Alternatives to Divorce – First Question to Ask

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you wish to divorce at all.  How long have you been contemplating this as a solution to your relationship with your spouse?  A few minutes?  It’s rare that a heat-of-the-moment decision made rashly is a good decision.   However, chances are you have been pondering this question in your mind for months, if not years.  So what options do you have?


1. Marriage Therapy – Depending on the therapist, this can be a fantastic approach to trying to get at the underlying issue that may be driving you to consider divorce.  I’ve known from personal experience the value of a good marriage therapist.  Don’t discount them just because the therapist may be the opposite sex.

2. Cooling Off Period – Under this scenario, you or your spouse may move out for a specific period of time to come back and review how you feel later. This it the opposite of spending time together.

3. Increase the amount of time spent together – Yes, the big four causes of divorce are always money, family, sex, and religion, but the reality is that most of these problems can be solved by open and respectful communication with each other.  You can’t communicate with one another if you don’t spend time together.  Start engaging in some activities together, even if it means scripting the time in your day.

4. Sex – Sex and Love are the two most powerful emotions humans feel.  Few relationships can long endure a sexless marriage.  Having sex with your spouse ensures a close bond because you release chemicals, endorphins, and hormones in your body that have an immediate impact on your physical state of mind.  There’s no substitute for sex, especially for men.

5. Legal Separation – When you don’t want to end the relationship completely, you can opt to legal separate.  There are five advantages of getting a legal separation over getting a divorce: reconciliationability, speed, avoiding religious stigmas, personal or cultural preferences, and financial implications.

You’ve got to want to stay in the marriage.  If you really don’t want to be in it, don’t waste time staying in it.   But, if you do want to work things out these approaches might benefit you.  For more information on keeping your marriage alive, read John Gottman’s book about the four horsemen in his book on the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.  It’s a fantastic book that can help give you some insight on the real underlying causes of your unhappiness in your relationship.

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