Ladies, It seems that one of the most pressing questions I receive from my female clients who are unhappy in their marriage is “Should I stay and work on my marriage or should I divorce?”
Obviously this is a very personal question that needs to be handled based on your situation but there are some things to think about when making your decision. What led you to your unhappiness in your marriage to begin with? Was he unfaithful? Did he not nurture your needs as a woman? Was he unable to communicate? Does he have a problem with addiction?
Sometimes our unhappiness stems from ourselves and our interaction with our spouses. In these cases there are many things we can do for self improvement to change the dynamics of our relationship. Believe it or not one of you can implement major changes even without the other participating. Other times though we know the marriage needs to end but don’t have the intestinal fortitude to move forward. It can seem scary to be on our own after being with someone for so long. I tell my clients it’s like taking the first step on a staircase without seeing the whole set of stairs. And this is how it will feel in the beginning. Baby steps one at a time to re establish who you are and how you want to live the rest of your life.
A very powerful tool I also teach when making your decision is called the Pain/Gain model of action. Take out your journal and list at the top. Current Action=Stay Married, Future Action=Get Divorced. Then you ask yourself -What is missing from my current situation and why do I desire that or what is important about that to me. What is the pain of continuing in my present situation? Get All of your thoughts out. Now move on to your Future Situation(divorce) Ask yourself -What are the benefits for the desired change and why are those benefits important to me? What would I gain if I change, and get divorced? After doing those two entries you have to now be fair to yourself and evaluate all of the Gain from Staying in the marriage and all of the Pain if you should leave. Sometimes when our situations seem bleak we tend to paint a different picture then what is. This tool is a great first step to sort out your thoughts, feelings and emotions on your relationship .