Does your partner know about your relationship concerns and have you made them clear?
Sometimes, we think we communicate but our partners may not have necessarily learned. Speaking our truth to our significant other is the first part of the equation.
Would you be happier without your spouse?
Taking a realistic and hard look at the pros and cons can be daunting but essential. Could you really live without this person and do the positives offset the negatives? Truly weigh whether this move will be worth it, or if there are just parts of the marriage that need some repairs and construction done on it.
What is your biggest fear in ending the marriage?
Fear can play a big role in whether we want to embark on the tough journey that comes with starting a new chapter of your life in this way. Some fear losing intimacy, while others fear the idea of being alone forever. Understanding and confronting those fears is a huge part of being able to move forward with a decision on divorce.
How will you handle telling the kids and minimizing the harm done to their childhood?
Staying together never helped any miserably couple, but co-parenting will always have to be a reality, no matter what. You’re going to have to understand that you’ll still have to be in each other’s lives and letting kids take sides or act as ammunition is the worst thing possible.
Have you looked at your role within the problem?
Responsibility and accountability is a huge factor in divorce, and even if you do decide to move forward with it, you can’t pretend that everything is the other person’s fault. Being reflective on ways that you’ve made mistakes and relating it to how the marriage or your future co-parenting can be handled is truly vital. If you introduced conflict without awareness, you can remove it and correct patterns with awareness.
Do you and your spouse have the same expectations about each others roles in the relationship and have they been discussed?
Not understanding how our partner wants us to behave or act in the marriage is a big cause of divorce. If you have preconceived notions on what roles within marriage (aka finances or household chores) are without discussing them first, it can lead to a lot of strife?
Do I have a solid support network and do you need the build on it?
Embracing the support that you need along with acknowledging you may need more is nothing to be ashamed of. Divorce involves a huge support network. Legal, financial, friends, family, therapist, support groups are all a big part of that, and will make a big difference in weathering the storm?
Have you organized your finances before you embark on the journey of the divorce?
Fiscal stresses are often a reality leading up to or following a divorce, and not organizing all the necessary one for legal proceedings can make the proceeding war difficult and uglier than necessary. Once all of your financial issues are in order and pre-assembled, legal proceedings become much more of a breeze.