Choosing to end a marriage is a consequential decision. For some individuals, the decision that it is time to move on is immediately apparent in the blink of an eye, usually as a result of some new information coming to light. However, for most spouses, the divorce decision-making process evolves slowly over time. This makes sense, as few marriages end due to black-and-white breaches of trust.
Sometimes, it makes sense to explore informal or legal separation before deciding whether filing for divorce is the healthiest way forward. Other times, it is best for everyone involved if a decision about divorce is reached (either way) with relative speed. In either case, critically examining your situation and your feelings about it can help you choose the healthiest path.
Asking yourself the tough questions
The primary questions you’ll need to ask yourself when determining if you are truly ready to file for divorce are numerous. Some are relatively straightforward, such as the question of whether you’re primarily refraining from pursuing divorce due to expectations that aren’t your own. Familial, cultural and societal pressures can be truly powerful. But if you know in your bones that moving on is the best option for you, it may be time to seek legal assistance.
Other questions are less straightforward. For example, do you believe that your current challenges with your spouse could be resolved – together – in healthy ways given enough time? And are you interested in investing that time?
You may not be able to answer these questions with confidence right away. However, contemplating them carefully and thinking critically about why your answers are what they are will help you to determine the healthiest path forward.