Should I Divorce or Not?

Woman thinking about divorce

Deciding to divorce or not

Are you wavering back and forth about whether or not to divorce?

Since divorce cuts across all the parts of a person’s life, you’re probably experiencing many fears and doubts about what to do and second-guessing any of the decisions you have made so far.

Even if you have made the decision to move forward toward life on your own, you may have a lot of uncertainty about when is the right time to separate or divorce.

In her book, Contemplating Divorce, therapist Susan Pease Gouda describes seeing her clients struggle to gain clarity about the decision about when to divorce. “They kept waiting for it to seem right, for their instincts to kick in, or for that still, small voice to direct them, but instead there were always two voices: one that justified staying and the other leaving.”

As someone who talks with many people who are contemplating divorce, I see firsthand the emotional exhaustion that clients experience from this stress-inducing tug-of-war, going back and forth about the pros and cons of each possible decision.

Although some people feel that they will just “know” when to move forward with separation or divorce, others keep putting the decision on ice, waiting for some future event to lead them into action.

Fear of the unknown is often the main underlying reason why people struggle so much with making these life-changing decisions. Some even remain paralyzed by worrying that if they do decide to start the legal process, everything in their lives will be bad from that point forward.

By not taking action, it’s possible to avoid the fears of falling into the black hole of divorce, but you also do not reap the benefits that come from facing the reality of your problems, assessing your true needs and redefining your life direction.

Why do people often delay when it comes to filling for divorce? Common reasons include not wanting to have the expenses of maintaining two households, worries about how your children and relatives will adjust, and hoping  that your spouse may finally change for the better.

Digging a bit deeper, you may be struggling with disappointment about failing at marriage, a sharp decrease in your lifestyle and the fear that you won’t have much control once the divorce process begins.

Unfortunately, the desire to deny that significant problems have not been adequately dealt with in the marriage can lead to even larger and more damaging cracks in the marital foundation.

“The safer and easier road now might be the harder road later on.”

Since deciding to decide is such an emotionally exhausting process, it is smart to invest in yourself by finding out about all the options you may have regarding various ways to reach a divorce agreement and learn from those who have the knowledge and personal experience to share with you about how to navigate through this storm.

No matter when you decide to venture into the process, it helps to remember that guidance and learning smart strategies from the beginning makes a huge difference when it comes to feeling empowered, confident and resilient both during and after divorce.

The huge amount of energy that was soaked up by the decision making process can now be redirected toward getting through the divorce with the best possible outcome and moving forward with your new life plan.



Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments Section below.


  1. Pixie Willow says:

    fear can do some seriously bad things to a persons mind, its horrible, I think if you’re contemplating divorce, because its so life changing for all involved, there should be a period of counciling as a family/couple, it may just be a lack of communication rather than a loss of love.

    Awesome article though, really enjoyed reading this.


  2. I can totally relate to this! Altho, I wasn’t married I went through a major breakup that felt like a divorce. We bought a house together, have two kids together, animals together. He worked, I took care of the kids. So deciding to leave was extremely hard and fear was the number one factor in why it took so long to finally do it. Ultimately, I trusted my gut and it worked out for the best and now I am much happier and we have a pretty awesome relationship NOW. It took a few years but we’re there.

    Really liked reading this! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. I have been a specialist family lawyer for 22 years and i have yet to meet a client who found making the decision to divorce/separate an easy one. Even when the one party has behaved abominably or cheated the other needs time and a period to reflect before making the final decision. An appointment with a divorce lawyer brings the client closer to the final decision but by no means has it been made even at that stage. Sometimes by procrastinating matters become worse and kid yourself not that delaying the process is best for the children. It is better for them to have two happy households to live in rather than one highly toxic one.
    Many delay the decision because of insecurity- they have so many questions rolling in their heads about the children and money. Once these are answered fully by an expert lawyer the decision could be made easier.

    Great article- interesting read.

  4. So much to think about here.

    I might add that a realistic look at your finances is critical, as is consideration of your job/career and how it can sustain you post-divorce, or how you might need to reconsider some things.

    But you’re so right… this wasn’t an issue in my situation (I didn’t want a divorce), but I’ve seen others struggle so long with the process of deciding what to do. It is indeed exhausting. And deciding to decide as you say, is a step in the right direction.