Unfortunately, no one else can tell someone when they should bail on a marriage. If the feeling or eagerness to run does not come directly from the spouse the person won’t leave or if they do, they won’t stay gone long. There are instances however that seem to bring so much light to our differences that it doesn’t make sense to stay locked in a relationship that offers nothing. Millions of couples stay together for the kids. Growing up in a home where parents felt they were doing the right thing, I can say for sure- it’s worse on the children to stay together.
When a marriage is in trouble we begin to enter a mode of competition with our spouse. This mode suggests that every conversation, every encounter and every circumstance is a win or lose event. We could be talking about what kind of curtains to hang in the foyer and would choose to disagree just to instigate an argument. If we aren’t willing to go for counseling or to seek the help of some sort of mediation it may be wise to bail. Reason is that few people can reopen the dialogue at this point and no human should be forced into a life that is constantly negative, manipulative or hurtful.
Exiting the Marriage
Another way to know if it is time to bail on a marriage is if one spouse is caught in a time warp, unwilling to forget or forgive a certain instance or moment. If one spouse holds something over the others head (cheating for instance) and refuses to let it go or forgive it is best to go ahead and get out of the relationship. Situations like this can never end happy and it is clear from the behavior that the person will never move past it. No one should be punished or forced to live as though their head is always on the chopping the block. Many marriages make it through infidelity, while others don’t. Depending on your relationship and personality style when infidelity occurs – either move on or get over it.
Other situations that indicate that it is time to bail on a marriage if one person is using physical or verbal violence against the other. This rarely if ever gets better and breaches the respectable boundary that all humans should live under. There is a saying that people only treat us as we allow them to and withstanding abuse of any kind is as much a sign of our inner being as it is the person committing the abuse. At this point it isn’t a matter of forgiveness, need or love- it is a matter of safety. If a partner has a serious addiction and refuses to get help or refuses to admit it I think that the marriage should come to an end. This may not uphold the ‘for better or worse’ agreement we make at our wedding ceremony but research suggests that addiction problems simply lead to a world of family troubles that can extend beyond the relationship and to children and loved ones as well.
It seems that many people over the years have decided that marriage is not supposed to be a happy union. When people come together whether it be two or 40, there are bound to be disagreements. But marriage is intended to be happy. This false belief that we have to pay our dues in life or put up with ridiculous behavior just to say married has long been outdated by common sense. If we must get a divorce to save ourselves, our sanity or our peace of mind it is appropriate to gain the insight and move on to happier hollows. This doesn’t mean that at the first sign of trouble we should bail; but given time, thought and nurturing if things don’t get better or one or both spouses just don’t seem to be gaining fulfillment, in my mind it is much better to bail on the marriage and find a healthy and happy life. After all life is short and remaining pensive throughout all of our days is not what is meant for us. It is silly to force ourselves to stay or feel like a failure because a relationship didn’t work. Some folks do feel there is a moral ramification for divorce or separation but there is a larger one for living a life with unfulfilled needs, desires and laughter!
Very little in life is stationary. As we get older and as time goes on we evolve into new and better people. If a relationship does not make room for that chances are we are about to encounter one of those moments when it could be best to bail on a marriage. Figuring out when to bail on a marriage can be the pivotal factor in leaving a situation with integrity, dignity and self esteem in tact. It also is a sure fire way to set boundaries in our lives so that we can ensure we are always living the life intended for us. If a partner is clear on what we will tolerate and put up with and we mean enough to them they will try to tailor the relationship to make us happy. Obviously we have to do the same. If they don’t extend that courtesy’ I say bail. Even if children are involved, there is little they can learn about compromise, respect and love by witnessing an unhappy union of their parents.
Sometimes long before we read an article, a book or hear some advice or information we know in our hearts what it is we need to do. Perhaps we are just looking for a little convincing or assuredness. If you are thinking about when to bail on your marriage, chances are a part of you already has. If it can’t be fixed- save time and your heart and leave the marriage amicably. Yes, marriage is meant to be a life long commitment but we also need to understand that as we grow older our needs change. Leaving a marriage does not necessarily mean that we have made a mistake or an error in judgment. In many cases it simply means that our needs and desires have changed. We have to be able to make ourselves happy before we can make anyone else happy in life.