You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
I've decided that I no longer want to be in my marriage of 14 years. I've thought long and hard about this decision to the point that I haven't been able to really do anything for years. I have no feelings left for my husband and I'm ready to move on with me and my kids. Staying in this loveless marriage has taken its toll on me physically and psychologically. Unfortunately, for financial reasons and because we have kids together, I can't just leave right now. It could take up to a year for me to be financially independent for me and for my kids . I've considered staying with my husband until my kids get older if we could live in the same house that long , but lead two separate lives. I'm afraid that as soon as I leave him that he will not take care of his responsibilities. What would be the best way for me to deal with this issue? Any advice would be appreciated.
There is a difference between a decision and a choice. You have only made a decision about your marriage. Decisions are based on your thinking but choices are based on your actions. You have spent years making your decision to leave your husband but you have not made the choice to leave. You are using finances and the children as your excuse for not leaving. I am having a hard time buying that given it has taken years for you to make the decision. During the decision making time, there was plenty of time to make a plan to deal with the financial concerns. The children you have together will always be both of your children.
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That is not going to change regardless of the their ages. Choices are always harder to make than decisions. Making a choice means that you must take action on your decision even when it may make life difficult. You are struggling with leaving because things may get hard. You have made a choice to stay in a " loveless" marriage for whatever reason. It is likely that you stayed because you have some unfinished emotional business with your husband. Despite being unhappy, you suggested staying because you fear he will not take care of his responsibilities. When you are really ready to leave a marriage, nothing will keep you there. The idea of remaining married and living together with separate lives is a disaster waiting to happen. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to understand why you remain in the marriage. This will also give you an opportunity to develop an exit plan to leave if that is truly what you want to do. Be honest with yourself if you want to make some real changes in your life. - Dr. Sherry
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