Adjust Your Thinking to Stop Divorce
Changing Your Thinking Can Change Your Marital Outcome
You can adjust your attitude and in so doing, possibly stop divorce. Many times people begin thinking about divorce as a way out of the immediate pain of angry words or arguments, or being criticized, or being demeaned. The idea of divorce becomes a fantasy place without the anger, criticism, and put-downs. It seems as if it will correct your life’s problems and restore you to a better time and emotional state.
When you’re in emotional pain from marital conflicts, it’s too easy to begin thinking of divorce as an easier way out. In my opinion, you’d be thinking about marital suicide–killing the marriage as your way out of the intense and awful feelings you’ve been experiencing. Fantasies about being single again might feel like that will relieve your problems.
When comparing married life to the fantasy of being single again or of being with a different person, the fantasy will almost always be better because it can be changed at will and changed so easily, after all, it is just fantasy. That’s why we use the expression about the grass always being greener on the other side. As time goes on you might spend more time in fantasy and make it appear more and more appealing.
Fantasy is almost always better than reality.
Are Divorced People Happier?
A substantial survey was conducted over a five-year period examining whether people were happier or not after they were divorced. The short answer is that no, people were not happier five years after they were divorced.
When you’re imagining divorce, if you’re like most of the people I’ve worked with, you are minimizing the difficulties of going through with all of the complicating and complicated emotional, social, and legal issues. You are probably also emphasizing the immediate relief and projecting that relief into the future.
However, when we consider the results of the above-mentioned survey, we could conclude that for most people, after the dust settles (five years out), the divorce did not solve the problems you might have imagined it would.
Can Changing my Thinking or Attitude Prevent my Divorce?
If you or your spouse has already started divorce proceedings, it might be too late for any advice to help. In spite of this, in a minority of situations, even at this stage I have helped couples manage to turn their relationships around.
One self-imposed rule I suggest for anyone and everyone who is married is to avoid mentioning, implying, or suggesting divorce. Doing so violates your vow to stick it out for a lifetime. Dropping the “D-bomb” sends the message that your marriage is a temporary arrangement and if the going gets rough the rough will get going.
Improve Your Marriage by Changing Your Thinking
Changing your thinking will really help your marriage over the long run. How do you make these changes?
All of my do-it-yourself programs include some instructions on how to manage your thinking or attitude.
Perhaps the do-it-yourself model doesn’t work for you. You might need a seasoned guide to help you, to teach you how to effectively change your thinking, customizing the treatment to your specifics. This is what I do every day in my practice and it is what many other experienced therapists do in marriage counseling.
Wishing you much success at avoiding thoughts of divorce. Warmest regards,