Every marriage and divorce is different.
Sometimes, an act of infidelity can lead to a prompt and bitter breakup. Other times, couples just gradually drift apart and eventually realize they’re better off separated.
Many couples waver back and forth when thinking about divorce and consider a number of different factors. Ideally, this decision would be clear-cut, but reality is much more ambiguous. Divorce has so many serious ramifications that it is an extremely scary leap to make.
It is common during this process for couples to try to reconcile their differences and try to save the marriage. How do you know if this is the right thing to do? Certainly divorce should be considered a last option, but how can you tell if it’s worth trying to fix your relationship or if your marriage is past the point of saving?
If you are considering reconciling with your wife, here are some questions to ask:
When was the last time you talked about divorce?
Have you and your wife explicitly talked about potentially divorcing? This is an important discussion and once it takes place it can be hard to go back to how things were before.
If you haven’t actually talked about splitting and it’s only something you’ve thought about, it might be worth taking a step back and reassessing your situation. Perhaps you and your wife could benefit from marriage counseling.
If divorce is a regular topic of conversation and it feels like your tires are spinning in the mud, it might be time to consult with a divorce attorney.
Are the feelings mutual?
If you are going to reconcile, it can’t be a one-way street. You both must fully commit to sorting out your issues.
If you would like to stay married but your spouse is deadest on divorcing, this is probably not a battle worth fighting.
What are your reasons for wanting to reconcile?
Just as there is a myriad number of reasons to divorce, there are numerous reasons to want to stay together.
You are almost certainly worried about how divorce will affect your finances and living situation. Maybe you just want to stay together for your children. Or maybe you’re not happy with your marriage but you are at least in a routine and don’t have to fret about the unknown.
All these factors should be considered when thinking about reconciling, but are also not necessarily reasons to forgo divorce if you truly are unhappy.
A divorce is a big financial burden, but a family law attorney can help you figure out your potential financial outcomes. You should of course put your kids’ interests first, but staying in a broken marriage is probably not what’s best for them, especially if it is a high-conflict relationship. And while a breakup ushers in a lot of uncertainty, it also affords you considerable freedom and gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself for the better.
Has your case already started?
It is normal for spouses to get jitters when a divorce is officially filed. It’s one thing to consider divorce. It’s a whole other thing to follow through with it.
Sometimes those butterflies sow seeds of doubt about whether or not you’re making the right decision. Maybe those doubts are legitimate or maybe you’re overthinking things.
If you’re not sure about what to do, consult with your attorney privately about the reasons you’re feeling cautious about moving forward. They can help you sort out your true feelings. If you decide you do want to slow things down, they might be able to arrange a conference with your spouse and their lawyer to go over options for suspending the case and exploring reconciliation.
How long should we try this and how will we know if reconciliation is working?
It’s probably wise to establish a timeline for reconciliation and sticking to it. This should help you avoid getting stuck in an unproductive status quo and paying double expenses if you are living separately.
It is also important to agree to a set of goals that indicate progress and monitor whether you reach them.
These goals will be couple-specific, but could include attending counseling sessions, spending more responsibly, going on more date nights or communicating more effectively.