7 Divorce Alternatives When You Can't Stand the Spouse You Love
Frustration, anger, and fear normally drive us to either-or thinking. Too many of us who still love the person we married end up considering divorce because life with our spouse has become intolerable. Let me suggest a few alternatives that most of us never consider until it's too late:
1. You'll need two homes if you divorce. Why not get them now? You may find you really need only a few hours a week apart or a very small space for keeping your hobby gear always out to keep your love alive.
2. If part of the allure of divorce is the chance to go out with friends after work, go out with those friends. You two will need to figure out a way to avoid disappointing a spouse who gave up other opportunities to eat dinner with you or who has been in the kitchen cooking for you or who usually depends on you to do the cooking, but those are much easier problems to tackle than the ones divorce will hand you.
3. If divorce would mean 50-50 or 4 night - 3 night joint custody or full custody with visitation rights, implement it now. Stop the battles over responsible parenting or differences in parenting style. Stay under one roof with a custody schedule and let all that resentment go. You might rediscover the man or woman you loved in return.
4. Would you need to sell some of your share of your joint assets to get by after divorce? Sell them now. Put the cash in a bank account for following or protecting your dreams.
5. Would divorce protect you from your spouse's angry outbursts? Hire someone else to deal with them. Offer a college student from the local gym or the local psychology department free dinners to come spend 6 to 9 pm in your home and stand in for you when you simply walk away from these outbursts to a quieter part of the house or neighborhood. Treat them like symptoms of a disease you are not trained to cure.
6. Would divorce put an end to sloppiness in your home and yard? Make clean-ups your top priority. Work fewer hours on other things so you can. Or work more hours and pay someone else to handle the mess. Or redesign your living quarters to require a lot less care. Without the criticism, your spouse's loving side may surprise you again.
7. Would divorce free you to travel more, dance more, climb more mountains, or take more classes? Free yourself. Stop waiting for your spouse and go do them alone or with friends.
If you have stopped loving your spouse or don't feel safe around him or her, please ignore everything above. But if you are one of the millions saying "I love you, but I am no longer in love with you," then one of these might spare you the pain of divorcing someone you love.