Are you feeling stuck in an unhappy marriage? If you are reading this post, it is for sure that you want to escape a miserable marriage at any cost. So, get ready!
It’s time to make a plan.
The vision of marriage is all about diving into life’s riches together. When you’re dating, you can’t get enough of one another. When you’re walking down the aisle, you see only the good that lies ahead. Nowhere in this fairytale is there a chapter on how to escape a miserable marriage. You don’t need it because…well, you just don’t need it. Your love, after all, is perfect. He’s perfect. She’s perfect. And love conquers all.
OK, hypnosis over. Back to reality. Even the most jaw-dropping carriage can be a glitzy cover for a rotting pumpkin. Bippity-boppity-boo doesn’t guarantee forever.
The first reality check is acknowledging (and preparing for) the fact that marriage isn’t all about holding hands and skipping through fields of gold. It’s work. Hard work. But hopefully the kind of work that is entered into with a vision toward personal and relational growth.
That’s why emotional maturity and a commitment to developing good communication skills is imperative. Without them, you will be more likely to see boredom, fighting, and periods of loneliness as signs that you made a mistake.
There are several shades of red in the red-flag category. Your marriage may simply be going through the normal stages of love. It may be unhappy due to neglect. It may be unhealthy because of poor communication skills and their effects. And it may also be downright toxic.
If you’re at a point where you’re trying to figure out how to escape a miserable marriage, hit the pause button. Obviously, that flag you’re waving is bright red. But the first thing you need to do is decide if your marriage is just unhealthy or completely toxic.
Neither is a pleasant place to be, obviously. But, just as with your physical health that may seem to be deteriorating, “unhealthy” can often be turned around.
Sometimes we’re unhealthy because we don’t know how to be healthy. And sometimes we’re unhealthy because of a hidden, mysterious, or idiopathic cause. But rarely does someone who has become unhealthy not go to the doctor to seek help.
Simple analogy. Big meaning.
Going from unhealthy to healthy isn’t necessarily a quick fix. But it’s a lot easier to stay the course of fixing things when you know it will work — if you will do your work.
If you’re wondering how to escape a miserable marriage because it has become toxic, however, you may have a less hopeful prognosis. “Diseases” like abuse, addiction, chronic infidelity, narcissism, and control can have fatal consequences to a marriage.
When your physical and/or emotional safety is at stake, you may have no choice but to leave. And, if you have children, you have to rise above your own fears to create a path forward for you and them.
The most important message for someone asking how to escape a miserable marriage is: Have a plan. If you’re in an unhappy marriage but are afraid to leave, having a plan will be like taking yourself by the hand and walking to safety.
Here are the major points to remember as you structure a plan to escape a miserable marriage.
1. Tell someone.
Especially if you are in an abusive situation, having a support system is imperative. You’re going to need a village to embrace you and help you through what can be a very painful process. And you’re going to need the sound advice of experts and benevolent people who have been where you are.
Confide in at least a few people whom you know you can trust and who will honour your confidentiality. And make sure your “villagers” have phone numbers and vital information for you. This extra step is particularly important in situations involving abuse, addiction, or extreme control.
2. Build a safety net.
You’re going to need money to get you through. And, if you’re not already working, you may have no income flowing in that you can personally control. Put aside everything you can so you have money available.