Hi ladies, going through a difficult time right now in my marriage. I'm so unhappy and I know my husband is unhappy too. We've spoken about ending the marriage in the past but keep saying we'll try. Well "trying" is becoming old. He says he tries and I say I try but nothing ever changes. I'm so sad about the idea of my marriage ending I just get so annoyed with him sometimes (ok, alot of the times). Sometimes I feel like I married the wrong person. We have a beautiful little boy who is 8 months old. He is our light and joy. I adore this kid as does my husband. The thought of making him a child of divorced parents makes me really, really, sad. Anyway, here is my question--when did you finally end your marriage? How did you know it was time to end it? TIA.
When do you know its over?
I knew when I found out that STBX was living w/ another woman in the town where he was working. I was unhappy for many many many years prior to that. It's just that I needed a catalyst to get the ball rolling on taking actual legal action. Have you tried marriage counseling? I would at least give that a shot before calling it quits. There are also some good books out there about divorce and children.
It took me years to get out...though I knew I should have left long ago. But it was hard....and there have been moments that I thought it would be easier to go back. Not right, not good for me, not good for the kids...but easier, definitely.
As to your actual question...I knew when I got a new job, he didn't move with us because we had not sold the old house and he and not gotten a job, and I had a couple of months waking up without him in the house. I was happier and more peaceful. The kids were in a better place. So....I gritted my teeth and did the right thing.
If you look through the older posts you'll see this question gets asked a lot. It's one of the toughest decisions you'll ever make and no one does it lightly, and no one can tell you what to do. Like others it took me years. I think I knew probably 3-4 years before the divorce that the relationship had no hope. Basically things got worse and worse and my stress level got higher and higher. We had a couple big blow out fights at the end in which he said things to me that were so hurtful I didn't know how I could recover. I had been telling myself that I was staying because of the kids. But one day it finally dawned on me that I was so compromised as a mother and a person and my kids did not deserve that.
We were married for five years before we separated. We initially separated with the intention to have a planned, finite separation and to stay married, but I decided about a month into it that divorce was my only livable option.
We were both adding dysfunction to the marriage, probably from the beginning, but I was becoming more and more aware of it and becoming more and more unhappy. He was too, but our ideas about what specifically needed to change were very different. He became more and more jealous, controlling, somewhat paranoid, angry, unpredictable. I became more and more interested in working on myself and changing myself, and that just seemed to make him angrier. I had been going to Alanon for awhile and that was (and continues to be) very helpful.
I finally came to the point where I accepted being really powerless (over him and his behavior) and thought about the fact that he might never change, and asked myself Could I live with him AS HE WAS and also manage to live my life in line with my values. The answer was a definite no, and it was heart breaking. I can remember points early in our marriage, like in the first year, when I realized that some of our core values were opposing and I got the feeling that little parts of me would die, the longer we were together.
In hindsight, if I had some of the tools that I now have thanks to 12 step recovery work, I would try to stick it out longer. At the very least I know that my life would have felt less dependent on his mood swings and even without him actively working on improving our marriage, I would have been able to live more happily. Maybe over time he would have sought out some help or worked on things on his own. I started out with more "tools in my toolbox," so to speak, and so I think that stuff comes easier for me. He had (has) a lot of history and trauma to work through and is really emotionally handicapped in some ways. I feel a lot of compassion for him (usually) and think that our divorce is a tragedy in all of our lives (mine, his, our children's). It was a failure on our parts, although blaming is really useless because we just were not well equipped and not very emotionally mature.
Our divorce has been really chaotic and full of hostility (from him to me) and grief. Obviously, hard on our two kids. Sometimes I'm not sure whether or not staying together would have been worse, but I tend to think it would have. Right now it's hard, really hard, but I have learned so much about taking responsibility for my own happiness that I might not have been spurred to learn had it not been for all that has happened. There are lots of positives coming out of our mistakes. Our kids seem to be doing well.
No one can answer this question for you, but living in line with your values is really important. For me, I had only a few deal-breakers, and that was one of them.
It's hard to say for each person is different. I went to counseling... alone. I tried everything I knew of and that helps me now while we are having a hard time knowing I did not leave any stone unturned... I gave it a good shot. I was young and knew nothing of marriage- just my ideas passed on from my parents.
I know now I contributed ...not all but I did ... to my marriages unhappiness and it's end. That is a tough pill to swallow once you leave.
So I would say for now do all you can, read all you can, go to counseling, seek marital counseling.
Divorce is like two pieces of wood glued together.... you can not pry them apart without damaging both pieces of wood.
With an 8 month old baby, I don't think now would be the best time to come to any major conclusions. The first child is HARD on a marriage. A baby that age is still hugely demanding, you are still not back to yourself physically, mentally or hormonally. As your boy gets older, take the time and put in the effort to reconnect with your husband and see where it goes from there.
Edited by ComaWhite - 9/9/11 at 8:36am
My two cents is that the first few years are hard on a marriage so I would try to hang in there a little longer. Is he willing to try counseling? You didn't mention any huge red flags like abuse. If it's more communication types of issues I would give it a good shot for my child. But on the other hand if the other person doesn't want to do anything to make the situation better it never will happen. Those types of things have to come internally; not externally.