31 answers

I Want to Leave My Husband but Don't Know How.

I stubbled on this site and figured I'd give this a try. Hoping to get some good advice because I'm completely clueless as to what I need to do.

I've been with my husband for 10 years, married for almost 5. We have two children together, ages 6 and 4. I have been unhappy in our marriage for a long time. I wish I would have saw all the red flags before I married him, but I didn't. He has a lot of anger issues and is bipolar. He is seeing a psychiatrist right now and on medication for his moods, but I've lost the love I had for him. We have been through a lot. He has hurt me in many ways and almost destroyed his relationship with the kids. Yes, he has come a long way and isn't as angry as he used to be...but I don't feel the same way about him that I used to. I have love for him...but I don't love him so much that I want to stay married to him. He is a very selfish person but acts like he is incredibly kind and caring (which he is sometimes...just to people outside our home). If he gets any extra money he spends it like it's burning a hole in his pocket. He is the only one bringing in income. I am a stay at home mom. I've tried to get a job, but he doesn't want me to. He says it will just cost more because of child care. So...I have no job & no place to go. My closest family members are 7 hours away. My daughter just started Kindergarten this year and my son is in preschool half days. They love school and I don't think it would be wise to pull them out.

As of right now, my husband and I are going to counseling. So far it's been good. We have been talking about past things that have come between us. But, I don't see the love for him I once had coming back. Honestly...I don't think I want it to come back. I met someone else. He is a great guy. Divorced with 2 kids. He has told me that he is interested in a relationship with me, but we both agree that nothing will happen until after I have left my husband. So...what do I do? I don't know what steps to take now. How do I convince my husband that I should get a job? I obviously need to start earning and saving money. How do I do that without him knowing? I can't just tell him I want out without having a plan. He will be so upset and I'm afraid he will be angry and I don't know how he will react. I don't have anyone to go stay with. I have no friends around our area and no family. I'm so sad and confused and I really need advice here. Should I get a lawyer? How do I pay for that? There are so many questions I have but no answers. I feel like I'm drowning here...

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Start looking for a job you can do while the kids at school. He has kept you so isolated that you have no support system.

As far as the 'other guy' is concerned. I get it --- I really do. You want to feel loved and cherished. But do not start something with this man until you file papers, get counseling and start to heal.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Love in marriage ebbs and flows with the good and bad times. The key is whether or not we're willing to stick it out through the bad times or even the boring times.

You said that your husband is improving with therapy and medication for his anger and bipolar disorder. You're both going to counseling and that it's going well. You said you love him, just "not like before."

I really think the problem is that you think this other person you've met seems like a solution and an option. You've now invited a third person into your marriage, someone that doesn't belong there, and that's affecting your desire to even attempt to work through this difficult stage in your marriage. How is that fair to your marriage, your husband, or your children? Or even to yourself? I don't think this other man is such a "great guy" if he actually told you that he's interested in you KNOWING that you're married and has basically asked you to leave your husband. He's thrown temptation at you. You're emotionally cheating and he's tempting you saying nothing sexual will/can happen unless/until you leave your husband. Do you think an emotional affair is less harmful?

I think you feel like you're drowning because you realize you'd be jumping out of something that you're in the process of rebuilding and into the unknown. I think you know that you'd be leaving a good man AND your children. I think you know that whatever progress you've made with your husband toward repairing your marriage would be lost and it would be your fault and not his. I think you also know that it would be incredibly selfish and self-centered and that you're questioning if you even have real feelings for this other man. I sincerely doubt that any emotions you have for this other man are real considering your situation.

My vote, harsh as it may seem to you, is to cut off all contact with this loser. The last thing you need right now is to add another broken family (a divorced man and his two children) into your own drama.

14 moms found this helpful

You seem to easily recognize your husbands faults, which is always easy to do. However, perhaps you have a few things to shine some light on within yourself.

You can't see the love for him coming back because you are waiting to love someone else. Are you mentioning the new friend in counseling? One of the first steps is to be honest. Or perhaps the counseling is needed so that you and your husband can be good parents in your own separate worlds, but still be honest and say you don't want to be in the marriage.

As well, you should spend minimal time talking about the past and more time talking about what you will do in the future to mend the pain and hurt you have caused each other. Think about this, if your 5 year old had trouble making a perfect letter O, would you show him all his mistakes or focus on how to make a perfect O? Do the same with your marriage.

Getting a job would be great for someone who is feeling stuck. I believe everyone should have their own freedom and with that freedom comes money. I won't stay home until I am retired. We share/combine our income and expenses, but no one is going to tell me what I can and cannot do.

You don't mention your background or education, but you mention you need to find a job and save money and keep the kids where they are. Well, when did you plan to leave your husband? I have a job and know that it is very expensive to live on your own and contribute toward the family you have already made. If you get a job, your current husband will wonder why you get to save your money and his money pays the bills. Again, you have to be honest.

So back to the new friend. If I understand this correctly, you and your husband have a troubled marriage and you have a new guy on the back burner that you have made an agreement that nothing will happen until you leave. How was that casual talk? Did you discuss it over a cup of coffee? Does your husband know he is supporting and feeding a woman that is visiting someone else? Golden rule...how would you like it if you were working and he was planning his next big shebang?

I totally get it, marriage is difficult and it can really suck sometimes. But I think you need to be honest with yourself and start taking a look at a few of your own issues before you move on to the next relationship. Maybe your issues don't have a clinical polished name, however, they will follow you to your next relationship.

13 moms found this helpful

Ooooohhhh... you had me until you mentioned the other man. You're either trying to work it out with your husband or you're not. And if you're dating/talking to/thinking about some other man, you are not trying to work it out with your husband. Either commit to making your current relationship work, or tell your husband it's over. If you do that, you have two choices. Get a job, or have the new man take over the role your husband is playing.

Good luck.

11 moms found this helpful

Put the other guy on the back burner. The grass is always greener on the other side and it's easy to see someone who is showing interest in you (especially after you probably have felt very unloved by your husband for a long time) as an "easy way out". You don't need to complicate things, if you want out, want out for yourself - not to be with someone else. It is not going to work.

Keep up the counseling. Even if you do not fall back in love with your husband, counseling can make a separation easier on both of you and often helps couples stay civil. Ask for a solo session with your counselor and discuss your concerns.

Get a job. Bring it up in counseling, get your counselors support and just do it. Get a part time job to start out, while your kids are in school/pre-school if you can. More important than saving up is having a job lined up when you do get out... and being employable (aka having a recent employment history).

And, unless your DH is abusive - in which case you should just get out immediately - take your time. The longer to stay in counseling together the better, not only because you may change your mind, but also because even if you don't, it will help the two of communicate better now and down the road - because even if your marriage is dissolved, you husband will be in your life as your children's father for the rest of your life.
Good luck.

11 moms found this helpful

Sounds like you are more selfish than your husband. At least he is working on getting better. You are working on making your family fail for sure. Quit seeing this man and forget about your dreamy plan to help him raise his 2 kids plus yours. I think you should keep going to counseling and try to work on it. You can't give up for your kids.

10 moms found this helpful

You are rebounding on a 'potential' relationship, which is probably clouding your decision as to whether you 'want' your love to come back for your husband. It very well might not, and that is OK, but another man in the background isn't helping much, if you see what I mean?

Just because he says you can't get a job doesn't mean you really can't. You can. I assume your 6 year old goes to Kindergarten or 1st grade and your 4 year old can do pre-K. Does that not allow for a part time job? And hiding it will be difficult when it comes to tax time.

You need to tell your counselor what you told us. She can't help you unless she knows the truth.

10 moms found this helpful

What kind of great guy tells a married woman with children that he wants to pursue a relationship with her? I'm sorry, he may be hot, smart, funny, hard-working, a good listener, affectionate, or whatever your husband is not to you, but he doesn't have much character for saying that.

I think you need to concentrate on pursuing the job issue. Talk to your marriage therapist about your strong desire for getting a job. You say he is making progress, is it possible your husband will come around to seeing it your way? Maybe you can show him on paper how much you would earn vs. childcare costs. What if you started out part time? You can be willing to work with your husband on his concerns about finances, but ultimately, he needs to understand the cost on your marriage if he is trying to control you and forbid you from getting a job.

9 moms found this helpful

The best way to leave? Do not make any decisions with this other man in mind. Finish your counseling with your husband, and apply your whole heart. Be sure to tell your therapist that your heart isn't in it, so he/she can give you tools to help you with that. Maybe you'll get your love back; maybe you won't. There is a process, and you must go through it, and it requires your full attention. Do not speak to this man while you are going through your process. You owe that to yourself, to your husband, to your marriage, and to your children.

ETA: To clarify, this is how to leave: Walk through these very necessary steps of your life and do not skip to the end. If there are 10 steps, then it is very important that you go through all 10. The steps you skip will always come back on you. That is how to leave your marriage.

9 moms found this helpful

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