Guest Author - Lori Phillips
If you've been thinking about divorce, you envision all the benefits that leaving your marriage will bring. The end of arguments. Independence. Peace. Divorce seems like the fast route to relief from all the conflict and stress of trying to get along.
With all the different marriage relationships out there, there are some that should be abandoned and some that never should have been. Yet, most marriages fail simply out of a lack of tenacity, the stick-to-it-iveness that is the very definition of commitment. We make vows at the altar that we will commit ourselves to each other, but forget all about that when bad things happen, unpleasant traits surface or compromise that we do not like is called for.
When in the throes of emotional upset, our imaginations of a quick escape can paint a picture of a better life after divorce. Anything must be better than this arguing, we say. In truth, the reality of divorce is sobering. Statistics show that 70 percent of divorced people regret it one year later.
If you think that divorce will end your arguments, you're mistaken. Especially if children are involved, you and your ex will have to work out custody, support, activities, schooling, medical care and sharing the ongoing needs of parenting duties. Imagine how much harder this will be when you're divorced from each other with less incentive to agree and--gulp--having to appease any new spouses who've entered the mix.
If you think that divorce will end your emotional ties, you're underestimating the power of human relationships. Our very psyches are formed by each and every notable human relationship in our lives, from our parents to our school teachers. Dump your ex and he or she will still linger in your mind for the rest of your life. You may not longer live under the same roof, but all the pain, anger and resentment will stay with you in every memory.
There are many things a divorce will end for your marriage from financial ties to daily interaction, but once you've married someone, this person will be a part of you, your psyche, for the rest of your life. It honestly behooves you to improve your marriage so the impressions will be positive. Divorced people will always have some pain or unhappiness to carry around about their failed marriage.
"What will I regret?"
Before you leave, ask yourself one important question: What will I regret if I divorce? Keep writing down every single reason you can possibly imagine. Aside from the obvious, such as sharing custody of the kids, be sure to include all the sweet things you've loved about each other and the good times you've shared. Ask yourself if you'll regret giving him up to another woman. Will you miss holding her in your arms?
Most divorce people regret not having put more effort into making their marriages work but there's a wise lyric by Joni Mitchell: "Don't it always seem to go? That you don't know what you've got until it's gone."
For some, divorce can be the right decision to ensure their children's and their own safety, health and well-being. Sadly, for most, the choice to leave their marriage is based on temporary unhappiness. If you are contemplating a divorce, be sure you'll have no regrets because sometimes, there's no way to reclaim what was lost.