Leaving a bad marriage is not easy so if you’ve decided you want a better life and are putting an end to a toxic marriage, bravo! Recognizing that you’re in a bad situation is hard enough but then respecting and loving yourself enough to say you’re truly done is daunting but doable if you are truly ready to leave.
Here are 5 steps to take when leaving a bad marriage:
Can you afford therapy? If you’re leaving a bad marriage, you will need support and to work through the issues that have built up during the marriage. Another great reason to try therapy? When leaving a bad marriage, you may be tempted many times to go back to your ex and a therapist can support you on your journey towards a healthy you and either rebuilding a healthier marriage or, a healthier life ahead outside of the marriage. Many therapists will work on a sliding scale and if you cannot afford it, try speaking to someone you trust like a pastor or rabbi, etc.
Are you working or, are you a stay-at-home parent? If you aren’t, will you need to support yourself? Most likely the answer is yes so start applying to jobs, even if you find something that’s simply right for the meantime. Any bit of money earned is a step towards your independence, which is crucial when leaving a bad marriage.
If you’re already working and you are the breadwinner of the family, stop and consider how divorce will impact your earnings. Speak to a local attorney and find out your state’s laws on child support and spousal support.
Let’s also not forget any debt you and your soon-to-be-ex may have. Are you prepared for how that could be divided during a divorce? Important things to consider.
More financial factors:
- Do you have a bank account in your name only? If not, open one. What about a credit card? Open one as well.
- If you’re a stay-at-home parent, can you brush up your resume because you will need to work after divorce? And can you find family or loved ones to help with childcare when you return to work?
3. See a Lawyer
If you are determined to divorce and your spouse isn’t willing to use a mediator, which is a more affordable option than a litigated divorce. Most lawyers will do free consults and will give you a decent idea of what you are heading into financially and if you have children, with regards to custody. It never hurts to be prepared and no: don’t tell your partner you’re consulting with a lawyer!
4. Line Up the Troops
If you have kids, start lining up support now. It is hard being a single parent so having family and/or friends, who will help you and your kids through the transition, especially if it’s an ugly toxic marriage, will be immeasurable. Some family may have a hard time agreeing with your situation even if the marriage is that bad, so tell family members you can count on to be helpful on this journey.
5. Mantras/ Stress Outlets
Ending a marriage whether it was a good or bad marriage is emotionally taxing. Start finding ways to decompress whether it’s through meditation, yoga, reading, weekly meet-ups with a friend for a beer, coffee, a football game, or a manicure, or going for a run.
Even more pressing, start to work on your way of thinking and how you view yourself and your ability to handle divorce stress. Daily positive mantras such as: “I deserve a better life” or “This will get better” or “I am whole on my own” are good ways to mentally train yourself to want better for yourself and help you through the dark periods of separation and divorce.
The bottom line? You deserve to be happy and if your bad marriage is not fixable, don’t feel bad about walking away.
The marriage to divorce ratio in the U.S. is on the rise, according to new data collected by the ACS. Learn about the stats behind the new data here.
The post Marriage to Divorce Ratio at Highest Point Since 2008 appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Friends and family notice a difference in your behavior and moods. You notice a difference in your moods. You’re not feeling as content. Perhaps you’re even depressed, agitated and moody.
Whatever the foul emotions are about, the cause may be your marriage. We all have down periods or tumultuous times in our marriages, but when these down periods seem to stick and we’re not feeling happy but can’t figure out how to solve the problem, most likely the problem is the marriage.
9 Questions to Help You Decide if Your Marriage is Making You Unhappy
Do You Spend Most Of Your Time Apart?
Do you and your spouse do anything together? If you and your partner never do anything together, it’s a good sign your marriage isn’t making you happy if you don’t want to spend time with your partner or you find yourself wanting to go out with and be around others instead of your spouse.
Would You Rather Be Elsewhere When You Are Together?
If you do things together as a couple, you’re reluctant or don’t enjoy yourself. Either one of you is half-heartedly into game night or rock climbing and you or your partner can sense that one of you is not having a good time so someone’s “good time out” becomes no one’s good time out.
Are You Less Than Happy With The Sex?
If you’re not physical or intimate, your marriage is not making you happy. Sex and intimacy are the two things that set your marriage apart from other relationships in your life. If this part of your marriage is non-existent or minimal, your unhappiness likely stems from the lack of an intimate bond in your marriage.
Or, when you two are physical or intimate, it’s strained and you find yourself unable to tell your spouse that you’re feeling disconnected and that perhaps you would like to “change up” in your sexual routine. Not feeling safe expressing your sexuality in marriage leads to unhappiness in marriage.
Do You Avoid Important Discussions?
Are you avoiding conversations and confrontations with your partner because you’re afraid of a fight? You’re not happy or secure in your marriage. Avoiding conflict means conflicts are never resolved. That doesn’t lead to happiness in a marriage.
Have You Turned To Someone Instead Of Your Spouse?
Are you sharing your innermost feelings with someone else and not your spouse? If you’re starting to turn to someone else for comfort not only are you in danger of having an emotional affair, but you are also not happy in your marriage. You should be sharing these things or most things with your spouse.
Worse, are you spending significant time with someone else and there’s a flirtatious and not just friendly aspect to the relationship? This is an emotional affair, period, and not the way to solve your marital problems and promote healthy marriage.
Are You Detached And Prefer Time Alone?
Have you found yourself requesting more space from your partner? You may not be happy with your marital state if time alone with yourself is more attractive than time with your spouse. We all need time to ourselves but when the thought of spending time with your spouse makes you want to escape your marriage has problems.
Do You Make Comparisons With Others?
Are you constantly comparing your marriage to others? Do you find yourself seeing the green grass in other marriages, and then bringing those views back to yours and wondering why your marriage falls short?
What looks good from the outside may not be pretty on the inside. All marriages have problems. When you start comparing your marriage to that of others your focus isn’t where it should be…on your marriage.
Do You Chronically Complain About Your Spouse?
Are your friends and loved ones getting used to you complaining about your spouse? Do you find yourself stuck in a negative rut when it comes to your spouse, feeling like they can do no right? You’re either unhappy in your marriage or, you’re focusing too much on your spouse’s negative traits and not enough on the positive.
Do You Sleep In Separate Rooms?
Separate rooms equal separate lives. Yes, some couples sleep separately due to comfort or health reasons, but if you two shared a bed and now suddenly you’re on the couch more often than not, you two are not in a happy and stable marriage. Things can get better of course if both of you are willing and able to put forth effort, but separate rooms are the doorway to separate lives forever.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, here are some suggested next steps to finding satisfaction in your marriage:
- Individual counseling to determine if you’re struggling with your own personal issues outside of your marriage.
- Marriage counseling if your partner is open to it.
- Confide in a trusted family member or spiritual advisor you are comfortable with. One who can steer you in a positive direction. Maybe talking will help make next steps clearer.
Marriage isn’t easy, divorce is definitely not easy! Marriages have highs and lows and if the love is there you can make it through the rough patches together
What would you do? You’re legally married or, think you are but find out a previous marriage is still legal.
The post Putative Marriage: Married 25 Years and Left with No Spousal Support? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.