Few divorces are easy or amicable, but some pose more challenges than others. For example, divorcing when you share children usually turns an otherwise simple divorce into a more complex endeavor.
Along with legal issues (child custody, property division, etc.), personal matters may complicate a divorce. If your spouse has a mental illness, you could face numerous emotional effects on your path to freedom.
Guilt can be pervasive
Even if you expect to feel bad about leaving your spouse, you might face an onslaught of guilt you did not anticipate. Many who were once in similar circumstances report feeling like they abandoned their spouse for years.
Always remember that you do not have to sacrifice yourself or your life to help your spouse recover from a mental illness. Every Tennessee resident has the right to end an unhappy marriage. In some situations, staying in a broken marriage can worsen matters for both spouses.
Worry can control your life
You probably already spent a significant part of your life worrying about your mentally ill spouse. While a divorce can eventually end your constant worry, it will not happen overnight.
Most people continue to experience concern about how their ex will survive after the divorce. Fears about them harming themselves and living a reckless lifestyle may also plague your post-divorce life.
A sturdy support system is critical
Your spouse needs as much support as possible during and after the divorce, and so do you. Surrounding yourself with friends, family and professionals (legal, behavioral, psychological, etc.) helps you cope with the unexpected effects of divorcing a mentally ill spouse.