“I want to leave my marriage”
If you’re at the place where you hear this voice inside your head, be glad for that voice. No one deserves to stay in a relationship that is painful, empty, or hopeless. Quite the opposite, we all deserve to be in a relationship that is nurturing and supportive. Our health, success, and happiness depend on it. To be sure, life is too short and precious to waste away.
“But leaving will cause too much pain”
At the same time, you may care about your partner or your commitment. You may have children, extended family, community, shared history, and financial assets to lose. Perhaps the difficulty and pain of the marriage ending for your partner, children, and family members seems like too big a price. You may wonder what role you played in the unhappiness of your marriage. Finally, you may question: “Have I really done my part to try make it work?”
Gain understanding and healing as a solution to this dilemma
Couple therapy can be a solution to this dilemma. Before taking the final steps to divorce, it’s important to take time to understand what went wrong. It’s in your best interest to come to this understanding. The wisest path is often to take the time to heal the unresolved issues and pain. By taking charge and gaining closure for your marital issues, you’ll be able to determine whether to stay or leave from a place of confidence and well-being.
You may see a path to move forward in a better and more authentic marriage. Or, you can leave your current relationship without carrying its baggage along. Perhaps more importantly, you can go without leaving your spouse and children baggage to carry forward with them. Children naturally carry any unresolved pain or conflict between their parents into their own futures.
In conclusion, if you are unhappy in your marriage to the point you are considering divorce, take charge of your situation by engaging a couple therapist you can trust. Tell your spouse you are considering divorce. Tell them you’d like to work together to
- understand what went wrong,
- heal the wounds between you, and
- determine if there’s hope for a new path together.
Be brutally honest in your work. If you do this, you will be rewarded by either a new and stronger relationship between you, or a clearer path to a brighter future ahead.
Consider, what will help you shift from waffling back and forth, considering divorce, to taking the leap to work together to find a better solution, either way?”