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Debbie Martinez, M.A. Headshot

Is Divorce Right for You?

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Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Is this how you are feeling about your marriage? Are there just too many pieces to sort through and glue back? Are you overwhelmed with it all and think sweeping them up, throwing the pieces away and starting over will be easier?

Well, it could be but before you grab your car keys and head to the nearest attorney's office, let's have a little chat. Your feelings vacillate on any given day and people say they want a divorce but then go back and forth a few times before staying or going. Divorce impacts your family, children, lifestyle and finances, so take this decision seriously and make it based on facts and not emotion.

The phrase that I hear over and over like a broken record is, "I'm afraid I'm making a mistake." So let's explore the questions you can ask yourself as you ponder whether you should start packing your bags.

Have you faced the problems honestly and openly with each other and looked at possible solutions within the marriage? Could this perceived marital breakdown just be the result of external pressures taking its toll or is it a repeated behavior that has caused irreparable damage? Are you going through a difficult time or have you truly fallen out of love with no chance to rekindle that spark?

The million-dollar question here is, "Do you want it to work?" If it is a resounding yes, then commit to a game plan and see it through. A transient problem, with time and communication, can work itself out. All options must be thrown on the table during this time and threats of divorce need to be banned from conversations or disagreements. On the other hand, if the answer is you're not sure, then read on.

If you are seriously thinking of sitting across from each other at the mediation table, do yourself a favor and end it with no doubts or regrets. The following are some questions that will help you in your decision.

- Is there a way to fall back in love?
- Are the two of you willing to change and/or compromise?
- Is there constant fighting over the same issues that never gets
resolved?
- Are your morals, core beliefs and values vastly different?
- Is there sexual incompatibility?
- Does your spouse continually throw up any previous misgivings and
can't get past it?
- Is there physical, emotional or substance abuse?
- Does your partner care about your personal growth or does he/she
squash your spirit?
- Is there respect or is the relationship toxic?
- Do you have things in common or have your goals diverged?
- When you are not with your spouse, do you breathe a sigh of relief?
- When you are with your spouse, do you look to have other people join
you so you don't have to be alone with him/her?

Moving forward towards a divorce is never an easy decision and should never be taken lightly as it will affect you for the rest of your life. That being said, being in a loveless, non-fulfilling marriage will also have a negative impact on you, your children and your health. When making this momentous decision, make it with clarity of mind and heart, be honest with yourself and explore all options before you. At the end of the day, it took two to say, "I Do" and it needs to take two to say, "I want to stay."

If you decide divorce is the right decision for you, exit the marriage with dignity and integrity. Not only will the decision to part ways affect your life but also how you handle it will impact your future.

Debbie Martinez is a certified life coach specializing in divorce as well as a Supreme Court certified family mediator with a private practice in South Florida. She can be contacted at www.thepowerofdivorcecoach.com