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Hi, I’m Charmaine Mattocks, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Thriveworks South Austin, Texas. Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite topics and that’s marriage and relationships.

As we know, marriage and relationships can have its ups. It can have its downs. Sometimes when those downs outweigh the ups, we often think to ourselves and question, “How do I know when it’s time to leave my marriage?” Well, today I want to give you some tips and some questions to ask yourself to help you process through that difficult decision.

The first thing I want to say is be self-reflective. Think about some of the things you may have said, some of the things you may have done that may have contributed negatively to your marriage. Secondly, I would like you to read some books. Read some books on love, marriage, relationships, self-development to kind of help give you additional clarity and understanding.

Third, I want you to meditate. And if you’re someone that believes in a higher spiritual power, pray. Those are the things that are going to help you to guide you, to give you clarity, give you understanding, to help you to be objective during this time. And lastly, I want you to go to counseling. Of course, I want you to go to counseling, right? This will help you with a licensed counselor to help you to go through this difficult process.

Now, I wish I could tell you it’s going to take you three months, six months, a year, and you go through this and you’ll know exactly what to do. Honestly, I can’t do that. All I can say is that everybody processes things on their own, their own timeframe. So one thing you can do that can help you to tell you when it is a good amount of time is that it becomes very uncomfortable.

You’ve meditated a lot, you’ve been self-reflective a lot. You’ve read a lot of books, you’ve been in counseling for a while, and you’ve gotten to the point where it was a difficult process. Then you can say, man, I know I’ve done the work and then once you’ve done that, then you can begin to look at some of your partner’s behaviors, actions, words.

One of the questions you can ask yourself is, is my spouse still interested in being a part of this marriage? Does my spouse act recklessly in this marriage? Reckless meaning, are they lying? Are they cheating? Are they speaking to me negatively? Are they speaking about our marriage negatively? Another question you can ask is, is my spouse doing the work that it needs to be done to be successful in this marriage? The work meaning some of the similar things that you were doing, being self-reflective, meditating, praying, reading books, going to counseling.

Is my spouse doing all these things? Once you’re able to be self-reflective and answer those questions you have about your spouse, then and only then, can you possibly be ready to make the decision on knowing when it is that you should leave your marriage. If there’s kids involved, this also gives you time to consider them and their opinions or the possibility of the effect that it might have on them if you leave the marriage.

Well, I hope these tips and these questions can help you along your way in this process and that it can help you along with therapy to get to the point where you can really answer the question fully for yourself. All right, thanks and have a great day.