How Do You Separate When Financially Dependent, with Small Children Involved?

Updated on January 20, 2008
K.V. asks from Minneapolis, MN
5 answers

I am a working mom of a 2 1/2 year old, sweet girl. Have been married for 1 1/2 years, together for 6. My husband and I are in a not-so-great situation. A lot of resentment and hostility on his part that he mostly just keeps inside and then erupts out of nowhere. We have been going to counseling but he is not willing to address the roots of where this is coming from. We actually are able to function day to day without arguing, but it is becoming more awkward and now he has taken to sleeping downstairs these last few nights, saying he feels anger towards me but not willing to discuss it. I feel myself in a position that I don't even know how to act. I feel like we are in some strange, pretend existence. He is a great dad and I want desperately for my daughter to not suffer the consequences of this. I am feeling no choice but to try to maintain this separated in the same house scenario because unfortunately we are both completely dependent on each other financially, and neither of us has anywhere to go and no family here. Not to mention my fear that uprooting my poor daughter with nowhere to go, isn't that even worse???? I would welcome any and all suggestions, I don't know who to look to for help and I'm feeling sad and pretty scared.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I was listening to a psychologist on the radio just yesturday, and she was talking about relationships. One thing that I really took from the program was that often enough, women are trying to fix things and hence control things and that sometimes we really need to let men just be. Obviously your husband is not ready to talk, maybe he doesnt' even know how to say what he is feeling. He may need time to figure it out and counseling may not be for him. I agree with you that disrupting your daughters life would be very difficutlt. Maybe there is a reason you two are financially tied right now. It may be the ticket to you two sticking it out and working through it. Most people who separate under these circumstances are not happier with any one else either. You may find some good programming on 107.1FM I have really liked listening to these ladies. My tip is, just give him some room and let him know that he can do things right.



answers from Minneapolis on

A Support Group, A Church, Joyce Meyers book, "Help Me I'm Married." I have not spent much time on this site but it looked helpful. A women's organization to teach married women about financial independence. Highly recommended..Good Luck. A. J.



answers from Minneapolis on

Oh K., I feel for ya. Well...if I were you, I'd stick it out for a while start implementing a plan for seperation. (the neccessary items you'd need to leave and pack up in a hurry, saving money, start checking in the paper for the cheapest place to rent, etc.) I think at your daughters age, up rooting her is not worse than her seeing her parent's lack of love...she can tell that there's something wrong, could be worse staying since your girl may be learning that this is what marriage is supposed to be. We all want our daughters to have a better image of what we have for a marriage. Talk to a close friend about the possibility of a temporary living situation and your finaicial troubles. Hopefully, someone would be willing to help. It may even entail getting a different job or working 2 and bringing your child to a cheaper and less quality daycare. I know that sounds scary. Try and save a little money for yourself...maybe enought cash for a down payment on an apartment or a month worth of your bills. I'd have a plan and bide your time until you have enough financial independence and comfort to leave. It could be a while, but I think you'll find it more comforting taking control.



answers from Minneapolis on

I'm not sure I can speak to how to separate, so sorry not answering your direct question. But I am 40, almost 41, and been married twice. My first husband and I were married 8 years and divorced having no kids. Loved each other tremendously, I could now say. my second marriage almost crumbled many, many times. We have 3 kids, having just begun an adoption of our 3rd a 5 month old. We also have a 4 and 6 yr old boys. We've been married 11 years and together 12-can't believe we made it this far.

My strong belief is that "to stay married, you stay married". There is no secret to marriage beyond that. I firmly believe that when you have kids it is the hardest time in a mom's life and in a married life. No matter what it's a lonely experience. It's completely amazing wonderful, of course, but it's just in itself hard on a marriage. Hard on each spouse. It takes away from what you used to give to each other and to yourself and resentment happens no matter what. perhaps it opens up your own personal pandoras box, and his. Sometimes its unknown. I can tell you, IT GETS BETTER!

If you two can separate and stay in teh same house, all the better. If you move out, you'll likely never recover your marriage. But truly, in time, things tend to improve. As the child gets older, you'll get more freedom and you'll both be glad you made it thru. I guess having been divorced before, it's excruciating. It's an experience I wouldn't wish on my enemy.

We almost divorced 3 times at least. We too were dependent on each other and never left the house or moved out. You're biggest challenge is the fact that your spouse wont talk to you. I would suggest just giving him room if you can be strong enough for you both. I have come to believe that one of us is usually taking the 'strong lead' and carrying the other.

No disrespect intended, but I think you/he could find a reason to walk away at any time. It's usually about respecting him or he respecting you.

It's good to be married and have your kids in school. You'll get the time back to share of yourself and for yourself. Date nights really help too if you guys can get to that point. Would be good if you had a friend who could take your chld for a night to give you the quiet time to see if your spouse would open up with out the baby around. Even 2 nights.

If you get to a place where he wants to work on this too, I strongly suggest vacations even as a family. There is truly something to getting away from your responsibilities, each of yours, to see that you do really like eachother, not just love each other. And pull from that any time you get discouraged. We go every year even if its just to a hotel down the street with a swimming pool for the kids. Or camping. It gets us away from our life. :o)

Anyway, hope that helps a little.



answers from Minneapolis on

K. -

I am very sorry for your situation and truly hope it improves. In my opinion you need to be sure that what your daughter sees and feels is positive. Little kids can sense tension just like adults and many people don't give them credit for that simply because they are children. How far away are your families? If you are on hard times here would it be beneficial to uproot and move? Moving is not always a bad transition for a child and you may want to look at ALL options with an open mind, especially if you are already struggling with where you are and who you are surrounded by. I am not saying Leave your husband....I am simply saying you need a support network and should consider being closer to it wether its his family or yours. Good luck and God Bless!

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