Is Divorcing Your Spouse For Your Lover Really The Better Choice? How exciting it is to be in a new relationship. The thrill of being in the Honeymoon stage when both of you are at your best concealing weaknesses that eventually come out when familiarity starts to breed contempt. You’ve been stuck in an unfulfilling and unhappy marriage for years. You have found someone you feel a connection with and you finally feel alive. You’ve decided you don’t want to settle living a dreary, disconnected existence of a life any longer when you could feel passion and exhilaration with your soulmate.
If you’re currently involved in a romantic affair and are considering ending your current relationship for this new one, it’s important to think about the ramifications of such a decision and ask yourself the following questions:
1. How real is this relationship? When you’re having an affair both of you are on your best behavior showing only your good side as the time you have together is limited. You block out the real world of stressors and take a break or vacation from life for the brief time you are together. Once the affair is exposed and normalized into “real” life the fantasy relationship becomes just like any other relationship as time goes by. With it’s own stressors to boot.
2. Do you truly know this person? It typically takes about 18 months to really get to know someone for who they really are. When you’re caught up in the infatuation of a new lover it’s difficult to see any flaws or imperfections that may come up at the beginning of any new relationship. Your intoxicating feelings convince you that this is the best thing that has ever happened to you. But remember everything changes over time. What may be spontaneous and exciting one day will eventually become routine and normal the next. Keep in mind that your lover knows you’re married and his/her integrity is being questioned as they take part in carrying on with the inappropriate behavior of lies and deceit indicating something about about their character.
3. Are you aware of the statistics for second marriages? In the United States 50% of first marriage end in divorce. Statistics show 67% of second marriages end in divorce and 73% of third marriages have the same fate. Second marriages statistically fail at a higher rate than first marriages for many reasons. People marry on the rebound, don’t like being single as they were paired for many years, blended families create alot more challenges in child rearing, and affairs always fare the worst of all for obvious reasons.
4. Are you prepared to face the reaction of your family and friends? When couples split under the best of circumstances divorce is still quite difficult. But when couples divorce due to infidelity and affairs the outcome is devastating and harsh. You risk the chance of losing close friends and family members as you are identified as the one who broke up the family. People often judge and criticize your choices and are not always accepting of them. This ordeal may bring you and your lover closer together at the beginning, but in the long run can create resentment and distance.
5. Are you being objective about your marriage? There’s always two sides to every situation. Sure your spouse has their faults and you know you have yours. Looking at what lead you to the affair is important because it reveals information about you and the role you play in the success of your relationships. Being able to take a self inventory and see your part in your marital discord shows insight and is a good indicator for success in future interpersonal relationships. While in a state of infatuation your spouse doesn’t have a fair chance of competing with your lover as you may be concentrating on the negatives rather than anything positive.
6. If you have children, is your happiness more important than your children’s well being? Divorce is devastating no matter what the reason. But when you tell your spouse you want a divorce because you think you’re in love with someone else and are leaving the marriage for them, it’s a wound that only time will heal. As an adult they will find a way to cope. It’s the children who will struggle trying to understand how they want you to be happy but don’t know how much unhappiness it will ultimately cause them.
So the question is “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” Leaving a marriage to be with your soulmate and escaping the world you created with your partner for a new and exciting one may seem like a good idea but in the long run could turn out to be the biggest mistake of your life. The bigger question is will they look the same and will you feel the same as time goes by. Only time and the impact of unavoidable collateral damage will tell. Eliciting the help of a Marriage Counselor can enable you to make an objective and informed decision about whether or not you should make that choice. It is in your best interest and the interest of your children to talk about all the ramifications of your decision and how it will affect all family members. For help and obtaining more information about divorcing your spouse to be with your lover please give me a call at (858) 735-1139 or email me at Sarah@CouplesCounselorSanDiego.com