Should I stay or should I go? How to know when a marriage is worth saving19 Feb 2015
With Valentine’s Day having just passed, spouses across the country will have spent the day showing each other how much they mean to one another. However, for many, 14th February is simply a reminder of how unhappy they are in their marriage. But how does one know when it is time to pull the plug on a relationship? And if it does have to end in divorce, what can be done to make it as amicable as possible? As part of their campaign ‘Divorce: let’s get it right’, Kuits Solicitors share advice in a three-part series covering all aspects of divorce. This first instalment deals with signs that your marriage may be in trouble and what help is at-hand to try and save it.
They say that the divorce process is one of the hardest things that anyone will ever have to go through, but actually it is the decision to divorce that torments many. After all, most people marry with the intention of being together forever; so, when life throws such a dramatic curveball, it is normal to think, ‘How do I know that I’m doing the right thing?’ Taking time to actually consider this question will hopefully prevent rushed decisions and enable peace of mind further down the line. As a general rule, the question will almost always be easier to answer if a couple have truly attempted to save their relationship before going their separate ways.
So what is the right thing to do if it feels as though your marriage has deteriorated? With the obvious and imperative exception of when there is any type of physical or mental abuse in the relationship, the first step is to remember that you married for a reason, and that there are things about your spouse that attracted you to them enough to make the decision to spend the rest of your lives together.
Unhappy spouses should always try and begin by discussing their concerns with their partners. Although starting such a difficult conversation can be extremely overwhelming, the pressure often eases as soon as you begin to talk. Reassuring your spouse that you are raising concerns in order to repair your relationship will prevent them from feeling attacked.
If attempts to discuss the issues between yourselves are futile, then counselling should be considered. Relate, the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, believe that the benefits of counselling are tremendous. A counsellor will be able to listen to you and help you reach a decision that you feel is the right one. One can visit a counsellor alone or together with their spouse. The decision to attend sessions alone may be appropriate, for example, if you have personal worries that you feel are negatively affecting other areas of life, such as your marriage. If the choice is made to visit a counsellor together, then this will present an excellent opportunity to discuss your issues in a calm environment, where the counsellor will listen and guide you whilst remaining objective at all times.”
Kuits Family team offer the following advice: “The most important thing to do whilst attempting to save a marriage is to realise that it will take time. If, however, you feel that you have attempted to salvage your relationship and nothing has worked, then divorce may understandably be your final option. It is imperative when trying to decide whether to separate from your spouse to face the reality of divorce, and not just the fantasy. This means being realistic to the challenges it will bring, but understanding that things will get easier as time progresses.
“Divorce will always be a life-changing event and, although feelings are likely to be extremely raw, it will make the process significantly easier if those involved remain non-confrontational and amicable. In our next instalment, we will explain methods of alternative dispute resolution, which can prevent your divorce from being unnecessarily acrimonious.”
To find out more about divorce contact our Family Law team or call us on 0161 832 3434.