Okay, so your marriage is not living up to expectations, and you did what everyone does when they need an answer.
You went to Google and searched for divorce statistics, and some answer sites gave you a statistic of roughly 50%, and so did every other site you visited.
At some point in every marriage, the question of “is my marriage worth saving” is asked. Sometimes it is a fleeting thought. Sometimes it is a scream in your head that goes on for years.
Despite all the legal issues, the child custody battles, the heartbreak, and stress that come with a divorce, last year, around 50% of couples in the United States decided that the answer was ‘no.’
They decided that their marriage was not worth anything.
But here’s the thing, you really can’t decide if your marriage is worth saving until you answer three other little questions first:
1 – Who are you now?
Go to the mirror and take a good hard look and ask yourself how you have changed over the life of your marriage.
This one act alone can lay to rest any thoughts of divorce. In a good relationship, the partners complement each other, and each grows into a better person the longer they stay together.
In relationships that have gone bad, the reverse is true. Compromises to beliefs and identity mixed with life events, family pressure, and stress can wear you down, losing track of who you are and what you want to be.
Do you even like the person staring back at you?
Have you become someone you cannot stand facing in the mirror?
If that is the case, your answer to “Is my marriage worth saving” has to be a no.
If you don’t like yourself and have no idea who you are, how can you nurture and help your marriage grow and thrive again?
2 – Are you playing the “Blame Game?”
Too often, people complain about their spouse, confiding to supportive and understanding friends that they constantly wonder why they are still with their spouse, then they turn to their friends and ask, “Is this marriage worth saving?”
Of course, the friend hugs them and pledges support for “whatever you decide,” and the conversation finishes. For now. Next week someone will have made another transgression, and you repeat the call for help and support and wonder again about your marriage.
When you ask, “Is my marriage worth saving?” chances are you have distinct ideas about what the specific problems might be. Unfortunately, the perception often involves blaming your other half for the issues in the relationship.
If you want to save your marriage starting today, then you have to look at all the problems and take responsibility for your part in your marital crisis. This is very hard to do and often takes the help of an objective third party, like an experienced marriage counselor, to identify the core reasons for the problems and provide a strategy for working through the crisis.
3 – Who else is affected?
I know there is a consensus that couples should not stay together solely for the sake of the children, but you have to think about how a divorce will affect them.
Divorce affects children negatively, and this experience will help define their attitude towards their relationships.
An amicable divorce can teach your children that mistakes are okay but that sometimes heartbreak does lead to a better life.
A divorce filled with hatred, blame, and name-calling affects children’s sense of stability and may even lead to issues involving mistrust, defensiveness, and other more serious psychological problems.
No matter how amicable the divorce, a sense of insecurity develops in children. Sometimes that insecurity will linger for a lifetime.
If children are a part of the question “Is my marriage worth saving?” most therapists will agree that you should try everything possible to work out your differences before considering divorce.
Marriage is not an easy job. No one said it would be, but divorce is not the easy option either. Sometimes asking yourself, “Is my marriage worth saving?” is the first step to beginning a beautiful new relationship with your spouse.
So take everyone involved in the marriage relationship into consideration, identify the actual problems, take your share of the responsibility, and determine whether you can solve your problems.
Often, a marriage can be saved, and the family unit preserved before a divorce becomes a reality.