You’ve heard the Dolly Parton song “Momma moved out / Daddy sold the house / They split up their money / And went on their way / And all the king’s horses / And all the king’s men / Couldn’t put mommy and daddy back together again.”
A slew of country western songs talk about marriage and divorce. The common theme is that marriage is tough! So how do you know when the time for doling out second chances is over?
Jesus of Nazareth advised forgiving not seven times, but seventy times seven. Well if your spouse has seven or seventy times seven or so romantic partners outside your marriage, most of us would agree that such an arrangement would try the patience of even the greatest saint. Certainly, there are marriages that thrive even after the most blatant episodes of infidelity; one need look no further than the Oval Office which, since at least the time of Harding, has been a notorious den of iniquity yet seems to have no effect on the marital unit. On the other hand, plenty of marriages have broken up over what some might consider the most minute of issues, like leaving the toilet seat up one too many times or forgetting to buy a birthday present.
Deciding when things have reached the point of no return is a deeply personal and difficult choice. Perhaps the best litmus test is a simple question: Does your marriage promote or hinder your happiness and your development as a human being?
Many of us marry someone we like in most respects, while hoping that other aspects of his or personality or lifestyle would change drastically. Others fail to recognize the shortcomings of their life partners before spending 10 or more horrible years together.
We spend our married lives hoping for and (more often) dreading change. Time has the power to repair as well as destroy. Some spouses take up marathon running to lose weight after years of lethargic contentment; more often, the svelte person you married gradually becomes virtually unrecognizable. Waiting for a drinker to outgrow a tendency toward alcoholism may be a lost cause, no matter how many people have been helped by joining Alcoholics Anonymous, and a propensity toward verbal abuse could escalate into imminent danger or sexual and physical abuse.
None of us are perfect, but you are the best judge of what is perfect for you. In extreme cases, you may need to give up on your marriage in order to preserve your physical safety and/or mental and emotional well-being.
If you feel something is not right with your marriage, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get sound legal advice on what it would take to escape a no-win situation. Shelton-based Hirsch Legal LLC is recognized as one of the area’s leading divorce and family law practices. Our principal attorney, Carmina Hirsch, is published in legal and non-legal publications and has been named a “Super Lawyers Rising Star” for the last five consecutive years. Hirsch Legal, LLC serves clients in most of Connecticut’s major cities, including Danbury, New Haven, Milford, Bridgeport, Westport and Stamford.