How do I leave my marriage? I bet that’s a question you thought you would never ask. I thought I would never ask that question but realized when I had reached the breaking point, it was time to change my life. I couldn’t go on the way I was living. After months of introspection, I blindly began the process.
I muddled through with intuition and lawyers as my guide; not the best approach.
At the time, it seemed there weren’t a lot of self help books on the topic. For example, it’s hard to imagine there was no face book which, when used appropriately, can offer terrific support from friends and family. There was no twitter, a place where you can find a wealth of web sites dedicated to divorce.
On line support was non-existent. Blogs were unheard of. There were some books available, but they mostly dealt with what to do after the bomb hit the house. I needed something that could help me now, to answer the question; where do I begin? I couldn’t even find a book by Dr. Phil on the subject. “Family Matters” was a best seller, but didn’t deal specifically on divorce. Necessity is the mother of invention, so I was motivated to write my book. A book that is designed to answer the question How do I leave my marriage? And one to supply the answers that I couldn’t find but was so desperately seeking back in 2005.
Here, I have summarized my step by step formula to successfully extricating yourself from a marriage. Bear in mind, divorce being a very personal and individual experience, this is only to be used as a guide not a bible. Put your personal approach into this and use your intuitive skills to adapt each step and make it your own. And so the journey begins;
STEP 1 – Take stock of your life as it is today; marriage, friends, career, relationships. What would you like to change? What is your truth? Try to be honest and refrain from making excuses.
STEP 2 – Do your research- read as many books and internet resources as you can and balance your information by drawing from both people who have been through divorce and professionals in the field.
STEP 3 – Open your own bank account and credit card.
STEP 4 – Research your financial status by gathering documents; 6 months of bank statements, previous 2-5 years of his and your income tax returns, and assess your assets vs. your existing debts to avoid surprises.
STEP 5 – Find a confidante in a friend or family member for support (emotional, financial or shelter).
STEP 6 – Prepare and talk with your husband.
STEP 7 – Prepare and talk with the children, with their father.
STEP 8 – Interview (many) and retain a lawyer, enlisting assistance in sorting out child and spousal support will be the number one priority if you are a stay at home mother without an income of your own.
STEP 9 – If you are a stay at home mother remain in the matrimonial home but make an action plan for the physical separation i.e. When is he going to move out?
STEP 10 FOLLOW THROUGH!
This step by step plan is a start in preparing as much as possible before the actual separation. Realize that this is only the beginning of the ongoing process which will continue for several months or even years. Each step will be a different experience for the person going through it. Some people will take years at step one, while others will move ahead quickly to find that they are stalled at step 4.
This is an individual experience as unique as you are. Also, a psychologist may be helpful during this process to give you an objective perspective on the situation and your progress on your divorce journey.
I hope this has answered the important question, How do I leave my marriage? Most importantly, you don’t have to go into this blind, like I did. With honesty, research, preparation and emotional support, you will succeed in extricating yourself from an unhappy marriage. Seeking as much information as possible and utilizing your own instincts will get you through the initial and most difficult part of divorce.
In time, you will look back at all that you have accomplished and realize I’ve changed my life! I wish you all the best in your journey!
About the Author:
In 2005 I made the most difficult decision of my life in deciding to end my marriage.
So began my 5 year long extrication process.
In the interim I have learned more about people, the law, parenting, love, independence and my own weaknesses then I would have ever learned in a lifetime. Thanks to the process of divorce, I have overcome my fears to become more open minded, well rounded, and wiser. I would like to help other women accomplish the same qualities.
The result is a non-fiction book written from the heart; The Great Escape; A Girl’s Guide to Leaving a Marriage.
I believe life experience to be the true education, and my legal experiences have been varied and challenging. These experiences have taught me about the law, lawyers, my courage, and sharpened my research and decision making skills.
I also have a passion for books, art and interior design. I love the outdoors, exercising and a glass of wine for good measure.