Husband Wants to He Right? Please Read!

Updated on November 22, 2011
J.J. asks from Cincinnati, OH
20 answers

Hi...I really hope someone reads this. I need advice. Long story short--my husband and I have been fighting, not getting along, etc for a couple years now. We have been married almost 13 years and have 4 kids. In 2005, he lost a parent and has never been the same, which is expected. HIs job is extremely demanding with long hours and unexpected travel quite often. That has been a huge stress in our relationship. He has withdrawn from me, we are never intimate with each other anymore. In addition, I have caught him in several lies...from financial to personal. He wants to move out because he thinks we need to not be under the same roof anymore, but wants everything else to be like we're married. Sharing kids, responsibilities, etc. We tried counseling before and he wasn't a fan. I suggested we try it again, but maybe with a different counselor. I don't know what to do. I don't want to hurt my children, number one thing. But, we cannot seem to get along. We have some good days, but they are few and far between. Do I love him, yes. But, has this marriage run its course? Would we be better off apart? I am nervous financially--I am a SAHM and we are not in the position to afford an attorney or another house, etc. I also know nothing about spousal support in my state (Ohio) and I have been home with the kids since 2000. I really need advice from someone who has been there. My husband also says another reason he wants to move out is that he feels guilty about all the emotional damage he has done to me. What should I do? And if anyone in Cincinnati is reading this...can you recommend a counselor or something. I really need to talk through these feelings and don't want to involve family or close friends... Thanks, everyone...

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answers from Jacksonville on

What is the point of separating instead of getting divorced? Does he want to work on the marriage? If so, I would think he would go to counseling. If not, you need to look into divorce and what options you have.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

Sometimes separation is beneficial for a relationship. My husband & I were separated for about a year . I don't think our marriage would've made it, had we not taken time apart. Like someone else suggested, I would meet with an attorney. You need to be prepared. I , also was pretty much a SAHM @ the time and about to go back to school. If I hadn't sought advice from an attorney, I could've made some bad decisions. I don't know what kind of guy your husband is but I suggest you not tell him , if you choose to seek help from an attorney.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

He needs to see his doctor. He needs a full physical.. Men go through depression.. Which is exhausting.. Also low testosterone and Men-opause..

Please encourage him, even go with him if he will let you.. Make a list of changes in him and how long ago it all began include clothing sizes.. Did they get larger or smaller or stayed the same weight?

4 children 16 years.. You need to be able to say you both tried everything.

Your family is worth it. If it works out great, if not, no regrets, you tried..

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Wow. I don't have advice, but I wanted you to know someone is reading this.

My dear friend from Ohio was depressed and would not take legal advice. She agreed to let her husband sell their home and she always regretted that. If you do divorce, DO NOT MOVE OUT and do not agree to sell the house. The judge may order it, but don't agree to it.

I would also go for alimony. If the laws are the same, you get alimony for 1/3 of the years you were married. Also, of course, you would ask for maximum child support since you are not working.

I also suggest not getting a job so you are in a better position for child support. Her husband convinced her to take a low paying job just so he could have his support reduced. She could not then quit and ended up fired, but they would not adjust the support. She was depressed to the point she nearly killed herself more than once. She was not faking.

I would consult an attorney just to find out what to do in your state. Does UC have a law program with students who council? I would not just wait for him to make the first move.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you are not ready to give up on your family and that is admirable. I gave up way too early and we both have regretted it for years although it did work for us that we shared our daughter, activities, holidays and family.

Don't fight in anger. If this FAMILY is worth fighting for, do it. Get some time alone with him and tell him what is important to you. If he is not a completely awful addict, cheater or irresponsible husband/father...fight for it!

Your children are hurt anyway if they see you fighting, they are not that stupid. Please don't think for a second that spousal support and child support are going to keep you in the comfort you are familiar with. I always made more than my husband did so that was never on the table. Your children will be gone for time with their dad. It sucks even though I know my daughter and her dad deserve and need to be together.

I am the crazy divorced mom that loves her family and says fight if it is worth it. I regret it and I don't want you to. Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I agree that it sounds like your DH is depressed, needs help, and has given up.

I don't think your marriage has run it's course, but in order for it to work, both people have to want to be in it, and do whatever it takes in order to fix it & make it healthy again. That means that you will both have to look deep inside, be honest with yourselves & each other, admit your faults & start from the bottom & work through the hard stuff.

At minimum, right now, you might want to consider counseling for your yourself, so you can have a neutral sounding board & to work your own feelings out. Ultimately you cannot force him to do anything, but getting your head clear will help.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

First of all start job hunting. A lot of stores are looking for seasonal help right now. It's not a lot of money but you do get company discount usually 20% on purchases. So if you need new clothes to look for a better job you will be able to buy them for much less. Also employers are more apt to hire someone who is currently working than someone who is not. This also gives you a current recommendation and reference.

Second if he won't go to counseling go alone. A counselor can give you ideas on how to deal with him. It sounds to me like he is going through depression. How bad it is or if he needs to be medicated I can't tell you.

Think about it this way if the love and passion has left your marriage; do you really want your children raised with the idea that parents are simply roommates who fight? Children need to see loving relationships between parents in order to understand what a loving relationship truly is. If your hubby is not willing to accept help and work on your relationship divorce may be the best answer.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I am no expert and my husband and I are having our own struggles right now but we have been married for over 13 years (together over 16). We purchased a program called The Breakup Stopper. It gave us great insight and it explains why traditionally counseling may not work. There is also optional additional services they offer (but you are not obligated to purchase). They also work on the idea that neither party is physical danger. Anyway, the one piece of advice that make complete sense is this program NEVER endorses a separation because it is practice for a divorce. They do concede that sometimes you may decide to sleep in separate rooms within the same house because it is hard to sleep next to someone you are mad at but the only time they recommend that you agree to a separation is if that is the only way your spouse will agree to work on the marriage. With the purchase of thier program, you get a consultation call that can be very helpful w/ your specific situation.

Best of luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Wow I'm sorry you are going through with this. It sounds like your husband is depressed, and may need counseling on his own, since he lost a parent, and that is when you said things seemed to change. I would stress to him the additional emotional damage this will have on you AND YOUR KIDS if he leaves. If you love each other, I'd strongly try to go to counseling, or maybe speak with your pastor, if you belong to a church. You need to talk to someone, that is where the healing will begin. I have never been through this, but I have seen it, and there are kids involved, 4 of them. Your husband needs to think about his family, and not himself. Good luck to you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Difficult spot, for sure. Since your husband is not willing to go to further counseling, it might still be a good idea for you to see someone individually. Counselors are often able to help even one party in a relationship redefine the problems and see potential changes, and not necessarily to save a dead or dying relationship, but to help you find a sane way forward.

And counselors often have marvelous techniques for improving communication. This alone can sometimes turn around a relationship – one sincere participant trying something new.

If your husband is determined to move forward, you might suggest using a mediator instead of his and her lawyers. It sounds to me like he might be amenable to this, because he doesn't want some significant parts of your arrangement to change. Mediators can often help partners find their common ground and work out friendlier custody and support arrangements than lawyers do.

I've known couples who lived apart for awhile, and get a clearer view of what divorce might mean to them on a feeling level. Once the tensions are more distant, it's easier sometimes to find the love that's still there.

Wishing you and your children the best.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

He feels guilty for the emotional damage he's done and so he wants to make it worse by separating and moving out and NOT going to counseling? The logic is strong with this one. It makes me wonder what he REALLY has to feel guilty about, especially if a major part of his job requires him to travel and be gone from home plus long hours.

I think that it would be wise to press for marriage counseling. Marriage counseling serves more purpose than just keeping a couple from divorcing. It also serves to figure out if a couple should remain married. If he has any interest in saving your marriage or figuring out if divorce is the right choice then he ought to agree to this.

In order for your children to be happy no matter what the end result of your marriage, both of you need to be happy. That's why your marriage must come first. Repair the marriage, and if that's not possible, then find out sooner rather than later through counseling and then you can both move on and learn to be happy without each other.

If he refuses marriage counseling for any reason, then that will tell you a lot about how invested he is either fixing things and figuring things out. Whether he attends counseling with you or not, you should attend counseling on your own as well.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Wow...I haven't been in your shoes. You really need to start thinking about yourself and your kids here. I don't know if the marriage can work, but you need to start preparing yourself in case it doesn't. Are you able to go to work? Do you have any previous job skills that you can fall back on? How old are your kids? Would you have to pay childcare? If he is not committed to working on the marriage, then there is nothing that you can do... How does he intend to work the separation knowing that you have been a SAHM?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I'm north of Cincinnati and I don't really have a lot of useful advice other than to speak with an attorney to find out your rights. To my knowledge (from people I know who have divorced in Ohio), all property acquired over the course of a marriage is divided equally. Unfortunately, I don't know any good counselors in the area (but try your church), as we have only used one for my stepson for ADHD testing and she only sees children. I do however, know of a good divorce attorney (my husband used her for his divorce)- Cathy Cook ###-###-####. She has a high retainer, but I would think that they would do a consultation over the phone cheap or free. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

He feels guilty about hurting you yet his solution to the guilt is to run away?

Counseling. Both couples counseling and he should see a counselor or therapist by himself and be screened immediately for depression. Big red flag: You say yourself he "has never been the same" since his parent died -- doesn't that say he may be depressed? The changes you cite -- withdrawing from you, lying to you etc. -- all can be signs of depression and stress. His desire to leave you may be as much depression talking as any real intention to leave.

"He wasn't a fan" of counseling? He does not have to BE a "fan." He doesn't have to like it at all but he has to see the value of it, and it will probe into things he may not be a "fan" of. But he has to go and keep on going. He can't walk out of the marriage and then pretend you're still married, sharing everything, etc. He needs to get counseliing and so do you -- this is a team thing if you think you want to save this. Frankly, please, please re-read your own post. The language sounds like you are tired, beaten down and ready to give up and let him take the lead on this. If you want to keep this together and get back the person he was -- the one who was not lying to you, not distant, not stressed, not heading out the door -- you need to give him an ultimatum and be assertive with him -- IF you want this marriage.

If not, you must find a way to afford a lawyer for yourself, because you will need to protect your interests, your finances and your custody rights if you divorce.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If you are a single parent you can expect you WILL have to work full time. It will no longer be his job to support you so you can stay at home. You will most likely have some sort of financial agreement on the home and property but he will have to live somewhere and be able to start a new life too. His money will not go to you, he may have to pay alimony for a period of time while you gain training to become employed but then you will be expected to become able to support yourself and your children with your salary and his child support.

As much as that stinks it is a fact. You will not get enough money from him to not work. You could talk with a financial aid adviser and see if they have any FA for displaced homemakers. That is aid that is not based on his income hopefully. I am not sure how that works or if you have to work for a year and file taxes first so that only your income is what the aid is based on but it can't hurt to find out if you can get aid and go to school so you can have a better paying career that can support you and your children.

You may have to move to a less expensive neighborhood or even to a different town if you decide to start school. Living on campus was way cheaper and more affordable than any other option for me when I was going full time as a single parent. I did not have to work, I got low income housing on campus, food stamps, a monthly check, all my financial aid left over money, etc...I did not have to worry about anything.

I would start looking for full time employment right now though. But is things are like they are here Christmas time jobs are everywhere but nothing is a permanent job, so keep that in mind, even a short term Christmas job would be something to put on a resume and perhaps a really good reference too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

First I want to caution you that should be very careful about taking advice from anyone, especially strangers on line! The only people who can decide what really needs to be done in this situation is you and your husband! If your husband is against counseling then maybe marriage education is what you need? My husband and I had been in counseling for 6 years and filed for divorce and at the last moment we took a Marriage Works! Ohio class and it changed everything! Marriage Works! Ohio teaches fun, marriage-enrichment classes in the Mason area that helps couples by giving them the communication and conflict resolution tools to work through their issues and build a strong and happy marriage! The classes are free and include childcare, meals, and you can earn $25 gift cards for attending! Marriage Works! Ohio's # is 1-866-548-3271.

I have a degree in Communications and thought I knew all about the right way to communicate, but the way I communicated with my husband is the way my parents communicated with each other, and let's just say it wasn't a healthy form of communication because we never resolved anything. During the Marriage Works class we immediately noticed a difference! Not only are we able to resolve issues easier and without raising our voices, we are both more positive about our future together and feel closer than we have ever been!

So whether your marriage has run it's course depends on whether you married till death do you part or until the road got bumpy? We went through a tumultuously bumpy road but it got amazingly smooth and lovely further down, but had we given up, we would have never seen the wonderful side of our relationship. It is during these difficult times that the most growth in your marriage can occur and you will realize this too, if you stay committed and do everything you can to rebuild it. This relationship means so much to not only you but your children too!

Good luck. BTW, I liked what Marriage Works! Ohio does for couples so much that I now work for them! Give us a call!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I am not saying other people are wrong but I can say that I fully believe he "feels guilty about the pain he is causing" so wants to move out. My husband and I have been having a very hard time and one big thing I have been struggling with is serious depression and it manifests itself in ways I couldn't have imagined. I often believe that my whole family would be better off with out me, not because I'm a selfish a-hole whose haing an affair, but because I DO NOT want my husband and children to feel the kind of pain I feel. Divorce is a big deal. Don't just jump into it. You cannot help your husband right now but I think this could be an opportunity for you both. Allow him the space he is asking for BUT WRITE DOWN a plan. He HAS to go to therapy. I have finally done that after years of thinking it was complete BS and I am starting to figure out it is helping. I did this because my husband made me do it. We are "seperated" in the sense that we alternate days at home with the kids along with 2 days of "family time". It is helping me to begin to heal myself while keeping our family life mostly intact and peaceful for the sake of our children. Marriage is hard as hell which is why so many peole say "Just get a divorce". If, in your heart, that's what you want than you should. Otherwise it should be the absolute last resort.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Pick up the book Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Is great for all relationships.



answers from Cleveland on

Hello. I am not in the same situation, but I believe you need someone to talk to. My insurance offered so many counseling sessions and I am sure yours does as well. I also talked to someone at my church, before I went to the counseling. Please know that you are not alone and there are people out there that are willing to talk to you. Sometimes you just need someone to listen! Good luck.



answers from Cincinnati on

I've only lived in Cincinnati for a few years so I'm still new to the area. But a few options to look into:

Most companies offer so many hours of free counseling to it's employees and their families-you can look into that.

As far as an attorney and not being able to afford one, you can call Legal Aid ( I don't know if they will be able to help you but it's worth asking and seeing what they say. I've worked with several of the lawyers in the past (work related) and they will go pretty far to help people with their needs.

You can also call 211. It is part of United Way. It's a free hotline where you can call, ask questions and they will help you to find out the information that you have requested or try and help you.

So I know of those two options out there.

Now in regards to your husband, it sounds like he is seriously depressed and needs to see a doctor.

I know he may not want to go talk to a counselor-and I can understand that BUT when this much is at stake I don't really think he has a choice. And you are right maybe the counselor you guys went to before wasn't a good fit, maybe a different one will be better.

In regards to spousal support I am not 100% clear on that but if it comes to a divorce I think you will get at least half because you haven't worked and you stayed home with the kids and then you'll get child support on top of that.

I wish you and your family the best of luck.

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