How to Leave Your Husband
- 1 How to Stop Verbal Abuse in Marriage
- 2 How to Freeze Empanadas
- 3 How to End a Marriage
- 4 How to Get Over Cheating on Someone
Between the years 2006 and 2010, a 68 percent chance existed that a first marriage for a woman would last at least 10 years and a 52 percent chance that it would last for 20 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Statistics Reports. If you’re on the other end of these statistics and are thinking about leaving your spouse, plan ahead for financial, legal and emotional issues to minimize your stress and make your divorce go as smoothly as possible.
Initiate a conversation about the divorce when you both have the time to sit down and talk, suggests mediator Sam Margulies on "Psychology Today." If you have kids, pick a time when they aren’t home to overhear you. Minimize distractions by turning off your cellphones.
Plan your conversation beforehand for the eventuality that your spouse becomes angry or upset, cries or tries to talk you out of the divorce, keeping in mind that your husband may not have the same feelings that you do. In "Telling Your Spouse You Want a Divorce," Margulies notes that these behaviors are normal for this situation. For example, tell yourself that if he starts to yell, you will count to 10 and calm down instead of shouting back.
How I Found The Clarity To Leave My Unhappy Marriage
For most of my marriage, I struggled with one decision: stay or leave. To outsiders, my husband and I appeared to be the perfect couple. We were young and healthy, and he had a successful real estate career. For our honeymoon, we traveled around South America for six weeks, staying only in luxury hotels.
But what wasn’t so evident was that we had a very unhealthy dynamic: he was addicted to power and I was addicted to giving mine away. He had opinions about everything I said or did, and insisted upon having the final say in our household. Once, for example, I disagreed with his decision to purchase an income property, and he told me that, until he made a bad choice financially, I had no say in how our money was spent.
Back then I was afraid to take responsibility for my decisions; I couldn’t even order lunch without getting everyone else’s opinion. In retrospect, I think it was easier to let others make choices for me than to face my fears of making mistakes.
Still, if there had been signs that he was controlling while we dated, I missed them. We married when I was in my 20s, and he was only my second serious boyfriend. He was six years older than I was, and his tales of traveling the world captivated my naive heart.
Early on in our marriage, it was clear that our dynamic wasn’t working. I begged my husband to attend counseling with me, but he always said that if I was unhappy, I should see a therapist alone since he was fine with the status quo.
I poured my energies into caring for our adorable dog and into journaling. I was deeply unhappy, but I stayed because my parents had divorced and I vowed to not give up on my marriage no matter what.
But over time, I couldn’t ignore that things felt off. Once, in tears, I asked my husband why he’d chosen me, since I was constantly disappointing him. He said that he wanted to see what it was like to taint that which was pure — he liked that I hadn’t had many romantic experiences before him.
Another time he grew his hair out in “protest” of my “stubborn” decision not to move to South America with him. Whenever others asked him why his hair was long, he’d blame me. I felt betrayed and embarrassed and worried that people were judging me for disagreeing with my spouse.
Standing my ground always led to arguments no matter what the specific issue. He seemed to receive enormous pleasure from making me wrong. If I was hungry and invited him to join me for a meal, he usually rebuffed my offer only later to reprimand me for not fixing him food. To this day it baffles me that I always defended myself. I can’t believe how much energy I spent explaining choices that never should have required any justification in the first place.
For two years, I felt helpless, lost, and most of all I felt trapped.
All of this changed in one moment that is forever imprinted onto my mind.
I awoke one crisp morning in March of 2007 and heard no noise within my mind except my own inner voice, telling me I had to leave. I told my husband I wanted a divorce. He laughed and said I was being childish. But I knew what I wanted, and amazingly, I hadn’t consulted anyone — I’d only checked in with myself.
I’d been journaling for weeks leading up to that morning. This, combined with meditation, helped me see the ways that I had been holding myself back. I had spent a lifetime abdicating my power to others because I was afraid of making mistakes.
The outcome and aftermath of declaring that I wanted a divorce was anything but easy. After almost two years of gut-wrenching paperwork and messy mediation, our barely three-year marriage ceased to be.
My husband followed through with his threat that if I pursued this “childish” divorce he would ensure we were both financially destitute. In the years after our divorce, my credit sank, but with each passing day, my heart began to lift. In the end, I gave up all monetary gain in order to receive the only thing of value: my power to choose.
Listening to your inner voice is simple, but not easy. But what I’ve learned from this ordeal is that it’s never too late to crank up the volume on your inner voice and to listen.
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GUEST POST: 10 Things to Do Before You Leave Your Husband
by Emma Johnson
Maybe you’re just day dreaming, or perhaps you’ve slapped down a fat retainer with the meanest divorce lawyer in town. But any woman thinking of separating from her husband needs to plan ahead before she drops the D-bomb on the D-bag. Here are 10 steps to take:
- Make a plan to boost your income. Whether you have always worked full-time or you’ve been stay-at-home mom, the reality is that after divorce, families must muster the new financial realities and time to support two households. This means that your quality of life will decrease, and you need to make more money. How will you do that? Go back to school? Get a promotion? Start a new business, or take on freelance work on the side?
- Make a plan for where you will live. This may mean paying your current mortgage on your own, downsizing, or relocating to a new city. Your address is a critical element of your life: it affects where your kids go to school, proximity to family support and what your monthly finances will look like.
- Find out your credit score for free at AnnualCreditReport.com, and make a plan to boost it if it’s low. Just because your husband had a big salary and high credit score doesn’t automatically mean you do, too. This three-digit figure is the ticket to a new future, as it affects your ability to get an apartment, mortgage, car loan, and a job.
- Figure out where your emotional support will come from. Divorce can be one of the most stressful, horrible things a family can encounter. Who will be the wind beneath your wings? Do you have a few girlfriends you can lean on? A family member or twelve? Accept that one person isn’t enough (they’ll get sick of you). Start asking around for a good therapist.
- Park your emotions and figure out how many assets and how much money you are truly entitled to. By starting negotiations with a cool head, understanding what you are legally entitled to and bringing a bottom-line dollar figure in mind, you are more likely to prevail in any deal-making.
- Park your emotions and figure out what you truly believe is the best custody situation for your kids. Spite, anger and jealousy have no place in visitation negotiations.
- Take a deep breath and accept that you will lose some friend- and family-support. You will also gain friends. Life is changing. You are starting anew in all parts of your life.
- Accept that you will likely be poorer. Fair or not, women and their children are statistically poorer after divorce than when the woman is married. This is usually not true for men.
- Know that you can be richer. I often run into women whose careers and businesses flourished once they got out of stressful relationships with the wrong person. Happy people tend to be professionally successful.
- Decide that you will be happier. Whether the divorce is your decision or his, accept that the relationship was not working. Life does go on. Happiness comes again— if you welcome it it.
Emma Johnson blogs at WealthySingleMommy.com. She is a single mom to two preschoolers and a fulltime freelance business journalist in New York City.
10 responses to “GUEST POST: 10 Things to Do Before You Leave Your Husband”
I have separated from my husband and came back hoping he would treat me better like he promised, Its gotten worse I’m so embarrassed I really love him I have tried so many things I asked him could we be friends again he laughed and we were in a drive through he stated your a nurse but I can take that same women in drive through and have what we have he is just so mean and then does nice things and its like it keeps happening I’m so afraid to divorce him but I know its the right thing for me mental health.
I’m tired of being with my husband he finds no time to be with me or his kids. He only finds time to drink and be with his friends like a dead beat! What should I do?
I really needs help leaving my husband it very hard because I am so scared to be alone and I am very sick. Please help.
Really need help. Been married almost 20 years. Gave up my job when I got pregnant with my second child. Been a stay at home mum for almost 12 years now. Husband works. I want to leave the marriage and I believe the children will be better off with their father. I have no money or savings. What do I do and where do I go.
I’m in your same situation and it sucks not having no one to talk to.
Elope with me mi amor
So true. This article is very accurate. I left my husband and found that i had more than I did before.
I took away that I can be richer and happier. I own two houses. We are past raising kids. He is a second marriage after years of being single. We been married two years. He had a traumatic Brain Injury – I never truly knew how physco this made him and then he started drinking. I knew him 20 plus years. You just never really know somone til you are married. I can handle it, I don’t care what others think. I know for me I find peace with the idea I don’t have to endure this crazy train ride. Thanks I needed the reminder I will be happier.
Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t manage to get anything done.