For many, divorce is a natural part of marriage; that’s not a cynical statement, it’s just the truth. Yes it’s sad, but it’s also sort of liberating.
Thirty years ago the idea of a woman leaving a man who had abused her, or because she valued her career, or because she decided not to have children, would have been taboo. Similarly, men were shackled to the idea that because they had taken a woman they had to be subservient and put their testicles in a jar—only to be taken out on hunting trips and super bowl parties. No more. Now we have choices AND the cultural acceptance, the financial freedom and a myriad of singles ready to pop our post-marriage cherries (myth is they grow back once you get divorced).
However, having a choice often leads to laziness in marriage. Yes, choices can be a double-edged sword–kind of like Spiderman with that whole ‘great power and great responsibility’ conundrum.
If you go into marriage knowing you can get divorced, then you will. Sadly, a lot of men tend to use divorce as the form of “I give up” instead of “I ‘ve tried all I can”. It’s a huge decision; it’s worth analyzing.
So, here are some questions to ask yourself before you Split:
1) If you were on a date with a beautiful, intelligent, sexually interested woman would you still end the date if you knew your ex was wanted to see you?
If the answer is Yes:
Son, rethink that divorce. The penis is a wavering enemy and if it can be tamed and turned away from a readily available woman for a person who may be crying or just wants to ‘talk’, then you obviously aren’t over your ex. Sex isn’t everything; deep down even the most testosterone-filled men know this–at least they do if they’ve been in love.
2) Can you walk away without being angry?
If the answer is No:
Ask yourself, ‘why am I angry’? Is it because she hurt you or because you’ve failed at something? Anger will follow you into any relationship in which you engage unless you stop it in its tracks. Sometimes anger can be a sign that there is unfinished business between you and your ex/current partner. Have a talk and be open to forgiveness or be saddled with anger throughout your life.
3) Can you sign that paper knowing you did everything you could?
If the answer is ‘No’:
Then talk about why you feel this way. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the end and you wind up replaying situations in which you could have handled things better. If you know you did all you were currently and possibly able to do, then sign. Don’t berate yourself over things you can’t fix now. It’s a waste of time and it keeps you from living your life the way you want to and in the way that benefits your health and happiness. However, if there is even a shred of doubt that you can be confident that you are making the right decision, because you may not have given it your all, then take a cue from Aretha and THINK. You’re a person who is constantly growing and making mistakes, so is your spouse.
5) If she were to get a life-threatening illness tomorrow would you drop everything in your life and go back and see her through it?
If the answer is ‘Yes’:
Okay, well, Life is a life-threatening illness. We are all dying, show the love one last time; or give her small pox or something. Kidding, I don’t think small pox is even still a thing these days.
Seriously though, life is short. If you were to wake up and find out that she was ill and the only thing you wanted was to be there for her, by her side, making love to her when she’s sad, then you’re still married. And you’ll never be really divorced as long as you feel that way.
6) Would it hurt you to see her with someone else?
If the answer is ‘Yes’:
Lift up that pen dude. Sure it’s normal to be jealous but if you’re overly anxious about her meeting someone else and forgetting you, it could be because you know you’ll never forget or fall out of love with her. Jealousy can be immature but it can also be a sign of wanting. If you still want her, maybe you still love her.
7) Are you waiting for divorce to prove something?
If the answer is ‘Yes’:
Prove what? Prove it during your marriage. If you’re waiting for her to prove something and you haven’t articulated that, then you have only yourself to blame. If she remarried or falls in love again will you be satisfied with what that proved? Or will you just be sitting on Facebook in your underwear covered in Cheetos dust waiting to say “I told you so!” and wishing you could hold her one more time?
Regardless of whether you are an atheist, agnostic, catholic or orthodontist (if you can put your hand in other people’s mouths then you are your own religion my friend) it’s a worthwhile statement that marriage is a bond. Regardless of what you believe, divorce is the tearing apart of flesh in every metaphorical sense. And honestly, many would rather have their arm ripped off than go through the pain, shame and game of surviving divorce. Think long and hard about the decision. Following a separation there are implications and emotions that you’ll face and experience; it pays to be prepared for that by thoroughly knowing that you are making the right decision.