I’ve been with my husband now for 17 years (married for 7) and we have two children ages 4.5 and 2.5. I have gone back and forth about leaving for so long and just can’t seem to get up the nerve to do it. I know I’m not happy and can’t really believe that he is either. We hardly have anything in common anymore.
My main issue is that he refuses to help financially with anything regarding the children. He pays the house note and a few house bills (cable, his phone, electricity, gas, etc) while I pay for everything else (OT and speech therapy for our son with SPD, daycare, pre-school, groceries, health insurance, car insurance, clothing, medical visits, etc). He makes twice what I make and I end up paying more in bills than I make every month. Up until last month I was paying $250 a month for car insurance for 5 cars and only one is mine. I have approached him about it several times and every time he says he will help but never does. I had put myself in such a hole that only my mother dying and leaving me some money and the sale of her house helped me get back even. I was just about to finally leave when he asked me for $45,000 to settle the estate dispute with his step-mother that he had been dealing with for nearly 5 years. I thought that maybe by giving him this money he would finally see how a family partnership works and that he would be so grateful that he would offer to step up and “pay me back” so to speak with his actions. Umm…I bet you can guess how that went. He said thanks maybe once then went about his same routine. After bringing it up again last month we did finally split the car insurance up but that was it. Nothing else was ever mentioned. Now I’m still stuck paying nearly $400 a month more than I make on just bills (not including gas for my car, incidentals for the kids, etc).
He belittles my job and proclaims that I just need to make more money. I love my job and am working in my field making a differnece in people's lives. I also started my own business but it was such a hassle to get him to watch the kids when I had to leave to see clients that I stopped for a while. If I leave I plan to start back up and hopefully work it into the custody agreement. We live in a small college town and I don’t plan to ever leave here. He’s a good dad when he wants to be but all the responsibility for their care is mine. I get them up, dressed, fed and to school each morning then pick them up, get them fed, bathed and in bed each night. All on top of working full time. Then he wants to fuss about not having sex enough. I’ve told him a thousand times that foreplay begins in the kitchen…not at 10:00pm. He’s a trained chef with an industrial kitchen and refuses to cook dinner (except on the weekends when his friend’s are over). I work from home but I’m not always here and can’t really get a lot done around the house all the time. He thinks that since I work from home that I can also do all the things I could when I was a SAHM.
My mother kept telling me before she died, “If you’re going to do it all by yourself…you might as well do it on your own.” I still hear her in my head telling me this. I feel completely unappreciated and taken advantage of and I’m tired of trying to make it work. I’ve asked him to come with me to counseling but he claims he’s too busy and that we can’t afford it. He has an excuse for everything. I don’t want my children growing up in a home where their mom and dad barely speak. I don’t want them to think that’s normal. I want my son to grow up respecting women and their role as mothers and for my daughter to not become a doormat like I have. I know there is a better life out there for me and my children. It just seems so overwhelming to even initiate the process. The biggest issue will be finding a place to live. We live in the house he grew up in so I would be the one to leave. There isn’t much rental property until school lets out for the summer and I’d hate to spend twice as much in rent than I could just buying a house. All of our finances are separate (always have been) so there wouldn’t be much issue there.
I’ve already researched collaborative divorce and think that would be the route I would take. That way we could work a parenting plan along with financial support and hopefully keep everything pretty civil. He knows I’ve considered divorce in the recent past but he always make promises to change and help out more but it’s always just words. All I want for me, my children, and my husband is to be happy. I also don’t want to keep putting off the inevitable until my children are older and more affected by the separation. I secretly hope that my leaving will help him change for the better but know going in that it could be permanent. I honestly hope that this will help him become a better and more involved father to his children. He would be forced to care for them and maybe finally appreciate what it is to be an “all-in” parent.
I know this is excruciatingly long and I appreciate anyone who has made it this far. I guess I just need to know if I’m doing the right thing by even considering leaving or am I being selfish for wanting a better life.