Making the decision to leave your husband will change your life and there are several factors to consider, especially if there are children involved. If you are trying to make this difficult decision, it is important to know that you are not alone - in America, for example, approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. This is not a decision that should be made easily, and it is important to consider your current state as well as your future financial situation before taking action. But when you decide, it's important to know what steps to take so you can be on the path to emotional and financial strength right out the front door. If you want to know how to leave your husband, read Step 1 to get started.
Part 1 of 3: Making a decision
Step 1. Decide it's time to end the marriage
Deciding to end the marriage is one of the most difficult and important decisions you will ever make, so it's important to be 100% sure your marriage is really over before you start taking the next steps. If you're on this page, chances are you've already made up your mind, but here are some reasons why your marriage might have really ended:
- If you are already practically separated. This means that you and your husband have separate friends, separate interests, don't spend time with each other, and aren't sure what goes on in each other's lives.
- If your husband is no longer willing to try. If you've repeatedly talked about marriage problems and your husband has repeatedly promised to change and has never changed or refused to change with a straight face, then maybe it's time to leave.
- If you are in an abusive relationship, get out. There are no good reasons to stay in an abusive relationship - or to prolong your pain. If your relationship is really abusive, then maybe it's better to leave as soon as possible and only figure out what to do later, when you're safe.
- If one or both of you have been repeatedly unfaithful. It's different if one of you has had an affair and strives to make it never happen again - but if cheating and flirting are a recurrent feature in your relationship, then it may be impossible to save the relationship.
- If you don't feel like a team anymore. If you've stopped making decisions together, communicating or committing, then maybe it's time to leave.
- If you don't agree whether to have children or not. If you're dying to have kids, but your husband refuses, or vice versa, then maybe there's no reason to continue with the relationship if you can't agree on this very important issue.
- See if you can make that decision with a cool head. You shouldn't decide to leave your husband in the moment of anger, but when you've waited a while to really think about the situation.
- See if you've tried everything and nothing has worked. If you've tried couples therapy, had long conversations, and if you've both tried to change but haven't been successful, then maybe it's time to leave. But if you've been unfulfilled for a while and your husband has no idea, it might be worth seeing if you can talk and work things out first.
Step 2. Consider having an honest conversation about the situation
The steps below can help you make the necessary plans to leave your husband secretly - letting him know only when you're walking out the door or afterward. This can be helpful if you are not sure how your husband will react, or if you think he will try to stop you from leaving. But if you two are open to talking, if he's supportive, and if you've always been open and honest with each other, then maybe you should talk to him first and see if you can work things out.
- You may be surprised at how many feelings your husband shares, too-or what he can do to keep from losing you.
- That doesn't mean you should let your husband talk you into staying. But if you can't make up your mind and aren't sure you can work things out, then talking to your husband can make a big difference.
Step 3. Keep your decision to yourself
It can be difficult, but this step can be critical in a number of ways. Leaving a marriage can be a volatile situation and staying quiet will allow you time to prepare and settle down before you actually walk out the door. Just tell a few people who are close and supportive of your decision. Tell people who can provide you with help and guidance - not those who can't keep it a secret.
- If you don't want to talk to your husband and want to escape a bad situation, then it's best not to tell anyone so you have time to work out the details. If your husband knows of your plans and doesn't want you to leave, then he may end up trying to step in and make it difficult for you to go along with the plans.
- This may sound sneaky, but your goal should be to leave in the best financial position. You wouldn't want your husband to get in the way.
- It can be hard not to act once you've made a decision, but it can take two to six months to devise a strategy that will help you keep your financial situation stable when you leave home. Although you're ready to walk out the door any second, know that it may be better for you in the future to wait a while to get organized before leaving.
Part 2 of 3: Making a Plan
Step 1. Create a bank account
This can be difficult for housewives who do not earn their own income, but having a little money saved will help you to move forward with a better financial situation. Starting a separate account, even if you don't have a lot of money to put into it at first, can help get you on the right track. This will make it easier for you to have the money issue resolved when you actually leave your husband.
Withdrawing money from a joint account should be a last resort - something you do before you leave
Step 2. Find a place to live
If you are leaving a marital home, it is important to find a new place to live. In some cases, staying with other people temporarily can be helpful, but eventually you'll have to find housing that you can afford. This will create even more questions about where you will live - if you don't have children, it may be easier for you to cross the country to be closer to family. Maybe you want to try something new and live in a different climate. No matter what you want to do, having a plan and a temporary place to stay or even signing a contract in another house can bring you closer to the goal.
If you and your husband are really in tune about the divorce and are comfortable enough to talk about it, then you can talk about who will move out of the house you share. If there are children involved, this may be an even more important issue
Step 3. Get the paperwork
Over the course of a marriage, many important documents are accumulated, such as paperwork relating to mortgage, vehicle, and retirement plans, among others. Make sure you have a copy of these documents as the property in question could be a problem in the divorce.
- If you see a lot of documents that you're not sure you'll need, then you should make a copy if they really matter. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to organizing paperwork.
- If you really want to make complete copies of everything, then maybe you should hire a professional to make a copy of your computer's hard drive and even take pictures of certain valuable belongings. This can help you in the future if any money "misses" during the adjustment.
Step 4. Make a plan for your kids (if you have one)
If you and your husband have children together, then it's important to decide what's best for them. Do you think your husband is a great (or at least decent) father who will be involved in the children's lives, or do you have reason to believe that children should have nothing to do with him? This will be one of the most important decisions you will make during the process.
- Just keep in mind that you can't just decide that your kids shouldn't see your husband because you don't want to see him anymore. There must be a good reason (like alcoholism) to keep him away from his kids.
- You should make this decision with a cool head, because it will determine many things, such as, potentially, where you will live, as well as your children's future.
Step 5. Contact a divorce attorney
A divorce is expensive and time-consuming, so you might want to look for a reasonable price, especially if you think it will be a long process. While you're tempted to save money and do everything yourself, the right lawyer can help make the process easier and less painful. You don't want to get caught up in a financial mess that you don't know how to fix just because you didn't want to spend money on a lawyer.
If you really can't afford it, then you might consider hiring a legal technician
Step 6. Start planning the money you will have after the divorce
If you are already doing well financially then this is definitely a bonus, but it is important to consider the money you will have after leaving your husband. It's important to ask yourself these questions before you walk out the door so you don't feel incapacitated when the time comes. Unfortunately, studies show that many women have to deal with a 1/4 or even a 1/3 drop in their standard of living after a divorce; however, don't let that put you off! If you make a stable plan, you'll be fine. Here are some things you will have to work out:
- What new expenses will you have to deal with?
- What will you save?
- How much more expensive will daycare be (if you have children)?
- How will you be able to get the income you need?
Step 7. Don't depend on the pension
The pension could definitely be a part of your future income, but in today's economy, it might not be a guarantee. If you're sure your husband will pay you reliably is one thing, but you should ask yourself if you can really count on him.
This can be even more complicated if you are the main provider of the house, because then you will be the one who will pay the pension
Step 8. Establish your own credit history
If you don't have a separate credit report from your husband, then it's important to get one as soon as you can. You can start by getting a copy of your credit report. Evaluate and look for errors. Then start building your own credit by making smart purchases, making on-time payments, and being careful with money management.
You might think you have a strong credit history just because your husband has one, but that might not be the case if you haven't been too involved in the financial aspect of their lives
Step 9. Make plans to increase your income
Once you have a good sense of the money you need to live well, you will have to think about whether you need to increase your income. If you have a job that pays well and lots of savings, then great - but if you need to get a job and have been out of work for a while, or if you need a job that pays better, then you'll have to act to get what you need.. This doesn't mean that you should become the CEO of a new company before you leave your husband, but you can take actions that make it easier for you to increase your income when you do leave. Here are some things you can do:
- Go to classes that help you specialize in the skills you need to do the job you want, whether it's honing your tech skills or getting certified in a specialized form of training.
- Buy a new pantsuit to be prepared for interviews when the time comes.
- Leave your resume in order. You don't need to ship it before you leave your husband, but you should have it on hand for when the time comes. When you leave, you're likely to feel even more overwhelmed, and you may not have the time or the mental strength to do something like update your resume.
Part 3 of 3: Saying Goodbye
Step 1. Pack your suitcase
You can decide to start with the smallest, least obvious items or pack everything in one day. You must determine what is the safest approach for your situation. If you think your husband will be violent or threatening if he sees you packing, plan to do so when he's unlikely to be around. However, it is still better to have some friends or relatives with you to help you, for your own safety and protection.
It can be helpful to pack when your husband is at work. Even though he supports the breakup, packing when he's around can be more painful
Step 2. Go away
You may have already told your husband that you are leaving, or this may come as a big surprise. Even if you know you made the right decision, this last step can be the hardest emotionally. Of course, every situation is different. If you and your husband have been talking about this for months, then it might not be a shock. If you are in an abusive or threatening situation, then leaving without warning is the best option.
Whatever your reason for leaving, it's up to you which method is best - whether it's a sincere and honest conversation or leaving without leaving a note
Step 3. Get as much emotional support as you can
This is not the time to be alone with your worries. After leaving your husband, you should be supported by family, friends, or even a therapist as much as you can. This is likely to be the hardest thing you will ever have to do in life, and the pain will be much more manageable if you have the support and love of the people who care most about you. There is no shame in asking for help.
- While it's important to have time alone to deal with your feelings, it's just as important as getting on with life, making plans with friends, and enjoying long conversations.
- Don't be afraid to call old friends for help or just chat. They will understand that you are going through a difficult situation and will support you.
- Unfortunately, not everyone will agree with your plan and you may lose support from some friends or relatives in the process. Don't let this stop you from being firm about the decision, and know that your decision can help you build new and fulfilling friendships.
Step 4. Recompose yourself
This may not happen overnight. You will have to recover emotionally and financially, and it may take years for you to feel independent and in control of your life again. What's important is that you know you're on the road to recovery, and the decision you've made will lead to happiness in the future, even if it doesn't seem to be the case at the moment. And once you've collected yourself, you can applaud yourself for having the strength to decide to leave your husband and for sticking to the plans.
While women tend to lose out financially after a divorce, that doesn't stop them from exploring new things they never knew they loved, advancing in their careers, or doing many wonderful things they weren't able to do during their marriage. Eventually you will not only be able to pull yourself together, you will also be able to become stronger, wiser, and a more fulfilled person in the process
- If you stay with other people temporarily, you may need to store your belongings in a mobile locker. You can find one that has flexible rate plans and a good rental period.
- If you have kids, try to keep everything as normal as possible. Stopping living with parents to move in with just one can be exhausting; remember to let your children talk about their feelings openly.
- Don't stay in a violent home environment. There are agencies in every country that are willing to help women and children out of threatening situations safely. These agencies are also able to help you find a job and a home, and can provide you with basic furniture to help you get started again.
- Never become physically violent with your husband. The legal implications won't help you with the divorce.Stay calm at all costs.
- Do not destroy your husband's belongings. He may try to get you to pay damages during the divorce or bring charges against you.
- If possible, don't get involved in another relationship until the separation and divorce are resolved.
- Never argue or fight in front of children who may be at home.