Yes, this is a title to a song by Paul Simon that was released when I was about 3 years old. (I wonder if it went through my mother’s head before she left like it did mine in 2016)
For some time I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post outlining the things I would do differently if I could do it over again. Recently I have had three of my friends reach out to me, interested in knowing how I left because they are considering it themselves.
“The answer is easy if you
Take it logically
I’d like to help you in your struggle
To be free
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover”
“It’s really not my habit to intrude
Furthermore, I hope my meaning
Won’t be lost or misconstrued
But I’ll repeat myself
At the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways
To leave your lover
Fifty ways to leave your lover”
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don’t need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don’t need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free
But seriously though.
Everyone’s struggle is unique. I was dealing with a sociopath who has a whole reality locked inside of his head that no one will ever figure out or understand. It was hard for me to accept this and it still is sometimes. When I left, I left in haste because I suddenly realized that I was in danger. Once he realized that I was not going to return to my role in his game, he became my worst enemy and began to push me out of my own life with sabotage and betrayal.
Had I understood what kind of person he really was, (the kind that would clean out the bank account and lie about hiding money) I would have done things differently. I might have gotten a restraining order, changed the locks and put his shit out in the driveway. I would have kept my house and not been homeless. Unfortunately, it’s too late for that.
So here is the list of things I would do differently, and what I suggest to my friends who call me and ask my advice.
Get your shit together. Save money, collect financial data, make recordings, keep records and find out your rights. You never know what you might need to defend or prove your case in a divorce, so before you give your spouse any idea that you want to leave, get as much information as you can. If you have any suspicion that you may be betrayed or that your spouse may become unsupportive, don’t take any chances. Protect yourself. This person has all of your secrets and you better believe that if your divorce turns ugly those secrets will be used against you. Protect yourself and just assume that everything you say and do and everything you’ve ever said and done will become a weapon against you. I hope not, for your sake, but you never know. It is better to be cautious than to have regrets later.
Make a plan. You will need someone who supports you and somewhere to go. Sadly, most people will not be understanding or supportive when you leave a marital contract. Find allies who won’t discourage you. Talk to a lawyer. Find out if there is legal assistance in your area if you can’t afford a lawyer. There are various ways to find help depending on your community. Homeless shelters have resources and information, as do community and social service offices. Don’t be ashamed to seek help. Divorce is a long process and it can be a very emotional experience.
Protect your assets. Make an extra key to the house in case you get locked out. If you leave, forward your mail as soon as possible so that you don’t miss important information addressed to you. Keep the title to your car, if you have one. Don’t sign anything that may relinquish your rights to your property. No matter what he tells you, don’t take any chances. You wouldn’t want to get screwed if, say, he tricks you into signing a power of attorney to sell a mutual asset. You may never see your share of the money.
Take the dog.
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Pray for guidance and trust that your own Higher Self and spirit guides will lead you in the right direction. Even if it may seem insane, trust the process. My guides told me to post everything I was doing on social media and because I did, crazy as it seemed, I not only weeded out people who I couldn’t trust, I found people who would support me and I left behind a record that continues to inspire others.
Have faith that you will come out on the other side and be happy.
Believe that you deserve to be happy.
Good luck 🍀