When Do You Leave?
Is It Time To Quit?
Whenever anyone is having troubles in a relationship, there are "caring" friends and family members who want to give advice. Each person thinks they know what's best for you and that they are making these recommendations with love and care. Strangely enough, they probably really believe they are doing what is right. Of course, there are those too, who are telling you what to do because of their own selfish reasons; they don't think you two "belong" together in the first place, or you aren't good enough for the other party, or the other party isn't good enough for you. Or it could even be that they are jealous of what you had in the first place.
However you look at it and whatever advice you take into consideration, the bottom line is this: It is your decision to leave or stay. You are the person who has to live with it. You are the person who has to wake up next to your partner and you are the person who will suffer one way or the other.
So, the question is, when do you leave? First, if there is ANY violence involved, whether it is to you, your kids or pets. Violence is never acceptable. Even, if it's "only once". "Once" is once too often. The same is reverse - if YOU are violent to your partner, kids or pets. YOU need to leave. Get help. Don't stay.
Verbal Abuse - Some people think that verbal abuse is just words. They can't hurt. Whoever thinks this is wrong. Words can cut into the heart just like a knife. They can destroy someone's self-image, self-worth, self-esteem. Personally, I give someone ONE, and only ONE, second chance in verbal abuse. However, that's it. As for verbal abuse towards children...NEVER.
So, let's just put the abuse stuff aside. Neither one of you is violent towards each other or the kids. For the most part, you're life is "okay", "content" even. There aren't any real problems in your relationship that would be deal breaking, but you're not "happy". You wonder if it is some sort of mid-life crisis, or if you are depressed in general, that you have matured and, you know, "things change". You can't expect to be as "in love" as you were way back when. But you still have that uneasiness, that gut feeling that you're not happy. So what do you do? Sit it out? Wait until things get better? Take up a hobby? Have an affair? Have more kids?
I can't tell you what to do because I am not in your shoes. What I can do is give you something to think about which will hopefully, help you make your decision.
1. Have you tried counseling? Individual, family, marriage? Is it something you would consider? Many employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provides referrals to counselors and many times, the first 6 sessions are free.
2. Have you accepted responsibility for what may be wrong in the relationship? Have you seriously thought about what your behavior and actions have done to contribute to the situation you are in now?
3. Have you thought about what you would do if you left? How would you support yourself? Where would you live? If you have children, what would change in their routine and how would you adapt to it?
4. Do you have a strong idea of your assets and debts? Now is the time to find out what you have and what you are willing to give up.
5. My "wake-up moment" was when I could look in the mirror and ask myself these questions: "Have I done everything in my power to save this marriage? Is there anything I am unwilling to do? Have I had enough?" Once I was able to answer those questions with confidence, I knew what I had to do.
6. Hire the best attorney you can afford and then LISTEN to their advice. You may have to visit more than one to see if that is the person you want representing you in this case. The first attorney I went to see told me that "by the time I'm done with him, he won't have a shirt on his back!" I didn't want to ruin my husband, I just wanted out. I moved on to the next attorney on my list.
Know that many times people fall "out of love" - but also know that you can choose to "fall in love" with your spouse if you wanted to do it. Some marriages can be "fixed" and go on. It's a choice you can make for yourself. However, if one party in the marriage doesn't want to work on it or fix it, it won't matter how much time and effort you put into it. It takes 2 people to break a marriage and it takes 2 people to fix it.
I wish you peace in whichever choice you make.