THE BLOG

On Knowing You Have To Leave

12/26/2012 06:30 pm ET | Updated Dec 23, 2014
Shuji Kobayashi via Getty Images

The worst alone I felt wasn't during the holidays after deciding to get divorced. It was during the holidays the last year we were still "together," but I knew things were horribly wrong and we shouldn't have been together in the first place. The first divorce holiday season was sad and empty, but that last married holiday season was truly hopeless.

My whole life felt wrong. Like an enormous bad decision. And like the only logical course of action was to leave my marriage.

If this sounds like you, and you don't think you can do this anymore and stay in this marriage anymore, stop and take a deep breath.

First of all: It's going to be ok. No matter what happens, you will land on your feet (eventually) and things will get better, even if it takes a ton of hard work to get there. You will be ok, and your kids will be ok -- better than ok.

Don't do anything today. You just figured this out. Let yourself breathe and think and let the idea of leaving sink in.

Before you start thinking about the logistics, put aside the your feelings and take some serious time to figure out what your problem is. If your problem is being married to the wrong person, divorce will fix that. It won't fix other problems. You may, once you're not married to the wrong person anymore, be able to fix your other problems on your own (it happens to a lot of us). But your life won't be perfect by getting a divorce. In fact, it will get a lot worse temporarily. If that sounds like something you're willing to deal with to be able to get out of a bad marriage, keep going. If you think there are other things you could work on fixing first, work on those first.

Read the book Uncoupling by Diane Vaughan and figure out where you are on her timeline so you know what's likely to happen next. This book is enormously helpful at figuring out what the "normal" cycle and timeline for splitting up is, and what your partner is going to experience.

Think about what your life will look like in a year if you leave, and what it will look like in a year if you stay.

And then. If this still feels like the right course: You can do it.

You can do it.

If you want help moving through the process with your heart and mind and soul intact, sign up for my Flourish Through Divorce online workshop. Registration is open now, and the workshop starts January 13, 2013.