Having ambivalence about your relationship sometimes is completely normal.
You have a fight. Maybe a few fights. You go through a period where you both feel disconnected. Kids, jobs, cleaning bathrooms, the dandelions in the front lawn – virtually everything seems like it's more of a priority than your marriage.
All relationships have ebbs and flows. Disconnection and reconnection is simply the experience of being in a long term relationship. But sometimes … it is hard to reconnect. Particularly if toxic negativity begins to color your interactions.
When attachment stretches thin and you can't remember the last time you laughed together, it's normal to wonder if you ever will again. When negative experiences with your partner start to outnumber the good ones, it's normal to wonder if you've arrived at the “end of the line.”
Is Divorce the Solution?
Not necessarily. Feeling upset and scared about your marriage are exactly the feelings that prompt couples to start marriage counseling. Being unhappy with the situation creates the motivation that you need to do the difficult work of growing back together again. And in my experience, when couples have a will to repair the relationship there is always a way.
But sometimes, people begin to fantasize about divorce. They don't know how to resolve their relationship problems, and divorcing feels like the only solution. When divorce starts to feel like the glowing, open door to freedom and happiness — your relationship is in trouble. And of course, I understand there are situations where you may not have a choice: Your partner unilaterally moves towards the door, or perhaps there are such unhealthy and toxic things going on in a marriage that divorcing is genuinely the only reasonable option.
Let's Get Real.
If you are toeing up to the edge of this precipice, or perhaps already starting to go through the searing process of taking a marriage apart: This podcast is for you. On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm speaking with Pro Divorce Mediator Denisa Tova about things to think about if you're on the fence about divorcing, and also practical strategies for creating the best possible outcomes if you decide to move forward with divorce.
- How to tell the difference between “solvable problems” between you and your partner, and situations where divorce is really necessary.
- If you must get divorced, the mindset you need to foster to create a healthy divorce experience.
- Strategies for creating a happy collaborative relationship, no matter what happens.
(Music Credits: “Anxiety Attack,” by Jeffrey Lewis.)