Are you wondering how to leave your husband? I don’t think anyone gets married thinking they’re going to have to contemplate divorce. But life happens, and sometimes things just don’t work out, no matter how much you want them to.
Maybe you were childhood sweethearts, but now you’ve drifted apart. Maybe you’ve realized that you both want different things from your life now. Or maybe you’re just not happy, and you’ve realized you deserve more.
Whatever the reason, I want you to know it’s okay. And if you genuinely want to leave your husband, you’re completely right to.
How to Leave Your Husband: 8 Tips
- Should You Leave?
First things first, it’s important to get clear on whether you should leave or not. Because it’s not a decision anyone should make lightly – especially if there are kids involved.
But it’s hard to make a decision, when there’s no clear answer. You can talk to your family or friends, or even a counsellor about it, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who has to make the decision and stand by it.
Divorce is messy. And it will change every part of your life. The future you had pictures for yourself will be gone. You’ll have to figure out how to support yourself financially. And if you have kids, you need to think about the disruption and effect it will have on their lives, too.
- Is there abuse, infidelity, or addiction in the relationship?
I personally think that if you’ve given it some proper thought, and you realise you want to leave your husband, then you should. There doesn’t need to be something horrific going on to justify it.
But there are a few cases where I think you should absolutely leave your husband:
- If he’s abusing you (or there’s abuse on both sides)
- If he has cheated, or is still being unfaithful
- If he’s suffering from an addiction, and won’t get help
3. Talk to your husband
There are certain cases where you might feel in danger if you tell your husband you want to leave. If this is the case, then you might skip this step, but if possible, avoid leaving without telling him first.
The first step is to have an open and honest conversation with him. Voice how you’re feeling, and the decision you’ve made. Ask him how he feels about your relationship, and what he thinks. After all, he may be on the same page as you. You might make a plan together on the next steps to take.
Marriage is about communication, love, and respect. So if you want to leave your husband, it’s important that you still respect his feelings, and remember he’s a human being with emotions just like you.
- Contact a lawyer
If you want to legally separate from your husband, then you’ll need to get a divorce, so it’s important you speak to a lawyer. They will be able to advise you on what the procedure will look like, what you’re entitled to, and what your rights are.
- How to leave your husband when you have no money
Many women find themselves with no savings, no job, and no way to financially support themselves after being married for a long time, or having kids. So leaving your marriage can be a scary thought.
Usually, everything you own together, and any money you have in a joint account will be split equally. If there’s kids involved, then the mother will usually stay in the family home with the kids. Get clear on what your rights are, and what you’re entitled to.
But occasionally, there are men who will force their wife out of the house if she says she wants to leave. If this is a concern for you, then think about what your strategy will be should this happen.
As soon as you’re set on leaving, set up your own personal bank account (if you don’t have one already). And change your pin for all your existing bank cards.
- Find out the law before leaving with your children
In some states, it’s actually illegal to leave with your children without permission from both parents. However, if you’re doing this for the safety of your children, then of course that comes first, always.
But have a plan for where you’ll go. Maybe you can stay with a friend or relatives, or speak to a women’s shelter.
- Make sure you have all your important documents with you
That means your passport, birth and marriage certificates, car and house deeds, medical records, your will (which you may need to change), social security cards etc. Anything and everything you’ll need to set up your new life.
Make sure you have electronic copies of everything so you can access them anytime you need to.
- Reach out for support
There is probably at least one person you know in your life who would be willing to support you through an emotional and stressful time like this. So make sure you reach out for support. You’ll need someone to talk to, and to lean on, especially if you’re used to your husband being your main source of support and comfort.
And remember that you are not alone. There are many support groups out there for women in similar situations who want to leave their husbands, or are going through a divorce.
Remember to practice self-love and self-care during this time. Remind yourself of why you’re doing this, and why it’s best for you, and everyone around you.