Considering Divorce: “We” vs “I” in a Marriage

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Considering divorce, we versus IWhen assessing the health of your marriage, you’ll want to ask whether you are truly one “we” or really just two “I’s.”  It’s a key sign of trouble if a marriage isn’t a true partnership.  In other words — when one (or both) spouse focuses more on their own individuality than on their shared identity as a couple.  In this blog post, we will address two distinct situations: those who are unhappy in their marriage, and those facing an undesired divorce.  We will explore that, in both circumstances, a true marriage requires a “we,” and provide guidance on navigating these challenging circumstances with clarity, compassion, and personal growth.

Where Are You Coming From?

Maybe you’re unhappy in your marriage and wrestling with the idea of working on it versus moving toward divorce.  Alternatively, maybe you’re on the receiving end of a divorce you don’t want.  In both situations, it’s essential to reflect on the foundation of your marriage.  In other words, have you truly built a relationship that extends beyond the individual needs of both partners?  What is the quality of your connection as a couple?

By the way, make sure you don’t skip this process even if you aren’t the one who wants the divorce.  Only one spouse needs to make the decision to divorce, true.  But in digging in to truly reflect on the state of your marriage and how it fits into your goals for your future, you’ll be surprised what you may discover about how your marriage fits into your vision for your future.

In both situations, follow the same steps:

Step 1: Reflect on Your Connection as a Couple

First, wherever you’re coming from, it’s critical to assess the dynamics of your marriage and acknowledge whether you’ve nurtured a genuine sense of unity — a shared “we” or “us” mindset.  For a marriage to thrive, the spouses must be more than two individuals merely meeting their own needs.  Ask yourself — What’s the level of connection in your relationship?  For example, do you prioritize shared goals, open communication, and mutual support?

This step is crucial in understanding the current state of your marriage.  If your relationship lacks a true “we” dynamic, it doesn’t mean that either of you is a bad person.  Rather, it’s essential to acknowledge this truth — and knowing it helps you decide what path to go down next.

Step 2: Evaluate What You Want

If your marriage isn’t a true partnership, your next step is to figure out what you want.  First, do you think that your marriage has the possibility — with commitment and effort from both of you — to deepen the quality and level of connection between you and your partner?  If so, is that what you want?  In some cases, it’s not possible, or it’s not what you want, and that’s okay.  Sometimes, for example, the person who initially didn’t want the divorce decides for various reasons that they do not want to work on their marriage.  What’s important is being honest with yourself and your spouse.

Whatever you decide, open up a discussion with your spouse alone or with a counselor to assist.

Step 3: If There’s a Mutual Commitment to Work on the Marriage

If you think you two might be able to build a partnership mindset and you are personally willing to work towards that goal, the next step is to find out whether your spouse is willing to do so as well.  Open and honest communication is vital during this phase.  Engage in heartfelt conversations with your spouse, expressing your desires for a more connected and collaborative partnership.  In order to turn your relationship into a “we,” you both need to choose to commit to working on your marriage.  A mutual commitment to rebuilding your marriage as a team means cultivating a genuine partnership, where you made decisions with consideration for both individuals and the collective well-being of the relationship. Finally, seek professional guidance in couples’ therapy or marriage counseling to learn effective communication, foster empathy, and build a stronger foundation based on unity.

Step 4: If It’s Time to Move On

Maybe it’s time to move on because you know you’re ready.  Or, perhaps your spouse chose not to make the commitment to work on the marriage.  Or, maybe you’ve both already tried to improve your relationship and concluded that it’s time to end the marriage. But, in all cases, it’s time to start preparing practically and emotionally for divorce.

Next Steps

If you’d like to do, please contact us.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC