Imagine that you’re in an unhappy relationship in college. You’re dating someone who is not that interested in you, who doesn’t pay much attention to you and who acts in a rather demeaning manner toward you around your friends. What happens?

Obviously, your friends tell you to break it off. They can tell that something is wrong. They’ll probably think that you’re “failing” if you stay in this toxic relationship, rather than if you dump that person and look for someone else. 

Now imagine that you’re not dating. You’re married. It’s the same toxic relationship, but you technically got married after college and you’ve been living together for years. Why do so many people see divorce as a “failure” at that point, when the opposite would have been true years before?

One potential issue is that societal pressure comes into play. People have this idea of how things should go in life, and they’ll often ask you when you’re going to take that next step. When are you going to date? When are you getting engaged? When is the wedding? When are you having kids? What about another kid? You face these questions all the time. 

Divorce, naturally, breaks that pattern. You are no longer living your life the way that all of your friends and family members expected you to live it. That is why they often act as if you have failed by seeking a divorce. It’s very unfair to you, as ending a poor relationship is not a failure, but that’s why people view it the way that they do. 

Don’t give in to these pressures. You have to put your own life ahead of what others think. If you want to get divorced, just be sure you know what steps to take to best protect your legal interests. If divorce is looming, it’s often wisest to have a consultation with an experienced advocate before you make the next move.