Posted by: Tasha | 2007/12/14

How to make the decision about divorce

I am at such a loss at the moment. We have been having marriage problems for years. Mostly because my husband says I give my animals more attention than him. I am and have always been an animal person. He wants me to give them up and give all the attention to him. The last couple of nights we have been fighting which is resolving nothing as I feel they are just opportunities for him to tell me what a bad person I am.
He runs his own business and works 7 days a week, between 10 to 14 hours a day, so I don't see him very much. When I do he is in a bad mood from work stress. We don't have any children and have been married for 8 years. He has been sleeping in the lounge for the last 6 years, in the beginning claiming that it was a lack of airflow in our bedroom, but now he says it is because my dogs sleep in the room.
Anyway, last night in our arguement he told me I am such a difficult person, and that I have killed him inside. He said that he treats me badly because he is retaliating against me because I don't give him enough attention. He said that I must make up my mind about if I want to fix this marriage or "call it a day" as he put it. He told me that he does not love me anymore and has not loved me for a long time now, but that because he has known me for 16 years he would prefer to try and make it work, but then the deal is that I have to give him more attention than my animals. He said that if I give him more attention then he will treat me better. If I can't make him that promise, then it is over. As he put it "the ball is now in my court to make the decision".
He is a very possesive person, and is always asking me what I am doing, or where am I going and why (even if I am just taking my dogs outside for a wee). I am used to having everything I say and do cross-examined. I have also learnt to think very carefully about what I say as his reactions are always different and unpredictable.
I am on anti-depressants for the last couple of months as a result of my situation, but they are not helping. This morning I phoned the doctor and he has refered me to a psychologist, but I can only see her on 10 January.
I honestly don't know how I am going to get thru the next few days, as I have to come up with an answer about fixing or ending the marriage.
He refuses to go for marriage counsilling. I am hoping that maybe seeing a psychologist will help me to know what I want to do. I just have so many people telling me what to do and so many voices "in my head" that I don't know what / who to listen to.

Both the option of ignoring my animals and fixing the marriage, or divorcing are scaring me so much that I don't know what to do. I met him when I was 16, and he was my first boyfriend. I don't know any other life, and so I am scared of life on my own, even though I have been emotionally on my own for years.

I don't even know where to start it trying to make a decision, but I can feel that he is waiting for an answer.
Any advise ?

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Our expert says:
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Maybe you do neglect him ? THough for a husband to feel jealous of animals suggests low self-esteem, too. And presumably you haven't suddenly changed your attitudes towards him and the animals ?
But take him up on his implied suggestion that this marriage needs "fixing" and agree to join him in proper marriage counselling to try to resolve these various issues. SO the obvious and sensible answer to his question about "fixing" the marriage is YES, let's try to fix it --- but not floundering on our own, but rather with expert help in marriage counselling ( eg through FAMSA ).

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