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Considering Leaving Your
Marriage?


How to Choose Your Next Step As You Decide Whether or Not to Get a Divorce


By Susie and Otto Collins

Making the decision to leave a marriage is one that probably no one takes lightly.

Ending your marriage and starting a new single life almost always means big changes and transitions.

This might involve moving to a new home. It could mean negotiating child custody arrangements. It
may also include making financial agreements regarding assets.

These looming potential changes may bring about resistance and hesitation within you. It might appear to be "easier" to stay in your marriage so that you (and, if applicable, your children) don't have to deal with such life upheaval.

Emotionally, you might be experiencing a wide range of feelings.

Perhaps you are afraid about the possible changes ahead, grieving as this relationship might end and also relieved and possibly even eager to try out a new life which might include new love.

Chances are, if you are still trying to decide whether or not to get a divorce, you feel confused and uncertain.

If so, this is perfectly natural.

There could be some aspects of this choice that are clear and easily apparent to you while others are murkier and less sure.

For example, if your spouse is abusive or has had multiple affairs, you may know without a doubt that it is time for you to get out of this relationship.

To deal with the confusion you might be facing as you decide whether to stay in or leave your marriage, we advise you to make your decisions one step at a time.

Try not to think too far into the future for now.

Sometimes when people are contemplating a divorce, they feel like they have to figure out everything about how they will live their new lives.

Of course, there are certain arrangements that need to be made and considered-- such as where you will live, who will care for your children and what your income will be.

But don't saddle yourself with the nearly impossible task of planning and arranging everything about
your future.

This can overwhelm you almost immediately and you will undoubtedly have different preferences and desires as you are actually living this new life.

Get clear about what you want right now.
As you weigh your options while trying to make that final decision about whether to stay in or leave your marriage, keep yourself focused on what you want and need now and in the near future.

If you don't feel safe, recognize that getting yourself to a safe place is of the utmost importance. Seek out a shelter or lodging with someone who can help protect you if you fear for your (or your children's) physical or emotional well-being.

In cases where you are not in danger but you are unhappy and dissatisfied with your marriage, present yourself with as many options for a next step as you can think of.

Include on your list even those options that seem unlikely.

For instance, you might include such actions as: meeting with an attorney to get more information about filing for divorce, asking your spouse for a trial separation or seeking out a professional therapist or coach to see if you two can repair your marriage.

Your list of options might also include: taking a weekend retreat by yourself, signing up for a self-esteem or self-empowerment class, reading an e-book about communication in relationships or merely
treating yourself to a leisurely hot bath and a good book.

Now look over your list of options and circle those that appeal most to you at this time.

Remind yourself that you get to choose how to proceed. This recognition of your own power can help propel you toward the future you want for yourself.

Create a vision for your next step.
Before you take any action toward the next step you choose, we encourage you to create a vision in your mind for your future.

Again, we don't want you to get overwhelmed and try to plan out your long-term future if that seems stressful.

Even if you envision yourself relaxed, at ease and confident in your decisions for the next week ahead, that's great.

If you have decided to meet with an attorney or to seek out a relationship coach, you could form in your mind an image of you attracting a person who will be supportive and effective in guiding you.

If you choose to talk about a trial separation with your spouse or decide to let him or her know you will be taking a weekend trip away by yourself, consciously come up with expectations for how you want that conversation to go.

Be as general or specific as you like.

But be sure to take the time to line up in your mind with the future you want before you make any phone calls, have any discussions with your spouse or arrange any appointments.

This sense of clarity and positive vision for the next step you want can help lead you toward the future you desire.

*********************

If you would like more help making the decision about whether or not to leave your marriage,  you'll find many more questions, insights and personal stories in our book Should You Stay or Should You Go? 

To find out more about this book visit our web site at http://www.StayorGo.com








 


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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