“How do I go about telling my wife that I am leaving her? There is no one else. I just don’t want to be here anymore. We have two teenage children and I think they will be ok.”
First of all you need to be sure that leaving your family is exactly what you want for your future.
It is safe to say almost every married person goes through a time where they feel they would like a change.
If you have felt this way for a long time then the next task is to determine why you want to leave.
Sometimes we find the biggest challenge is to be honest with ourselves. A discussion with a trusted third party, friend or counselor, might help you bring clarity to your feelings.
It is most important to be very sure that this is what you want before any action is taken.
Emotional roller coasters where a leaving parent and partner comes and goes as a result of indecision can be harmful for everyone involved.
If you are certain it is what you want then your partner deserves a reason. The conversation also needs to include some reassurances. Housing and financial security are at the top of that list of assurances. The financial logistics of higher education for your teens is another pressing issue.
Consider the leaving process. Who will go? Who will stay? Your partner needs to be involved in this decision making and should have input as the separation moves forward. It may be your idea but it impacts everyone in the family and they should feel a part of how the new family unit will reshape for the future.
Leaving is not just simply walking out the door.
It has been my experience, that the leaving partner has not anticipated just how difficult it is to end a marriage.
To assume your teenagers will be ‘ok’ is diminishing the enormity of the effects of separation and divorce on children of any age. Family breakdown is usually a child’s greatest fear. It represents an unknown future for them. There is also the risk they will feel responsible in some way.
When you decide to have the discussion with your family and provide the reasons for this decision – be open and honest. Ambiguity only clouds a difficult situation. Everyone involved should be treated with love and respect.
If you have a problem contact Linda by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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ABOUT LINDA SIMPSON
I take strength from your calm, your honesty, and the hope you give me for my future.” Cheryl
Linda is a fresh voice in the divorce advice world. She offers a pragmatic, common sense approach to life after divorce issues based on over twenty years surviving and thriving following a very traumatic divorce.
As a single parent, her sons are an enormous source of joy in her life. She is a loving mother and grandmother to four delightful grandchildren.
She holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with concentrations in sociology and philosophy and guidance counselling certification from Queen’s University.
She is an accredited trainer for The Peace Education Foundation, a leader in conflict resolution training. The institute is ‘dedicated to educating children and adults in the dynamics of conflict resolution and promoting peacemaking skills in home, schools, and community.’
In a long and successful teaching career, she also served as a counsellor and workshop facilitator for SEL (social emotional learning) programming and The Peace Education Foundation throughout her school and school district and was a frequent conference presenter for SUNY Potsdam Faculty of Education USA.
She writes for The Divorce Magazine UK and her blog is seen regularly on Huffington Post Canada where the focus is life after divorce and parenting issues.
She is a writer and poet and is presently at work on a book based on her divorce experience.