Do you feel trapped in an unhappy marriage? If you do, you’re not alone. In fact, chances are that you know people who are struggling in their own relationships. Most of them – and likely you as well – tend to suffer in silence. That’s a lonely place to live, and may ultimately lead you to contemplate divorce.
The decision to divorce is fraught with uncertainties. What about the kids? Can we afford to support two households? How does visitation work? For some, divorce also causes a crisis of faith: What does our religion teach us about divorce?
The issue that sometimes get buried amid the practical and spiritual questions is, “Will I be lonelier if I stay or if I go?” In coping with the daily stressors of an unhappy marriage, you might not have realized that you probably already felt lonely, but found some comfort in knowing that technically and legally speaking, you were still in a partnership. Now you’re wrestling with which choice will make, you may feel more alone.
There’s no guaranteed answer. Marriage is not a one-size-fits-all institution. Experts advise couples to evaluate how much the spousal conflicts are disrupting the dynamics of the family. Sometimes it’s obvious if the marriage is fractured because of a partner’s addiction or violence. In other circumstances, it’s less clear-cut because it may simply be that you fell out of love or see your lives headed in different directions. It’s those cases that often cause the biggest crises of conscience.
Questions to Ask Yourself If You’re Living in An Unhappy Marriage
- Will the kids be OK? There is a significant body of psychological evidence showing that children ultimately fare better once the initial disruption of a divorce settles out. A divorce can bring out parents’ best selves again, which makes them more competent role models than they were in an intact relationship marked by tension, yelling, blaming or silent resentment. Children pick up on those subtle dynamics and may believe they are responsible. The good news, therapists say, is that kids are also incredibly resilient and tend to perform better academically, socially and emotionally once a divorce is complete.
- What about money? It can be expensive to finance two households while the amount of income stays the same. Maintaining the standard of living you had before the divorce may involve additional expenses if you need a car, must get independent health insurance or need to find work if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent. Good divorce lawyers and solid financial planning can help you hammer out those details so that you don’t worry about drowning in debt.
- Can I break my vows? Getting married is a decision that most couples take very seriously. The promises they make to each other are filled with love and intentions to honor their vows forever. But few decisions in life are as black and white as they seem – even in marriage. If you or your children are suffering from the consequences of an unhappy marriage, you need to consider whether you can or should keep that promise. Working with a therapist, trusted friend or spiritual advisor may help you find that answer.
- Are you taking care of yourself? When people are unhappy, they don’t necessarily make healthy decisions to cope. If you are drinking more, making excuses to work late, or even drawn to seeking out a potential affair, for example, that could be a sign that your marriage needs help.
- Is the marriage irretrievably broken? That’s a legal term in Alabama divorce law, but it’s a good question to ask yourself. Every marriage suffers rough patches. With true commitment to make changes or by attending therapy, some unhappy couples build bridges back to each other and are able to reconcile. Do you and your partner want to try? Is it even possible?
What to do in an Unhappy Marriage: Why Divorce May Be the Right Choice
From early on, we are culturally programmed to expect to find an all-consuming romantic love one day. In that partner, we expect to find not only love, but also a confidant who will understand our fears and shelter us from life’s inevitable curve balls. The home that you create as a married couple, and as a family, should be the ultimate safe space.
But when that security peels away as a marriage unravels, you may feel exposed to the world without your lifeline. Everyone deserves that safety. Your kids need that safety, and they need their parents to secure it for them. Making that realization may be the deciding factor indicating that divorce is the best option.
What to Do If You’re Ready to File for Divorce in Alabama
Although it seems scary, you can reclaim your security and happiness after a divorce. In Alabama, you don’t have to make the divorce a contentious one. You can get a no-fault divorce that simply states that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. That can spare the family from lengthy divorce proceedings and start the healing process. If conflict is unavoidable, working with an experienced family law attorney can help dissolve the marriage as smoothly as possible.
At New Beginnings Family Law in Huntsville, our divorce lawyers never want you to feel alone. We understand what a painful decision you have had to make and we will advocate strongly for you to get a divorce settlement that protects you and your family.
A last piece of advice: Don’t expect yourself to “get over” your divorce after a set amount of time. Divorce isn’t one-size-fits-all, either. There is reassuring news, too. Just as researchers have found that children generally bounce back well after a divorce, they have also found that spouses are reinvigorated by their newfound independence and are better able to co-parent their children when their personal lives are more harmonious.
For more information about how New Beginnings Family Law can support you during this time, call us or contact us online now.
Contact New Beginnings Family Law for your family law needs. Whether you need help with a divorce or child custody, the attorneys at New Beginnings Family Law are here to help walk you through the process. You can expect to be updated and communicated with consistently throughout your case as well as have a knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer fighting for you in the courtroom. Call New Beginnings Family Law today!