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Divorce

Question:

I no longer love or respect my husband. I am ready for a life of my own. I just spent 4 days of not talking to him because I am so tired of telling him over and over and over again the same info. My coping mechanisms no longer work. I do not want to do counseling. Any advise?

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Answer:

I don’t know that I have any advice, but I’ll share a few thoughts. My first thought is, “be careful what you wish for, for you may get it”. Thinking you want to be on your own is very different than actually being on your own. It could be a liberating and wonderful experience to be single again, but the flip side of things is that you can expect to be lonely for a time. And, I think, you can expect to grieve. If you won’t exactly be grieving the loss of your actual marriage experience, perhaps you will grieve the loss of what should have been, or simply the time you’ve lost. There will be moments of pain, is what I’m saying. But it sounds like you’re already contending with moments of pain now, so that may not sound like such a bad thing.

Marriage should ideally have love in it, but even empty marriages have some value, and should not simply be discarded becuase they are no longer convenient. A marriage can be a vessel of stability that children depend upon, for instance. Children can also adapt to divorce, but it is difficult on them. There are other similar reasons to stay married. They are not ultimate reasons meaning that people have divorced in spite of these reasons and the world did not end. They are reasons to consider carefully before taking steps out the door, however.

Basically it sounds like you have already left the marriage in spirit, and you are just looking for permission to let your body leave. I can’t give you that permission. It has to come from inside. But I can tell you that there is life after divorce; that the world will not end. If you are insistant upon leaving, then leave, but leave as well as you can. Meaning, don’t be cruel or over-reaching in leaving. Divide up your property and custody (of any children involved) in ways that are fair to both of you. Do not bad mouth your (soon to be ex) spouse. Just calmly unwind your marriage, move out, and make a new life for yourself that is hopefully a better one for you than the wreck you’re leaving behind. Try to learn from your experience too so that you don’t replicate it. And live alone for a while. Don’t rush into another relationship simply because you are lonely or horny and have no other outlet. Relax into your new single role for a while and let that become your new reality. The idea here would be that you need the time and space to figure out your previous mistakes in partner selection. Only when you have really settled into being single again, and have had the time to digest the past and how you contributed to it should you then again move forward into a lasting new relationship.

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