How To Leave A Marriage Peacefully – 9 Expert Tips To Help

How to leave a marriage peacefully

“Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately sometimes they fail,” said actor Demi Moore after her divorce from heartthrob Ashton Kutcher in 2011. The actors had a polite exchange on Twitter – the dignity in their conversation was a lesson on how to leave a marriage peacefully. However, that may not be the case with every couple who is trying to end a bad marriage peacefully.

Divorces can be hard and bitter if resentment was built into marriage over years. A bad divorce can entail courtroom dramas and hurtful monetary settlements – it could ambush your plans to leave a marriage amicably. Perhaps a certain kind of maturity is required to end a bad marriage peacefully. 

But, how do you achieve clarity or restraint when trying to end your marriage peacefully? Is there a definite answer to the how to leave a marriage peacefully question? Is it possible to exit with a minimum impact? To answer burning questions around the sensitive issue, I have roped in emotional wellness and mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada (certified in Psychological and Mental Health First Aid from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Sydney), who specializes in counseling for extramarital affairs, breakups, separation, grief, and loss, to name a few.

What Is The First Thing To Do When Leaving A Marriage?

“The ending of a marriage is traumatic. In such a scenario it is important to ensure that you remain safe physically, emotionally, and financially, says Pooja, adding, “It is imperative to know one’s legal rights regarding custody of children if any and joint wealth and property is involved. It will do you well to consult a good divorce lawyer. Also, you should keep confiding in friends and family for support and guidance from time to time.”

It will be prudent to familiarize yourself with your legal rights since you do not want to be caught off guard by any judicial action initiated by the spouse. If you have to exit the house, make sure you have a plan for removing or storing furniture and other items that you may want to keep and that you can legally do so. If you are leaving a marriage with a child, you should draw up a plan to organize custody

If this sounds intimidating, take a step back and breathe. Collect your thoughts and try not to get overwhelmed. Judicial knowledge is your first friend when leaving a marriage – it is your handbook on how to leave a marriage peacefully. After all, you do not want to commit mistakes that could be used against you legally. It could worsen your exit from the sour relationship.

Expert Tips To Help You Leave A Marriage Peacefully 

It might be hard to leave a marriage after you have shared a large part of your life with your spouse. All you might hope for is to end your marriage peacefully – to turn over a new page without unspooling the binding of your book. Emotional clarity and responsibility of actions will be the key to leaving the marriage peacefully. Let us look at some key steps you have to ascend to leave your marriage amicably.

1. Own your part 

end your marriage peacefully
Introspect how you were responsible for the end of your marriage

Self-reflection could turn out to be a scary exercise as you may end up discovering certain frightful aspects of yourself. But, it is imperative to reflect on how you were responsible for creating the end of your marriage. It is very easy to cast the blame on the spouse for concluding the matrimony. However, a little introspection and acceptance of your mistakes could help you grow emotionally. The more you claim responsibility for your participation, rather than seeing yourself as the victim, the better you will be in the position to end your marriage peacefully

“Guilt of being a ‘failure’ after the marriage ends is one of the first emotions that may strike an individual. However, it is better to look at the situation in a detached and balanced manner and take your part of the responsibility rather than the total responsibility for the end of that relationship,” says Pooja. 

2. Let go 

There is a possibility that even after a divorce, you may not know how to end your marriage peacefully in your mind. Its lingering side-effects in the form of warm memories of the relationship may trigger a wave of despair. You have to let go and grieve the moments that have been lost. Try to see the ending of your marriage as a transition and not as a failure. Tell yourself that you have to let go so that you can create a healthy emotional space for the future. 

“It is normal for people to evolve and relationships to end. If you remember all the good things you must have shared once, you rejoice in them and not wallow in them. That must be your takeaway from the conclusion. Know that you walked out after deliberation and careful pondering on the situation, hence do not let pity hit you. Treat yourself with compassion,” says Pooja.

Related Reading: What is the best way to let go of a dying relationship?

3. Commit to your emotional well-being 

When the surge of emotion is high at the end of a long-term marriage, it might be hard to commit to yourself, right? It takes effort to look after oneself, but it pays off. Because you know yourself better than anybody does. So, wake up every morning and commit yourself to peace. 

What does that look like when you are trying to end your marriage peacefully? It means you do not talk badly about your former partner, you do not speak aggressively, and do not send any demeaning messages or voice texts. 

If you have had to leave a marriage with a child, do not fill him/her with poisonous thoughts about your former spouse. The chaos you may create may return in ways unknown. Silence and maturity will help you sail through the pain without creating hurdles for the future.

“It is hugely important to focus on yourself when leaving a marriage. Your relationship with yourself is important. Any person is not a ‘half’ of a relationship, but a complete individual. Hence, in such a challenging time, self-care is of utmost importance. You could undertake activities that can nourish you physically and emotionally,” says Pooja.

4. Set boundaries 

leave a marriage with no money
Try to remain polite throughout the process

A divorce is a long process – in the court and the heart. There is a slight chance that overriding emotions could translate into reverberating, sour utterances. To prevent this from happening, you could try being mindful. Try to remain light and polite throughout the process, avoid personal discussions and sharing of feelings that may spark arguments. 

Treat the resentment like a wounded physical limb that needs to be tended to. Waving it in the face of danger could only harm it further. Nurse it till its ache diminishes. You could seek professional help to wade through the maze of complex emotions. 

Related Reading: 10 Must-Follow Healthy Relationship Boundaries

5. Forgive yourself

If you feel you have hurt your spouse, you have to attempt to forgive yourself to end your marriage peacefully. However, ensure that your attempts to forgive yourself do not stem out of pity for yourself. They should aim at liberating you instead. 

If you have made peace with yourself, you could apologize to your partner for hurting them. Again, this should not be an effort to salvage the marriage but should be directed towards getting a closure – a clean and honest apology.

Pooja says that the apology to the partner should be based on how your marriage was. “Some marriages are highly toxic and even abusive. There is no need to apologize in such a situation. But if you stay friends with your former partner or co-parent your, you could consider apologizing only if you are the one who was responsible for the end of your marriage,” she says.

6. Share priorities 

When in marriage, two partners lead a life by sharing multiple responsibilities. This shared part need not be suddenly discontinued – especially it has been vital to your lifestyle or routine. Like two mature adults, you could share priorities.

For instance, if you are leaving a marriage with a child, you could figure out rules of co-parenting. If you are emptying the house, you could share the responsibility of bookings and resell of items – if any such thing is involved. 

However, Pooja says that an individual must remember that the ex is not equal to a partner while sharing duties. “It is crucial to separate the personal from the professional. One must create a safe space for yourself while respecting and allowing the space and boundaries of an ex-partner. Sharing how things might work differently now is crucial too,” she says.

7. End relationship on good note 

When at the end of the divorce, if you feel you are ready to move on and are certain on how to leave the marriage peacefully, thank them for everything they have shared with you. Appreciate the good aspects of your relationship or marriage and the things that you have learned from one another. This may not be a particularly pleasant conversation, but more like an acknowledgment receipt of the many years that you have spent with one another. 

Related Reading: How To End A Relationship On Good Terms

8. Set the stage

If you have figured out how to leave a marriage peacefully, its tenets will influence how you move forward. If you carry resentment, your future may be filled with bitterness. But, if you have been mindful, it may create a whole new world of wisdom. In short, the way you handle your divorce is how you will set the stage for your future. 

The energy that you may carry after ending your marriage peacefully may also be a detrimental factor in creating new relationships in your life. A mature demeanor may help you attract new friends and may even foster a second chance at love. Don’t just give up yet.

stories about divorce

9. See the big picture 

There is a possibility of the divorce draining your emotional well-being – the future may appear bleak and full of uncertainties. In such a scenario, you may want a counselor to hold you by your arm and guide you into the picture that you have not been able to see due to fogged-up emotions. 

However, remember that this divorce is a milestone by the side of a long street that will be left behind sooner or later. Visualizing what lies ahead for you can help you get a better perspective? Are there some things that you wanted to do before you figured out how to end your marriage peacefully? Was it a job or writing a book or learning a new skill? There is no better time to start. Once you see your thoughts reflected in your work, you may get a sense of satisfaction.

If you intend to end your marriage peacefully, it is prudent to ask yourself if you want to create an enemy of your former partner. You may not have to be friends, but if you are breaking up after a long span of being together, it is a given that you will still share some part that involves children, their graduation, weddings, and so on. It is a complex relationship of course. Being cordial and handling it peacefully may take you a long way. If you are finding it a tad bit difficult, help isn’t very far away. A team of experts on Bonobolgy panel is just a click away to resolve your worries.

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