I want to leave my marriage of 10 years. Will I come off as selfish? Conrad K.
Dear Conrad K, To move out of a 10- year-marriage is unfortunate and painful. I’m sure you have invested quite significantly in saving this marriage but you probably do not see a way forward pertaining to the success of your marriage. You do not spell out why you are compelled to make such a decision. However, with determination and willingness, most marital discrepancies can be refurbished if one follows the right procedure. Falling in love is easy but sustaining it takes time, wisdom, effort, and energy. One has to know what to do to make a marriage work.
Much as walking out may be a right decision in instances where one envisages a life threat, mending could be a better idea especially if you are legally married with children. There are a number of marriage breakers which include; infidelity, broken trust, an obstinate spouse, emotional neglect, financial management, in-law interference, conflicts, addictive behaviour, and poor communication. These can suffocate marriage and later culminate in aspiration for separation or even divorce.
Could you be falling under any of the above or even wondering whether you married a wrong person? The key to succeeding in marriage is not only finding the right person; but learning to love the person you found so as to build a lasting relationship. Sometimes people think that rebuilding a dying relationship must be a joint effort between spouses. However, much as this is right, it is also true that one person’s effort can change the momentum of a marriage, and often, it is that effort that motivates the inflexible spouse to join in the process of saving the marriage.
I do not know the steps you have so far taken to rectify your relationship. I would suggest that before leaving, you try to revisit what happened in the beginning when your relation was right, join a marriage support group, seek counsel from a marriage counsellor, listen to your spouse’s view point again, be patient, pray, forgive and accept forgiveness. Also, create a safe non-threatening environment for communication without digging much into the past. Do an objective SWOT analysis for both of you, then discuss it with her.
Joseph Musaalo is a counselling psychologist