Today I read an article titled, “Don’t Even Think About Divorcing Until” that a friend posted in the wonderful time-suck of Facebook.
The whole premise of the article was that you need to stop and really think about why you want a divorce, the processes and the repercussions of divorce before you actually go through one. It talked about the need to really stop and think rationally, without passion or emotion, of what divorce will do to out lives.
As an experienced participant of divorce (I’m not really sure how to label myself…I’m not yet divorced…but I am definitely not married in any sense of the word expect legally), I can tell you that the article is little more than common sense organized by numbers and bullet points. However, the numbers and bullet points emphasize pretty powerful concepts that most emotionally charged couples overlook.
And even on that front, I think that one important lesson was overlooked. In delving into divorce and broken relationships, I think that everyone should refer back to one of the core posits of communication, “Communication is Irreversible.”
What that means, is that once we drop the D-Bomb to our significant other…even if we change our mind, we kinda started something that may not be able to be stopped.
Let’s talk about that.
If you think you want a divorce, and you have neglected to break down the cognitive-rational groundings in your desire to divorce, you might find that somewhere down the Divorce time-line, you are slipping down a path you really never wanted.
You might realize that all the bad you had associated with your partner are truly not as bad as you thought. You learn the grass isn’t greener. You learn that a divorce isn’t going to solve the problems you had thought it would.
Divorce isn’t a solution to a problem.
It is really just a springboard for more problems.
However, socially…we see divorce as an end-all to the woes of our home life.
When we start the divorce process, even if it is as informal as telling our spouse we want out, things will never be the same between you and your Other…even if divorce doesn’t happen.
Dropping the D-Bomb…especially in a fit of emotion shows your Other that you don’t trust them and won’t hang in to the bitter end.
Or is it “Til death do we part”?
So – when you think you want a divorce, spend a lot of time self-assessing.
If you can’t understand why YOU want a divorce and you can’t take ownership of your role in a deteriorating marriage, divorce isn’t an answer.
It’s a cop-out.
So – then what?
Well, if you drop the D-Bomb…or even worse, file paperwork, and then decide that maybe reconciliation is really what you want…it might be too late.
You have already broken the sacred bond of marriage.
Trust is no more.
And regardless of the future path you take, there will always be a chip in the relationship.
You will always know that when things get difficult, your Spouse might bail.
Just like they did the first time.
I totally understand how easy it is to make a decision in a rush of passion.
Emotionally laden decisions feel GOOD in the moment.
But, emotionally laden decisions are sometimes hard to justify when the excitement and glitter of emotion die away.
And then what are you left with?
Chances are good you are emotionally bankrupt, financially bankrupt, exhausted, confused and upset.
And the problems you thought Divorce would solve are still there.
I don’t think that most divorces are caused by relationships problems.
They are caused by individual problems.
Individual problems that leak into that individual’s ability to engage in healthy behaviors (with self AND with the Other).
So, will divorce solve that problem?
What will solve that problem is you taking the time, and putting in the work, to fix yourself so you can put an honest foot forward in the relationship.
Are you willing to do that?
And are you willing to recognize that even with all the work in the world, you might not get your marriage back?
Even if you realize that dropping the D-Bomb was a mistake.
Communication is irreversible.
The undertones, overtones and explicitness of the D-Bomb won’t ever disappear.
You just might get what you asked for.
And – really…are you sure you know what you are demanding?
Do you really get it?
Walk with caution.
In assessing my life, I ask…was there a lot of self-assessment or a lot of passionate decision making?
I’d say there was more passion.
Not a lot of thought.
I responded emotionally to the petition to divorce.
It took a long time for me to get to cognitive-rational.
I learned to respond to emotion without lending my emotion to the cause.
But- I wasn’t the first to drop the D-Bomb.
I just got to hear it.
Should I be where I am today?
I don’t know.
But, should I be anywhere else than I am today?
So – the message of this post is simple.
Words are powerful.
They can change your reality.
And not always in the way you plan.
Rule of Thumb: Meta-cognition.
If you aren’t thinking about what created your thoughts, chances are good you made a bad choice.
A bad choice…but a choice that has irreversible and long-last repercussions.
So, do as your momma told you to do.
Think Before You Speak.