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Five things to think about before you end your marriage

Nobody starts a marriage or relationship thinking about divorce or separation. However, any relationship can encounter problems. Some couples work it out, some get stuck and others separate.

There is no right or wrong.  Divorce is a personal decision and only you can decide what’s right for you and your family.

But before you decide, stop and have a think about the following:

Talk to each other

Have you sat down together and really discussed your relationship? Not argued or bickered but talked it through, honestly.  We often make assumptions about what other people feel however you may find your partner is in a very different place to where you imagined.

Be honest

What is it in the marriage that makes you unhappy? How long have you felt like that? Has it always bothered you? If not, what has made it change?

Make sure you also reflect on your role. Relationships are two-way so look at what you could have done to improve the situation.

Be realistic

The perfect marriage or relationship does not exist. There will always be good and bad times. The key is balance and making sure that what matters to you both – works.

Ask yourself, is what I get from the relationship worth more than what I am giving up?  So, if your partner is messy and untidy but an amazing father – which one matters to you the most?

Consider counselling

Go with an open mind and the will to change and counselling can potentially transform your relationship. It can be hard going at times and you may feel worse before you feel better but challenging the beliefs and stories that you tell yourself about your relationship you can make a difference.  Go alone or together – pick the option that works best for you.

Write things down

Writing things down can help you see things more clearly when they are staring back at you in black and white.  Why not try the below to get you started?

List the pros & cons of staying together versus separating

List where you want to be in five years: what you would like life to be like? How can you get there? How does your relationship fit into this future?

What is your biggest fear about ending the relationship?  What’s your biggest fear if you stay together?

Moving on

So, whether it’s a new beginning or the beginning of the end, taking time now will help you make a clear decision and hopefully will help you both move forward in your relationship or have an amicable and considered divorce.

Next steps

If you do decide to go ahead with a divorce, it is really important that you get professional legal advice to ensure that the process will work for you and your family.  You can find out more about the Stowe Family Law approach here

If your partner makes you feel threatened or anxious or you are in an abusive relationship please do seek advice. The National Domestic Violence Helpline is open 24 hours a day and can be reached on 0808 2000 247 or visit the website.


The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Mr T says:

    Counselling after the relationship is over is a total waste of money. Better money would be spent if you had counselling on yourself because you’re probably part of the problem and the breakdown of it.

    It should be provided free relationship breakdown in western society is at epidemic proportions. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would be foolish to jump into one. The trend for men to no surprise is to steer clear. I completely agree and sympathise and until laws and family courts change I don’t see any reason to.

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