Posted by: Frustrated | 2011/06/30

Should I stay or should i go???

I have been married for 13 years, knew my husband for 5 years before that, so we have been together for a long time. We had great chemistry initially and enjoyed laughing about the same stuff, had shared interests.

Then, 5 years after marriage, the first baby came along and suddenly everything changed. I was hoping (and expecting) that we would be able to be parents together, love our child together and enjoy the experience as a couple  also support each other through sleepless nights and bad days. But my husband suddenly changed. It started when we found out I was pregnant. It was his idea that I go off the pill, we agreed on it and I was off the pill for a year before I eventually fell pregnant. When he found out he was in absolute shock for weeks. He said he had ''forgotten'' that I was off the pill and that he just ''had to get used to the idea''. I was devastated because I come from a background where family is everything and was looking forward to start our own together. Once baby arrived, he was kind of happy for the first day or so, but didn''t even want to hang around at the hospital too long, said he had to work (even though I knew he could take leave). Suddenly he threw himself into his work and was barely even home anymore. He forgot our aniversary, missed out on special first moments (even while he was home it was too much of a schlep for him to come inside to hear baby''s first laugh) and was just not interested. Whenever I tried to discuss this with him, he just got angry and told me that SOMEONE had to take care of the OTHER stuff around the house (like work) even though I went back to work myself and was earning a decent salary.

Things improved slightly as she got older, and we agreed (again) to have a second child. I honestly thought this time he would understand how much I needed him to be there for us, and yet again when he found out I was pregnant it came as a huge shock and he turned away emotionally. He is to this day not emotionally involved with our children, and will only really do anything with them when I insist or when he really has nothing else whatsoever that is more appealing to do.

He is still working late, takes every opportunity to be away from home, I must say he does not go out drinking with mates or anything like that, it is all work-related, but these things are optional and yet he will always choose to go out instead of spending time with us. I have threatened to leave him several times and then everything improves for a few days, and then just goes back to normal again.

I cannot really support myself financially as a single parent, and despite his work ethic he is also not earning fantastically, so should we split we would be worse off financially.

I am also afraid of what effect a divorce would have on the kids (8 and 3). WHat do I do? I am totally alone in this marriage. THe only time we get to be together by ourselves is in the car, occasionally, when we drive somewhere. He is not interested in ''date night'', any romantic stuff, as it takes away from his TV watching time (which is what he does when he IS at home).

He tells me he loves me and I don''t think he is having an affair. Yet I don''t know if I love him anymore as he has hurt me and let me down so many times that by now all I feel is hurt.

I doubt that there is any way to regain the love in this relationship from my side, and I doubt that things will ever improve from his side. I am just so scared of leaving him and the great unknown.

Any divorcees out there who are willing to tell me how bad it really is? Is it worth all the pain and heartache of leaving him, or should I rather stay and maybe this is the lesser evil?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Gosh what a lot of VERY long questions today !
Its obviously unfair if your husband claimed to be "shocked" that you became pregnant, when h had been part of the decision for you to come off the pill. And even if "shocked" it shouldn't have caused any major problem. For him to have done this twice, is simply ridiculous on his part. What indeed is his problem ?
You seem to be describing and emotionally immature guy who is proving to be a really lousy father, and apparently can't be bothered about this. If you did separate, he would still be legally liable to make a full financial contribution to the care of the children until they are adults, and the Maintenance Court would enforce this. Divorce isn't necessarily damaging to kids, and may be less so than having an ostentatiously uncaring dad around some of the time and absent at other times.
Could he be persuaded to join you in marriage counselling, to see if this could be worked out ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Khanyi | 2011/07/04

Hi, I can understand you pain and lonelyness I think you should stay do not go, I was going through the same problem but with my boyfriend and told my sister about it and she sent me a book on how to make things ryt. its not those boring books coz i love reading but give up quick if the book is boring it even has assignments that u do on your hubby and i tell u the changes are instant, it helped me and my relationship alot and its so intresting as u see the changes. I really think you should get this book I can send it to you if you send me your email adress. Mine is

Reply to Khanyi
Posted by: Laurei | 2011/07/01

My husband was lkike that for many many years. HOwever, I started to change how I saw my marriage and him. I started getting more independant, driving around alone with kids, taking them out, stepping up to the plate on his behalf, then went with friends and their children etc etc. I stopped asking him to accmpany us, remained kind and very sweet, stopped arguing and did my own thing.
He started realising that we are living our lives without him, and for some reason, he changed, slowly. Make a life for yourself, so that he can either join or not, and either way you will still have fun. Force yourself to have fun and then it will become easier.
He now wants to know why I go out, without him and asks if he can join.
It takes a lot of hard work and you really have to change your perceptions and expectations and thereafter, you wont notice or be hurt when he is available to you or not. It just gets easier. I wont leave him coz he doesnt cheat, drink or smoke. He is a good provider and the kids want him around. I guess some men are just not nurturing and were never taught how to love and raise a family, so we find ways of teaching them.
Good Luck

Reply to Laurei
Posted by: Queen | 2011/07/01

Please don''t divorce.

Most men see themselves as providers and protectors for theirs families. It could be that the arrival of the children presented him with a challenge to step up and prove he can take care of his family. Him working harder could be his way of saying ''I care a lot about my family''.
I think couples counselling can help you in this regard.

Reply to Queen
Posted by: Shaz | 2011/07/01

Hi Frustrated
I am a divorcee with 2 sons - 14 and 11. Getting divorced was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. Took me years to decide and so was mentally prepared when it happened. The moving out was really really hard tho. I was so heartsore for my boys. Being a sinlge mom is really hard, and if you have no support i.e. family and friends, it is even tougher. I would suggest couples counselling. Let divorce be the last resort. I wish you strength no matter what route you choose.

Reply to Shaz
Posted by: Jacqui Melville | 2011/07/01

I''m not qualified to say what to do regarding your marriage and the preservation thereof. But what I can say is, if you have doubt as whether to stay or go, it is obvious that at present you cannot leave him due to financial reasons. Why not study further or complete some short courses that will increase your chances of being financially independant? Once doing this, you will have more nerve to leave him as you will be financially self-sufficient?

Reply to Jacqui Melville

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