Yes, I have asked myself if I should get divorced quite a few times. Are there any married people that haven’t?
To be completely honest I believe that we live in a society that tells us that divorce should be the first option rather than the last. We all know that the divorce rate is ridiculously high which can sometimes make it seem like divorce is the better option. There is also the flood of social media that tends to cloud our judgement and make the grass seem like it is greener on the other side.
I do not think there is any shame in considering a divorce. It is what you do after that thought comes to mind that makes all of the difference. Are you going to feed your mind with anger and resentment? Or are you going to do the work to get yourself back to a place of positivity and peace?
Before I go any further I do want to state that there are circumstances where divorce may absolutely the best option. If abuse is a factor please visit thehotline.org for help and resources.
If you are asking yourself if you should get a divorce, I unfortunately cannot answer that question for you but I have included 5 honest reasons that have led both my husband and I to decide that we would rather to stay together than be apart.
1. We made a commitment to one another.
Perhaps we no longer live in the days where someone’s word actually mean something, but for us, our vows are words that we plan to stand by even in the toughest of times. Marriage is a decision. Most of us are lucky enough to be able to choose our spouse. We at one point chose each other and owe it to the other to step back and remember the reasons that we chose one another and to keep our word to work through the hard times.
2. Our children are looking up to us.
Okay, so I recognize that this particular reason could go both ways. On one hand, you definitely don’t just want to stay together just for the kids. Even with the greatest intentions this can often times backfire. On the other hand, divorce obviously negatively impacts kids in various ways.
By recognizing that the kids are looking up to us we have every intention of staying together after they have left our home. We are not staying together solely for them, but they are one good reason for us to remain married. We know that we want to show them (as best we can) what a great marriage looks like. We want to be that couple in our 70’s and our kids say “Our parents have been together for 50 years and still love being around one another”. We want them to have that same love (even more so) in their futures as well. We also want to show them that just because things get hard does not mean that you give up. Marriage is work. It has highs and lows and it can be well worth the ride.
3. We rather continue building together than start over.
We’ve invested a lot into one another over the years. Frankly, we do not want to see all of that hard work go to waste. There has been an investment of time, energy, and money. I don’t care what anyone says, marriage is a business and if managed properly it will be very successful in more ways than one. I have always believed that my husband and I make a great team. What I lack he makes up for and vice verse. This is something that I have not felt is worth giving up.
4. The grass is greener where you water it.
Well, it’s true! There is no perfect marriage. Yes, we have disagreements and annoy each other, but those occasional moments of irritation are often followed by joy, laughter, and good memories. We have decided that the set of problems that we share are worth tackling. We do not want to trade our problems for a new set of problems that are sure to come after we were to get divorced. We feel that we are worth fighting for and choose each other every day. We choose to water where we are.
5. It is not the wise thing to do.
Just because getting a divorce would not necessarily be wrong, I do not believe it would be wise. How do I determine whether something is wise? I think “In light of my past circumstances, my current situation, and my future hopes and dreams what is the wise thing to do?” When I think of each section of the former question it all leads me in the direction that divorce would not be the best decision for me or for my family. It is helpful to try and take myself out of the current emotional moment and to remember the lessons of my past and remind myself of what I want my future to look like. When I take all of this information into account my answer becomes more clear. It may not be easy, so far it has 100% been worth the fight.
So this is actually just one question, or section, from a list of 5 questions that I like to ask myself before making any decision. Andy Stanley presents these questions as a great way to make better decisions and have fewer regrets. These questions have helped me so much when I am at a crossroads or just unable to pick a path at all (I tend to be indecisive). The questions that anyone should ask themselves when making a decision are:
- Am I being honest with myself?
- What story do I want to tell?
- Is there a tension that deserves attention?
- What is the wise thing to do?
- What does love require of me?
Andy Stanley shares so much wisdom and lays out all of the information so well so if you really want to know how to navigate your marriage or if you need help making any life decisions definitely visit and listen here: https://northpoint.org/messages/better-decisions-fewer-regrets/deciding-our-way-forward
I would lastly like to mention that a marriage takes two people. I do not fight alone, my husband is willing to fight with me and that has made all of the difference. He wants this marriage as much as I do and so we can work together through the tough times. This has not always been the case. If your husband/wife does not seem to want to be in your marriage I challenge you to pray for them and to continue to sow seeds of love and kindness towards them. It works. One way or another, it always works.
Feel free to reach out if you need any encouragement or support.
Sending so much love your way,
Side note: In case you may have wondered why love did not make the top 5 reasons it is because I believe that just because you love someone does not mean that you should be with them. There are too many other factors to take into consideration. I love my husband but if there were other circumstances that led to to believe that staying with him was not wise, then I would not stay just because of love.