Sometimes, an act of infidelity can lead to a prompt and bitter breakup. Other times, couples just gradually drift apart and eventually realize they’re better off separated. Many couples waver back and forth when thinking about divorce and consider several different factors. Ideally, this decision would be clear-cut, but reality is much more ambiguous. Divorce has so many serious ramifications that it is an extremely scary leap to make. Divorce is not always black-and-white; a lot can happen in between the time people to decide to divorce and the actual finalization of the divorce.

Sometimes during this process, couples will try to reconcile their differences and try to save the marriage. How do you know if this is the right thing to do? In my opinion, divorce should be considered a last option, but how can you tell if it’s worth trying to fix your relationship or if your marriage is past the point of saving? I advise my clients to not make any impulsive decisions and give this some deep thought.

If you are considering reconciling with your wife, here are some questions to ask:

  1. Which one of you ended the relationship and why? Have you been able to talk openly and honestly about what went wrong? If not, reconciliation is a mistake.
  2. How have each of you changed since the relationship ended? Do you think these changes have moved you closer together or further apart? Will these changes positively or negatively affect the reconciliation?
  3. How are your wants and needs different now than they were when you were initially attracted to each other? Is your current attraction to each other based on what you both wanted/needed when you first met, or are you attracted to the people that you’ve both grown to be? Would you be as willing to consider a relationship with your ex if you were meeting him or her for the first time?
  4. Do you believe that each of you did all that you could do to save the relationship when you were in it? If not, why not? If so, what is different now? What new skills or resources do you have available to you, that you each are willing to use, to make the relationship work that you didn’t utilize before?
  5. What has changed in your relationship? If nothing has changed then it’s likely a mistake to reconcile.
  6. What is the real reason you are considering a reconciliation? Sometimes, people miss the idea of their ex. Once you’re satisfied with your answer to that question, ask what has changed since you broke up that is likely to increase your chances of success the next time around?

If a reconciliation is still a possibility, ask your ex the same questions and insist on emotionally honest answers. At this point you’ll probably have a pretty good idea of what the right decision is for you.

Hayley Lisa
The Divorce Coach for Men