“There are no right answers to wrong questions.” Ursula K. LeGuin
Asking the question, “Can I afford to leave my husband?” isn’t the most productive question to ask.
I remember the day I walked away from my marriage, when I walked out the front door of my home with a packed bag. You’d think I would have had some kind of grand plan that I had spent months orchestrating; I didn’t. I went to my parent’s house and asked if I could spend the night there. If they hadn’t said, “yes,” I would have gone to a hotel. I went to work the next day. I reached out to someone who rented corporate, furnished apartments and scheduled a tour. I knew that I could support myself financially, so I thought, “I’ll be fine.”
But I wasn’t fine.
I was numb.
I was sleepwalking.
I was avoiding feeling the emotion behind the magnitude of such a decision.
I may have been financially equipped to leave my marriage, but I most certainly was not emotionally equipped. So although I found and moved into an apartment within a matter of days, I entered into a period of my life where I realized more pain, more loneliness and more heartache than I ever knew was possible.
I couldn’t express why I left…at least not in a way that others would understand.
I didn’t want to feel the emotion, so I robotically put my head down and kept placing one foot in front of the other.
Until I quickly fell into the arms of someone who shattered my heart.
So even though I could afford my own apartment…(barely)….that didn’t mean that I was equipped to heal what had brought me to that place of pain. And just because I left my marriage, I didn’t leave my pain behind me; our pain follows us. It came with me so that it could be healed. So that’s what I did. And that essentially became my work for the next 2-3 years….all before ever becoming a life coach.
I talk to women every day who are trying to figure out if they should stay or go in their marriages – facing maybe the biggest decision of their lives – and one of the seemingly most important questions they’re asking themselves is, “Can I afford to leave my husband?”
But that’s not the answer you truly need. I know it seems like you really need that answer, but I promise you there are so many other answers that are needed that are far more important before you leave.
- You need to know and be at peace with why you think leaving is the answer.
- You need to know that you’ve tried everything you can to make it work, so that you can move forward without regret.
- You need to know if you’re willing to do the work to heal what brought you to this place, so that you don’t re-create the same painful experience again.
Leaving a marriage isn’t a financial decision. Frankly, it’s probably one of the worst financial decisions you can make. So, don’t distract yourself with the questions of whether or not you can afford the answer. Focus on getting the answers you need so that you can either re-connect and make the marriage feel good again or lovingly release it. Because when you have real answers and clarity, you can figure out how to make it happen.