Getting a Divorce? What to Do If You’re Having Second Thoughts

Couple having conflict

Is it time for a divorce? | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

If you’re in the middle of a divorce or you’re thinking about it but not sure what to do, it’s important to take time to think about your decision. Depending on the situation, your choice could have a long-lasting impact not only on you but also your family. Relationships can be complicated and it’s not always easy to decide how to proceed.

The Cheat Sheet spoke with Kiri Maponya, founder of Battle Free Divorce, to learn more about this tricky situation. When should you go ahead and get a divorce? When should you rethink things? Here’s what Maponya had to say.

The Cheat Sheet: In which situations should you reconsider getting a divorce?

Kiri Maponya: Reconsider if there is a chance to salvage the marriage and both parties are deeply committed to doing whatever it takes to make it work. This includes (but is not limited to) having the courage to own your contribution to the deterioration of the marriage, and then adopting a proactive and solution-focused attitude as opposed to just laying blame on your partner alone, which is a sure marriage killer.

CS: If you decide to stay, what are some ground rules you should set for the relationship going forward?

Maponya: Before setting any ground rules about your relationship going forward, first you’ll have to be clear on the vision (or nature) of the relationship you want to co-create and why that is important to you. Without this, it would be like trying to build a home without a solid foundation.

CS: What are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to reconciling after almost getting divorced?

Maponya: I see marriage as a partnership. For any partnership to work well, the nature and terms have to be clearly defined. That depends largely on being clear on what is important (needs), first to the individual and second to the union (partnership). Then clearly communicate expectations to each other so there are no misunderstandings born out of false assumptions.

CS: What are some clear signs you should proceed with a divorce?

Maponya: After you have done everything in your power to try and fix the marriage and there is no hope or chance of salvaging the marriage at the end, and you can walk away from the marriage without harboring any resentment toward your partner, then and only then can you proceed with the dissolution of your marriage.

CS: Anything to add?

Maponya: The decision to end your marriage is by far one of the hardest you will ever have to make. There is a lot at stake and a lot of areas to be negotiated. Know that it is going to take some effort, complete honesty with yourself, change of perspective, and preparedness on your part.  It is also going to require some degree of emotional mastery, self-control and compassion toward yourself and the other. This way you are able to deal with this process objectively, with minimal emotional drama injected into it.

Read more: 10 Signs You Definitely Need to Get a Divorce

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