It always starts out as a fairy tale. The event and the relationship are filled with so many expectations and such promise with both partners thinking that they will be the lucky ones. Divorce, strife, arguing and unhappiness will not happen to them! A few years down the road, the newness and excitement wears off, live comes crashing in and two people are often left helplessly separated, lonely, unhappy and unable to make things work. They would leave; but they can’t! Finances, kids, family pressure and confusion can make any couple feel trapped in a marriage forever! Each day thereafter is a mixture of ‘if only’ thoughts and regret. No one knows for sure what the future holds for a couple and none of us truly realizes how life will change us and the relationship as time moves on.
Feeling trapped in a marriage is a frustrating feeling. You don’t want to disappoint each other, don’t want to get in a battle over the children and feel uncertain about the future if a separation happens. Therefore, you stay. You imagine that there will come a day perhaps when the kids are grown that you can escape without realizing that you are committing to giving up your happiness for a long stretch of time. While every person deserves to be happy there are far too many that are not and that are bound to people and circumstances in their life that they feel they don’t have the power to escape.
Ending a marriage can often be a blessing in disguise. As cloudy as the future may appear when you are thinking about it, you probably don’t realize that all things will work out in time. When you decide to stay with someone for the wrong reasons, you are sabotaging your own freedom, creativity, happiness and joy and will eventually turn into someone who is bitter, cold and angry. Your reasoning may be justified, but you have to realize that letting go may actually be the best thing for all involved.
Statistics show that children of divorce do remarkably well as long as the divorce is amicable and the parents act reasonably mature. These children do far better than those that witness a lifetime of parental disagreement and children are miraculously adept at noticing every shred of animosity and unhappiness that their parents are feeling. You may think you are hiding it well, but in the eyes of your children, you are not! In fact, when you break free from an unhealthy or unhappy relationship you will find that with the right attitude and time you will be able to shift back into the person you know you are on the inside. This person laughs a lot and realizes that life is supposed to be lived well. This is the person that your children and family members want to see and this is the person that you want to be remembered for. Being afraid to leave for the children is really just a crutch that adults hang on to in order to justify their indecision. Chances are you will be a better parent, when you are a happy person!
Another aspect of feeling trapped in a marriage is that people are naturally worried about expectations from others. This is why so few admit to the problems in their relationships and act as if everything in their world is perfect. Then suddenly, you hear about this perfect couple divorcing and the outside world is shocked. There is no reason to be afraid to talk about your marriage with others who care about you. If more people were honest about the troubles and dynamics of marriage, perhaps young married couples would be more prepared. Being afraid or feeling ashamed that a relationship didn’t work out is not a reason to stay. Yes, people may be upset or surprised and there will be plenty of people who will for morality’s sake or their own try to convince you to work it out. Never the less, unhappiness is something that can change you so drastically and make you feel so helpless that it really is not worth living with.
There are plenty of married couples who get a long better when they are not in a relationship. If you are staying for financial reasons, you have to be able to trust that the future for you is bright. In the midst of being trapped in a marriage you are overcome with grief, resentment and unhappy thoughts and it is easy to reason that you feel negatively about the future. However, when you break free, optimism will come back as quickly as the sun does after a rainstorm. When the optimism comes back and your heart and soul are filled with happiness and relief, you will see that the financial possibilities for you are endless. It is always difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are standing smack dab in the middle of it! If you keep walking forward, it is always there. It takes courage to find it but the travel is worth it in the end.
You should realize that if you feel trapped and unhappy your partner probably feels the same way. Breaching the conversation may be touchy or difficult but it can be done. If you want out you may be surprised that your partner does too, or even find that they are willing to change in order to make the relationship work. Marriage gets complacent and both partners are always guilty of not giving their best to each other. Sometimes, being afraid to talk about the real issues and living in a state of misery means that you can’t make any headway with one another. By getting the feelings out in the open and having faith that the right things will happen, you will be able to live a life that doesn’t feel like a secret version of jail. Many people are surprised at how well they do, how much better the relationship is in the end and how much better they feel when they take the big first step and decide that change is their life is necessary. Trapped in a marriage is never a reality, usually just a temporary way of perceiving your life.