Deciding if you should leave your husband isn’t easy, no matter how disappointing your marriage is! These tips are for wives thinking about divorce, but aren’t quite ready to leave their husbands.
You probably already know how difficult divorce is…
“A divorce is like an amputation; you survive it, but there’s less of you.” ~ Margaret Atwood.
If you’re thinking about leaving your husband, you need to learn as much about separation and divorce as possible. Read books like Contemplating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go.
Talk to a marriage counselor or marriage coach. See your pastor or spiritual leader. You’re not looking for someone to tell you what you should do; you’re looking for wise counsel to help you make the right decision. You might even consider joining a divorce support group, and talk to people about their decision to divorce or separate.
And, take a look at these signs that a marriage is worth fighting for. They may help you make the decision only you can make.
Should You Leave Your Husband?
“There are certain factors that suggest a relationship is workable and salvageable,” writes Susan Pease Gadoua in Contemplating Divorce. “There are other factors in marriages that, if present, indicate a low probability that the relationship will be healthy or fulfilling. I call these workability factors.”
Here’s a list of Gadoua’s signs of unhappy marriages, specifically related to safety, love, and esteem needs (based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).
You might leave the marriage if your safety needs aren’t being met because of…
- Lack of trust
- Pathological dishonesty
- Lack of mental, emotional, physical, or financial safety
- Lack of communication
You might stay in your marriage if your trust was broken but is reparable, if there’s a mutual desire to create a safe environment, if there is care, concern, and communication.
It may be time to leave your husband if your love needs aren’t being met because of…
- Absence of mutual love
- No shared interests
- One or both spouses aren’t fully committed to the marriage
- One-sided relationship
If you’re considering divorce, you might think about fighting for your marriage if there is a foundation of mutual love, if both partners are willing to work through physical or emotional infidelity, and if both spouses are willing to recommit to staying married.
You might leave the marriage if your esteem needs aren’t being met because of…
- No esteem from self or spouse, and no desire to change
- No respect at all from spouse
- No common goals
- Unwillingness of at least one spouse to work on marriage
Does your marriage have a foundation of respect, some common goals, and a willingness to work on esteem and marriage issues on the part of both partners? If so, it might be worthwhile to fight for your marriage. If you and your husband respect each other, you may want to focus less on if you should leave your husband and more on fighting for your marriage.
There are no quick and easy answers for the “should I leave my husband?” question – and even the surest signs that it’s time to leave your husband can be complicated and confusing.
“I’ve had countless clients tell me that they don’t want to divorce because they are afraid of losing the co-parenting relationship or their spouse’s income, only to eventually realize that they alone already carry the load of responsibilities,” says Gadoua. “The spouse doesn’t contribute to the marriage but, rather, takes from it.”
For more tips, read 4 Signs Marriage Counseling Will Help an Unhappy Relationship.
Love doesn’t conquer all
I’m sorry to say that love doesn’t conquer all! You can love your husband with all your heart, but not be able to build a strong, happy marriage together – especially if you’ve lost your personal identity. The lack of romantic love may not always lead to divorce, and the presence of love doesn’t lead to a happy marriage.
As Zsa Zsa Gabor said, “Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.”
If you don’t want to leave because you invested time in your marriage, read Was My Marriage a Waste of Time? The Silver Lining of Breakups.
Do you want to leave your husband? I welcome your thoughts below…