When is it the right time to leave?

In the first episode of Satyamev Jayate, one of the participants pointed out that, “had she realised she had the strength to live life on her own earlier, she would have quit the abusive marriage long before.”

Be it the survivors of abuse or the advisers/counselors of the same, the suggestion of “you should have moved out earlier” seems to have become the patent advise or say stereotype dialogue. I say so, for I too am one of those people who has decided to end her marriage.

Though my case is a bit different, for nothing grave (in the eyes of the onlookers) has yet happened in my marriage for me to take such a big step. I am very often advised/told that I am over-reacting and things can definitely be given a second chance for the sake of my daughter’s future.

So the big question circling my mind is, when is it the right time to leave?

Does one react on the first occasion he/she gets a hint in the actions of the people in their life/ from their spouse that something isn’t just right? Or, should one wait for a while in hope maybe things will get better in due course of time, the dust shall settle and people (the spouse, in-laws and others) will change miraculously? Or, better still have faith in yourself and in your ability to change everyone around you to make them all start loving you sooner or later?

On one hand stands the rule, that the first slap in cases of domestic violence and the first lie in the marriage is never the last one and on other hand stands the constant pressure to give things a second chance and some more time. The choice is tough, much beyond what words can describe.

In most cases, people (the victims) are seen to act over-optimistic in their approach. They try to overlook the obvious signs and take the humongous task of changing people rather than indulging in changing their own lives, outlook and available options. The outcome is unfavorable to such extent, that no-one needs statistics to prove whether they were right or wrong.

As an ordinary human being of ordinary intellect, I have no super-natural powers to guess whether giving a second chance to my marriage would by any luck ensure a happy future for me and my daughter. Having said that, I still have countless hints lying strewn everywhere around me that are screaming loud and clear that smoke never rises without fire.

My husband has been constantly trying his level best to convince me that we (me and my daughter) mean a world to him and all he did till now, actually had hidden good intent. Such slimy, meant-to-appease good behavior for the few minutes while we were talking, used to cause immense self-doubt and panic in my already stressed system. I was not sure whether what I was doing was right or wrong.

It was then that I decided to think with a cool head and analyse everything right from the start. From the day I had first heard about my husband and his family and all the interactions that followed over the years. It was a painful analysis for it held many precious memories among the hurtful ones, but a necessary one.

It took me days to come up with concrete decisions. I am answerable to no-one for the actions I take, for I am deciding for my life. But, I also have the responsibility of my daughter, therefore I cannot afford to make any errors.

That was about my life. But, what about the people around us? I think the answer to this mind-boggling quest is, the day we get the first hint that something is wrong in the relationship/ marriage we are in or stepping in, we need to try to make ourselves self-reliant, develop a support system around ourselves.

It might sound impossible, our strength levels might appear failing and our social conditioning might block our clear thought. But every step counts. Be it in the positive direction or no action taken, everything has its consequences. Doing all this takes time as well as lot of courage, hence it’s obvious it’ll be a while before any concrete steps are taken.

The steps we might be forced to take in the midnight of a unfateful night if things actually go wrong, will definitely be lot easier to take if we have been gradually working towards it. Life isn’t easy in an abusive relationship, neither will it be outside it, so hardships outside it shouldn’t scare us.

Being prepared for the worst isn’t anything wrong, it’s just a safety measure. But, landing in hardships without preparation is indeed a disaster.

The next time you try to convince someone to give their failing relationship a second chance, help them see the whole scenario. Help them decide to work on a back-up plan. Before being judgmental, try to understand their point of view and help them see through their conditioning.

Afterall, it always helps to have a safety jacket on before plunging, irrespective of whether it is ever used or not.

The song on my mind: Kya Karein kya na karein ~ Rangeela

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28 thoughts on “When is it the right time to leave?

  1. The next time you try to convince someone to give their failing relationship a second chance, help them see the whole scenario. Help them decide to work on a back-up plan. Before being judgmental, try to understand their point of view and help them see through their conditioning — exactly.. I have done the same to couple of my friends and colleagues who have called me to discuss their marital issues..

    I never convinced them but made them analyse their current situation based on their priorities and expectation. I guess pretty much this is what a good counselor would do. To help the person to think through the real issues rather than beating around the bush or sticking on to specific incidents. To help the person understand the overall attitude of the opponent and their surroundings. To help the person visualize their future after the decision…

  2. I guess this school of thoughts comes from our upbringing where since childhood we have been taught to be a one woman man and that divorce is always a taboo. I have many examples around me where women are surviving in abusive marriages mainly because their parents have asked them to. They cannot gather the courage to come out it and face the world themselves because for them whatever their parents say can never be wrong. I strongly feel it requires guts to walk out of an abusive marriage and stand up for yourself. And I am glad you decided it. Though the world might say think of your daughter. But a child is better off with the truth than witness an abusive marriage where there is no love. This one fact might just hurt the child once till the time he/ she accepts it, but continuing in a marriage just for the heck of it will hurt a child life long. The child will lose its innocent childhood for no fault of his/hers which according to me is unfair.

    I agree to you completely here!

  3. I am with you on this. In some cases, second chance works but it entirely depends on what the people involved have been going through all this time…

  4. Very difficult question to answer ..I cna totally understand it. You can never know when is the good time to leave.

    WE always think oh things will change, it will change tomorrow or day after .. oh today is the last day ..

    I dont know how to answer the question.

  5. As you said it, it’s your life and there can be no better person than you to make that decision. It is definitely the toughest and boldest decision any women from indian society can take. But people should respect and support their decision atleast after knowing what has happened. And there’s no need to explain yourself or the reason behind your choice to any damn people, but that doesn’t happen easily in our society. I can so understand how many hours/days/sleepless nights of thoughts and analysis would have gone into before even making this big step by you…its best for you and Pari. And such an apt song!!!!

  6. Totally agree ME…I totally support you in your decision…there is never a ‘time’ to leave..and when you keep waiting for that ‘time’ its too late!!!

    Big hugs to you and Pari….as long as your heart believes you have taken the right decision, go on and follow it!

  7. Well said ME.. No one really knows what a person is going through in his or her life… when a decision is made, it should be respected.. For me, no one can ever judge any other persons life… Its better to shut up than to give stupid or irrelevant advice…

  8. It is not easy and requires lot of courage to take a decision when our mind is not calm and clear but heavy with so many things happening around!

    During such times, having people who are not judgemental but supportive helps a lot, a lot..

    Afterall, it always helps to have a safety jacket on before plunging, irrespective of whether it is ever used or not. – Totally agree!!! Nicely put.

    Hugs ME!

  9. The next time you try to convince someone to give their failing relationship a second chance, help them see the whole scenario. Help them decide to work on a back-up plan. Before being judgmental, try to understand their point of view and help them see through their conditioning. After all, it always helps to have a safety jacket on before plunging, irrespective of whether it is ever used or not – True. Loved the way you put it with so much clarity.
    Hugs ME!

  10. Or, should one wait for a while in hope maybe things will get better in due course of time, the dust shall settle and people (the spouse, in-laws and others) will change miraculously?
    This is what most people do, isn’t it? A marriage isn’t child’s play. Most people prefer to try and make it work, instead of crying wolf and jumping the divorce bandwagon at the first sign of danger.

    In that sense, it’s difficult to predict when is the right time to walk out. I guess a good indicator is when your self-esteem is going for a toss and repeated attempts to make things work apparently does NOT seem to be having the desired results.

    • It really depends on individual cases for the severity of the first blow cannot be overlooked either.
      I agree, when one’s self-esteem is in question things definitely need to be dealt more seriously.

  11. Very amazingly written
    I definitely feel we as women dont realise we can have a life ,a better one without them . I was in a bad relationship too, few years back . It took me about six months to gather up the courage to leave him . He came back after a few months but as a changed man ,he had realised his mistakes and that was enough for me
    We are still together and stronger than ever . And now I feel if I hadn’t had the courage to leave him that time ,our relation could not have sustained.

    I dont know why I wrote such a longgggg comment ,now I feel stupid :|
    Sorry for spamming :P

    • I am so glad that you mustered enough courage to give him the necessary jolt needed to make him change his ways :D
      Please don’t feel sorry, it was a pleasure knowing your experience, even though I haven’t been all that lucky.
      Thank you for stopping by :)

  12. I guess it takes lots of guts, clear thinking and heart -break to walk out of a marriage. Certain relations have a breaking point and post that cannot be mend. Don’t listen to advise from ppl who haven’t lived your life. Life is beautiful and every end is a new beginning.
    PS : I did that compromise and continued my relationship, but things only get worse

    • Indeed every end is a new beginning for it all lies in our minds and how we take things :F
      Thank you Pv for sharing your personal experience and views :)

  13. I can’t agree more. I was part of an abusive relationship. The abuse was physical, mental, emotional and everything else. Now that I think back, I can’t for the life of my figure out why I tolerated it for the amount of time I did. Why didn’t I walk out of that relationship sooner?

    Probably because the ex was a person full of extremes. He was unbelievable good for the initial years. That made it hard for me to accept the sudden change. I kept believing his current behaviour was a phase, and that he will go back to his old self. That never happened. So now, although I feel responsible for my old scars to an extent, I know walking out was not easy. We do tend to get blinded by our past, especially if it has been good. I only hope more people find the strength to realise what they are setting themselves up for, by refusing to take that one step forward.

    PS – I love your choice of songs.

    • The happy years of my marriage often tempt me to overlook the mess my life has become in the past one year, but then somethings can’t be overlooked no-matter how hard you try and some bad deeds are non-negotiable no-matter how good the relationship/ person has been in the past.
      Thank you Pepper

  14. I think you live life but once and you have a right to be happy and create a wonderful healthy environment for your daughter and yourself and if you find your divorce gives you that – So be it.

    People will always find something to judge someone about – so you might as well as live for yourself and your daughter&parents

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