Is it time for a divorce?

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Have you truly reached the end of the road in your married life? Is there no turning back? How can you be sure that you want to sign those papers, move on and continue with the rest of your life without your current partner in marriage? Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you venture in to "D" territory.

Divorce is a serious consideration, which may take numerous books and tons of reflection on your part to mull over. The disastrous, devastating, dreaded D-word that is thought of as un-mentionable is now being held as a possible solution—a way out of what you feel is matrimonial hell.

Ponder the questions and statements below before thinking about divorce. If you answer a resounding “yes” that’s how it is in my relationship, then you might want to move to the next step.

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  • In every single discussion, do you or your partner bring up past hurtful events?
  • Does every situation, no matter how insignificant, end up in a major showdown or a fight?
  • Do you still respect your spouse or do you feel that there is no way you can ever respect him/her again?
  • Both you and your spouse have different goals and are moving down different paths in opposite directions?
  • Your spouse does not support your individual development anymore.
  • Your values have evolved so much that you no longer share spiritual, moral, lifestyle, ethical values.
  • Compromise? There is none of that left in the relationship—no party even tries to find a middle ground anymore.
  • There is no more attraction or admiration towards each other. He or she repulses you and you cannot bring yourself to make love anymore. Perhaps there is even a sexual incompatibility.
  • You and or your partner are making no effort to make amends anymore. Everything he/she does just gets under your skin.
  • Love has evolved to resentment and you cannot bear the sight of each other.
  • You have been to counselors or talked to other family/clergy members but no amount of help can save your marriage. You have tried everything.

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Take this little test

Remember that you should not resort to divorce after a heated argument when you are merely driven by emotions. Take this little test and really take some time to reflect. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers.

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  • How was it like when your marriage was in full bloom and everything was wonderful?
  • What went wrong—how, when and why?
  • Are your daily, monthly or yearly arguments worth ending your wedded life for?
  • What do you really want? Be honest with yourself.
  • What are you sacrificing to be in this relationship? List down what you are giving up.
  • What do you get out of the relationship? List down how the marriage enriches you.
  • What is your contribution for making this marriage problematic?
  • What is your spouse doing to make you even consider the “D” word?
  • Are you still in love with your spouse?
  • Are you confused, angry, scared and hurt? And is divorce going to fix these emotions?
  • Is your partner emotionally, mentally or physically abusive?
  • Are you ready for the legal, monetary and emotional ramifications of divorce?
  • Are there children involved?
  • What will the arrangement be with the kids? What happens to the kids?

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Some words from the divorced

We spoke to several people who have gone through a divorce and they were willing to share their thoughts on the matter. However they prefer to remain anonymous, so we gave them pseudonyms.

“When you see that person, even after a long break [separation], you feel nothing. There is no desire to try again. There is a weird feeling, especially if you have been together for a decade that you’re living like brother and sister, or an old friend. There is no passion, no effort, no feeling. The marriage is dead.” –Mark, mid thirties

“I am a believer of trying very hard to make things work. But if the other party has already given up and moved on. I really don’t see a reason I should still try to make it work.” P.N, divorced at 28.

“You don’t bother telling her everything on your mind anymore and keep even the smallest things to yourself. You’re not fooling the other; you’re also living a lie yourself. Also, no common interests are shared anymore because you’ve grown so apart. There is no point hanging on to something that is just not alive. It’s more painful to hold on to something non-existent.” Kishore, 43

“The other party cheated and has no remorse—to me that is a point of no return.” Femme, 30

Useful links:

Children to receive legal help in Singapore if their parents are going through an intense legal battle.

Conflicts in marriage

How to handle marital problems