Before you marry, the most important question to ask yourself is: What would it be like to divorce this person?

I was near Union Square to take care of some business today and so I popped into Barnes and Noble to browse a few books. Afterwards, I met a friend for happy hour cocktails. She’s having marriage problems. It doesn’t exactly come as a huge surprise to me as I’ve always thought that she and her husband were quite mismatched. (I’ve always advocated being “evenly yoked” and they are definitely not evenly yoked and are very incompatible
They’ve had a lot of marriage counseling and it just really doesn’t look good but she’s afraid to ask for a divorce. And why? Well, she says he will “kill her.”
Now, I don’t think she means that literally. She meant it figuratively. But I found myself saying, “hme…that is why it is so important to figure out before you marry them what it would be like to divorce them.” I don’t even know what I meant by that, and as I write, I still don’t know. But it sure sounded like a good idea for a post.
Actually, as I reflect more deeply on this, I think it is a very important question for anyone to ask themselves before they marry or even get deeply committed to another person: What would it be like to break up?
Love is sweet. When you are in love, there is nothing like it. So, for example, when you fall in love with a hyper-attentive person who basically shadows your every move, you see it as this really sweet thing. Or the person may be really jealous and possessive but you like it. It makes you feel loved, cherished, cared for.  The attention is most welcoming. It’s warm, it’s fuzzy. You love it. Nobody has made you feel so wanted, needed and loved. You relish the attention completely and you encourage it, even though somewhere in the back of your mind, you think it might be a little bit excessive.
What would it be like to divorce a person like this? You never know. But if you are the one who asks for the divorce and that person is still “in love” with you, someone like this MAY resort to stalking or even violence. It could and does happen.
So, I think what  I told my friend was good advice because she did marry a man who is very, very, attentive and very, very jealous. And she and I both know that the last thing he wants is a divorce.