Regardless of how long you have been married, the thought of divorcing your spouse can seem unconscionable. You might have to face the fact that your marriage is over. Or, in some cases, talk of divorce could make you realize how badly you want to try to make things work.

Before filing for divorce, you should think long and hard about what your motivation is. Are you leaning toward making an emotional decision based in the moment or do you truly believe leaving your spouse is best for you? You might have friends and family telling you what to do, but walking away from your marriage is a personal decision that you could regret if you do not seriously consider what would be the best course of action.

Questions you could ask yourself

By the time you find yourself considering divorce, fear could be a factor in any decision you make. You could be fearful that although you want a divorce, it is not what is best for your family. Or you could be fearful that you will have to take accountability if you are the one who admits your relationship is no longer working.

Before serving your spouse with divorce papers, there are three things you should consider:

  • It will not be easy. Your decision might cause your children pain or make your financial situation difficult. Are you willing and able to handle the consequences of dissolving your marriage?
  • Be genuine. Some people make threats of divorce in hopes of getting their spouse to change. However, mentioning divorce before making that decision could result in a loss of credibility or trust with your spouse.
  • You could seek help. There may be ways you can work on your relationship. If you still love your spouse and maintain hope that you will stay together, you might first try to work on improving your relationship. You might regret getting divorced if you do not do everything possible to improve your connection to your spouse first.

Regardless of how you decide to move forward, self-reflection can help you come to terms with your own thoughts and feelings about your marriage. If you choose to divorce your spouse after thorough consideration, you might be better positioned to accept their thoughts and feelings and work together toward a resolution that is best for all involved.