When the question of “Should I stay, or should I go?” weighs heavily on the minds of breadwinner moms, how should you decide whether or not divorce is right for you and your situation?
I am a divorced breadwinner mom, but I am not a therapist or a counselor. As I wrestled with the dilemma of whether or not to divorce over the course of my 20-year marriage, I sought answers from self-help books, marriage counselors, therapists, friends, and spiritual advisers. This article offers six suggestions to help you gain clarity around the decision to divorce or stay.
#1. If the relationship isn’t working for both of you, it’s not working. As a breadwinner mom, you are probably used to problem-solving and are likely to be doing everything you can to keep your husband and your children happy, perhaps at the expense of your own needs. Stop trying to keep everyone else happy at your expense, especially your husband. You deserve to be happy, too. If you’re not, the marriage isn’t working. This doesn’t mean you need to run right out and get divorced, but it suggests the need for change.
#2. Look to your own growth first. The temptation when a marriage isn’t working is for one partner (usually the wife) to push for marriage counseling or other ways to work on fixing the marriage. But unless you, the breadwinner mom, are happy as an individual, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to have a happy marriage. Unless you or the children are being abused, there is no rush to divorce. It’s worth some time to understand how you got where you are in your marriage relationship so you can avoid repeating the pattern in the future.
#3. Invite your Higher Power into the marriage. If you and your husband are both working to make the marriage work, that’s a positive sign. If you’re seeing a marriage counselor or therapist, continue to do so as long as you feel it is helpful. By inviting God, Spirit, your Higher Power, the Divine – whatever name works for you – into your marriage, you open the channel to the best decision for your highest good, whether that is to stay together or to divorce.
#4. Try everything you can – until you’ve tried everything. If you’re like most breadwinner moms, it’s hard to admit defeat. If there’s a problem to be solved, you’ll address it. So try your hardest in your marriage. It might help, and the marriage will improve. If it doesn’t, you won’t have to look back and wish you had tried just one more thing. You’ll know when you’ve reached the point of surrender.
#5. Don’t force a solution. There’s no timetable for divorce, and no need to push for a decision if it doesn’t feel right (unless you or your children are in danger, in which case, get out immediately). Open yourself to Divine guidance and trust that the answers will come when the time is right.
#6. Take small steps toward clarity. If you’re stuck in indecision, take small steps. For example, if you think divorce might be the right answer for you, consult with an attorney about the first steps in the process. Open your own bank account, and set aside some money in your own name. See how you feel about these small steps, and use them as feedback to your next steps.
The book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum is a step-by-step guide to clarity. This is one of the most helpful ways to assess your relationship if you need a more in-depth look at your marriage. Above all, trust yourself.
Source by Joy Cipoletti