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As a Counsellor and Therapist specialising in working with Mothers I often find myself having deep and meaningful conversations about a client’s most intimate relationships, often we will discuss their marriage and the fact that my client has generally been unhappy for many years.

In fact, many of my female clients have been unhappily married 5 years or more prior to even verbalising the fact to ANYONE!

Their unhappiness has been hidden so well, buried so deeply that they haven’t even discussed it with their closest friends.

What Can You Do To Make A Change?

What, if anything, can you do to make a change if you have become used to being unhappy in your marriage? What do you do if you have become the master of hiding your hurt, of putting up a front for the rest of the world to see?

Do you simply turn around one day and say to everyone “Fooled you! I’ve actually been miserable for years so I am out of here! Surprise!”?

Maybe you do but perhaps there is a middle point, something else to try first and this is an exercise I ask my clients to complete before they decide to divide their family:

Step 1

Go to your favourite secluded spot, somewhere that you won’t be bothered, let everyone know you just need a couple of hours to yourself and that you will be back but you plan to turn off your phone for a couple of hours (Take a pillow and rug so that you can enjoy some comfort if it’s in nature).

Step 2

Sit and relax, breathe deeply and calmly and get back in touch with nature.

Step 3

Take off your wedding ring and place it safely in your pocket.

Step 4

Consider yourself divorced, that’s it! It has been done. You now have no husband to consider, you are free and you can stay here as long as you like. This can sound pretty appetising after being unhappily married for so long. Take a while just to be in this moment.

Step 5

Be divorced.

So many of my clients believe they WANT a divorce but then we talk about what it means to BE divorced, what does it look like exactly?

Well, sometimes it can look like this:

  • Sometimes it’s your weekend but sometimes it’s not, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes it’s your Christmas but sometimes it’s not, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes you can throw the children a birthday party but sometimes it’s just not going to be your time, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your ex-husband is going to fall in love with someone else, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your children are going to fall in love with their new step mother, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your children are going to dislike their new step mother but will have to spend time with her anyway, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your ex-husband and his new wife might have a new family, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes your children will cry because they don’t want to go to Dad’s house OR because they do want to go to Dad’s house, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Sometimes you will say goodbye to the friends and family that were important to you as a couple, do you say “Yes” to that?
  • Try it out, see how it fits and feel the feelings that come with your new divorce. Say “Yes” to everything on this list, how does it feel? Is there any part of you that say’s “No”, this isn’t what I want after all! I think we can work on this together, I think I can forgive the little things that drive me crazy, I think I can be happier here.

Step 6

Get re-married or not, you have looked at the future, you have felt some of the feelings that will come with that future, it’s certainly your future to keep if you choose it but maybe, just maybe, you will want to slip those rings back on your finger and give it one more chance.

Can you relate to this? Please SHARE your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • An interesting article to read.

    Reply

  • What an interesting read, a great thought pattern to decide for anyone.

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  • No I can’t really relate to this, but good tips for those who consider to divorce / are unhappy in their marriage.

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  • Interesting read!

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  • I think you really need to work out the underlying reason you are unhappy and if that can be fixed before anything else. As sometimes it can’t be fixed and the other questions aren’t a choice.

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  • I think communication is key to relationships, we need to be open and honest with each other about the things that upset us to work through them. This is such a great article when considering splitting

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  • Excellent article to read when considering your future. Thanks for posting it.

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  • It’s definitely a big decision.
    Often I find myself biting my tongue when something annoys it upsets me because I’m too exhausted to fight and get even more angry.
    I also think that it would be upsetting for kids to experience the divorce of their parents if they love them both. Different story if one was abusive, especially physically but if you’ve put up a front for ages where everything seems find and then suddenly it’s not, it would definitely impact them in a different way.

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  • Some times of think about and then I think why how I would be but then deep down I do love him sometimes I wish he would be a bit more helpful and a bit less selfish and did a bit more with kids

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  • Excellent points . Thank you for sharing

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  • Excellent points to consider, i wouldn’t say yes to many of them

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  • It’s some good points to Assist in working out your feelings and what you want.

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  • Good article – the best point it makes is sitting down and thinking- unless you nut things out in your own head and decide what you really want, you have no chance of talking it through with your partner – which is definitely what is needed regardless of the outcome.

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  • I threw my wedding ring out of the car window, and listened to it tink tink tink on the asphalt before I took off!

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  • Why is there so much lack of communication in marriages?? Lose you phones, computers and TVs and make time to talk and be together. If there is children that decisions are affected because they don’t agree on what the kids are allowed to do, or where they are allowed to go—–don’t let the kids play you off against each other. One trick some play is they ask one parent a question, then later they ask the other one. The last person is told.”…..told me I could”. I have witnessed this in a few families. Then the parents start arguing over it. Sometimes the kids think it is funny.

    Reply

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