Is it too much work to leave or, is fear stopping you?
As part of my job as a family lawyer, speaker, and writer I get to meet with a lot of different people in various stages of relationships. Whether I am deciding to take a case or setting up a meet and greet for a book signing, something about being a divorce lawyer opens a level of communication with individuals.
In thirteen years of practice, there have been many people who sit in my office to proceed with a divorce. But there is also another section of my day that is set aside for people who are simply asking questions about the process. Many of them have viable reasons to end their marriage. Those issues range from infidelity, money mismanagement from either of the spouses and abuse.
It is never my job or desire to encourage someone to file a divorce proceeding. A lawyer’s job is to listen and advise based on the information received. The decision always has to be up to the potential litigant.
Many women tell me their marital woes, ask my advice and walk out the door. I never see them again. Sometimes it is because I refuse to take the case. Other times it is because they find another lawyer. But most of the time it is simply because people find it too much work to leave their relationship.
All relationships are complicated. But marriages have more depth and inexplicable issues than any other connection between two people.
Whether it is money (always the lack of), children, loss of societal status, lots of women choose to stay in unhappy marriages.
So what do you do when it is too much work to leave?
First, if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, seek intervention help immediately. Each State has various resources available with little effort searching online.
If breaking apart your family unit seems like more work than benefit to be received, first know that you are not alone. Seeking a counselor or pastor for some counseling for yourself and then for you and your spouse may be a great start to healing some of the fissures in your marriage. It also may prove as a healthy outlet in order to process feelings of loss and grief about your relationship before leaving.
All marriages are different and one of the biggest indicators of divorce is finances. If separation is not possible at this point in your life journey, start educating yourself now. Know how to make a budget, track what you and your family spend in a month and gain above basic knowledge of financial management. Divorce is one of the largest reasons for poverty among women. If leaving is eventually your plan, being savvy with money, how to make it, save it and spend it are tools every empowered woman needs, regardless of her marital status.
Begin a healthy self-care regimen now. This can be as simple as a bubble bath date with yourself once a week. Put it on a calendar and keep it. Divorce ranks only underneath death on a scale of devastating life events. If the stress in your marriage in hindering your ability to care for yourself, it is past time for you to get started.
Whether you are leaving in a few months, years or never, life is not meant to be survived. It is a thriving awakening to who you are and who you want to be. If it is too much work to leave, take care of yourself and be educated. And if you decide you are ready to move on, seek legal advice that puts your life plan after marriage in place.