Marriage Is Failing, Husband Wants to Move

Updated on January 18, 2013
J.M. asks from Colchester, CT
32 answers

My world is being turned upside down and I'm in need of support from every direction. My husband and I have been married for 13 years and have 2 young children. We have been unhappy in our marriage for many years but have had some good times as a family and a couple. We were both laid off within this last year and have had family stressors all along. Most recently, I found out my husband has made contact with women online and has spoken to some or many. He has pretty much come out to say that he wants a seperation and that we are not compatible and deserve to be happy if that means being apart. He has been going online for years and I believe wishes he was someone else living some other life without his wife and children. He says he wants to up and move south since that is where he has always wanted to be. Except, this time he wants to do it without his family. He has always been perpetually angry and unsatisfied with life and people in general, literally, he is very angry and gets physically angry, yelling at the kids and me constantly. his way of dealing with this is going online and getting support and compassion from strangers. Don't getr me wrong, I have played a part in neglecting this marriage from time to time, but have always tried to keep us together and me a good mother to our children which he has always believed in. I'm willing to work on our issues as I have been in the past, but he has never been fond of seeing a therapist and would rather not spend money on them. basically, he wants to find a job in the south and move there on a trial basis and see if he likes it, meanwhile, wants me to stay at home with the kids and start a new job. If he likes it down there, he may want us to join him???? I have said that our marriage in it's current state could not survive such a move at this time, and it could mean the begiining of the end since we're almost at that point now. But he insists that he needs to move first before wasting time on seeing a therapist because in the end he wants out of this state. I'm shocked at this because he has always been a very moral, value drivin, family first type of person. I'm wondering if I should just let him go, but not sure how this will impact me legally and emotionally. I have been forced to take a much lower paying job so that I can at least work and get health benefits for our children. I cannot pay our mortgage on my salary, nto take care of my children alone. I have told him that I'm willing to fight for this marriage but he's still very very resistent and insisting that he needs to make this move or he'll continue to be msierable!! help

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So What Happened?

I cannot thank you all enough for your responses. I have never reached out for support online, but now I'm so happy I have. This last week or so has been the hardest of my life and although I feel like I'm sort of emotionally stronger then my last writing, I know the road ahead is going to be extremely difficult to say the least. Much has happened since my last writing. My husband has no immediate plans to move as in the next few weeks, but ultimtely, wants to move south, and yes, he confessed that he met someone from out of town and spent 3 hours with her and this has changed him?? apparantly, she payed attention to him and this opened his eyes as to how awful our marraige has been over the last 13 years. He became obsessed with her and tried to reach out to her, but she doesn't want to be involved with a married man and has told him to seek counseling for his marriage. BAsically, he doesn't know if he wants to be married and is in a deep depression and midlife crisis..I know all of this because I have found a blog he has been keeping and it's all there in writing. The trust in our marriage has been broken and I don't kow if it can be repaired, he has said that he did not accept her advances that night, but I think he wishes he did. He says I'm being too paranoid and I need to get over these trust issues, he says he did nothing wrong as he did not cheat on me. HE says he doesn't want a divorce right now, but doesn't know if he wants to be married. So much has happened and I'm so conflicted, not so much as to why I would want to be married to someone who doesn't know if they want to be married to me, as I deserve better, I guess at this point I can't decide when I need to file for divorce..I don't want to make this easy for him as he should not be able to just get up and go and not have the emotional guilt of the chidlren. I did go see an attorney last week to learn my rights, it was helpful, but I'm not ready to put my kids through all this change at least not until I have gotten stronger. He needs to get a job as he's in between jobs right now, and altho he's responsible for child support, I can't get blood from a stone. He has been the bread winner and makes much much more then me. I don't have an immediate financial issue, but I need to protect myself and my kids. I have survived my first week bac to work and it felt great. I will be enrolling myself and kids on insurance plan and seeking a therapist for myself. I have the support of my family and friends, but I'm physically sick from feeling this way.

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answers from Dallas on

I agree with some of the others. You need to let him go. It sounds like you are the only one willing to make it work and that won't work. It takes two committed to making it work. You know, he may go and realize the grass isn't greener. On the other hand, once he's gone, you may find that you don't really want him back.

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4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Tell him if he leaves you will be suing him for desertion. He is not a good guy. Most likely he has a honey somewhere and if it works out with her, he won't be sending for you. Get a lawyer. Go to a womans shelter and talk to them.

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answers from Honolulu on

Get a darn smart and aggressive Lawyer.
Get smart.
Do your homework.
How the hell, does he expect you do handle ALL the mortgage/health insurance/child costs, alone?
This is like abandonment.
His moving to wherever, is a "separation."
And yah, how will that all impact you legally?

What IF, you CANNOT even contact him, once he does move? Then what? HOW will you, even get anything signed by him or approved or followed up on, AND per anything legal or per accounts or joint accounts etc.? Much less about child support.
AND what if, he wipes your accounts clean, or leaves tons of debt for you to clean up...when he is gone? What will you do? He could just disappear. And not even tell you where he is. (My friend's Ex, did that to her).
You need a Lawyer.
Get smart.
Take control of this situation.
Don't let him control it.
Tell him if he goes, he can't expect you to just wait.

You cannot trust him.

DOCUMENT EVERYTHING and do not tell him.
Get a journal and note down all passwords, account numbers, scan it and make copies etc. Do it, NOW.
AND note down his Social Security number too. And make a copy of his Driver's License.
Do all of this, WITHOUT him knowing.
Because if he disappears, you can probably locate him, this way.

You really need, to be able to track him... should he move away and disappears.
Hope you also have a current photo of him.

*ETA: you said "he wants to find a job in the south and move there on a trial basis and see if he likes it, meanwhile, wants me to stay at home with the kids and start a new job. If he likes it down there, he may want us to join him????"
BUT, you need to remember, this is NO guarantee. Of anything. It is just talk. He... could move down there. And have his own life. Not even contacting you nor the kids. And, he could very well cancel his cell phone number and then not even tell you. Then, with no phone number, you cannot even contact him. Nor know where he is, unless, he tells you.
And what about any mail, of his? Will he even tell you of a forwarding address? Or he might just give you a P.O. Box number. You can't contact him that way. Nor know where he is.
Sorry, but it seems pretty obvious, he is abandoning everything. Oh, but he wants you to get a job and stay home with the kids. And basically handle everything at home, while he blows off all his responsibilities.
And if you have the kids and have a job and are so busy, he knows you can't just leave.
You better get professional answers to all of this, because there will be lots of legal, problems. And bills and money problems. Because, he will not be there.

I certainly hope, you know his family well enough to contact them for info, should he leave and you can't contact him.
And, did you TELL your family... all of this???
You should.

Your Husband is leaving. Face it.
But, if he divorces you, then he will have to pay child support.
So if he does it this way, with the excuse that he is moving and looking for a job etc., he doesn't have to pay child support, because you both are still "married." Not legally divorced.
Get a Lawyer, now.
Before he leaves.
He is leaving you, stuck with the kids, a house mortgage which you cannot pay, and bills and debt.
Does your Husband, realize you will lose the house?
Does he want all of you to be HOMELESS?

There is no guarantee, he will contact you once he moves.
And he doesn't have to answer, your calls.
What then?
You will not be able to contact him, at all.

18 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

" I'm shocked at this because he has always been a very moral, value drivin, family first type of person."

NO, he is NOT. He is talking to other women online (and doing God knows what else,) he gets physically angry, yells and berates you and YOUR children. This is in NO WAY a family man, a moral man, or a value driven man. If he were, those things would never happen. He is a jerk, and you don't even see it. He doesn't care about you. Do you think he doesn't know moving will mean the end of your marriage, and that you won't end up there?

You NEED to speak with a lawyer. If he leaves and you divorce, he owes you support. He owes you support, if you don't divorce. You really need legal counsel, and I strongly believe you need counseling by yourself. You can't see how dysfunctional and terrible this marriage is. Who cares if he won't go? You should. Please seek counsel, both legal and emotional.

17 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

You need to talk to a divorce lawyer. I really mean it. He is stringing you along. He's not going to be faithful, and you don't even know if he'll pay child support.

Go talk to a lawyer and get your ducks in a row. He is leaving you. He just isn't being honest about it.


14 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This may be my reading too much into the situation, but are you sure there isn't someone down south that he wants to be near? Just asking since you said he has talked to others online. So sorry, wish I had something better to offer you. This is undoubtedly very sad for you and your kids.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This is a man who wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to leave, most likely present himself as a single man, walk away from his obligations and string you along where he can come back to you if he decides being single isn't so much fun and so that you don't get a court order for him to pay child support and split finances. Call a lawyer, file for divorce and consider it good riddance.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

He not only wants "out of this state".....he wants out! Please ask him what he is willing to do (financially) for you and your children...BEFORE, he makes the big move to insure you will not be asked to leave your home.

You must also seek a plan of action based on your capability.

It's a sad and scary situation, but it isn't as bad as living in a house where you know there is NO love and NO commitment.

May God keep you strong and able to be there for your children. Your husband is "clearly" unable to do for his family.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

"If he likes it down there, he may want us to join him'??? "May" are you freaking kidding me with that??

If it were me, and my husband wanted to ditch us that way, I would show him the door!

Make sure you know his SS# (I know my husband's by heart) so the child support registry people can find him...b/c chances are once he gets settled he is NOT going to be in much contact with you, IMO, that is.

Sounds to me, that he has found someone online who lives down south...

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I love my husband so much.

But I love myself and my daughters more.

If he wanted to leave our family I'd pack for him!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Madison on

It sounds to me like he met someone online who lives "down South" and wants to move and see if things will work out between them but wants to keep you "on the line" just in case things don't work out.

You deserve better. Do you want to be his fall back? Or do you want to let him go to figure out his own life? I would think about myself and the kids and make sure you guys are set/able to take care of yourselves. If he won't even consider therapy--then for him, it's already over. You can't have the cake and eat it too. Or have the grass on both sides of the fence.

No one can make your husband miserable but himself.

Please see that you and the kids are safe, secure, and have support. If he is adamant about moving, then make sure you have a divorce secured and all the issues/house are taken care of before he leaves.

In the end, only you can decide if you want him back after he's gone south to sow his wild oats.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on


You marriage is 'failing' it is failed. Your husband is a verbal and emotional abuser. You have spent years placating him in the hope of controling his bad temper. Unfortunately you cannot control his temper he has to do that himself and it sounds as though he is currently unable to do that. You have kinda been going on in life with rose colored glasses on for years. You only see what you want to see in him.
He is communicating with other women online, you don't know if he is physically cheating but he is emotionally cheating on you. Now he wants to abandon you and your children and you are making up excuses for him. it's time to see your situation for what it really is **** he does not now nor has ever really cared about you or his own children****. His family means nothing to him and he shows that by being emotionally checked out of your marriage for years. Now he is physically checking out.

Let him deserve so much better.

Get your ducks in a row. Compile all legal documents mortgage documents, marriage certificate, birth certificates for everyone, including him, social security numbers, banking and credit card statements and tax returns. If he needs copies, let him figure it out.
Then find a good attorney and file for a divorce. He should have to pay child support and maybe maintaince for you until you can sell the home and move to a place more affordable. BEFORE he leaves talk to an attorney. Find out how you go about compelling him to pay child support from another state. You need to find out exactly how all of this can be put in place so you and the children are protected.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

If you want to work on your marriage and your husband doesn't then there is nothing you can do.
It sucks. I am sorry.
It almost sounds like he wants to move south to meet someone?


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I would take this as an opportunity to get happy. Let him go.

Make sure you sell the house before he leaves, or that it gets transferred fully into your name (then you can sell it on your own terms).

Once you get this negative energy out of your life, good things will start opening up. There is help at churches and shelters if it comes to that -- enlist all your friends and family in being on standby for you and your kids.

Good luck. It is hard to change but you can spend the rest of your life in a happier state, regardless of finances.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

This happens a lot with people that meet on the internet. You believe they are the people they put out there and more insidious they start to think they are the person they put out there.

Generally reality hits them when they act on it but some people are too stubborn to admit they were stupid.

Thing is the only way to introduce him to reality is to let him go. I suppose you could take him back when he realizes he is stupid but I wouldn't recommend that unless he gets some therapy.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

you cant stop him from going.. it sounds pretty miserable with him there with you.. let him go ... give him your blessing.. folks that are unhappy in one place are usually unhappy no matter where there are -- so i bet he will be just as miserable in any southern state.. you have to take care of you and your kids.. get a job that can support you and make the best life for you.. hugs..

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

You can't be miserable & expect things to just fall into place after awhile.He wants this say fine go i'll help you pack he isn't giving you a fight on the children which is a very good,you'll have residential custody of them.Don't even ask at this time to have him sign over his parental rights unless he brings it up.Set a payment plan to receive money from him monthly if not then I would seek a lawyer.He is wanting this you don't think this move will help the marriage what will it's this way that way unless the two of you come to an agreement on seperation & you seek a therapist for yourself & seek therapy for what outcome may come of it in the future.If it were me i'd say go see ya ADIOS

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answers from Phoenix on

Anyone who wants to save their marriage DOES NOT move to another state. Period. End of story.

Yes, YOU CAN care for your children alone. You are not the first woman to endure this and you will not be the last.

Please know that you are worth more than this. You CAN start a new life without him. You and your children deserve all the happiness in the world.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I know money is tight, but even if you have to borrow or get help from family - get an experienced divorce lawyer NOW. Not later, now. Counseling or therapy is not going to happen and you know it. He is trying to have what he wants (moving, leaving you) and still keep you on a leash just in case his move is not all he thinks it'll be. (And it will not be! He is always unhappy and will find for the rest of his life that what he thinks will make him happy doesn't.)

Do not let him use you like that. Tell him: "If you are determined to move without us, you are leaving your family and we are getting a divorce; this is not just some idle threat but a fact: You are abandoning us but want us to hang around here as your backup just in case your move does not work. I will not live just waiting to see what you want to do. You have made a choice and must live with it. I have an attorney and here are the papers."

You must get a good lawyer to ensure that you get alimony and child support, and you must ensure that YOU keep your children. Is your soon-to-be-ex the type who would fight for custody just to spite you? Only you know. It sounds like he wants to be a single man again, but he could suddenly decide he wants your kids just to get at you for daring to divorce him. Get your finances together and in your name as much as you can, tell close friends what's going on (in case he gets abusive and you have to flee) and get a lawyer above all else.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If your husband moves out you can get free child care, you can get lots of money to pay for you to go to college to get a better paying job, you could get a different house through some low income housing programs, medical cards for you AND the kids, you can get all sorts of financial assistance through different programs. You'll probably be better off financially with him gone. If he is ordered to pay child support you'll even be better off.

You do need to have a good job, one where you can support yourself and your children on your own.

I do suggest that if he moves that you sort of force the issue of a legal separation. This will lay out the terms of your financial responsibilities. He'll be responsible for certain bills and for some other support. He should carry you and the kids on insurance through any job he gets one way or the other. He will have to go by the court order or he'll be in contempt.

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answers from Denver on

Wow- so sorry you are dealing with this. It's so easy for us to say this looking in from the outside, the truth is this may be the biggest and hardest thing you ever have to do. But seeing this from my perspective, which echoes many already given, I feel like you need to let him go. And prepare for the worst.

Let him move, but I would recommend a legal separation. If he gets into debt or trouble wherever he lives, you can't afford to have that affect you later on. If he is committed to trying this new life out, these are the terms. And make an agreement of what he will do to support your current living situation, but be prepared that he will flake. What is your plan B? If he stops sending money, where will you live? What can you do to know that you can take care of you and the girls on your own. It's great if he still sends support, but be prepared that he won't, and you'll sleep better knowing that you are strong and will still be JUST FINE.

Use the time that he is away to re-evaluate things. Yes, maybe some counseling of your own? Or at least, don't just spend the time waiting to see what HE wants to do, use it to determine what YOU want to do. What are your terms for taking him back should he decide he misses you? What needs to change for you to stay together? What is the plan of action to make that happen? Are you willing to move? What happens if you do move down there only to find your problems have followed you there (which will happen)? Ask yourself some hard questions, and don't let him drive the bus on this. This is your life, please make sure to take charge of it for you and your girls.

Hugs and prayers for you. I hope you can gather the strength to deal with this. Again, I know we are listing it out like it's a simple to-do list and it couldn't be more difficult. Good luck to you.

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answers from Kansas City on

I say let him go. If you don't let him go now, he will leave eventually. However, since HE wants to leave...he leaves with his clothes and vehicle! That's it! You keep EVERYTHING!

I would also suggest selling your house. You need to find a place that you can afford on your own. It sucks, but you can't assume he'll send you money.

I am an advocate for counseling! And, your children will need it too. It's not a waste of money:) Do you fix your own car--no you probably use a mechanic; do you fill your own cavities--no you probably use a dentist. Mental health is very important. You might see if you can go through a church--it might be more affordable. Did you check to see if your insurance pays?

Best of Luck!

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answers from Boston on

Before he makes any move. You and he need to make sure you are secure with money and can take care of your children. If you need to sell you home do it before he leaves. He needs to consider you and the kids before any move is made. Make sure you have his SS number. Start putting money away NOW. Do not tell him your doing this. I would start my own plan before he thinks he is taking off. Even if he does counselling, wants to work on things. Make sure you have your own plan in the works!
If he wants to go, let him go but I would stay until the summer starts so not to interrupt the kids lives in school. He does need to think of them first. This will give you time to sell your house, take money and put it away for yourself. Believe me do not think for one second he is not doing the same thing. He is probably saving for a his get a way. Sorry if this hurts you I just want you to be prepared. If he is talking to women already, he has already left.

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answers from Portland on

Honey, I am so sorry for your situation. YOU need to get to counseling NOW so that you have someone on your side to help you through this split. Even if he decided to go with you, you need your own for you so that you can be the best mom to the kids that you can.

Listen to what all the other women are saying: he is not happy, he does not want to be there, and he doesn't want to stay with you and the kids. By making or encouraging him to stay you are putting yourself and your little in ones in harms way. He is physically abusive? emotionally abusive? (that one is worse in a lot of ways and takes a lot of therapy to get over). Let him go, but cover your own butt first.

Do not let him walk on you anymore!!! TAKE A STAND for yourself and your kids. We will be here for you.

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answers from Washington DC on

wow. that's really hard.
i feel for you. but i don't see how it can possibly work if he's this checked out already. there's no way for one person to save a two person relationship.
even if it hurts your heart, talk to an attorney. you can't make him work on the marriage, but you can make him take care of his family before he lights out to find himself or meet online women or loll in the southern sunshine or whatever it is he thinks he wants to do. you'll almost certainly need to work, but it's his responsibility to provide health insurance or pay your mortgage or SOMETHING to care for the family he's abandoning.
let him go, hon, and protect yourself and your kids.
i'm so sorry.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

before he leaves go to court and draw up child visitation papers. you can do that free. you can have it state that he can not move the children out of state. My brother had papers drawn up for free before his ex moved out of state that stated that he was the primary custodian and then she was not to move her children in with a man in the first year of them visiting.

let him go. how could you want tobe with someone that MAY want you to move there. if he wants back in and you want him back then he needs tons of counseling to fix the problem that drove him to leave

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answers from Las Vegas on

Sometimes people change their values. My brother in law of 23 years ALWAYS insisted people need to be loyal, take care of their family, stay married, bla bla bla.

When my sister was going through her divorce I finally learned that he was having a baby, but she wasn't. The baby turned out to be a drug baby, so the state took it. My sister divorce him before the mother gave birth to that baby, but I learned their were at least 3 other stories to go along with that one. She also found the neighbors panties in her bed. In fact her kids knew about the baby's mom before her.

Sadly the second life he was living didn't last. He had a second baby with that lady and then they split up before that baby was born. He remarried another woman that he met while out partying. I have watched him at family functions, kick himself while he looks at my sister. He won't say it, but he just has a look that says, I know, I know.

You may just have to let him go live his life, before he does it anyway.

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answers from San Francisco on


I am so sorry. I think the best thing you can do is let him go. Ask him to provide $ each month for the kids and you to be able to live and do it for a trial basis maybe 3 months and then re-evaluate where you guys are. I think if your husband hasn't given up on everything, that he will hopefully miss you all terribly and want to work things out. If not, you will see the man he has become that would leave his wife and kids and start over without them. I really hope that he will be the right, best man for you and your kids. Give him time to see if you are all worth fighting for. I hope he makes the right choice. Hugs to you--Hang in there and stay strong.

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answers from New York on

Problem with your husband is that he thinks the grass is greener on the other side. If you really want to save your marriage, let him go. The best advice ever given on when flying a plane. The flight attendant says if the cabin depressurizes the air masks will deploy - for those of you traveling with young children put the mask on your face first then tend to your child.

Your marriage if going down. He isn't interested in sinking with the ship. He wants out and you shouldn't want to be with a man that doesn't want to be with you. Your children deserve better than that so let him go.

I would get counseling for yourself if I were in your shoes. Another perspective should be helpful. Also sit with an accomplished attorney and find out your rights and your children's rights. If you do not have the money for an attorney, you must figure out a way to get it together. Think of this as insurance for your future and your children's future.

To save your marriage you will need to become a different kind of woman. The kind of woman that respects herself enough to not allow any man to walk over her and mistreat her in any way especially in front of her children. To save your marriage you must not be afraid to loose your marriage. You must toughen up. Do you want to see your beautiful babies in relationships like this one? Children tend to live out the same experiences they saw growing up. Don't let this happen to them. Get yourself some oxygen first and then tend to your babies. If hubby wants out let him go and don't look back.

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answers from Cumberland on

Let him go-just tell him that your life stays intact. The problem isn't you, or the marriage, or the responsibility, or the children, or the location, etc-the problem is that there are women in the world that think it is okay to swoop in and undo your marriage and family. These losers actually think they are going to "fix" everything-because you haven't done enough???!!! In less than two years-your husband will be praying to die-and you probably won't want him back, and who would blame you? Best of luck-you are going to need it.

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answers from Burlington on

He sounds like he's suffering from depression. I'd suggest a naturopath and not a regular physician. Of course, most insurance companies don't cover them - Blah! Good luck.




answers from New York on

honestly to me it sounds likee he wants to test out what life would be like without his family and find out wether he likes it or not.. sounds like if he does, it means a divorce and living away from all of you.. and iif he doesnt like it he thinks he can go right back and be a family again... how is that fair to u and your kids at all??? hes being selfish.. is he willing to go to counseling??
does he know all of your concerns? does he know you cant afford to stay in your house with the kids if he leaves? you guys really need to have a serious talk.. dont argue dont get loud but he needs to tel u in detail what the heck he plans on doing and whats going on in his head!

Next question: Husband of 20 Yrs Leaving Me & Our 3 Kids for Another & Leaving the Country