Tuesday, April 16, 2024

THINKING OF DIVORCE? ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS FIRST

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Photo by Illustration: Christina Avdikou

If you’re thinking about ending your marriage, you probably have a lot of doubts about whether it’s the right decision. Because a divorce is no easy task, we turned to the experts and collected 7 questions to ask yourself (and your partner) to make sure.

If divorce has crossed your mind as a possible solution, then you are reading the right article. Your marriage may be so unhappy that divorce seems like an ideal solution, like redemption and a chance to start over. Maybe not.

It may be that your perspective or your own unresolved issues are hindering your ability to see the problem objectively. Sometimes, people end one relationship and start another, in which they face the exact same problems .

It is possible, therefore, that the divorce will not solve all your problems , while it is possible that it will create more. We are not referring of course to abusive marriages, nor to relationships that put one’s integrity or life at risk – there the decision is one way.

So before you decide to take the next step, we spoke to the experts to help you clear up the landscape. We suggest you ask these 7 questions to yourself – ideally to your spouse as well – before you come to a decision.

It is worth noting that we deliberately do not refer to the children parameter , which may make it difficult for you to settle down. The dynamics of a relationship must be considered individually, and an unhappy marriage benefits no family member.

Considering Divorce: Is There Any Way To Avoid It?

When someone starts seriously thinking about divorce, of course there is a good reason . We won’t tell you that you don’t have problems in your marriage. But the divorce itself as a process has many difficulties, which you cannot know in advance, unless you have experienced them before.

 

Are you thinking about divorce?

Illustration: Christina Avdikou

 

“Divorce is a difficult choice and most people who end up there know that it is the last resort,” says Angeliki Soumani, psychologist MSc-psychotherapist and special educator, who sees several couples in the therapeutic process, as well as several divorcees. Before making such an important decision, it is important to have exhausted all other options.

Sometimes ending a marriage may seem like the ideal solution to your problems, but it’s not. “Divorce is a great loss, a very stressful event, where both partners experience feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, guilt , but also mourning ,” she says.

“Before getting a divorce, you should ask yourself if you are 100% sure that you want a divorce,” says Irini Denezi, a lawyer with long experience in family law . “What everyone forgets is that they chose a certain person to be with forever or possibly to start a family with,” he adds. With divorce, other problems begin. So make sure there is no way to avoid it.

Am I financially prepared?

Marriage as an institution was originally set up as a financial agreement . Dismantling it, even today, is costly. There are the costs involved in the process itself, which are not few, but the main problem is the increase in costs that follows.

“Economics is an important issue, as two households have to be set up with the same money . This makes things difficult and brings more tensions between the partners”, says Ms. Denezi.

This doesn’t mean you have to stay in an unhappy marriage. It means that you should have prepared properly . Make sure you can handle the financial burden, get your finances in order, make a budget and gather all the necessary documents before starting the process.

Do I know what divorce means as a process?

If you haven’t experienced a divorce firsthand, you probably don’t realize all that the process entails. So before you start, make sure you understand exactly what will happen. Consult a professional experienced in family law, as well as someone you know who has gone through the process.

“The dissolution of a marriage involves several legal and bureaucratic processes, which are often mentally exhausting and financially draining for the former couple. It is good to arm both with patience and fortitude, as it is necessary to complete all the steps correctly and to settle all the practical and financial issues at the beginning, in order not to create greater difficulties in the future”, writes the psychologist, Natalia Koutroulis, in OW .

What are my goals?

A person who wants to leave a relationship should think seriously about what their goals and interests are after the divorce or the end of the relationship. “Clients often come in who think they want a divorce , but have no idea where they want to live after the divorce, haven’t thought about how parenting time will be shared, or how family expenses will be paid when there are two separate households,” says Mrs. Denese.

“Sometimes one flirts with the idea of ​​divorce, to escape the stress of parenthood these days,” says psychotherapist-author Evangelia Andritsanou. So think seriously about what you expect your daily life to be like after the divorce and think about how this might happen.

Are my problems related to the unwritten “marriage contract”?

Long-term relationships almost always go from the initial stage of love to disappointment. You might be surprised to learn that behind this is an informal contract, the so-called marriage contract , which in times of crisis may simply need to be renewed.

As Ms. Soumani told us, indicative of this contract is that it constitutes an implicit and unconscious agreement . It includes everything that makes two people decide to enter into a relationship, along with the expectations they have of their partner. However, these expectations are not formulated in clear terms.

The contract in the course of the relationship cannot remain the same. Many problems and frictions appear when the contract needs to be changed, either because an event occurs , such as the birth and coming of age of a child, some health problem of the partners or a professional issue that can bring about an upheaval, etc. As the relationship evolves, then, new facts  and  expectations arise  , and people may feel that their expectations are being violated.

The marriage contract is directly related to the personal development of each partner. Before you decide to divorce, it might make sense to review your expectations of both the other person and yourself in the relationship with the help of a marriage counselor or a psychotherapist.

What would our relationship ideally be like?

If you’re spending time deciding on a divorce, it’s worth spending a little more time thinking about how you want your relationship to be . There are many reasons why you might want a divorce, but a very common one is that you no longer communicate with your spouse.

The answer to this question, which should be addressed to both partners, will help clarify what they want from their marriage. But it will also help them explore what each one needs individually. It’s the first step to the aforementioned contract renewal and can indicate whether or not there is a future in the relationship.

Why do we have problems?

You may be able to list all the problems you face in your marriage, but can you interpret them? The answer to the question Why do we have problems?  it is not always clear and obvious.

When we (and our partner) wonder why we suffer, we dig a little deeper within ourselves and usually find the real reasons why we suffer. Furthermore, when we ask ourselves why we suffer, we take responsibility for how we feel . In fact, taking the time to pinpoint what’s causing your fights can give you a starting point for addressing the problems in your marriage.

 

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