In modern times, almost nobody willingly enters a marriage they know to be dangerous or unhealthy. Yet, over time a large number of women find themselves in a situation they realize is out of control or simply not an environment they are comfortable in. It can be tricky dealing with divorce or separation in an abusive marriage, but you can quickly extricate yourself from the situation legally and without expensive legal fees by spending a bit of time researching your options online.
Making the Decision
It may take you a long time to realize your marriage is destroying your spirit or is outright dangerous. Many times women looking back on the years together can see signs of emotional or physical abuse long before the first fist flew or she reached the breaking point from insults and insinuation. Regardless of how long you’ve been in an ugly situation, there is no need to stay there – despite your trepidation.
Many women stay in a marriage longer than they should for the sake of their children or out of fear of being alone. While both of these are valid arguments, they are not powerful enough to allow a dangerous man in your life or your child’s.
Staying for the Children
The most common argument for staying in a marriage, at least from mothers, is that their children need a father figure. While studies have shown that healthy, intact marriages are indeed beneficial for children, an unhealthy family environment is likely putting a great deal of stress on your children – more than a separation and move would entail.
Children, even toddlers and infants, are very astute. They may not understand all the words in an argument, but they do understand and react to tone. And if your home is full of shouting and insults, your child is exposed to that despite you try to keep it from him. Not only do children sense when there is trouble between their parents, they are also learning behaviors from you and your husband at all times.
If your child sees that a man can hit his wife in anger and simply apologize later without recourse, you’ve effectively taught your child that hitting is okay and that physically dominating a woman or being dominated by a man is just the way of things. Telling your child not to hit his friends or siblings is a moot point after he sees violence in his own home. The same can be said for insults, name-calling and shouting.
If your child is in danger of physical or emotional abuse, you are responsible for removing them from that situation immediately.
If you’ve been in a relationship, even a bad one, for a long time there is definitely a concern about suddenly being alone. This fear is compounded if you’ve been out of the workforce to raise children at home. While this fear can be crippling, don’t allow it to be. Reach out to a shelter or community center that helps women find two feet to stand on while they prepare restraining orders and divorce papers. A shelter or help center can also give you legal advice and help you make a fresh start away from your current situation.
If you can’t afford a lawyer or simply don’t know where to begin, order an inexpensive packet of legal documents from a reputable online source. You can obtain restraining orders, child custody documents and the papers you’ll need to begin divorce proceedings.
If the thought of divorce is still too overwhelming, start with a simple step – get you and your children away from the negative influence and at least begin researching your options. You may be entitled to half of all assets and earnings in the marriage.
Restraining orders are a logical next step to keep you safe from any reaction on your husband’s part, and then legal separation or divorce will give you a clean start down the road. The most important thing should not be filing legal paperwork, however. What’s really important is that you act accordingly to keep you and yours safe.