Husband Moving Out

Updated on November 19, 2008
S.R. asks from San Jose, CA
51 answers

My husband is moving out today. We have had a rocky marriage due to a fast marriage and babies, miscarriage, infertility, and me not knowing I have been suffering from post-partum depression for most of the time. My husband got the worst treatment but he also has not stood by me. I am crushed...we have a 6 year old and a 3 year old who we love dearly but are caught in the web of the marriage dynamic. I know I have to let him go and see if he comes back but it is really hard. I don't want to lose my marriage because I was suffering from a disease (I thankfully found the best therapist back in March). We don't have a lot of money and what extra we do have is now going to be going to his rent and the 2nd household. Being strong is hard and with the amount of tears I have cried, it just is not what I wanted my life to be. I know each day will get a little better, I will be able to breathe easier, but that doesn't make my husband's decision to move out RIGHT. I just feel like this is all wrong and I am powerless.....
I have gone back to work, gotten myself back together thanks to proper therapy and yes, medication. I was in such a dark place and had no way out and now that I am out, my husband is leaving me and my children.

I just don't know how to really really make it thru the days (and nights) being a single working parent. If anyone can help, please write. I am just so sad.

What can I do next?

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H.D.

answers from Redding on

Hi my name is H.. I'm 43 and have a 3 year old and a 10 month old. Three months ago, I had to leave my husband. My situation is different, but the emotions are the same. I have to get the kids ready to go but I wanted you to know that you're not alone. It does get better. The sadness will fade and be replaced by contentment. Hopefully.
I know this is hard, but eveything happens for a reason, and you can do this. My email is [email protected]____.com Luck.

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I.R.

answers from Sacramento on

SO sorry you have all of this happening. Here are some websites I've found very helpful:

www.midlifewivesclub.com
fortysixty.org
marriagebuilders.com
www.menalive.com

LOTS of good information and support.

Be well.

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D.P.

answers from Fresno on

My heart and prayers are with you. There is a wonderful program for couples whose marriages have suffered this kind of damage. It has an 80 per cent success rate in helping couples put their marriages back together. It is called Retrouvaille and weekends are offerred all over California. Please google it and call the local rep. These reps have all had marriages that others might have called hopeless at one time and they can encourage you. As for convincing your husband to try this, remind him that the day will come when your children will face the two of you and ask whether you did everything possible to save your marriage...until you have given Retrouvaille a chance, you cannot truthfully answer "yes". Let me know if you decide to try this and it works. I'll be praying.

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J.T.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari -

My heart goes out to you...this is a tough time for you, for your children, and for your estranged husband. I've been through this myself -- when I was two months pregnant with our second child, my husband moved out and to LA -- leaving me and my then-eight year old son alone. I was stunned, alone, pregnant, depressed...a mess. I had to go back to work after being a SAHM for four years, sell my beautiful home by myself and move to a much smaller home, care for my children alone -- one a newborn, and somehow stitch a life back together. I cried every day for one solid year.

That was seven years ago. I survived.

I went back to work, sold my house, sold my BMW, went back to school and got my Masters, wrote a book, started a new business, lost 75 pounds, got a boob job and a tummy tuck, made new friends, started dating ...and learned how to live again. It was really, really hard -- but I am happier now than I was in the latter half of my marriage, and a whole lot healthier. I have a great boyfriend, two happy and well-adjusted children, a wonderful new career, and a comfy, inviting home.

You will survive, no matter what happens. Focus on yourself, and on your children. Ask for help, and take any help that is offered. Rely on your friends and your family. Take hot baths and long walks. Keep going to your therapist. Find a support group. Breathe.

Like me, you will come to realize that marriages take two people to enter into, and one person to end. You will grieve the loss of what could have been -- shared memories, an intact family, growing old together. But you will have all of that -- just in a different way.

Hang in there, Shari -- one day at a time. It does get better.

Hugs and strength,

J.

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P.V.

answers from Salinas on

Dear Shari,

My heart goes out to you and I just wanted to write a note to encourage you and hug you via email. I will not say I have any advice for you because it would be stupid to say things just to have something to say. I just want you to know that you are not alone. I will pray for you and for Gods comfort to surround you and help you to put one foot in front of the other. I will also pray that you husband will have the capacity to forgive and realize that staying faithful to his family in sickness and in health is the right thing to do. Also that family is the greatest treasure a man could possess. So Shari, I am sure many will write with comforting words and I do hope they do. I wanted to be part of that army (pardon the expression) of angels today that lift you up and help you to go on and hang on.

Lots of love from Gods heart to yours and from me too,

P.

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G.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Shari,

Someone posted a recommendation to see the movie "firewall". The Movie is actually called FIREPROOF. It is playing at the Hacienda /Dublin theatre. If you are not local here you can go online and google the movie for show places. YOU SHOULD GO SEE THIS MOVIE.
12 months ago my husband came to me and told me he wanted a divorce. I was devestated.I turned to the Lord and I ran to the Bible. I did everything the Bible told me to do, even when it wasn't comfortable. I started praying for my husband. I prayed for God to give me his eyes, and He did. For the first time I could see the things I had said and did that hurt God, and my husband. And for the first time I saw how much God loved me and everyone else. I had a new love for God, and a new love for my husband. My husband was treating me terribly ( he was angry with me and said he didnt love me anymore), yet I still remained loving to him and still loved him through it all (I had the eyes of Christ)Slowly my husband changed, and here we are 12 months later- we are healed. It was a tough road. God took my hand and led the way, all I had to do was to be open to what he had to say and then do it. Can I suggest two books for you to read? "Sacred Influence- What a man needs from his wife to be the husband she wants" by Gary Thomas. This is a must read. Also read "yes, your marriage can be saved" by Joe and Michelle williams. They went through a divorce and reconciliation process and now save other people's marriages. They are local, out of Modesto , california. They conduct marriage restored workshops, even if only one partner is interested. Contact them at 1-800-205-6808 or www.reconcilinggodsway.org
There are two other marriage workshops that I know of, "Marriage Restored" - runs for a weekend about 3 times a year in Sacramento, and "A weekend to remember" (I don't knwo who puts this one on) but you can google both of these as well. Also Cornerstone Church in Pleasanton has a divorce care seminar that you can go to if you are separated. My friend who is separated went through it and was glad she did.
I also read "Love must Be Tough" by Dobson.
Bob George has a 4-CD set called "Marriage, A Matter of Identification" Which is nice because I got HIM to listen to it as well. I asked him to listen to it on the way to work, and I gave him one CD at a time.

There is ultimately only one thing that saved my marriage. GOD. He can do it for you, too. Call on him, he's waiting for you. He loves you.

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C.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi, Shari.

I am sorry to hear this. I just am so sad to hear about marriages these days... whatever happened to better or for worse, in sickness and in health...

You will make it. You have taken the necessary steps by getting a therapist and getting your head back together and you have a job. I would say your next step is to get to a lawyer and file for divorce, and to obtain child support. If you are located in the Sacramento area, Kristine Cummings on Madison Avenue is a fabulous lawyer.

You need to just take it one day at a time. You have two kids that love you and are depending on you. I would love to tell you that it will be easy but it won't. I was a single parent for 17 years... there were good times and there were bad times and there were difficult times, but you just need to keep going and stay positive for your kids, as well as yourself. Yes, I know... easier said than done.

Do you have family in the area that can help you?

I found that structuring my life worked for me. This meant that I had to do a lot of things during the evenings and weekends to keep going... laundry, meal planning, etc. I kept the kids on a schedule... like we ate at the same time every night, bedtime the same, etc. And, then it gave me more time for myself to do what I needed to do to keep things going for the household and me.

I wish you the best.

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

NAME CHANGE???? From Shari to S.? I'm hoping your husband didn't get into your email and is making fun???

Blessings...

Dear Shari,

When I read your message yesterday, my heart just ached for you and your family. I pray that God will bless and comfort you, but most of all give you strength.

I also want to commend you for being so candid about your post-partum reactions and how it affected your marriage. Many thousands of women have post-partum syndrome, so take care not to be so hard on yourself. This can be a very serious condition if not recognized and treated. Your husband married you for better or worse and perhaps needed to be more sensitive and supportive no matter how long it takes.

I hope during this separation he will take the time to educate himself on the subject and also go to marriage and family counseling

I do believe in the power of prayer and know that in their own ways, every Mama who has read your message will be sending their prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family.

Although you may not want to, please try to eat, rest and keep yourself together, not just for your kid’s sake, but for yours as well.

Blessings…….

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, Shari--

What a hard time for you--yes, truly, it will get better. Sometimes when one partner hasn't been able to carry the load, and then recovers, I think the one who was carrying it all along needs to take some time to deal with the anger, frustration, exhaustion, sense of unfairness, etc. I know it seems so cruel that now you are back to yourself, you have to face this--but your husband may just need some time and space to recover, now, too. I hope that both of you will take some breaths, and that it will work out for you. In the meantime, turn to your friends and family for support, enjoy being with your children, let yourself mourn that things haven't turned out the way you'd hoped, and just keep going through the days one at a time.

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A.E.

answers from Stockton on

We will go through many trails in our life, be it with our kids, spouses, or many other things out there. I have been through a lot, and the only thing that has gotten me through things is getting to church and developing a personal relationship with Christ. There are many things that you can do that are external, but that will not bring about the cleansing that will heal you internally. Ask around and see if any coworkers or friends go to a church that they really love and then make a visit. We are not made to carry all of this burden on our own. Sadly, there are way too many people that leave out the spiritual aspect in their life. Believe me when I say, everything else is temporary. I hope that things will look brighter for you and know that you are not alone. I have been through similar situations and so have many of my friends. God can get you through anything, He is right there waiting for you.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Shari,

I am 40 too and my husband moved out in May.

Today and the next week or so will be the hardest. Leave room for yourself to feel ecstatic about your life re-opening, for that is what is really happening here.

About depression? PPD isn't uncommon and it isn't our "fault", and other types of depression also seem to serve a purpose. Congratulate yourself for seeking the help you need. Then check this out and look at the section on evolutionary biological hypotheses of depression, and stop castigating yourself for having been depressed:

http://www.billdoll.com/dir/health/q/depression_cure.html

Your husband holds sole responsibility for his decision to move out. That's not on you, so go ahead and make a list of the ways you contributed to the failings of the marriage, but then forgive yourself and keep going...

Make a list of why you loved him.
Make a list of what you deserve in relationship.
Make a list of what you can do while husband-less.
Make a list of your strengths.
Make a list of what you want for your children.
Make a list of the best, most joyous, most memorable moments of your LIFE.

Even low on cashflow, you can still afford a paper journal. Go get one and write in it CONSTANTLY.

Call your friends, current and old. Call your mom. Call your brothers and sisters. Get someone over to your house to help distract the kids with LOVE.

Don't worry about whether he is coming back. Sign up for AAA membership; get a cellphone and put $100 of prepaid minutes on it; get a car charger for your cellphone; put your AAA card in the glovebox.

Live as though your life has always been your own, and all choices yours to make.

He might not come back. You might get divorced. That's sticky and not fun but it is also not the end of the world. In fact it is a beginning.

You are going to be fine. You may find yourself feeling strangely elated. Go with that.

Above all, BE LOVE. I don't mean grovel or beg or pacify or compromise. Just BE LOVE. You will know it when you experience it, and it's good.

I am also the child of divorced parents and so is he and I never imagined he would opt to make this happen in our daughter's childhood. The worst pain I have felt throughout my situation has been FOR HER. I wonder if that is true for most separated/divorced moms.

I do have to say a bit meanly here, your husband is pretty LAME, to leave wife and children just ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not respectable at all.

You and the children are going to be fine. The transitions are hard and difficult to explain to kids, but YOU ARE GOING TO BE JUST FINE. Challenging times ahead, but also, rewarding. Your lives are re-opening, and the best times are on their way.

I send you love and love and love and calm. Cry it out as much as you need to and EXERCISE when the mood strikes. Anything you do physically to strengthen your body in this time will also strengthen your soul and fortify your spirit. Take care of your body and take care of your boys, and send me a message anytime; I will write back at length.

You are going to be fine. I know it doesn't feel like it exactly, but, leave room for that golden shining light to blaze through and touch you. It is like a wild bird: feed it consistently and it will come more and more frequently to you.

Blessings upon your house and family,
Kristen

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M.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Well, you obviously have had some great advice and support this far :) It is hard and the the next few days and weeks will be hard as well. But time does heal all wounds. I would say make sure you are improving your life for you and your kids...not him. To try and do things so that he recognized or wants to come back isnt for the right reasons. You need to do them for YOU! There will be hard times a head, and even if decides to come back, you may be strong enough to not want that...who knows. All I am saying is that being a partner means sticking by someone and truly loving them selflessly, and right now he is being selfish. And to do this before the holidyas..that is pretty low. (sorry) I know you love him, but you deserve to be loved by someone who loves you, understands and stands by you and it may or not be him. Do what youa are doing.... GOOD FOR YOU, but do it for YOu and your kids, not in an effort to win him back or change his thoughts. These are his actions and choices, and you shouldnt buy into any of this being your "fault". You will also go through many differnt emotions, if at al like me,..sadness, hurt, anger, rage, indiffernce, and that might also be your way of dealing with the complexity of this situation that HE has put and your family in!

Good Luck....You are an amazing persan and dont waste anytime on hoping for someone to love you enough to come back. Give him time, but not to choose if he wants you back but to realize what a mistake he's making. And in the meantime, do what you need to do FOR YOU....Friends, Family, time with the kids, extra time for you, etc. YOU will survive and be stronger after this...I Know, I have been there too!

If you want to vent, share, laugh, talk, please feel free to email me [email protected]____.com Luck and dont forget to breathe :)

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E.C.

answers from San Francisco on

It sounds so difficult and I'm very sorry for you. I grew up with a single mom and so did my husband. I know that for both of them, the support of their women friends (many of whom were also single Moms) was very important. My Mom had single women friends from work and from volunteering who she was close to, and my mother-in-law joined the group "Parents without partners". I think the Mom's group Las Madres may have a special group for single moms but I'm not sure.

I think that many Moms with hubbies around can sympathize with your situation but can't really give you the kind of great advice and companionship that another single Mom might be able to. Maybe you could meet some Moms who have been temporarily separated (as you may be since this may not be permanent with your husband).

There's a list of resources on Bay Area Parents that might be helpful:

Single Parents

DOWNTOWN BERKELEY YMCA, 2001 Allston Way, hosts monthly single parent support groups beginning October 2003. Groups and child care free. Information: Eden O'Brien-BrennerCall at ###-###-#### or e-mail her at [email protected]____.com.

PARENTS PLACE MARIN periodically sponsors a single mothers' support group which meets weekly in San Rafael. Advance registration required. Informationand starting date of next group: ###-###-####.

PARENTS WITHOUT PARTNERS Orientations for prospective members in the East Bay (Hayward through Oakland) are held several times a month. Information: ###-###-#### or [email protected]____.com the link to National HQ at above right for listings of other S.F. Bay Area chapters.

PARENTS WITHOUT PARTNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO AND SAN MATEO COUNTY Family outings, speakers, group activities. All single parents invited to attend general meetings on the first and third Sunday of each month; child care available. Information: ###-###-####.

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T.R.

answers from San Francisco on

shari,

i am really feeling for you. i don't have any advice to offer other than what has helped me through really tough times...that God doesn't give us anything we cannot handle. i've been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder since the traumatic birth of my son via unproperly medicated csection. my marriage is currently "rocky" and we are going through counselling after my husband said he wasn't sure if he could be my husband anymore. times like this are tough and when you're already dealing with depression it makes it even worse. i recommend that you get outside in nature as frequently as you can, enjoy your kids, write out your thoughts and feelings, and know that each day brings new hope. i'm thinking about you and you are not alone.

-T.

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D.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Shari,

I am so sorry for what you are going through. My boys were the same ages when my husband and I divorced. Your hope is that he is just moving out right now. No divorce papers filed yet?

You need to keep doing what you are doing and get yourself better. You need to do this for you and for your boys. Hopefully your husband will use his head and come back and work things out.

I think the only thing that you need to do now is pray for your husband. Also, get others to pray that he will consider what this means to all of you. The power of prayer is great and can make a difference in the situation. I will be praying for you through this.

Feeling sad is very normal, but you must have friends and your counselor to talk to. Make sure you surround yourself with people who will let you talk. There are also divorce care groups at churches. Call Cathedral of Faith or Home Church to find out more. Even if you do not go through a divorce, you will get help there with what you are going through.

God bless you and your family. I hope to hear that things have improved very soon!

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M.J.

answers from Redding on

Dear Shari,
I am so sorry you are going through all this.

I don't know a lot of the details of the problems in your marriage, but I do know this - in so many situations, things can be turned around. Many people do feel hopeless in the middle of it and feel like there is no way out. But there is - and God can help you find it.

You have done a good job of pulling yourself out of the depression.

Is your therapist supportive of you keeping your marriage together? Is he or she giving you resources to help you get this turned around? That is one of the roles of a good therapist.

Focus on the Family is a very good resource that has a lot of materials about how to bring your marriage back together. They also have phone counselors who can direct you to further information.

Their phone number is:1-800-232-6459
Their website is:www.focusonthefamily.com Click on the "marriage and relationships" link to find more specific info on what to do when your marriage is in trouble.

There is a whole section on the website about what to do when your marriage is in trouble. Here is a link to one of the pages: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/facing_crisis/wh...

We will pray for you tonight when our family prays together.
With love
M

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D.R.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi Shari,

I'm so sorry you are having marital problems. I would suggest you ask your husband to go to see Firewall a movie that is out right now. It is in limited movie theaters but I would recommend it to anyone married. It not only has a wonderful plot, but plenty of laughter and will help you focus on getting your marriage back together. The book it refers to in the movie can be purchased. Good luck.

My first husband also left and we ended up divorced. A good friend gave me valuable information. She said to always have the children and myself look good when my husband came to visit. Have the house clean and offer him coffee, or something to drink, maybe invite him to dinner. Keep things as calm as possible.

We did end up getting a divorce, but my self esteem was in place and I felt better about myself.

Good luck, D.

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M.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I would concentrate on making a plan to convince your husband to come back . That would be best for your family. Meanwhile, I would move back in with your parents if they are nearby so that your kids have a good home base. I REALLY would do anything in the world I could to have my whole family back together. I wouldn't say another word about your husbands wrongdoing. Don't look for apologies from him. I would apologize to him and ask what you can do to fix things on your side. I bet that, in time and if you follow through, that will make it possible for him to be sorry as well. No tears and guilt toward him, just a real conversation. That's what I would do.

Good luck to you!
M.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Having gone through this situation -- I could write a novel on this, or I could keep it short. Right now I feel like doing the short answer.

1. Right now you feel like it will never get better. It will. The pain I felt for three years after my ex dumped me and his one year old son is completely gone, and I don't even remember what it was like to feel like I loved him. The first thing that ever helped was the first time I danced with another guy, and I realized I could be interested in someone else again.

2. The pain for my son was the hardest, and is the only pain I still occasionally feel.

3. I lived on the hope that he would return for a while, (and it IS possible that your husband will return) and that hope definitely helped me get through the initial phase. I wouldn't try to do anything immediately to get him to return -- give him his space for a while -- but if and when you do, I really do agree with the Dr. Laura approach, as the first mom mentioned, even though I do disagree with many other aspects of Dr. Laura. Reading her book might be helpful. The philosophy is actually right-on.

What you're going through is horrible, and I sympathize wholeheartedly.

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

As you said, you are powerless. Accepting that is hard, but it is wonderful that you can. Also great that you are in therapy and taking care of yourself.

Some things that I wish I knew that could have helped me through a difficult break down of my marriage when my children were about the same age as yours:

Everyday, or when ever you are feeling down, list the things that you are grateful for, give thanks and focus on those things.

The caged birds cowers when you put your hand in the cage, not knowing that the hand it fears is the one that will release it to freedom.

Remember, 'this too shall pass.' Life will be joyful again.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Shari, I wish you all the best of luck. I wish I could say something smarter and wiser. I feel for you and I am sending kind thoughts your way. I hope things will get better soon.
c

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C.D.

answers from Sacramento on

S.,

Hi Hon, I just want to say I am sorry you are going through this. I know this is a VERY hard time!! I have been married for 18 years and I asked my hubby to leave once. He did and we worked out a lot of things while he was living in another house. I am just telling you this because it lasted for about 3 months and during that time we realized so much about why we are together. I know that hearing this will not fix your situation, I just hope it can fill you with some peace in knowing that this can be used for something good and a time for maybe repairing a broken relationship... If not, thinking of it this way will give your heart time to get used to the change, heal some, and some much needed reflection. S., I will pray for you and your family. You hang in there and think positive thoughs...

C.

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J.K.

answers from Fresno on

Shari Is he willing to go to couples therapy if so this could work. Go see the movie Fireproof in theatres now. See it together as it is a must see. Don't give up but you have to love yourself too before he can love you. Marriage is ups and downs but you cant fix it alone.

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R.P.

answers from Sacramento on

My husband moved out when my boys were 4 and 7 and they are now 26 and 30. I have been remarried for 16 years. I can just tell you that time DOES heal all pain and yes it does hurt when it first happens, but you find some inner strength to move on and get through every day. Focus on your children.

You will be surprised how strong you really are and you will get through this. If he comes back and you work it out that will be great for everyone involved, but don't hold onto that if it is clear he isn't coming back. Don't put yourself through that. If he doesn't return, be thankful for your two beautiful boys and you know will find love again.

God Bless You..............R.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari, I just read your posting and I wanted to reach out to you to offer some support. You have made great strides already in healing yourself with therapy, medication, getting back to work. These are all good steps forward. Right now it's important for you to keep focusing on your needs, what you need to do to heal yourself and feel better. Your husband may just need time alone to figure things out. I would hope that he isn't seriously leaving the family altogether.

Not knowing the dynamics of your relationship or what's transpired, I would continue to speak to your therapist about it and also see if you can't get your husband to attend some type of marriage counseling with you, too.

I know that this may sound easier said than done right now, but it's really important that you begin to fill your thoughts with positivity and goodness. Make sure you pay attention to your feelings and emotions and when you start to feel sad, become aware of that and find something that makes you happy. Focus on that, fill your head with positive aspirations, thoughts and good feelings.

There is much power in the power of positive thinking! You will heal. You will get better. You will continue to be a great mother to your boys. You are going to get yourself back. Focus not on the things, events, situations that make you sad. Be thankful for what you do have, be grateful for all things. Changing your mindset to this will help you.

I don't know if you've read The Secret, but I'm here to say it does work. It's all about creating those positive feelings, thoughts and emotions, of expressing an attitude of gratitude even during the most trying times. It's changing your frequency to a positive channel. If you are able to do this, I bet your husband will see things differently. But it may take some time for him to heal as well.

Just hang in there. You are going to survive this and whatever happens. Be strong. Be positive in your thoughts always. You will survive this and I am wishing you all good things. I'm sending you positive vibrations right now. Prayer also does wonders too.

Be well~ Think Good Thoughts!
Good things to you...

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E.E.

answers from San Francisco on

I am so sorry and I am praying for you.

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Z.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari,
You have all my sympathy-- it sounds like you are going through a very difficult time. Check your phonebook in the front for listing of local mental health clinics-- they are usually sliding scale, so will charge on your ability to pay. You and your boys could all use someone to talk to right now. Also, if you've never read 'How to talk so kids will listen and listen to kids will talk' by Faber, I recommend it-- your kids will be dealing will all sorts of emotions, too, and the more prepared you are to help them through this, the easier it will be for all of you.
Best of luck!

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E.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello S.,

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I can tell that you are still depressed. I think you should go back to your doctor and tell him to prescribe a different medication. I have battled depression for most of my life and everytime I go through rough times it comes back to me and I feel like nothing is going to work out after all. Keep in mind that if you are not well then no one in your family will. Ask your husband for a second chance only after you know you will be completely fine with everyday life. Maybe you and him need therapy together, he needs to heal as well. Show him that you love him by being what you haven't been in all those years, and I'm sure he will be back. If you ever need to talk to someone drop me a line and I'll be here :)

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J.H.

answers from Salinas on

Hi S.,

I'm so sorry to hear that you're in such pain. Separation, divorce, etc. is devastating. I believe you're doing the right thing with therapy and medication. And know that, the pain is going to linger for awhile - it doesn't go away quickly or easily, but it will get easier.

What helped me was learning new things. I took different classes when I could - short courses in dancing, cooking, yoga through the junior college in town. I learned how to fix things on my own which really helped my self esteem and I had to be extremely careful who I spent time with.
I had to stay clear of negative people and also had to monitor my feeligs. I didn't want to be a negative person and push others away. A friend of mine told me to "fake it, until I make it" It's hard being down when you have a smile on your face. Another tool I learned in therapy was to allow myself to cry - however, I had to tell myself that I could only cry/feel badly/worry during a certain time of the day/night and for that period of time, I got to have my own little pity party. When the time was up - it was back to the happy face.

I also went to a support group for divorce. I do not recommend a group - although sharing your story is a way to heal, a group can be a real downer to be around so many sad people and if the facilitator isn't good, it can make things worse. Please be very careful of any group therapy.

What also helped was daily exercise and eating healthy, and it will be a good example for your kids.

Best wishes to you S..
J.

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C.H.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm not sure if you tried it, but did you both consider couples counseling? It may help if you both are willing....either to work on your marriage, or to separate with some help on how it all will work out.

Good luck to you!

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K.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Give it time......things will work out for the best. Often times marriages come back together. Your hubby may just need some breathing room and time to regroup from stress. Have hope. Don't give up. And yes...medication.....there are good ones and ones that are not as effective. Find the one that boosts you and hang with it for a good while....My mother in law has been on effexor for 40 years...from 40-85 years old.
Things will get better. Keep talking...never hide feelings. If you ever get suicidal tell as many people as you can. My friend went through a divorce and then commited suicide a few years ago. I am very sad. I miss her more than ever. She was my one and only HONEST...true blue friend. She had the wrong medication... I'm pretty sure she was bi-polar and her meds were off. I should have told her ex but they were in a big ugly custody dispute and he was using her mental illness against her. I should have called her sister....Please email me and keep in touch if you want to talk about your depression. I have suffered from it and I am comfortable talking about it anytime. I am very shy so I keep things discreet. I am proud of you!!!!!! Baby steps....a little effort goes a LONG way. Love to you! K.

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M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari,

Marriage is hard work and I think a lot of people just decide to bail rather than work through it. Some people find their strength in God and others must look into themselves to find their strength. Unfortunately you do not have control over the choices that your husband makes regarding you and your family. You only have control over you. Pick yourself up and continue on as best you can. If, due to your depression, you were not carrying your share of the family burden it might be helpful for him to see how strong you can be. Dress well, look nice and be strong. Do not view your self as powerless and weak. Start acting strong and confident and you will eventually be strong and confident. I know you are very sad about the possibility that you and your husband may divorce. But now is not the time to freak-out. Take a deep breath and say "I am beautiful and lovable". You deserve a man who loves you and your husband is not the only one who will love you. Be strong and know that marriage and love can be really painful at times. But you will survive and you will be in a better situation than you are now - with or without your husband. Good-luck and be strong. Michele

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G.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I am sorry you are going through this really tough time. Do you have friends in the area? Family? You will really need to lean on them. It will be a rough go for a while, but just know that it will become better day by day. I know your kids are your main priority, and just know that they will be fine as long as you are fine. Thats what I tried to think of every day when I was going through divorce. Take little bits of time when you can for yourself. Allow yourself to cry, and be hurt and be mad, but also take those bits of time when alone to be nice to yourself, write in your journal, take a bath, read a book, do your nails, whatever.

Good luck to you, and hang in there. You will find you are stronger than you ever imagined.

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C.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Can you try marriage counseling with your husband? maybe after a few weeks of being apart you can breach the subject- it is worth a try to keep the marriage and family together, if therapy helped you so well maybe it can heal your marriage too
I feel for you and know you are not alone and as a woman and mother you are strong and will make it through this hard time. Keep up with your therapy so you have support and help
peace to you

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L.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari,

Separation is not easy but try to look after yourself first. You need to build up your self confidence, you are worth it and your kids need you! Sometimes focussing on something else brings what you need and takes you where you need to be. If you would be interested in starting up your own business I would love to show you what I am doing - you can do it part time and bring in some extra income. It can also be a rewarding full time career. It may not be the right time for you right now but you can always take a look and have it tucked away for when you are ready. My email address is [email protected]____.com
L. 888-581-4259

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T.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Shari,
First off, I just wanted to say that I am sorry and feel for your situation. You've recieved many great responses. I just wanted to give you a website that I have found to be very inspiring, LOTE.org. Only God can truly bring healing and He desires to help you if you ask him to.
God Bless and you will be in my prayers.
T.

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H.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Wow, all I have for you is advice/ideas. It sounds like you still love your husband, what about marriage counsling? I always said I would never stay in a bad marriage for the sake of my children, but I would also do everything in my power to save my marriage, for the sake of my children. Also remember the age-old advice about the oxygen mask, you know you have to take care of yourself first before you can be of any good to anyone else. This counts towards your children and your hubby. Do what makes you feel good about yourself, is there something you can do that raises your self-esteem, makes you feel like a 'hot mama'? Do it! If you are in a good place, your hubby may change how he sees you too. Just always make sure you are acting on behalf of yourself and your children- in case it doesn't work out in the end.
Remember, worst case scenario, you have your children, we mamas love our babies and they sure can make the worst days so much better. You have your health. You will be able to do it, remember child birth? You did it, you had no choice, right! You will be able to get through anything, will it suck? Maybe. Can you do it anyway? Totally.
I truly hope everything works out in the end, but don't underestimate ability to move on and create a different life for yourself and your children if it doesn't. Take care -H

G.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hello Shari,
I've been a single mom since my oldest was born. I never married, but I do understand how difficult it is. I suffer from depression myself so I do know how you feel. The father is a suicidal alcoholic who made my life a nightmare. Raising kids is going to be a challenge. I took in roommates that took advantage of me instead of helping me. My boys are growing & they don't listen to me. I prefer to live alone, but it will be boring & quiet.
Depression does take a toll on people, so don't let it get the best of you. Stay positive & things will work themselves out. There are many single mom's out there. You will have your ups & downs on living alone. Maybe finding somewhere affordable for you to move might help you finacially. My friends wife moved out, she takes the kids on the weekends. He works 24/7, but he's managing very well. Best of luck, G.

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L.B.

answers from Chico on

Hi Shari,

Your situation is one I empathize and associate to. We have gone through similar circumstances recently in our home (the kids dad has left us). He is the one with the illness though.

Each day I wonder how we will make it. Each day I try to keep in mind we are better off without the turmoil. Something I finally did was to get moving and get court papers filed to decide custody and visitation for my kids. Their dad has the greater income and has constantly threatened to pull his financial support from us. Living with that threat and worry was wearing me out and working my nerves overtime. I made the decision to take some action and it was hard to do.

Something I have found that helps the kids and I is to get out and about together, get out of our little cocoon so to speak. Sometimes it is just to go to Wal-Mart or grocery shopping together. We were able to scrape together enough money for a trip to San Francisco. My daughter had a college interview there so we made a day of it just walking around Fisherman’s Warf.

Doing things, even fixing dinner, as a family strengthens us. I will start dinner, the kids will sit at the kitchen counter, and we talk. They tell me about school, their thoughts about life, music they have discovered, TV shows or movies, and just what ever. Before you know it dinner is ready and they both have their own contributions to final preparations.

Focus on your kids and making things as stable as you can. I try not to over compensate my attention; more simply, I just try to make time for us. My kids seem to be taking this whole situation in stride. I know this is a stressful time for you and the income difference is a huge concern. Thinking about and doing things together will go a long way in helping to keep you strong.

You are in my prayers,
L.

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J.D.

answers from Salinas on

i don't really have any advice for you- but your message sounds like i could have written it. i went all "britney" after my son was born 4 yrs ago, diagnosed bipolar, went on meds, got better, had daughter 9 mos ago and been ok until the last few weeks. my husband has hung on thru all of it, but i could easily see him leaving. this is not what he signed up for. hang on, live in the moment with your kids and GET HELP AS SOON AS YOU THINK YOU MAY NEED IT. this is not uncommon- there are lots of us out there going thru it.

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H.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari,

I'm so sorry you are going through this hard time. I don't know what to say, other than hang in there! I really hope that your husband will come back to try to work it out, if that is what you want. But also remember, you deserve to have a supportive, loving partner. If your husband isn't that person then perhaps there is someone else out there who will make you happier. :)

Take good care of yourself and your boys,

H.

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J.M.

answers from Fresno on

Shari your writings pulled at my heart strings!! I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through!! Just try to take each day and night as it comes. Feel the pain, but don't let it consume you. Be the best person you can be for the boys and just let your husband go. It's him who has to come back to you with a wanting to be a part of your life spirit in him or it will never work out again. Just be yourself, for you and your boys. Before you know it you will be content with your own life and who you have become with or without a husband. Do not fear the worst, you have more strength than you give yourself credit for. You have already proven that to yourself by getting help and accepting that your husband is leaving you and why. Now pull on that strength to pick up the pieces and move on with a spirit that makes that man sorry he ever left such an incredible strong woman and mother! Keep us all posted!

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D.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear Shari,
I really empathize with your situation. I suffered from Post-partum Depression with both my kids, though the second was so bad that I was suicidal. My husband stuck by me, but it really took a toll on him emotionally.
Have you had an opportunity to take your husband with you to the therapist you're seeing? It helped a lot having my husband go with me to my psychiatrist and it gave a different viewpoint of what was going on with me.
Another thing that was invaluable was that when I finally realized how awful I had been to every one, but especially him, I told him how sorry I was. I reiterated it often, and didn't excuse my behavior because of the depression. Of course it gives a good backdrop to why I did what I did, but it gave him a sense that I was now taking responsibility for my actions and making a concerted effort to change my ways.
Another thing that was crucial was I read Dr. Laura's "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands". I realized I had not been a good wife, and not someone I would want to come home to every day! It has taken a lot of hard work, and I would say the first 6 months, after realizing what a beast I'd been to my husband, it was almost physically painful to do the things that would benefit him and my kids. I had spiraled down so far that I was so self focused.
What worked when the times were so dark was distracting myself with doing nice things for my kids, husband and those I love. Though it didn't make me feel better instantly, it took my focus off of my own feelings, that as you know are really wacky after giving birth. Each day got easier and easier, though I didn't notice at the time. It just felt hard. Now, looking back I can see I slowly got stronger and stronger but it was a painfully slow process!!!
Do you have a good marriage therapist? Pastor/Priest? I've found that this type of intervention can be helpful as long as a lot of time isn't focused on the past. I think if each of you can take responsibility for how you hurt the other, and then sit and talk about how to make the other persons life worth living it could be a very positive experience. I've noticed that a lot of therapy focuses too much on the past and not enough on the present and future. The past obviously can't be changed, but a proactive forward looking approach would be a great way to plan for a happier future.
Anyway, I'd love to talk to you if you need it, or even meet for coffee or something. My heart feels very sad for you, and I know how horrible it is. I truly felt like I was in hell! If I could make your life easier, I would be happy to do so. Anyway, my email is [email protected]____.com
Regards,
D.

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N.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Shari, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I was a single mom for a while, by my choice because the father of my son was abusive mentally and a little on the physical side. He used drugs and drank a lot. His checks were gone over one weekend while mine went to the home. It was hard being single with one child, I'm sure with more than can be even harder. Because of who he became I never depended on him for any help for a thing and I still don't because he isn't any better today than he was 12 years ago. Anyway, there is a marriage conference if your husband is willing. It is called "Weekend to Remember". It teaches how to have the marriage that God intended. It's not just for broken marriages, it's for ALL marriages. I've heard of many marriages being restored thru this conference. My husband and I are going this coming weekend for the first time. There is a conference fee, however if you don't have it they don't worry about it, they just care about your marriage. Check out www.familylife.com and click on "attend a conference". They travel to many areas and if one is in your area you won't need to get a hotel. I hope you consider this and hope and pray that things work out for you and your family. Yours will be in my prayers.

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G.L.

answers from San Francisco on

im so sorry about your news. Remember the boys are looking up to you...especially now! Enjoy them and find happiness with them! To me...it would be more devastating to thier love.

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L.R.

answers from Modesto on

Shari:
I really don't know what to do or say. But will ask you to ask your husband to take you to see the Movie Fireproof, it is based on a rocky marriage, that turns them around. I have not seen it as of yet, as I am a widow, but I want to go see it as I hear so many good things about it. I hope and Pray that this may help you and your husband get back together.
Most of all remember to lean on God for all your needs, he is waiting for you to call on him.
L.

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M.P.

answers from Stockton on

S.,
I recently went through what you are going through. My husband of 17 years moved out in September. He moved out for a week and we realized we did not like to be apart. We are both in couseling right now. Our marriage was rocky for a long time also. That week was so hard on me I did a lot of crying but I also had to be strong for our 12 year old son. You have to do what is best for you and your kids. I think the best thing was him moving out, it showed us what we would lose if we did not work things out. I hope this helps. Please respond back if you need someone to talk to.

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D.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari, my name is D., I would like to comment on your situation.
First I would like to commend you on your strength that you may think you do not have much of but hon it takes a strong woman to be able to raise two children, work and even post her story, in the midst of all that you have and are going through.
Second of all I would like to tell you about something that I learned when I suffered a personal loss in 1994
It was Feb-1994 when my life changed so! drastically, and my future and that of my then 14 month old daughters.
My husband woke up one morning and after spending over an hour in the restroom came out and asked me to go look inside the toilet bowl, I assumed he was playing a joke as his sense of humor was always a part of our lives.
In the toilet I found purple blood all the way to the very top, I knew being in the medical field that that was a very serious sign of health problems. Before this day there was not one sign of an illness.
After the initial doctor visit he was diagnosed as having cancer in an ulcer in his stomach and the drs. felt very hopeful that they could remove it with surgery.
The meeting after surgery changed my life as the doctors told me and his family that they had found cancer in every organ and spresding quickly.and his prognosis was very poor!
From that day I believe that I went into denial because I faced the next 2 months without a tear or fear or sadness.
It was a cancer that in 2 months took my husbands life and robbed our only child of a life with a wonderful father, we had tried to conceive for 5 years and now at 16months old our daughter was saying goodbye to her daddy.
After his death his parents made me and my daughter move out and they treated me very badly due to the fact that they did not agree with my christian belief. My child and I were homeless and I had quit my job to care for my husband so I was unemployed too.
The months that followed were scary as I begin to lose weight drastically and black out at any given time. I then lost the ability to speak and had to see a doctor who told me that due to the fact that I had not accepted his death I was likely to lose my mind. I am a writer and I had tons of journals full of poetry I wrote all the time and I believe that in a way saved my life.
My daughter suffered extreme agression as she could not comprehend her fathers departure, I lived with a woman and her children who robbed me and threw me out.
I moved in with a friend who feared I would die, I was 109 pounds from 160 pounds. One night as I sat up alone I talked to God and I decided that I was going to fight, I learned that we all have a strength way down deep inside that God gives to all of us, many people do not know it exists but it does, I fought to live and I forced myself to seek treatment and I drove myself to visit a preacher friends church service, and it was there that my heart let out all the pain and cry that I had subconciously blocked for 9 months. I reached down deep inside and told the heartache that it was not going to win, I fought for my life mentally., every time I encountered a obstacle I did not go around it, I jumped over it for my daughter and for myself.
I tell you this because I want you to know that the strength is within you and you can and will pull through,
for every tear, write down your feelings, vent in any way you can, think of something positive , fight, pray and you will get through this. You are in my prayers, God Bless, D.

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M.W.

answers from San Francisco on

S.~I can feel your pain. I too was in a situation where we were dividing up our assets and trying to coordinate a schedule with the kids. Last year was HIDEOUS and my children will agree. I don't know if you have the support of your family to watch your children while you and your husband seek couseling. It will be your job to express to him that you know you were not kind and not supportive with him in his needs and try not to be accusing with him in his unsupportiveness when you were suffering from post pardom.
I found a male counselor and that was one of the things I did to ensure that my husband would feel more comfortable expressing his emotions. He didn't cry and he made it a point to keep an open mind. Needless to say, we attended counseling appointments until we felt we were healthy enough and working together for what we vowed to keep precious when we got married 11 years ago. YOur husband might think that this is the best thing to do at this point, however your children will feel the tension and the pain even if they can't tell you in words.
If he is a good father and understanding with others, why can't he step back and use a little empathy to see that you were alone and needing support. sometimes it takes stepping out of the comfort zone in order to grow and move in the right direction. I wish you luck and if you love him, which I can feel from your response... you need to show him. Don't beg, don't cry. Agree with him that maybe he needs to feel like he is a priority.. and you will do whatever it takes to show him that he has been placed on the top of your list. It might surprise you. Good luck.

G.M.

answers from Modesto on

It sounds like you were not very fun to live with. Everyone has a length of rope and when they get to the bottome of it they have to let go. He is probably leaving for his own sanity and you can't blame him for that. If you havent filed for a divorce yet, I would just wait it out. If you are improving by being educated on what made you go "dark" he is probably just waiting to make sure all is well before moving back in with you.
One thing about the Holidays, is that it's always a time for family reflection and a lot of times it helps to heal rifts that are in marriages. People that proudly say "We've been married for 50 years" have somtimes been separated and have had lots of other problems as well, it's part of it. Men generally never file for a divorce. He just wants his "wife" back. If you've been a depressing mess for the last 6 years, it's going to take him time to decide whether he wants to endanger himself (emotionally) by being around you. There are a lot of successful working, single mothers. It sounds like you need to try and be one for awhile and hopefully what attracted him to you in the first place will magically resurface.
Good Luck.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I feel for you! It is really hard to see someone you love walk away. I think you're doing the right thing - going back to work and getting yourself together. You are right about the powerlessness. You are definitely powerless over other people and their actions and accepting that you are powerless over it is an accomplishment! Embrace the fact that you are powerless over this and can't control it - trying to figure out how to control this situation will make you crazy. Focus on yourself and your children - the rest will fall into place. You husband will see you doing that and see you getting back to the person he used to know and fell in love with and if it was meant to be, he will be back. If not, you will become stronger and most independent with each day and if it turns out that he doesn't come back, you will be strong enough to handle it. Sometimes clariy comes with distance. Don't get yourself all worked up thinking this is the end, because it doesn't have to be. But you do have to remember that the choice is your husband's and you can't control it. Give him time and space and in the meantime, keep working on yourself and give your children that extra time and attention they'll need to adjust to the changes. Good luck!

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