I don’t want a divorce, but is this the end?

I am thinking about ending my marriage. He continuously leaves when it gets hard or challenging by either physically leaving or having more affairs.

I have two daughters and I think it’s worse for them to see a father that can’t commit to his spouse.  I don’t want my daughters to see that as their model and choose partners like that in the future.

My question is how do you know when it is really over? Also, I know the research says two parents together are better but if you are continuously fighting, is it really better?  I don’t want a divorce; I can live with a chronic cheater like Elin Nordgren or Maria Shriver. Also, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being there when the World Trade Centre fell, how hard is divorce?

Lastly, I just feel like I will never be able to love anyone again. Do I want to keep wasting my life on this guy?

3 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Holding a marriage together is so, so hard. Divorce always seems like it would be easier because you get rid of the spouse. But you don’t. In fact, your spouse has more control over you because he has less incentive to negotiate with you or share money with you.

    In the case of a divorce, you will likely have to share custody with your husband. It will make your life hell. You will have little control over your life because you will have to schedule everything with your kids around him. He will control your schedule, your bonding time, everything that he controls now.

    You, as a single mom who will have to work, will have very little time to date. And really who wants to marry someone who has two kids to raise and an ex-husband who controls the schedule? Statistically only someone who needs your money.

    But your husband will easily remarry because that’s how life is, even though you probably think he won’t. So, you will be co-parenting with your husband and his new partner instead of just your husband. I don’t see how that would be an improvement.

    You are not a billionaire housewife with a cheating husband. You probably don’t have enough money to get a divorce and set up two households. And you may not even have enough money for your husband to court other women. Get a stronger hold on the money and give him spending money. It’s no fun to cheat with no money.

    I have a feeling your marital problems would go away if you would take responsibility for controlling the family finances. You would have to do that if you got a divorce. It’s a lot easier to do it without getting a divorce.


  2. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    Emotionally, this marriage has already ended. He’s not treating you with kindness and respect, and you can’t have a relationship without kindness and respect.

    So at this point, you need to protect and care for yourself and your daughters.

    I would recommend meeting with a divorce lawyer privately to learn what your options are. Divorce is a really fact and state specific area of law, so you need to talk to someone who has a lot of experience and really knows the family court system where you live. Don’t assume that you know how custody and finances will turn out – go talk to someone who has seen a lot of clients through the process, and get a professional opinion.

    You don’t have to get a divorce if you don’t want to. But you deserve to choose what you will do next, and how you want to live your life.

    If you get a divorce, your home (however humble) will be your own, your time with your kids will be your own, and you may also have some time that is truly just yours when the kids are with their dad. It will be hard, but so is what you are doing now.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Good luck with your next step.

  3. Amy D. Kovach
    Amy D. Kovach says:

    My husband was chronically depressed and rage-y and emotionally shut down. I divorced when my 2 daughters were around 13 and 10. I did not want to remarry until they were grown. The blended family concept terrified me based on my friends and all I had read about it. I dated my (now) husband for 10 years and we married the year the youngest of our 4 children (2 his/2 mine) left for college. Next week is our 16th anniversary. I take issue with much of what Penelope wrote, and lean much more towards Carolyn’s comment. The ages of the girls and your financial situation are key. My career was on the rise and I have become quite successful, solely funding both my daughters’ college educations, one of my proudest achievements. And I am away from all that pain. The 10 years I spent unmarried were peaceful and calm and I have no regrets about them at all. My girls were old enough to navigate their own visitation with their father (for the most part) and it went well. And no, he never remarried. So I think Penelope’s boilerplate predictions are just that – maybe true for many, but certainly not for all, and not for me.

    To answer your question, I think divorce is LIKE the 9/11 towers falling. A terrible crash and a lot of damage. But survivable. In my estimation, what you are living now is worse because you cannot heal.

    I wish you the best. I wish I could say/do more. Sending love.

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