Divorce or Not?

Updated on May 27, 2008
C.W. asks from Santa Ana, CA
57 answers

I've been married over 16 years, and my relationship with my husband was very poor. We are still living together with two daughters. He is a wonderful father to our children, and a very successful man from work. He travels alot for work, we don't have family vacation about three years now. He loves to drink beer and he would drink 5 to 6 can Bud light in week day. He could drink up to 48 cans beer from Friday to Sunday's night. We have no conversation st all, I am mentally suffer from his cold relationship. I don't want to live this any more. I've been house keeper since my laid off from work October-2003 till now. I don't have any saving and affraid of paying the expensive attorny fee for divorce... I am confused, scared and worried for making a right choice for the children and myself??? If anyone has a answer or any advice for me, I am very grateful for all your help.

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C.K.

answers from San Diego on

marriage fitness by mort fertel

and/or
flylady.net might address other issues too

good luck, just remember,
Few things in life worth doing are easy

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M.S.

answers from Honolulu on

I forget what they call it( i know not much help, sorry). There is this free consult on what to expect.. all different situations played out in divorce and cost. It gives you a honest and real outlook of what to expect when divorcing. I know some states require parents to go through a parent class before even approving a divorce. This is to counsel parents not to talk negatively about the other to the children.

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P.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, C.,

I don't envy your life, but I sure can relate. The part where he's a good dad is great, and he travels, so you have your own time. You start going on vacations with the kids, and live your life with the kids, let him drink his beer, you cultivate more friends and at least start from there. Friends are great and that when keeps me sane.

P.

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Do you love him? That is the question to truly tackle first. If so then go to a counselor, so much can be aknowledged there. If you don't love him anymore then it is probably time to move on. If you can borrow some money to pay for a lawyer, after the ball gets rolling you can go after him for attorney's fees. That is usually what a lawyer suggests anyway. I went through a divorce about two years ago. I was married for almost 12 years with two kids. I was married to a serious beer drinker too. Talking to each other- what is that? LOL All I was good for was a lay. My children were 6 and 8 at the time. I won't lie it has been hard for them. I take them to counseling and we get by. Since then I am remarried and have a one year old boy. I am the happiest I have been. Think of it this way- if you are unhappy and miserable all the time, what message does that send to your girls? When they decdie to get married they will think that is what marriage is about. That is what gets me through it all. The girls are older, so hopefully will deal with it a little better than lets say younger children. It was not easy by any means but worth it. We only get one life, don't you deserve happiness? So if you still love him, then make it work. I didn't have love so it was best for me. I am not Ms. get a divorce by any means and know marriage is work but if love isn't there then there isn't much to work and build on. Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I feel for you. Your husband is an alcoholic. For starters if he won't admit to having an addiction, you should start attending some Co-Depency Classes or Al-Alon? I believe that is what its' called. You need a plan and you need a support group before you make any decisions. Please seek a therapist or someone to talk to, we all need guidance :)

I will pray for you and your family. I am not in these shoes, YET...I am hoping i have nipped it in the butt before i find myself in these shoes. Goodluck and God Bless.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

As strange as it may sound, I suggest reading one of two books by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Either "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" or "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage". They were amazing. Don't turn your children's lives upside-down if you can avoid it, although if your husband is an alcoholic and a danger to your family then all bets are off. I hope that helps...God bless you!

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you can hang on until the girls are 18, then try, as you say he is a good father. He is an alcoholic. Please contact AA and find a support group for family members and take your daughters so that they can understand. Very often alcoholism has a genetic component to it so teach your girls now what drinking can do to a person. The fact that your husband is employed and making a living inspite of the drinking is encouraging. Even though he only drinks beer, he is still an alcholic. He probably won't admit it and until he does you can't change him. Do the best for yourself and your children. Try AA. They have a very good support group and a good track record.

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T.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.!
If he is a good Father to your two girls I would say you should try and work it out! Tell him you would love for him to go to counseling with you and that while you think he is a good Father, you feel he has a drinking problem! Let him know that as a wife, you feel there are no conversations and you really need for him to talk with you and try and work things out! Also, are you letting him know what a great Father he is and provider? Or just complaining?
I was married to my first husband and I went to counseling but he would never go...He was a good provider, but not a great Father to the boys! We became divorced and while I am happier than I have ever been with my new husband, you still grieve what should have been...the traditional and Biblical marriage through it all! Perhaps if your husband will go to counseling, a third party can give you BOTH Advice!

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

have you talked to him about how your feel? You need to sit him down and let him know seriously how you feel. Don't just let him know all the things you don't like let him know the things you do like and miss. But, let him know something has to be done. Again, try to be as loving with your tone of voice but very serious about what you are saying. See if he will agree to seeing a counsler and if he wont go by yourself and then see if he will join in on a session. I think you will have more luck with him if you don't do the "attack approch". Good luck!

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B.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

C., I'm so sorry. I have been married for 16 years as well and I feel your pain because it is not easy. It often seems like divorce is the answer, but for the things you described divorce is generally not the answer. You have described . . . life. Please try to put things into perspective. Your husband has probably always been very similar to what he is now, even before you married? He has probably never been a big talker. My husband is the same. If someone is there carrying the conversation he is fine. Left up to him it doesn't happen. When we'd go out, I'd do this little test. I wouldn't say a word and see if he would. He didn't. I use to get mad until I realized that was HIM. One of the reasons he fell in love with me was because of my ability to bring him out. I would talk, I'd ask him questions, I'd engage him, and at times we can have comfortable silence. I was doing myself no favors blaming and getting mad at him because of a skill that he lacks. I now try to positively encourage conversations by asking him how he is, how work is, and things he is interested in. And most importantly, genuinely caring and listening to his responses. Sympathizing with his frustrations and being there for support.

I'm a stay at home mom and I generally feel like the maid and cook service. My husband and I now have started going on dates. This helps me to get out of the house on occasion. There are times when my husband is so tired all he wants is to stay home so that IS our date. We rent a movie, have take out (so I don't have to cook) and just relax at home together.

Another thing we've done is had a serious conversation (no guilt throwing, anger, or accusations) about what we each need from each other. For his own sanity, he needs me to keep our house picked up. I have 5 children and I'll tell ya this isn't always easy. BUT, he does much better (patience wise with me and the children) in a clean environment. Most important he feels content and loved when I willingly provide that service for him. I however, have discovered I need words of confirmation. I need him to acknowledge what I have done and praise my efforts. This has been an issue as he's not a man of words. BUT, if I remind him (what did you think of the bathroom . . . ) he will say "oh, I meant to say something about that, I got distracted." And I accept that! Cause he really does get distracted!

We still fuss and have major issues because of these things, but the biggest thing is that WE KNOW EACH OTHER'S NEEDS NOW! The hard part is remembering and having the energy to do them for each other. Please go to him seriously, with no accusations and tell him you want to make your marriage better. That you want to know what you can do to make him feel loved and appreciated. Then share with him how he can make you feel the same. Tell him all the things you love about him. Tell him all the things you fell in love with. Tell him all the ways he is a great husband and father. FIND OUT WHAT EACH OTHER'S NEEDS ARE.

Good luck and try to think of the positive things he does. Please do everything in your power to see to his needs (not what you think they are, but what he shares with you that they are) and I guarantee he will become happier and will start to reciprocate. All my love and well wishes to you during this difficult time.

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J.W.

answers from San Diego on

I would suggest getting 2 books and seeing what happens. The first is called "Love and Respect" and the second is called "Grow Rich While You Sleep". You are dealing with an alcoholic also. It may not seem like it but you are. I would suggest going to Al A Non meetings and talking to other people, you will find you are not alone. I attended the meetings for 12 years and was so amazed that other people lived lives like mine. You will not change him but if you change yourself you will change how other people treat you. Don't teach your daughters to settle for an empty relationship of to give up without a fight. He may be in a great deal of pain and he can't tell you about it. Please let me know if I can help you of if you want someone to go to a meeting with you. I can also get the books for you if you can't find them. Your situation is close to my heart, I have been there.

Good luck and God bless, you are in my prayers.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I feel for you C.. It sounds like your husband has some problems of his own. Quite honestly, though, divorce is usually harder and the life after is very difficult. Do you have a church you go to, or have been to in the past? Start there. I've been married for 16 years and am expecting my 6th child. We haven't had a family vacation in over 6 years. My husband, although not a drinker, can be quite withdrawn and unkind at times. Let me share a secret I've discovered: when I've prayed and asked God for love for my husband and practical suggestions on how I can be kind to my undeserving husband, God gives me those things! It's very hard to do an act of kindness to someone that is not caring toward you, but if you make an effort to do something simple for you husband, your heart will soften toward him. If you consistently seek to care for him, even though he doesn't deserve it and you are hurting, you will find that he softens over time and your heart will be protected from the bitterness that has surely taken root. Your bitterness toward him will definitely harm your health and your girls' lives as well. These acts of kindness: a back rub, a nice meal, a nice note thanking him for being a good dad and a good provider, arranging a nice date with him, etc. done over time can only be done through the help that God offers. Cry out to God - he will help you. I'll be praying for you as well.

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,

a happy mom and dad breeds happy children. and even though they are teenagers they still see you as their roll model for more important life choices. Everything you say, do and dont do. How you hide your true emotions or express your emotions. they learn to mimic your behavior on dealing with life's issues. Im sure you know all this and still want an easy answer to fix your not so easy situation.

i guess what im saying is that you will need to find that place where you can be true to you and nurture your happy C.. could it be possible to ask your husband to help you financially break away. i would guess he too knows this is not the ideal relationship. I would also guess he cares enough about you and the girls to not leave you high and dry. Im sure initially starting this conversation is awkward and difficult but honesty and communication are key to raising happy children and they will take note on how you deal with this life situation.

In my experience, alcoholism is a symptom of a deeper rooted issue. so before you throw in the towel, do everything you can do to salvage your marriage. such as going to Al-Anon and Alateen. there you will get the support and advice you need to make the choices you need to make.

if you want to chat, you can email me and i'll give you my number. cant do that on this page.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

i feel your pain. I think i would find a bible based church in your area and get some christian counseling and pray hard to god to save your family and change your husband. he is burying his pain in the beer..pls do this first
be blessed D. in california my email is [email protected]____.com you can reach me there..

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V.A.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi C.,

Find a low cost therapist, there are places that have sliding scales. Also, join Alanon and have your kids join alateen. You have some major decisions to make and you shouldn't have to make them alone.

V.

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P.K.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Dear C.,
I am sorry about your situation. It is very frustrating. Your husband seems to have some good points, so I would suggest you go to Al-Anon for counseling for yourself. It is free usuallly or you could go to some free counseling agencies. This way you could learn to deal with his problems and let go of your worries about him. This could free him and your relationship could become better. Please don't hesitate in doing this. Patti
P.S. Give your counseling time to work. It make take up to a year for you to change your attitudes and as you change he will change (I hope, for the better).

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,
I think you need to tell him your needs,Let him know that you have had enough of this life, and this isn't what you thought being married ment. Let him know that you are not happy, and ask him if he want's to try to make this work, if you love him or love the old him somewhere inside you. Let him know that you miss the old him and really would like to work this out. Tell him that he needs to start dating you again and stop drinking, parties are one thing everynight is another. Here is where things get weird. Don't raise your voice for anything, if he jumps back at you with blaming words. Calmly say I will listen to you when I am finished or would you like to go first then. The wierd thing is no mater what you say men will hear what they want. So try to make sure that he is getting the right meaning. For instance My hubby had become down right rude and mean to me. He would be nice on the phone all day then when he walked in the door he was yelling at me. I had no idea what I did to make him so mad. When I told him "your mean to me" He would answer back I'm not mean everyone loves me, My customers tip me and tell me I'm wonderful. I would say yes, everyone does love you, your great at your job, but your mean to me. One day my kids where in the car and my daughter was going on about how great women are and how important they are, he said, men are better and how great he was. I said, yes but not to me, your mean to me. He said something about how wonderful he was again, and I said, kids is your dad nice to me? not one of them said a word, they wanted to stick up for me but were afraid to. I said, see they are to afraid to say anything. He yelled, what do they know. I work hard for this family I work my butt off for them, I do lots of things for them. I said, I never called you a bad father or said anything about how hard you work. And left it at that. It was a few weeks later that I found the right moment and told him that I wasn't happy and was tierd of being treated this way and that he was refusing to listen to me. I told him that he wasn't the person I married, because he use to treat me kindly and now all he does is yell at me. He actually listened then I listened to him. When we were almost done my son who was 6 walked into the room and my hubby asked him "Hey Dylan am I mean to you?" My mouth dropped open like he hasn't heard a word I have said. My son said, no man were buds. I said, I never said you were mean to the kids or anyone else but me. So he asked, Dylan am I mean to your mom? My son said yes, all the time, you yell at her everyday when you get home. When my son left the room I said. I never wanted you to know this but I think you need to hear it. Months earlier my daughter and son where going through my jewlery box they had found a ring I got in high school from a boyfriend, so I told them the story of this ring and my son told me that I should have married this boyfriend instead of dad because he would have treated me nicer then dad does. This is when he finally opened his eyes and ears to hear me. Things have gotten better alot better. We are in love again, we go out together, we hold hands in the car, we watch tv together cuddling.
I can't tell you what to do, but if you leave now will you always wonder if you tried your best to make it work ? You also have the alcohol to deal with. I didn't, we don't drink. What I do know is that you shouldn't spend your life miserable. Not only does it bring you down, you bring everyone else down with you. Find happiness. Best of Luck to you. If you want to know more please email me. J.

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D.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

if youre miserable, your kids will pick up on it no matter how well you think youre hiding it. its better to have 2 good parents living apart than to be in the middle of a bad relationship. If you do decide to divorce, your attorney can petition the court for your husband to pay part or all of your attorney fees as well as child support for your daughters and providing them with medical insurance. since you were married for so long you may also be entitled to spousal support. If i were you i would talk to legal aid and explore your options. Also sounds like you might benefit from a support group such as alanon alateen for your daughters. i have been there done that and did end up divorcing the father of my daughter. in our case my daughter and i are much better off as the opportunities for us increased. i have been divorced now for 15 yrs and am much better off

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R.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am sorry you are suffering. You have made it this far. I think it is a really really bad time for a divorce with your girls being teenagers. It is really really hard on children. I have experience with this. Is he open to marriage counseling? Maybe he would be if he knew your thoughts on considering divorce. Even when the kids are out of the house, divorce will still be hard on them and it is not the answer for all your problems. I hope and pray you can work it out and realize that with divorce will come a whole other set of problems. You always have the option of separating from him for some time while he has a chance to realize that things need to be done to get your marriage on the right track. God bless and hang in there!

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B.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,
I feel for you. I went through a similar situation.
Girl you will be ok!!! So stand up put your head up and shoulders back and get going!!
Legal aide. find the one closest to you. They help you do all the paper work for the divorce. At a low rate.
You will get Alomony. You have been married for 16 years to this man and he now will get to pay you back for all your services. You will also get child support.
There is a light at the end of the tunnle.
Stop being a door mat. YOu are worth more than that. You owe it to your girls and yourself to live a HAPPY life.
Good luck C.!!
I will keep you in my prayers
B.

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L.A.

answers from San Diego on

I think you may be a bit in denial. Anyone who puts away that much beer is an alcoholic. Bottom line. That is no example for two teenaged girls. That sort of marriage is no example for two teenaged girls. Divorce does not have to be expensive. Mine was $125. Of course, if you want to fight about every little thing, that will cost you. It will cost your children and your personal integrity, also, which is why I do not recommend it. If you decide to proceed with a divorce, get a job right away, it has been 5 years. Time to start making money. Get yourself into a position where you can be self-supporting. Certainly it will mean downsizing substantially, but you said you don't want to live like you are living anymore. Change is never easy. But it is often necessary. Do not even think of custody battles. You don't fight over teenagers, or they will lose all respect for you. Share custody or split it, let the girls decide. You said he is a good dad, and apparently his excessive drinking doesn't change your opinion on that score. Divorce isn't easy, but it sometimes is necessary. The most important thing is, do not fight. Do not argue. Do not lose your integrity. Do not become a divorce monster, out for everything you think you deserve. You may well deserve it, but the kids will be the ones to suffer, and you must avoid that at all costs. Good luck! Life on the other side of divorce can be great!

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B.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

wow, it sounds like you live with my husbands twin!!!
I was in the same situation about 2 years ago, although my husband and I have an ok relationship and I always make him communicate whether he likes it or not, he is not a great father... he takes care of us financially, he also travels for business, thats his escape form having to deal with family life, I am mother and father.....he comes from an alcoholic divorced family, with no real role models, so he does not know how to be a father, he was better with the girls when they were little, he has a hard time dealing with emotional teenage girls!! So finally 2 years ago I went to counseling by myself, started taking time for myself, I walk 3 miles a day, I lost 40 lbs, when I started taking care of me and not always being there at his beck and call, and therapy, oh my god that was a savings grace for me!!!
Although he would not go to counseling, which Im sure he needs for himself, it really turned our relationship around.
Therapy gave me the courage to stand up to him, put my foot down about his lack of involment in our lives as a family, as he saw me getting stronger and possibly strong enough to leave him he came around to see things through my eyes and the girls eyes. 2 yrs. later things are much better. The drinking has slowed down and he is more present when he is home and not traveling. So I strongly suggest therapy and taking care of yourself and the kids first, leave him to wallow in his self pity party and let him mask his unhappiness with himself in drowning his sorrows in his alcohol, in the end no matter the outcome of your relationship he will be the loser and therapy will help you understand that his issues are with himself and have nothing to do with you or the kids. Check with the girls schools for low cost counseling based on your income or lack of. I was paying $10.00 a visit, I also took the girls for 6 months so that they could also understand their fathers issues has nothing to do with them.
I wish you all the best and please dont give up on your family yet. By the way my husband and I have been married 20 yrs.

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G.T.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

C.,

First, you are very brave to reach out. I know my husband and I have had challenges and we have only been married for 6 years! My husband is willing to go to counseling and that makes a big difference. Marriage is a challenge for everyone. Not all people have the courage to tackle all the stuf that comes up within a marriage. That is why people create various escapes like drinking or affairs or staying busy or various forms of anger. I would say to you that for the love of your marriage, children, and husband that you look for a counselor who can work with price if need be to talk with the two of you. Know your boundaries. IF you need to be the first one to go to counseling do that. Then approach your husband. Sometimes men are resistant and say you go. Maybe if you offer to go first for yourself it will help you become stronger and more aware of your boundaries. Then you can face him and say that you need him to stop drinking for you to be able to stay in this marriage, it does not work for you and you want to feel love for him but you cannot get there when he drinks. Then ask him if he would go with you to a counselor. Put the emphasis on you needing counseling instead of him and he might be more willing to join you. Then when he gets there he might actually learn something and you might find change. The question of divorce in your mind is just a clue that you want change. Divorce is not necessarily better, it can be worse. And you might find more problems with another partner if you don't try to find solutions with this partner. I feel you. Bless you.
G.

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

C., I also offer prayers and know that you have everything you need to resolve this situation. Believe in yourself and your ability to stand on your feet and keep moving forward.

You've been offered many wonderful suggestions below. I would offer two more things to think about:

#1) The fact that you're asking about divorce means you're conflicted about the decision. If you're uncertain about divorce, there is likely a part of you that doesn't want it. I would take some of these suggestions and see if you can open a dialogue with your husband and perhaps there is a pathway to healing. You never know, he may be as unhappy as you are, and together you can resolve it.

#2) Somebody said this to me recently, and it really struck me. Your children learn about adult relationships by watching their parent's relationship. If you keep your feelings inside and are deeply saddened by your marriage, your children see this. If you do nothing to fix it, your children learn that this is how to deal with these situations. Staying together for the children is not healthy if the relationship dynamic is teaching them an unhealthy way to manage relationships. It does not help them learn how to cope. If you cannot find a way to resolve the marriage, perhaps divorce is the best solution. Only you can answer that.

Blessings for a loving and peaceful future.
Take care,
B.

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hey C., no one can tell you to or not to get a divorce, what I will tell you is this, I have seen many marriages end in divorce, and I got to tell you divorce is the most selfish thing parents can do to their children. You mentioned you have two teenage girls, your relationship with them will be damanged if you divorce your husband. If your girls are in schhol all day, get another. Most men are not communicators, son't know why, but most are not, but things C. you can do, get him a card and tell him you miss him, stick on the steringwheel so when he gets in his car to go to work the card is there, I do all kinds of thinks like this with my husband of almost 27 years, our marriage is strong, but I have always done things like this, get a pad of those stickies, write him little notes, I do that with my husband, and i stick them in his shoes, his pockets, I have even stuck them on the inside of his underwear, so he takes them out of the drawer goes to put them on and theres a little note or smily face, I am very creative, I do all kids of stuff, marriage has to be made fun, and a lot of times the wife does need to initionate, but thats OK. Let me know what you decide, and if you would like to chat more e-mil me [email protected]____.com, I am 51 years young and 3 grown children 24, 21, and 19 and have been married foralmst 27 years to me best friend. J.

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C.O.

answers from San Diego on

This is a very big decision. This is one that needs to be talked about with your husband. Does he know you are even concidering a divorce. Have you thought about family therapy? If you go to church , talking to a spiritual adviser, priest, minister? Trying to talk to him about how you feel (about your relationship). Divorce takes it's toll on the children the most (I am recently divorced not my choice) There are programs called Divorce Care (Christian based my group meets at a catholic church) It is not for only the divorced people it is for those thinking about separation and divorce. You must think I'm I doing everything I can to save this marriage or am I just giving up? This has to be a decision that both of you need to make. There is also a web sight called The Modern Woman's Divorce Guide you google it.
Hope I helped a little. I would love to talk to you. You didn't mention your children's ages.
C. O.

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A.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,

I suggest you do everything you can to save your marriage because when your children cry, wish and ask you why you and Dad aren't together anymore, it will be easier to answer. I left my husband after 7 years of a loveless marriage (my son was 5 years old). My son would cry and ask why we weren't together anymore and although it broke my heart to see him hurt, I knew in my heart I had made the right decision. I hurt because I knew he was hurting and I would not have been able to live with my decision if I hadn't already tried everything I could to save the relationship. Teenagers hurt too. Take their feelings into consideration, they may want to leave too, but giving up and leaving is not the answer, at least not yet. Do what you can to save the relationship first. Good luck and God Bless you.

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B.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,

completely understand where in fact was there as well.

there are a lot of different ways to approach your situation.

There is mediation or colaborative divorce which is less money and all about what is best for the children and also the couple in the long run.

but even before then I would encourage you to make the decision you make from your strength not your weakness.

If you have a moment and want to connect via the phone i would be happy to share some techniques to do this.

I am a business/ life coach, a mother of 4 children 17 to 27 and divorced, I may be able to assist you in your situation.

no cost just from one mom to another mom.

###-###-####

B.

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

C., I am soo sad to hear your situation, however, if you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to contact.

My boyfriend went thru a divorce in 2003 with 2 teenagers, it was rough, I suppose it is rough at any age. But I write this because we went to a counselor that really helped us. (we did a ton of research and found someone that we could really trust!) REally look for someone you feel good about. It helped us decide to stay together and have a kid.

I know most people want to give you great advise and are sincere, but we don't know enough from one posting. Seeing someone impartial helped us a ton and helped me personally with my stuff that had built up over years, in my case in a previous bad marriage. I with you the best and hope that you find the best choice for all of you (hubby too) to find a great and healthy future. I went to counseling in my old marriage alone and my x eventually wanted to go.

Either way, I hope that someone close to you and more filled in on your point of view and his can lend some advise that will take into account your whole family

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,
I second the suggestion for Ala-non. It is a powerful resource for someone in your situation and there you may be able to find referrals and more information on your options.
My prayers are with you,
M.

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L.W.

answers from San Diego on

Check out www.savemymarriage.com My sister did this and it saved her marriage. It was a little expensive but much cheaper than a divorce. She and her husband were no longer in love with each other. They both wanted a divorce but they had 3 kids so they decided to give it one last try. Both didn't think it would work but it did. They are happy now and so thankful they didn't divorce. If you can manage it just give it one last try. Your children are counting on you to hold it together.

L.

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M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

C., My heart aches for you, as it brought back many memories of my first marriage. My first husband was a functional alcoholic - it was nothing for him to down his vodkas, with a splash of 7-Up, all night and then pass out in front of the TV, and then wake up and go spend my hard-earned money (he was unemployed for quite a while). His father and brother both died of this horrible disease and I was in the spot you are in right now -- an unfulfilled marriage. At the end of my father-in-law's life, his wife became a nursemaid, basically taking him to the restroom and cleaning him up. I didn't want that life for me. It took me five years trying to decide whether I should divorce my first husband (we were together a total of 15 years). I'm a Christian and I knew that God didn't care for divorce, so it was very hard for me to decide what to do. And, yet, at the same time, I knew that God didn't want this life for me. My husband didn't want to go to counseling either - he wasn't interested in people telling him to change. Are you a church-going person? I did get my strength from God to cope with the loveless marriage I was in, but the problem was still there. I expressed my feelings to my husband that I wasn't happy, but he didn't really care -- he was in his relationship with "the bottle" and wasn't willing to give it up. And that's when I decided that his relationship with the bottle was more important to him than his relationship with me -- he was married to the bottle, not to me -- so I ended the divorce. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my life! Little did I know that a wonderful man was waiting for me just around the corner (married for 12 years), and God blessed me with two beautiful daughters in my 40s (they are 8 and 10 now). It's too bad that my first husband didn't listen to me - he died at the age of 48, with just 5% of his liver functioning.

Now, please understand that I'm not saying to you that the only road left for you to take is to divorce this man. One thing that I didn't have to consider were children -- my first husband decided that he didn't want any, so it was an easier decision for me to make in ending the marriage. How do your girls feel about all of this - are they suffering also? There are support groups out there for wives, childrens of alcoholics (Al-Anon). You are not alone and it might be easier for you to cope, knowing there are other wives and mothers out there feeling the way you do. Unfortunately, your husband is the only one who can make the decision to stop drinking, no matter how much you express to him your feelings about the lack of fulfillment you have with him as your husband. If you don't go to church, start going - many churches have support groups out there to help you cope. And your daughters may find some very good friends that will help them cope also. When the time is right, you will make the decision that's best for you and your daughters - maybe you're just not there yet.

I know, C., that this is a hard time for you and I will pray that the Lord helps you find your way - after all, you never know what could be just around the corner! Hold your head up high, be respectful to your husband (but don't let him walk all over you - you've got to set boundaries, what you will allow and what you won't), set an example for your daughters how to deal with life when it deals you hard times. This is your husband's problem, not yours! Don't let him drag you and your daughters down into his hellhole!! Be true to yourself and stay strong - believe it or not, God doesn't give us anything we can't handle. And if you don't think you can handle it, then trust in Him and He will hold you up - that's exactly what He expects from you -- God loves you, and He wants you to depend on Him.

And if you do decide divorce, there are services out there that handle the paperwork of divorce for a small fee.

God bless you C., and walk with God knowing that He cares and loves you very much!!

M. A.

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K.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

C., I've never been the type of person to advise anyone when it came to relationships, but I read what you wrote, and my question to you "Did you read what you wrote?" you said that you are stuffing mentally, and you don't want to live this way anymore" you've already answered your question if you should stay or leave. you don't need guidence, your stronger than you think. don't let two things hold you back, which is fear & a attorney. those are excuses to stay. if you are strong enough to write down what you want, then you have to find the strengh to walk away, no one can do that but you. it's nice that he is a good father, but in your eyes he is not a good husband, and your happiness is just as important.

I send you strengh....

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M.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,

I don't have any advice, but I will pray for wisdom, courage and peace for you as you are processing through this very difficlut situation.

M.

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R.W.

answers from San Diego on

I think you should try to stick it out. Talk to him about his drinking!

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T.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,
You sound a lot like me. I too have a very cold marriage and do not know what to do. Money is also an issue for me and my children. I started to talk to them about not living together and they are mad at me. I have 2 teens too. right now I am praying and asking for guidance. I do not believe that we are to spend the rest of our lives in a non-existent relationship. It is too lonely. He also sounds like an alcholic? He drinks a lot. Have you tried marriage counseling? My husband will not go. you also need to go on your own to talk about your feelings.
Please take care of yourself, and know that you are not alone.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.:
I was divorced at the age of 29 after 13 years of marriage,and I had two sons 7 and 10. When I sat my sons down to tell them, of my plans to leave their father,the oldest looked at me, and said" What took you so long? Your teens are more aware than you know,as to what life has been like for you. You can forget the counselor for your husband, unless of course that counselor offers a (HAPPY HOUR). You could benifit from speaking to someone. It would help build your confidence,and Give you back your pride and self esteem.You don't have to worry about money, your husband will have to assist in supporting you and your children.One mother here mentioned that you can get a divorce without having to go to alot of expense. Sixteen years is a long time,to be miserable,so it depends on how many more years you feel like being miserable.I wish you strength, happiness,and (LOVE)

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A.M.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I grew up with an acoholic father, like your husband my dad could put away a ton of beer in a weekend. It was devestating to grow up this way. Our realtionship suffers to this day because of it. He is 1 1/2 years sober now. While his sobriety has solved his drinking problem, it has not fixed the damage it has done to our family. My mother stayed with him because it was "easier" and she was scared. She was not happy and we knew it, even tho she had friends, a job and hobbies. Marla (previous poster), those "things" dont make a marriage nor make up for an absent husband! If you're miserable and your realationship with him is bad then your kids will pick up on it no matter how well you think you are hiding it. We did. Not such a good thing to be teaching your daughters. You did not elaborate about whether you have tried to talk with your husband, seek counseling etc., so I am assuming you have unsuccessfully taken that route already. While only you can decide what to do, I believe it is better to have 2 good parents living apart than to do what my mom did. You are teaching your girls how to be in a marriage and what to look for in a husband. You are teaching them all the wrong things. And you are doing a disservice to your soul by staying in an unhappy place for so long. Peace.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am NOT divorced and I have a good relationship with my husband, so I can't claim to have "the answer" - but I would consider your children first. If he is a good father, I would be hesitant to jump out of the marriage. If you could keep your family intact at least until your children are out of the house (college) it would benefit them greatly. If you have a yelling, screaming, unhappy home, my opinion changes. However, as long as the relationship with your husband is at least civil, you should think of the children first. You actually COULD try to improve your marriage. I would seriously recommend "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage" or "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. She points out that much of it is in your attitude and willingness to be unselfish. Even if it doesn't seriously improve your marriage, it has a good chance of helping you to appreciate your life a little better and realize that you have control over your own actions and your own feelings. Good luck.

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M.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Dear C.:

Divorce can't help ANY of you! You have two wonderful daughters...enjoy them! Attend Al-Anon, take your daughters to church, and live your life in peace.

You said your husband is a wonderful father and provider. Why take that away from your daughters? You say you are lonely...there are wonderful women who would love to befriend you at church or whatever group you choose to join. You say he is a poor husband. Divorcing him will make him better? How? Don't fixate on him, focus on yourself and your daughters. Pursue Peace!

Blessings,

M.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.
You have two choices, divorce or put your marriage back together.
For me, alcohol is a deal breaker. An attorney an get your husband to pay his fee. You would receive child support and probably alimony from him.
Either let him know you will not put up with his selfishness and his alcolhol (he may be an alcoholic)or leave.
do you want your daughters to live with a husband like yours? This is what you are teaching them is ok.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C., Sure sounds like your husband is an alcoholic. You might want to check out al anon, a support gourp for family members/loved one's of alcoholics. You can find a local meeting by googling it.

Also, I'd strongly suggest therapy for both of you, as well as couples therapy. If that's not an option, perhaps you have a non dogmatic clergy member.

Good luck!

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D.M.

answers from Lawrence on

Hello C., I can't believe some of the responses I have read! I have never gone threw a divorce and I have been married for 6 years ( you have been married a lot longer) but it sounds like your husband has a drinking problem. Does he even realize he has one? My parents got divorced when I was 9 years old. My brothers and I went through a lot and my parents were fighting a lot. I would not recommend staying with your husband just for your kids. If you are unhappy your kids will know and it just makes things harder for them as well as you. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try and work things out and go to couseling but that is only if you and your husband want to go talk to someone. Your husband is drinking to get rid of the pain that he is feeling and why he has pain, I have no idea. I hope he realizes that he needs help and that you two can work out your problems and save your marriage. I think that you should try and talk to a couseler at your church. I hope this helps and I pray that everything will work out for you no matter what you choose to do! God bless you!

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L.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with Julie- first you have to tell him how you are feeling-he isn't a mind reader. See if he is willing to listen and understand-at first he may be mad but he will start to think about it. My advice is to stay together as much as you can for the children-the hardest thing a kid deal with is a broken home unless he is hurting 1 of them, or physically hurting you. He has gone along like this for a long time and probably has no idea you are starting to resent him. If he refuses to change or want to-then you can revisit the question of divorce, or seperate to show him you are serious A number of years ago(20)I had to do this with my husband and he completely grew up and we will be 24 years(happily) this July. You can make your way back to one another and be happy if both people try.- It starts with communication. GOOD LUCK

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D.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

The first thing you need to consider is to go back to work. If you were considering leaving him, it would be hard without a job. Working may also help you emotionally and mentally. Staying at home 24/7 doesn't help the situation. Once you have your own money saved you can then decide if you need to leave or stay.

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,

I am going thru a horrible marrital situation. I was in a similar situation and secretly hoped for the divorce as well however it is not the answer.I unfortuantely only realized this thru heinsight. I hope you go to every counselling possible to avoid divorce as it is not the answer nor is affairs but both come easily when issues go unaddressed and unRESOLVED in a marriage- it dies and so does the family. It is a living thing and untreated will die. This could be an opportunity to make a straong marriage or it could be the end and I tell you most of us truly underestimate the pain and expense and toll divorce, affairs and separation has on a woman, a mom and a family. PLease please please get to a counseler and dont stop until you RESOLVE this. COmmunication is whats lacking. Your lucky you have a shot to fix and improve your marriage. I dont Good luck.
L. C.

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L.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I feel sad for you in your situation. I think it would help you to have someone to talk to about your marriage. I am putting a link in here for you to look at. My church Calvary Chapel Camarillo offers free counseling. My husband and I have gone to them to talk about our marriage problems. If you click on the link it will show you how to contact them either by phone or email.
http://www.calvarychapelcamarillo.com/contact.php

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.~
I can recommend a marriage/family councelor in Oxnard. I'm not sure where you live. Let me know if you are interested.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. This is a very difficult decission.
God Bless!
[email protected]____.com

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G.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you tried family or one-on-one counseling yet? Do you attend a good church? If not, maybe find one that has good support groups. Also, maybe you can try and ignite the fire again. Pretend he is like he was when you first fell in love with him. What things did you do for him? It may be hard, but try and pretend (be an actress). Iniate sex with him a couple times a week. Try to meet his needs. Maybe he will start to see you differently and want to meet your needs. A good friend of mine did this and now has a good marriage (took a while). I have heard many marriages that have been restored...don't give up yet! www.restoreministries.net

A good book: How God Can and Will Restore your Marriage: A book for women by someone's who been there by: Erin Thiele

Here's the description: Is everyone telling you that your marriage is hopeless? It’s not! God is more than able to restore any marriage, yes, even yours! God’s Word holds both the Power and the Truth to change your seemingly hopeless situation.

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27).

It's not by chance, nor is it by coincidence, that you are holding this book in your hands. God has heard your cry for help in your marriage struggles and defeats. He predestined this Divine Appointment to give you the hope that you so desperately need right now!

"Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You!" (Jeremiah 32:17).

If you have been told that without your husband’s help your marriage cannot be restored, then you need to read the testimonies of seemingly hopeless marriages that now have been restored in By the Word of Their Testimony—an entire book filled with testimonies of restored marriages that everyone said were hopeless!

Good luck C.!!!

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

You are dying inside. I am assuming that you have already tried counseling and he didn't want to go. You should start for yourself to build up your self esteem which sounds like it's in the toilet. Being ignored makes people shrivel up. It is one of the most destructive behaviors we can endure-think solitary confinement. Start meditating, if you don't know how go to

http://www.project-meditation.org/

It will make a difference. Get yourself in order before you approach your husband about divorce, which unless he is willing to work on in therapy should be your next step. It is possible that once you start working on yourself and blossom that he will be inspired. At any rate you will need the inner strength you will gain to move forward with or without him.
Start talking to friends who have been through divorce and gather as much information as you can. Find out what your rights are. Think about a part-time job for your divorce fund. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Trust. You will find a way to do this. You first have to believe that you deserve better. These daily affirmations have helped me. Say them everyday, throughout the day.

Divine Love works in me and through me.
Divine Love prospers me now and always.
Divine Love guides and protect me now and always.

C., you are a precious person with worth. I would also strongly urge you to start journalling. Start by writing something, anything everyday. Your goal to start is a page everyday. A great exercise is to draw a circle on the page and write everything you want inside the circle. But as was explained to me many years ago, you must be specific. If you say "I want a child, you could end up with a 40 yr old boyfriend who is a child." Revisit your circle from time to time and see what has popped up in your life. Refine it. Edit it. It helps you focus and it sends out a message.

I would also urge you to exercise. My preference is yoga for several reasons. You can take a class and do it with a group. You can get a DVD and do it alone at home. You can do it for the rest of your life. It will help you focus your mind as well as tone the body. Walking is also great for clearing the mind and thinking. Start with yourself. Great things will happen.

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you haven't spoke to your husband about this then I think first thing to do is let him know how you feel. There are numerous Alanon meetings for you. For your kids I grew up with an alcoholic mother, my dad never confronted her and it was AWFUL for me and my sister growing up!! Just to let you know from the kids side.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

WOW! What an overwhelming response. I am happy to read a lot of the responses supporting the marriage. I would recommend reading the books Proper Care And Feeding Of Husbands and Proper Care And Feeding Of Marriage by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. They are wonderful books that have enhanced our marriage. I am very sorry to read about your current situation. In my opinion you should stay in the marriage at least until your children are 18 and graduated high school.

God Bless,
Suzanne

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S.S.

answers from Reno on

Hi C.,
No one can tell you whether or not the right choice is to stay or go, you are the only one that can decide that. But there is help in making that decision. Go see a counselor. If he won't go with you, then you should go for yourself. You are not happy. You need to investigate all the causes and choices available. My guess is that if you're not happy, he's not either. You might need to make the first move since he's not talking. Counseling, together or separately, might be what you need to get back together. Or not. But at least you will have looked at all your options.
Remember, you want your girls to look for healthy relationships. If you two are not happy, they may expect their future marriages to be like this. It's worth it to figure out what you want and make the changes to make it work and be happy, or get out and be happy.
If you do decide to leave, finances then become your next concern. If the girls are going to be primarily your responsibility, get the lawyer. You will need the child support and spousal support. It's cheaper to get the lawyer and the support you need up front rather than struggle to support them and you over the long haul.
There's lots of education and employment opportunities out there for single moms. In Reno, the Re-Entry Center at TMCC is a good place to start. They have lots of resources. Most community colleges do. They have career centers and counselors to advise you on career choices, taking into account the rest of your life. Whether or not you decide to divorce, perhaps exploring what you want to do outside the home might be a good idea, good for your self-esteem, too! I'm not saying run out and get a job, but just exploring your career options can be uplifting!
Good luck!

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A.W.

answers from San Diego on

C.,

I grew up in this situation and I lived it as an adult as well. My Mom tried to stick through a marriage and tried to help my ex-step Dad and it didnt work. An alchoholic will only quit if they want to, you cant make them. My sister and I were exposed to things we never should have been exposed to. As an adult, I married a man that didnt drink but then started to and things got worse. I took my three kids, uprooted them from everything they knew but it had to be done. I couldnt let my children see or experience things that I had when I was a child. I was consumed with guilt but my kids actually thanked me. They said that they rather had left everything they knew than to continue to live with their Dad. I was a stay at home Mom and was married for 12 yrs. I got a job and left the next week. It was the best thing that I could have done. The kids and I are so much stronger and there is peace in our home. We control our environment now and my kids are so much happier, its just the four of us now. It will be hard in the begining, things like this are never easy....sometimes you dont realize how unhappy you are until you are on the outside looking back. Speaking from experience, Ive been in both roles of this situation of the child and the adult. Another thing I realized is that I was consumed with the problems in the house that it was taking away from the kids. You have to find yourself first and get yourself back to be the parent that you want to be so you can give 100% of yourself to your children. If you need to talk, let me know....take care!

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A.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Men or women who drink, have a personal and intimate relationship with their alcohol. Of course, it feels cold to you, that is the NORM. I recommend http://www.ola-is.org/ for the first place to go before you decide to divorice. Divorice will always be expensive. Jobs are hard to find during a recession. It is said that 1 in 3 households, there is an alcoholic. Make your decision carefully. But do check out the website thoroughly and with some participation before you make the life changing decision. If anyone just tells you to DIVORICE, ask that person if she has been through such an experience and at what age.

All the best to you during your difficult decision,

A.

C.C.

answers from Visalia on

hi C.,
my husband is the quiet type, a beer drinker as well in our early marriage. hardly ever said a word when we or i argued about a matter. he would talk to me like normal the next day while i promised myself i'd never speak to him again, but i'd never stick to it . . . lol.

back in the day i would write him a letter and expressed how i feel and now with computer i e-mail or text him. some may say this is not inimate enough but hey, they're not living with a quiet cold person, these type we have to approach in a non traditional way. once you break the ice he could open up to counseling, mine did, not for me but for the children. and i understand that and learn to accept it. we've been married for 29 yrs. we can't live without each other and at times i wish i could throw him down the stairs, but we do have our intimate fun moments. good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

Divorce should always be the last step. I divorced my first husband, but it was a different situation than yours. As much as I don't like drinking, it shouldn't be a reason for divorce. Have you tried to tell him how you feel about the drinking? I would tell him that you guys need to talk and ask him if he can set a time in his schedule that you can go out on a date to talk. He may be feeling the same way. I agree with Dr. Phil when he says that you don't walk away from a marriage until you've exhausted all other avenues. Hope this helps.

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