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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Seperating without the guilt
picklefeet posted:
With a new year upon us, it may be decison time. Deciding to leave an endless cylcle of ups and downs in marraige. Everything tells me it's wrong to stay with my spouse, however the guilt of leaving is tremendous. While we don't have any accounts together there are debts incurred to the house while we've been together. Plus my spouse may be losing a job in the spring, and i'd be leaving behind a few pets to care for, they would not be seperated. My spouse refuses counseling, I've gone solo, but to no help. Control is a major issue with my spouse, and I end up walking and talking on eggshells. Our happiness level is maybe 10% of the time. How do I seperate without the guilt, and also leave several good memories behind (the 10% I mentioned)?
cjh1203 responded:
If your spouse (for whatever reason, it seems like you don't want us to know what sex you are) knows there are serious problems in your relationship, which I assume is the case, and he/she has refused to do anything to improve the situation, including counseling, I can't see that you have anything to feel guilty about. It takes two people to make a relationship work, and it sounds like you're in this all by yourself.

You are entitled to be happy, and not to have to worry about everything you say and do. If you're walking on eggshells because of your spouse's need to control you, that is emotional abuse. Do you still want to be living like that a year from now?

The possibility that he/she may lose a job in a few months is a separate issue that he/she will have to deal with at the time. The debt issue can be worked out by lawyers -- I would say that almost every couple that splits up has debt, and it shouldn't have any bearing on what you do.

Is there any reason that you can't take the pets? If you can't, do you trust your spouse to treat them well?

I really don't think you have anything to feel guilty about but, if you continue to struggle with it, some more counseling could be helpful.
picklefeet replied to cjh1203's response:
thank you for your reply.. My spouse would prefer to keep the pets, one was a gift. I do trust the pets will cared for well, it's just another responsibility i'd be leaving behind. A big thing you mentioned is feeling this way down the road, that's gone through my head the last few years as well.
a_pugs_person replied to picklefeet's response:
I think if you do or ever did care about the other person it's very hard to leave with no guilt. My ex says he doesn't blame me (now), that he sees that I was just trying to save myself. I'm glad that he can now see that things were going from bad to worse, at least from my perspective, but it still doesn't make me feel any better that I ended things; that I couldn't fix things; that I wasn't strong enough to tough more things out.

On the other hand, I'm trying to be happy now. It certainly doesn't happen every day that I find myself completely over the moon. But I have a lot fewer days where I dread coming home; where I just feel downtrodden and worthless and desperate; where every situation feels like a fight waiting to happen.

I'm by no means an expert at it, but I have sorta decided that WE choose whether to feel guilty over things or not. If you can look at the situation and see that you would truly be better off, then you need to give yourself permission to take care of yourself, and you need to be able to forgive yourself for the pain or added aggravation or stress you may be causing (as long as you are not being unduly hurtful).

It is not an easy road. Nor a short one. But if it is truly the right decision for you - even temporarily - you will begin to feel better about many things in your life and will start to see a light at the end of the tunnel of dark days you've been experiencing.

Best of Luck!
CallmeKathy responded:
I am in the same boat and did file. It's a 35 year marriage that is nothing more than tolerating each other now. I have fought doing this for the last 20 years!! I say go for it and try to have a happy life.

Good Luck!

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