How to Leave a Marriage

Doctor Sonya Friedman has said that if you are unhappy with your life, you will have to give up some element of it at some point so you can move forward. Divorce is always a challenge, which is why so many married couples stay together even if their marriage is unfulfilling or unhealthy. Instead of following the voice inside their heads encouraging them to leave, some people simply come up with excuses to stay. Instead of being one of these people, learn how to leave a marriage as well as how to tell if you really should leave.

How to Tell You Should Leave a Marriage

Before actually leaving your marriage, you need to figure out whether you should. There are a few sure signs that you need to at least seriously consider either counseling or leaving your spouse.

  • If there is no longer mutual respect between you, your marriage’s foundations is gone and it will be incredibly hard to fix. This is actually the most common reason for divorce and can cause the follow issues.
  • Those who are in an unhealthy relationship should look into leaving. An unhealthy relationship includes a marriage where one person is excessively possessive or controlling. Healthy marriages that work will involve each spouse supporting the other, including their desire to have their own life, friends, and interests without feelings of guilt.
  • If someone in the relationship has previously been physically abusive and not received professional help, then there is no guarantee they will not repeat their actions. This is an unsafe relationship and indicates you should leave. Abusiveness is really the time to start thinking about how to leave a marriage.
  • Consider leaving your marriage if you or your spouse won’t take responsibility for their actions, instead finding fault with those around them.
  • If one of the people in the marriage is uncomfortable or fearful about speaking their mind, this is a sign that the spouse only cares about themselves and the marriage is near its end.
  • Spouses who are consistently critical, argumentative, moody, nasty, or degrading are emotionally abusive. This is not a healthy relationship and can lead to the destruction of self-esteem by feeding doubt, insecurity, and fear.
  • If you find yourself constantly thinking about the needs of other people instead of yours, you should consider leaving the marriage instead. In other words, if you spend too much time helping others, you may be trying to ignore how you feel about your relationship and should take some time to think about your feelings.
  • A good sign that you should look into how to leave a marriage is if you find yourself frequently fantasizing about leaving your spouse and living a happy life. If you daydream about not having to live with them, you are already on the way out of the marriage emotionally.

Know the Consequences and Make Preparations

After considering the above signs, take some time to think about what would happen if you and your spouse actually split up. This will take a while since you need to consider all of the consequences that affect your world, including religious affiliations, family, friends, children, work, living arrangements, emotions, and finances. If you are the primary breadwinner in the family, take time to research your state’s laws so you know what you will be responsible for financially in relation to your children or spouse. Instead of just thinking about these things, actually write them down so you can visually see how your life will change.

How to Leave a Marriage

If you have considered everything and still want to leave your marriage, then you are ready to learn how to go about doing so.

Start by having a heart-to-heart with your spouse where you are both honest. Only do this if you aren’t concerned about your safety when you leave your husband. Otherwise, you will want to follow other steps and leave secretly. If you feel safe to have a conversation with your spouse, then you should always do so. You may actually be able to find a friendly solution that doesn’t involve divorce. In fact, your spouse may share some of your feelings or be willing to make compromises. Remember that you should never let your spouse change your mind if you are convinced you want to leave. If you are unsure, however, a conversation can help. In either case, your spouse has a right to know your feelings.

If you don’t feel safe doing the above step because of a potential volatile situation, then keep your decision to leave your marriage to yourself. Being quiet can let you figure out how to leave a marriage with enough preparation. Only tell people who are close to you and can keep it a secret. In the case of an abusive relationship or a situation where your spouse doesn’t want you to leave, they may use covert means to stop you from leaving if they find out. Don’t feel bad about being potentially sneaky; it is necessary for your own well-being.

In some cases, you will need to prepare financially and make other plans and this can take up to two or six months. Although it will be hard to stay in your marriage in the meantime, it can be worth it as you will be organized. Work out a quicker exit strategy if there is a danger associated with staying in the marriage. Things like contacting a divorce lawyer, planning a budget after divorce, plans to boost your income, plans for the kids, getting enouch emotional support, etc. should all be considered.

Tips and advice from someone who’s been through a divorce as well as having friends who have been divorced:

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