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There’s nothing fashionable about divorce

S ocial media always gets abuzz whenever another celebrity couple announces they are getting a divorce. Often very few really know the circumstances that lead to these couples to go their separate ways except for them. As the public, we only rely on media reports. And to pass judgements based on information that isn’t from the source would be quite imprudent for anyone. However, while divorce is an extremely personal decision and one every couple has a right to without fear of being judged, many followers and fans of these celebrities now take divorce quite lightly and somewhat fashionable. These, and many others not mentioned here, are couples with huge numbers of fans that run into millions collectively. The influence they have on their fans is quite massive as can be seen on their wide social media platforms. The unintended consequence of that influence highly contributes to making divorce among their followers somewhat fashionable. And therein lies our argument.

There is nothing fashionable, cool or glamorous about divorce. It can be very ugly, and in our view, its pain is far severe and prolonged than the physical death of a loved one. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, as many potentially beautiful relationships have been ruined by partners jumping the gun prematurely.

If you’re at the crossroads about whether or not to throw in the towel, take a step back, clear your head and consider the following questions:

Firstly, why do you actually want to call it quits?

A lot of the time, breakups happen over weeks, if not months. You feel uncertain about the decision that needs to be made, and that uncertainty eats away at you over time, filling you with a roller coaster of emotions. And you become so overwhelmed with emotions that you allow them to decide your fate. Emotions can cloud sober judgement.

Is there willingness to resolve issues?

Once you get down to the true issues behind all those emotions flooding your system, you need to figure out what needs to be done to resolve the issues and whether there exists willingness to resolve them on both sides. Or can you only get your life back on the right track by breaking things off and starting from scratch? Calling it quits, whether with good or bad reason, is the quickest way out. It looks like it’s guaranteed to remove all that weight from your shoulders and make you feel like you’re standing on your own two feet again. But is it the best solution? The real question here is, do you want to work it out? Is there anything about this relationship that’s worth salvaging? There’s always a way out, as long as both of you want to.

Am I also to blame?

Before you point your finger at your partner, you must consider what your part has been in the collapse of your relationship. It can’t be their fault entirely. As a matter of fact, we can confidently deduce that you’ve had a big role to play too.

Honest consideration of this question alone is enough to give your relationship another chance. You can’t now, at this point of your relationship, want to reinforce deal-breakers that were either never negotiated or that you’ve since compromised on. Honestly consider how you contributed to the breakdown of the relationship, and find means to make amends.

Am I really ready for a divorce?

Have you considered that things will change? Your housing situation may get complicated. Your social life will change significantly, both in how you spend your time and in whom you spend it. Your daily routine will no longer be routine. While the fear of change or the unknown shouldn’t stop you from leaving an unhealthy or abusive relationship, ending things before you’ve considered the first few steps pre-breakup can make a sad situation even more stressful and overwhelming.

Have you done everything you can to rehabilitate your relationship? Have you researched, planned and prepared yourself emotionally, legally and financially for a divorce? If someone was to candidly ask if this was the only thing left to do in your relationship, would you confidently answer “yes” with peace in your heart? Are you ready and prepared to adopt a new way of relating with your children? Can you turn your back on your partner without being angry, frustrated or hurt?

Unless and until you’re able to look each other in the eye feeling peace, no hatred or resentment, you’re not ready to throw in the towel. It’s always unwise to make life-changing decisions in the midst of emotional turmoil. You have to get to a position of level-headedness first, so that you’re able to see things for what they really are and with a degree of rationale.

As Mo and Phindi, the word “divorce” does not even exist in our vocabulary in spite of the challenges we face sometimes. This is not because we’re in denial of its existence, but we’re too focused on the positives about our lives that such words and their meanings are inevitably minimized.

Make every effort, as a couple, to work at your marriage. It can be done. It just takes willingness and killing your pride.

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