Making the decision to end a marriage is a very big decision. Many people took vows to live together through poverty and poor health for the rest of their lives. Leaving the marriage leaves them feeling conflicted. Ending the marriage leaves some people feeling relieved and elated, others numb or guilty.
Rachael Scharrer, founder of online resource DivorceAnswered.com.au, was faced with this troubling decision in 2012. She demanded marriage counselling for her and her spouse which unfortunately didn’t work. The last time that he broke up with me, I thought about the children. They were both displaying behaviours that were not age appropriate. I had a 3-year-old who was acting out because he never got time with me and a toddler who displayed anger issues beyond her years. I took a moment to reflect on the family as a whole and I realised that it wasn’t a healthy relationship and it hadn’t been for a long time. This was the tipping point and I wasn’t going back to that relationship again.
There are a few reasons to definitely end the relationship. The clearest, most definite reasons to leave are:
If the above four items do not apply to you but you feel like that something is missing in the relationship, try everything that you can to solve any issues in the relationship. Have you tried:
After trying the above and should they not have been successful, it is time for introspection. How are you feeling? Are you happy? Have you changed in the marriage? Did you change for the better or for the worse? Do you find yourself complaining or whinging all the time? What will make you a happier person every day?
If you have children, you need to ask yourself ‘are my partner and I modelling the appropriate behaviour as adults and as parents?’ Would you be a proud parent if your child behaved the same way as an adult to their partner or friends? Fortunately, children are young enough to learn the correct way to treat others, provided that the correct behaviours are demonstrated and regularly reinforced. Leaving a bad relationship can be a learning lesson for you and your children; learning that they deserve better, understanding that it is possible to start again and make a great success of life. You will show your family, children and friends what drive and desire manifests and break any degenerative generational cycle.
If your child’s behaviour has changed for the worse then it is also time to take drastic actions to improve the relationship or move on and get your child the support that they need. Symptoms may include:
You need to consider your situation and reflect on whether the above are a result of the family situation or whether they may be something else that can be explained/investigated. Only you know the situation you are in and only you know what is “normal” for your child.
Try. Try. And try again. Once you have done everything that you can, are able to justify your decision to your children in fifteen years and you still feel content with your decision to terminate the relationship, then do it. You don’t need to rush to tell your partner it is over. Take time to reflect and ensure it is the right decision.
Once you have decided to separate, consider:
If and when you decide that you are at the end of your relationship, it is essential that all relevant documentation is gathered and other actionable items are considered. Divorce Answered has a free Separation Checklist which helps separating individuals to be better prepared and organised from the outset of their break-up.