A Divorced Girl Smiling Facebook group page member posted the following question: Has anyone here been the one who initiated the separation/divorce simply because they found their marriage toxic and damaging to their mental health? I need a divorce. My husband didn’t cheat or hit me and he strongly believes those are the only biblical grounds for divorce.
Here is my advice for “I need a divorce:”
Many people decide to divorce without “a good reason.” And, there are so many people out there who feel the way that your husband feels: Marriage is forever; it should only end in cases of adultery or domestic abuse. Even then, some people still believe the marriage can be salvaged.
There are others who believe that marriage should be a joyous union. It should be full of connection, love, support, challenge, passion, joy and even some pain. But, it should not include the feeling that you shouldn’t be together. It certainly should not include the feeling that you are living amidst toxicity and that the toxicity is impacting your mental health.
When you are at that point of knowing that the energy between the two of you is toxic, why would you stay? Who are you really helping by doing so? If you are feeling mentally broken down, how is that even potentially good for your spouse?
He can’t feel good seeing a broken-feeling woman by his side. Plus, if there are children involved, that’s a whole other intricate layer added to the mix. Children need to see two happy parents. Ideally, those two happy parents are together. However, it’s not necessary.
What is necessary is that their parents are happy and healthy.
If there are children involved, you want to model what a healthy union looks like. It should not be something that exists amidst toxicity, mental trauma and pain. If that’s what is modeled for children, that’s what they may potentially find comfortable in the future when they are exploring their own partnerships.
Just as importantly as what we model for our children, you need and deserve to be happy. You have one time to go around (let’s go with that concept for the sake of this argument), and that one time goes by rather quickly. Do you want to be spending this one life in a situation in which you are miserable? Does you husband want you to actually feel unhappy simply because the bible suggests that should be the case?
When you really break it down, you must focus on your happiness and on your mental health. If you are certain that the marriage is the cause of your deteriorating mental health, then, of course, get out without feeling any guilt for doing so.
Consider trying to explaining to your husband that you would not only be continuing to hurt yourself by staying: You would be hurting him, too. Tell him your decision is for both of you, so you both have an opportunity to live truly happy and peaceful lives.
Hopefully, he’ll understand your need for a divorce. If not (and please remember this!), YOU understand.
Take your one time on this Earth and try to fill it with as much joy and love as you deserve.
Amy Lee Kite is an author, blogger, poet and editor. She received her master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism and has had numerous articles published over the years. Amy has always turned to writing to work through anything that is happening in her life, including her parents’ divorce and her own divorce. She has published three children’s books on tough topics, including “Divorce: What About Me?” Her most recent book, “Goodbye, Gus” is about the loss of a pet. Her books are available on her website and on Amazon. To learn more about Amy, visit her website: www.amyleekite.com; follow her poetry and writing on her Instagram account: @amyleewrites and follow her on Facebook.
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