I was 11 years old when I was invited to an elderly neighbour’s house for tea. My mother dressed me in the nicest outfit I had for the occasion and made sure I knew enough etiquette to get through the event without embarrassing myself (or her).
As she buttoned the collar of my crisp white shirt, I asked her “How do I tell Mrs. Kinsey if I don’t want any more tea?”
My mother smiled and smoothed the ribbon in my hair. “Honey, when you don’t want any more, just lay your hand gently over your cup and tell her you’ve had enough.”
Twenty-five years later, I sat in my car and sobbed into my cell phone, “Mom, I’m done. I’ve had enough. We’re getting a divorce.”
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re going through a crisis in your own relationship or marriage that makes you question if you should learn how to let go of a bad marriage and if you’ve had enough.
How do you know?
Four years before my marriage actually ended, I told my husband I wanted a divorce. We had stopped having sex, he had begun hiding things like his cell phone bill and pay stubs and neither of us were happy.
But as we discussed the details of the actual process of divorcing each other, fear set in. I began to wonder if I’d done enough to save my marriage.
Had I truly exhausted every single means available to me? I knew my husband wasn’t going to seek out new or inventive ways to save our marriage — his ambivalence to saving our marriage was the same as his ambivalence to ending it. I had heard lots of stories of women who tried “one last thing” to save their marriages, and it ended up working. For the sake of my vows, for the sake of my children, I had to give it everything I had.
This would be a great story if I could tell you that anything I tried within the next four years helped, even a little. Sadly, most of it failed miserably and sent me further down the rabbit hole of despair. What it did accomplish was the peace of mind in knowing that — when I did finally walk away — I had exhausted every idea and resource available to me.
Four years of crying myself to sleep, endless self-help books, hiding the reality from neighbours and relatives, long talks that ended only in tears or fights — all of it did not help to save our sinking ship.
If you are reading this now, ask yourself this one critical question: “If I walk away now, will I have regret over what I have left undone?”
If the answer is yes, then it might not be time to leave. (Unless we’re talking about an abusive relationship, and then it’s always best to leave as soon as possible.) If there is still some doubt in your mind that divorcing is the right thing to do, then you still have options.
If you are sitting, thinking only of how hard it will be, how much you don’t want to divorce, how hard it will be on your children/friends/family/work, that’s different. Yes, it will be hard/painful/scary at times. But the good news is that it will end the constant pain/fear/rejection that you face every day in your marriage.
Reading this, you’re likely hoping I’ll tell you the magic formula to knowing the right time. And I will… sort of. The right time is when you’ve finally, completely and inexorably had enough.
Enough crying, pain, yelling — whatever has been filling your days and nights in the last few weeks, months or years of your marriage. And somehow, when you finally get to that point, I want to you go somewhere quiet and say it out loud to yourself. “I’m done. I’ve had enough.” And then mean it.
Source: Written by Michela Montgomery for Yourtango.com