What Do I Do?

Updated on May 26, 2008
R.P. asks from Kodak, TN
72 answers

I have a problem. I am condsidering leaving my husband. The problem is, we have 2 children. I'm concered about going through the whole custody thing. Do judges really favor the mother? My husband doesn't hit me or anything. He works and thats all he seems to want do do. I have to do everything else, pay bills, do housework, take of the kids, shop, cook, make sure everything is done. He's lazy!! I have talked to him so many times about helping with the kids that I give up up trying to get him to change. He has two other kids in Mississippi that he doesn't call or send birthday cards or anything to. I am his third wife nad am feeling like I got whats left over. He also treats our daughter poorly. He does compliment me but gets mad at me if I put myself down. I am also take a college course in medical billing. I have severe chronic insomnia and don't get enough sleep. I get exausted trying to do everything while he sits on the computer playing game or watching tv. I am really confused. Someone please give me some advice.

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N.Y.

answers from Louisville on

I went thru something similar....my ex husband was very lazy, I did all the housecleaning, childrearing, etc. I didn't work so I thought that was my part. However, I was also 8 months pregnant cutting grass. It was ridiculous! So anyway, I've been divorced for almost 2 years now. My 2 children were 5 yrs. and 6 months when we split up. It was a challenge at times, but I am so much better off now. I just feel like you're only gonna live once, so you might as well be happy.

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R.H.

answers from Raleigh on

A little about me. I am 63 and have been married for 43 years. It hasn't all been roses; there was a ten-year span that was rough enough to ask some of the same questions you are asking. I have read over some of the advice sent to you already. Some is good, Like the one that told you to find an older woman who has a long, good marriage; and some - well, enough said. Divorce is not the answer to all of your problems, and maybe not any of them.

You are very young - and that is not a put down, just an observation. I didn't realize how different men and women are when I was your age.

You have two young children and you are also exhausted because you aren't sleeping. My first recommendation to you is to take at least 24 hours STRAIGHT for yourself to rest. Corral a friend, a sibling, a mom - someone that you trust to take care of your kids for a bit. Trade off with a gal friend, if you can. Give each other a break. Then rest. Take a long walk, get some exercise. Then think. There is a lot at stake here.

You have two children who need two parents. You say he doesn't treat your daughter well, but I don't know what you mean by that. Speech? Actions? If he's abusive, that is something that needs to change. Your husband's actions-vegging out in front of the tv - sounds like escapism. Doesn't sound like he's all that thrilled, either. Maybe, if you find a counselor or a pastor you can both talk to, he would go with you. Having two failed marriages may have convinced him that he's a loser and that he can't change anything. Try. Don't yell, don't nag. Just ask.

Your husband doesn't communicate well at all, but there isn't much you can do about that at this point. You aren't getting to him, either. Resenting him isn't going to help. One thing I have learned is that men don't communicate the same way that women do. You have to get his attention when he isn't focused on something else, and you have to be very clear about what you are saying. NEVER ASSUME that he gets it. (A woman will say that she has nothing to wear and means that she has nothing new that suits the occasion. A man will say exactly the same words and mean that he has nothing clean.) Try to speak respectfully, because one of the things I have learned is that men CRAVE respect. I don't mean bowing and scraping. I mean things like, "You work hard to support us, and I know that working isn't always fun. I really respect you for your diligence in supporting us. Thank you." Sound stupid? Practice it until you can mean what you say; then watch the results. Men generally don't respond lovingly when they feel disrespected. Anyway, try it. Then go get "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerich. In it, he talks about how men listen through blue earphones and women through pink. They see things through blue glasses, and women through pink.If I had taken that seminar 43 years ago, I would have saved us both a lot of anguish and myself a ton of headaches and aggravation.

If you go to get counseling, try to find someone that you can relate to and that doesn't hate men. I have heard of a few female counselors who always assume that emasculating the male will fix everything. Men aren't better or worse than women; they are just different.

I don't know what your reasons were for marrying your husband; they don't matter now. Bet you thought he loved you, and if he did, he probably still does. You have kids with him. Make the effort to learn to communicate with him and make something good out of your marriage. If you can get him to WANT to listen and make it work, you will. You have to try, for your kids' sake as well as your own.

I wish you well. Marriage is hard work, but well worth the effort.

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V.G.

answers from Clarksville on

Rachael

I don't know where your faith lies, but I would suggest a couple of books that you can find at Life Way: His Needs, Her Needs, and For Women Only. They are written by Christian authors and have really helped me, and my marriage a lot. I give God all the glory for turning my marriage around, but these books were tools that he used to help get us where we are today. My husband and I have been married 10 years now and went through a really bad situation when we were in our second year. A lot of what you are saying is going on with you and your husband was what put us there. My husband was a video game junky and would rather play than help and I nagged him and pushed him away. The cycle got worse and worse and we fought a lot. These books opened my eyes to some truths and helped me change my view and my attitude and eventually he came around. One of these books is written by a man and the other by a woman, but they both may show you that all the trouble doesn't lie in your husband. Not that you are at all wrong to feel unappreciated, but you may be doing things you don't realize are making him feel unappreciated also. We are ment to be helpmates to our husbands and partners. I hope that this advice points you in the right direction. Pray. Pray often and with faith. Divorce is a quick fix with a lifetime of baggage. Don't be too hasty!

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S.E.

answers from Knoxville on

From my experience, yes, courts do favor mothers, especially with children as young as your two. However, I would urge you to get a lawyer before you do ANYTHING. Moreover, be aware that any accounts that you are joint on cannot be frozen without agreement by both of you. I tell you this because I was once a teller and I cannot tell you how many times I would wait on someone who came to access their savings and checking accounts only to see them left with only $5 or $10 dollars in the accounts. The spouse had cleared them out beforehand... and none of this is "material" in the court case when the judge is deciding on child support, alimony, etc. As a woman who grew up without her father in the picture, I can tell you that divorce is tough on kids. However, having a mother whose is unhappy in her marriage is worse... and it sends the wrong message to your daughter to stay in a relationship which makes you unhappy. Good luck.

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L.S.

answers from Memphis on

Hi R.,

I usually do not give advice concerning marriage problems, but you seem to be at the end of your rope and could use some help. I faced this problem just a year ago and am grateful now for the advice I was given by a dear Christian friend. I would suggest that you read "Created to be His Helpmeet" by Debi Pearl. If you really are looking for Truth, the best place is in God's Word. You can also get advice from Debi [email protected]____.com She tells it like it is. I was only halfway through her book and knew that God was speaking directly to my heart. My marriage has been saved and my husband treats me like a Queen. I'm loving it!!!!!!!

Sincerely,
L. Sell

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S.K.

answers from Clarksville on

Dear R.,

I am sorry that you are not getting any sleep. My first suggestion would be to get treated for the insomnia. My second suggestion would be to ask your husband for help and be prepared if he turns you down. You have been blessed with two beautiful children and I would try my best to make the situation better without being bitter or resentful. If you are a stay at home mom like I am we have alot to do throughout our day that is just apart of the blessing of being able to stay home with our children. It is alot of work and our husbands really cannot grasp what we go through and we really cannot grasp what they deal with each day to support us staying home. Communication is the biggest and best way to help your marriage. I always thought I was a good communicator but in reality I am terrible at it and I have to work hard at telling my husband exactly what i need for him to do. I have been married to my husband for almost seven years and we have four beautiful children and one coming in Sept. When I started to communicate what I needed from him and what I wanted to do for me our marriage got better. We started to pray together and allow God in our lives. This is such a big part of marriage and if your husband doesn't believe in God pray for him and pray for God to bless your marriage each day. I hope this helps. God Bless you and do not give up.

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J.S.

answers from Chattanooga on

Well, R., I haven't read any other responses so I don't know what other people are telling you to do, but you are in a very precarious position now, along with your children. I survived a very similar situation for 19 years before I finally left. But, don't be hasty. You have to consider whether he loves you and the children, and don't think that you can measure that by what he does around the house or with the children. I do believe in equality in the home, but some men just don't have the stamina to work at a job, demanding or not, and come home and be of much use to the family. I think I might have had more help from my children's father if I had known how to ask for help. I expected him to read my mind and do what needed to be done but he just couldn't, wouldn't, or whatever. If I could have been tactful, diplomatic, and appealed to something in him (and I didn't know what that was) to cause him to feel that helping me with the housework and the children was what he wanted to do, then perhaps my life would have been more pleasant and I wouldn't have suffered in silence or with bouts of anger that didn't accomplish anything. He had his idea of what the wife and mother was supposed to do and what he was not going to do. So we had a cleaning lady once when I worked full time and that helped. I should have hired a babysitter to come in once a week for a night out (with or without him) and stopped focusing on what he didn't do. but it was difficult and I felt our relationship never developed into what I wanted which was more than being the cleaning lady/chief cook/bottle washer, etc, etc.
There were dynamics going on with me that I wasn't even aware of and in the years since I understand where we both were at that time and why it didn't work. I would suggest that you get into some kind of counseling, talking with someone who can help guide you in the way you need to go to try to have a working marriage and happy children. There are a lot of women who are perfectly happy doing what you are doing and never miss a beat, but it doesn't always work for everyone. You are you and deserve to have some kind of peace of mind and enjoy your life. Investigate what you can do for yourself and forget changing him. Communication is the key for all relationships and I just didn't know how to communicate. I'm still not very good at it, but better than I was then. So take heart, don't jump into the divorce stream because it doesn't always solve the problems, or you wind up with more that are worse. Enough said, Jen

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S.A.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi R..
I am a divorced mom (one son). My marriage involved domestic violence, but there were other issues.

Before you jump to divorce (it's exhasuting, hard on you and very hard on kids, and expensive!), you should really step back and look at your options.

First of all, your insomnia needs to be dealt with. Go see your doctor and see if there is something causing it (beyond stress). Maybe your doc can give you suggestions on how to fall and stay asleep (lifestyle changes) or medicine. You also should rule out other medical reasons for insomnia.

Secondly... go to counseling. If he wont go with you, then go alone. An objective third party may help you work through your issues (insomnia, feeling unappreciated/undervalued, overwhelmed) and can help you come to a decision on your marriage.

Even though it seemed like my ex husband did nothing but play video games, once I got divorced I realized that he did do a few things. He did take out the trash to the curb on trash day, mow the lawn, and sweep the garage. Though it felt like he wasn't doing anything, when I suddenly had to do those things I realized that he did do them before. Divorce is a huge life changing event - it really is harder on your own.

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C.W.

answers from Raleigh on

R., there is so much more to consider before making the decision to leave. Have you guys tried marriage counseling? Obviously he is not hearing nor responding to your cries for help. If you were to leave, is he the type to fight for custody? You did say he has other children he doesn't even call. He may not show any interest with getting joint custody. Maybe you could stay with family and he could have the children every other weekend, leaving you free for alone time if he is interested, but then that would require putting in some effort which he probably won't do. I wouldn't worry about the judges, you have small children and they would more than likely end up with you, unless you were a severe drug user or something. Sometimes a person just needs a wake up call. If he sees that you are serious about leaving due to his lack of commitment to help you, maybe he'd start taking things a bit more seriously. But if you decide to stay, things would probably get worse before they get better. It sounds like he may be a little depressed. Good luck to you and don't be afraid of the unknown. Just go for it.

C.

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H.Y.

answers from Charlotte on

have you tried to talk to a Preacher? Do you have one? If not get one and also you can pray, prayer changes things, believe me I know. From divorces to drinking and now i go to Church and I'm a christan. I will pray that God will lead you in the right direction.

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M.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

Well R. it seems like you are in a really tough spot and I have been there before. I am 35 years old and have been married to my husband for 8 years and together for 10 years. We have had our peaks and valleys and many times I thought I would leave. We have 2 children 8 years and 7 years, and the piece of advice I have to give is this: make sure you think things through completely. The grass always seems greener on the other side until you are on the other side. Talking to friends about our marriages it does seem like there are alot of similarities with the way husbands behave. Sometimes they are lazy and some are lazier. My husband does alot of the same but then when I had to decide if he helped I started reevaluting all the times he does help me with and the things he does about trying to make our household run smoothly and our relationship run smoothly too. I guess you have to just look deep within yourself and decide if you are going to put up with it or throw in the towel. Think about if you want to keep putting up with this kind of stuff over and over through the next months or years. Also, think about why your husband works all the time. Is he trying to make a better life for you and your children? Do you want the relationship that he has with his other children the kind of relationship he will have with yours? Being able to support the children is going to be on of the important key factors on making your decision. Do you have family and friends that are going to be able to support you financially and emotionally until you can get yourself off your feet? I wish you all the best I hope this helps a little.

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T.C.

answers from Nashville on

You need to leave him! 2 other women got the message. Think twice again if someone has been married so many times before and ask why? He is selfish and only thinks of himself. My husband pulled the computer game lazy thing about a year ago and I told him I was packing up the kids and going home, He said for how long are you going on vacation for? I said if you don't straighten up I am leaving for good. I was working 4 jobs and doing all the house stuff like you! He got the message! You can also stop doing things for him. Make him cook his own meals, clean his own laundry etc. But I would get out now! Sounds like he will never change. Don't worry about the kids with his track record with his other 2 children you should get custody.

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J.M.

answers from Goldsboro on

Dear R.,
My heart aches for you and your children. I have never experienced divorce but from others I've heard that it is not necessarily better on the other side. You say your husband works and that's all. Well, of course he should do more but the alternative is that you could end up having to financially support yourself and your kids and still have no help. In addition you would have to spend a great deal of that income on child care. You are young and I'm wondering how old is your husband, especially if he's on his third marriage. Perhaps you're not getting "leftovers" this may just as well be related to why his other marriages ended.(?) Some men never "grow up" and play video games and watch TV forever but some do wake up and start to be a responsible and involved father and husband. One major concern that I have is that you may end up in another similar (or bad in a different way) relationship. And the problem with that is the next man could treat your children worse b/c they are not his own flesh and blood. Statistically, children are more likely to be abused by a boyfriend of their mother (who is not the biological father) than by their own father. I can't tell you what to do but I want you to know that it is not always better on the other side. Pray for God to change him and for God to give you the strength to go on and persevere. I don't take your troubles lightly but fear they could increase. Since he is the father of your children he could get mean if you are seeking child support. Praying that the Lord will lead you in your decision.
Sincerely,
Jennifer M.

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R.M.

answers from Chattanooga on

I feel your pain, my husband sat in a corner all day playing his game, ignoring me, the kids, anything but his game. BUT my husband has some issues from going to war (he's currently in Iraq, 3rd deployment, each deployment 1 yr+). Those computer games are so addictive, maybe he should get some help. But telling him "if you don't stop, I'm leaving" just might put him in perspective. And if it doesn't... LEAVE, don't hesitate!!

P.S. Being a single mother isn't easy, but that's what family and friends are for, to HELP (but don't rely solely on them, they have lives too!!), and remember to take time out for yourself!

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T.M.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi Ms P-
It sounds like you already knew the reasons why not to get involved with him in the first place. Anyway......why are you considering leaving him? Have you communicated with him about how you are feeling. What about marriage counseling? It really sounds like you are feeling emotionally neglected. No real reason for a divorce. and if it did come to that, I wouldn't worry about him trying to take your kids. He don't even want the ones in Mississippi.

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S.M.

answers from Wilmington on

They don't really favor anyone anymore. However, it doesn't sound like he would fight you anyway from your description. Bear in mind though, that if you are exhausted now, you will be even MORE so when you are a single mom. Not only will you have to do everything you do now, you will also have to singlehandedly finance your separate household and work full-time. He will still be watching TV and playing video games. Child support is a joke as far as financial assistance goes. Everything is not 50-50. He pays his even amount every month and you pay whatever is really owed. If the cost of the kids that month is way more than than twice what he pays (his "half" plus your "half"), you eat the difference.

Also, the cost of daycare for two children that age will probably cost you more than whatever you will make doing medical billing. If his income less what he pays for his other kids is not enough to pay half your just out of luck. They will only take a certain percentage of his income an dno more regardless of how much things cost you. Not sure what he does for a living, but most likely his child support will not be enough to live on especially if he has other children he's supporting. Add that to your stresses now and it's no picnic. I actually think your money would be better spent getting some counseling. #1 it would be the best thing for your kids if you could work things out #2 it could help you better deal with things in the event that things DON'T work out. Even if he won't go, the tools you may learn in counseling could help you deal better with him in your day to day life. Sometimes, when one spouse sees how much it's helping the other one, they become less resistant and decide to finally go themselves.

Good luck whatever you decide.

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K.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

CALLING NANNY 911! R., is he a good provider? That's a start; certainly not enough but a good start. If this is his third marriage and he has no time for the children, you can bet it was probably "The Problem" in the previous marriages. Don't ya just love these guys who want the little woman at home and ya just got to give her a couple of kids to keep her happy. DAH! It does not work that way, does it? IF communication is open, share your feelings, or suggest counseling expressing your desires to "really make this work". Divorce is just so easy anymore. What are the reasons you fell in love with this guy in the first place? Can you rekindle those old feelings again? Try getting on with your life and the childrens lives and see if he is interested enough to follow along. Microwave dinners in the microwave a few times to get his attention while you are out entertaining the children or classes for yourself. Just a couple of suggestions.

Prayers = Miracles and I will certainly send some out there for you.

Blessings,
K.

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K.E.

answers from Clarksville on

It might appear that a divorce will solve your problems but it won't. It is terribly hard on the kids as well. Try to work out your problems. Try therapy, get involved at church, pray. Don't give up. Life is hard, but you made a commitment to each other, and you owe it to yourselves to work together.

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E.P.

answers from Jackson on

Some things are really hard to deal with and I understand getting mad about him not wanting to do anything but play on the computer, my husband plays a lot of computer games also. I got alot of help in dealing with feelings of not being wantend by reading an awsome book that has realy changed my life. The book is "Created to be his help Meet" by debie perl you can get it from www.NoGreaterJoy.org the book is only $12.00. I would sujest reading it before going through a devorce it can be really hard on you and the kids. you have to askyourself what is better for your kids to grow up without father or for them to have a father who may not do everything you want, but is at least there. I know some of this is hard to hear, it was for me and when i decided that my kids would be beeter off having there Dad there i read this book and worked on my relationship with my husband (I had to do most all of it) and now my husband is always telling me how much he apresates me and trys to help me with things around the house when he gets a chance. Men need to feel like they are realy the head of the house and that they are invalubale to the family, if you can work on things and make you husband feel that way i am sure that you will notace a significant chane in his attentiveness to you and your kids. I hope that this helps you and things work out for you, You will be in my prayers.
E.

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K.M.

answers from Raleigh on

R.,
Wow that is a lot to be going through. I wish I had some fantastic advice to give you, but The most I can tell you is to really analize why you got into the relationship. True Love can cover most things, but you have to be willing to forgive and forget. It also has to be a two sided love-both partners willing to work together.
I also know that prayer changes things, including your heart. Dont be afraid to seek out answers at a local Church. There are people who still care in the world and being surounded by that kind of love can be very reassuring.
I would check with the doctor about your insomnia, maybe a whole health checkup might be worthwhile. Including your emotional health.
I will pray the God sends you some peace and answers, and that you will find a way to make things work out.

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G.B.

answers from Wilmington on

R.,
First off, dont make any decision that can't be taken back when you are exhausted and not sleeping! Go first to a doctor and get help for that. Insomnia itself can be a cause of alot of problems. With a 3 yr. old and 8 mo. old its quite normal to be tired alot but you need to start getting a good night sleep BEFORE any decisions are made. Also please know, the single life with two small children is anything but easy. It's hard and can be quite lonely. I know. I was there a long time ago. Your husband is not obusive so take care of yourself first. Go to the doctor, take the class, if you can afford it get someone to watch the kids for you at least once a week. If not check with a friend or your church. And go do something on your own. Get counseling from your pastor, or a professional. Divorce should always be a last resort not an "option". Sometimes when we are overwhelmed with little ones it feels like we do everthing. When in fact he does work, and may do more than you are noticing. And maybe he needs some encouragement to help with the kids. Nagging wont do it. Sit him down and pour your heart out to him. Let him know how much he is loved and needed, not that he is disposable. Take divorce out of the picture and ask yourself what can I do make this marriage better myself? A good attitude and spirit can be contagious. Stop trying to "change" him! We cant make other people change, we can only change how we view them or ourselves. Try changing your heart first and maybe you will see him through different eyes. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Been there..done that..got out..but we did do couselling first,he changed jobs from truck driving to where he was home every nite.We did try to make it work since we also have two kids.One from a previous relationship of mine and one with my ex.We now have moved on.

My idea..talk to him and say look 'I"m thinking a seperation would be good for us.Let's try couselling.'If he down right says no or wont change in any way to help..next step is go for the seperation.See if that will scare him enough to change but being his third wife I think he just like someone around to take care of him.If not I hope you have family or frieds around that can help you either financially or just to watch your kids while you go to work and/or school..its along road.

AS for the judge these days most time they favor the mother but not always.If he can prove you are unfit and he can provide for the kids better the judge may just favor the husband...good luck...
S. B

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T.B.

answers from Nashville on

R. P,
The first thing you have to look at is your marriage worth fighting for? Second what can you do to change it? You can oly change your life? I know that is easier to say than to do.The judge is going to find what is in the best interest of the children. How old is your husband? I can tell you one thing possession is 9/10 of the law. If you leave take everything. Good luck email me if you want we could talk sometime i can possibly help you.
[email protected]____.com.

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S.N.

answers from Lexington on

Dear R.:
You are a devoted Mother, but before you make any quick decisions I suggest you talk to your minister or a councelor and try to get your husband to counceling. Not many men come equipped with knowledge about being a husband much less a parent. Give him an opportunity to develop his parenting skills, and you can both enjoy your children. My advice for you is to get more rest; it is very difficult to take care of children when you are always tired. The next time your children need something do not be quick to respond, ask your husband to do it. Have a definite bedtime for the children and ask him to help get them to bed so you can both watch TV. When both of you are in a good mood tell him how much the computer is interferring with your lives.
Remember raising children alone can much more difficult than having even a lazy husband. Also try to have an evening out with your husband to dinner and a movie or dancing; remember the reasons you fell in love with him. Keep the communication lines open between you. He may be better with older children than babies and toddlers, and you do not want him to miss being with his children. I know you are busy with the babies but give him some guidelines on how he an help make life better for both of you.
Try to plan a date night with your husband to dinner and a movie or dancing, you deserve it, and he may need that time alone with you. When you are extremely frustrated pray about it, and I will remember you in my prayers today. God bless you.

S. N.

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K.L.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

It seems to me that you should try some counseling first before divorcing. If you think living with a lazy man is difficult, it seems to me that it's worse being a single mom. Try to work out your issues first with a professional or clergy before such a drastic move. Good luck!

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S.K.

answers from Fayetteville on

Hi R.,
You really have a lot to consider, maybe before throwing in the towel on your relationship with your husband you should consider some professional help maybe seeking some guidance and some different coping techniques for you could help. It sounds like your husband just wants to make sure both you and the children are financially taken care of. I do understand at times it can be VERY frustrating not to have your husband around to help ,my husband serves in the Army and gets sent to War torn countries all the time and I'm left alone to raise are son, so not to make your problem seem like it's not important it could be worse. Please know what ever you decide it will affect your children. And yes a lot of times Judges do favor in the mothers side, but if your feeling like your doing everything now just think about if you do decide to get a divorce you will really be all alone to handle everything. I'm by no means taking your husbands side or your side in this matter I just want you to think long and hard on your decision.Maybe once a week or whatever works for you and your husband , you can hire a babysitter and have date night so that you two can reconnect. Whatever you decide Please choose whats best for your children they are the innocent ones in this. Good luck And God Bless S.

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M.K.

answers from Nashville on

Get your medical billing certification competed and have a job lined up that you can work from home...no child care costs !!
THEN OPEN A CHECKING ACCOUNT IN YOUR NAME AT ANOTHER BANK FROM THE FAMILIES. Start putting as much or as little as you can in it. This will be your back up source so that you don't feel dependent on anyone. Get a credit card in your name, but don't spend more than you can pay in full every month to bill up your personal credit. This is a major thing to do. !!!!
If possible, talk to your pastor. Then talk to your parents if it will help. You are too young to be the 3rd wife and mother of 2 in an unhappy marriage.

NOW YOU ARE READY TO DO SOME SERIOUS THINKING. DO YOU STILL LOVE YOUR HUSBAND AND WANT TO SEEK MARRIAGE COUNSELING??
YOU NEED TO TALK WITH YOUR HUSBAND AND TELL HIM YOU WANT TO GO TO COUNSELING. IF HE REFUSES, SEE A COUNSELOR ANYWAY TO HAVE A PAPER TRAIL YOU CAN SHOW IN COURT THAT WILL LET THE JUDGE REALIZE THAT YOU HAVETRIED ON YOUR END TO TRY TO MAKE IT WORK. IT WILL HELP YOU GET CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILDREN. FIND PROOF THAT HE HAS NO RELATIONSHIPWITH HIS OTHER CHILDREN. THIS WILL HELP YOUR CASE.
CONTACT A GOOD LAWYER...ASK OTHER WOMEN WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH A SEPERATION OR DEVORCE. IF YOU HAVE A GUT FEELING THAT YOUR LAWYER WON'T FIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN..FIND ANOTHER ONE. BE STRONG AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

GOOD LUCK !

BETTY
GO TO YOUR DOCTOR AND EXPLAIN EVERYTHING TO HIM. ASK HIS ADVICE.

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M.L.

answers from Raleigh on

Oh Sweet R.,

I can't say I understand everything that you are going through but I can certainly sympathize. I have chronic fatigue and suffer from chronic migraines, so I understand the exhaustion. I also have two young children whom I homeschool, so I can somewhat relate there too.

I'd like to ask you to please reconsider divorce. If you and your children are not in any physical danger, or real emotional danger, please reconsider. Have you asked him to attend family counseling? He obviously cares for you if he doesn't want you to insult yourself.

Divorce is traumatizing to us, and our children. Two separate households, splitting up the children on weekends,and holidays, and having to be a single working parent are very, very difficult.

You're right, your husband should help you when he is home. You're his wife, not his maid. When a man marries a woman he is to love her, and become one with her. While we both hold different roles, neither role is more or less important. It certainly sounds like you are doing your part and working very hard inside your home.

My husband is no where near perfect, believe me. I will say though that no matter how much he frustrates me, I know divorce is not the answer. In world where women's lib is so large, and where our society screams ME ME ME, I'm not saying you, just our general society, I can understand the want to run for divorce.

I can't say the words haven't entered my own mind. My husband is in the miltary and we don't see him much. When he is here he doesn't help much either, and currently I'm not thrilled over his parenting skills (or lack there of). However, I have faith that everything happens for a reason. I also believe there is season or time for all things.

I know marriage is very hard work. In fact it's the hardest thing that I have ever done, next in line is parenting, even though I love being a mother. Back to marriage, I can tell you what marriage is supposed to be is not what we see on tv. I know that children of divorced parents are more likely to engage in divorce themselves.

R., back when you committed to marrying this man you did so for a reason. It was for better or worse. I can tell you that love is an action, and not a easily disgarded feeling, much like the lie this world feeds us. We choose to love, and we choose who we love. I'm sure you posted this question to get a new perspective, and also because you do still love this man despite the current situation.

I think almost every woman goes through a situation like this with her husband. I'd like to ask if I can lift you up in prayer about your situation each day. I'd like to make you a part of my daily prayer life. I don't know if you are a Christian or not. If not, I'd still love to pray for you.

If you've never read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it! It really helped my marriage when we were going thru harder times than what I am experiencing now. It's even better if he will read it with you. You could alternate reading a few pages each night, if he's willing.

I hope I helped atleast a little bit.

-M.

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J.S.

answers from Fayetteville on

I would urge both you and your husband to get marital counselling. If he won't go, you should still go by yourself. I don't know what your faith background is, but I would advise you to talk to your spiritual leader (pastor, Rabbi, etc.) about this.

Focus on why you married him in the first place and other good qualities that he has. Show him respect. Everyday, rather than nagging him about what he doesn't do, tell him something you apreciate about him..."Honey, thank you for going to work and being such a good provider so that I can stay home with our children." You can't change him, you can only change you and how you see him and how you respond to him. It's tough, but when you get through this phase of your marriage, you'll be so thankful that you stuck with it. I don't know how long you have been married, but everyone I know says that the first 5 years are the hardest ESPECIALLY if you have small children during that time. To borrow wisdom from a dear family member: "This, too, shall pass."

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S.S.

answers from Wilmington on

R.,

It saddens me to hear your plight, and how young you are to be going through all of this. I honestly think you two should see a counselor. I think you should tell him how you feel and your marriage is not going to work unless he is willing to see a counselor. I do believe that in most marriages it is not just one persons fault, we are beings of action and re-action. I think you should try to see a counselor. I also believe that if you are united in a higher being, a creator, and you have the same goals your marriage will be stronger. It seems that you are thinking of all the bad things he does or does not do and not focusing on what he does right. We all make mistakes and get stuck in a rut and maybe dont realize what our actions are doing to someone we love.
See a counselor, look at yourself and see what you can do better in the marriage. Do you nag? Do you complain? Is there a better way to confront him, do you constantly point the finger at him? Do you spend time a lone? Do you put the kids to bed early so you can have alone time? Does he feel like you put more time into the kids than him?

You got married for a reason, you must love eachother, dont forget what you promised on that day. To love eachother, through the good times and the bad, sickness and health so on and so on. That is not a promise made lightly, and I dont think you said it lightly. Focus on what you do love, and then talk to him about what you both can change in your marriage to make it work.

You can't change his actions with his other kids, just stay focused on your own marriage. Kids need a mother and a father for different reasons, God made us all and he doesnt have to parent like you, but in his own way. You need to talk, and not blame him and you need to try to make your marriage work.

God bless-
S.

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M.T.

answers from Nashville on

If it is bad now it will be bad tomorrow and next week and next month and next year... in fact it will be worse. One day you will open your eyes and you will wonder where in the world your life went.
Yes... if you haven't done anything bad like an unfit mother.... the judge favors the mother. They think that the small children need their mommies more but he will also give him visitation because they think that it is important to have them in their lives also. If he has visitation, that may be good, he will have to get off his lazy butt and do something. And now you know why you are the 3rd.
You can find someone that will treat you with a little more respect that you deserve.
I would not stay anywhere that I was not appreciated. If he doesn't care.... why not leave tomorrow.
Good luck

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N.P.

answers from Knoxville on

God Bless you. You really sound desparate, tired, worried, and lonely. R., you are trying to do too much. You have the right to some rest, some peace, and some time for yourself. You must get these before you can think straight. It is like you are a single mom with three kids to care for which means that you do more than quadruple the work. Please take a rest. Sit in the sun and read. Go for quiet walks or take your kids to the park. What can he do about it? You are acting like super-woman and it sounds like he has you just where he wants you. The Bible has wonderful scriptures that can bring you peace and prayer can take your cares to The Lord. He wants you to know how much He loves you and that He knows what you are going through. You may want to wait a few months before you leave if that is what you decide to do. If you can get a job working at home, go for it. If your husband isn't willing to help around the house, why should you do everything? If he treats his older children badly, you can bet it won't change. Pray and give it to God. Rest!!!! God Bless you and your children.

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P.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Tough Issue!

Counseling first, if he is unwilling, then that is a big red flag. If he's willing & makes progress, then hold him to it & work through it. Work hard, make him be responsible for his part of the work. If he doesn't put the work in, explain what the choices are & follow through.

IF he chooses to put you in the position of making the decisions, then decide to kick hiss A** to the curb. It will never get better, it won't be good for the kids to see their parents miserable & resentful. DO you want to set the example to your kids that it is ok to be the only parent that works in a relationship? I didn't think so.

If it comes to splitting, it will NEVER be easy, but it will be easier knowing you have yourself only to count on than to be continually disappointed by someone who always fails to do their part.

My heart goes out to you, Make the most responsible choice for you & your kids...

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D.S.

answers from Raleigh on

Hey R.! I am sorry to hear of your discontentment, however, I do not think you need to leave him. I am speaking from experience.

I am married to my child's father and have been for almost 10yrs. I am previously divorced and from a divorced family myself. It is very hard being a mom. I can totally relate to you having to do everything, my husband now travels 5 days a week. He is only home on FRI, SAT, and SUN. It is very hard to do it all. In respect to your husband it is hard for him to work all day and come home to an ungrateful wife. I can say this because I have been there. Being a mom was so hard for me in the beginning, and I hated it! However, by meeting other moms in a smilar situation, I learned to change and in turn it brought change in my husband.

I encourage you not to leave, especially for the sake of those children. They need a daddy. I can already see changes in my child with my husband being gone 5 days a week. Also, since I am a product of divorce myself, there are scars and my sisters are scarred as well. Please seek sound counsel. I am not a counselor, however, I have seen both sides of the tracks-a child's perspective and adult perspective-and it isn't pretty. I will be glad to talk w/you more, give you support if you contact me through email, I will gladly give you a number to contact me if you want.

I will pray for you and your family.
Sincerely,
D. S.

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E.F.

answers from Charlotte on

R.,

I just joined this mamasource today and happened to come across your question. I read some of the responses and although I have not been through a separation or a divorce, my husband and I have severly struggled in our marriage. We have a 4 year old son and a 22month old daughter. My husband owns his company and works from 8am to 10pm Mon-Fri and 8am-4pm on Sat. I am a nurse and work 2 days every other week. And of course I do everything at home. I also plan to homeschool my children. My husband and I have attended two marriage classes at church and attended a one day marriage seminar by Dr. Gary Chapman.. during which with all of these I kept looking for the miracle that God would speak to my husband's heart and cause him to change. What I found was that God needed to speak to my heart first and that I was the one who needed a change of heart and attitude about my expectations in a Godly marriage. I also have the book, Created to be his Help Meet and will be reading it after being able to see the women respond to your question. So maybe you have helped me in this situation. I do know that I have read all of the Pearl's books on raising children and believe that they are truly biblical. I pray that you will consider every other option before you decide whether or not to leave your husband. I know that God plans to prosper us in everything, even the bad things in which we see no light. Our marriage continues to struggle, but I am not willing to give up because God will never give up on me.. He loves you and your husband more than you will ever know and he wants your marriage to not only succeed but for the two of you to show His Glory through all of this in order to help others. I heard once that the road to heaven is paved with knee prints, and I truly beleive this. Continue to pray about this and God will answer your prayers, look to Him and the bible for answers. Seek help of a Christian counselor or pastor or someone you can trust to tell you the truth and not just give you the answer society would give you.. I dont't know that this will help you at all, but you will continually be in my prayers as I pray for you, your husband, the children, and my family as well.. Another thing, so far I refuse to put my children through the turmoil of divorce no matter what my selfish heart wants..

God Bless you and keep you,

E. F.

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J.D.

answers from Greenville on

Hi R.

First of all stop and take a moment to think if you truly love him?

Has he always been this way not helping or has he changed after the children? Has he mentioned why his marriages failed? Remember the grass isn't always greener on the other side! You need to take time and write the good things about him and the bad. When you married him what did you love about him? Just think about this and then make a decision. You alone can only do this. I hope this helps! Good Luck!

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M.C.

answers from Knoxville on

R.,
That sounds like most not all but most homes in America. I am a divorced mother of 1. I have been divorces since my son was 8 months old and he is now 12. My life was like your life only I worked, went to school, did all of the chores, and he was going out on me. I guess the only thing I can suggest is make sure you do everything you can to save the marriage and then you will have no regrets if you choose to end it. As far as court, it depends on the judge. Most cases I know of have ended with the mother as primary custodian of the children. I just think you should know up front. It gets no better once you divorce. Sounds like he has already prooved that child support is not a priority of his if he doesn't take care of them now. You have to think about the finacial stain you will be in and also, from experience. It does not matter if they pay child support, take care of medical expenses, or help provide for the children at all. Even if they drop them at a friend or relatives home on visitation week ends, the court will always give them visitation even if all of the above happens. Unless they harm the children they will get visitation. I have even know of personal friends who have had their children physically abused by a girl friend of the dad and the courts still let them go to their dad's. Divorce with children is not easy and you have no control at all. Just make a list of pros and cons and think it through before you decide. I am not saying you shouldn't. I know my marriage was over and this was the best decision. I am just saying it is hard and believe me the children get the worst end of it no matter how cooperative both of you are as parents. My son did not have a dad in the home from 8 months on. He had no reason to think that it was his fault, but at 4 years old he looked at me and said. Mommy do all daddies leave when the baby is born. He to this day still hopes we will get married again some day. Think hard. Offer counsiling IF you still want the marriage. Then make a decision. M.

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C.D.

answers from Clarksville on

Hi R.-

I'm sorry to hear that you are having a hard time and know exactly how you feel. Leaving your husband is a huge decision - especially when you have kids. I am an attorney but I don't practice family law. But, as an attorney, I think you should first consult an attorney before making a final decision. I can't imagine that you wouldn't be better off, but you never know. I know this may not sound all that helpful, but my best advice is to talk to someone who knows. Some attorneys will give you a free consultation. Furthermore, you can do all of this without your husband ever knowing.........in case you decide to stay.

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L.P.

answers from Louisville on

Well, I have to wonder why you thought things would be different with you, first of all. You had to KNOW what was going to happen, based on the fact that you're his third (!) wife and he already has kids he doesn't call. Get out and get on with your life. You're young, and your kids deserve to see you happy. Make sure they are well taken care of (get a job and don't start dating for a while) and that you don't get into a lousy situation like this ever again.

I have to add that some of the other posts are making me want to barf. I don't care what religion you are, you have a right to be happy. God or whoever did NOT put you here to be some lousy man's "helpmate". UGH. You said he treats your daughter poorly? Well, staying with him is setting her up for a lifetime of being treated poorly by every man she comes in contact with. You can try counseling, and yes it's hard to be a single Mom, but it can be done and done well. My best friend is doing it, and she gets no money from her son's Dad. The guy is living with his Mom and does take an interest in the kid, but he's useless. She babysits her son's cousins and my 2 kids for money and she's in school. Plus her son is on Medicaid. In a year when she graduates she will be fierce and have set a good example for her son about self-respect, for one.

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Try counseling or talking with someone in your church if you have someone you can talk to. I know it must be hard, but don't give up just yet. Why did he split from his other two wives? Maybe you can both take a vacation together like a second honeymoon to help with your relationship, without the kids if possible. Hope that helps.
A.

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A.J.

answers from Nashville on

R.-
I can't give much advice because I haven't been in this situation before but I can tell you the name of someone to talk to for advice. Her name is Muriel Robinson. She is sometimes on talk of the town giving advice and also answering lots of questions. I hear she is in favor of the mother. You may want to consult with her and find out your rights, etc.

Good Luck

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M.G.

answers from Nashville on

I wouldn't worry about custody if you are planning on a divorce. He probably won't even want custody and will end up not visiting like he has done in the past. I would suggest to try to get him to go to counseling. I would give him an ultimatum and say either get counseling or get out. It is really hard being a single parent. I am a single parent. I would suggest finishing your medical billing degree, finding a job, and then make plans for your divorce. In the mean time, I would start saving some money so you have the funds to have some options when the time comes. Unfortuneatly, it takes some time to prepare when you have two small children. I would stop asking him to do things and say I need you to do this or that. If he wants to be married, then he needs to take some responsibility. I used to be married to one just like him. I stopped doing his laundry and picking up after him and for that matter doing anything for him. One day he said I don't have any clean clothes. My response was well, I suggest you do some laundry! And he had to do his laundry or wear dirty clothes!!! Who says you have to take care of him hand and foot. I would just take care of the kids and stop doing anything for him including meals until he decides to help you out!

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M.W.

answers from Clarksville on

R. you have to weigh the pro's and con's of divorce. It is something that does have a ripple affect, but if you are so stressed out in the marriage, staying can be far worse than leaving (which your children are probably detecting your frustration). Search your heart, ask God for direction (know that He wants what is best for you and your children), and have faith that all will work out. I am curious though, did you know your husband's character before marrying him?

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T.H.

answers from Jacksonville on

R.,
Yes, the courts almost always favor the mother. Unless the mother is doing drugs or beats her children or something. But, you really don't need to worry about that. If you leave him, it seems like you'll be better off. He doesn't help you with anything now, so it really seems like you've been divorced a long time now. Hope that helps a little.
T.

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N.P.

answers from Raleigh on

You are a young woman, and life is too precious for you to feel the way you do. The best thing you could ever do is pray and read the bible. Give God some quiet time and he will tell you what scriptures to read, and direction you need to follow. But you have to have patience because God does things on his time either he can tell you right away or he will make you wait. But he is the best solution for your situation, and any other situations that may come up. Have a blessed day.

Nita

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W.M.

answers from Louisville on

Hi R..
I am just going to be frank with you. I have worked with attorneys for more than 13 years doing divorces. In all my years, I see people disillusioned that a piece of paper seperates you emotionally, physically or anything else from someone that you obviously had feelings for and have children with. This guy will always be their father and you will always have to deal with him either by consoling your children when he isn't around of if he visits with them. That piece of paper cannot take him out of their DNA or your spirit. He is there, forever. Your delimma is one many women have. Not to sound cliche', but most men have very similar qualities like these. This battle has been raging for years and will continue. I have been married 17 years, one thing I have learned is the married thing NEVER EVER gets easier. You both will constantly be changing and ever evolving into who you are at that time. I constantly see changes, its a part of maturing. Or for some, one mature's, the other doesn't. What I had to pray for was God, change me. Lord, I can't change him, but I can and want change in my life. Lord, deal with me about the things I need to do differently. He did and He still does. Next thing I know, I see the biggest difference in those around me. Maybe it's how God changes my view, maybe its them changing as well. But what I do know is my vows were forever. Not if it didn't work out, or it's just too hard, for better or for worse. There are times I want to run and hide, times I would love to live without him. Fortunately, we have pressed through those times and became stronger. The difficult times are grounds for growing. As for your sleep depravation, it typically means there are underlying issues for your unrest. It was for me.
I do wish you the best.

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J.W.

answers from Lexington on

You want to divorce him because you are exhausted. Will that change after you divorce him? Does he ADD to your workload? Are you hoping that with shared custody he will have no choice but to take care of his children while they are in his care? What happens when you go out with your friends? Does he take care of his children then? Or do you think he will relinquish custody and you will still have everything to do yourself?

I honestly think you need to get yourself in a better position with sleep, health, etc before you make a decision. Unless - he is truly the cause of your insomnia, etc. Maybe the stress you feel is from TRYING to get him to help. If that is the case, then stop trying. Live for you and the children and not him for a while. If you are too stressed, quit doing his laundery, cooking for him, etc. He's a big boy. Take care of yourself... your children need you.

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C.F.

answers from Lexington on

Before you do anything, I recommend you read an AWESOME book that has the potential to change your marriage and your life. It has done wonders for me. It is called Created to Be His Helpmeet. The author is Debi Pearl. Let me know what you think.

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H.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

It sounds like you are really wrestling with some hard decisions! Look for a mentor, a woman who has been married for several more years then you that you trust and begin asking her advice. Also seek a personal counselor for yourself so that you can really flesh out your feelings in a safe and private environment. These are such important life-changing choices you will be making for you and your children. Then approach your husband, gently, and ask if he will attend marriage counselling with you. Don't give up without fighting for your marriage. You sound like a "FIGHTER!" ;-) Be proactive and your husband just might follow your lead. I have had to lead for many years in my marriage because my husband doesn't know how and it was never emulated to him because he never knew his father. I have found strength for the task in a dear mentor, a wonderful ladies Bible study, volunteering to help others who are in much more difficult circumstances and my family. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

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R.D.

answers from Nashville on

Will he go to consuling? Regardless, you need to. R. d

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K.O.

answers from Chicago on

Been there done that for almost 30 years now.If I had it to do over I would have walked out a long time ago.Do what's best for you and don't stay together for the sake of the kids. In the long run when your sanity is gone,you will wish you would have left.Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Nashville on

Hi R.,
It seems like you have already made up your mind to leave your husband. If you have not and would like to give it another chance, I would encourage you to seek counseling from a professional counselor and or your pastor if you belong to a church. It's difficult to tell someone what they should do about their marriage but it's simple to offer words of encouragement. So I strongly encourage you to do whatever it takes to keep your family together however he needs to meet you half way. Once you have done all that you can do and you know within your heart that you've given a 110% and there is nothing left in you to give, then you do what's best for you. I hope this helps.

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K.S.

answers from Huntington on

Have you tried to get professional counseling...from a marriage counselor or clergy? Believe me, your kids will suffer worse from having their family and home destroyed.

He gets mad when you put yourself down??? Sheesh! What a louse. Sorry, but it's hard to feel sympathy for that. You didn't specify how he treats your daughter "poorly".

Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 but the time to consider the implications of being his third wife was BEFORE you married him. No offense, but you need to grow up and save your marriage and family!

Also, it sounds as though your husband might be clinically depressed and needs professional help personally, as well as from a marriage/family standpoint.

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J.B.

answers from Asheville on

Don't give up on your marriage. No one said marriage was going to be easy. To many people give up and the children are the ones who suffer. Counseling is a big help. I have been married 20 years and my husband and I have been to counseling 2 different times and it's helped us learn to communicate and listen to each other. Please try couseling and if you don't like your counselor find one you do like. Ron Shulby is awesome. Good luck!

D.B.

answers from San Antonio on

This is a big decision and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. It appears that is not what you're doing...you are confused, hurt, disappointed & angry. Those are not good combinations for sure. What was his childhood like? Many times men reflect what they were raised with. If Mom did all the nurturing, housecleaning, child rearing...he'll expect you to do the same and will honestly not understand that you have problems with that. It's not fair but it's fact.

Have you read The Five Love Languages? I swear that helped me understand my husband so much more and for our relationship to change for the better. He may feel that what he does, working hard to provide a safe home, food, clothing and stuff for the family is his way to show love & to help. He wont think twice that you are to do the raising of the children, keeping the home, cooking the meals, etc Check out that book, pray about this before you do it. Divorce is a hard thing for everyone because no matter how much you tell your children it's not their fault, they ultimately feel it is...trust me I know personally.

Blessings to you.

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T.

answers from Chattanooga on

Please think things over carefully before you leave him. He may not do much but he is THERE. He can watch the kids while you cook or clean the kitchen, etc. I know it seems like he doesn't do much (and maybe he doesn't) but things will be harder once he is gone. You won't have anyone else to relieve you. You really will have to do it ALL. As for geeting upset when you put yourself down, it sounds like he is trying to encourage you to feel good. No one wants to hear the person they love say how horrible they are (does that make sense?)

I am not saying you shouldn't leave him. Only you can make that decision. However, if you do you will have to go to work full time, put the kids in daycare (which will eat up a lot of your paycheck), do all the housework, shopping, cooking, paying the bills, etc. You will have to stay home when the kids are sick because they can't go to daycare.

Maybe you could give him specific chores to do at the time you want them done. For example, could you please take out the trach and vaccum while I clean up the kitchen from dinner? Could you please unload the dishwasher while I fold the laundry and put it away? Of course, you could always explain that you will be much less tired and available for intimate time if he helps out with the chores. Tell him it is like foreplay for you. Maybe that will get through to him. Be prepared to follow through though. Good luck.

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T.S.

answers from Wheeling on

You can leave and you will be fine. Judging from your husband relationship with his two othe r children i do not believe that he will give you a problem with custody. He may threaten to use the kids as a way to make you stay(my ex did) but in the end he'll give in and probablly be the nonexistant father that he is with the other two children.

best of luck

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R.H.

answers from Greensboro on

R.: I think you are overwelmed. If you think things are going to be easier if you seperate and divorce, i'm telling you from personal exp.--it is extremely hard --don't look through rose colored glasses. Your comfortable married lifestyle will change dramatically from a financial standpoint. You will only have 1 income and have to fight tooth and nail for child support, not to mention atty fees.
Try to get some help with the housework, or childcare,
Also, try counseling for yourself first, then if he is open to it, couples counseling.

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T.H.

answers from Knoxville on

Seek counseling. I know it is hard living with someone that isn't being supportive but it is hard being a single mom too. I know you think you are a single mom now but it goes to a whole new level when there is not another body in the house. I will also tell you that what ever problems you have in your first marriage you will take into your second unless you get resolution. Seek Godly counseling. The grass on the other side isn't as green as it appears. I only state that if he is not hitting or cheating and I have grown to believe cheating can be worked through if they are willing.

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G.S.

answers from Fayetteville on

Wow. It really does seem as if you have your hands full. I nderstand you 100% because my hubby USE TO be like yours. But it was my fault because that is what i got him use to. Honestly if it wasn't because I was put on bed rest during my pregnancy, nothing would have changed.

In ref. to your situation I would do everything to better your-self first.
1. Seek medical help for your insomnia.
2. Make sure that you complete that medical billing course just in case you end up a single mom.
3. Seek counseling from a :priest, counsilor, chaplain etc.... for YOU!!

Marriage counsiling would be ideal for the both of you however he may not want to go. Go by your-sel. Believe it or not there are times that sometimes that's what you need as an individual to learn how to cope with situations.

Then make a decision on what you would like to do.

Good Luck!!

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K.F.

answers from Greenville on

R.,
You may not like my response but here it goes. Do you work outside of the home? I have a similar situation and I have always looked at what I do as my job. There were times when I had to work and so did my husband and he did not help out much at all at home but I just stuck it through. Now I stay home full time. I guess I look at it as I have the benefit of being there for my kids. We will never have these moments again. I understand the insomnia and feeling like you are doing it all b/c even now I get frustrated with my husband when he does not help out when he is home, but then I remind myself that he is the one that makes ALL the money and I stay home.

However, there was a time that I looked into leaving my husband. The courts do favor the mother. If he is the only one working you would probably get pretty much everything he makes with spousal support and child support.

My advice, see if you can get some counseling. It is the WORST thing you can do to your children to divorce. Try as hard as you can to work it out since that was your marital vow.

Hope this helps!

K.

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R.B.

answers from Charlotte on

I don't pretend to know what you are going through, as I don't have children. My husband and I however did go through a rough patch the past two years and were separated. We are in our early 30s and when we were going through hard times, a piece of wedding advice came to me that actually made so much since. In the traditional wedding vows..."for better or for worse" the worse can be really bad. The world's answer is to give up. I would suggest counseling, and I know a really good counseling place - Rogers Christian Counseling. I wish the best. Blessings In Christ, RB

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C.R.

answers from Greensboro on

I agree with a lot of people on here. Try counseling first. However, when you start discussing your frustrations he still may not understand until he sees what it is like day to day. Along with counseling, look at getting away for a weekend or a couple of weekends. This will give you the break that you obviously need and will force him to be the person solely responsible for the care of the children. This may be the only thing that opens his eyes.

Keep in mind, if you do divorce, you will still be in the situation you are in now as the sole caregiver. Also, please remember that there is no such thing as a perfect husband and a perfect family. Happily ever after is a myth and I think this is why so many marriages fail - people want the storybook or movie ending but it does not exist. I also want to caution you, I remember learning in my college classes that the worst times for children to have their parents divorce are when they are very young (before 5 or 6) and when the are in their teens. However, if you go through counseling and take a couple of weekends off, but he refuses to change - do want you think is best for you and your family. Also, if he is physically, mentally or emotionally abusive you do need to get out. I know that you never said if this was an issue - but if it is, this is not good for your children or you.

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C.K.

answers from Nashville on

R. P,

Honey you need to seek a good marriage counselor. Also, judges don't always favor the mother.

R., I have been married for 37 years and I can tell you that my husband has never been one to do anything around the house. I paid the bills, cooked, cleaned, took care of the children, did all the yard work, etc. It was hard. There were times that I wanted a divorce, but I always considered my vows and the way it could harm my children. Now he has dementia and the doctors say probable Alzheimers and I wish he was like he used to be. I know you are tired, it's hard, but seek God and he will get you through. It's okay to let things go a little, enjoy your children while they are little, they are only young once and they need the memories of mommy and daddy.

God bless you sweetie and hang in there. As long as the good times out number the bad, it's worth fighting for. You are in my prayers.

Love & Hugs,
C. K

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H.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi R.,

I can relate with feeling like your hubby doesn't help out enough around the house and with the kids. As I read your letter, the first thing that came to mind was referring you to Dani Johnson. What she teaches has made a difference in my life. I've seen a couple of marriages healed coming out of her seminar. Some of their stories are in this video:

http://www.workathomeprofitzone.com/dani-johnson-videos

Anyhoo, I am a firm believer in trying to work things out first. If you are still willing to try, sit him down. Turn off the tv or games. Tell him how him not helping you makes you feel. For example, "When you consistently refuse to help me, I feel like you don't care that I'm working so hard. Like I am not precious to you anymore. Like I'm just some maid to you." Make sure that he understands that you are serious.

I'm no counselor, but I strongly suggest getting counseling. And for your money issues (money's the number one thing spouses fight about) go to http://www.daveramsey.com/ We're currently on his plan for getting out of debt. We're communicating more and planning our finances together now.

When you said that you're his 3rd wife that raised a few flags. It is through working through a marriage that individuals grow and break some habits that they wouldn't learn how to do so anywhere else. It sounds like he has some things to work out, but has not found a wife that will stick it out through the growing process with him....or a wife that got him willing to compromise? I don't know all the details, so all I can do is list likely issues.

Sorry if I've gone on too long. If you are not willing to work it out, you probably have a good chance of getting custody.

I pray that everything works out.

H.
~Peachy!
Be Well, Be Free, Be Blessed!

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K.S.

answers from Raleigh on

First off, don't just do it without thinking this out. Alone with 2 children is very difficult! You have to be financially stable. You won't get any help from him. He has allready done this once or twice. Go to a counselor, by yourself first and then, with him. Start putting money aside. You have to have a plan. You just had a baby with him, and baby is little. Daycare costs will be enormous. Finish your course, get a job, and see what life will be like, working and doing at home, all you are doing now. Maybe counselling will straighten him out, if not, you are able to stay home with your little ones, that is a blessing, you need a hobby or something other than what you are doing, to make your life more fulfilling.
Seems like my husband didn't do much to help me either, but I was able to stay home and that was a blessing. Good luck.

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A.V.

answers from Knoxville on

Oh honey! Obviously you were very young when you got involved with him, (and still are), but life matures you really quickly sometimes!

I have never been in your shoes, and hope I never am - but my aunt (who is more like a sister to me), had very much the same kind of husband. She stayed with him even when he ended up CHEATING on her with his es-wife, and finally after 19 YEARS left him last summer!!! He never cared to try to do anything for anyone but himself.

I just wanted to say, if you are his THIRD wife, and he has other kids he doesn't seem to care about, you didn't get what was LEFT over, it was probably always that way. Sometimes we just don't see things clearly at the beginning of relationships, or people will seem to be different and then fall back into old patterns. I am a person that usually does NOT believe in divorce, but I also know that it takes two people to hold a marriage together, and if he isn't trying at all and is not absolutely adoring your (HIS!) children, he is an idiot! Nothing, not even holding onto a marriage b/c divorce is wrong, is worth subjecting your babies to an uncaring, or possibly verbally abusive father. Take care of THEM first, then yourself, and he can take care of himself.

It seems to me that you are an amazing person, that would put up with SO much more than I would, and do it all for those you love. But DO NOT teach your children to let people treat them that way. I can tell you from experience, that there are WONDERFUL men out there, that love to take care of their homes and families and play with their kids, and not just work. Too many people fall into the trap of working, making money, and let priorities go. But if he cared enough about his family, he would have already tried to "fix" things when you have talked about it before.

Whatever you do, pray about it, make a plan, pray some more, follow through on everything, pray even more, and keep loving your children! They will be far better off with a single, but loving parent, than with two - one who couldn't care less, and one who is too tired to show them love and/or becomes bitter about it all in the long run...

You will make it! Just keep the faith!
AMV

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S.C.

answers from Charleston on

I have to agree with Lisa P regarding many of the other posts, especially the one pointing you to the book "Created to Be His Help Meet". What a bunch of... well ok, if you're the kind of woman who wants to be subservient to her husband to save your marriage, that book is for you.

A passage from the book excerpt "A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient. When she has won his confidence, he will treasure her to the extreme."

I'm sorry, but GAG!!!

Being married is a two-way street. It's NOT just up to the woman to make up for the shortcomings in her husband. Now, I'm not saying you should leave him. The stuff you were saying didn't really sound THAT bad to be honest.

Is he abusive to you and/or the kids? (verbally counts) Do you love him?

The bottom line is whether or not you really WANT to be with him. If you want to make things work, do try to talk to him about the problems. See if he would be willing to help you out a little. Frankly, my husband doesn't help me out at all either, and we have big issues, but I wouldn't leave him simply for that... it's just not a big enough issue to me.

You will know what's right for you. Asking other folks' opinions on your marriage/love-life is almost always a bad idea.

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D.F.

answers from Jackson on

As a recently divorced mother of two, I urge you to do everything possible to save your marriage for the sake of your children. Have you tried counseling or talking with your pastor? It is extremely difficult to go through a divorce for adults and even harder for the children. That being said, if you do decide that divorce is your only option, if your husband isnt caring for his other children then he will probably not fight you for custody of yours.

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A.W.

answers from Louisville on

Do everything you can do before you leave. Go to counseling even if he doesn't go, it might inspire him. Remeber to put God first and pray. The Bible says that God promises us that he will NEVER give us anything that we can't handle....He just gives us the opportunity not to handle it HIS way. My Husband and I have been married for 7 years and have 2 daughters. He does work alot usually for 10-12 hrs per day. I do everything else and sometimes I wonder why he doesn't help. But I have come to realize that spending what little time I have with him and our girls is more important than him doing laundry or dishes. Try to tell him how you feel but without nagging. Prayerfully consider the appropriate time and manner to address the issues so that he will be the most responsive. We had huge problems in our 2nd and 3rd years but my husband did change...not so much change but his eyes were opened to how important I was to him and consciously trys to be in the relationship and not just working. Hang in there. God is on your side. I will pray for you and your family.

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E.R.

answers from Chattanooga on

hello R.,
the best thing i can tell you is to read Created to be his help meet by Debi Pearl. if you want to email me your address i will send you a copy. my email is [email protected]____.com I am just so glad that i read it at the beginning of my marriage. all the women ive talked to loved it and saw it totally change their marriages. I think you should try everything before you get divorced. just let me know if you want it or you can find it real cheap on amazon.com. Ill be praying for you regardless. E.

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K.N.

answers from Jackson on

R., first let me tell you a short story.I begged my hubby for 7yrs,ti pay attention to me,to make tiem for me,to going ou with friends, just sny thing to let me know he cared.Well one day close to thansgiving when he got home from work, i hit him with a "ok the time is over,we are getting a divorce". I knew wat he wat he was going to say.Why,when, and we dont ahve the money.We baby i got the money,how, i been saving up for it.ok,then when are we going to go to a lawyer, becoz i cnat afford one right now...well R.,we did getr the divorce, my kid swere all grown,had one sti;; at home .R. wat im tring to say is htis.IF U HAVE A HUSBAND THAT LVOES YOU,AND DOESNT BEAT ON YOU,OR RUNAROUND ON U .....PLZ STAY WITH HIM.Becoz one day you mihgt find out that he was the best thing for u,Life isn't easy at it sbest.but when oyu find ur self alone , then u will wished so many things that u cant sleep,eat or drink any thing.i wish my ex was still alive,yiu see he died april ,18th,2007,with cancer.and do i ever miss him..so plz dont let this happen to you. women are strongr than men.women have always had to tke the backseat ,where men are concerned.sweetie well all i can say is this...i had to work 2 jobs , still , take care of my kids ,cook,clean house,bill paying and any thing else that had to be done,by myself.R., i'll be praying for u and ur hubby....Gods blessings on u and urs........

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