Is Divorce Right for You? Part 2
THERAPY. A good starting place is helped by a qualified family therapist. Maybe marriage counseling would help. Try it if your partner will participate in good faith. If not, or besides couple counseling, see a therapist to help you crystalize your own thoughts and feelings.
There is something amazingly helpful when you talk about your issues out loud in a therapeutic setting. The answers often surface.
MEDICATIONS. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or other similar issues, then seek the help of your doctor. There are wonderful medications on the market now that can make you feel better. They can quiet the mind to give you the mental strength to take the next step.
Often people suffer from depression and like disorders without knowing it. If that is you, then recognizing and dealing with those issues will often improve the marriage. If the depression is resulting from the marital problems, then the medications can be a short-term bridge to get you in a better place.
We have a saying that to get an appointment to see us, the potential client must be prepared to tell the name of their therapist and show a copy of their prescriptions. That is somewhat in jest, but there is great benefit to meeting a problem head on, with every tool available.
By the way, do not worry about a judge being critical of your use of medication. As long as it is not being abused, judges expect us to do all within our power to deal with the divorce in a responsible way. Therapists and medications do just that. Your spouse may make snide remarks about you “being crazy,” or suggest there is something wrong with you for seeing a mental health professional, but the rest of the world won’t see it that way.
DRUGS OR ALCOHOL ISSUES. There are separate treatment plans and professionals if drug or alcohol abuse are causing the marital issues. Those are specific ailments that require a specialized approach. It is nearly impossible to force someone into a recovery they don’t think they need or want, and a forced recovery will seldom have long term success. Legal recourse may be the best alternative.
A NEW LIFE PLAN. A helpful step is to formulate a new life plan. If you divorce, where will you live? What do you want to do with your life? I call it the “do over” time. It can be scary, but very exciting. Rethink everything! Be willing to reinvent yourself. Someone way smarter than me once said the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude. Turn this part of your life into an adventure.
We urge people to develop their end goals. Think about those long-term plans. Going through this process will be far more successful if you know what you want your life to look like when it’s over. Different jobs? Better education? More passion? Different cities to live in? What would it take to implement those changes?
Is this soul-searching hard work? You bet. Is it time consuming? It can be. Is your happiness worth the investment? We hope so.
Too many people we encounter have never asked themselves these questions. It’s understandable. It’s hard work. But this is your life, no one else’s. No one is as invested in your life as you are. If you are NOT that invested in your own future happiness, that’s a far more serious question to ask yourself. The pre-planning you do now will reap huge benefits to you later.
TAKE ACTION. Now is a good time to think about seeing a lawyer for an initial consultation. A qualified lawyer in your area can provide valuable information on all aspects of your divorce. It’s confidential. Most good lawyers in this field will charge a one-time fee for this initial consultation. It is worth the money, trust us. The information you receive will be worth it. You are not committed to hiring the lawyer. You are just there for advice. Think of that meeting as a one to two-hour customized seminar, just for YOU.