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Sometimes marriages can be saved, but should they be?

After Milwaukee residents decide to divorce, is the marriage really over? Maybe, but maybe not. Some marriage and family law observers say that even after a couple makes the decision to end their relationship and goes about creating a child visitation schedule, making arrangements to divide their property, etc. there is a possibility the marriage could be saved. But that, of course, begs the question: should the marriage be saved in the first place?

One major factor that helps determine whether patching things up after reaching the decision to divorce is how quickly a couple made the call to end their relationship. If you and your spouse decided to separate after an argument about whose turn it was to take out the trash, for example, you two probably did not think things through. A clinical psychologist pointed out to a reporter that seeking counseling or reconciliation services can help a couple determine if divorce is really the right step for them. It would be better, of course, if you and your spouse sought these services before you decided to divorce, but that does not mean the advice and insight of a professional counselor or therapist cannot be helpful even if it is after the fact.

But it is important to keep in mind that some marriages cannot or should not be saved. Seeking a divorce is sometimes the option that makes the most sense for people. Filing for divorce does not mean you have failed. In the best circumstances, it means you have thought carefully about where (if anywhere) you see the relationship going and whether you want to be there.

In addition to making an appointment with a therapist or counselor to discuss your relationship, it might be a good idea to have a sit-down with a divorce or family law attorney if you are considering ending your relationship. This attorney could explain to you how the divorce process works and might be able to speak in general terms about how it would apply to your relationship ("in general terms" because details and precision require a lot more information and detail than you could give in an initial consultation.) Even if you decide that divorce is not right for you at this time, that is still helpful information to have.

In short, rushing into divorce is not a good idea. A divorce may be the right idea, but that is a conclusion you should reach after a period of thoughtful, informed decisionmaking.

Source: The Detroit Free Press, "Decision to divorce includes uncertainty, and many people change their minds," Oct. 2, 2011

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