Why would you seek separation?

The crazy thing is, as soon as you start telling your friends/family/random strangers on the street that you’re getting a divorce, they all have the same initial question: Why are you getting a divorce? Maybe they’re curious, maybe they want to offer advice on how to save your marriage, or maybe they don’t know what to say. Whatever the reason, you will find yourself in the position of having to justify your decision over and over and over and over again. It gets old.

At first, I tried to explain all the reasons to those who asked, thinking that I needed to justify myself and make sure that others approved of my decision. I’m not sure why I was so hung up on getting the go-ahead from those who are on the outside of the relationship, but for whatever reason, I sought that validation. I’ve learned that going into great detail with others is not always appropriate, advisable, or even worth it. There are people who will disagree with your reasons for divorce, because we all have certain issues that would send us over the edge and other issues which we would let slide. No two people have exactly the same views, so you are bound to run into people who think that you are overreacting when you tell them the reasons for your divorce. What do you mean you want a divorce because he’s addicted to porn? He isn’t hurting anyone, is he? they might say. A coworker of mine said I shouldn’t get a divorce unless my husband was hitting me or abusing me in some other way. Those were her criteria, but not mine.

Though I could name a myriad of issues that led up to this point in my marriage and the decision that this relationship is no longer working for me, it’s simpler to say that he and I have grown apart. It’s the easy answer which encompasses a whole lot of truth without getting into sensational detail, and it generally satisfies peoples’ desire to understand why our relationship is ending. I believe that generally, people don’t want to know all of the gut-wrenching details, but they do want to know that there’s a valid reason. It’s difficult for them to argue that you and your spouse have not grown apart. How would they know anything about the connection between yourself and your husband?

As someone who is deciding whether or not divorce is the right option for you, or someone who has been told that your partner wants a divorce, it’s important to realize that there are many issues which can lead to divorce. Your standards for what constitutes a valid reason may not match up with that of others, even your spouse. Since we all have free will, you may completely disagree with your spouse’s reason, yet still have to accept their decision in the end.

Here are some of the reasons a person may decide that divorce is right for them. In reality, it’s usually a combination of issues which lead to divorce. And many issues can be overcome if both partners are willing to fully commit to working through them. Not all issues, but many.

Abuse — emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, financial

Infidelity — this includes both physical and emotional affairs

Incompatibilities — in what you want out of life, your desires, spending habits, priorities, sexual appetite, parenting decisions, etc.

Addiction — drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, gaming, shopping, etc.

Mental Health Issues — these often tie into other areas, such as abuse or addiction

Money Problems — a difference in spending habits, debt, a difference in earnings, etc.

Spouses Change — we all change and sometimes that means spouses grow apart

In my own marriage, we have issues in all of the major categories listed above. As I said, it’s often a combination of issues which becomes a toxic mixture over time. At this point, I feel very comfortable in my decision. It’s the healthy thing to do, but it is not going to be easy. I’ve allowed myself to be controlled for far too long, and now it’s time to break free of that.

I’m not here to tell others whether or not divorce makes sense in their circumstances. That is something that you need to think about long and hard, and I would suggest, after talking with a counselor, reading helpful books, talking with a trusted friend (be careful who you choose to talk to!), and looking at the ramifications of following through. It is a huge decision which is fraught with emotion. No one says you have to decide one way or the other, or that you need to make the decision on a specific timeline. You will know if and when you’re ready. Don’t act hastily, but take your time so that you really know your reasons and your own mind, no matter what you choose to do.

Have a lovely day my dears,

L

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