Deciding if your partner’s behavior is grounds for divorce is often as clear as mud. Here are a few things to consider when you’re wrestling with the idea of divorce.
This article is for the thousands of women who are wondering if they should leave their husbands. How do you know if your marriage is good or bad, worthwhile or not?
One of the hardest comments I received lately is from a wife whose husband is verbally abusive. They have a young family, and have been through a lot of stress lately (including his sister’s death). Is the husband struggling with his grief and anger, and taking it out on his wife? And, is that okay for a little while?
I don’t know. The only person who can figure out if a marriage is worth saving is you (the person in the marriage).That said, however, I often lean towards staying married and working things out because I believe we jump into divorce too quickly.
Divorce rips individuals, children, relatives, and even friends apart. It affects the extended family, and has often devastating emotional, financial, social, and professional consequences. But, divorce can be the best decision you ever make for you and your family.
Is This Grounds for Divorce?
How do you know if divorce is the right decision? You sit down with an objective mentor or counselor, and talk about it. Don’t expect to make a decision in an hour – though if you’re ready, it may take only minutes! Don’t ask what you should do about your marriage on a website like this, and expect to get good advice. I don’t know anything about your history, personality, lifestyle, marriage, or children. I can’t tell you if you have grounds for divorce or if you should work on your marriage.
Talk to a counselor or someone you trust. I’d avoid talking to people I know are biased or who have their own agendas (eg, your fearful, old-fashioned mother who thinks staying married is the best decision no matter what the husband does).
Remember that one person’s grounds for divorce is another person’s reason to stay.
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If you’re tired of making all the effort in your marriage, you may think it’s time to get divorced. Your neighbor, however, may believe that doing all the work in a relationship is the wife’s job. Why would you get divorced if things are unfolding the way they should?
Nobody can tell you what “grounds for divorce” will push your marriage over the edge. It’s up to you to figure out where you stand, why you stand there, and what will tip the scales one way or another.
That said, however, there are some solid reasons for getting divorced – and even for staying married.
Grounds for Divorce
- Abuse – physical, emotional, mental, or sexual – of you or your children
- Abuse of other people
- Animal abuse or cruelty
- Lack of trust or honesty
- Continued effort on your part to make changes in your marriage and life; continued resistence on your spouse’s part to walk alongside you
But what if your husband is fighting his addiction to drugs or alcohol? It’s not grounds for divorce if he wants to change, is it? I don’t know. It’s up to you – and how you want to live your life.
Reasons to Stay Married
- A sincere desire on your spouse’s part to work on your marriage
- Solid action towards saving your marriage (eg, marriage retreats, reading books on healthy marriage such as The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage)
- Engagement in marriage or individual counseling
- Open, honest communication
- A long-term perspective (eg, your husband is struggling with grief or stress, and needs support as he finds ways to heal and grow)
- Faith or spirituality
Deciding if something is grounds for divorce is a process that takes time and thought. Or, maybe there isn’t a “right” answer – maybe either route becomes right if you commit yourself to it.
What do you think?
For more tips about getting divorced versus staying married, read 4 Signs Marriage Counseling Will Help an Unhappy Relationship.