If you were the one who chose to end your relationship - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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...was it a quick decision, like it hit you that it was over and you were ready to get it done? Or was it a more gradual process, where the thought of separation was an occasional thought that eventually morphed into a decision?

Some days I'm so sure, and other days I wonder if I'm not trying hard enough, expecting too much too soon, etc.

Also, is it realistic to be past the fear before taking action, or is that something that comes in time? I'm not afraid of being on my own or of providing for my kids, but more of the drama of custody, finances, and mud-slinging.

Thanks for an insight.
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#2 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 12:24 AM
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I was building up pretty seriously for about a year. Then one day it was time and could not wait another day. I told H I was done and then there were a few messy weeks while we dealt with housing issues and his insistence that counseling could save things.

What made it time? I actually got to the point where I realized I had been having an emotional affair for a couple of months and that I could not make my marriage work if I continued the friendship. I chose my friendship and we have been together for five happy years. I had no children with my XH.

My only regret is that I did not leave XH sooner. I knew things were not working, but I kept trying. It would have been better for everyone if I had left earlier in the process of the failure.

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#3 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 12:39 AM
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It was a thought in the back of my mind for a little while (well, it started shortly after I found out I was pregnant and he tried insisting I have an abortion. When I refused he refused to grow up and in the following months continued to use drugs, drink (underage, no less), party, etc). I kept telling myself that when ds was born than ex would have to grow up. A month before ds was born ex and I moved into an apartment together. When ds was born things did not get better.

I knew it was time to go when I confronted him about doing drugs in our apartment when ds was there. Ex told me "this is my apartment and I'll do what I want, when I want, and you can't stop me". DS and I slept on the couch that night (ds wasn't quite 2 months old). Ex left the next morning and I called my dad who brought his truck and my brother over and we loaded everything of mine and ds's up and left. I left ex a note, along with my engagement ring, telling him where we were (so he could contact me to see ds). I didn't hear from him for weeks.

So the actual decision to move was a quick one (I really hadn't planned on moving out at that time but hearing those words was like hitting me upside the head with a brick). But it was something I had thought about before.

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#4 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 12:56 AM
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Looking back, the split was coming for 2 years before I finally said enough. Did I plan for it? No, and I had pretty much decided to stay married when he assaulted me on the day we split. That assault wasn't as bad as the one 2 years before (there was a whole lot of yelling and throwing things during the 2 years leading up to the split, which led to the ultimatum that I gave him of one more time and that was it), but it was the one that really showed me that it wasn't going to get better.
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#5 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 01:01 AM
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It took me 2 years of wishing I could "poof" wake up and not be married before I hit bottom with depression over the issue and realized that the hard year or so of actually getting divorced was worth the freedom and stability on the other side of that year.

The point where I knew what I wanted came when STBX's grandmother was talking about some things she does for his grandfather. Normal stuff for people together for 65 or 70 yrs. But the thought of my life with STBX stretching that far with the same rollercoaster---it broke my heart a little. I knew I couldn't do it, but didn't know how to get out with an upside down house in this economy. That was a bad bad place to be in. I told STBX what was going on and he was grateful for the time the economy bought him.

The final decision where I actually said the D-word (we'd been talking openly about how I couldn't live like this much longer for probably 5 years!) was the day I went to a counselor---I'd been crying every day for a year+ and it was affecting my ability to parent. Oh, and hiding tears at work was hard too. The counselor asked me straight forward questions about what I wanted. I answered immediately. And when she said, "well it sounds like you're getting a divorce eventually"...the words were liberating. She was only saying back to me what I'd said to her. But hearing them made me brave enough to start making plans. I talked to STBX that night (last June) and almost immediately the CONSTANT depression got better. After that, there were some periods of grief---serious grief. But nothing that even hinted that I was making the wrong decision.

Now it's 8 months later. Life is a different place. I have hope. And the ability to plan my future. I smile with my eyes again. I'm not pretending to anyone. I have the energy to parent again. (And visitation time is amazingly regenergizing! I haven't had any free time in years!!!

It's not perfect, but MILES from where I was a year ago!!! So no one thing, but at a certain point, the decision made itself.
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#6 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 02:28 AM
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ex did some fairly dramatic things to utterly destroy my trust in him, and he never really tried to rebuild it. he just coasted along, knowing that i couldn't leave with the babies so young. but i was planning and dreaming and waiting for the day that it could end. then, when ds2 was almost 2, my friend's apartment came available and she offered it to me for seriously reduced rent if it could help me be free. also, i got accepted into school. i moved and started school last april and am so, so glad. this year has been brutally hard, but so much better than the years before it when i was with ex. in retrospect, the straw that broke the camel's back was when i was pregnant with ds2, and the next two years were just biding my time and waiting for the perfect situation. and it came.
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#7 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 05:08 AM
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I have been trying to end it for years. My story is a bit more complicated because it involves abuse but it has taken me 3 years to leave DH (now STBX) and I already feel better. I feel scared but hopeful. I have been in such a deep depression the past few years and I knew divorce was the only option but it was just hard for me to leave for many reasons. My life has changed so much in just the past few months. I am going to school full time online (which I love), i am making new friends, spending time on myself, having fun with my kids etc. I think that in 6 months or so from now I am really going to be in a good place. I think divorce is painful but if you feel in your heart that you do not want to be married to your SO I think going through that temp. pain and fear is more than worth it. We only live once and we shouldn't have any regrets!

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#8 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by zuleicamoon View Post
...was it a quick decision, like it hit you that it was over and you were ready to get it done? Or was it a more gradual process, where the thought of separation was an occasional thought that eventually morphed into a decision?

Some days I'm so sure, and other days I wonder if I'm not trying hard enough, expecting too much too soon, etc.

Also, is it realistic to be past the fear before taking action, or is that something that comes in time? I'm not afraid of being on my own or of providing for my kids, but more of the drama of custody, finances, and mud-slinging.

Thanks for an insight.
In my case I was leaving abuse, so some of what I say may not apply. But the questions in the last part of your post I thought I could address.

In my case, I had decided that I would leave X when DD was 1yo if he was still being abusive. I was 5 weeks short of that goal, so really not much at all. Even though I had a "drop dead date", those actual moments of doing it were still scary. It was scary for a long time. Actually. I think the fear lessens over time. The fear of leaving seemed huge at first, which was part of why I needed to ease into it, even so, I tried to leave several times before that final date and just wasn't ready. I came to accept my decision to leave, and then left. After leaving I came to accept it was the right decision and moved forward in creating a new life as well.

I think if you are done, then you are done. It's not fair to anyone involved to continue to pretend that it's not over. The wavering back and forth is normal, even in the moments when I was driving myself and DD to the DV shelter I was hoping X would call to say anything to stop me. He didn't, and I continued on my path, thankfully.

I also wanted to say that if you are staying in your relationship to postpone the drama's you listed, then may I gently suggest those are the wrong reasons to stay or postpone. At some point you will have to face those things if leaving your marriage is the right thing. Only you know your full situation though. But be sure that you are completely honest with yourself when you are deciding. I think we usually know answers to stuff like this, it's just a matter of if we are willing to listen.

I don't know if any of this applies to your situation. I hope you come to a solid decision.
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#9 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 12:48 PM
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I was also leaving a verbally and emotionally abusive man, who also happens to be an alcoholic (among other issues). My decision to end things finally came when STBX freaked out on me to the point where he slammed his fists repeatedly on the kitchen table, screaming at me and shaking all over. I took DD and ran off to a local clinic to talk to a social worker.

Before this, I was just...severely unhappy for several years, and I had accepted that I would never have a good partner.

It took another few months after that event for me to have the courage to admit that I was leaving him. Until then, I'd be quietly bringing important documents and storing them at work, destroying pictures/videos he'd taken of me, and talking to various lawyers and counsellors and Al-Anon groups.

I also had no fear of being on my own, but once we did agree to split, STBX began to behave erratically and I had to make a sudden decision to move into my parents' house on week-end when he was gone, because he threatened not to let me leave.
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#10 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 01:28 PM
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Years and years. We started dating in 2000 and probably wouldn't have stayed together, had I not have become pregnant in 2001.

We separted for 14 months in 2005 - and should have stayed that way.

However, we reconciled, got married, had another baby... re-separated in January 2009 and are pending divorce.

Except being very happy to have my second daughter, we should have remained separated in 2005...

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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#11 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 03:32 PM
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I wasn't married, so my situation was a bit different...

I made the decision over the course of a few weeks, just after finding out I'm pg.

Essentially, I looked at his behavior and our situation, and I decided that I could not and would not raise our child (my second, his first) while emotionally and financially taking care of him.

I told him what he needed to do, he failed, I broke it off. It actually turned out for the best, though I do have the occasional paranoid thought that he might try something. But the truth is, I hold all the cards. I can provide a healthy environment, I've proven myself to be a good parent, I'm the one making the decent money...

I may have actually gotten a bit too controlling about things, but I am keeping my children's best interests at heart, so I have to believe things will work out the way they need to.

Check out my radio blog, Pagan Musings, and my writing (as Selina Wolfcat & Sarah Buhrman).
I'm a head-covering witchy mama to DS ('06) and DD ('10) with DH, Stormie, a Heathen breadwinning daddy.
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#12 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 05:08 PM
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My relationship was very toxic for a long time, but my decision to end it happened very abruptly. My ex decided that he could hurt me one day and I immediately ended the relationship. I was miserable for a long time before and very scared to be divorced, but it is much better than being married. I don't see any reason to be in a relationship now that I am divorced and happy again.
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#13 of 16 Old 03-02-2010, 05:41 PM
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It took me a long time. I had made the decision to leave, but then it took about 6 months for me to finally leave. Even after that, we talked about trying to work on it. I moved out last April and in December we finally made the decision to file for divorce. So all in all the process has been going on for about a year and a half.

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#14 of 16 Old 03-03-2010, 06:31 PM
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It took me a long time - I left and tried to leave many times. I left due to my partner's alcoholism and nearly total non-participation in our family life. I would say I was only able to actually take the plunge when I was absolutely sure that things were not going to improve if I stuck around. That I was waiting for better days that might never come, and wasting my life. But the actual moment of making the 'never go back' action of telling him was brought about through him telling me he wanted to get an engagement ring to signal his commitment to me. I couldn't lead him on and told him I was planning to move out as soon as our lease ended. Was the fear gone? No. But I knew that whatever I had to face - and I feared similar things to the OP: mud-slinging, the logistics of everything - was not as bad as staying stuck and losing all self-respect as time went by.
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#15 of 16 Old 03-04-2010, 01:57 AM
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mine was a weird journey. it was very long and slow but then one day I just snapped. he was out of town and said something stupid. (he had been having an affair for at least 5 years before if not longer. I didn't file divorce papers BECAUSE he said something stupid, it was just the straw that broke the camels back) he came home to divorce papers. but I still didn't ask him to move out or anything. I didn' really know what to do he stopped living here a couple days later and came and got his stuff several weeks later (he bought a house for him and his girlfriend and fully furnished it boefore telling me about the affair. so he had a place to go and didn't need stuff.)

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#16 of 16 Old 03-04-2010, 03:25 PM
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I was with my ex for about 5 years and we had been having problems for 3-4 months and after a really bad fight I woke up and knew with perfect clarity and resolve that I was leaving NOW, TODAY (the night before was one of the worst nights in my life, I can only think of one worse night, ever). I packed up the kids and I left, called him from the freeway to tell him I was leaving and no I wouldn't wait till he got home to talk about it because I knew it would pick up right where we left off. I didn't talk to him again for over 2 years and when I did, he literally tried picking up the fight right where we left off as if not even an hour had passed! Anyway, getting OT/ranty, short story, bad couple of months and a split second to decide it was over. Don't regret it, I sorta miss him some times but I think its more I miss the relationship/companionship aspect rather then him ya know?

Thankfully I don't believe in marriage or it would have been ugly getting of the relationship.

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