Why Not Just Divorce and Start Over?

(Nagging Questions Continued)

For some, the question finally arrives: why not just divorce my spouse and move on?

I’ll never forget, Samantha and I were in our room talking, and she launched out into a pretty good rant about how angry and hurt she was.  In a defining moment, through tears of very defining sorrow she said to me “if we didn’t have kids, it would be easy: we could just divorce and move on. But now, I don’t know…..”

It not only hit me like a ton of bricks, it sobered me up a bit to the reality that she was considering all options, including separation and divorce. I didn’t want her to consider all options. I wanted her to simply say “I want to work it out. Let’s ride off into the sunset of ‘Another Chance’ and be happily ever after.” Nine years later, it’s been quite a ride, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

If you’re considering this reality today and are asking yourself this same question, here are some helpful insights from both myself and others who have had to walk this nightmare out before.

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know. The marriage may be restorable and may end up being a new marriage, even if you can’t see it right now. The old marriage is dead, I know. But you can’t make a case to me that I would believe, that it can’t be restored and renewed, if both parties are willing to work on it and obtain the right kind of help.
  2. Divorce wreaks havoc on everyone: you, your spouse, your kids, in-laws, EVERYONE. It’s not a decision to be rushed into or made out of hate, haste, or raw anger alone. Being raised under three different divorces, I hated them all and they tore apart every family. From the many who have in fact divorced and had significant talks with over the years, at least 90% have no idea what the process of divorce actually looked like. It’s not going to be without an incredible amount of hurt and pain. You may not see it, but I assure you it will be harder than you can imagine.  
  3. What if you’re just too hurt and too full of pain to be seeing straight? You may be missing out on a chance to see a miracle before your very eyes. Don’t’ let your current frustration blind you to the reality that you may be acting out of hurt and pain, not wisdom. How long has it been? What kind of help have you received?  General counseling is almost never enough to help you: that’s the truth. Often times, it makes it worse. You’ll need expert help to deal with what you’re facing. Saying “we got help” as a cop out, almost always reveals the fact that we’re using other excuses to opt out of the marriage.
  4. What if you, the unfaithful, are too disillusioned by your affair partner to be seeing straight? What if you’re in too deep to make a rational decision and you may be giving up on your spouse before he/she has had a chance to get the help they need? What you may be looking at right now, is not the extent of what the marriage may be, after the right help is administered to both of you. You have to admit feelings change, and feelings are no compass in life.
  5. If you, the unfaithful, think you’re going to simply leave your marriage, divorce, and go be happily ever after, I’m sorry I’ve got news for you. You’re still leaving your marriage and taking your own personal unresolved issues (which created the affair in the first place) with you to the new relationship and marriage, and it’s really just a matter of time before that relationship is in upheaval as well.  Your luggage follows you and will always, always, always arrive in your relationships if not dealt with. The trouble is, you can’t see it as you’re probably blinded by the euphoria of this new relationship when, years ago, you felt the same way about your spouse. Life, bills, seasons have all caught up to you and you may be throwing it all away unnecessarily.

Before you consider divorce, I hope and pray you’ll exhaust all opportunities to get help. If your spouse refuses to change or get help, then divorce may be your only reasonable option and anyone in their right mind would support you in that decision. 

Add New Comment

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer