Deciding whether to divorce can be filled with ambivalence and anxiety. When the decision to divorce is reached, however, it also can be a time of relief.
In their book Bailing Out, authors Barry Lubetkin and Elena Oumano comment, ” ‘[Blailing out’ when you know your relationship is no longer viable can be one of the most affirmative, liberating acts of one’s life. Bailing out can be a wonderful growth experience if you use this period of your life as a time to explore, discover, and evaluate beliefs that have determined your behavior …The irrefutable fact is that staying with someone in a miserable or indifferent relationship, whether in a marriage or a live-in situation, erodes your self-esteem.”
Ann Landers echoed part of that view in The Ann Landers Encyclopedia A to Z : “Life is too precious to waste years in a joyless marriage or, worse yet, in a miserable one.”
When you have decided to divorce (or have a strong inclination to divorce), a question of timing may remain: When do you announce the decision or take additional steps such as separating or filing a legal action? The answer lies in balancing the stresses of maintaining the status quo versus the benefits of waiting.