DR. CELESTE OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
Have you ever noticed when one couple announces they are getting divorced, another couple seems to follow shortly after? For example, celebrities and politicians appear to strategically wait for one major divorce announcement and then utilize that opportunity to announce their own separation. Coincidentally, you may have friends or family members who also announced their separation this way. The idea may be to unintentionally deflect the attention off of themselves and to receive less questions like, “How could this happen?” or “But, why?”
Times like these can cause you to question your own relationship. Some begin to wonder if their relationship is next. Others even panic and become scared, particularly when their friend or relative’s divorce is messy and there is a custody battle involved.
Take this opportunity to check in and to fix what is wrong with your own relationship. If things have been “rocky” for quite some time, then make your relationship a top priority. Schedule alone time to reconnect. You could start by going to see a movie so you are not required to talk, especially if you both have not done these types of outings in quite some time. Perhaps you could grab a coffee together and start with some small talk.
If you really do not want to be with anyone else and you would prefer to be with your spouse for the rest of your life, then consider taking divorce off of the table. Obviously there is only so much you can control, as we cannot control other individuals, including our partners. However, when you are at a point in your relationship where you have nothing else to lose, then give it your all.
Pull out your best hand and give your relationship a true tune-up. If you are lost regarding how to start then think back to the beginning of your relationship when you used to go out of your way to make your partner feel special. In the beginning, we all do these thoughtful gestures to show our love to one another, but over time we tend to get too comfortable. We become rather routine-like with our partners.
You can absolutely change your life and your relationship if you both agree to work on your marriage. You never want to have any regrets. So say what you want to say, try as hard as you want to try, and consider therapy. Divorce is not easy by any means. Some people wish they never got divorced and others say it is the best decision they ever made.
It is a personal choice but it is also a choice between you and your partner. The key is for both of you to talk about your options, how you are feeling, and the changes you wish to see. Be open to feedback as your partner should also be able to openly communicate his or her thoughts and wishes. The main goal in life is to be happy, so just determine what that looks like and go for it, whichever way that may take you!
Celeste Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Visit www.TherapyForModernHousewives.com.