Individuals existing in a bad marriage often feel depressed, hopeless and trapped. Many try to improve the situation by compromising or by seeking the help of a professional counselor. However, one person cannot maintain a healthy relationship. If the other person refuses to put forth the effort needed to create a healthy union, it is probably time to leave the situation. This is especially true when the circumstances involve any type of abuse.
Before making the final decision to leave a marriage, sit down and compose a list of all the factors that make the union unhealthy. This act helps remove doubt and provides concrete reasons for your spouse in the event that they attempt to thwart your efforts. Visually, these reasons also serve to provide closure. Professional therapists advise that unhappy spouses not underestimate the amount of stress endured while living with the current situation. Over time, the continual negativity deteriorates emotional, mental and physical health.
A number of unknowns often instill fear. Spouses are unsure of how their partner will react to the news of the decision to leave the marriage. Family and friends might not approve. The lives of the children will be disrupted. Financial resources and job options may be limited, which poses a challenge to survive. However, hurting spouses should not remain due to fear of failure or being alone. Drive past the fear and start devising a plan.
Once you have finished your list and created a plan, unless the situation presents a danger, you must tell your spouse about your decision. Explain how you tried to work through the problems, cannot see a solution and feel that the only alternative involves leaving the relationship. These factors may include having suffered a battered self-esteem, a spouse unwilling to match your efforts, a lack of respect for each other and growth in two different directions.
After being confronted with the news of your decision, a spouse may use many tactics in an attempt to get you to change your mind. They may view ending the marriage as a blow to their ego or as a loss of control. Whatever apologies that they might offer, promises to change or bribes, do not give in to the manipulation. The individuals might also become angry, critical or try to play on your emotions by expressing extreme sadness. Do not crumble. Considering the number of years that they were unwilling to work on and save the marriage, these tactics are merely temporary and superficial ploys at best. You must maintain the strength and courage to do what is best for you and your children. From here, spend time with loved ones who offer positive support and who will aid in the healing process.