Whether you get a divorce or separation is one of the most personal and emotional decisions that a person may make. The answer to that question depends on the issues that have caused you to ask this question and what efforts you and your spouse are willing to make to repair the marriage: Have you simply grown apart?; Has there been infidelity? Has your spouse engaged in physical or emotional cheating, has this been a one time occurrence or have there been a series of affairs? Have you tried counseling? Does your partner blame you for the infidelity? – Be careful though because if you know that your spouse has cheated but then reconcile, you may be condoning their behavior and affecting their rights to request spousal support; Has communication broken down? – Are you arguing all the time? Do you have intense blow-ups? and Is your relationship cold and without feeling?; Is your marriage lacking intimacy? Has it been years since you engaged in sexual relations?; Do you think or know you’d be better off alone?; Are your needs being met? Physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically?; Are you only staying for the children? Are you teaching your children to emulate a dysfunctional relationship?; Are you miserable even after counseling?; Do you trust or respect your spouse? If the answer is no; then, your marriage may be beyond repair; Can you afford to get divorce? Can your emotional, mental and psychological health afford to stay?; and Are you in an abusive relationship? Verbal, emotional, physical, psychological and financial abuse are things that no one should have to put up with.

No matter the reason, you should consider seeking psychological counseling. It may be also be a good idea to discuss your situation with trusted friends or religious clergy. Speaking with trusted family members can be helpful, but it is not without potential consequences. If you candidly speak with your family about negative things that your spouse has done or said, your family member may harbor resentment towards your spouse even if you reconcile.

Next, determine whether you want to attempt to save your marriage? There are many ways to attempt to repair your marriage. There is individual and marriage/ couples counseling. You might try reading self-help books or participating in a relationship support group. However, repairing a marriage normally requires the commitment of both people to work on, improve and change their behaviors. Have you made your best efforts to save your marriage? There are only a few storms that couples have not been able to weather when both parties were truly committed to the relationship and potentially change and growth together.

Even if you decide to attempt to reconcile, you should speak with an experienced attorney regarding what your options are and what you should do to protect yourself and your future. Consider speaking to a financial planner as well. Plan for the worst, but hope for the best. Consider all of the pros and cons of ending your marriage and realistically look at your options.

Before you decide to divorce, understand that even the “best” divorce will be difficult at times. Your future life will likely look completely different from your married life. Frequently, divorce causes intense emotions even if you are the person who is deciding to divorce. Many people experience a wide range of emotions from fear, relief, confusion, hurt, loss, and guilt to anger. After their divorce, many people state that letting go of an unhealthy relationship was the best decision they could have made. Life became easier and better as they no longer carried the additional burden of negativity from their relationship or their partner.

The only person who can truly decide whether your marriage is beyond repair is you. It is normal to feel conflicted. No matter what people may say, good divorce attorneys are not in the business of breaking up marriages. If someone comes to our office and says that they are considering reconciling, we will advise them to try everything (unless their relationship is abusive) especially if they have children. No one can decide for you whether reconciliation is a possibility. Each person must make their own decisions on what they can or cannot live with. There is no need to rush the divorce process. Evaluate your feelings, thoughts and options.

In the end, if you feel that you have tried everything, have a clear conscience, and there is no hope of reconciling; then, you should divorce. Life is too long and too short to be unhappy.