It is hard to leave any marriage…..

by Rod Smith

“This morning’s column (12/10/06) is the plaintive cry of another emotionally abused partner. Every time I hear the words ‘I stay because of the children’ I want to be sick. Thank goodness you pointed out that such a relationship is bad for the children. Thank you for asking the question: ‘What is it about you that you are willing to settle for so little?’ I hope this gets the writer of the letter thinking about the quality of his life and all the opportunities to be happy he is missing.”

Chime in, please...

Chime in, please...

Children are seldom enduringly fooled by the false front of security offered by warring parents who remain in pathological marriages supposedly for their sake. It is usually hard to leave any marriage, and, while the “for the children” reason sounds noble, it is often a cop out for the partner who is willing to settle for less from life than life offers. Leaving any marriage takes courage, but staying in the marriage, and achieving something worthwhile within the marriage probably requires more courage. This, of course, is only suggested if the marriage is free of violence and other forms of abuse.

60 Comments to “It is hard to leave any marriage…..”

  1. “Contrary to the wisdom of pop psychology, it is not essential to your or your children’s well-being for you to have a great marriage,” writes psychologist Coleman in the opening to this frank (and, to borrow from Lewis’s foreword, even “radical”) guide for struggling couples. – excerpt from amazon.com review of “Imperfect Harmony:How to Stay Married for the Sake of Your Children and Still Be Happy” by Josh Coleman

    Not that I’m doing a steller job of being happy, but he does have a point. I think being happy, despite circumstances, is more of a key than simply changing partners or kicking one another to the curb. His book at least approaches the topic from a more novel standpoint that popular culture’s “Dump them” appraoch.

    D.

  2. Just a short commment because I don’t have the energy to explain everything….but, I have been married for 25 years….Ups, downs, fun, no fun, etc…just like most. I’m at a point now though that I think I really want to be alone. There has been way too much baggage from the past marital problems and they continue in the forefront…only they seem just intolerable anymore. I will devistate a lot of people if I leave my husband but I feel I want to. I’m 45 years old and feel I want a fresh start. Not with another man…just myself…to find out who I am because somewhere along the line, I lost myself. The longer I stay around, the more I realize how hard it is going to be but, I want to. Is it OK to be so selfish. I have two boys who both live on their own and now it’s just my husband and I and I find it difficult to stay. I want a change. Has anyone else done this?

  3. shelly, I am 35 yrs old and my husband wants to leave me. Sounds like the same reasons you want to leave your husband. I am so confused over this. Sure everything hasn’t been great all the time but we have been married for 15 yrs, have 2 children(14 and 11)and I can’t understand why leaving is now his only viable option? Can you enlighten me on this topic since you seem to have similar feels as him?

  4. Listen, I’m a man married to an abusive wife, married for 17 yrs, 2 wonderful boys, 13 and 11. We’ve been to hell and back hundreds of times…but I know I am being abused but will give it up for 100% time with my boys, not 50 or 40% plus payments every month.
    Sorry if this is a cop out, but there is nothing or no-one that can replace time with my kids.
    Take your psychiatric theories and place those into your family scrap book, see how it looks in 20 years…

  5. In response to Shelley’s comment 9/12/2006, I am 45 and have been in an emotionally abusive marriage/partnership for 26years and also felt I needed to get away on my own to find myself and what else life has to offer, obviously to get away from the abuse as well. I left 8mths ago and have had councelling since. I have never felt more alone in my entire life than I feel now, there is an emptiness I cannot seem to fill. I wish I had tried harder at making my marriage work then, because I still love my Husband very much.

  6. Shelley –

    I am in the exact situation as you….. 25 years…. basically the same age…. My wife begs me to stay, saying now how much she loves me, when for the past several years I’ve received treatment that borders on emotional abuse…. sex has been non existant for years…. I feel the same as Stu about my kids and have apprehensions about being alone as described by Karen….however, I find it incredibly empty to continue in a relationship in which I don’t love my wife and see no real hope that that emotion (or lack of) will change….. My Christian background say I’m being selfish for wanting to leave…… but I am overwhelmed with the desire to seek a more satisfying relationship……..I’m no help…….I’m just as confused and hurt as you are……guess I would just like to know if you stayed in your marriage or if you left….or if you are still hanging in there faking it?

  7. I have been with my husband for 22 years, married for 15, 2 children. We have had problems for 5+ years, which started as small problems when the first child was born. I have been trying to fix the problems totally alone–in 5 years, he hasn’t acknowledged that there IS a problem! I made the decision that I want to leave him and started on a plan to organize my finances. Meanwhile, a wonderful, available man came into my life. We are becoming friends, and there is an intense attraction between us, though we have never made any moves toward being intimate. I had thought my choice was between being with my husband or being alone. Now this new guy is complicating my decision. It looks to me like fate brought him into my life for a reason. I’m not being abused, but I haven’t loved him for a few years now, especially since he made a decision that showed him to have very different values from mine. He has hurt me for 5 years and won’t even acknowledge it. I also don’t know whether to leave, pursue the new man, or stay in an unhappy marriage. I am tired of sacrificing my emotional health and career for my husband and getting nothing in return. How do you know when to leave?????

    • Elizabeth,

      I read your comment and in some ways you are telling my story. My husband has cheated on me and has sqaundered our children’s savings and college funds. So I feal that he has betrayed them as well. For a few years I’ve felt that I have to stay for the children’s sake (they are 19,17 and 12), but have been so unhappy. Tha is until I met a wonderful and available man. I wrestle with with this everyday. I too don’t want to sacrifice my emotional health and wonder what kind of example I am setting for my children. I also hope that I am seeing this man for what he really is, and not just an “out” for my unhappy situation. That wouldn’t be fair to him either. I pray for direction.

  8. Help! My wife and I have been married for 17 years. were best friends and have never had a fight. we disagree alot when it comes to our two kids, 11-14, but nothing major. She says she feels alone, loves me but isn’t in love with me. she’s not 100% sure, but she feels we need to end our marriage. We are both faithfull, I love her to death, in fact my lust for her is extremely strong. im more attracted to her now than when we first met. Its the old scenerio to. She says Im a great husband, father, lover, we have no $$ problems and it’s not another man. Help before it’s too late.

  9. help, im 21 married just over a year with a 6 month old daughter. me & my husband are just bearly hanging in. i feel so alone, i have sacrificed everything for him, money-school-career-my life basically, since he was illegal when i met him. i try to fix everything alone and im so tierd. i feel i have no where to ru since i gave it all up for him. i wrk fulltime he watches the baby & goes to school. he just treats me so bad lately……. i sometimes wish i never met him….. he took everything from me and gave me lonlieness………….. please i have no one to talk to i need someone

  10. Sarah
    I am so sorry for your situation, the 1st 12 months with a baby are so tough on a relationship regardless of any other problems you are experiencing. You sound like you feel like you have lost a big part of yourself, i feel like that in my relationship all the time. Knowing that it is crap, but not knowing how crap it is suppossed to be before you leave. Sarah you absolutely need to find a womens service in your area that you can talk to abut your situation and your options. you may not want to leave in the end but you need to know about your choices and that will give you some power back. i dont know you but you are obviously strong enough to reach out on this site. blessed be……….

  11. I know what you are talking about. i am in the same situation. married 32 yrs. i want so much to leave but am finding it too difficult. mostly because i am a coward and secondly because i know he will try to stop me by using emotional blackmail to convince me he loves me ..but our marraige is not a marraige. i have no desire to be intimate on any level and he knows that but still trys to keep it going. i guess i just dont want to be the bad guy

  12. I’m 32 yrs old, married for 5 years to a man who is emotionally unavailable. I felt a bit bullied into marriage, not something I wanted to do, but went along with simply because he’d talked me into it. I have been sad and lonely for 5 long years. The thought of leaving is both a relief and terrifying, with the thought of not having my daughter 1/2 the time. What do people like us do?

  13. I too am so confused. I know that I have made a terrible mistake 7 years ago (I was 26, I’m 33 now) when I actually went through with my wedding. I knew when I walked down the aisle that I didn’t want to marry him and that I didn’t love him, but I was too afraid to be alone and I felt as if I needed to prove to my familiy that a lasting marriage can happen if you live together before hand (they were under the belief that they don’t). I told myself that I would feel differently after we got married because I was feeling the guilt of going against my upbringing, but that didn’t happen. I have never felt anything really for my husband, but now we’ve got 2 little boys: 2 & 4 who love their daddy – he’s their best friend. I am suffocating.

    He is controlling – he expects to be told verbatim of any conversation I have with my sister because he doesn’t trust her influences on me; I generally find it too stressful to approach him about any activity with any part of my family. He makes comments about what I am eating or what he may think I’ll eat – to his defense on that, I did gain nearly 100 after we met and before we got married, but since then, I’ve lost 80 of it, but he still questions almost everything I eat, while he just inhales any food around him because he’s natually thin. I have been approached by my sister AND her ex-husband about the way he treats me. I recognize it as emotional abuse, but he doesn’t “believe” there is emotional abuse. He’s not a bad, malicious person, he’s just unable to be a good husband to me. He tried to use the fact that I’m on anti-depressants as a base to the fact that he doesn’t think that I can make good decisions or that I can think for myself. I set up an appointment with my therapist because he said he would come with me to my next appointment to discuss my wanting to hang out with my sister; but, he backed out & I went by myself.

    I have been looking for a job for over a year, but I have not been able to get one due to the economy in our state. I don’t have any way to save up any money to leave because we are on a budget and my weekly money has to go for the household – groceries, gas for my truck, diapers. There are weeks I hardly have enough money for a soda. His weekly money goes to gas for his car & since he works away from home, any food he may need to eat if he doesn’t take a lunch with him, but he seems to be able to find the money to go golfing a few times a week or to the driving range. I feel so trapped. There isn’t really anyone else – there is an old friend who has recently come back into the picture, but we are just friends – I do care for him more than that, but I don’t know if that is how he feels so it is not an issue. Even as friends go, we are not that close, we only see each other in church (yeah, great Christian example, right?) but every time my husband is around, my friend avoids me, he won’t even look at me and that kills me because I am so alone. I guess I don’t know what to do – I want to leave, but I don’t want to destroy or ruin my kids and I am afraid of making another mistake. What if I actually do love him, but I don’t recognize it and I blow it. What if it actually does get better – not that in the last 13 years of our relationship it has improved, but what about the next 13? Do I really want to wait around? I’m so afraid. When he travels for work, I love it, I am so happy because he is gone & I wish he just wouldn’t come home. I keep praying that he will find someone else and leave me so that I don’t have to leave him and admit that I screwed up his life & destroyed his kids. Somewhere there has to be an answer, somewhere it has to be in black and white – “Do this” or “Don’t do this”, right?

  14. Amy,

    I think is great that you have a therapist to talk to, I just found one for myself. I think there is a reason that we are with these men, not just because of the children. I worry that if I leave my husband, I’ll just eventually find another man that treats me a similar way, simply because that’s what I subconsiously am looking for.
    Our children are going to see our marriages as examples (do you want your boys treating women the way their daddy treats mommy?) My husband used to tell me he was”helping me” by pushing the bread basket away… I weighed 140lbs. at 5 ft 8″! I was a size 4 when we met and am now a “whopping” size 6!
    I moved out 2 yrs ago, and have since reconciled because when he started dating, I was terrified my daughter would spend time with his girlfriend. Looking back, it was stupid, but at least we still live apart. Things go better, things got worse, now it’s back to the usual no-depth relationship. I think my husband would like to be single and do what he wants but be able to tell everyone he has a wife and child while golfing,
    Sorry I really have nothng to offer, just want to keep in touch and know how you’re doing.

  15. Hi June,

    According to my husband, he loves me and he wants to be married, but his actions and they way he treats me say otherwise. My parents had a horrible marriage (they finally divorced after 33 years and are now HAPPILY married to two different peoople) and I used to say that I did learn from their bad marriage – I learned what not to do. But now, I realize that I did just the opposite, I didn’t learn anything, I’m in the nearly same situation. The only thing that is different from my marriage than my parents is that neither of my husband or I have had an affair whereas my dad had his first within their first year or so of marriage and my mom within 5. He’s coming home today after a few days of being on the road for work and I don’t want him to. I was more at peace with him gone than even with just the thought of him being here. As far as my therapist, I’m not sure she’s helping she said – “Well, he can’t be that bad – he’s not hitting you or anything. There are other women who have it a lot worse.” Granted, he isn’t hitting me, but I sometimes wish he would because then the proof would be obvious for everyone to see & it would be easier to leave.

  16. I think its time for a new therapist! There has to be someone for us to talk to who can objectively see into a marriage and help people like us see what’s going on. Sometimes being in the relationship is too close to see clearly what to do.

  17. DANIELLE,
    thank you so much for your thoughts. It means alot. for now things are ok. but when its bad, its bad. its just really confussing. so i guess im comforted to know this site is here.

  18. I have been married for 24 years, and desperately unhappy for the last 10 or 15 years but felt at the time that there was no way I could leave so I stayed, endured, for my two kids…. but in the last few years my work and finances have changed making it possible for me to plan the move. My husband is emotionally unavailable (are all men, I don’t know?), distant, uncommunicative, isolating and a tv addict… leaving no room for the ‘us’ that I got married to find and live in. I have moved out (my kids are old enough to understand and do, thankfully) and although finances are tight, I don’t care, I am happy on my own and looking forward to maybe finding somebody else to experience a healthy relationship with. I am not saying it wasn’t the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I am happier, and living an authentic life, and although living alone, I am not lonely.

  19. You know there is a great site that you might want to stumble across that can help an whatever stage of the divorce process you are in. Both for you and your kids. I am a child of a divorce situation that would have been harder if I wouldn’t have had other areas of my life to fall back on. check it out, http://www.iquestions.com

  20. I’ve been married for 21 years; have two kids, a 23 year old step daughter that I love deeply and a 19 year old son who is a shinning star. A little over two years ago my husband met a 19 year old girl while playing an online game. He developed a relationship with her all the while telling me she needed his guidance and help because her father recently killed himself. He spent every night after work for over a year just talking with her online, voice chat, emails, etc. He wouldn’t tell her goodnight while I was in the room. Yes, this did cause problems. About a year ago my husband told me the girl wanted to move to our hometown and go to college. I was totally against it. She now lives with us and attends an online college. My husband has built a business with the help of borrowed money from this girl (which came from her dead fathers life insurance) He spends everyday with her and comes home at night and they then spend the evening together playing games on the computer. I find something else to do. My husband has been depressed for years and has always spoken of suicide. He hasn’t mentioned suicide since she came here; he has actually stated that he wants to make the most out of this life. Everything I used to do for him, she now does even something as small as getting him a glass of water. He now says WE love you when he tells me he loves me. I found letters that each of them has written back and forth to each other, his begins with: My most precious beloved , hers talks about how she gives her soul to him and it isn’t tangible now but will be when she moves here, which has already happened. I have trusted him with my life and he has given my very existence away. I find myself dying inside from the hurt that he is lying to me. I’ve even calmly asked him to please tell me if he is in love with her and he beats around the bush before saying he’s not. Why is he so clearly lying to me? Why wont he just say to me, I love her, I’m sorry; I want to be with her. It kills me that he lies and he was such an honest man at one time. What is he gaining by not leaving me? I need him to tell me when exactly he stopped respecting me enough to spare my very being. It is far worse to let it ride than to cut it clean. And for some ridiculous reason I am compelled to not leave. There are many, many more issues to talk about concerning our relationship, but I’m so broken living this way and I continue to this day to try and make things easy on him. What’s wrong with me? I need help.

  21. Help me!! I am 21 years old, married, 2 little boys 1 and 2. My husband and i have been together for a total of 6 years, we met in high school. We were married once and got a divorce, i got pregnant by someone else and my husband decided to marry me again, its been two years since our second marriage and he has been physically and emotionally abusive, he always was even before the first marriage, my mind keeps screaming “get out leave him right now” but my heart keeps telling me to stay, all we do is argue and fight, we never can agree on anything. I feel like I have lost my individuality, I have met this other guy and he treats me like gold, but he isnt doing aything but making my situation more confusing… Please help me, what should I do?

  22. What do I do, I’m 24 married with 2 kids 3 years and 15 months. My husband and I fight constantly. My whole life I’ve been told I have an out going personality and a great out look on life. And now I have to force myself to smile. I feel like I’m losing myself. I’m a stay at home mom and we barley pay rent as it is. I know in my heart I don’t want to stay but I don’t want to live in a shelter with my kids. What do I do??

  23. I frequently hear that the divorce rate is much higher now than it was 60 years ago. This makes me wonder how women back then sucked it up. I know that marriage includes trials and tribulations but how do you know when enough is enough? I’ve only read one happy ending in this whole thread, and it’s from Austin.

    I’ve been married for 6 years, two sons (4 and 1). I too feel lonely and sad. My husband works a lot, and during his spare time, he does his own hobbies. He’s a great dad, but only for the few moments of the day that he spends time with them. It’s an 80/20 work ratio at home, but we both bring home 50% of the income. I’ve incesantly tried telling him that he needs to help me more at home but it doesn’t sink in. I’m just basically tired. He’s also constantly around this female co-worker and I’ve mentioned that I’m uncomfortable with it. No affair, but I’m jealous of the fact that he talks more with her than me. I’ve mentioned all this. I think I’m just waiting to see if he’ll change his ways. We haven’t bought a house yet, and frankly, I’m getting reluctant to because if it doesn’t work out, it’ll be one more big purchase that we’ll have to split up.

    I don’t want to end up like some couples that divorce in their 30th year of marriage. My question is this, are all men the same? Lazy at home, doesn’t help with the kids, also a TV addict, hobby addict as well, workaholic, sometimes rude to me (he calls it being “curt “), makes fun of my weight. Does this become the typical husband? I think children bring out the true test of time. All my problems started emerging after my first born as well. I would like to sign up for e-Harmony and see if they could find my soulmate.

  24. I too am so lost. I met my husband when i was in grade school and we started dating when i was in high school and he was in college.. Me 15 and him 19. When I was 17 he joined the police force and all the grls were all over him. He never had this attention before. He ended up cheating on me with so many grls. I didnt know that he was cheating. i got pregnant and 5mths later we married. It was at that time only AFTER the marriage that i found out all the horrible details.

    I was raised christian and spoke to my family and was told tht i made a promise for better for worse..to God. So I tried to make it work..and while we loved each other yes this is true..the bad had seemed to get better until when i became pregnant again and found a love letter he was sending his ex gf. Then his mother giving out our number to his other ex gf. We moved to get away from all of that drama but it just continued. Depression sank in and i was put on anti depressants and therapy. I couldnt stay in college and I just lived on the couch.

    He stayed gone all night at work..and then slept all day until he went to lift weights and do karate..then back to work. Fast forward 13yrs and I ended up LOSING it. I had had enough of staying in the house, having no friends, having no life other than depressed at home watching the kids. The only time he wanted to see me was to have sex with me..and so then it became that the only thing he enjoyed wasn’t conversation or seeing me..it was touching me. He wasnt getting what he want so the only friend I had made..I found them in the kitchen having sex. He says through our marriage she was the only one he had sex with.

    I was previously raped and sexually abused when i was young so the more this occurred the more I asked not to have sex. So in my sleep he would just take it.

    Then I left the house and started drinking, i was abusing my RX just to feel normal and happy. I neglected my family.

    My sister got cancer and we moved without him to be closer to her. I met someone that “seemed” to care about me that would listen to what I had to say..and actually listen.. But it only seemed great. I was just happy to be away from him

    At this time I cheated on him..i had taken all i could of this hell. I had never dated anyone but him so now I was. This is so wrong had i a chance to redo i wouldnt have. But I did ask for a divorce at which time he put a gun to his head and said he had no reason to live without me. I made him leave the house.

    He went to his ex gf house the one he cheated on me with when I was 17 and pregnant. So after 7-8yrs he turned to her. He told me he could kill me and no one would know. Laughing of course like it was a joke. He was so mad last year he threw 3 phones through the wall because the kids were too loud.

    Our oldest son loves his father sooo much I cannot imagine breaking down this image in his head. Our daughter is 13 and wants us to go back home. He is in the military and we had to pick up and move across the US.

    I have not cheated in long while. I have been a stay at home mom cleaning house, driving everyone aroud, cooking and doing things with the kids. Trying to be supportive and loving as I can, which is little to him.

    I dont know how to leave. I dont know what to do

  25. Amy

    sounds a part of my life but my problem is much more he physically abuses me too.
    He threatens me and wants me to leave alone and let the kids be with him or else he will harm my brothers family.
    Or he will never even see the kids again if they chose to be with me.
    I am so scared and want to leave him, But there re many buts

    will I be able to provide the best for my kids???
    will they ever understand??
    what if he hurts my family in some way??

    I don’t know what to do, I don’t have a job and my family is clear that they can support me for a short period and then I am on my own.

  26. At age 56 and after many years of an uncertain marriage due to my husbands problems which included drinking, drugs, incarceration for a year for drinking and driving I am feeling very tired. We have been together for 22 years (in the beginning on & off, married for the second time for 10 years). Why do I keep going on like this? Therapy has never helped…in the end I always know that its up to me. Believe it or not he is a very sensitive person in one way, complicated and withdrawn but at other times funny & caring. I feel like my life is escaping me. His mother lives downstairs in our house (I took care of her when he was in jail). She is 92 years old. I am the only one in the house that drives because of his record…he probably will never drive again. I have filed for divorce twice and ended up cancelling it & losing the initial money paid to the lawyers. I just lost my job of 14 years (had a sterling work record even with all the problems) and now in a state of depression. No health benefits…he only works part time minimum wage and has not really worked steady for many years. I live in Michigan & the job scene is getting worse. Yes, I probably sound pretty negative but sometimes I so much want to leave & start over but the credit cards are all in my name & its hard to kick the mother-in-law out for a divorce. We also have had a sexless marriage for about 7 years…I think he hates me for that but still wants to continue our marriage (I think he is dependent on me. No kids but I worry alot about my folks…dad is 97 & mom is 83….they need my support now…..any comments on all this?

  27. Peaches:

    While there is much to say I will keep it very short.

    It sounds to me as if therapy has been very helpful to you if, as you say, …”in the end I know it is all up to me.”

    I’d suggest you are quite dependent on him too! Why else would you stay? What is staying helping you avoid?

    Write more — such complex issues are seldom unravelled in one or two letters and comments.

    Rod Smith

  28. So many common themes. Wow. making sense of the mixed emotions we feel during times of marital distress is really really hard. the phrase ‘love hate’ was made for such moments. there is confusion an there are questions. Will the marriage get better? Will we find common ground? Is this a phase? Will it pass? At some point we do know the answers to these questions. The next part is making a definitive decision. Stay or go.Staying ften means understanding and coming to terms the ground rules and (tough). Leaving means going into the unknown (also tough). the decision is personal. the anser must lie in medium and long term happiness. Think of what is best based on this. How and why do i reflect on this? tonight I left my wife. 25 years, too much abuse and 4 children later. i decided it was time

    • Kev,

      How did you finally leave your wife? My husband and I will be married 10 years soon — looking back I feel it’s been a marriage that should not have happened. I went into it because I became pregnant and felt it was the logical next step. Ignored the signs that it wasn’t meant to be, but here we are. I have tried to be happy, and yes, we have had some good memories. But I have endured emotional abuse — he talks down to me and when I call him on it he denies it — he just doesn’t see it. I don’t love him anymore. At least I am not in love with him. I have been unhappy for quite a few years but never thought I’d be able to get out of this marriage because I had nowhere to go and didn’t know how I would manage financially. Also felt it was better than being alone. Now I’m not so sure. Last year someone came into my life that has given me the courage to realize that life can be happy again. He makes me happy. Anyway, my husband has an anger issue and has already told me he will not divorce me. He did raise his hand to me one time, although he did not hit me. He kept me cornered and wouldn’t let me get up. I am terrified of his reaction when I tell him I want him to move out. I just don’t know how to take the next step.

  29. I have a different situation from all of you. I have been faithfully married for 16 years. I think I may be seeing the light, but something is holding me back from leaving. My wife is from another country. She has threatened, if we part she will return to her country with our 2 children. The twist on this is she is constantly telling me to leave. She is most of the time angry. If she is happy, she can change to mad for any simple reason and stay that way for days. I don’t do anything for myself, I have devoted all my time after work to her more than the children. She says I don’t help with the housework, but I find myself doing dishes, laundry, and driving the children around. She is verbally abusive towards me and the children if things are not going her way. She is forever reminding me of how she sacrificed everything and how she suffers since she came to Canada (life is pretty good here). She is more concerned with her family in her country than us. She spends most of her money and mine on her family, we are in finacial difficulty because of this. I don’t want to continue this way, but I don’t want to go through a custody battle with her. I think I still love her, but I don’t know what I am doing anymore. Somebody needs to give me a knock on the head to think straight. Help!

  30. I must add that she accuses me of cheating all the time. She thinks during the day I leave work and have affairs. I have 2 scratches on my face right now because she saw a make up mark on my shirt. ( the make up mark was from her)

  31. Then we can leave abusive marriage, situations. God has to be first and foremost. Worshipping anyone is adultry. Submission is not biblical, only submit to God, not any man on this planet, they don’t deserve it and aren’t worth it!!!!

  32. Last night her cell phone rang and she answered and talked very quietly. I heard her say “I can’t talk right now, call me tommorow. The person called back 2 more times. This was around 11:45 p.m. She was talking very softly to this person. She speaks loudly to her friends at any time of the day or night. I asked her who it was and she admitted it was a guy. I think I need to see a lawyer now. Any thoughts before I go crazy and do something stupid. She has accused me of cheating all the time lately and it looks like she is the cheater. Give me some advice please.

  33. somebody please help me! i am 22 years old, got married at 19, and now i have a 13 month old son. my marriage has never been good. we fight all the time, and it seems that each fight is worse than the last. it started out with his family. they hate me for no reason. i have never done anything wrong to them. in our wedding pictures, his mom was frowning in EVERY picture! when we took a pic with his parents, she stood about 3 feet away from me, with this hateful look on her face. i have tried for over 2 years to deal with their crap and be nice to them. when they found out i was pregnant, all of a sudden they were soooo nice to me. i knew it was fake, but i was still nice to them, and pretended i was ok with them. when my son was 2 months old, i snapped. i found out they were criticizing my “parenting” skills, and saying all sorts of bad stuff behind my back, and that was the last straw. i said that i never wanted to speak to them again, and they were never allowed to see my son, or have any form of contact with him whatsoever. basically, i want me and my son to be non-existant in their life. well, obviously, they arent going to respect my wishes. they did everything in their power, it seems, to make my life even more hellish than it already was. they lie to everyone and tell everyone that they dont know why i dont let them see our son, then they started asking my family if ive seen a doctor, and that i need to and i should be on medication. they think they are christians, but their actions show that they really are self-righteous liars and hypocrites. i have stopped going to church to avoid seeing them. my husband says he understands why i feel the way i feel, but that im wrong in not letting them have anything to do with our son. im not trying to “get them back” by taking my son away. i honestly think i will go phsyco if i see them near my son. he is the only happy thing in my life. i feel that i am doing this for his good. also, my husbands parents had a HORRIBLE marriage! one time his mom called his dad a “dog” in the church parking lot, in front of several people. thats just a small example of what they are like. so, obviously their kids grew up and they are all messed up. the more and more i fight with my husband, the more i realize he is just like them. i can never get anything through his head, and he never admits hes wrong about something without quickly throwing in something worse i or someone in my family did. also, every time we fight, he does something that he knows will hurt me. he knows what it does to me, yet he doesnt care. when i tell him that he does it cuz he deliberately wants to hurt me, and get me back for whatever reason, he says thats not true…hes just stressed out!! ive tried telling him how unbelievably stressed i am and how often i feel like abusing drugs and alcohol just to alter my state of mind, just so i can “feel” happy for a little bit, but i never do it. his reply “you handle stress different than i do i guess.” i wish all the time that his family would die! i know thats so horrible of me, but i cant help it. i wish i could leave him, but i have nowhere to go. we hardly ever have sex, and when we do, hes very selfish. he doesnt see to it that im satisfied. its all about him. then he tells me that the reason he doesnt initiate sex is cuz he “sucks” in bed. ive tried to help him and tell him what to do, but he still doesnt care. i think about cheating on him all the time. i gave up everything for that man, my friends, my family, i wanted to go to college, but i gave up every dream i ever had. most of all, im not the same person i was 3 years ago. so many people have asked me and my sisters what happened to me. i used to be so outgoing and i had so many friends. now, i have literally no self esteem. i wont even look strangers in the eye. i dont look at my self in the mirror, and i dont remember the last time i smiled for real (besides at my son). i only have 1 friend that i hardly ever see, and my husband hates her. this past friday and the one before, we went out. it was the first time since long before my son was born. it felt so good to get out and have some time to myself, but my husband obviously disapproved. both nights that we were out, i got hit on. it made me feel good that someone notices me. i know im not ugly, and my husband always tells me im beautiful, but i dont believe a word he says anymore. i want someone to care about me and treat me the way my husband promised he would. i know im not perfect, and i sometimes say mean things to my husband too. but i really try to make him happy. i feel that i married the wrong guy, and that makes me so much more depressed, cuz ill never get those years back. i dont want to be 40 and look back on my young life and all i remember is how terrible it was! i always feel so sick (physically) and im afraid of getting cancer or something cuz im so stressed out. theres so much more i could write, but i know probably no one will read this cuz its so long. sorry. i just need someone to hear me and understand me. if anyone does read this, please give me some advice if you have any.

  34. Hi Ashley, thank you for writing your story. My mother treats my wife the same way. I fight with my wife over it. I don’t want to believe it and I think she’s just complaining too much, but now I read your story and see myself like your husband. I’m sorry for both of us. I understand what he’s going through. He’s beeing pulled from both sides. You probably put a lot of pressure on him at thanksgiving, christmas, or any other “family” get together that you don’t want to go to with him because of how they make you feel. I have been struggling with my wife over this for 16 years.

    This weekend it is Thankgiving here and my wife does not want to go to any of my family’s invitiations for dinner. I am stuck in the middle just like your husband, and believe me we don’t know how to handle it. I was told by other’s to stay on your wife’s side allways. If you read my story Oct 1 st above yours, you will see that has not worked out for me anways.

    The only advise I can give you is don’t cheat ( you’ll feel like trash and he might get violent with you), and back off the guy a little bit, your nagging him too much. It’s not his fault he’s being stupid, it’s his mother’s fault.
    You need to be better than his mother and treat him good, not nag, then he’ll be on your side. Then you can tell him what you want, give him some time, and see how it goes. If you want to be with someone else after that, then wait until you are divorced, NOT before. Also don’t have any more childern until you are happy with him, they don’t deserve this kind of trouble, and you will have a harder time to leave with more.
    The only good time to get out of a marriage is right before you say I do. This Rod Smith guy has some good advise on changing people you should read.
    I wish you and your husband good luck and happiness. My side of the familly will suffer through Thanksgiving without us.

    P.S. the phone call my wife got late at night was from her girlfriend,(not a guy, I checked) she was just trying to get my attention.

  35. Well I guess I can chime in to add to the confusion. I’ve been married 9 years but in a relationship with my husband for 17 years. We’ve had ups and downs, but notably went through a large period of time where he really tried to change me and nothing I did was good enough for him – this despite the fact I never claimed to be perfect. Anyway, we have 2 small children now, but I find he is constantly trying to “improve” our relationship by telling me everything that is wrong with it, what his expectations are, etc.

    He doesn’t lift a finger to help and is always on the road. I cook, clean, take kids to school, work full time, pick them up, do homework with them, read them a story, go to their activities. But my mother was a controlling woman that nagged the bejezzers out of my step father, so I never complain, never nag him to do anything. I just ask him once if he wouldn’t please mind doing something, and when he fails to do it, ignores me or makes some smart comment, I just do it myself. Not worth the headache. I often wonder though if I should have just went ahead and became the nagging wife.

    I have a male friend that showers his very ingrateful wife with jewelry, surprise parties and trips, plans elegant dinners and helps out with the kids. so I guess those were MY expectations, and no he isn’t living up to those. So yeah, I am jealous of my friends; they did something right to get what they wanted at least. I’ve been naiive and too altruistic. I guess you have to be more dominant , selfish and forceful in a relationship and I learned that too late.

    I am also in graduate school part time, which I postponed so HE could go back and finish his graduate degree, which he was awarded earlier this year. I didn’t really want to have children when we did. In fact, it is because of this accidental pregnancy that we got married. It was a result of failed birth control (that 3% on the d@#*$ warning label). Never wanted to have an only kid or a large age gap, so that led to 2 kids that interrupted my dream career. The career has never gotten back on track.

    My husband travels weekly now, and I feel guilty because I don’t really miss him. When he is around or calls, I find I am not at all interested in what he talks about, and don’t really even want to be around him. I’m tired, and am to the point of being numb – don’t feel anything. We don’t fight, because that would take too much effort. there is just this gap. I used to feel so close to him and he used to be my best friend. now I just look at him sometimes and think , how did I end up like this? I used to want so much more of out of life.

    I’ve done everything he ever asked and maybe that is the whole problem. I am very fit, keep in shape, continuously improve through education, and despite interruptions to my career have a great job with a 6 figure salary. I love sex and would have more of it with him if he seemed more interested. I never refuse him love making & make a real effort to keep it interesting. I throw parties for our friends and make sure his friends feel welcome in our home. But it is never enough, and I just don’t feel I was ever what he was looking for.

    Yeah this is just 1 side of the story. I’m sure he would say I am emotionally unavailable, I’m messy, I have a funny laugh, and can sometimes be scatterbrained. Believe me, I know my faults.

    I’m tired of trying so hard to be something that I obviously can never be. I just want to be alone, where I don’t have to listen to his complaining & “self improvement plans” anymore. a plus would be if I actually found someone willing to love me, faults and all, for just who I am….me. Not a perfect person, but just the best woman that I know how to be. Is that so horrible?

    So yeah, I am in this misery for the kids, and counting down the days until my youngest moves into the college dorms. Despite what anyone says, studies have actually PROVEN that kids do better in 2 parent households EVEN when the parents argue than in single parent homes. I had a 2 parent home upbringing & am a traditionalist. But everyday I just wish I could turn back time, and tell my 20 something year old self to just RUN very far away from him.

  36. I was hoping to hear that I was not alone in my failing marriage but after reading the past notes it actually makes me sad to know so many others feel the same as I. I was hoping it was just me, something I was doing wrong. I have been married coming up on 10 yrs. Been with him 12. I love him but feel that I am not “in love”. He is very selfish and doesnt help around the house. We have 2 kids 7 &3. Our marriage got bad after the first kid. Dumby me thought a second would make it stronger and it made it worse. I work outside of the home and do EVERYTHING inside the home. He has it made. Doesnt cook doesnt clean has never changed a diaper. I have complained but he doesnt hear apparently either. I had an affair a few yrs back with an ex bf that I was madly in love with. I got caught and had to make a choice I chose to stay for the kids. Things seem to get better. I figured he just needed a wake up call but with in a month he went back to his old ways and whenever I asked for help he would make the comment ‘or what you will cheat on me again’ I cant stand this.It has been two yrs since the affair and I am more miserable then ever. I am always angry, tired, and just plain done. I feel I am a single mom anyway and he is just a roomate helping with bills. I feel alone and empty. Is this what life is? Is this what marriage is? I hope not. I have recently met the man I had an affair with again. No intimacy just talking and he tells me he loves me and wants to spend his life with me. When I am with him I am happier then I have ever been. But how do you leave a marriage? How do you explain to your kids? I know I am not happy here but I also know my husband has no clue. He is happy in his rut. Why shouldnt he? He has the life. He gets do do what he wants when he wants. I want to know from others is the grass greener. Is it better to be alone than to be unhappy. Is it good for kids to see an unhappy mom everyday? There are days that I wish I didnt have kids because they are the one and only reason I am finding it hard to leave. I am so lost and dont know where I lost myself at.

    • i feel the same way im 31 my husband is 69 and i have a daughter of 8 years . i have no family whatsoever and when my mum was dying my husband help me through a very dark time and it a state of confusin i ended up moving in and marring him although he is good to me and my daughter we have never ever had sex he dosent even try. we have so many different ideas in life and i just feel alone and empty . i started this affair with a wonderful man and can feel nmyself falling inlove with him when im with him he lights my whole life up the in the breif time im with with him and when i leave him i feel sad and torn and just have to be with him again i dont feel close to anyone and really want to leave i work but if i leave il be put in to an execetive house and probably have to find another job as much as i want to go i also dont want to hurt him but its killing me staying with him im so not happy and am getting hooked on tablets to numb the pain any advice

    • Confused — I, too, will be married coming up on 10 years, with my husband 12. I, too, feel that I love my husband (or at least care for him) but am not in love with him. Don’t think I ever was. He is also very selfish, sometimes childish (has serious temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. I think I married him because I was pregnant. Stayed in the marriage because I didn’t know where to go or if I could make it alone. He does do some things for the kids an the house but when it comes to getting the kids ready to go somewhere he will go and wait outside in the car while I get them ready. He doesn’t listen to me but denies this. I feel so lonely. I too feel angry, tired, resentful and just plain done. Until last summer I didn’t know if I had any options. Then last summer was reconnected with an old high school flame. Old flame admitted he was deeply in love with me back in high school and has thought of me all these 25 years. He says he still loves me and wants us to be together. Like you, when I am with my old boyfriend I am happier than I have ever been. He treats me right. He listens to me. He is in tune with me, knowing when something is wrong and being there for me. Sometimes I hate my husband. He gets what he wants but when I want something usually he fights it or there is a reason I shouldn’t have it. I know I want to leave — even to be alone would be better than living like this. I’m scared of husband’s reaction with his anger. I am not one to make waves. I know I have to, but am terrified. I am trying to find my backbone and just throw caution to the wind. I am thinking by the end of the summer, hopefully I’ll make a move, yet I am terrified. Simply terrified.

  37. dear confused,
    Run, don’t walk, to your lover. Your husband is never going to forgive you and will use the affair against you for the rest of your life. Look 5 years into the future… Is this where you want to be?? Are your finances good enough to support yourself? Will you get child support? Talk to a Lawyer before you make a move and find out what you are up against legally. You will never be happy with him. You know what love is supposed to feel like. Don’t cheat yourself any longer.
    Let me recomend a book to you that helped me make my decision. “When Good People Have Affairs” by Mira Kirshenbaum. What a life line for people like us. Good luck and I wish you all the best. I hope you let us know how it goes. God Bless

  38. I AM 45 AND HAVE BEEN MARIED 17 YEARS, I AM NOT HAPPY ,I WORK BUT MY WIFE DOES NOT. I BELIEVE SOMTIMES THAT I AM ONLY HEAR TO SUPPORT HER AND MY 11 YEAR OLD GRANDSON.
    NO GOOD TIMES, THAT I CAN HAVE ALL THE TIME .
    ITS HIT OR MISS,CANT MAKE ANY GOOD TIME LAST. I WANT TO MOVE TO CANADA BY MY SELF, JUST RELAX AND ENJOY NATURE. PEAPLE, I LOVE YOU BUT LEAVR ME THE HELL ALONE.

  39. Wow … I feel like I am finally normal after reading these postings. I’d like to share my story. I have only ever told one other person. I consider my self a fake and a fabulous actress.

    I am 40 and have been married for 19 years (been together for 21), we have 2 sons 17 & 18 (I was pregnant when we got married). I did not want to get married, but chalked it up to just being nervous. The first few years were very hard. He is very arrogant, narrow minded and likes to hear himself talk. No one is ever as right as he is. He talks down to everyone. He was very critical of me and my parenting skills(btw I am an excellent mom). He was very controlling. But not in an angry way, in a manipulative way. You know, passive aggressive, make me feel guilty or bad about having coffee with my girlfriends. He always felt that I chose anything over him. I have a little dog, that he hates, and refuses to let it be in the same room with us. So I get to love my dog when he’s not around, but had better make sure that its gone when he’s home. I did have an affair when i was 25, but I recommitted to raising my boys in a 2 parent family. And began counting the days until they moved out and I could be free.

    I feel an obligation right now to tell you that he is a good man. He has many good qualities. Which has always led me to believe that I was just uncomitted, I was flawed, I was the one with the problem. If you saw us out, you would think we had the perfect family.

    I enjoy my time away from my husband, and go out of my way to be to busy to have to go and do something with him. There is always an edge, it is never truly comfortable, when we are together. It is so strange, we don’t actually fight very often, we talk about our day and our sons, and I can sit beside him on the couch at night and watch tv and feel ok. But I stay up late or get up early so that I do not have to have sex with him. Sex makes me feel terrible. I have called it my “duty” for years. I feel obligated to have enough sex so that he will not be angry at me. Or will do my duty if I need something, or want permission to go somewherre. But it makes me ill inside. Sometimes I cry very quietly during or after sex. Sometimes I scream inside for him to get off me, not touch me, leave me alone. And kissing him? I can’t ,it disgust me. Sometimes he seems to know that there is something wrong, but he will ignore it and I will never talk about it.

    I have lived in this pattern of uncertainty for so long. I will hurt him so much by leaving. I will hurt my boys, my family, everyone involved. But I keep thinking that a relationship shouldn’t be this hard, it should be fun, I should be proud to be with him, I should say that he is my best friend. But my relationship with him is none of those things. I am never alone, but always lonely.

    I have an opportunity to leave, but am scared that our 17 year old will pay the price. He is a good kid, but I am afraid my leaving will give him a licence to drink more, do drugs or worse commit a crime or suicide. He is not close to his dad at all. He is very very close to me, and I do think he will understand, but I am still so worried.

    I constantly read and grasp on to anything that validates my leaving. What if I am the problem? What if I will feel the same things in another relationship? I am trying to find the courage and the right time to leave. But I know that it will never be the right time and my courage level will never be where I want it to be.

    Somebody tell me that it’s ok to leave now, and if it ends up not ok, my life will be ok again.

    I just realized that I never used the word love at all …hmmm

  40. One more thing!!!! I found this … maybe it will help someone ….

    Here are a few quick ‘n dirty questions. Where exactly does your relationship stand? If you are ready to be brutally honest, ask yourself these 5 tough questions.

    1. Do you look at other relationships and feel you have settled?
    This is the first big question you need to answer. Looking at other relationships and “wondering” or “longing” is not a good sign.

    Why are you looking at other relationships?

    Are you missing something is your relationship that you see in another one?

    2. Do you really like and respect your partner?
    This is crucial; without respect there is no substance.

    And what about “liking” your partner? Do you find him interesting, and when she talks, do you want to listen to her?

    In order to like and respect anyone, you have to ask yourself. “If I was not involved with this person, and met him on the street, would I like him?”

    3. Do you want the same good things for your partner that you want for yourself?
    This is real generosity of spirit.

    Do you care as much for your partner’s feelings as you do for you own?

    4. Do you feel this is where you “belong”?
    “Belonging” is the same as being “home”.
    It is being perfectly content where you are.

    5. Ask yourself, if you could terminate the relationship without any inconvenience – financial or otherwise – would you?
    We instinctively know that we will never again have the status quo once we terminate this relationship.

    Are you brave enough to leave?

  41. like the man said..”knowing that someone stays in a marriage because of the children turns his stomach”..well i am one of those who stays just so i can be with my 3 children..i live in norway and if i divorce (which is what is in my heart) i will probably NEVER see my children again because my home is in america. i am so troubled i might as well just start over again..but i am 44 and right now america is suffering the bin laden effect..so going home won´t be as enticing..i love my wife but i don´t TRUST her anymore, regardless i just want to be with my children..i pray to God daily and i know God will help me to find the correct path..love conquers all (Edited by Rod — the poster couldn’t resist cussing)

  42. I think I’m the first person in this thread to be the third person.

    Here’s my story…

    I have fallen in love with a married man. We started out as friends and colleagues and quickly discovered that we are soul mates. He has never had an affair, nor have I. He has been married for nearly 20 years to a wonderfully, amazing woman, who is the mother of his 2 young children, as well as a friendly acquaintance of mine. I thought they had the perfect marriage, until he professed his undying love for me.

    Although the fire in their marriage burned out with the birth of their first child, 6 years ago, they never addressed the issue. I guess a lot of couples settle into the demands of parenthood and careers, falling into routines and schedules, while falling out of love. I think they both just accepted it as “the norm.”

    When we met, sparks flew instantly. Our relationship developed very quickly, from friendship, to flirting, to fantasizing about being together, to becoming intimate and now discussing the possibility of really being together…of him getting divorced. It has been a mere 6 months since we met.

    Like another man mentioned in this thread (the one with his girlfriend living in his house with his wife!), my lover is prone to depression, but has not been since we’ve met. Once things escalated to the physical realm and he realized that he was in love with me, he confessed to his wife. It’s been a roller coaster for all of us ever since then.

    She and I have talked, we tried to be “friends.” He and I have cut off all communication with each other, so she can heal and they can work on their marriage. But when we see each other, all those feelings are still there. Once in a while, he can’t help it, he just writes to me, the sweetest, most romantic and true words I’ve ever heard. He’s really torn right now. So terribly conflicted. He has told me (and her) that he feels obligated to his commitment, but his heart is with me. He cries every time we are together.

    They have gone to therapy both together and separately. In his solo session, he told the therapist that the pain he feels is not guilt for hurting his wife, but sorrow from losing me.

    I know he feels like he needs to stay where he is, because it’s the “right” thing to do, but is it fair to his wife? If he know’s he’s not in love with her, if he doesn’t truly want to be there, if he’s constantly thinking of me and planning his escape, shouldn’t he just be honest with her?

    I think it’s hard for me to be objective, because I stand to gain or lose so much. But I feel like, if we were just friends and I was on the outside looking in, I’d want to tell him that the right thing to do is to be honest with himself and those that he loves…to not drag it out or lead anyone on…rip off the band-aid.

    If I were in her position, I would want to know the truth. I’d rather be hurt with the truth than protected with a lie. No one wants to be someone’s second choice…or obligation…no one wants to be where they’re not wanted. Right?

    I’m most confused about my role in this. I have promised her I would give them space and time to work through this and heal, with the hopes that we will all, one day, be friends again. I have promised him that I would wait for as long as it takes, if it meant we would one day be together. And I meant both promises. I just don’t know what to do. I am inclined to hold my breath and risk losing both of them, as friends, for the slim chance to have him, finally. On the other hand, if it’s not in the cards, if we will never be together again, I’d rather let go and move on now, as to avoid losing him altogether. I’m my own devil’s advocate in this.

    I have never in my life met a man like him. I thought my dad had set the bar so high that I would never find someone to fulfill my ideals. But this man has easily matched my ideals and surpassed my dad in my eyes; I’m just not sure another one will ever come along. He’s the one. This is it. And he feels it. He knows it. But we’re stuck.

  43. I hate to break it to you “the other woman” but if he is the one for you then you must truly not love your self. You do not respect your self or their marriage. Forbidden fruit might taste sweet now, but when he cheats on you it will leave a rotten taste in your mouth. He must feel like a king having to women fight for his pathetic self. You need some serious help. You would not yearn for this man if you loved yourself. Seek help and save yourself the heart ache.

  44. Been married for nearly well over 10+ years with kids at 11 and 8 – I’m the major bread winner and run my own business wife works part time and things just seem to be on a downward spiral – sex between us is non existent – but put it this way she runs out of batteries like their going out of fashion.

    She says that i am a fat but I’m 13 stone and at (5’9 not exactly packing it) – admittedly 2 stone more than when we married 10+ years ago – and mainly due to not doing any sport (which i did all the time years ago) and sitting in front of a computer all day trying to run a business.

    The distinct lack of exercise i know is a problem but one which i’m not allowed to do as it takes to much time away from the kids.

    Not that I have problems with that as I love my kids and would do anything for them, but i don’t see this getting better – its gone on for so long that you start thinking about affairs, cheating, buddies and other ways to receive affection – it starts to destroy you from the inside and I’m at the point where i don’t even want to get up in the morning as it will be yet another depressing day ended off by sleeping yet again in silence without so much as a hug or a kiss goodnight.

    To sum it up I feel that I’m a walking bank, that gets problems from a great height every day with mug written across my forehead – i give everything to my family and nothing comes back the only thing keeping me here is the kids – and i know that’s a lousy excuse – but i wish it wasn’t i wish my wife loved me for who i am now – as she isn’t the 7 stone she was 10+ years ago but she still turns me on and i still fancy her – i just wish it was mutual. To put it in perspective before marriage and the early years we used to make love every day and then kids happened! – there wonderful but they have changed our relationship beyond belief.

    You look around and see posts about why men leave there wife’s and well I’m sat on that fence right now – and it might sound a bit shallow but for me its the sex – the lack of it makes me want to jack it all in one way or another, I wish it was different .

    Not really looking for any responses just wanted to air my situation, I’m sure I’m not the only one out there in this particular position.

  45. Wow. I’ve never heard more pathetic people in my life! Happiness comes from within. All of these women thinking that another man holds the answer to their happiness! You will never have the love you want in your life until you love yourself! If you want to change your life, do it! Don’t lead a life of quiet desperation for anyone, not even your kids! Your kids will be better off with a happy and emotionally healthy parent who is single than one who needs a bottle of pills just to make it through the day. Do it now! Jump! You’ll make it! Yes, leave that unhappy marriage! You will find a way to make it work! Don’t think you need another man to hold your hand and be your safety net!

  46. Wow , I thought I was alone . I read your post Shelley and it was like I wrote it myself . I am also confused and want to leave but am afraid . I don’t want to hurt my children . I am so lost .

  47. For the vast majority of you, there is nothing wrong with your spouse. There are many other people who would be happily married to your spouse. You are depressed; that does not justify blaming the only logical person – someone who loves you – for the emptiness inside you. The guy at the bus stop next to you is certainly not to blame. If you did that, people would think you were crazy. So you blame your spouse. Try to find out the real reason for your own unhappiness and depression and realize that you can’t blame others for what is essential a personal problem involving your own psyche.

  48. I’m in a 16-year marriage (my second, also his), he’s now 68 and I’m 56. There is much love there, but I absolutely do not trust him around women. Before we married he had a major reputation as a Casanova, he’s very charming and flirtatious, but says he doesn’t cheat when he’s in love. I find that cold comfort, but I took a chance and married him even though before we were engaged (and he SAID we were exclusive) he slept with his ex-girlfriend when I had the flu (I know, heinous). We went to counseling for a couple of years to try to resolve my trust problem, but it didn’t work, and he still refuses to admit who and what he is when it comes to women. He’s a slippery charmer, this one. I have REALLY tried to get past this, but I can’t settle into a comfortable relationship with him because I just plain don’t trust him around women, and I’m not able to accept his tendencies and look the other way. Flirtation and lighthearted dalliance to me are a violation of our intimacy. I feel I made a MAJOR mistake marrying him, but my heart was definitely talking at the time, not my head. I think I should leave, even though I love him. Am I wrong?

  49. I’m glad I found this site. I’ve been married to my husband for 8yrs, and we have been together for the past 20yrs. We have an 18yr old daughter. My husband had a bad childhood – drunk abusive father. I knew he had anger problems from the very start but always knew how to deal with them until one day he held me round the throat at the top of the stairs in our home telling me that I was nothing but a piece of ****. From that point I have never argued back cos I have been too scared of what could happen. When our daughter hit her teen years he started taking his temper out on her, thumping her in the stomach, hitting her head of a wall – at 17 she could take no more she left home, staying at various friends houses until she got her own place. All the time I was powerless to do anything. He paid for the household bills but I was always expected to pay for everything else and on a much lower salary I found myself constantly getting into debt. He found out and started telling me he could throw me out of the house etc. Sorry to be going on so much but I felt so alone with the abuse I have suffered for so long. Recently I have had four unsuccessful suicide attempts and as Christmas gets closer I am fighting the urge to try again. I have no where to go or money to go with and I know I really need to get away from him before it really is too late for me.

    • Lisa,

      Hello I’m sorry to hear this suicide is not the answer i know.I myself am going through a tough patch and my wife is leaving me she is my soul mate you see i was the abusive one both physical I was a prideful man and it cost me i was with my wife for 12 yrs .Those where the happiest days i have known but i thought she was cheating on me because i worked all the time. Now don’t get me wrong i did a lot for our relationship but i was a man a real azz we can and often are especial to those we love. I am fighting for my marriage for i believe in the love bought before God and i have learned and will continue as time goes on to Never! Raise my hand or voice. Anyway i will post more on my situation for there is more i have 2 beautiful stepdaughters in my marriage but unfortunately my oldest hates me to the point of making false stories about me to here mom and the wedge is in place.

  50. i am in a 11year marriage we have a 8year old son who has autism and cannot speak . my husband is verbally and emotionally abusive to me daily and at times physically abusive.i have decided to seperate but i am not sure i am making the right decision for my son. my husband wants to stay together how do i know i am making the right decision?

  51. How do I leave my non-intimate, non-trusting 35 year marriage? He must be waiting on me to leave. Well I’m ready. I know I deserve better. Thanks, Cheyl

  52. I have been married almost 11 years. We have 5 beautiful kids, 4 together and 1 beautiful step-son. My husband has been verbally abusive to me almost from the time we said “I do”. He accusses me of cheating on him, checks my emails and phone records, makes me feel guilty for seeing friends or family, tells me i’m a terrible mother, tells me I’m selfish, calls me names like f’ing a$$hole, the “C” word, tells me I’m a F’ing moron (I work full time making a 6 figure salary and working on my Master’s). After 7 very stressful and emotionally abusive years, I found myself in an affair with a cowoker. My husband found out and the verbal abuse escalated from occassional to daily abuse. I took it because if felt ashamed and guilty for what I had done. It had turned physical twice but he hasn’t laid a hand on me for over a year. After 3 years of this emotional roller coaster, I filed for divorce in December 2010 but have 3 times been manipulated into coming back. Each time he was good for a week or two before the pressure would build and he would explode. Telling me that “I would have a revolving door of men who only would want to “F” me because no one would put up with my shit.” That I was a f’ing irrational asshole and other endearing terms. I constantly defend myself with this man and have lost all respect for him. He becomes very aggitated when I don’t give in to him sexually and then he follows up with comments like “I must be sleeping around again”. I totally resented him when I filed back in December and now I just pity him. I asked him to rotate in and out the house (keeping the kids in the house and we would come and go weekly) giving me the space I need to gain some clarity in the relationship. He left for 3 hours and came back joking saying “Did you miss me?” He followed that up with sleeping in my bed that night (he moved out of the bedroom in November). He won’t give me the room to breathe let alone make an intelligent, rational decision. He goes to my gym the same time I’m there, calls me 3 to 4 times a day while I’m working, hoovers over me when I’m on my computer…….Keeping the pressure on at all times for me to come back to him, mentally and sexually. We haven’t made love since December and the thought of it gives me such anxiety. I know that he is unfortunately a victim of his childhood…….very abusive father to both he and his mother. When I feel like hating him, I think of that sweet innocent little boy who had no choice in the abusive upbringing. And even though that explains his behavior, it doesn’t excuse it. Is there a chance he will ever change????

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