What if I don’t believe in divorce? You believe in your heart that you have tried absolutely everything in your power to save your marriage, and in the end, it still appears that divorce is the only answer. But what if you do not believe in divorce?
Believe it or not, you are not alone. Though 50% of all marriages end in divorce, so many couples who appear to be headed down that same path are uncomfortable with the idea of divorce — no matter how common it is. Some do not believe in divorce for religious reasons. Others watched their parents stay married for over 50 years.
“Divorce was not an option then, so it should not be for me now,” they say.
How hard are you willing to fight for your marriage?
The harsh reality is that some marriages cannot or should not be saved. Perhaps it is because one spouse is verbally or physically abusive and getting out could very well save your life. Maybe your spouse continually cheats on you or breaks your trust, and divorce is the right thing to do — no matter how much the idea of it goes against your values. But if your situation is not either of those, ask yourself how hard you and your spouse are willing to fight for your marriage.
Everyone has got problems, but if you still do not want a divorce — no matter how bad things are or how complicated everything has become — then do not get a divorce.
Stay together. Work through your problems. Make sure you truly have exhausted every possible option.
Here are a few options to consider if you don’t believe in divorce:
Couples who do not believe in divorce because of religious reasons should not be afraid to seek guidance from the church. Divorce may be a taboo conversation according to your beliefs, but that does not mean your religious leaders want you to walk this path alone. Talk to your priest, rabbi, or another religious leader. See if your church has counseling classes that you can both attend. Accepting help and getting closer to the Lord may help your relationship turn an important corner.
Talk to your parents
Talk to your parents, especially if they model the type of marriage you hope to still have intact 50 years from now. Believe it or not, they have faced similar problems. Hearing those stories and having an open and honest conversation can help your own marriage if you believe it’s headed toward divorce.
Turn over every stone
If you do not believe in divorce, then make sure you have truly tried everything. Have open, honest, and constructive conversations with your spouse, and listen to what is bothering them. Accept their apology. Conversely, take a hard look at what you may have done to contribute to the problems you are both facing and ask for forgiveness on your end. When needed, give each other space to process everything rather than nag, hover, or lose your cool.
Even if you do not believe in divorce, one of the biggest factors that will quickly end your marriage is the inability to forgive. And when we say this, we do not mean only forgiving your spouse. You must forgive yourself, too. Reaching a level of total forgiveness takes an incredible amount of strength, but if you can allow yourself to forgive, your marriage will likely become stronger. And you won’t have to get divorced after all.