When experiencing marital problems, it is often difficult to tell what your next step should be. Sometimes your issues are fleeting and the marriage can continue on. Sometimes the issues are deeply rooted and cannot be resolved. Whatever the case may be, if issues keep arising, may be time to reflect on your partner and the marriage as a whole.
One of the first factors to examine is the current marital climate. Are you and your partner under a lot of stress due to finances? Are you and your partner grieving from a familial loss? If issues like these are causing tensions to rise, it might be best to first seek counseling whether that be through couples therapy or individual therapy. Marital conflict is normal but if there is deep-seeded resentment toward one another due to a situation, therapy is absolutely necessary.
Another factor to consider is personal growth. Have you or your partner changed as a person since you first fell in love? Sometimes, especially for those who marry at a younger age, people grow apart. Therapy can also be helpful here, but ultimately, if there has been a shift in perspective and in values, continuing the marriage might not be in the best interest for your mental health. As frustrating as this is, it will be in both of your best interests to move on with your lives.
A third major factor to consider is communication. Are you and your partner communicating effectively? Where do communication breakdowns occur most? Sometimes not setting aside the time to communicate a problem effectively can cause confusion and tensions to rise further. You may not be able to control how your partner communicates to you, but you can control how you do as well as help facilitate conversation further. Don’t be accusatory in tone! For example, rather than saying “your spending is putting us into debt”, say “I feel that our spending is getting out of hand. Could we take a look at our monthly budget together so we both are on the same page?” Making the problem a shared problem, rather than pointing a finger not only addresses the issue, but helps strengthen the idea that you both are members of a team.
Do you want it to work when you think of your marriage with your partner? If your heart is still in it, seeking the help of counseling will help salvage the marriage. The only time a divorce is absolutely necessary is if you know you both will be happier moving on.
It is important to remember that divorce is not a bad thing. Divorce is a method of freeing ourselves from unhappy situations allowing us to be the best possible version of ourselves. Follow what your gut is telling you.
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