Marriage is meant to be forever. That commitment is what makes marriage special. When you say your marriage vows you are telling your spouse that you will love him or her through sickness and health, rich or poor, in good times and bad times. As touching as those words are, few couples realize how bad times can actually get. Few couples realize that there are times when the best way to show your spouse how much you love him or her is to separate yourself for a period of time.
Far too many women and men stay in physically or emotionally abusive marriages because they do not want to break their marriage vows. They give all they have to the point of their own safety and well-being, thinking they are doing what is best for their spouse as well as their marriage.
Abusive marriages rarely fix themselves. Abusers need to see the reality of the situation. They need to see the harm they are causing the marriage and family. Sometimes the best way to show an abusive spouse this reality is to leave the marriage. A separation can show the other person that you are no longer willing to be a victim. It will show the spouse that if they want to stay married to you, he or she needs to get help.
Leaving is risky, however. Leaving can intensity your spouse’s abusive behavior. Abusers can threaten and stalk you if you leave. Because of this, it is important for you to have a safety net of support from family and friends during this time. Make them aware of what is going on. Also, you must consider the fact that the end result of your leaving may not be as you planned. Your spouse may never decide to get help.
Leaving a spouse is never easy. It will be important for you to have all of the support you can. Talking to a therapist will help you navigate your way through a difficult time. As scary as leaving a spouse can be, sometimes it is the best way to show your love for your spouse…as well as yourself.