The holidays are supposed to be a time for love, family and celebration, but if your family life is not what you hoped, it can be very stressful. Many people have high expectations and become disappointed if they aren’t met. However, just because you don’t have a perfect life doesn’t mean you should abandon all efforts. After the holidays, it is common for divorce rates to rise. Before you take that step, consider these questions:
- Do you love your spouse and why? If you love your spouse for who they are, not who you want them to be, then you may be able to resolve your differences with the help of a therapist.
- What has gone wrong to make you consider leaving the marriage? Spouses argue for many reasons. Is the conflict long-standing? Has something occurred recently to change your feelings? Is it the way you communicate with each other, verbally or through body language? You must be honest with yourself and your spouse about the problems.
If you still care about each other or you are not sure how you feel, then you should seek the guidance of a mental health professional. A therapist or marriage counselor can help you to explore your feelings alone and/or with your spouse. A neutral professional can also facilitate communication between you and offer practical tips to aid in handling conflicts outside therapy. Ideally, these discussions should occur as soon as possible because waiting will only worsen things and cause you to build up more resentment and ultimately, fall out of love.
Alternatively, if you don’t love your spouse or you have tried to resolve your issues and failed, then you shouldn’t put off filing for divorce. The situation will not get better no matter how long you wait. In fact, waiting could cost you more money because you continue to accrue marital assets for division until a divorce action is filed or a separation agreement is signed. There is no perfect time to divorce. Typically, delaying the inevitable means the whole family just becomes increasingly stressed, angry and unhappy. Where children are involved, this can end up being more detrimental to them than divorcing.
Divorce is a decision that should always come after thoughtful consideration and, generally, multiple attempts to reconcile. If you are considering separation or divorce or think that your spouse is, you should consult an experienced attorney to discuss your rights and understand how to prepare.
Please contact us to learn how we can assist you in achieving a positive outcome if the holiday season is affecting your marriage so you can move on to the next stage of your life.