We are at the end of one year and the beginning of another. If you think that divorce might be the thing best for you, the question naturally becomes, is now the right time to start a divorce? Maybe you are considering whether you should get divorced at all. These are important and difficult questions. It is not our job to tell you whether you should get divorced. It is a very personal decision that only you know.
As you know, I am a recovering divorce attorney. In this blog, I am not talking to you as an attorney. Instead, I am talking to you just as another guy who has seen a lot of divorces. It is like a doctor who has been around a lot of illnesses. It is like an accountant who has been around a lot of audits with the IRS. It is like an architect who has built many buildings. It is like any professional that has been around anything a lot. I have seen a lot and want to use my experience to help you.
Let us talk a little bit about this. Should you get divorced?
Do you Get Married to Get Divorced?
No one ever gets married, thinking they will one day get divorced. If you do, shame on you for getting married. Some of you may have gotten married, in part, because family pressure was applied. You may have had specific cultural issues that contributed to your marriage. However, whatever the case, if you think to yourself that you might get divorced or this marriage might not work, do not get married! You are causing yourself so much aggravation.
One thing that we firmly believe at Divorce Shield is that we all live once. If you are miserable in any way, shape, or form, you have to do something else. That seems pretty straightforward, right? If you think you are going to get divorced, do not get married in the first place.
Prenups are Key!
Some people get prenups before marriage. If you are not married yet or know someone who is about to get married, obtaining a prenup is very important. It may save you so much aggravation in the unlikely event you get to get divorced. You might think, well, why would I get a prenup if I have no intention of getting divorced? Does that mean I am setting myself up for a future divorce? No! Getting a prenup means you are smart. No one can see the future (if you can, I need to talk to you!). But, in the unlikely event, something happens in your marriage, you have an agreement about how you deal with certain things.
You do not get car insurance with the expectation that you will get into a car accident or homeowner's insurance with the expectation that your house is going to burn down. Those policies are for the worst-case scenario. A prenup is an insurance policy on your marriage. That is all it is when we think that you should get divorced.
Should you Stay Married?
Let us get back to whether you should get divorced. What I want you to think about is something straightforward. Can you see yourself living with this person for the next twenty years? Can you see yourself being with this person when you stop working? Is this the person you want to spend all your time with when your kids go away to college? Do you have intimate, intimate sexual feelings about your spouse? Often, the answer to these questions is obvious.
Some married people say that they have not had sex in a long time, which is essential to many people. However, it is often far more than sex. It is intimacy. Do you have intimacy with your wife? Do you miss her when she is not around? Are you happy when you see her when you come home from work? For most of you, you probably feel one way at the very beginning of your marriage, and then over time, it erodes a little bit.
In a good marriage, these feelings are always there to some extent. This is why there are countless examples of older people that are married for a very long time, and one spouse dies, and the other dies soon after that. In a good marriage, you because very connected to your spouse in a profound way.
Do not worry about anyone else!
If you look at whether you should get divorced, what I want you to think about is whether this is a good, stable relationship for you anymore. What I do not want you to do is think about anybody else, including your kids. You should not be concerned with what your parents think, with what your friends think, with what your grandparents think, or with what your brothers and sisters think.
You certainly should not be concerned with what your children think. Guess what, guys? Your children are watching your marriage. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly. And if the bad and the ugly is becoming much of your marriage, it might be time to call it quits now. I do not want to see any marriage in the divorce, but just like not everybody needs to get married, not everyone has to stay married.
Once You Decide About Divorce, You Need to Plan
You have got to figure out if this marriage working for you anymore? If it is not, does that mean automatically you should go right to divorce? No. That is the primary point of Divorce Shield. You should not just go straight to divorce when you find out your marriage is not working. You should have a thoughtful process in place before you go down that road. That is what preparing for divorce is all about. It is identifying that this marriage is not working for you anymore. Thinking to yourself that "I need to get divorced" or "I think I need to get divorced" are not necessarily the same thing.
Coming up with a process to plan for a possible divorce after determining that either you want a divorce, or your wife wants a divorce is an essential step in the whole process. Some of you may say, "I'm just going to wait for my spouse to file for divorce." That is the dumbest thing anyone could do. The longer you wait to get divorced after you have decided to go in that direction, the worse things can happen to you.
Once you decide that divorce is the right choice for you, you must start taking concrete steps towards that goal. The first thing you do after you decide to get divorced is to come up with a preparation framework. That time between when you decide you need to get divorced and the time that you walk into an attorney's office so they can get you divorced is the time where you need step by step instructions on how to plan and prepare for divorce.
All of this, though, goes back to whether you should get divorced. What I do not want you to do is listen to anyone else's opinion. If you go to your friends and they are like, "oh, yeah, your wife's a bitch, and you should get divorced her," is that helpful? Is it helpful to have your friend's advice that is void of walking in your shoes? I will tell you right now that when you start preparing for divorce, you should not listen to anybody other than a professional like your divorce attorney and me. This is not your friends' life. It is your life. You are the one that has to deal with all the consequences and decisions that you are going to make. Do not listen to anybody else.
Make Sure You Listen to Yourself
Listen to your gut. Listen to yourself. Do not worry about anybody else, including your children. Your kids will be okay. Let me say that again; your kids are going to be just fine. I have seen divorce after divorce in my life where people think the kids are going to be destroyed. The divorce is not what destroys them. Kids are destroyed when their parents cannot act like adults and go through a divorce. That is what destroys kids. The divorce itself does not do anything to them.
The bottom line is that you need to concentrate on what you want. If you worry about what others think you should or should not do, or if you worry about what your children will think, you are not thinking correctly. When deciding to get divorced, you need to worry about yourself and do what you know deep down is the right decision for you. So, should you get divorced? Only you can answer that question!
Once you decide to get divorced, your first step should be to plan and prepare to get the best outcome for you and your children. Check out the Divorce Planning Bootcamp and take the first step towards a better future. Want to join our Divorce Shield TRIBE for free? Just click here.
This blog is based upon Episode 6 of the Get Divorced Without Getting Screwed Podcast. Listen to it here.