How To Know Your Marriage Is Over
Only the luckiest people go through adult life without experiencing a breakup. There are some people who meet their soulmate while at school, marry them afterwards and stay together into old age. For the rest of us, separation is a reality at some time in life. It may be the right thing for both parties, but that doesn’t stop it stinging. You’ve shared everything with them, and now it’s over? How can that not hurt?
Ending Your Marriage Isn’t Easy
And yet, just because it hurts doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing. You may have shared in every aspect of someone’s life for decades, helped them and been helped by them.
You may have brought kids into the world with them. If the time comes when being together is bringing you more pain and sorrow than parting would, it’s no good. Sometimes, hard as it is, breaking up is the right thing to do.
This applies even when you have been married for some time. Yes, you stood and made vows. Those vows may well have said “as long as we both shall live“. At the time, that’s how you both felt. And it should be kept in mind when times are tough. Not every bump in the road is a sign you should separate. But those words, as solemnly as they have been said, should not be an unbreakable lock on a relationship that has run its course.
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Let Go?
The toughest thing about a relationship breakup is that there are always at least two people in a relationship. Of all the breakups that have happened throughout time, only a small minority will have been totally mutual. Yes, both sides may see the sense in breaking up, but how often is it ever 50-50? This means that often, one person will have misgivings the other does not share. This means someone has to feel like the bad guy initially.
Think Things Through
It is also the case that we keep our concerns to ourselves, to begin with. Maybe, we tell ourselves, we’re just being stupid. We’ll get over it. However, if these feelings have been in place for awhile without going away, ignoring them becomes dangerous. Suppressing them means they will come out, later, in a more ugly way than they need to.
At the point where you feel that your concerns aren’t going away, talk to your partner. Tell them what’s on your mind. It may be that they have similar concerns that they, too, are suppressing. But even if they don’t share your misgivings, it’s not right to let them continue thinking that everything is great. If there are ways that they or the relationship can change to make it work, now is the time.
What Do You Do If It Can’t Be Saved?
A relationship can only be saved if there is a way forward that both parties are comfortable with. And the word “both” is relevant here. As we’ve mentioned, sometimes there will be kids involved. Partners who have reached a stage where marriage is no longer bringing them joy sometimes stay together “for the kids”. This is not a wise thing to do. A relationship that is festering is not a healthy environment for them either.
Protect The Kids
Hopefully, if one partner is clear that the marriage is no longer working for them, the other can accept that. Even if they don’t agree, they should realize it is damaging to continue a relationship that is making their partner unhappy. Damaging for the other partner and, eventually, for them. At this point, it is time to consult a divorce attorney.
Taking legal advice on ending a marriage is important – even if it is something both parties agree to. There are always going to be specifics – custody, division of assets and future expectations – that need to be settled. Getting these agreed legally means that you can prepare to move forward with life. It creates a framework for your future apart.
What If You’re Having Second Thoughts?
It needs to be made clear that divorce is not a choice anyone should make lightly. The pain that it can cause may last for a long time, and if you’re not sure it is right it is not a trigger you should pull.
However, everyone has doubts about ending a relationship, and particularly a marriage. This is why it requires careful thought. Ask yourself if you can see a way that this relationship can be salvaged. If both parties cannot answer “Yes” then it is only extending the suffering to keep it going.
Divorce does not exist because married couples come to hate one another. Often a lot of affection can remain. Sometimes, divorce is the only way to preserve that affection. The recognition that a marriage has run its course allows you to take a new path in life; something which could be ruined by holding on to resentment.