Threatening divorce is a big deal. If you are having a fight with your husband or wife and you threaten to end the marriage, you need to know that there are very real consequences to doing so, whether you meant it or not. These range from undermining your own credibility in future fights to actually ending the marriage. It is important to be aware of some of these consequences before your threaten to divorce your spouse.
If you constantly say you're going to get a divorce when you are having heated arguments, but never follow through, then your credibility is undermined. If, in the future, you actually do want a divorce, it is going to be extremely difficult because you have created a "boy who cried wolf" situation. What's more, it undermines your credibility in other situations; you're setting yourself up as a person who says things you don't mean. If you say you want a divorce but don't mean it, how is your spouse to know you mean it when you say you love him?
Another possible consequence of threatening divorce is that your wife may just take you up on it. If you threaten divorce and she says she likes the idea and draws up the paperwork immediately, it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to come back from that situation. So, unless you actually want a divorce, you should try to keep these thoughts to yourself.
While it does seem to contradict with other consequences, threatening divorce can sometimes give a relationship the kick-start it needs. Divorce is an extreme measure; if you indicate to your partner that you are considering it, it could give both of you the wake-up call you need to start working harder on the relationship. This is a make-or-break situation though. Threatening divorce could easily go the other way, reminding both people that the marriage is simply too hard to work through. However, if you're both committed to solving your problems, a threat of divorce may start you on this path.
Threatening divorce makes it real. Whether it is a legitimate threat or not, it makes both partners think about it -- are you prepared to change your entire lives to get out of the marriage? This is a key consequence because it forces both husband and wife to consider their priorities. For better or worse, a threat of divorce does make you think about what is important to you and whether you're prepared, even a little bit, to make this change.
Sam Grover began writing in 2005, also having worked as a behavior therapist and teacher. His work has appeared in New Zealand publications "Critic" and "Logic," where he covered political and educational issues. Grover graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts in history.