For some, the realization that their marriage is over comes easily. Perhaps they have a deal-breaker mentality that makes it easy to know when a spouse has crossed the line. You may be like others, however, for whom walking away from a commitment like marriage is a painful, difficult decision. Even when outsiders can see the unhappiness in your marriage, you may want to hold on a little longer.
If you have invested time and emotions in the relationship, you may be reluctant to give up on it. Still, there may come a time when remaining in a dying marriage is unhealthy, and you may need to face the fact that divorce is in your future.
One of the most difficult choices you will make
Chances are, if you are struggling with a decision like whether to end your marriage, you are under some heavy stress. You may not be eating well, sleeping enough or taking adequate care of yourself. The physical toll this will take on you will quickly cloud your ability to make a sound decision about something that could so profoundly affect your life. The longer you remain in this state of uncertainty, the more areas of your life that could suffer, including:
- Your children
- Your job
- Your extended family
- Your friendships
Your first step before making any important decisions about your marriage is to find a state of peace in which you can think about the situation clearly. This may mean taking some time away from your spouse or seeking the help of a professional counselor. Some things to notice about yourself in this quiet time include the following:
- Fantasies of life without your spouse
- Feelings of emptiness or indifference concerning your marriage
- A lack of patience or forgiveness toward your spouse
- A lack of joy and intimacy between you and your spouse
Simply being unhappy may not be enough to warrant leaving your marriage because returning to a single life may not be the key to your happiness. A California therapist may be able to help you define the source of your unhappiness. Of course, if your spouse is physically, verbally or emotionally abusive, you will certainly want to weigh your safety as a high priority.
If your personal evaluation leads you to an understanding that your marriage is over, your next steps will be crucial to your future stability. While walking away from your marriage can be emotionally draining, it can also be financially devastating unless you have the right legal representation. Seeking assistance for every aspect of this difficult process may help you come through with hope for a brighter future.