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Ep. 31 – Deciding To Leave

When we think we want to end our marriage, it is important to clearly identify why we want the divorce.

Leaving a marriage with expectations that the divorce itself will make us happy without digging deeper is not productive to a better future.

In this episode I want to open your mind to the possibility that leaving your marriage for the right reasons can be done with love and kindness for your spouse and yourself. Email me at [email protected] with questions or if you have a topic you would like me to discuss.


Okay, my friend. So here we go. How are you doing? Hope you’re having a good day. So today I wanna talk to you about when you decide to leave your marriage or maybe your thinking that you want to potentially leave your marriage and you’re struggling on what to do. And like, with most of what I teach, what I’m going to speak.

With you today can be applied to most major decisions to leave something in your life. It could be a marriage, a relationship, a job, a town, a home. So this applies to all of these types of situations. So let’s get started. What if I told you that your divorce could end up being one of the best things that could have happened to you?

I’m Doreen YFA. Marital and family, lawyer, and certified life coach I’ve been consulting women for over 25 years. I’ve seen it all. Now. I’m sharing my expertise and my own personal experiences to help you turn a difficult time into your amazing divorce. I was speaking to someone yesterday who is struggling with the decision of whether to leave her husband or not her husband.

You see, doesn’t want the marriage to end. She is struggling because she has really mostly checked out from the marriage, but she has young children and it’s obviously a big and life altering decision to end a marriage. So there’s a few principles that I teach that I have learned and apply as a life coach that play into the decision about leav.

The first one is to never, never my friend leave a situation to find happiness. On the other side. The reason is that happiness is something that happens inside of you. It’s not external. What I mean by this is that your thoughts about something is what creates the feeling of happy. You don’t wanna be one of those people that is constantly changing circumstances in search of happiness.

The next thing is that when you leave a marriage and especially when you have children, what you should consider are that you are changing the nature of your relationship with your husband and the father of your children. You can be committed to working towards a new relationship, to be friends. And co-parents, it’s not the end of the relationship.

It is instead the beginning of a new and different type of relationship. Now it’s much easier when you are both coming from the same place. For example, if you both. That the marriage and romantic part of the relationship is over and that you will instead be friends and co-parents now and develop that new relationship.

But when one spouse doesn’t want to leave the marriage, it’s absolutely more challenging. But it can be done. I did an episode number 25 on when you are the one that is left. And so it might be a good idea to go back and listen to that in conjunction with this one. This one being when you are the one that decides to leave and that when you are on the other side of not wanting the divorce is episode 25, sometimes relationships just go their course.

And instead of trying to fix it, a decision can be made that certain parts of the relationship are over and others like co-parenting and hopefully. Being friends on some level can remain. I talk a lot about my ex Sam and how we made that decision. It wasn’t automatic though. We didn’t start out with both being in the same mental place, meaning that we were going to be amazing co-parents and friends eventually.

But we worked through that. We put our differences aside. We really got down to the reason why we decided it was best for all of us, meaning he and I and our children, our girls to be divorced. And then when we got to that place, we were able to co-parent much better than I would say most anyone I know, but also remain very friendly.

when people visit me as a lawyer, I can usually see where they are in the decision process, leaving or not some. Make a decision and they have made a very firm decision that they want to end their marriage. Others are not so sure. And I would say that the majority of people that consult with me there in the process of deciding whether to leave or not, they’re in a state of confusion.

What I want you to know is that it is possible to leave in a more loving way. A healthier way. The next concept is that many people tend to think that when a marriage is over that this means it was a failure that we, or he did something wrong or that it wasn’t a success because it ended. So I wanna suggest that the starting.

Point in order to gain clarity is to assist in the decision to leave or not is to first understand that marriages, relationships, jobs, careers, and life can and do. And at times, and that the end of anything can be looked at as it having been a success. If you choose to think that. It’s a choice that you get to make as to whether the relationship marriage job was a success or a failure.

That is your thought about the circumstance and nothing more. You can see it as success. Why am I having a problem with that word today? success SA. In that you have great years, or you had great years together, beautiful children together that you grew as individuals and as a couple, and that you have memories or you can make it all about the negative and the failure.

And my friend that’s on you. I think this is why so many people stay in marriages that they know aren’t right, because they keep working at it, trying to make it work so that it is not seen as a failure. It’s interesting to me that our society labels divorce as a failure, and I get that certain religious vows may lead into this line of thinking.

I understand that. But it is not uncommon that when someone says they’re getting divorced for the general societal response to be something like I am so sorry. So how do we decide to leave a marriage, a relationship, or even a job? For example, I suggest that it is important to leave when you can find some peace and happiness in the decision.

So many couples are searching for the fault in their marriage to justify the, leaving, to label something in the marriage, as the cause for the decision to leave almost making it justifiable. Now I am not suggesting that there might not be reasons and things that have happened that you are not happy with or that you won’t tolerate.

And that lead into the decision to lead. But what I am suggesting is that the decision should be a bigger mind thought decision. And not just focused on the negative. I am also suggesting that you find your own peace and happiness. Believe it or not happiness before you leave. When I discuss this with my clients, many of them say things like, come on, Doreen.

If I’m happy, why would I leave? If everything’s good, why would I leave? Anything. And my answer has always been because you want to look, this is your life. You get to decide what you want to do with it. The decisions for your life are yours. It’s where all your power is. And the thought that we have to stay, even if we want to leave is riddled with all kinds of issues.

Leaving a marriage. When you have made the decision that you want to leave or are leaning in that direction. Look, I get, it’s not easy. It will affect your children, your spouse, and likely many other things like where you live your financial circumstances and on. So one of the first things I ask you to do is to breathe and slow down.

You know, when people come to me and they are in a hurry to get things over with, that is an absolute indication to me that they have not done the work that they should do before, before deciding to leave that there is this intense need to get the divorce over in search of happiness. When you can slow down.

And make the decision to leave with a sense of love and caring and with communication, you can do that in a way that helps the other person, your spouse, to process your decision from a different place. With the hope of opening up a dialogue. So that you don’t have to destroy the respect and years that you had together and your family and children involved.

You know, in my many years, as a divorce attorney, I have seen lots of people that think that leaving a marriage must include destruction. And what I suggest is that it doesn’t need to be this way. I see a lot of people when their marriages are ending, that they treat each. Horribly. They lie to each other, call out all their spouses, negative traits, find a lawyer that’s out for blood and just treat each other with such indifference and disrespect.

It appears to me that they are doing this to basically make the decision easier, to basically try to justify the decision to leave. They’ll say something like, but look what he’s doing and look how he is. And let me tell you about all the horrible things that he’s done. And so the response to that from most of their friends, not from me, but from most of their friends might be like, oh yes, I certainly get, now that you’ve explained all of these things, why you are leaving.

One of the most important things that I want to offer to you is that you don’t have to justify your decision to leave anyone or any. But with that being said, I suggest that it is really important when you’re making any decision, any decision that affects other people and changes your life, that you come from a place of calm, love, and thought around those decisions.

and if you are not doing this or are unable to find that place of love and calm that I suggest to you, you have work to do on yourself. You see when you rush things and you are acting from a place other than from love and kindness, please realize that this is an indication that you are in a hurry, trying to escape the pain general.

But the truth be told you don’t need to hurry out of anything in order to escape the pain. You could just change the way you’re thinking about something. You know, I have a case in which the mom has an issue with alcohol and my client is coming from a place of that. He needs things to be done immediately.

He has decided to file for divorce. Now the court system takes time to get through. And so in the meantime, he’s trying his best to live with his wife and children. They’re still living in the same house. We will get there. But in the meanwhile, what he has to realize is that she’s going to drink when she wants and that he can do little to control that situation.

But that the decision that she pick up that drink or not is hers. That is her choice as an. now eventually the court will likely restrict her access with the children, but for now, as they still live together, he has some thought work to do. The children are safe. They’re in his care. He’s not permitting any alcohol or other substances in the house.

And he has control over the situation until we can go see the judge on the. Like in his situation, again, this includes a substance abuse issue. So. Heightened in that regard, but in terms, terms of a marriage that you are unhappy with when there are issues that you find challenging, or maybe it is just that you are dissatisfied or incompatible, or you just feel unhappy in the relationship, you know, it’s very normal to have the thought you need out and it over now to escape, to get rid of the negative feelings and the source of what you perceive as your unhappiness.

You have to get and dig deep to get to an understanding of that, you know, with my client whose spouse has a substance abuse issue. Many of his reasons for wanting the divorce for leaving are very apparent to him. But what if you are in a marriage and it isn’t that blatant, you just feel distant. And like it has run its course that you are not in love anymore.

The things have changed. How do you know when you should stay and work on the relationship or when you should leave? But the better question that you may want to ask yourself is how do you know if you should stay and work on your own mind about the relationship, or if you’re ready to. And again, what I want to suggest is that one of the best indicators is there’s no rush.

You can be in a place of having a caring and open dialogue with your spouse. Now it will be uncomfortable, but you don’t have shame around it because you processed your own thoughts about leaving and done the work around it. So, first step is to realize that. you are in a hurry. If you are, and to slow down, take a breath and do the work.

If you can’t leave from a place of kindness and love, then ask yourself why. And this includes love for yourself as well as love for the other person involved. Now, if there is abuse involved, and that includes like with my client, whose spouse is abusing alcohol, you can come from a place of. Love for the person who is in denial, who needs help love for your choice to take care of yourself and your children as a priority.

And in most situations you can love the history of your marriage. You can appreciate the things you did like creating beautiful children together, and like your reason for deciding to leave. I’m not suggesting you agree. Maybe going on in your relationship, that is the reason you’re leaving. But what I am suggesting is to understand the reason and to be okay with it.

You can also decide to stay for now and for a reason that makes sense to you. That is good. I will tell you that my husband, Jeff decided to stay with his ex, even though. He had made up his mind that he wanted out of the marriage. His reason for leaving was because at the time his son. Ye very young. And so he made a decision to wait until his son was older so that his son could let him know if there was something going on while he was at his mom’s house after the divorce.

It was a solid reason that made sense to stay. He made a decision that once his son could speak, he would leave. And so eventually when his son was older, he did leave and he knew the reasons why. You just don’t want to stay thinking that you can change someone or manipulate things in order to find happiness, that would be something like I’m going to stay to change my spouse, to convince her, to get the help she needs.

And that once she does it all will be okay. Not only can. We change others, but it is also exhausting, really exhausting, trying to, and the simple reason is that it rarely works when you get to a place that you really understand, truly understand your reason for leaving. You’ll feel the sense of like solid and confidence in your choice.

And you won’t be in a hurry. You’ll still question things from time to time. Of course you will. You’ll look at your child and you’ll question whether you’re making the right decision, but you’ll be able to pace yourself and feel stabilized by your decision. This equally applies to other things like when you leave a job, some of you may be in careers or jobs that you have been in for a while that you’re not thrilled.

And you’re thinking about a change. You can make a decision to leave that career, but also do it knowing your reason why it could be as simple as I just don’t want to be in this line of work anymore. Remember. my friend life is short and it’s your life. And so if you leave or stay, do it because you want to, and for the reasons that make sense for you, if you leave a job, do it from a place of respect and kindness and not in a hurry.

Now I will warn you that when you leave the way I suggest people are going to be really confused, they will not understand why there isn’t some obvious, unpleasant reason for you that justifies in their mind. Why you want to leave. If you do this the right way. , they may even say things like, but you seem so happy.

Why are you leaving? People may also suggest, but what about your children and things like, but no marriage is perfect or even that you are being selfish, but in order my friend to get to the next chapter of your life, your best existence in this world. and what you want and envision for yourself and to evolve.

Sometimes you just have to say yes. It is good, but I’ve made a decision and that is the best for all involved. You don’t have to say anything more or less than that. You don’t need to justify any reason as just making the decision for what is best for you is good enough. And please just keep in mind that what is a normal standard and many times acceptable.

In general or to the world is ordinary. And what is normal and acceptable to you and your future and your evolution in life? Maybe needs to be extraordinary, extra special, and you don’t have to explain or justify any decision that you want to make when you want to leave. Also just like my husband, Jeff, you can make a decision to leave.

Out in the future. And I, and so what I wanna recommend is that you actually consider if possible making this de the decision to do something, to make that change, to leave, but out in the future, This gives you the time to further process the emotions and the reasons, and if it involves others and you let them know your decision and that’s not appropriate in every divorce.

Okay. It all depends on what’s going on. Lot of different things to consider when you consult with your lawyer. But if it can be done, it kindly gives the other person time to process it and can be such a kinder way of leaving rather than just abruptly doing. So this I have found works very well. When I ask an employee as an example to leave, I don’t generally do like this customary two weeks.

Notice I say something like, look. Things just, aren’t working out for a number of reasons. And I wish you the best. I wanna give you at least 30 days. And if you need more time, let’s discuss it for you to figure out where you might wanna go. And at the same time, we’ll look at bringing someone else in.

It’s just done from a much kinder. Place from a more loving place. And so giving time allows in the right situation, provides more opportunity to process and to have really meaningful and beautiful conversations with people involved. It is possible to be loving and kind to others that you are leaving while also honoring what you want.

And what’s true to your own growth. And evolvement, it doesn’t need to be, and really should not be an either or situation. You can have both priorities and you can be honest and caring and loving with all involved. So let’s strive if we are leaving to make what my coach calls a good, good goodbye. One of the tragedies that I see way too often with divorce is people hating each other, especially when there’s kids involved.

I emphasize to my clients is to try to find their way back to a place of respect and kindness with their ex not always easy as a person will and can be likely on defense. The other person can be on defense, but when you calm yourself and you respond with understanding and love, it is amazing. It’s really amazing the effect that that can have on the other person and how their demeanor.

Can overall change. Now, if you are struggling with whether the decision to leave your marriage is right or not, which is completely normal to question. I mean, it probably wouldn’t be normal not to question it. The first thing is slow down and ask yourself more about that. For example, many times people will tell me that they don’t think it’s a right decision because.

Other people will be hurt or other people will be upset by the decision to divorce. When I hear that, what I first think is that this might be. A people pleaser and that you need to work on this as well. And it’s something you’re going to have to give yourself the space and time to question, go back to your reason for staying.

So I’m going to get into that on the next episode about people pleasing and making a decision to leave or to stay, um, in a marriage. When I say to someone who’s considering leaving a marriage, for example, I say to them, you have to be honest with yourself and tell yourself the truth, the truth about why you’re staying.

And if the reason that you’re staying is to make the other person feel happy. And that includes even your children. That’s okay, then that can be a legitimate reason for staying, but don’t lie to yourself about it. Recognize that you may be a people pleaser and that this could be more hurtful. Then being honest.

And again, I’ll talk about that in next episode. And so as we close today’s episode and you get on with your day and your week, let me recap a few points. If you have decided to leave your marriage, know your reasons, why slow down, breathe and understand, be okay with your reasons and be honest with yourself.

Next leave from a place of love and kindness. And please, please remember that life will always, whether you stay or whether you leave end up 50 50, no matter what you choose to do with your life. If you are chasing happiness by leaving, you’re always going to end up with 50. 50. So this is why you have to be very careful and not to lead because you think that you will be happier because life will always be a balance of good and bad, happy, and sad.

I want you to know that your life is your own. And when you go around trying to change everything in order to feel better, you will exhaust yourself when you stay in situations, because you’re afraid of what other people will think about you. You’re afraid of doing the wrong thing. You will lose.

Yourself honor, the decision for you. I believe that you can do whatever you want with your life. And I support you doing that with love and patience and honor for yourself and for the people around you. Okay, my beautiful friend, be kind to others and yourself. And until next time, remember that you can and will have an amazing life after divorce.

Bye. And until next time have an amazing rest of the. And remember. Yes, you can. Bye everybody. Thanks so much for listening for tips, updates, and expert advice. Be sure to visit your amazing And remember my friends. Yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce. See you. Views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by YFA family law group or your divorce law center, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives.

The content of your amazing divorce is for entertainment and educational purposes. Only none of the content on your amazing divorce should be considered legal advice, nor does anything here in create an attorney, client relationship as always consult a lawyer for your legal questions.

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