Thinking About Divorce or Separation-Here is What You Need to Know


Think about it carefully and weigh the pros and cons.

When you get to the point of thinking about divorce, it is helpful to consider carefully what is about to happen, and to make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of staying together against the advantages and disadvantages of divorcing.

These might be of various sorts, and at different timescales: for example, you might consider the situation in five years’ time, and look at what this would be like (a) if a divorce had gone ahead or (b) if you had stayed together.

To take a common example of this, if the husband in a marriage with two children has been having an affair with a younger woman, and wants to separate and live with her, you might consider the advantages and disadvantages as follows:

Advantages of divorce

  • Husband goes with the woman he wants to be with
  • Husband loses the stress of living a double life
  • Wife can live more peacefully without the stress of the conflict
  • Wife can plan her own life, and possibly form a new relationship
  • Good for the husband’s girlfriend, who wants to be with him

Disadvantages of divorce

  • Expense of the legal case
  • Both partners poorer as a result of the divorce
  • Risk of a bitter conflict following the divorce
  • Problems of moving and getting two separate places
  • Wife could become depressed
  • Husband could feel guilty
  • Problems with care of children, including disputes over payments and access
  • Both partners may have further children, disadvantaging their own children

Advantages of staying together

  • Less expensive for both
  • More stability for children
  • Couple remain in the family home
  • Living through a ‘bad patch’ might strengthen the relationship
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Disadvantages of staying together

  • Conflict may continue
  • Wife may still be bitter and blame him
  • Husband may continue his outside relationship
  • If he gives it up he may be resentful
  • Wife may be reluctant to resume sexual relations
  • It may only be a short-term solution

Looking at the pros and cons

The above is one example of the kinds of considerations which couples need to take into account when they are wondering whether to divorce or not.

There will in most cases be many other issues to be resolved, and many other pressures on the couple.

For example, the husband’s friends could bring pressure on him to divorce, perhaps because they themselves are now single and want him to lead a singles’ life with them.

The wife’s family may have disapproved of the husband from the beginning, and prefer her to be away from him.