Many people are reading this book right now because their marriage is on rocky grounds, and they fear it might be headed for a divorce. Most divorces occur gradually over time, and it is for this reason that we wanted to include plenty of information for parents who may be contemplating such an action. Others might be having second thoughts about their decision to divorce, and want further information to help them decide whether or not it's the right thing to do. Either way, it's important that parents who make this decision do so for the right reasons and with full knowledge about what it will mean.
Far too often, parents decide to divorce out of anger or ongoing frustration with the marriage, without much consideration about how this decision will change things or whether it will even fix the problems they are having. They've been angry and upset with each other, it reaches a boiling point, and so they decide to divorce hoping that it will fix these issues. But divorce isn't a cure-all, and it doesn't always improve things. Divorce may solve some problems, but it may also create all new ones. It's an imperfect solution to an unfortunate situation, and parents should be sure it's the best solution.
We know that the decision to divorce is not an easy one, especially when you have kids, and our intent in this chapter is certainly not to beat parents up over their decision to divorce. But it doesn't help anyone if a divorce is done hastily or for the wrong reasons, or over problems that a divorce will make worse rather than fix. When to divorce, when to try and work on these problems, and when you should consider other alternatives that might help each parent find what they're looking for within an altered marriage arrangement; these are all personal decisions, and the only one who can answer them is you. We cannot know your situation, we don't know what you're going through, and so it's not our place to judge or tell you what to do. We just want to help you reach the decision that is the least painful for everyone involved. As psychologist Susan Heitler states, "It’s radically cheaper emotionally, as well as financially, to fix the marriage than to declare it dead." (Jayson, 2011) This information is meant to help you decide whether or not your marriage can be salvaged.