Yes, a relationshit! You think your relationship is shit, your partner is shit, they treat you like shit, so you conclude you are in a relationshit!
You say to yourself “I’m going to leave one day”, but you find yourself putting up with it, time and time again. Don’t you deserve better? Or do you think you are better off with the devil you know? afraid you may end up with someone worse if you leave.
It’s important to ask yourself what stops you from leaving?
There are many fears that can stop you leaving your relationshit. These can include;
o Financial security - not having the financial independence to support yourself on your own.
o Impact on the kids – worrying if you leave and take the kids they may be adversely impacted or
blame you for breaking up the family.
o Reprisals – worried about how your partner may react and their subsequent actions.
o Backlash – fearing you may not get the support from family and friends if you leave.
o You may feel conflicted, scared of the uncertainty of a life turned upside down versus feeling trapped in an unhappy relationship indefinitely, resulting in the decline of your mental health.
You may be scared that it isn’t the right time to leave. So, it’s important not to make a knee jerk reaction amidst an argument, pack your bags and head out the door only to stop half way down the road thinking…. where am going to go? ......unless you fear for your safety of course.
It’s time to plan your exit.
Planning your exit enables you to feel more empowered and in control of creating your future without feeling trapped and helpless.
So, lets start with your fears of leaving above so you can gain courage and confidence to alleviate those fears;
Financial security – Understand how you will support yourself financially when you leave. Do you have an income that will enable you to rent somewhere independently? If not, do you need to do some study to upskill to get a job that will give you more financial freedom? Research courses that you may be interested in. Write down the skills, experience and strengths that you have so that you can seek a job that you would be a good match for. Look at job sites for work you could do, then gain some help to write a resume so you can apply for them. Identify how long you will need to be able to save some money to have as a buffer to live independently. Is it 3months, 6months or a year?
Impact on the kids – help the kids transition to a new family structure by minimising conflict, enable strong relationships with both parents and good parenting which helps children adjust after family separation. Staying in their current school can also give them some stability and continued access to their friends. Notify the school of the changes happening at home so that teachers can assess if there are emotional and developmental impacts to the children. Seek support through a counsellor if your children are not coping with the changes.
Reprisals – your partner may be shocked, in denial or feel blindsided that you want to leave. It is understandable that they may be upset and not want you to leave, but it is important that your exit is swift to avoid conflict escalating. Ensure that you have a support person such as an extended family member or a friend to be there with you to help you leave if needed.
Backlash – there may be friends or family that may not support your decision to leave so it is important to confide in someone who supports your decision who can help you plan your exit. This person will be your rock to help you make rational decisions with a future focused approach.
Uncertainty versus unhappiness – Assess the pros and cons of your life to ascertain if there is a future for your relationship. Could marriage counselling help to reconnect with your partner or have you decided you want to leave. Plan when you will leave, where you will go, how you will support yourself and who will provide ongoing emotional support.
Having a plan enables you to have the courage and confidence to take actionable steps towards building your future. By being action focused you will feel empowered for the challenges ahead. Ensure that you do self-care to build strength and stamina via exercise, relaxation, meditation or yoga.
Be the creator of your life, not the victim of your life!
Author – Cheryl Duffy, Divorce Coach, Mediator & Author