How to Leave Your Husband

Leaving your husband and ending your marriage may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do – even if your relationship is unhealthy or even abusive. But, it may be the only way to create the life you want.

If you’re confused about leaving your husband, read Contemplating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go by Susan Gadoua. Take your time to think a few things through, so you know how to leave your husband with as few regrets as possible.

These tips may help you figure out if it’s time to leave when you feel trapped. Make sure you consult a lawyer or divorce mediator — don’t just rely on these tips if you want to leave your husband. There is a lot more to leaving than what I included in this article! This is just the beginning.

“When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they ‘don’t understand’ one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to,” said American writer Helen Rowland.

How to Leave Your Husband

Are you just beginning to understand your husband and your marriage — and it’s worse than you expected? Then maybe it’s time to leave him. Here are several things to think about as you prepare to leave your husband when you’re trapped in a bad marriage…

Prepare your children – the family is changing

Some kids will want to know everything, and others won’t. A separation or divorce will be traumatic for some, and a relief for others. It may be difficult to find the emotional and mental energy to talk to your kids about the separation, but it’s a mistake to leave them in the dark. If you’re leaving your husband, try to give your kids the time, attention, and answers they deserve. The smoother you try to make their transition, the smoother yours will be.

Make sure you’re financially stable

You don’t need enough money to live on for a long time, but you should have at least three months of living expenses saved up. Figure out how much money you’ll need to spend on rent, household bills, transportation, and other expenses. If you need to borrow money, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to ask a family member – it’s just a loan, and most relatives want to help if they can. You can reassure both them and yourself that you’ll pay it back.

Read 13 Ways to Get Money to Leave Your Husband if you’re struggling financially.

Prepare for awkward moments with friends

You’ll lose some friends if you leave your husband — even if it’s a bad marriage. You’ll keep some friends, and you may have to defend yourself to others. Be prepared for a wide range of possible reactions from friends: anger, grief, shock, disbelief, etc.

Leaving your husband requires being prepared to lose a few friends…and make new ones.

Prepare for painful moments with family members

how to leave your husbandSeparation or divorce can be very hard on extended family members, such as parents in-law, aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, and cousins. Leaving your husband isn’t just about you, your husband, and your marriage; it affects the people you’re related to. Try not to feel guilty about your decision to separate – you’re making a decision that best suits your life. But, remember that family members may your marriage crisis take it hard.

Take inventory of the household items you want to keep

Dividing the possessions you acquired as a couple may be difficult, especially if you’ve been married for decades. Figuring out who gets what may be part of the divorce negotiations, or it could be decided by you and your husband privately. Either way, it’s smart to decide in advance what you absolutely must keep, what you want but will part with, and what you’re happy to let your husband have. You may lose cherished items…and that may be one of the costs of leaving a bad marriage.

If you think you’ll struggle with money after you leave, read Preparing Financially for a Divorce.

Join a support group for women leaving their husbands

Often, the best way to overcome or survive anything – including leaving your husband – is to spend time with people who have “been there, done that.” Or, who are currently doing it! Find people who are experiencing the same situation and emotions as you – it doesn’t even have to be a formal divorce support group. Be honest about what you’re going through and the type of help you need.

Self-care is one of the most important things to think about when you’re leaving your husband. Read 7 Ways to Take Care of Yourself.

Learn about different ways to get divorced

Self-representation, divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, and litigation are different ways to leave your husband. You don’t need to make any decisions about divorce right away, but it may be good to start thinking about your options. There are five different types of divorce.

Knowing how to leave your husband involves letting go of someone you love. Letting go isn’t something you do once and poof! You’re free, healed, and happy. Rather, letting go is a journey peppered with steps forward and steps backward, good days and bad days, peaks and valleys.


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47 thoughts on “How to Leave Your Husband”

  1. My daughter needs to leave her husband what do I do
    I have been in a unhappy marriage for years I dont want that for her. I think she is just stuck and is staying for the kids. He has complete control over her and how she thinks.

  2. Hello I’ve been maried to my abusive insecure husband for over 30 years. we have 7 kids my oldest is 32 and youngest is 15 I tried leaving him twice and returned after he would go and beg me to come back crying and all. He’s been abusing me and accusing me on cheating on him since my first pregnancy. I’m sorry to say that he finally pushed me into it. not that I’m washing my hands of any blame. but my self-esteem was so damaged that i was just looking for a way out. and unfortunately I looked in someone’s else’s arms. that was 16 years ago and he’s still bringing it up and still hasn’t and doesn’t want to forgive me. even though I forgave him for everything he put my children and me. from bitting and scratching to breaking a mug on my head and cutting it open to breaking my ribs with a 2/4 and black eyes pulled out hair, and ask while my kids were around. and now lately he’s starting with the verbal abuse and I really am so tired of it so. he’s even telling me I should get out of the house that he doesn’t want me and all. my kids know everything that goes on with us because he shouts it out and doesn’t listen to anyone because he’s always right. even my kids are telling me that I should go and start a new life. that they’re tired of seeing him calling me names and disrespecting me. right now I’m sleeping in my youngest daughter’s floor for almost 2 weeks. just when I think things are going well he starts again but this time it’s been the longest we’ve stayed apart. there’s no reasoning with him. so please can SOMEONE help with advice..

  3. Yes thanks alot i love this.. This is so me at the moment pls help out i feel sad since 24years old i feel stucked up with my husband ps:other young parents pls let talk

  4. It takes alot of courage to admit to yourself that you’re thinking of leaving your marriage, much less do an online search for how to leave your husband! And, sharing your experience and feelings takes even more courage.

    The first steps are often the hardest; it’s easier if you break it down into smaller steps. Take a deep breath, and take a moment to center yourself. What is your goal? What do you want to do, where do you want to be? Allow your mind to settle on whatever it is you want to create in your life.

    Then, write down a few things you need to do first. Maybe this means calling a divorce lawyer, or maybe you just need to talk to your mom or best friend. Maybe you need to call a womens’ help line or social services. Get it all down on your paper.

    Then, take the next step. And don’t forget the most important thing — whether you’re figuring out how to leave your husband or trying to save your marriage — your faith! Hold on to God, who is the source of all your wisdom, power and strength. You can do so much with Him, but only if you stay connected.

    I’ve written several articles on how to leave a marriage. Here’s one of my favorites…

    Surviving Divorce – Journaling for Recovery and Rebuilding

    May you find peace, strength, and energy for your journey!

  5. Sometimes a trial separation is a good first step towards leaving your husband. This will give you and him the chance to figure out what you want out of life and your marriage, and learn how to start living as a separated or divorced couple.

    A trial separation might also show you that you do love your husband after all! Or, it could bring him to his senses, and make him re-evaluate his life, you, and your child.

    I’ve also learned that leaving your husband happens emotionally first, and then physically. It’s a long process!

    1. Hi, I am also thinking of leaving my relationship after 9yrs. We had a pretty good relationship the first few years but then I discovered he was watching a lot of porn. It was devastating for me since he didn’t seem to want me. It just got worse from there. He continued to watch the porn and beat down my confidence. My self esteem was almost non existent. From there he seemed to just check out of our relationship. For three years he didn’t seem to want to interact with me at all. He layed around all the time, never had energy for me but did have for my youngest daughter! We basically became like roommates. I begged him for three years to change and told him how unhappy I was. I felt like I was slowly dying inside. I finally had enough and decided to shut down..I couldn’t care hurt too much! I eventually fell out of love with him..this was a year ago. Well this must’ve awoken him because he finally noticed I wasn’t me..I was no longer sitting home every night and I stopped being affectionate towards him. Now for the past six months he has been trying really hard. He’s been great but for me it’s a few year too late! I just feel like I can’t do it anymore. I told him I think we need to separate because I can’t figure out what I want living in the same house. It’s terrible to have to look at him everyday trying so hard and it’s not changing my feelings. I do panic a bit when I think of being on my own but I really don’t see how staying here will change anything that hasn’t happened at this point! There is also another huge obstacle…I have two kids from a previous marriage..two girls, 11 and 19. The youngest has an awesome relationship with him. He’s more of a dad to her then my ex buy the oldest hates him! He was an ass to her for a lot of our relationship and he is now trying to repair things with her but again a little too late. She wants nothing to do with him. How could I stay with him when he doesn’t love my oldest like he does the youngest? It’s a deal breaker! So am I making the right decision? I’m afraid I’m making a huge mistake but I can’t live like this anymore! Help!!

  6. I am in a similar situation that has taken a toll on every part of my being. I married in 2007 and I have found that after the birth of our Son in 2009 he is a self centered, mind controlling, overbearing, needy, and lazy person. I just don’t think we are good together anymore. I don’t know that happened, I have looked back on it and I just can’t put my finger on it. He is a very tall man over 6ft and so heavy that his health is at stake, doc says around 480 lbs. He is in denial and listens to not one person about it, not even his doctor. I don’t know why he wont take that first step to save himself and our marriage. He is 8 years older than I am and my friends and family cannot believe how much he acts like he is more in his 50’s than his early 40’s. We have a 4 year old that NEEDS his dad in his life, an active Dad…Not a “when I feel like it I might get off my butt” Dad. He expects me to do all of the housework and all of the care for our child. Not that I mind, I don’t, I don’t think that there is an excuse for dinner not being made by him at least one night a week. He is home all day…and I still come home to trash, plates, dirty clothes, floors…etc.. He lost his job and that amplified the issues we already had.

    We have a house, and I am making most if not all the income at this point. I have told him that there isn’t much there on my end anymore, I live in my own room and have for almost 4 years. The thought of us sharing a room makes me sick. I WANT to love him, but I just don’t anymore. I care about his well being but the spark is nowhere to be found, I have tried. My husband eats a preferred diet in fatty foods and bad choices and I can see our small child starting to put on weight that is not healthy. He will not go outside and let him run around and since the layoff of his job he watches our child at home. He needs to be back in a classroom setting and together we cannot afford child care but apart I could afford it through low income help from the city. He dropped our insurance without consulting me, “forgot” to pay my ccd’s and they are now in collection. He does not have a drivers license and says that he is going to “pay the fine and get it re-instated” and he has said that as long as I have known him…10 years next year. Deep down he is caring of others but as of late it is like pulling teeth to get him to just do what his bare minimum should be. I am seriously thinking about running, for what rest of my life I have left, and starting over for the better of my son and myself.

  7. Dear Ker,

    If you think you’ll regret not leaving your husband earlier, then maybe the best thing is to leave him now. I don’t think there is ever a “good” time to leave a marriage. It’s hard, all the time. It’s like buying a house or going on an expensive vacation: you never feel like you have enough money or time, but if you don’t do it now…when will you do it? When will you have the money, time, strength, and support?

  8. I have been married not even 5 years yet and I’m miserable. Many times I thought about leaving and many times I did. If its already happening this early in the marriage. I could only imagine it gets worse in the future. Like all of your stories say you wish you should of left earlier. Should I do that? So instead of wasting anymore time being unhappy and mistreated I can maybe start living my life. The thing is I have two little ones. 4 and 2 years old. My income requires me to work all day 8-6. We just share one car. And no money for daycare stresses me! I have family but they have there own problems. Should I wait and leave after maybe my kids in school and me financially stable or just leave now and bum off others??

  9. Gee, that is SAD. I hope you do get away from him soon. Be strong, and dont take any notice of him, what he says or does. Let it all be water of a ducks back. At least that way you can improve your quality of life. Good Luck.

  10. Leaving your husband is a process that takes time. I think most women think about it for days, months, or even years before they finally take the step of actually leaving.

    It’s not easy. Divorce can rip families apart, even if it’s the best option.

    Divorce is painful, but it’s better than staying in an unhappy, toxic marriage.

  11. Sally~you’re not alone. Over the 20+ yrs of my marriage I realized more and more how self-centered my husband is. He has made numerous poor financial decisions with loans, our home equity, his jobs…which only forced me to pay for food, clothing, insurance, etc..on MY credit cards! I am so angry with myself that I didn’t leave 10 yrs ago and that I ALLOWED this to continue. I want OUT!! Now to make matters worse, we may be facing bankruptcy! I am so angry and depressed. I used to be so proud of my excellent credit. I have no family nearby and they are all having their own problems. I feel like such a failure as a parent. I stayed because of my son’s relationship with his dad. He is a good dad. In hindsight, bad move on my part. I’m broke, about to ruin my credit. Sad and lonely in this toxic relationship. So easy for others to say ‘just leave’. I just wanted you to know you are not alone. Best wishes.

  12. Hello everyone. I need your advice. I married my high school sweetheart and have been married for 22 years. 7 months ago my husband had affair and it devastated me. He said he made a mistake and begged for my forgiveness. We are working out our marriage but I have come depressed and I cry alot. I have this void and loneliness in my heart now. I just don’t know what to do with my life now. I have lost my love, respect and trust for him. Is there life out there besides this void I have now in my heart. Can I forgive him or is it time for me to move on.

  13. Hi ladies, I so know how you feel. The question though is how do we feel about ourselves and, when do we do different. I can relate to all of the stories. The anger, fustration, depression, anxiety, financial diffuculties. We have to find support, if it’s through friends, therapy from church usually no or slight fee, family members or even reading and, journeling. I assure you there is a way. A different way. I too am searching.

  14. Hello everyone, Question I have been in this relationship for 10 years and married for one year. We have five children together. He has another child with another woman one only and he pays alot of support the state takes 50%of his pay an the guy he works for oh by way be there for over 10 years. Refuse to give him I raise. Force me and my children to live like man it hard. My husband won’t leave his job and refuse to file reduce child support order. Please tell me what to do more to the story.

  15. I have to laugh … the ONLY problem as I see it is money, money, money. If I had enough money, I could leave. I am a senior citizen and had a traditional marriage. Now, my husband wants out (and believe me, so do I) but he does not want to give me money. He will not even talk about lawyers etc. (I don’t have money for one). He openly bad mouths me to all our friends and openly dates other women.
    I got an inheritance from my mom … he told me this $$ was for our “future” I gave it all to him. When I was taking care of my sick sister (and gave him my last 5k, he moved in another woman while I was out of town.) Boy, that was fun. He did not like this woman anymore and had her move out. I absolutely had NO WHERE to go. So here I sit old, tired and depressed with no where to go.
    Thanks for listening.

    1. No family left to go? You can ask for help, from family and friends. It’s only temp. See a lawyer and find out your financial rights. Do you have legal aide? Find out what govt funds might be available to you. You deserve respect. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Information is what you need, it ho s a long ways.

  16. Thank you ladies- I appreciate the comments.
    Since my comment, my husband has gone to see his family dr. And the dr. put him on Celexa. I can tell the difference- his anger outbursts have decreased substantially. The jabs have not stopped, however, but, are better. The problem now lies with me. I cannot get myself to “fall in love” with him again. I have all this negativity harbored in my mind, and cannot let go to give him another chance. We live together, and get along- but, I just can’t seem to get rid of the past. I did get a part time job, though! So that has been so helpful:)
    I feel like I’m in a holding pattern until I decide what to do.
    Just not sure what is right.

  17. What’s so bad about having a “failed marriage”? Some things in live you have no control over, so they aren’t a direct reflection on who you are.

    When you’re thinking about how to leave your husband, I think that worrying about a failed marriage isn’t the most important thing.

  18. Hello Heather.

    I just saw your post from April 19th and am hoping things are getting better for you. I am in a similar situation but my children are all grown and out of the house. I hope for your sake and the childrens that you are not living with your husband. Believe me when I say, they will have quality time with him when you are separated. He can focus on them when they are together instead of yelling at you. lol

    It sounds like our husbands came from the same mold. I totally understand about the anxiety attacks. It literally feels like you are having a heart attack! I am fortunate to work out of town and stay at our lake house during the week. But, when I am on my way back home or he is coming to the lake, I start the depression and anxiety. It makes me feel like running away or wishing I would just die so I didn’t have to deal with him. He doesn’t understand what is so bad….even after telling him for years how he doesn’t respect me and talks down to me. I got to the point that when intimacy was expected, I would fake being sick or being asleep.

    My children know how I feel and support whatever I decided to do because they know how difficult he is to live with. So, I have to decided if I want to have a failed marriage or live with my decision to get married in the first place. How much should you have to sacrifice for the sake of staying married? In my case, I feel like my life would be for him and not me if I stay. Do I want to make that sacrifice? I say not since I am 56 years old!!

    I truely hope you are doing well and can complete sympathize with your situation.

    Take care and I hope to hear from you.


  19. Heather, when I read your comment. I felt hat you were telling my story. The worse the relationship becomes the deeper you sink into depression. I completely understand.

    I wish I could give you some life changing advice, but I am trying to figure it out as well. I will suggest that you go to church and pray. Save money, especially if you are not working regularly. Pray and Pray somemore. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  20. Hi-
    I knew my husband years ago- but, we got together 8 years ago in a whirlwind romance that happened so quickly over a few months. Next thing you know, I got pregnant- which I think I truly wanted (in the back of my mind I’m admitting that now)… There was something about him that was so appealing to me, that I KNEW he would be the father of my children. (weird, right??) We had a beautiful little girl and moved in together quickly. We had lots of love and lots of love to give her.
    I have a history of depression & anxiety.
    I noticed over time he would have explosive anger episodes. Little bits at a time – and over years, they became more frequent, and my depression became more frequent as well.
    The anger bursts came with negative comments, and gentle jabs of negativity that would over time begin to break me down.
    We got married b/c I thought it was the right thing to do, and I truly did love him. We had good times – and a few years later we had our second daughter. While we love her with all of our hearts, it seemed to add tension – I was a stay at home mom, who wanted to work (and had a failed business which he makes me feel bad about b/c he is paying the debt back) I have always wanted to do my own thing, start my own business again, and be creative. I feel since the failure, he thought it was just another money hole maker for me to dive into another at home business venture. I just wanted to be creative & do so much more. Even though I loved being a mom… I felt trapped.
    Anger & depression got steadily worse. I never feel he helps out with the children- or (indoor) housework, and he feels I don’t appreciate how hard he works at his job. it’s a never ending battle.
    It has become so negative & toxic with the fighting & name calling. he has become too angry & I have sunk even deeper. I have seeked therapy. I am so sick when I am here at home, I feel so sick when he is around. I have been having anxiety attacks and heart palpatations – and am physically hurting. I have been staying with my mom a few days a week w/ the kids. I am so scared that I am going to scar the girls – and so scared for change and the unknown… and no job! I just need some help.

  21. I received this thru email. I do not know if this message will reach you Tosha.

    I wanted to just say a few very simple things. First, I am very sorry that you are suffering thru this toxic relationship. Secondly, you are still wonderfully young, and have everything to hope for, so I kindly suggest that you make a very serious 5 year plan for you and the twins, and start immediately.

    I use five years because it can involve going to school, getting a degree, if you don’t already have one, getting your kids into school, if they are only toddlers, finding a job and becoming indispensable and making a career for yourself etc. etc.. All of the bigger things take time. Hang on to your patience and strength and make the plan! Independence, either living with him (if you can stand it) or living without him will make you feel very successful.

    Good luck and God bless you. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Sincerely, Jane

  22. Hi Im 24 my husband is 22. We have been married for 3 1/2 years we have two year old twin boys. I am a stay at home mom. I do not get a brake. Im with the twins 24/7 love them so much. But my husband think since he works he does not have to help at all. I HAVE TO BEGG HIM TO TAKE OFF TRASH. When he is here he watches tv and does not even look at us. When we talk he does not hear us. The only thing he likes is to go fishing with his friend. If the dishes are backed up he makes me feel like Im 2 in tall. If the laundry is not done he is very mean. He has never keep our kids without throwing a huge fit even if I just go get butter. He has only keep them 2 times. I am at my braking point. My head is killing me Im starting to hate life and I have never been this way.

  23. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Jane, thank you for your kind words and support for Mary! You are a blessing.

    Mary, I wrote this article for you:

    Yes, You Can Be Happy Without Your Husband’s Money or Love

    I can’t offer personal advice, but I thought I’d share my thoughts.

    Nick and EM, thank you for sharing your personal stories here. I am truly sorry for what you’re going through, and my heart goes out to you. I hope you find the strength and courage to leave your husband and wife, and create a life you love.


  24. Dear Mary, I just had to write after reading about how trapped you feel in your marriage. Not only do I feel the same, but I share some of the very experiences in my home that you are living with in your home. It is truly a very small world and we are truly not as alone in our pain and suffering as we think we are. Yet, when the pain feels unbearable and the mind feels like it is breaking the despair can become so strong that we can’t realize that we are not alone. If you can afford a good therapist, then please call her.

    I feel such despair and burning in my core/heart from the anger that resides inside of me for all the careless things “he” has done to me and the family. He complains, like “yours” about the live-ins not paying rent, but doesn’t try to band together with me and lay down the law. It takes two to tango, and if one parent doesn’t follow-thru’ with the rules than the off-spring will run all over the one who is trying to enforce the law. And they will play against the stricter parent.

    I was a stay at home mother of 5 children. Trying to do it all right. Church on Sundays, private schools, home made supper, clean home, safe environment; a place they could call their refuge from the world. My husband had a successful construction business. It was slammed in 2008 and we lost everything. He has gotten worse and behaves like a bum now. His manners, speech, actions, drinking to excess, have all contributed even more to the break down of our relationship. Drinking was always a problem for me. I tried al-anon, and it helped. I need to go back to alanon meetings. But he is scaring me now and I feel TRAPPED. I have no money, no job, no future.

    My children are smart. My daughter starts a doctorate program in the fall for counseling psychology (any wonder!!) and she promises to always help me. But the present is very painful. My youngest is 13, thus I cannot just flee this Hell. It would be much easier if I could.

    Mary, pray hard and try to get therapy or go to alanon. WOrk on a plan. I am.
    Try to talk to a close friend about it. Some days are better than others, I know. DOn’t forget to cry and beg God to rescue you. He will– if just for that day. You must ask HIm every day for the same rescue. At least, I find that to be true. Keep in touch thru email with me. Please don’t hesitate to vent or share whatever you feel.

    God bless you and give you His Peace,

  25. Im trapped. Been married to same man for30 years. Entire 30 years has been a struggle for him to communicate. He has manipulated and controlled me to the point that I have no self esteem or confidence. He always told me I shouldn’t say this or thAt, always putting me down subtlety. I have isolated myself from family and fiends for 20 years. I have no job and no money andi feel he step me up like this…he use to have a real fear of abandonment. I have three gjrown kids living at home that he refuses to have them help pays household expenses yet I hear all the tiime how he has to work so hard and long to provide. And he recently blamed me for our financil ruin. We have a small single family home and he flat out refuses to do repairs and upkeep. But he’ll ride his 2,000 dollar bike for hours everyday. He has never ever listened to me and just the other day told my son to just say yea when I was trying to explain something. I’m 57 with no money, no job, no family, friends or confidence. Im miserable, exhausted from this needed needed man unwilling to even try,. He is so uncaring he doesn’t,t even check on me, in my bedroom after 24 hours, knowing I don’t want to love anymore..” He would rather have our son find me dead.. He is such a childish ass…. The contempt just grows and grows. So does the rage and the hate,

  26. Just thought i’d speak up here. The stories I have read from you ladies sound pretty bad; sometimes leaving is the only option. That said, my perspective is from the other side of the fence.

    I have only been married for 3 years (as of this week) but have been supporting my wife financially for the last seven years. I encouraged her to get her masters degree instead of a job, then after getting her degree, when she couldn’t find work, I encouraged her to start her own freelance business. I have never been great about helping around the house, but I’ve always tried to be supportive of her. I’ve known something was wrong for the last 18 months or so, as she has been less and less circumspect about avoiding me. She took a part time job, but set her hours so that she would leave before I got home, and not get home until after 10pm.

    I came home last month and had to tell my wife I had been laid off. She seemed supportive that night, but the next day as she was leaving said she wouldn’t be coming home. She has been gone for 5 weeks, and will not talk to me about what is going on.

    About a year ago her father had a stroke, and she has been seeing a therapist with her siblings; after that I began to notice that she wouldn’t talk to me about the things that worried/excited her.

    The last 6 months she has been going to a counselor by herself (in secret) as well as the couples counseling we were attending. Now she will not speak to me, go to counseling, respond to texts or emails, and claims that I am violating her ‘boundaries’ when I try to talk to her.

    I have been pushed so far, and treated with such contempt that I no longer even want to save my marriage.

    and that is the most painful thing I have ever had to admit.

  27. Maybe you can help me figure out what to do with some advice. I am 21 and have been married since 18. I have been with the same guy since I was 15. He is 23. We have both cheated. I have left twice. The first time he cried and promised to change if I let him stay. The second time it was more I moved out but he was over almost ever day and spent several nights. Our fights do become violent sometimes. We do have two children together now. We both bring up past events in our relationship mostly bad one and mostly in fights. I have been considering leaving him for a few months now and here are my reasons why….. 1) no financial help … he refuses to get a job due to my past cheating and my current medical state. We have been living off my grandma for several years now. I tried to get a job and did but it ended with them not giving me enough time to make a difference so i left. Reason 2) laziness….I can go thru my entire house and clean it have all trash picked up and he will change a diaper and leave it sit….One day i let it sit to see how long it would take for him to pick it up it ended up taking him a week to throw it away. Reason 3) refusal to comparmise…example we have 7 cats and our son has asthma I asked him if we could get rid of 5 cats and we each pick one cat to keep I was told no he cant live without his cats…he also refuses to clean out the boxes more than once a week and when i go to do it he yells at me and starts becoming a butthole. Reason 4) treatment of our kids… like tonight our son was asleep on the floor instead of picking him up by supporting his neck and putting an arm under his legs to pick him up he grabbed his ankle dangled him upside down and then flipped him on the bed (our son is 21 months old)…and then with our duaghter he will hold her head and force her bottle in her mouth and wont let her spit it out and she will start to gag. A few things have made me stay like he says that if i leave then he wants nothing to do with his children and i want our kids to have a father in their life. I do know that I have to do what is right for my kids first and foremost and what is right for me second.

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Thank you for sharing your life here! That took guts.

    I wrote an article for you:

    When You Can’t Tell Your Family How Your Husband Treats You

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts there.


  29. Hi everyone,

    I can relate to your problems. i do hope you get the courage to move on and do what is good for you. Most times, we women want to please everyone, we want to have kids to please our men, we want to be good mothers to our kids, but we never think of pleasing ourselves. we all have one life to live, live it well. Time will never come back, if you wanted that masters course go ahead! if you wanted to learn french or italian go ahead, if you wanted to live in spain go ahead. its your life.

    Dont hate the men in your lives,they did not force you to get married or have children, or be that stay at home mum. Take responsibility for your lives, until you do just that you will always blame everyone else.

  30. Elizabeth williams

    I and my husband are born again christians. Since I have been married for the past 4 years I have been paying the rent by my self and the car note. My husband is to pay the cable bill and the light bill, and cell phone bill. He doesent even pay that on time. We have had two repo cars. I usually always pay the car note but this time I paid 250 and told him to pay 110, and It dident get paid, therefore on christmas eve our car got repoed. (keep in mind he drives it every day) My children are not biologically his. He yells at them and hurts there feelings and I get on him about that all the time. The next minute he is playing with them. He has even drawed his hands up at them like he would hit them, but he has never hit them. He has medical coverage at his job but he has dropped mines. I am a bit over 5,000 dollars in medical bills debt. and when a debt recovery assistant asked can he at least pay 150 a month off of his vista to start paying on my medical bills he refruses. (keep in mind my medical insurance was dropped because I got married) but he has always kept his.and he has no health problems I do. If things need fixed around the house he neglets to do it and soon as he gets off work he hops on the bed and watch sports. He keeps his money in his pockets when we go out to eat and I spend mines. We have never been on vacation not even to the beach.I do all outside chores. Every week I have to give him gas money to get to work. *and I am positive he is not on drugs hes just stingey and waste his money. Most of the time we only have sexual relations once every two weeks. (if that) and on top of that he is extremely jellous and tells me what to wear, and where to go at times. He seems to always be in an ill mood. and this week he askes can he pawn my jewelery to get extra money. I know I am a christian and believe in marrage, he is not an abrusive man at all but how much of this do I have to take? Please help I need advice and I had to get it all out no one knows whats going on in my family I have kept quiet all these years.

  31. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Ashley,

    I’m very sorry to hear what you’re going through, and wish you all the best as you prepare to leave your husband.

  32. I need to leave my husband he gives me no physical or emotional love. He doesn’t work and he thinks that it is okay and he blows up on me if I tell him that he needs to get a job. I once broke down and started crying and saying how stressed I was and how every burden was on me and he didn’t even say I am gonna help you it was more like just take it easy. we have a 19 month old together but this isn’t the kind of life I want for her. I am scared I have never been on my own. I am only 22. I have no family support. I hate the idea of being alone with out a companion. I know that I barely have one right now but still…I don’t think I could afford to live on my own…I am so scared so alone…I really hate my life. Except for my daughter she is my only joy….

  33. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear me,

    What do you want out of your life? If you want to leave your husband, can you line up what you need to leave?

  34. I am 40.. moved also to the basement for my own sanity.. Can not deal with husband any longer.. He yells consontly..never a quiet moment in my house.. 2 great kids, but they are pickn up on his habits.. slept in my bed alone for 10 years now.. tooo young to give up for this.. am i alone?

  35. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Diana,

    It sounds like you need to sit down with a counselor and talk through all this stuff that’s in your head! You’re getting pushed and pulled in many different directions, which isn’t conducive to making a huge life decision.

    I encourage you to talk to someone objective, who isn’t invested in your life. If you can’t talk to a counselor, call a distress line or help line. You need to separate all these issues that are running wild in your head, and figure out the best course of action for YOU and your son.

    Also, I encourage you not to let your husband’s financial future affect your current decision. Whatever happens to your husband financially is a consequence of how he is living his life, and shouldn’t be your concern. He’s an adult who will take care of himself — you’d be surprised at how resilient and strong people are!

    I wish you all the best as you decide if you should leave your husband, and urge you to talk to a counselor in person.

    You may also find Letting Go of Someone You Love: 75 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart and Let Go of the Past helpful.


  36. Hi. My husband and will be married 9 years in December. When we got married in 2001, he had two sons and I had a son, all of which lived with us full time. Neither of our Non Custodial Parents are involved with these children. Now, his boys are 14 and 16 and my son is 10. Since being married, we have added 3 more sons and a daughter, for a total of 6 boys and a girl. I have been a stay at home mom almost the full 9 years. I did work for about a year after our daughter was born, but it just proved too difficult and was putting too much on my disabled mother, who was caring for my two small ones that were home at the time. Our youngest will be 2 in December. We are finally on our way to having all our children a bit older and more easily managed. I will say that I’ve finally come to the realization that I married my husband out of fear of being alone. It took me a long time to understand what I had done. I love my husband. He is a good a father, giving baths and cooking and changing diapers. He’s a good husband and tries to make me happy. I truly believe that he loves me so much more than I love him. As I said, I love him and don’t want to hurt him, but, I am not “in love” with him. I’m not positive that I ever was. In any case, I’m just not sure what to do or how to do things. I don’t want to hurt him. We have 4 children together. His boys won’t care if I’m gone. They are horrible to me and only get worse by the day. They have been horrible to me since I met them and nothing has ever changed. They’re terrible to my son. I can’t stand the constant fighting that goes on in our house. I’m not happy. I know my son isn’t happy. My other little ones are doing fine but this is all they know. My son isn’t close to my husband, even though they’ve been together since my son was a year and a half old. My husband does have a temper and will sometimes fly off the handle. He has thrown things and put holes in walls. He has gotten in my face and even spit on me during arguments. He has never actually hurt me or touched me, so I always just moved past the fights. He’s obnoxious with the children and can be scary at any time. I worry about them. He’s a bit rough on his boys at times. He has never really touched my son or the other little ones, but he is loud and again, scary. I am constantly battling him over the treatment of his boys compared to my son. His boys are rude and smart mouthed and irresponsible and careless. My son is sensitive and loving and quiet and loves to make me happy. They are different children and deserved to be treated differently. I can’t handle situations with his boys the same as I do with my son. His boys need stern reprimands and punishments and they still don’t listen or care. My son, on the other hand, is a different ballgame. If I look at him too harshly or scold him in any way, tears well up in his eyes and he hangs his head. He hates to disappoint and hates to upset me. I only have to look at him with disappointment on my face and he practically punishes himself. My husband is always saying that I treat them differently and am easy on my son while throwing the book at his kids. Not the case. Anyhow, I apologize for being all over the place with everything. Things are just coming to mind here and there as I write. My parents admitted to me that they don’t know how I’ve stayed as long as I have. My aunt said I need to leave. My best friend told me that my brother hates my husband and how he treats me but has said that as long as I put up with it, he will, too. I worry about my husband parents and family and what they’ll say. I worry about what will happen with my husband as far as child support/alimony goes. I don’t want to ruin him and put him in the “poor house.” There’s just so much in my head. I don’t know what’s right. I DO know I’m NOT happy. I believe that my children don’t get the best of me because I’m not happy. This is not the life I ever planned.

  37. Camille, afte reading your comment I felt like I was reading my own life. I too am going through a very similar experience. I plan on leaving my husband, but I have to get some things organized first. The best place may be a bookstore to get some information on what things to get in order first. This is your life, don’t stay unless you really want too. Find books or websites that will help you. You know what’s best for you! Best Regards-Julie

  38. Hello, I have been in a relationship for 15 years, living together for 14 years. It feels as though we are married. We moved to a different area last year and I have not been happy ever since. I hated the move and other things just started to happen with me. I’ve been calling it a mid-life crisis. My 44th birthday was approaching (last Dec) and I started to think about my life and where I am and the things I have. Bottom line…It is not where I thought I would be at my age. I started to look at him and who he is, what he does for me and I became very unhappy…close to being depressed. I have been this way for almost a year now. He is who he is and he is not going to change. I feel I have changed and I need more in my life. My feelings toward him have changed. He has never been nasty to me. He does take care of me in his own way and we get along very well. We actually have fun together. It’s just that I am not in-love with him anymore. I have been contemplating about moving back to AZ where my family is; but, it’s been very difficult for me to get motivated to do so. I don’t even know where to begin the packing process. We have accumulated so many things together; but, a part of me just wants to start over. Begin a new chapter in my life. I don’t want to hurt him and that is another reason why I haven’t left yet. I take care of him…cooking, laundry, market…basic wife duties. I worry about how he will manage without me. I know I can’t stay because of that though. It would not be fair to either of us and I will most likely regret it later in life. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about this. Can anyone shed some light my way? Are there any resources out there for issues like this? Help! Please!

  39. Sounds like you should stand your ground and not let your grown children or your adult husband run your life. What ever makes you the happiest you should do, and do it now!

  40. I know my marriage of 30 years is over. It is toast. We have two wonderful girls, the youngest is just 19. Her fighting with her Dad has acted as a catalyst to our separation. I allowed my husband to convince me not to press for divorce, and not to sell our house either. Instead he promised to move to the basement so we can each have our own space. This was to be temporary, and we could both try it and see how it fits for us. We agreed we could both date, and that neither of us would bring anyone home out of respect for the other. I wanted to get things in writing, but my husband convinced me this would not be needed as we were both trustworthy. He was almost moved into the basement totally, when my 19 year old Daughter asked to move back into our house! She moved out and had been living with her Aunt and Uncle since the big ruckus. She told my husband she wished to return, but not into her old room, as this caused her to feel like too much of a child. She asked to move into the basement. I said: No, that would not be possible, as her Dad is living there. He said: “ok with me”..and is planning to move back upstairs. He tells me we can “surely be adults about this, if we have managed 30 years together, surely we can do a few more months, perhaps one year?”
    I told my husband he was being manipulated by our daughter, and that I was being manipulated by him! He said he did not care what I thought or felt! Then I told him I was going to start the divorce, plus sell the house..or course he got angry, flew into a rage, starting shouting..(he is very big, and I am not) I backed off, and that is where I am at now…feeling weak and helpless. I do not understand why I am such a wuss when it comes to him! I am not in any other way and I am educated etc with a very good job! I do not know what to do next, please comment. This occured last night, I went to the swimming pool nearby and swam 55 laps! I sure felt better after that, but I must find a solution. My husband is a great guy, but he is angry and has had rage problems all along. I choose to stay when the girls were little,but the reality is the youngest will soon be on her own too. What is the matter with me??

  41. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Kelly,

    It sounds like you and your husband have been through alot together, especially since you’re a military family! That puts different strains and stresses on a marriage — and, on the upside, it gives you a lot of very cool experiences to share.

    While I can’t tell you if you should leave your husband, I can encourage you to talk to a counselor. Maybe marriage counseling, maybe individual counselor, maybe a little of both. You and your husband have years of marriage to sort out, and it’s not gonna happen in this comments section!

    I was reading a marriage book today, and it said that the majority (like, 80%) of people who seek divorce regret it. The book is called “Take Back Your Marriage”, and it’s one of the best books on marriage I’ve read.

    Here are a couple of articles that may help you figure out what step to take next:

    Should I Leave My Husband? Help Deciding Whether to Stay or Go

    Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay – Help for Failing Marriages

    I hope this helps…and I wish you all the best with your marriage. Talk to a counselor — even a session or two can help you think more clearly!

    Best wishes,

  42. Well I have been married for almost 11 yrs now and we have 2 great sons. We are a military family and move around quite a bit. 7yrs ago we had a rough patch in our relationship(young, my brother passed away, i was on steroids 3 times in one year). 5 yrs ago we made another move to another state and we were doing good, so I thought. Well one day I found out he cheated on me. Some how I was able to move on and stay with him. Well we made another move and this time out of the country. Things were better than ever. Until the other morning I checked my email and got a message from our old neighbor from 7yrs ago. He wanted to let me know how he just found out his wife and my husband had been screwing each other. I asked my husband about it he admits to only certain things and claims he never had sex with her. Im having a hard time beliving him. Im not sure what I do from here. He swears it will never happen again and begs me to stay. Im scared if i stay and we hit another rough patch he’ll go run again. I feel sick when I look at him. I dont even want to be in the same building as him. on the other I do love him and I know he has changed(in the last 3yrs) and has tried to his fullest to be the best husband. I know I want to stay but how do I do that when I cant even look at him? Do I leave him or stay and try to work things out?

  43. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Nisa,

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s affair, and that you’re thinking about leaving him. It’s difficult to end a marriage, even when it’s not a happy, healthy one!

    Have you tried marriage counseling — or just counseling on your own? Sometimes it helps to have an objective, professional viewpoint. We get mired in our thoughts and issues, and that makes it difficult to see our husbands or marriages clearly.

    Let me know what you think about couples or individual counseling…


  44. Hi
    Im married for 4 years and I have a son who is turning 3 soon.
    Its been 9mths I suspected my husband is having an affair. I did not caught him with my eyes yet but through phone. When I call, girl will pick up the phone while he claims he need to work.. Have shown alot of changes in his attitude towards me. I feel no more love at all. I did sit down and talk but he just dont admit. I did gave him amper time to leave her as he claims he still wants the family.. But I think, he is getting too much. I cant tolerate anymore living with full of his lies day by day…. How can I hate him and move on. I did tried but I cant as deep in me I still loves him so much