Separation And Divorce: Should I Stay Married Or Get Divorced?


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Not all marriages are the same so who's to say what's acceptable and what isn't. There are married couples who “swing" and I don't mean in the park! Yet, they seem to be happily married - at least they often say they are.

I do know that the major causes of marriage breakup are: -

1. Debt and lack of money.

2. Lack of sex.

3. Infidelity.

4. Spousal Abuse - either emotional, verbal and/or physical.

5. Baggage from a previous relationship or from childhood.

6. Unrealistic expectations.

If financial struggle gets too burdensome and a better offer comes a long, that spouse is likely to head for greener pastures! Lack of sex or a complete absence of marital bedroom gymnastics won't meet the needs of a person with a healthy libido. If a person has needs you can bet they will eventually seek a solution to their frustration!

Domestic violence is simply unacceptable. Some experts believe that perpetrators of spousal abuse can change their ways. I have my doubts. If the violence is due to alcohol or stress and these triggers are removed, then the abuse shouldn't occur. However, this is not the same thing as a “cure".

My view is that if you suffer from Battered Wife Syndrome, the sooner you separate and divorce the better! Still, most women in this situation put up with spousal abuse (and therefore remain a domestic violence victim) in the hope that he will change or that if they “walk on eggshells" the other spouse won't get angry - WRONG!!

Infidelity is a tricky one. For many women, one strike and he's out. However, infidelity is no longer gender specific and many women today have had or have contemplated, an affair. This has resulted in a somewhat more liberal approach in the sense that women now understand better how easy a spouse can fall into an illicite relationship these days - even though the reasons differ as between men and women.

Some marriages work in spite of the husband being a “player". They didn’t marry him for his “faithfulness" but for other benefits such as wealth, status, fame, etc. Other wives have accepted the husband's regret at a one-off “foolish mistake" and forgiven him. The same goes for some men who have been on the receiving end of an extra marital affair. Still, a cheating spouse is NOT generally tolerated - even once. In fact, it is the quickest way of landing in the divorce court that I know of!

This brings us to baggage. Now we all have SOME baggage. We may have been married and divorced once or twice before. It may be that we have issues from an unhappy childhood that impact negatively on our lives as we get older. What about the “baggage" associated with have young children from some other relationship? Problems with child visitations, abusive ex-husband's and hassles with child support can really put a girl off! Either they're fixable, manageable or . . . . they're in the too hard basket and it's time to move on.

I've left Unrealistic Expectations to last for a reason. Most people who get married do not really understand why they are. They think it's because they love the other person whereas the real underlying reason is this: -

They think that the other person will fulfil their needs. This is the main reason why they love the other person. Think about this. They see their new spouse as the person who is going to make their life complete. Past baggage will disappear, as their new partner fulfils all their dreams. The areas in which he or she doesn't currently deliver on . . . . well, he or she foolishly thinks that they''ll just change that over time! Big mistake. This explains why so many people marry someone that they really aren't suited for.

So, do you stay in your marriage or not?

This really depends on your own values. There is no right or wrong answer for everyone. However, whatever decision you make, make it honestly. Don't kid yourself. Make sure that you think it through . . . especially if you still love your spouse. As Oprah says, “We are not our mistakes". It may be that counselling can help save the marriage. Unfortunately, by the time one spouse has reached a point where he or she is contemplating separation and divorce, it is often too late.

Except in the case of infidelity and perhaps spousal abuse, the decision to stay married or get divorced is one that often takes time to consider. The practical consequences should be looked at and you should talk these over with a divorce lawyer who is also familiar with any Social Security and/or tax implications.

One final thought. While most people who get divorced believe that they made the right decision, they often feel that had they done things differently BEFORE they went off the rails, they may have been able to save their marriage.

Whatever you decide, know that there is life after divorce . . . just ask some of your friends!

Barry Roche the author of the ebook, “How To Win When Facing Divorce". He is a former Divorce Lawyer who wrote this book specially for women - available at


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