‘I want to leave my husband’. Is that thought going round and round in your head? Does it feel like your dirty little secret? Does it feel like so long as you don’t actually give that thought a voice you’ll be OK, and you’ll manage to keep your marriage together longer?

Hmmm. I’m wondering if you really believe that?

It’s not that I don’t believe you b.t.w, it’s got nothing to do with me, it’s just that I know that once that though is there, it’s not gonna go anywhere unless you address it. You know when you get a tickly cough and you think ‘I’m not gonna cough because when I do I’ll cough until I choke’? So you hold back, willing yourself not to cough until your eyes water. That tickle just gets worse until you just have to cough, right?

Yeah. You know exactly what I’m talking about don’t you?

So what should you do instead?

Ignoring those feels shouldn’t be an option

As tempting as it is to want to ignore those feelings, they won’t go away. Trust me when I say that.

You see, your unconscious mind has been aware of these feelings for a lot longer than your conscious mind has. Perhaps you’ve been feeling out of sorts for a while, an uneasiness that you haven’t quite been able to put your finger on.

Until now.

Until that knowing feeling popped into your head, and you just can’t get rid of it. Ignoring those feelings shouldn’t be an option because ignoring your own feelings is a sign that you don’t trust or value yourself. You can accept and value the way you feel, you know that don’t you? Doing this doesn’t mean that you have to take any other action, it just means that you value yourself. Valuing and trusting yourself is key to making smart decisions.

What to do next

It’s ok. Just admitting to yourself that you want to leave your husband doesn’t mean that everyone else knows. I know it feels like it’s written all over your face, but it really isn’t. No one else knows.

The next thing to do is do nothing. That’s right, do nothing. It’s common for ladies like you to want to ‘get on with it’, to ‘move on’ and ‘make changes now’. When we feel uncomfortable, we want to get rid of that feeling as soon as possible. It’s completely normal, and, can be a recipe for disaster. Being with that decision in your own body is crucial to getting comfortable with it. Separation and divorce take time. Quickie divorces that you hear about in the media are few and far between. It’s unlikely to happen for you. So getting comfortable with your decision, day after day is the first step to gathering the resilience you will need to see this through.

Telling other people

Who you decide to share your thought that you want to leave your husband is up to you. Sometimes sharing with someone else eases the pressure on you, and sometimes it doesn’t. Take your time before telling anyone. Sometimes, the ladies I work with tell their friends, others use me as their sounding board and confidant. Remember that once that thought is out there, it’s out, so choose wisely. Think about the ‘why’ of wanting to tell that person. Can they support you? Will they be neutral? Or is it that you just feel the need to unburden yourself? Are they capable of hearing this news without giving their opinions in such a way that you became influenced by them? remember that this is your marriage, and only you can decide whether you should stay in it or not.

Writing down your thoughts and revisiting them

One of the best ways to get clear about what you want is to write down your thoughts and feelings. It can be more tricky than you might imagine. So here’s what I suggest. Be gentle with yourself, and be honest. Allow yourself to write freely about what makes you happy, what doesn’t and what you want from the romantic relationship in your life. What are you willing to ask for and what are you willing to give? Remember, you cant make him do anything. He might be willing to do lots of things so that list of what you are willing to ask for is useful. You are, however, in control of what you are willing to give. So what if anything is it?

When you’re sure you want to go

Plan

Having a plan to leave your man might sound underhand and devious. It might sound like I’m going to be suggesting siphoning off the joint account and taking the children in the middle of the night.

That’s not what I’m saying here. Now if you are being subjected to domestic abuse, that might be something that you need to consider to keep you safe. This blog is NOT for you. You can get support for your situation through organizations such as Women’s Aid.

When I’m talking about having a plan, I’m talking about you getting really clear about what you want. Deciding to divorce is a big deal. There are consequences and benefits, just like every action that you take. Investing in yourself emotionally is part of a great plan. Even when divorce is your idea, it’s tough. Consider who will be your support network, whether you do need a lawyer, the type of divorce you want, whether independent support is needed, what you can do to take care of yourself. Yes. Investing in yourself this way will support you emotionally and can also save you money. Thinking that you can do it alone is often an understandable and misguided point of view.

Organise

Once you have a plan, it’s time to get organized. When you get divorced, there are certain steps that you need to take. Being prepared in advance eases the pressure and uncertainty. You see, you won’t be in control of all of your divorce because there are obviously at least two of you in this (sometimes more if you’ve met new partners and they are giving you their ha’penny’s worth too). So why wouldn’t you get clued up about what you can beforehand? Understanding the legal process and your financial situation will save you a fortune if you can go to a lawyer already having some idea about what’s going to happen and what’s possible for you.

Prioritise

Many ladies like you want it all sorted now. Like yesterday. But the thing is, in reality, it doesn’t work like that and it’s not realistic. So decide what’s important to you right now and deal with that – the rest can wait. It’s important to you will be different for every woman and will also depend on your circumstances. It could be arrangements for the children, payment of maintenance, somewhere to live. Look at your plan. What do you need to do first? And then?

Compromise

Know that compromise is likely to be needed. Rare is the divorce when absolutely everything is agreed from the get-go, and, it does happen. Ensure that in working out what’s important to you, you’ve worked out your boundaries. By this, I mean that you’re clear about what is non-negotiable and areas where you know what you’d like, and you’re also willing to be flexible. Knowing these areas in advance will increase feelings of confidence and certainty.

So ladies, thinking about leaving your husband? Know that by following the steps above, you’ll make a decision that’s right for you at the right time. Without second guessing and without looking back.

This article originally appeared at http://www.emmaheptonstall.com/divorce-coaching/i-want-to-leave-my-husband.

Emma Heptonstall is the Divorce Alchemist. Divorce Alchemy is founded on the belief and experience that with the right information and preparation, you can manage your divorce with confidence feeling in control. Emma credentials include: NLP Master Practitioner, Diploma in Counseling Skills, Certified Mbit, Coach, Family Mediator, and Barrister. Learn more about Emma and contact her at http://www.emmaheptonstall.com.