Can You Fix Your Marriage?

Updated on November 17, 2014
M.M. asks from Rice Lake, WI
22 answers

So without giving to much detail and making a long story basically what is going on is my husband and I are separated and have been since spring. Over the past 7yrs of our marriage I have felt like his mother more then his wife, I take care of everything. He works and I take care of Everything else! He works on the road so we don't see him much so I really have no help while I take care of our two kids 3 and 6 while working 2 part time jobs. He's been on and off working on the road since our 6yr old was 2 months old, missing 4 of her b-days so far.While I was pregnant I caught him talking to another girl telling her we were pretty much done and trying to get her to come back to his hotel room. I forgave him and tried to move on and after I had our 2nd daughter he told me he wasn't really ready to be married and have kids but later "took it back" I've never gotten over everything that happened then last fall he was dating another girl while he was working and I found out and said I'm done. He cried and said he'd change if I take him back so he got laid off a month or so later and came home for a few months for the winter. During that time I worked and he sat on his butt doing nothing. I was so frustrated we ended up deciding to separate. I felt like it was the only thing to make him see this is really his last chance.

So during this time I've now met someone else and my husband has had little flings with other girls, I really do care for this man but at the same time I always fear that I will regret not giving my husband this one last chance that he's begging me for right now. He claims he really gets it this time and wants to be the man he has been promising to be for years, So question?! Do I give up something that potentially could be great and free me from this funk I've been in for yrs. Or do I walk away from this new guy before things get to serious and give my husband another chance? Has anyone been through something like this, can he really change?

What can I do next?

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answers from Boston on

Neither. DO NOT start a new relationship. I know it feels good and is tempting, but, to be blunt, you are damaged goods right now and the only thing you'll attract is more trouble. Good, stable, loving, worthy guys don't dabble around with women who are still married to someone else. They just don't. A good man would say "oh, you're still married? Well best wishes to you. If you ever find yourself single and have had time and space to deal with ending your marriage and are ready to date again, perhaps if I'm not in a relationship at that time, things might work out. But you are not available right now."

You married a man-child. He was someone YOU picked. You have a bad picker. You need to end one mess, stand on your own two feet, parent your children, go to therapy and learn WHY you picked a loser and what you're going to do differently next time to make sure that if and when you're ready to date again, you don't pick ANOTHER jerk and put yourself and your kids through this again and again and again.

Time to tell your husband that it's too little, too late. Someone serious about fixing his marriage doesn't screw other people. He just doesn't. He's playing with you...reeling you in, messing around, seeing you get some space, getting jealous, reeling you back in, a messing around, and so on and so on.

Walk away from the BOTH. You need to clean up one mess before starting another. The statistics on post-divorce relationships aren't good...that vast majority fail, especially the ones that start before a marriage is actually over. The best post-divorce relationships are ones that aren't started until at least a year after the divorce is finalized and the marriage is really over.

Stop screwing around and diverting your attention away from what you need to do, which is go through the painful, messy work of really ending your marriage. Grieve your loss, pull yourself together, work on yourself, focus on your kids, THEN go out and date.

22 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It's so unhealthy to date while you are married. For the sake of yourself and your children, stay single for a while. The better decisions you make now, will make for a better future for you and your kids. And most importantly, set a good example for your kids.

BTW I couldn't take him back after that many cheats you found him in

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

The best thing for you right now is to not deal with ANY men for awhile.
It's too easy to make the same mistake twice.
You need to find out who you are when you're not in a relationship.
Drop them both - husband and the boyfriend.
Concentrate on raising your kids for a few years.
When you are emotionally healed and your sense of self esteem is restored then you'll be in better shape to find a real partner in life.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You do know that leaving him and NOT jumping right to another man IS an option, right?

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Finish a relationship before you start another.
One at a time is enough.

No cross over. The new guy will not trust you in the future and you and your husband will not feel like the relationship had a chance and or had a real ending.

Stop these reindeer games and either really try to work on this marriage. Or cut it off with a legal ending and then move on. Your children will appreciate it. Believe me. I am a child of divorce with experience in this situation.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Walk away from the new guy. Do not get back together with your husband. The only person you need to invite into your life right now is a therapist to talk through all of this, and to figure out what you really want in life and how to get it.

Things a therapist can help you figure out: Can you have a good marriage without trust? Would you ever be able to trust your husband again? What would he need to do to prove that he's really ready to be a husband and father? Is a man who dates a married woman one that you would consider a good and moral person? If you think this is an unfair assessment, is it because it really is unfair, or are you just lonely and are making excuses for him? And finally, but most importantly, how do your kids figure into all this? Is it good for them to see their mom and dad splitting up, getting back together, and splitting up multiple times? How will that shape what they think is a good relationship when they grow up? Do you want them to think this is normal and ok? And if you do start to date, what is the right time to introduce a new boyfriend to your kids? And how do you do that in a non-threatening way? Is your relationship with your husband/boyfriend one that you want to serve as a role model for your kids?

You have a lot of hard things to work through on your own. Make sure you've worked through all of these things, and probably more, before you make any decisions.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on


How many "last chances" do you give? When are YOU done?

He's seen the hurt and pain he's caused you, but he keeps doing the same things over and over with no real regard to the damage he's doing to you and your children.

This man is not husband material. I'm sorry. Maybe someday he'll grow up, but he hasn't yet, and keeping him around is sending a horrible message to your children regarding what a man, husband, and father should look like.

I'm all for spouses giving it everything they've got to make a marriage work and for seeking professional help when needed, but BOTH parties have to be invested in the success of the relationship, not just one.

He has shown nothing in his behavior that indicates he'll do everything in his power to earn your trust, treat you with respect, and be an equal, committed, faithful partner in your marriage. He cries, and you take him back. Tears are not a commitment. That's a child crying to get what he wants.

Lose the guy you've been seeing. Nothing good can come of that, either. You can't enter into a new relationship when you have old business left over from one that's not yet finished. The boyfriend is simply a distraction, something that feels good while you're avoiding the pain of ending your marriage.

Put yourself and your children first. Get yourself into counseling so you can figure out why you've put up with this for so long, so you can heal from this broken marriage, and so you won't keep repeating the pattern with the next "potentially…great" guy.

Wishing you strength through this.

J. F.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Walk away from both of them, M..

First, I am a big believer that you don't jump from one relationship into another. Yes, there are times that it has worked, but what it says to me is that you aren't 100% sure about leaving unless you feel you've got a a pretty sure thing waiting in the wings. The big problems here are that:
A. you need your own clear head and closure with your husband and
B. you need to figure out what sort of decisions caused you to get together with your husband in the first place and
C. You need to be FINE with you and that means you being alone with you for a bit. Find out who you are now, what you really want from a relationship, and raise the bar so you don't make the same mistake again.

(I speak from personal experience in this regard.)

I'd also encourage you to take this slow route because you do owe this to your kids. No, you don't owe your husband a last, last, very last chance. As you've already seen, he's in it when he wants to be but it's come to the point where you are both becoming involved with other people. Sometimes it works out like that in the movies, but really-- it would take two strongly committed people to save this situation and it doesn't seem like either one of you feels the commitment or level of respect for the other to WANT to save this.

We all make our choices. I realized that the only way my ex was going to change was if he *wanted* to, and not under duress. Being a strong husband or wife isn't something you do to prove yourself, it's a daily choice. My ex was good at 'proving' himself up until he wasn't and I realized that while I couldn't get him to be the person I was wanting him to be (when we got together, I needed to be needed and frankly, he was needy)-- I had the ability to change my own self and be my own strong person, even alone. So, that's my encouragement for you. Make the choice to be you own strong person alone for a while. Don't drag your kids through having lots of other adults in their lives for just a spell. Trust me, if you don't take your time, examine your own issues-- you will make the same mistakes again and be highly disappointed, both in your new guy and in yourself.
good luck.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

it doesn't sound like it, although of course anything is possible.
yes, you DO 'give up something that could potentially be great.' you and your husband are already putting your kids through hell by subjecting them to an unstable and distrustful home situation that involves cheating on both sides. and now, while still married, you're already grazing.
you need to refocus. you chose to have children with a guy you're not into and who's not into you OR your kids. so while you're all about what's coming down the pike romantically, you've got 2 little people who are relying on you.
forget boyfriends, raise your kids, and get your head on straight. there will still be 'potentially great' guys out there when you grow up and learn how to deal with your own self-imposed funks.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Don't fool yourself. The grass is NOT greener. You need, no you MUST finish one relationship BEFORE you start another. Really...think about his head he will be thinking...she cheated on him...what makes me think she won't cheat on me?? You can use the excuse you are can use the excuse well he cheated on me...but either way - it WILL be in the back of his mind...and if you ask him about? He will deny it...but IT WILL BE THERE..

Can your husband change? Yes. Does he want to? No. Not that I can see.

However, neither one of you seem to be committed to your marriage. You BOTH have feet out the door. Yes, I know you've put up with a lot. it sucks to have a cheating spouse.

Before you start ANY new relationship - stop what you are doing NOW...walk away from this new man until you have closed the chapter on your marriage. Period. End of story. You need to make a decision and have a clear conscience about it. Right now you are still struggling.

Tell your husband marriage counseling. No more "extras" and no more on the road job. He needs to find a job that is local and where his FAMILY is first. If he can't do that? Or won't do that? Then file for divorce and move on...but do NOT under ANY circumstances begin ANY new romance/relationship until your marriage is DONE....I would wait until the ink is dry on the papers...why? Because then YOU have a clear are aren't cheating...and you are done...

Even though you've had a lot of time on your hands? I wouldn't date anyone for about a year after your divorce. Why? Because you NEED to get to know YOU. You've changed. Your life has changed. Get counseling so you can move forward without guilt or remorse.

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Some marriages can be fixed, some can't. Based on what you've said here, there is no reason to think that this can be fixed without professional help, and there's no reason to think you can move on to new relationships without professional help. What I'm saying is, you two don't "do marriage" very well but you also don't "do separation" very well. Neither one of you knows what you want, neither one is really content alone, so you only see yourselves as a part of a relationship. You're both moving on to other people without being done with each other. So "one more chance" means nothing if you keep doing things the old way - the same things will happen.

I'd get counseling for myself if I were you. If he'll get counseling, that's up to him. But you clearly need an objective person to help you clarify what you want, what you value, and who you are. You can't be a good partner (to your husband, or to someone else) until you do that.

Call your primary care doctor or gynecologist to get a referral to someone who accepts your insurance, or call your town's office for family services for low cost, sliding scale counseling

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Sounds like you don't know who you want to be with. Your husband who you have two kids with and have witnessed intimately for years behaving like a jerk, or this other guy you've been spending some time with who might be perfect or might not be.

Which means you don't now yourself.

The new guy will NOT free you up from a funk (other than temporarily) unless you free yourself first.

So now the ex (even if not on paper, you've separated and gotten into relationships with other people) wants you to come back to him RIGHT NOW so he can finally behave or you'll have let him slip away forever and it will be all your fault....

Well guess what. You don't have to do that. You can say, "You know what, Mr. Reluctant-to-Commit, I'm getting on with my life. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm dating other people right now. If you and I are meant to be, perhaps we'll be together on better terms one day." Then finalize your divorce. Once you're divorced, you can date whoever you want with a clear conscience. Including your ex one day if you want.

OR, you can tell the new guy to hit the bricks immediately and go back for more of the VERY SAME TREATMENT from your ex. He'll behave nicely for about a week, and most likely you'll string the other guy along too and prevent yourself from getting on with life with a clear head.

Or you can do the best thing: Keep things VERY un-serious with the new guy (because it's doubtful you'll ditch him which is what would be best..). Be honest. Say, "I am not in a place to be in a serious relationship. My kids come first and I can't commit to you or offer you much until I get my life together. I may see other people, I may need time alone, I'm finalizing my divorce, I'm a mess, but if you want to see me on casual terms, so be it." or ditch him-even better so you can get a grip on yourself. AND ALSO divorce your ex. NOW. Do not waste more of your years on that guy.

Then when you've been an independent woman for a while, and you're HAPPY ON YOUR OWN without a man "making you happy" you start dating again.

Yes the new guy might be nice. But guess what? The planet is full of literally millions of really nice guys. You will not be happy until you get divorced and get yourself to a healthy mental place. THAT'S when you may come across Mr. Right, not Mr. Rebound. If the new guy is your new soul mate, he'll be there when you're ready.

Keep in mind, that while it's REALLY HARD to go without attention and affection while it's right there on a plate for you and you're damaged and sad from years of betrayal and loneliness... it's not good to demonstrate to your kids that you need a man and that you have a hard time picking between the men.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Stop putting a sadly misplaced hope about your husband ahead of concern for your kids.

Putting them first is now totally defined by getting their cheating, lying father out of your life, period.

Clinging to a pipe dream that "this could be great" is only deceiving yourself because he has proven -- more than once -- that he will cheat on you repeatedly. Please learn from the experience he has so willingly handed to you. Do not try to fix what was never working in the first place.

While it seems great to have a new guy, please consider that your kids do not need a new man in YOUR life. They need to be the priority and though you surely will say, "They are!" -- even if this man is an angel in the flesh, he will take up your time and your mental space, and right now your kids need every bit of that.

As others said below: Take a break from ALL men for now. For a long time. You and your kids have to be your priorities, and dating anyone, even a perfect guy, takes away from that right now. The fact that you're still pining for your husband while also saying this new man is great is a signal that you are not ready for a serious relationship and might be substituting the new man for the old just to have a man in your life. Please reconsider. Please think about counseling or therapy for you to help you figure out why you stuck with and now are considering taking back a man who would treat you like dirt. You will only repeat and repeat that pattern if you don't figure out how to break it -- and your kids will grow up thinking it's fine for men to treat women like dirt, and thinking that women must have a man in their lives to be whole.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

After the all the things that you two have been through for seven years and no good results, I would say that the marriage was over. Perhaps it was never there in the first place.

You two are not living under the same roof so why don't you go on and end the relationship. Then take time to heal yourself and find out who you are without a man. Meet with a counselor or therapist to help you. Raise your children and be happy.

A man will come along down the line from now who will love you for you. Right now is not the time. Your kids should come before your wants and needs. Keep them away from your new man until you know it is the real thing then introduce them. No need for them to get all excited and then let down over this guy.

What's that saying, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a new result is insanity. So stop the cycle and break into a new direction. Change is scary but sometimes we have to have faith in something before it happens.

Take time this holiday season to plan for your future with you and your children and next year put that plan into place. Stop the headaches!

the other S.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Danville on

You have received some very good advice below (especially from JB).

My sincere hope for you (and especially your children) is that you take it!


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Your marriage has been gone for some time, you just haven't acknowledged it yet. There is nothing left to repair; end it officially so you can move on.

That said, you're also in no state to build a new healthy relationship. You must let both men go. Only when you learn to be emotionally independent will you be ready to date again.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

No, he's not going to change. You are STILL his mother and he's just expecting unconditional love like mothers give.

Honestly, I understand your interest in the new guy. But truthfully, you need a break from men! Date the guy if you really need to, but DON'T bring him around your kids. They don't need another man in their lives until you know that it's really serious with him. Revolving door men play havoc with children.

If your husband is serious about "getting it", he can get being a good dad, paying child support, and spending time with his kids without you having to take care of him.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My advice based on my personal experience is to try to work it out. I don't say that lightly and its not based on whether or not I think he could change, it's based on the fact that you're wondering. I tell everyone that you should only be done after you can confidently say you have done everything and you have no regrets. I remember that moment with my first husband that I was finally done. I have no regrets to this day. No one can make this decision for you. If you can in the deepest part of your soul know that you are done, then walk away. If not, then try again.

As for the new guy, you need to finish dealing with your marriage before even thinking about starting a new relationship. It's not fair to you, the new guy, your kids or your husband.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

How incredibly confusing to you, your husband, your children, and the other man.

All you adults can figure this out, but what about the children.

And, I don't mean this in a judgmental way.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

Sounds like neither of you is really into the marriage anymore.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Another vote for what JB said.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Maybe but in about twenty years and you need to live now. Giving him another chance is eating away at the time you have now. If you and he meet up later in life wonderful He is sowing his wild oats.Love yourself,love your someone else, or the next someone else and give up on Mr. Immature. He is going to possibly grow up when you have given up a lot of your life. hERE IS A HUG

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