5 Steps For Leaving Your Spouse

Naturally, when we get married we often say “Divorce is not an option!”, and I always loved those memes floating around on the internet “I want my first marriage to be my only marriage!” The truth is though, divorce actually is an option. It will always be an option, as it is legal to do so. Even if it wasn’t legal, know that some have been driven so far as to still leave their spouses- even if it meant being stoned to death!

Divorce doesn’t just happen, often times it is years in the making;  a build up before the “I do” was ever uttered. Marriage is definitely hard. I would say from my experience, divorce was harder. This blog is over advice given on how to leave your spouse first that may prevent the divorce.

Some people are just really great at hiding their major flaws, and there is always the classic excuse of “You can’t help who you fall in love with!”… So without further ado, for those that married their kryptonite, here are 5 Steps for leaving your spouse that may prevent the divorce (*note that I did not say 5 easy steps, because rarely in life anything worth keeping ever ends up being easy!):

Step 1.
Acknowledge the problem, find out exactly what the root of the issue is that brought you to the stage of “I want a divorce”, and then confront your spouse in the most gentle way possible. If needed (especially if Abuse is the issue!), confront your spouse with a counselor. Watch out for the blame game and be sure that your approach is gentle and not accusatory. Statements like “I feel like your ____ (insert issue, ie drinking) is hurting our relationship, and I was hoping you would quit ____ (insert issue) so that our marriage can begin healing.” Then add the boundary, “I need for this lifestyle change to take place for the sake of our relationship. If this does not stop, I will have to leave for a week so that we can establish healthy boundaries.”

Spouses typical answers:
a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t)
b. Okay I will stop (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 2.
If the spouses typical answers occur a. or b. (IE the lifestyle change does not cease) then you must stick to the consequence you ascribed in Step 1. Leave for a week. Stay with an understanding family member or friend. Explain to your spouse that you must establish healthy boundaries, and in order to maintain your relationship they must quit (insert issue).

Spouses typical answers:
a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t)
b. Okay I will stop (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 3.
If the spouses typical answer a. occurs – you will not want to return to the marriage OR If the spouses typical answer b. occurs  (so you have returned after being gone for a week. Everything seems to be going great. Then the issue returns – as it often does, because lifestyle changes are hard!)  ->  You will want to explain that you will continue to stay away now for an additional month.
– AND with a. or b.: Now you should leave for a month. Stay with an understanding family member or friend.

Spouses typical answers:
a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t)
b. Okay I will stop (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 4.
If the spouses typical answer a. occurs – you will not want to return to the marriage OR If the spouses typical answer b. occurs -> You will want to explain that you will continue to stay away now for an additional 6 months. And require them to see counseling and/or attend classes like AA (you may even want to begin counseling yourself, especially if you’ve made it to step 4!)

Spouses typical answers:

a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t), and doesn’t attend counseling.
b. Okay I will stop, attends counseling (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 5.
If you have made it to step 5, you would continue with Step 4 on repeat, but adding additional weeks, months, and years to the time frame, for as long as you are willing to stay committed to the failing/hurting/broken marriage.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

*Understanding that lifestyle changes are hard to make and harder to stick to, and also knowing that at any time divorce is an option. If you start step 1 of this advice, I recommend seeking counseling immediately alone and together (whether it’s your Pastor or other Professional counselor). Surround yourself with understanding and loving family and friends, who will both encourage you in your marriage but also in safety and health.

*This does not guarantee your marriage will be saved, but it is at least a last resort before the divorce is final.

*And if you feel your in danger – get out! and get professional counseling!

With a quick side note to this blog: This is not really advice to be taken because your partner is always leaving the toilet seat up or even the “we argue all the time” issue (although if you find it useful, to each their own) but more along the lines of advice to be taken when your partner has a lifestyle choice you realized you can’t live with (if you are NOT married yet, as mentioned in the “9 things…” blog #1,  If you have problems with their behavior now, it’s not going away when you get married. Not right away, maybe not in ten years, maybe not for the entire duration of your marriage/life – so make sure it’s something you can live with or it will be something you divorce over).

The lifestyle choices I am referring to here fall under the three A’s (alcohol, adultery, and abuse). I would like to define those three A’s a little further. A for Alcohol could really be any addiction (ie alcohol, drugs, pornography),  Abuse can be verbal or physical, and Adultery is adultery is adultery; if you feel betrayed by your spouses missing commitment to their vows to love you and only you – you could probably throw this under adultery. When it boils down to it, the issues in marriage that often lead to a divorce aren’t black or white – but making the decision to “leave” your spouse has to be something where your at the stage of “Divorce is your only option if they don’t change” but you are willing/hopeful that they will choose change over divorce.

(They may not choose change over divorce…)

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Advertisements

About ashleekarin

Every Sunday I tried to post updates since I succeed in camping the doorstep of the world during a 110 day road trip around the USA; The Roadside Bears blog was then brought head first into the internet world (changed to ashleekarin.wordpress.com). Included are the details of our adventures and how we are doing, as well as tips on how we made a road trip around the USA happen. It’s important to pursue your dreams to the end, even if you end up with nothing. After all, you only have one life to live; go big or go home. Join me vicariously through this blog – AshleeKarin.wordpress.com – and experience the adventure of my life. Viewer discretion is advised, as you will most likely witness a very hungry person freezing as they sleep in their car. I will always be planning the next great adventure – so don’t miss out, subscribe to the blog today! XoxO (big kiss little hug little kiss big hug ), Ashlee Karin

Posted on February 23, 2014, in Home Front and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: