If only there was a clear-cut divorce test that would tell you whether to stay or go. Unfortunately, such a simple test would not be based on the realities and dynamics of your own unique situation.
Instead, you need to really reflect on the health of your marriage, your wants and desires (as well as those of your husband), and whether there is any realistic chance to rebuild the relationship. Towards this end, Jennifer Horton has put together a relationship assessment that will help you reach some real conclusions about the state of your marriage. You might want to grab some paper and a pencil to write down your answers as you reflect on the different questions of this unique divorce test.
One of the most heart wrenching decisions a person may face is the decision to either stay in or to leave a marriage. I've heard of many couples, myself included, who spend several years in this space of "relationship limbo". It can be a slow torture to neither be moving forward and yet, not fully "in" the relationship either. Ironically, staying in that space is one of the most damaging if the door to improve your marriage is even slightly open. The question is "what can I do about it?" Many couples may be in limbo and yet they simply don't know what to do to make it work, so they continue with the status quo.
First of all, let's talk about the act of making a decision. When it comes to marriage we all have this ideal image of standing on the altar and making a commitment (or a decision) to "live happily ever after 'til death do us part". Ideals are great - they reflect what we are striving towards. The only challenge is that the ideal doesn't tell us what to do with reality.
I would argue that a very helpful approach to the reality of relationships that vacillate and have their ups and downs is for each individual to be present in the current moment. In other words, can you wake up today and commit to "living happily ever after" just for today? Can you eliminate the pressure of committing for an eternity and trade it for the security of TODAY?
I've found that often the idea of "forever" keeps us asleep to how we feel in the present moment, because we are not in the present moment. We are always striving for some arrival point in the future. The harm is that we are less tuned in to what is going on in our relationship and within ourselves today, and issues get swept under the rug and ignored hoping that the "ideal" will find us. I assure you, that "ideal" life will never find you. You must find the "ideal" in today, in the only true moment that you have. Tomorrow was never guaranteed.
Here are some questions to help you get started in evaluating your relationship for this part of the divorce test:
Relationship Evaluation (Opens in new window)
I urge you to explore some of these factors no matter how long you've been together, what point your relationship is at now, or what level of commitment you may feel.
Hopefully by taking this divorce test, you will have gained some insight into whether you should stay or just call it quits on your marriage. The following articles offer more insight into the reaching your decision based on logic rather than impulsive reaction: