Disclaimer: You won’t find legal advice in this one.
How do you know you have done all you can?
You might never. Sure, some situations are easy. If there is abuse, physical or emotional, then the right time was yesterday, or last month, or last year. It won’t get better, not for good anyway. Maybe for a couple weeks, your spouse’s promise to correct their behavior will come in the form of flowers and hugs, but it will end and the cycle will start again. In those relationships, get some professional support and get out. IMMEDIATELY.
But I’m not talking about those clear cases. Today, I’m writing about the marriage when you aren’t happy, but life isn’t horrible either. Maybe you think you should be happy so you stay. You think about the kids. You think about what people will say. And you stick it out. Time passes. Weeks turn into months and months turn into years. Maybe, another child is brought into the family to fix whatever it is you are searching for. Have you found it yet?
You want your lawyer to give you the answer, but it’s not a legal question.
So how do you know?
You know when you know. You know when you stop reasoning yourself back into a relationship that you are not present for. You know when you catch yourself wondering what it would be like to be somewhere else. You know when you strip away the guilt and doubt, and all that is left is the feeling that it is just not right.
Maybe your spouse made the decision for you and you weren’t ready to give up. You are angry at him or her for putting your family through this. You don’t want to accept it. Why do they seem checked out already when you are trying so hard to hold everyone together?
Divorce is hard. It is scary. It is gut-wrenching. It may be one of the most trying times in your life. Yes, it is that bad. There will be times when you cry yourself to sleep. There will be times when you miss your child ferociously. There will be times when you have nowhere to be except by yourself. And that is where the good stuff happens.
It is in those moments of loneliness and doubt, when you start to heal. Maybe you will start doing something for yourself. Maybe you will take a class for your mind or your body. Maybe you will just be. Each moment spent like this is where you find yourself again. The best thing you can do for yourself is let go of the anger, resentment, and despair. Forgive your former spouse. Forgive yourself. Negativity will keep you stuck. It is hard work to let go. You have probably been experiencing these heavy feelings for months or even years now.
When you think you will never recover from the trauma of a divorce, remember, this is just but a brief moment in your life. It will pass and one day, you may wake up and be at peace, and quite possibly even happy.