Divorce. In the minds of many, this word conjures up images of a husband and wife who are constantly at each other’s throats, as well as labeling each as a failure and a loser. They do not want to get a divorce but even the most casual observer would look at their lives and wonder why the obvious action of divorce has not been taken, since it seems like only a matter of time before it does or at least should.
Most people present an entirely different picture of their marriage and level of happiness to the outside than the one that is real. The reasons behind this are made clear based on many studies that have been conducted. Divorce is not a viable option because that would mean that one or the other (or both) are inflexible, incapable of working out differences, a failure, a bad decision maker, and a host of similar self-degenerative thoughts.
Those thoughts are counter-productive, however, and you really need to look at your marriage and determine if it is something you still want. When you were standing at the altar all starry-eyed so many years ago, it seemed like the thought of divorce could never be uttered from your lips, but things have changed. Both of you have changed, and if you have changed in different directions and now have different goals, or if the number of things you have in common is now limited to one thing like the weather, then perhaps it is time to look out for #1, since ultimately, you are the only one who is truly responsible for your own happiness.
But it is a tough decision. Perhaps you feel like you need to put up with it because you need the income that your spouse’s job provides, or you need the health care insurance their job provides. Is that an excuse, or have you really investigated the alternatives? Are you capable of working or providing your own health care, if you had to? And if you had to, yes your life would be more hectic, but at the end of the day, would you be happier than you are right now?
These are all tough questions but you need to ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself in your answers. The root cause can frequently be traced back to a lack of communications between husband and wife. You do not listen to what he says, and he does not listen to what you tell him. Could things change? Of course they could, but not until both spouses are fully aware of the problem, are willing to admit consciously that a problem exists, and outline and FOLLOW a plan to get things back on track.
A marriage counselor or a pastor is a great resource who can act as an objective outside observer and offer suggestions. It will probably mean that both of you will have to change some things about your behavior or lifestyle, perhaps things that have become a habit as you have grown apart. But both of you must want this to work – if only one of you is cheering for the marriage to continue, it is doomed.
Evaluate all aspects of it and consider the ramifications, but as I said earlier, you need to determine what is going to make you happy, since you and only you have ultimate responsibility for your own happiness.