27 answers

Divorce Advice

I'm sorry I didn't add that we have talked many, many times and I have purposely made sure I didn't go into the discussions as accusing or pointing fingers. I have been trying and it feels like I'm chasing a goal I can never achieve. Everytime we've talked he accepts no responsibility for anything wrong with our marriage, or home or finances. If I tell him he hurt my feelings or he sees me cry he turns it around on me. He says whatever has happened to make me upset is my fault. He has no idea I want a divorce, but he has told some of our friends he knows I'm not happy. June of this year will be my 11th wedding anniversary. I want a divorce. We have become completely incompatible. We don't have the same goals, drive, thoughts on discipline. The list keeps going. I work fulltime and he is self-employed. He works out of our house but does nothing to help keep the house running. We get along, but we're more like roomates than husband and wife. How do I break this to him? He has no idea. I'm also worried about him wanting to sell the house when we divorce. I'm not willing to do that. Any advice on this one would be appreciated to.

What can I do next?

More Answers

D.! Before you do anything else...get on your knees and pray! Do you know that Jesus Christ can heal your marriage and change your husband? You cannot! Jesus wants to be there for you and you only have to call out for his help. A simple prayer will bring God into your life...He wants to be, not just in part, but the whole of your life. If you are leaning on Him and letting Him guide you, He will take care of you. Have you every read Psalm 32...try it out and see if you pray it for 30 days what miracles will happen in your life. (I'll be praying, too.)
A divorce will NOT help because you have a daughter in the middle of it all. My sis had a similar experience a few years ago and through all his messy stuff she stuck it out and it was a good decision. God will honor you following his ways...if you don't, you're not under His umbrella of protection. (GOD considers marriage a binding commitment even when you divorce, you're still bound emotionally to each other.) Please STOP and think about the future. You'll always have a connection to this man and working on things when you're apart will always be worse than together...a neighbor told me this once.
You also need to turn IN to your husband. He may not know your level of frustration and unhappiness. Be real with him, but you have to take responsibility for yourself, too. It's always a good idea to press in toward your hubby, but without a solid foundation of following JESUS, that will sound/seem CRAZY! (And it's harder without the help of Jesus.)
*Remember marriage is HARD WORK and that doesn't mean planning a wedding.*

1 mom found this helpful

It seems we have a lot in common. I was divorced last Oct. this year would've been 12 years. I have an 18yr. old and a 10 tr. old who absolutely adores his dad. I know what u mean about it being hard to tell him. I told him for months and he ignored me like I was just talking. I tried everything and I cried more than I ever cried in my life the last two years. I didn't get any help either and I moved for my job. That helped me get established while I was unsure but when 2 years had gone by and he had yet to move all of his things I knew it would never happen. Now he claims he made mistakes and I'm all he wants but he never even tried to fix it. Nothing was his fault until now. My 18 yr. old hates him because we are so close and she blames him. I can't repair that relationship if I tried. I make her respect him but that's all I can do. I don't know if this helps but I was never really sure I was ready to do it even after I went to court and was granted my divorce immediately. It shocked me so much that it could be over like that, I think I cried for two weeks. It took him over two weeks to even show his face and he didn't show up to court either. I told him I knew I made no mistake when u didn't even show up to fight for me. I hope all is well and u have a different outcome than I had.

1 mom found this helpful

From what you wrote, why are you concerned with how to break it to him. He seems absolutely unconcerned with anything that is going on around him, since he says everything is your fault. Kick him out on his bum butt and start a life. There is no reason to carry dead weight. He is an adult and should act like one. From what you wrote, you'll have less work and you will definetely be happier. Sit down and make a budget with whta you income is , so you can make sure you can hang on to the house by yourself or start looking for a roommate now.
Good luck with things!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you thought about trying marriage counseling? That may be a step to helping your marriage. If you don't want to try that and are positive that it wont help and still want a divorce, then you need to just tell your husband. With him trying to blame everything on you and making you miserable it is because for some reason or other he wants to put you on a guilt trip. When my parents got divorced the court spit the house up where half belonged to my dad and the other half belonged to my mom. If that happens you can ask him to buy his half if you want to stay there. Right now it sounds like a one way street and in order to make things work he has got to start helping out. DO NOT let him continue to put guilt trips on you. Turn the tables on him.

1 mom found this helpful

I know this sounds simple, but once you know that you are incompatible, there is nothing left to argue about. It doesn't matter who did what or who didn't do anything in the marrage. That part is over. The ONLY thing that matters is your daughter. Getting her through it will take both of you and doing it without arguing. My ex and I were alot like roomates and the end. When we talked about divorce, we decided it was not important why each of us was unhappy with the other, the divorce ends that. The only thing we had left to discuss was our boys (we have 2). That was the one thing we both agreed was more important than anything. You can't make it easy for kids, however if both of you are there reassuring her, it will be easier. There is a class that dicorce couples have to take if they have children to help their children cope with the divorce. When my ex and I took the class, we were the only ones there that had been married to each other. I thought that was sad. It seems as if most people fight about "things" when they divorce, and they will do anything to win the prize. Children can get lost in all of it and they are hurting also. "Things" can be replaced, put all of your energy into your daughter. I have been divorced for 7 years, both of us have found other people to spend our life with, but I still raise my boys with their father. This lifestyle only works of course with the cooperation of both of you. Be strong, you will make it through this.

1 mom found this helpful

Since he has no idea, is it really fair to just get the divorce without even trying to work on things?? Perhaps once you tell him how strongly you feel about it, he might be willing to work on this with you. Also, have you tried counselling?

This is s hard time in a marriage...when the kids get older and you feel like your marriage has taken a back burner. But, as my kids get even older and I think about them being out on their own, husband and I have gotten closer. We realize it's gonna be just us again and so we've started dreaming again. I would hate to see you give up on a marriage without trying to make things better.

Just some thing to think about. I wish you the best in whatever you decide.

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like you are past the point of considering counseling? If that is the case, and you have made up your mind, there is no easy way to tell him. There will never be the "right time" however, be sure not to do it during a fight or argument. Its best to break the news when you are both in your right minds, noone is defensive and you can have a calm, rational discussion about it. (I use some of those terms loosely)

One thing you don't mention is whether he is abusive or not. Some of the behavior that you mention are usually signs of someone who is at least emotionally abusive. I hope this is not the case, however, if it is proceed with some caution. If your husband is a control freak, he probably won't take it well when he finds out that you've taken control by making such a big decision. When they feel the control has been taken away from them they will usually react irrationally in one way or another. So just be prepared to dig in your heels, roll up your sleeves and get busy. (I'm a therapist who specialized in domestic violence)

Best of luck to you. It takes a lot of courage to make this decision. Stay true to yourself and your heart and it will all work out in the end.


1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry to hear about whats going on in your life. I've been divorced for about 5 yrs, its not an easy thing. It took me along time to decide if divorce was right for my ex and I. Have you thought about counseling? When I finally told my ex about wanting a divorce, I believed it was to late for counseling for us, I don't know if it would have made a difference or not. You have to do what you feel is right for you and your daughter. I have 2 kids, and I didn't want them to see the arguements and fights. There wasn't alot of love in our house and I didn't want them to grow up thinking that this situation was what marriage was.
I hope everything works out for you. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

talk to a lawyer. If the house is in both of your names, he cannot sell it. you may be able to stay in the house because you have a child. you also may be able to get alimony and you will definetly get child support. If you are so miserable, it is time to get a divorce. You and your daughter will be happier. It is difficult being on your own, but it is better to be happy and alone than married and miserable. good luck and i hope everythig works out well for you.

1 mom found this helpful

My friend, I don't think you really want to end your marriage. Otherwise, you would have already done it...I think you are very unhappy, but don't see how to make things better...I was you 1 year ago. My husband and I also work from home, so we took these work shops...they were suppose to be for business, but ended up saving our marriage. Go to www.klemmer.com and check them out. We are so happy now. We also started reading a book called "love and respect". We read it out loud one chapter each night to each other. It has been a hard but amazing journey. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I was in that position 3 years ago. I don't know how to tell the story without writing an essay here. The bottom line is we ended up staying together. It was rough, but I'm so glad we fought through, it's made us stronger and we have a new, better kind of love for each other. I wanted a divorce soooo bad. Like others have said, turning to God is really the only way out. We started going to a church together(here is the website if you want to check it out: www.gccwired.com) and that is what really made the shift for us. That's why when you say your vows, you say better or WORSE. Not better or until it gets boring, rocky, etc...It's not "better" most of the time. But that's because there are two very imperfect people trying to co-exist. If you're going to go the counseling route, I STRONGLY recommend our church. You don't have to be a member...we went through counseling there and only needed two sessions. They are TRULY a god-send. Everywhere else we went for counseling only made us fight more. Please feel free to write me if you want to here the whole story...we went through hell and back, but I wouldn't have it any other way because we are so much stronger now and life is good! I hope you guys can find each other again for your sake and your daughters. Best of Luck, feel free to contact me.

1 mom found this helpful

i never get on here- i just erase it from my box- for whatever reason i got on today and i think this is why!!!!- i am a mother of 3- (5,4 and 4 months)- i don't know where you stand with God- but i wanted to invite your family to vineyard church of columbus-(the pastor is rich nathan and he is amazing- get on their website and check it out-you'll love it) i go there and have for years- it is all about restoring ourselves, family and marriages- i really know God is what you need and not a divorce- i am not some judgemental bible waving christian- but i know God can and will restore your marriage if you ask and seek that route- i know what trama this can have on you child too- you have invested 11 years into this - so try the next step- nobody is perfect- you have to work hard in marriage- if you can get your husband to try going -let God lay it on his heart to change him- you can pray for that too- God CAN change your husband - you - and reegnite a flame in your marriage- he did it in mine- and in that you have to be intentional to find hobbies and things you enjoy doing- don't give up!!! you'll look back and regret it- email me if you'd like-
i will be praying for you- L. h.

This sounds eerily familiar to me. Not about me, but about my brother and his wife. She told him 2 days before Christmas that she was leaving. He had no idea. He wanted to work on the marriage but according to her she had been unhappy for too long. Again, he had no idea. He was willing to jump through hoops for her, if that is what she wanted, and she refused. She had her mind made up. We would not be as angry with her if she just would have tried. My suggestion, talk to him. Go to counseling. See if you can make this work. If, god forbid, it doesn't work, you can say you tried everything. You can't give up until you exhaust all solutions. It's only fair to you, your husband, and especially your daughter.

I beg you from my heart to give it one more shot.
On March 7-9 (that's this coming weekend), there is a marriage conference in Cincinnati called the Family Life Weekend to Remember conference that I HIGHLY recommend. My husband and I went to one of these retreats in December and it was really powerful. It talks about marriage from a Christian perspective and doesn't sugar-coat stuff. It gives you a chance to listen to other (generally older) couple's perspectives and stories and has interactive discussions for you and your spouse to do throughout the weekend. It sounds to me like your husband needs to have someone other than you point out his shortcomings. You can check out the information at: http://www.familylife.com/site/c.dnJHKLNnFoG/b.3204389/
(There's also one in Columbus, but it's not until December.)
Marriage is hard, and Hollywood and the predominant culture don't do us any favors by painting love in such a utopian light. There's NO ONE who doesn't think about walking out on their marriage at some point. I married my best friend, but after 5 years I was so irritated by him at all times and wished I could walk away. But after time and prayer and a point where he broke down crying wondering if I still loved him anymore, things started looking up again. Slowly. I pray you guys can come to that point. Both my husband and I come from divorced families (my parents divorced when I was 5 and his at age 8) and being a kid of divorced parents is awful! My parents forgave each other and pretty much got along and never talked bad about each other, but I still felt such a loyalty tug all growing up and even now (when I'm 31). And the going back and forth between houses sucks.
Marriage isn't so much about compatibility as learning how to live with your incompatibility.
Just a side note. My husband used to work at home and I HATED it. He was there, but not really available and I felt pressure to keep the kids quiet and he felt irritated that I wanted his attention. Just remember that working at home means something different to him than it would to you. Don't expect him to wash the dishes cause that's unrealistic. He's in work mode, not home mode. If this is a real sore point, it might be a good idea to suggest he rent an office somewhere.
I don't know what else to say. I hope and pray the best for you and your family. Please keep me posted.
J. B

Talk with an attorney. There are ways for you to stay in the house. But talk with an attorney before you talk with him so you know your rights.

Ok D.,

If he is an alcoholic....there will be evidence of it. The best thing you can do before filing divorce is make an appointment to get counseling....here's why:

1. You may save your marriage
2. You have a professional who can attest to the court if and when the time comes to file for divorce
3. He may get the help he needs
4. You may get the help you need
5. You may save your marriage

I would stop discussing anything with him about the marriage until he joins you in therapy. You can approach him however you like about it, but I would do it with intention of saving your marriage first. Make sure you find a therapist who can and has testified in divorce situations as well.

The other option is this: If your husband is truly a danger to you and/or or your child you need to call the police and document...and call children's services and document...but I would leave the home before you call children services....they don't look kindly on parents who do not take their children out of harms way.

If you decide to file for divorce anyway....be aware they will insist on mediation first in child custody situations and your husband must have a history in order to prove he is unfit. This will not be easy.

My girlfriend has been going through this for almost 2 years now. Her ex is mentally unbalanced (to put in lightly) and she has been unable to protect her child from her ex because there just isn't enough proof.

So...buy a notebook and begin to document his behavior...insert times and dates a brief description of what happened....

Good Luck

I'm not sure it's fair to spring it on him with no warning or attempt at bettering the situation. Have you told him you need help around the house? Have you sought counseling? You owe it to yourself, to your husband, and to your daughter to do everything possible to work things out before breaking up the family.

I'm sorry you're so unhappy. Have you considered counseling? Without knowing HIS side, it's difficult to assess the situation, but just from YOUR side of the story, it sounds like his self-esteem stinks & he's trying to bring you down to his level. He doesn't want to accept responsibility for anything negative & places the blame elsewhere. He reminds me of my husband. Never apologizes for anything, just acts as if it never happened.
Have you ever just asked him to sit down & discuss things with him? He might be receptive & realize that if things don't change, he could lose you (& all that you do for him). If none of that works, you might want to consult an attorney. I've heard there are worse things than being alone (this may be one of those situations). Good luck.

If you are truly unhappy - It should not be hard to be forthcoming about your unhappiness. Your honesty may make him think about his family and what he has and he may make the changes necessary to keep you. At the end of the day, we as women have to make ourselves happy - life is too short and our children can sense when things aren't right, so why put you or your child through it? If he doesn't change, you need to leave and make yourself happy.

My husband and I recently went through a down spell where we had just become so comfortable living our lives that we forgot we needed to take time to nurture our marriage. We were always busy doing things with and for our three girls, working and being active in so many other areas that our marriage wasn't taking top priority. We sat down and had a real heart to heart, shared tears and decided that God had brought us together so many years ago and we felt that our job as a couple and as parents was to make it work. The best example you can give your daughter is to love her daddy! I come from divorced parents and it has always been an issue for me. My husband and I have always felt that divorce wasn't an option. Sometimes it's a matter of going back and reminding yourself what made you fall in love with him in the first place. When you start looking at those things you will see things that cause you to fall in love with him all over again. If your husband has no idea you feel the way you do then a divorce is probably not going to be an easy road for either of you and it will be especially hard on your daughter.

I would first recommend talking to each other and really find out how you feel for one another, try counseling if you are both willing and there's a good book out called "How We Love". It really makes you look at the way we treat not only our spouse but what we are teaching our children about loving others.

My husband and I are both reading the book and just trying to take time each day for each other. Being a little more affectionate with each other (not easy when it's not what you are used to) so we know that we are trying, and just remembering that we were serious about our vows on our wedding day almost 14 years ago and that every good thing takes work and sometimes lots of work. We don't all love the same way or receive love the same way and so we had to figure out what makes the other one feel loved and try to do those types of things. Another good book, is "The Five Love Languages"

I am not trying to be preachy or anything but I feel that sometimes people go into marriage feeling that if it doesn't work then you can just get a divorce when in fact a divorce has a ripple effect on everyone around you. My dad has been married 5 times and even as an adult the divorce would effect me.

Don't make any type of hasty decision. Make sure that you've tried everything before saying divorce is the only option.


Many emotions and issues can be wrapped up in the thoughts that lead to wanting a divorce. These feelings did not develop overnight. Unfortunately it is going to take more conversations to get to the point of understanding on your husbands' part. He may be totally clueless about why and the best thing you can do is what you've been doing, not pointing fingers. Present it as "issue/resolution" and work through each aspect of the separation/divorce. Even if it is what you want, it will not come without pain and heartache and some hard feelings. Just remember to work toward the common goal of what will be the best for your child. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I feel like many others that I could easily write a book about separation, single parenting, etc. after living through it and coming out "ok" on the other side. Take it slow and don't make and knee-jerk decisions. If it is meant to be you will know.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!


I agree with the ladies who are advising to run to the Lord with this. There was a time in my relationship with my husband that all I wanted was out but God truly did a miracle in our lives and I ended up falling in love with him all over again. Now today, after 5.5 years of marriage, I am more in love with my husband than ever. I understand that at this point you seem to have burnt out, which is understandable, yet I would advise you to just invite God to come in & heal & help you have the desire to start fresh in your marriage if you have not already. I am especially extremely concerned for your daughter. I have seen children die inside as a result of their world falling apart because of a divorce. Sudies have been done and in many cases people struggle with health issues within a year after divorcing just because of the extreme emotional rollercoaster that you go through. Also the statistics on a second marriage is that is is even less likely to succeed, so your best bet is to stick with the one you're in. It's not easy but if you give God a chance, you won't regret it!:)

If he has no idea you want to pursue this course of action, does he have any idea that you are as unhappy as you are? If not, do you think he might want to try and get back on track? I am not accusing, just asking. Have you tried counseling? 11 years is alot to throw away.. and you have a daughter at a very impressionable age, which, of course you know.

If you have considered these things already, then selling the house is never something that has to be done, unless he is unwilling to let you buy him out of his 1/2. If so, he has to buy you out of your 1/2. As far as advice goes, I would start buying gift cards at different stores that you frequent. They are basically untraceable, easily explained away and one way of hiding money if you need to. It also works in Bankruptcy..

HOWEVER, if you have any feelings for him at all, chances are you need serious counseling and to rebuild a personal relationship with each other. My husband and I have been married 9 years and have kind of been going through the same thing lately. We have a 6 and 3 year old, and for the last 6 years our lives have been all about them. Is that what may have happened to you two? We sat down and finally had a real heart to heart talk and I discovered that I had been sending out a few mixed signals myself, which were interprted the wrong way by him. I should have just been upfront about it and said what was on my mind, instead of doing things or ignoring things, hoping he would catch on! Men don't catch on to Hints that you see as so obvious! They need it in direct terms that they can fix... not hints that they don't catch onto! Anyways, we have really been making an effort at spending quality time together w/out kids, talking and we are discovering that we still have the same feelings for each other, they have just been on the back-burner for so long that the water started evaporating. We haven't added any water to the pot in a long time.

When that happened, in our case anyways, it seemed like we could agree on nothing, we had different goals, outlooks, viewpoints and we had very little patience with each other. Hope this helps.

If you sit him down and tell him the way you feel you might see that he has some issues of his own...maybe then you can say "Look, it's innevitable that we are going to divorce one day.......why wait......we are both still young....let's just do it on a friendly basis for the sake of our daughter"

I'm divorced and now remarried with a family.....if my ex and I wouldn't of had that talk that one February night several years ago, I wouldn't be where I am today....with my family whom I love so much.

I wish you the best of luck.....there's no easy way to bring up divorce.....just hang in there and be strong for your daughter. Take care!

Dear D.,
I was 34 also when I got my divorce. We tried counciling but with no success. I expired all efforts to save my marraige even after finding out about his many affairs. I have a daughter also. She was 6 at that time and it doesn't matter what age they are, they are very affected by divorce. Before you leave, make sure you start her on counciling. It helped my dayghter tremendously! You may also benefit from some! I have always said that divorce is like a death. You muorne over a loss but it makes you a stronger person in the end. You also need to make sure you stay on good terms with your spouse after he becomes your ex. Remember, no matter how much you dislike him, he is still your child's father. You might find you two become better friends apart rather than together. After all, you can't make someone happy. They have to find their own happiness. That is what I experienced anyway. I'm now 41 and my daughter is 11. Life can only get better. We have to keep our chin up and pray that depression doesn't overtake our lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please understand your daughter is going to be happier with happy parents rather than ones that fight all the time.
L. L.

I'm sorry you are going thru this rough time. Have you and your husband tried counseling? My husband and I went thru something similar about a year ago and I wanted out as well. I struggled with the concept of my kids not having thier father around and I just couldn't wrap my head around that. We went to counseling, I also searched deep within myself and resolved some of my own issues. Please think of this option before just calling it quits, you owe it to your daughter.

Hi D.,

First off he deserves to be told up front (my husband gave me a letter to tell me he wanted a divorce and it just blind sided me). Sit down with him and just tell him how you feel. You should be able to work out in the divorce that you can keep the house if he does not want to keep it. The most important thing though is to talk to your daughter and make sure she understand she didn't do anything wrong to cause you two to break up. My daughter was 3 when her dad and I broke up and she still has issues to this day and she is 15 now. Just make sure your daughter knows you love her no matter what is going on with you and your husband. Good Luck!


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