Many of my Houston relationship therapy clients walk into my office not quite sure whether they are ready for divorce or not. They know that they are going through serious marriage problems but haven’t decided to pull that trigger.
Personally, I believe that if you’re hesitating about the decision, you shouldn’t do it, because all non-abusive relationships are reparable and you can guide them back to a place where you are happier with each other. I tell my clients this, but also that it’s ultimately up to them because they have to live with their choice.
If they are still on the fence, I then suggest that they ask themselves two very important questions:
- How happy or dissatisfied are you in the marriage?
- Is now the right time to get divorced?
Houston Relationship Therapy: The Questions Defined
Now, on the surface those questions might not seem to be asking much. Clearly, if you’re coming to therapy and considering divorce, you have marriage problems. That being the case, you aren’t likely to be very happy.
That’s what most people think, but when I actually have them record their level of satisfaction over the course of a month, a lot of people discover that they fall into the middle of the satisfaction scale most of the time. That means that they are neither extremely happy or extremely dissatisfied, but vacillate between feeling content and mildly unhappy. Do those feelings warrant divorce?
For most people, the answer is usually no, and they are surprised because they felt like they were unhappy more of the time until they tracked their feelings. The reason is because we tend to put more weight on extreme situations. If our spouse surprises us with an amazing anniversary dinner, that’s what we’ll remember. Alternatively, if he or she forgets entirely and doesn’t seem to care, we’ll take that to heart as well – even if the rest of the month was pretty normal. That’s why it’s so important to really be aware of your feelings over time.
The second question I ask in Houston relationship therapy – that of timing – is partially about waiting it out and looking at a larger sample of your feelings, but it’s also largely about practicality: if you are suffering through financial hardship or have children, those may be reasons to hold off. Many people end up discovering that they were merely going through a rough patch and it gets better. Others realize that the mere possibility of making the marriage finite improves the relationship.
If you have more questions or feel like you need to talk to a professional about the possibility of divorce, try Houston relationship therapy.