Recently a friend who was contemplating separating from her husband gave me a call and asked my advice. A few years ago when my emotions were spinning out of control, and I was in the throes of my marriage breakdown I would have shouted, “Divorce the bastard!”
Now, eight years post-divorce, I have gotten off the emotional rollercoaster called relationship breakdown and a cooler head prevails. My advice to her: slow down you move too fast!
What’s the rush to get a divorce? Unless you or your children are in physical danger, why rush? Divorce can be a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
When my marriage was breaking up, we both got on the merry-go-round and didn’t know how to get off. I hurt him. He hurt me. I hurt him again. He one-upped me. And so on and so on and so on. If only we had someone that loved us both sit us down, shake us, and say, “Get off the ride!”
I’m not saying that divorce isn’t the right choice in some cases; sometimes it’s the only thing a person can do. But when one in two marriages end in divorce, perhaps we need to slow down.
So, if you’re in the middle of a breakup or thinking about initiating one. Slow down. Breathe. Seek counsel. Confide in a trusted friend – one who will not fuel the fire. Put your pride aside and extinguish your anger. Open your heart. Talk and talk and talk until you can’t talk anymore. Listen. Remember why you fell in love. Do anything you can to work it through.
Think about how things will be down the road a few years after the dissolution. A new girlfriend or husband. Children from other relationships blended into your family. Financial upset. Loneliness. Regret. It is estimated that within five years, one-third of divorced couples regret their decision to split.
While the grass may look greener on the other side, remember that’s because of the manure.
So slow down. What’s the rush? You have plenty of time for forever.