences but so far nothing has helped. I love my husband but we just disagree on so much. Arguments are usually about money, him being at work all the time, and our son Kevin who is eight. So how long should I keep trying to work things out? How do I know when its time to give up and get a divorce?”
If it makes you feel any better, Amy, this is a question I get very often from my counseling clients. Many couples struggle with the decision of separation and divorce, and it can often be extremely difficult to come to the conclusion that a divorce will be necessary.
First of all, let me begin with a brief disclaimer: Without knowing the full details of your situation, I can’t really provide a conclusive answer as to whether or not it’s time to get a divorce. But what I can do, however, is tell you how to identify problems that are unsolvable and may necessitate a divorce.
Love Is Necessary
You mention that you still love your husband, which presumably means there is still a romantic connection of some sort in your marriage. That’s important, because the absence of any romantic connection is usually reason for divorce in and of itself.
But, with that said, it sounds like there are several topics that often lead to disagreement between you and your husband. Are these disagreements typically about “core concepts?”
In other words, are you disagreeing on the fundamental topics of finances, work hours, etc? Or are simple disagreements regularly turning into bickering and nit-picking?
Are You Far Apart On How to Do Things?
If there are deep-seated and fundamental differences of opinion, it may be more difficult to reconcile your differences. If, on the other and, you’re simply getting on one another’s nerves and allowing minor disagreements spin off into screaming battles and incessant bickering, then some quality marriage counseling and a concerted effort by both you and your husband may be enough to fix your marriage.
One of the best ways to identify, in your own mind, whether separation or divorce are necessary is to ask the question, “will I be happy with my life if I stay in this marriage?”
If you can’t see any way that you will be content with your life while married to your current husband — even after a lot of thinking and reflecting within yourself — then that’s an indication you’ve already lost the will to continue in your marriage.
Divorce can be extremely difficult for everyone involved — and will have serious consequences for your son and the stability within his family life — but sometimes it is necessary for you to find true happiness and to enjoy life in the future.
In those cases, as difficult as it may be, divorce is sometimes an unfortunate necessity.
Best of luck — hopefully you’re able to work things out!
Do you have a relationship or dating question you’d like answered? Let us know and we’ll do our best to provide an answer here on the blog!