When couples decide to divorce, each spouse may experience a myriad of emotions. In addition to anger, grief and frustration, some spouses are surprised to discover that they feel a certain degree of relief. How could the decision to end a marriage result in relief? That is a complex question with many answers.

First, the numerous reasons that individuals opt to divorce tend to be quite painful. Making the decision to move forward separately inspires its own pain but can also remain a solution to the different kinds of pain that led to the split in the first place. Second, the questioning which occurs when couples are deciding whether or not to divorce can be draining. Ultimately concluding that divorce is the best option for any given couple can inspire relief that a decision has finally been made.

However, it can be difficult to determine whether a decision to divorce will bring relief or whether trying harder at the marriage in a myriad of ways will bring stronger relief. Ultimately, only you know your values, priorities and relationship well enough to make that determination.

If your relationship has become abusive, either emotionally or physically, it is almost certainly time for you to find a way to leave safely. However, if your relationship is suffering under the weight of any number of other negative forces, it is important for you to seek out the advice of a counselor or another trusted mentor who can advise you on how to make a healthy decision one way or another. Chances are that when you decide on what is best for you, that decision will bring you a sense of relief.

Source: The Huffington Post, “9 Warning Signs Your Relationship Is Headed For Collapse,” Terry Gaspard, July 8, 2014