Going through divorce is hard, traumatic. The thought of it can be so intimidating that people fantasize about alternatives like, “I wish my husband would die.”

Yesterday, I introduced you to Pippi who felt no chemistry in her marriage. She was very unhappy but wasn’t able to communicate that to her spouse because she was an “accommodater” – she was so good at putting on the happy face, she thinks she should have won an Oscar. Inside she was miserable and couldn’t see a way out. Here’s what she was thinking:

Would your spouse dying be easier than getting divorced?

It got to a point where I just couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with him. At some point, I wished that he would die because I felt how am I going to get out of this marriage? There’s no way I’m going to be able to divorce him. Maybe he’ll be killed in a car accident.

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I would fantasize about that but I would feel such awful guilt thinking about it. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and I had no means to leave the marriage. I created a fantasy world of what it would be like if I was not married to him but I just kept thinking, that’s never going to happen unless maybe if he were killed, if there were some type of accident. That would give me an out.

The Divorce Coach Says

You do read about wives who plot to kill their husbands and vice versa. Sometimes, they go through with the murder. It’s hard for me to understand what would drive someone to commit murder unless abuse is involved. You always imagine it to be a very extreme situation or some mental illness involved. So when you hear a regular person like Pippi, say she wished her husband would die, it can be shocking.

It might be shocking but I’m guessing it’s not uncommon. It’s shocking because we don’t talk about it and we don’t talk about it because we’re not supposed to wish someone dead, because we feel guilty thinking it. It’s not Christian, it’s immoral, it’s not part of our values.

In the months before my husband and I separated, there were many times I thought it would just be so much easier if he died in a car accident. It wasn’t that I truly wanted him dead – I just didn’t want to have to confront the issue of wanting our marriage to be over. It would mean an end to the endless discussions we seemed to have each evening going over the same issues again and again. It would mean not having to wrangle over dividing our financial assets or a custody agreement. It would mean not having to tell the children. It would mean an end to this thing that was suffocating me.

It was a very superficial imagining because I never thought through any of the consequences such as how the children would feel. And sitting here today, it seems rather foolish and pathetic because the consequences of him dying would have been far, far worse than the divorce and would have created so much more hurt.

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One thing is certain. If you are having these thoughts, then it’s time to get help from a therapist. Talking this through with someone may help bring clarity to the choices you have.