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How to Leave Your Husband

If you're unhappy in your relationship, try a different approach! Learn how The Hero Instinct can be the key to securing a man's love, attention, and devotion for life.

This advice on how to leave your husband will help you figure out what steps to take. The first step is making the decision that leaving your husband is better than staying married. The second step is realizing that divorce will be painful, no matter how bad your marriage is.

How to Leave Your HusbandLearning to Leave: A Women’s Guide by Lynette Triere and Richard Peacock is the first book you should read if you want to know how to leave your husband. If you’re thinking about leaving your husband, you need to learn as much about separation and divorce as possible.  This book is informative and comprehensive, and it’ll teach you how to get through a divorce. Learning to Leave will help you deal with anger and fear, choose a lawyer, talk to your husband, help children through the divorce, think about employment opportunities, and more.

Talk to a marriage counselor or marriage coach about how to leave your husband. See your pastor or spiritual leader. You’re not looking for someone to tell you what you should do; you’re looking for wise counsel to help you make the right decision. You might even consider joining a divorce support group, and talk to people about their decision to divorce or separate.

And, take a look at these signs that a marriage is worth fighting for. They may help you make the decision only you can make.

“A divorce is like an amputation; you survive it, but there’s less of you.” ~ Margaret Atwood.

How to Leave Your Husband

The tips in this article are intended to help women decide if they should leave their husbands. If you already know you want to leave, read How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With.

“There are certain factors that suggest a relationship is workable and salvageable,” writes Susan Pease Gadoua in Contemplating Divorce. “There are other factors in marriages that, if present, indicate a low probability that the relationship will be healthy or fulfilling. I call these workability factors.”

Here’s a list of Gadoua’s signs of unhappy marriages, specifically related to safety, love, and esteem needs (based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).

You might want to know how to leave your husband if your marriage contains…

  • Lack of trust
  • Pathological dishonesty
  • Lack of mental, emotional, physical, or financial safety
  • Mistreatment
  • Lack of communication

You might stay in your marriage if your trust was broken but is reparable, if there’s a mutual desire to create a safe environment, if there is care, concern, and communication.

It may be time to leave your husband if your love needs aren’t being met because of…

  • Absence of mutual love
  • Infidelity
  • No shared interests
  • One or both spouses aren’t fully committed to the marriage
  • One-sided relationship

If you’re considering divorce, you might think about fighting for your marriage if there is a foundation of mutual love, if both partners are willing to work through physical or emotional infidelity, and if both spouses are willing to recommit to staying married.

If you’re worried about what happens after divorce, read Can Divorced Partners Be Friends?

You might need to know how to leave your husband if there is…

  • No esteem from self or spouse, and no desire to change
  • No respect at all from spouse
  • No common goals
  • Unwillingness of at least one spouse to work on marriage

Does your marriage have a foundation of respect, some common goals, and a willingness to work on esteem and marriage issues on the part of both partners? If so, it might be worthwhile to fight for your marriage. If you and your husband respect each other, you may want to focus less on how to leave leave your husband and more on fighting for your marriage.

There are no quick and easy answers for the “should I leave my husband?” question – and even the surest signs that it’s time to leave your husband can be complicated and confusing.

“I’ve had countless clients tell me that they don’t want to divorce because they are afraid of losing the co-parenting relationship or their spouse’s income, only to eventually realize that they alone already carry the load of responsibilities,” says Gadoua. “The spouse doesn’t contribute to the marriage but, rather, takes from it.”

For more tips on how to leave your husband, read How to Get Your Husband to Go to Marriage Counseling. If he refuses, maybe that’s a sign you should leave your marriage.

Love doesn’t conquer all

I’m sorry to say that love doesn’t conquer all!

how to leave your husbandYou can love your husband with all your heart, but not be able to build a strong, happy marriage together – especially if you’ve lost your personal identity. The lack of romantic love may not always lead to divorce, and the presence of love doesn’t lead to a happy marriage.

As Zsa Zsa Gabor said, “Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.”

If you don’t know how to leave your husband, read How to Tell Your Husband You Want a Divorce. That’s the first step in breaking free, and moving on with your life.

I welcome your thoughts on how to leave your husband below. I can’t give advice, but I know that expressing your thoughts can help you heal and see reality more clearly.

May you find peace and clarity as you decide if it’s time to leave your marriage – and how to leave your husband.


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517 thoughts on “How to Leave Your Husband”

  1. I have been married for 2 and 1/2 years now. I dated my husband for 10 months before marriage l. He practically rushed me into the marriage a decision I regret every day now. He lied to me from the get go about everything. From his finances, to his education to his actual age. Things I got to find out in the marriage. He has been trying his best to be a good husband to me and a good father to our son but I can’t seem to get past the lies and deceit in which he to marry him. I feel hurt and disappointed each time I think about it and I feel like I am stuck in the past. I feel like I màrried the wrong man. Our sex life is very poor too we can’t seem to connect intimately

  2. I’m married for 2 years.Due to my work location I have stayed these 2 years away from my husband.I have tried to convince him many a times to relocate to my location but he didn’t agree so finally I’m leaving my very well paid job and returning to his location with an average job.During this 2 years I have tried everyday to get a job in his location but unfortunately it took me 2 long years to find a decent job at his location. Now as I’m returning for the first time he will start living like a married responsible man and he is taking up his responsibilities to set up a house.But every single day he will shout at me for not being there and helping him out with setting up things.Please note I’m serving my notice period at a location 2000 Kms away from him.So even if I want to help him out I literally can’t do it before I shift permanently.If I give him this logic he will demean my job and reinstate how he is taking care of everything.
    I’m very scared thinking about my future with him because once I start living with him there will be trouble everyday for every minute thing.I know my husband for last 10 years from my engineering college.He didn’t get a job in the college placement so he tried to build his own business in Event management.I have encouraged and supported him throughout.But within 7 months of being in a relationship with him I got to know that he had another girlfriend from the past 7 years whom he is going to marry.I was 18 at that point of time, I got shattered and left all ties with him.For 3 months I didn’t talk to him or see him at all.After 3 months as an ex-student of my college he shows up in my college fest and reaches out to me for forgiveness.I was stupid,I was blind I forgive him within a few days and he starts sleeping with me.I started feeling insecure with each passing day as I felt he was not serious about me and he was using me.I try to find out if he is still in touch with the other girl.But he was very smart and he had played me very well.It was not until the other girl got married to someone else after 5 years he finally introduced me to his family.Even though we got married afterwards and I felt that finally everyrhing is falling into place,it was not the case.I became pregnant and the day he came to know about it he didn’t talk to me for 3 days.I felt damn vulnerable as I was in another location for my job all by myself.I cried my heart out for those 3 days.My husband did this to me on and off for the last 2 years.Sometimes he will be so busy that he will not talk to me for 2-3 days.Although I was very happy about the fact that I’m finally going to stay with him forever.I feel like I have lost everything emotinally in these 10 years.I have become lonely to be with him.I have never gathered to courage to leave him even in my past.But as I’m growimg old I might be becoming wise.I don’t think we were meant to be together.I am not judging him for anything I just feel that he doesn’t care.And today I want to face the truth,I want to stand up fir myself and leave him.I don’t know how to do it but.I just feel if I leave him he can’t hurt me emotinally and although by leaving him I will be very very sad but he will not get to hurt me anymore

  3. I am in a marriage of 27 years; we have 4 adult kids. I’m going through a rough time right now my husband decides to apply for another job and relocated; however the company wanted him to market the house so now we did and now sold it; meanwhile he’s been gone for over a month staying in a motel that the company paid for him.

    I have to keep up on the house that we’re being moved from not quite yet that we have to move; anyhow I work; I feed animals; on top of packing; figuring out what place I’m going to have to stay in next.
    I’ve just also found out that my husband isn’t obviously going to change from betraying me over and over for years.
    Meaning I just found out more information on him cheating on me still

    I don’t want to move where he got the job cause I’m leaving a job to be homeless – jobless – and sittin in a motel then when the time is up from the motel. I have no where to go
    However, I meant a guy at my job that we’ve became really good friends; and my husband assumes we’re having an affair I’ve met up with this guy friend a few times; and I’ve drew closer to him.

    But, now he just got fired from the work place we work together and wants to go back where he grew up at also wants me to go with him.
    and wants me to go with him.
    So I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard spot of what way I really want knowing this guy makes me relax and look out on what a life really is that I’ve never got in 27 yrs;

    I’ve been called all kinds of names from my husband that I’ve always tried to make it about me when I haven’t I’ve had kids starting at the age of 18 and raised them – clean house (still do) – do finances – do the dirty work that he has caused of him wanting a social life – enjoying life.
    That I have never experience in the whole 27 yrs of marriage. Now that I found that friend that I can have fun I don’t know which direction to go.


  4. How can you possibly stay with a husband who the minute you share anything remotely personal about what is going in your life just uses it against you in an argument. Yet the upheaval that will come from leaving and trying to hold down a job will surely destroy you, It’s a no win situation.

  5. I was told by different psychics that my husband would die before me. I am hopeful it will be soon. I am hopeful that I will take a lover in the next while to help fill my needs, as husband is an obese, disgusting, empty porn addict. What a waste of a life. I find fun&happiness wherever I go&refuse to divorce as our children benefit greatly from us living together, so il suck it up&avoid, avoid, avoid!when we are under the same roof, F it, could be worse! I see a happy&fulfilling future for me, wheter that jerk &i are under the same roof or not! I sneak in2the cinema&treat myself2dinner4 1..say im working late. Ladies, whatever you decide, LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU! he ain’t worth it, YOU are though!

  6. Been together with my husband for 13 years, married 3. I changed so much for myself and kids. He doesnt want to leave the past and his addictions. I cant do this anymore with him fighting, him not coming home at times, drinking, drugs. Im fed up with this lifestyle. He told me if i left that he wouldn’t leave me alone, that he would make my life hell. I want to leave so bad i don’t love him anymore. I have a 9 year old son and a 3 year old daughter and they both love their dad. I stay in this marriage for them cause dont get me wrong he is a great father. But he’s a bad husband, worst provider but great dad to his kids. Please help me know how to leave my husband.

  7. I am thinking about leaving my husband, we’ve been together for 6 years, married for 5, we are both in our twenties so we married very young we have no kids so far.
    He is a loving and caring husband, but we have a very mediocre sex life, I’ve been told many times that sex or passion is not the most important thing in a marriage but I’m not entirely convinced.
    I have taken a lover since a couple of months now, and even though I don’t have strong feelings for the other man, is still cheating, and I’m being unfaithful to a wonderful man. I go back and forth about telling him the truth or just keep on trying to save my marriage (which I can see my husband is trying to do) I don’T want to go back to a sexless marriage, I’m only 28 and I can’t stand the thought that this will be my marriage for the rest of my life, so I’m not letting the other man go.
    I know this makes me a terrible person, but should I risk leaving the security of having a loving husband and friend just because i’m unhappy in bed?

    I truly don’t know what should I do :(

    1. Jules, You need to get out NOW! It is not fair to him to have a lover when you say, “he is a wonderful man”. Do NOT tell him you have a lover!!! It will devastate him FOREVER. Just tell him you are unhappy and need to allow him to find someone who is a better fit for him. Tell him you care for him, and it is really your youth that led you into something you were not prepared for; marriage. Tell him you are selfish and your sex drive is making you want to explore other options, so rather than crush him with an affair, you feel it is best to end the marriage. DO NOT TELL HIM YOU HAVE A LOVER….I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE…IT IS MORE PAINFUL TO KNOW THAT YOUR SPOUSE WAS UNFAITHFUL THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE. It has been over 2 years that I was told by my spouse that he had an affair. Worst of all, he quit having sex with me over 10 years ago, because of “supposed” health reasons, while he was having sex with another woman the past five years. He told me about the affair because he was realized I was on the brink of finding out and he did not want me to contact the other woman. He ended the affair, we went to counseling, and have remained together. Neither of us is happy. He did not want to do the work to make the marriage better. He just wants me to forget about it and move on. He is not affectionate with me, refuses to kiss, hold hands, etc. does not take me out on “dates” or plan any activities for us to do together. This is a lonely existence. You must leave for his sake and your own or you will be 55 years old with two or three kids and you will still be lying and cheating yourself and your husband out of a good marriage.

    2. It’ll be a year that I have been married this September, and I am in desperate need for some advice whether to leave my husband or not. I met him when i was only 16 (I am 22 years old now) and he was my one and only.
      When he proposed on Christmas and I said yes but wondered why I didnt feel any of that “giddiness” and excitement. We set the date for exactly 9 short months later. In that time after 3 months of being engaged and another social media incident with him I told him I was second guessing this, and felt it best to push the wedding date out. He said no, either we get married or it was over, completely.
      A week before the wedding his mother, father, sister, and him sat me down and “adressed/ attacked” me about if I was going to marry him or not. After sobbing and full of embarrassment I said I would. I married him, then he found out on my bachelorette night I let a guy take a shot out of my cleavage. My husband came into the house like a “mad man” and locked everyone out. The veins in his neck were popping out and his face was turning purple from yelling so loudly at me. he got nose to nose with me while screaming, and even took his shirt off (like men will do when fighting) he called me a slut and all other kind of hurtful names and comments; told me he wished he never married me, then punched a hole in the wall right by my face. I didnt say a word during the whole thing except I was sorry.
      I would of left but he had my purse and keys upstairs in our bedroom where he went and told me I was not allowed in. He came back down a few minutes later and I was holding my dog who was petrified herself of him in the floor. He then took her from me and put her upstairs saying “it was time to go to bed, and that was where she belonged.” later he came back down again and went through my phone then kept making hurtful, cruel comments to the point where my entire body was shaking uncontrollably. two hours later he woke me up and told me I needed to go to church, where i belonged.
      After church he said it would take him a long time to forgive me and gain trust but he was “willing” to do that.. then he wanted to be intimate which made me feel sick the entire time. He isolates me from my family, and my childhood bestfriend (who is like a sister) for months until he finally “allowed” her to come to the house.
      He is so sweet sometimes, then others he is someone other than the man I fell in love with. Verbally he is very destructive. Just recently he left a few marks on me from taking my phone, and pushing me over and over after I tried standing up for myself and getting it back so I could leave, and from him closing me in the door. I didn’t call the authorities. He never even told me he was sorry for that.. all he said was “dont you dare call the cops, because I never hit you.”
      I am so scared of thinking that this roller coaster behavior is “normal”- Music and singing at places is a passion and second job for me. I love doing it but he is giving me a frequency on that, and told me once I got pregnant I would have to stop that altogether. His mom and sister are both very in touch with their faith and have always been stay at home moms as soon as they had their children. I fear he thinks this of me. He tells me he is okay with me working a little but wants my main focus to be at home. I am so young still, inexperienced, and scared of making the wrong decision.
      Scared that ive settled with a man who reminds me of my father who mistreated and mentally/ verbally abused my mother my entire childhood.Then I see the sweet man I thought he was. Its very confusing, with his on and off behavior. I can feel myself falling out of love with him because of all the resentment and hurt from all the years weve been together. Ive told him how I felt back in early May and suggested counseling but he refuses. Then told him I needed to stay with my parents for a while. but he said God does not believe in separation if I was to leave it would be a divorce. Am I overreacting? I dont have anyone really to get guidance from and would GREATLY appreciate any inspiration. I can feel that im losing myself, and my happiness.

      Please help me.

      1. He sounds abusive. They can be very manipultive. Be careful what you think is him being a sweet caring guy is most likely an act. And it is typical behavior for an abusive person to rush marriage and insist on it. My husband and I married after 9 months together and it was great at first then it goes progressively downhill. To where he was hitting me. I made him enter domestic violence counseling but even though the hitting stopped he’s still never turned back into that sweet guy I first met. Beware of couples counseling. Abusers have a way of playing the victim and making you or to be the bad guy. Couples counseling is about equal accountability and abusers will use that to their advantage. When we were going to marriage counseling he became more cruel and violent. The domestic violence counseling actually doesn’t recommend marriage counseling for abusers. And he doesn’t have to be hitting you to be abusive. He’s trying to control you. And he insults you to break down your self-esteem. Eventually you’ll begin to feel worthless because he’s always telling you you are. He wants you to stay home and not work so he has all of the financial v control. My husband frequently tried to get me to quit my job for no reason and would constantly belittle my job. Get out while you can. There is little to no possibility of him changing his ways. And a big chance that things will get worse.

    3. Leave now if he can’t give u what u NEEd, as oppose to want. I’m in my 60s and hate that I didn’t act on whT I knew I should do. He’s a good man, a kind man, but the WRONG man.. I’m trapped.. Hope u won’t b too. Live who u r with a man that helps u get there! Bless u and go beyond fear!! B

  8. Thanks so much for all your stories. I’ve been reading them in the last hour with awe!! What do we all put up with??! It is amazing what man do to us and after telling the story the wife still asks “where do I draw the line?”. It helped me decide to get out now. I have no children, we are not married and i am financially independent. But honestly, who do you suffer for? Suffering is not a virtue and joy is not a sin. Reread all this posts and make sure you don’t become the woman in the 30+ old marriag who knew she wanted out after 5 years.

    1. What if you’re wrong though? What if the guy you leave is the love of your life and neither you or him ever find the kind of happiness you would of had you stayed together?
      All of these other testimonials sound like it might very well be in their best interest to leave their spouses especially the woman you quoted who asked where she should draw the line.but you just said that you are financially independent and have no kids so what is so bad about your relationship that you feel you need to get out now? Maybe you are just going through a rough patch? No relationship is perfect you know. I only ask because I am in a similar situation and I find these questions are running through my head every day.

  9. I am thinking i need to leave my husband.
    3yrs ago, he was emotionally unfaithful. He rekindled an online relationship with his ex, including photos and promises of children, and told me he had married the wrong person etc.
    Somehow he didnt leave. My gut tells me that he didnt leave for financial reasons. That it was easier for him to stay. We have 2 children together who are 5 and 6yrs.
    We have both been trying to recover from this since it happened. But its not happening for me, though i desperately wanted the marriage to work for quite a long time. His method for getting past this is to forget and move on. But i need to talk about it. I need reminders that is sorry and that he was mistaken when he said he wished he had never married me, but he wont talk to me about it. He gets annoyed when i ask him to talk with me about it and he will not attend counselling with me.
    Since all this happened i have started to notice things about him that i feel i cant deal with. He gets so angry with our children and his method of discipline is to bully, call names and smack. When i talk to him about it, he tells me that i can discipline in my way, and he will discipline in his way… But i am not happy with what he does. I feel like i cant tell him if my children have been naughty incase he overreacts. I just deal with it myself. But if i leave, he will have custardy of the children half of the time, so leaving wont shield them from the nasty anger.
    Our marriage feels like one of convenience for him. I feel like i am in it for the morning cuddles, and not much else.
    I cant figure out if its worth leaving or not.

  10. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Jane,

    Have you called legal aid? I would do that, and I’d also call a women’s resource help centre. I don’t know where you are, but it’s important for you to get some information on how to leave your husband before you make any huge decisions.

    It’s not too late to start over! You can have a fresh, interesting, fulfilling life filled with love and laughter! You’ll be surprised at your resilience and strength, and you will find ways to ENJOY the rebuilding process.

    Take it one step at a time. It’ll happen fast, but you should prepare yourself. Call a women’s support line, and ask for basic tips on how to leave your husband. Find ways to protect yourself — and remember that ignorance is NOT bliss! Ignorance just makes things harder for you.

    God bless you! Stay in touch.


  11. I Have been married 21 years I was abused my entire childhood so my relationships have always been awful. I always found abusive men either mentally or physically or both. I met my husband who was extremely handsome and I fell completely in love. He wasn’t the abusive type at all he was just the most unfaithful person I think God placed on this earth! I have been thru an awful marriage and always to afraid to leave, I had four kids and didn’t want to be that single mom alone with no money. So instead I stayed and lost my my self worth and I’m now in my forties and I want out!!!! My youngest is 14 and a freshman. I keep saying if I can just make it until he graduates but I really feel like it is affecting my son immensely. I just really don’t know the steps to take. Legally what should I do. Should I just pack a bag and go? I want nothing not a table, not a picture, nothing he can have it all !!! I just need money to support my son, and he is in a private high school. Please help with advice and please don’t criticize I can get that at home :(

  12. Hello, I am in a very hard place… I’ve been with my husband for 10 years, married for 2 1/2 and I love him so much. I know he loves me too, however he is so psychologicaly and emotionally damaged by his family (mostly his father, who he works with) I feel he is brainwashed and the issues there will take a month to explain. That being said he is very defensive, he has this automatic denial response programmed into his brain, he denies and lies about everything. He always feels attacked, he has this scary side when he drinks certain alcohol or is in certain situations. He has never been physically abusive to me but can be verbally, telling me I nag too much and calls me names or say that I constantly question him. He has in the past (during his dark side moments) broken things, gone out to bars, strip clubs, gotten into fights with strangers and friends, got into trouble with the law, said nasty things about my 5yr old nephew and fought my brother in law over it, ruining our relationship with him and my sister. Every time I try to have a conversation with him about all of these issues including his dad, he agrees and things get better for a while but it always happens again, he makes me feel like I am crazy, I suspect cheating (not emotionally but not necessarily physically either, I think it’s just a sexual thing) this is very hard to explain. I love him but sometimes feel like I stay because I’m more worried about him doing something stupid like getting himself killed or locked up if I am not there to guide him… But I am hurting. I am 27 years old I’ve been with him since I was 17, I know nothing about being single or independent and it’s scary, but my brain is just telling me I am being stupid by staying… I often think about being single and feel like I would be so much greater without him, but when it comes down to it, I can’t, I’m scared… I have avoided having kids with him for these reasons, he used to ask for kids all the time… I don’t know what to do

  13. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Amy,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing what it’s been like to be married to someone you don’t communicate with. Your perspective and wisdom is valuable to younger women who aren’t in happy marriages but don’t know how to leave their husbands.

    If you were to do it all over, what would you do differently?

  14. I think the only reason were still married is if one of us dies the other can call 911. Married 49 years we haven’t talked in decades, he hated sex, and refused to have it again, no intimacy, no communication, no nothing. Shortly after we married he moved to the basement, and then out to a building in back of our property that he restored. He always worked mid nights and all holidays, weekends and all his vacation time. Other people were nothing to him, he had no friends, he always worked alone when he was working. He isn’t gay and never had any one on the side. He just wants to be a lonely man. I’ve should have left and he told me to leave if I wasn’t happy and to take what ever I wanted from the house, money car. Well I messed up big time and thought things would get better, never happened. Now almost 70 and can’t say I want to move on now. My own fault for staying, maybe it will be over shortly.

  15. I’m sorry you’re going through this, Billie. This probably wasn’t what you expected when you got married! Often we don’t know what to expect the wedding, but surely we don’t expect to be thinking about if we should leave our husbands.

    How can you start making small plans to move forward in your life? Sometimes taking action – even if its just deciding that you want to be happy with or without your husband – can help us figure out what to do.

  16. I have been married for 9 months… It’s been nothing but arguing, abuse and being the responsible one.

    My husband has no desires, ambitions, life goals… He just wants me to have kids. And I’m the one who works the hardest, makes the most money, takes care of the house… We don’t even sleep in the same room. We haven’t had sex in I don’t even know how long… I just had major surgery where I have to have bed rest for two weeks and he came home yesterday telling me off that the laundry had not been done.

    We have been to counselling, I discovered videos and photos one month after our wedding of other girls he’d been talking to, but he didn’t see it as cheating.

    I feel like I’m living in a home that I own, he doesn’t pay anything for it, never has, he drives a car I had to buy for him, and spends money frivolously then wonders why we don’t have any and blames me for my lack of financial acumen.

    I’m 31 years old and I feel like a failure.

    I know he loves me, but I don’t think that is enough.

  17. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for your honesty. It’s a very difficult decision, especially if your husband is a good man who cares about you.

    Have you talked to a counselor? Deciding if you should leave your husband is a huge life choice, and it’s important to be very careful! Divorce is painful and destructive, and you don’t want to do anything you might regret.

    What caused you to seek love outside your marriage? Does the man you’re having an affair want to be with you?

    Will leaving your husband make your life better, more fulfilling, or more satisfying?

  18. My husband is emotionally and sexually abusive and jealous of my relationship with family and friends. He is also horribly selfish with the finances. He has been this way 10 years. Kids are starting to act out now. I feel like I should stay for the kids sake and because I feel sorry for my husband. I know in my heart he’s never going to change though. I feel like I’ve fallen out of love with him.

    1. Staying for your kids is not ever advised in all my reading and in my own personal experience I would not recommend it. My husband grew up in a similar situation. At the age of 45 he is carrying deep emotional scars that effects our family as does his older brother from all that they witnessed growing up. Its hard to find the strength and courage for leaving and its not easy. But your kids will thank you in the end. And the lesson you will be teaching them by standing up for yourself is invaluable.

  19. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    There are no quick or easy answers to the “should I leave my husband?” question. No quick tips, no 10 Steps to Leaving Your Husband. I wish it was that simple, but the truth is that leaving a marriage is a huge decision that takes time, courage, and strength.

    May you find wisdom and clarity as you think about leaving your husband. I pray that your life is filled with resources and people who can help you decide what to do, and who can support you as your rebuild your life after a separation. I pray for peace with your decision, and even joy as you start planning the rest of your life!


  20. I’m thinking hard about leaving my husband. Nine months ago we moved to a different State and I started work immediately. He hasn’t even really tried to look for a job, he just was figuring that he would get a loan to do charter boat fishing. The reality is is that we were foreclosed on and had to move and we couldn’t get a loan from anyone (nor would I want one). the straw that broke the camels back was last Sunday when he told me he was quitting the job (he just got it and was on the job only 2 days) and he threatened to punch me if I said anything. I only make enough money to keep food in the house, pay the electric (sometimes the cable) and keep gas in our cars and this is all done with me working three (3) jobs. We have two (2) teenage kids in middle school. If I leave I’m leaving the State and hoping to move back near my family. I have no money, car tags are expired and no auto insurance. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. How strong do we have to be anyway? I’ve walked a long time in my shoes and usually I am the person with the eternal smile and happy, optimistic outlook but I can’t seem to smile yet this week. I feel like I want to cry but I don’t think I can afford to.

    1. my love is for you and your kids. I hope you can get back to your family so that you and your kids have more people to rely on. I’m sending your family lot’s of strength during this time, which will pass.

  21. I’ve been married for 33 years and want to leave this marriage. It’s never been good. There’s never been one single year where I could sit back and reflect, thinking, “wow, we had a really good year”. Not one. I married at 18, my husband was 19. Had my first of two children at 19. Life was always hard. My husband would never stop drinking, smoking or having the party lifestyle. I’ve lived with verbal abuse, emotional abuse and emotional neglect. We’ve never owned a home. The kids are grown and on their own. So we moved to the country to another rental house. He knows people out here. I do not and now I’m isolated except for working. I have no family other than our two adult children. He won’t make any life plans with me, won’t work with me towards anything. So far I’m the sole retirement and life insurance planner. He earns more, yet won’t even discuss or prepare anything. I don’t even have wedding rings anymore. They were stolen when our house was robbed years ago. He never got me new ones. He see’s no reason to. I’m unhappy. I want to leave. He knows this, yet refuses to talk of it. I’m 52 years old and I don’t want the last 2 or more decades of my life to be like the last 33 years. I’m just so damn scared to take the first and biggest step! I’m so afraid of failing by myself I’m rooted to the ground and can’t seem to move! I would rather be alone yet happy with a life that I build for myself, than keep living this same life of the last 33 horrible years. The only thing keeping me here are financial reasons. That’s not enough to keep me here anymore. How can I learn to stop being afraid and to learn to prepare and take the first step?

    1. Julie, i can so relate to your story. I’m sitting here alone in my mothers apartment (i moved her into an assisted living facility today) because my husband and i had tet another argument. He has no respect for me at all yet i find it so hard to leave. Right now i feel really good anout being away from him yet i want to go back. I have no family and few friends i feel i could talk to. We have one adult son that lives an hour away and i don’t want to burden him or put him in the middle of this

    2. Julie,
      I just read your comment and I hope everything is better. You do not deserve to deal with someone holding you back from your life. You deserve to be happy and free. Please do not feel as if you need someone in your life to be happy. Being single, not necessarily alone, is perfectly okay if you are happy and content. I wish you well in your life and hope for the best.
      Best wishes and many prayers your way,
      P.S. You can make the first step! You are very strong.

    3. Julie – I have been married for nearly 30 years. Like you it was never really good – usually tolerable. Over the past several years it has been less tolerable. I considered the “stay or go” question for a couple of years. That state of uncertainty is a horrible place to be. I understand the fear – it is a major life change that affects many people. Finally, I just knew the time was right to let my husband know it was over. We are still living in the same house while he looks for a place to live so it is a bit weird. My overwhelming feeling? Relief.

  22. I wish I would have left my husband. Now he is dead! Finally, I am getting back my peace of mind. We were married for 30 years and he didn’t give a damn about me. Now it is my turn to have a life! YAY ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Hello – I wanted to share that I am leaving my husband after 30 years of marriage. We were close to separating 10 years ago and I made the decision to stay and realize now that it was the wrong choice for me. I initiated the separation we are now going ahead with but my husband is on the same page. Once he got through the male ego bruising and anger he came to the realization that staying together unhappy is really no way to live and is now accepting of this move. We are not talking about divorce right now and plan to continue couple counselling and treat each other with respect for the sake of our grown daughters and each other. We have loved each other for most of our adult lives and in no way want our legacy to be bitterness and pettiness. There are no bad people here…we have just reached a point where we have grown apart and we both seem to have lost interest in trying. Am I terrified of venturing out on my own??? You bet I am! Will it be hard?? Oh I’m sure at times I will have days where I wonder what the heck happened? But it has been hard living unhappy and lonely for many years in a marriage. At this point I am not sure what I want but I know what I don’t want and that is my bottom line basically. So that’s my story…

  24. I have been married for 25 years and we started having before we had our 1st child 17 years ago. I believe my husband had an affair then but he argues and say he was going through anxiety. He would call her text her she even came to his hotel when he said he needed to move out because of his anxiety. I pretty much believed him and never threw it in his face. I did try to catch them but never did. After our 1st child and me bugging her they stopped seeing each other.He told me if i kept bringing it up i was going to push him to her. I never trusted him after that but finally decided why bother if he is going to do something he is going to do no matter what i do. We had another child 4 years later. He was laid off then started another job which he began to work late and travel for the company. It didn’t bother in fact then it was oh cool i get the weekend to my self. With him not around much i started talking to another guy something did happen between us but it wasn’t that that my husband found out about it was he lying about going out to lunch with him. He would and still to this day wont let it go( i dint do that with him when he was hanging around that girl). So a couple years later we were talking and i mention i could be falling out of love with him he wasn’t around we didn’t talk much. So now he holds that against me because he feels i should of talked to him about it instead looking for attention else where as he puts it. He told me before this when i would say why dont you come home early once a week so we can all have dinner together: his reply was Mon thru Fri work sat and sun family. well when i brought that back up to him he turned it on my and said well you never attempted to come see me at work or have dinner with me (40 min drive one way but he never asked so what do you do he said mon thru fri was work) He still to this day will say will you never did come see me and still dont you always have and excuse even when the kids are sick. My husband is always complaining our sex life is boring which it is and that i dont show him any affection. He has let himself go but is very successful in his job. I dont worry about being able to take care of the kids because i can but it seems its ok for him to do things but if i do them he will not let it go. In 2008 i started talking to this guy i worked with we enjoyed each others company and he was married also. things in each of our relationships were not good so we started seeing each other. initially it was just sex but since we are still seeing each other i know we have feelings for each other. He divorced a couple years after we started seeing each other… not for me but because he was not happy. During the time we have seen each other we both have said he needed to stop because he had a girlfriend me because i was married and trying to make it work but we would always come back to each other. He now has a girlfriend im still married but we have been seeing each other for about a year again. I think we find what we need from each other that our current relationship doesn’t have. My husband has always told me its my fault that we are where we are my fault on the kids and why he isnt happy. Why i stay with someone i dont love i just dont get it. Im not setting a good example to my kids because they have heard agrue alot in the past.

  25. I was married at age 18 and was had both mental and physical abuse for 13 years. He slept with me and had a loaded shotgun by the bed and would tell me if I disturbed him he would gut shoot me. He said if I told anyone anything he would indeed kill me. I finally just wanted to die but my faith gave me the strength to tell my parents and I moved back home. He finally left the area with another woman.
    I stayed single for the next 19 years but had a boyfriend during that time that was nice and made me feel safe. His problem was that he didn’t want to get married, socialize with anyone but me and would not even spend the night. He would always go home where he lived with his Mom. I was sad about that so I distanced myself from him and 2 weeks later a girl comes knocking on my door and announces she has been sleeping with him for a month. Things got ugly and she harassed me and I was broken so I sold my house and moved to an apartment in hopes of just getting away from all the pain I was in.
    I met my current husband and jumped at the chance to move away. He is a nice man but had been married before for 23 years and that marriage was always rocky. We ended up getting married and I am not a happy camper. He promised to take me home to see my family every couple months and in the 14 years we’ve been married he took me home one time for my Father’s funeral. He is not abusive but when he raises his voice I get scared. I told him the fear that has lived in me since my first marriage and he said you’re crazy you better go get some help. He is very self centered and told me he will do what he wants when he wants. We have nothing in common, our retirement plans are completely opposite. I am a neat person and he is a piggy which drives me crazy, I want to leave and I get that fear that is holding me back. We don’t sleep together, we don’t make love and he doesn’t do anything I like to do. I ran from home to someone that I do not love. I want out but at 64 years old should I go? I would just like to be happy for the years I have left whether it be 5 years or 20 years is that so wrong?

  26. Thank you for sharing your experience, Amy. It’s definitely not easy deciding if you should leave your husband – it’s a decision that takes time to really think about, especially when you have a daughter.

    My prayer for you is for clarity and guidance. May you find wise people to talk to, and have a clear idea of what you want for your life – and for your daughter’s life. I pray for wisdom and peace with whatever decision you make, and for the ability to move forward into a new stage of life with hope and faith. Maybe the new stage of your life will be with your husband – maybe he’ll renew his commitment to your marriage. Or maybe you’ll move forward on your own, with your daughter. Either way, I pray that you find strength, energy, and power to decide if you should leave your husband, and how to cope with all the smaller decisions that come with that one big decision. I pray for support and guidance, peace and wisdom in your life. Amen.


  27. Struggling tonight with this same thing.. My story started 8 years ago I was pregnant and didn’t want to disappoint my 80yr old father :( so I got married. From the start I did NOT get along with my stepson and could never do anything right. when our daughter was 2 I had mentioned something that my stepson had said to me and husband went off on me saying that he would NEVER lose his son and I could leave and he would be prepared to see our daughter every other weekend! (should have left then but didn’t) then a couple years ago he and his coworker (female) went to a gun class together to get their conceal carry. The next day I see the notebook he had to take for notes and I open it and I see a note saying “THIS IS MY HONEYS NOTEBOOK” in a girls writing… I confronted my husband and then it all got turned around on me and I was ridiculuous and being crazy… Then, my wedding rings came up missing ( a tiffany engagement ring) by this time we had security cameras. I rewound the footage and see my step son reach up where I kept my rings and walked out the door. the next week, he hd 250.00 for fireworks cause it was the 4th of july (isn’t that a coincidence) I showed my husband my footage and he confronted my stepson and he asked him if he took them and of course he said he didn’t and that was that… The next week, our friends called us and said their daughters IPOD was missing and he was the last one to have it. Then came the knee injury and husband got addicted to pain medications, got angry at me all the time. as soon as I came home from work, he went to bed.. If I went to try and give him a hug, he told me I was sufferocating him. Then I would be told to grow up. I cry constantly in front of our daughter so she knows im not happy.. I want to do the best for her but want to be happy and that I am not…

  28. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your thoughts on leaving your husband. It takes a great deal of courage to share how you feel – and to even admit that you want to start fresh after being married.

    My prayer for you is for peace and wisdom, as you decide how to leave your husband. I pray that you find strength to see your marriage for what it is, and clarity to know what steps to take next. May you find the right people and resources, and may you know without a doubt what you want to do with your life! And may you allow yourself to be weak, and rely on people who are stronger, who can support you as you make decisions about your future.

    May you find joy and happiness as you follow your dreams and pursue the life you were meant to lead.


  29. I don’t know what to do. I have been married for 5 years. Since the begginnign it was very emotional. My boyfriend then, lied to me and hide he was married twice, had a child that gave up for adoption and was in jail. It brooke my heart because I asked him for 3 moths if he was married and he always said no. I felt like he tricked me. I fell in love and then I found out the truth. I could never move from there. We got married 6 months later and our relationship was horrible. He asked me to leave many times and kicked me out of his house many times. I begged him to let me stayed. Once I had to slept in my car and the other time, he sent me to his parents to live because my family is in another country, and I did not have where to go. He sent me there until he felt ready to let me back. It was so humilliatin, I stayed with parents in law for 2 months. My husband will call me names and will put me down all the time. I felt pretty much worthless. He asked me twice to get out of the car, and left me in the road for me to walk home. He hit me once and has tried to him me twice more. I don’t want to leave him because he has a good job a good carrer and he provides financially paying all the bills. He also helped me to pay for school, and being married to him helped me to obtain citizenship even though I paid for all the fees because he did not want to do that. He does not want me to pursue my bachelors because he said it is not needed and while married to him, I would not go to school because I neglected him. He wants sex every other day and I have to cook, clean, do laundry and the dishes all the time. He has changed in this past two years, but I feel I don’t love him and that I care less about his needs. He always says that I’m lazy and he has denied me to do things I want to do. He does no trust me and it is umcofortable all the time. He does not want to travel or do things we may enjoy together, he always working in his cars and wants me to pick dreams that don’t interfere with his dreams. He always say I’m a bad wife and I make him miserable. Last Monday he kicked me out and I left. He was not expecting me to leave because I never did it before. I just don’t know what do do. Should I stay with him even though I don’t want to have sex and don’t feel love for him or should I let him go for him to find someone who loves him. We don’t have any children because he wanted me to change before he decided to have children with me. He has a vasectomy, and it needed be reversed. I feel I care about him, and I will miss out lives together, but I want to have adventorous, enjoy my life and that nobody is telling me what to do. I want to dance, wear whatever clothes I want and not having to worry about he being upset if I do something I want to.

    1. Hi there. I feel for you and i think i might have been going through the same thing.. Please don’t get me wrong, my husband is an amazing person but he doesn’t and wouldn’t support my financial and emotional needs.. I feel alone and needed someone to talk to. Let me know if you’re available for a quick chat.

  30. I’m thinking about leaving my husband. We’ve been together 8 years, married for 4, no kids. He suffers from mental illness and I’m not sure I can continue to deal with it. He sees someone regularly, and that has helped. The lows haven’t been as low and the manic states have gone away faster. The person he has been seeing the past year encouraged my husband to take up running and I honestly think the consistent exercise has helped. It’s when he combines alcohol with his prescriptions that’s the issue. The combinations makes things amplified and I get called names for doing nothing…get put down and overall treated like garbage. The morning after it’s as if nothing happened. He used to do it frequently and would sneak drinks (3 years ago) and for the past two years it has been once every 4 months or so. Tonight I went to the movies with a friend and walked in the door and without saying anything, I knew what was going on. I decided to go straight to bed and got called names and had other cruel things said to me. He found out a friend from college passed away and decided to self-medicate. I just don’t know where to draw the line. I know that people shouldn’t be treated like this, but tomorrow he’ll apologize and I know I’ll just think about the positives. I just don’t know what to do.

  31. I’m married to my husband for about 3years and been together for about 7 years. We have 3 year old daughter. I feel a distance between us and I do not want to admit that I have feeling of leaving him because I love him. I caught him flirting with another woman and I confronted him about it. He told me that they are just friends. There’s nothing going on between them and I believe him. It’s just now I have a hard time trusting him. I feel like I’m going no where in life as career wise and we do have a daughter. I want this family to work but at the same time I feel overwhelmed and don’t have any idea on what to do.

    1. I’m going through what you are. My husband was having those same conversations online. The first was over a year ago and there have been several since. He currently has changed his kik account password and deletes any messages so I can’t see them anymore. I’m done. Right now I’m just waiting to have bills paid off, then I will take my son, serve my husband with divorce papers and leave. It was hard to come to this decision because he is very loving in all other aspects of the relationship but we’ve had multiple conversations and he’s had multiple chances. What I am struggling with now is when do I tell him? Before or after I’m gone?

  32. My husband and I have been together for 13 years, 10 years we lived together and we have been married for 3. For the past 3 years he has become very distant, almost in his own world. This for us was really unusual we’ve always been extremely close and in tune with each other’s needs. He is a wonderful father to our son and a hard worker. He has so many amazing qualities and I’ve always have been so proud of the man I thought he was. When he started acting distant I figured he was just tired he works so hard for our family and I thought he was just too tired to be affectionate or have sex. So finally after months passed I asked him if everything was ok with him u and told him that I missed the way we used to be. He denied anything being wrong and said he would start to make a effort. Well that was a lie, no effort whatsoever. I’ve tried dressing up, lingerie, you name it I’ve done it even beg. And when he does want to, he cannot. I was so hurt. He promised he wouldn’t do it anymore but I don’t really think he has ever stopped. Yesterday I found a dating website on his phone and he admitted to being on there but he insisted that he never met any women. I am so sick of being hurt and feeling unwanted, unattractive, and I fear for my future. I’m a stay at home mom with no work experience and no college education. How will I support son and myself?

  33. Dear Claudia,

    My prayer for you is that you find someone to talk to, who can help you decide what to do with your life. May you find the resources and help you need to make wise, good choices about your future and theirs – and may you start working towards peace and freedom. May your fears be alleviated, may you find spiritual and emotional strength you need to recover your sense of yourself, your peace, and your happiness.

    I can’t offer practical advice because I don’t know you or your situation, but I encourage you to reach out to the resources in your community. You may not know anyone in person who can help you decide if you should leave your husband, but you might try calling the support lines or social service resources. May you find the right people, who can help you get where you need to go.

    May God give you strength, energy, and courage.


  34. heres my story and ill probably get backlash for it but i regret nothing…. i cheated on my husband and admitteed to him that i did after everything went to heck and his family was involved we discussed and decided to try again we have kids but its more and more difficult to try becasue hes 24/7 verbally abusive and mentally he hasnt hit me but has threaten too he monters all my phone and locates where im at all the time i have my kids come with me whenever i leave to the store i get hateful texts and then loveable ones i want to leave from where im at with my kids but scared of what might happen i want to leave the state becasue i cant make it out here no more and i know i can out there i dont know where to begin or even who to talk too im soo lost and confused

    1. Please don’t say you don’t regret cheating. You should regret and ask the man above to forgive you for the sin you committed. We all make mistakes.

  35. Research from the University of Chicago shows that a husband’s agreeable personality and good health appear crucial to preventing conflict among older couples who have been together a long time, according to a study. The report found that such characteristics in wives play less of a role in limiting marital conflict, perhaps because of different expectations among women and men in durable relationships.

    The report found that such characteristics in wives play less of a role in limiting marital conflict, perhaps because of different expectations among women and men in durable relationships.

    “Wives report more conflict if their husband is in poor health,” said the study’s lead author, James Iveniuk, PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. “If the wife is in poor health, there doesn’t seem to be any difference in terms of the quality of the marriage for the husband.”

    The study, “Marital Conflict in Older Couples: Positivity, Personality, and Health,” reports results from a national survey with data analyzed from 953 heterosexual couples who were married or cohabitating. The study participants ranged in age from 63 to 90 years old and the average length of their relationships was 39 years. The survey of older adults participating in the National Social Life Health and Aging Project, funded by the National Institute on Aging, compared the characteristics of the husbands to the characteristics of their wives and vice versa based on interviews with each person in which they were asked to describe themselves.

    Iveniuk and co-authors found many gender differences when they examined personality traits including openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and anxiety. They added a new measure called “positivity,” an overarching characteristic described as a person’s overall desire to be seen in a positive light. “Wives whose husbands show higher levels of positivity reported less conflict. However, the wives’ positivity had no association with their husbands’ reports of conflict,” Iveniuk said.
    Co-author Linda J. Waite, Lucy Flower Professor of Urban Sociology and director of the Center on Aging at NORC, says the study’s measurement of marital conflict could be summarized as, “How much does your spouse bother you?” The clashes are not primarily about fighting or violence, but rather whether one spouse criticizes the other, makes too many demands, or generally gets on the other person’s nerves.
    Another finding is that men who describe themselves as neurotic or extraverts tend to have wives who complain more about the quality of the marriage. Men with self-described neurotic wives may consider worrying to be a more “gender-appropriate” role for women. Husbands reported more criticism and demands from their wives overall, but also higher levels of emotional support.

    “Several previous studies have been about the implications of marital status on health,” Waite says. “This research allows us to examine individual marriages and not ‘married people.’ We have the reports on the quality of the marriage from each person, about their own personality and their own health.”

    The researchers suggest that future studies might examine the question of whether low levels of conflict in marriages require not only the absence of frustrating factors, such as poor health and negative traits, but also a better balance of emotional responsibilities between husbands and wives. They say some of those differences between husbands and wives may change as researchers study younger couples entering later life as compared to the current generation of older couples who may have more conventional gender roles.

    The study was published by the Journal of Marriage and Family.

  36. How do you decide when a marriage is bad enough to leave — versus when it just needs work so it can be repaired? That’s the main question when you’re thinking about whether you should leave your husband. Nobody can answer it for you….but it’s important to consider all the painful consequences of divorcing versus working through marriage problems before you make a final decision.

    1. I have been reading these comments and see that I have a lot in common. My husband is a substance abuse user and I have begged him for many years to stop. We have been together 24 years married 14. He believes he doesn’t have a problem because we live a fairly decent life. The problem is I have grown very tired of it. I lost a son 17 years ago and was on zoloft for a while. He told me that if I quit the zoloft, he would quit the drugs. Plus he said that I married into it. I didn’t know in the beginning and when I found out I asked him to stop. The bad thing is he uses in our home but I am the person that is disrespectful because I left our home for two months last year hoping it would help him to see that we need to work on our problems. He tells me that I am the one with the problem and that our daughter is the one who caused the problems in our marriage. I have made a decision to leave because he has a terrible temper and it’s like he is bi-polar because after he cusses me out, he comes back like nothing has happened and it drives me crazy. I don’t want to leave but I don’t want to live with a 54 year old drug user who has no intention on stopping. I am scared to death and it seems like he has a feeling that I am leaving because he has been nice even though he is still getting high in our home. It drives me crazy and I cant stand it. Even with all of that I wanted my marriage to work. He is self employed and our retirement is based on my job. I would be losing and leaving a lot because everything is in my name and I would be walking away from it all. I have told him many times that I will leave if he doesn’t quit the drugs but he doesn’t believe I will do it. I am so scared and I am even contemplating staying even though I want to go. I have an apartment that I am supposed to take possession of on the 15th. I have asked God if it is his will then make everything go smoothly. I feel like it is God’s will or I would not have even had the strength to apply for the apartment. I am worried about his well being. He has a good heart but I don’t like the drugs. Plus the drugs make him mean.

  37. Dear Amy,

    I’m sorry you had to spend 45 years married to a man you aren’t happy with. I hope the money and medical benefits were worth it! I know how complicated it is to divorce, and I also know that divorce is very difficult to recover from. I understand that it seems easier to stay married, especially when you’re in your mid 60s.

  38. Dear Jessica,

    I think you should get counseling on your own. It doesn’t matter if he is 100% to blame for your marriage problems – you can’t force him to go to marriage counseling or couples therapy. You can’t fix your marriage problems on your own, and you can’t mold your husband into the man you want him to be. You can’t change him….but you can change yourself.

    I don’t know if you should leave your husband, but I believe all women should get as healthy and happy as possible — as independent women!

    What do you think about this, about pursuing health and independence and happiness on your own, apart from your husband? What about getting emotionally and spiritually healthy, so you can be happy no matter what he chooses to do or say?

  39. I’ve been married 46 years and I wish i had read this article 45 years ago.
    We had sex once in all these years that was my first last and only time.
    He has never slept, or eaten with me he just stays cooped up in or basement
    and he is married to work. Works midnights and sleeps all day, he makes
    sure he never has free time and when he does he works in his shop making
    something or carving wood and maybe working on his cars.
    I’ve only stayed with him because of money and med benefits! A divorce is
    to complicated and I have no place to go or any one to be with Plus i”m in my mid 60’s
    and I really don’t care any more…

    1. Hi Amy, I feel so sorry for you because I know exactly what you are going through. I just don’t know how you managed to live with the monster for 46 years, I have been going through the exact same experience but it lasted so far 32 years and I can’t believe that I allowed being treated like this too. I guess it is because we had row children and very other reasons which are not important to me now but it is too late and my life and my youngest daughter’s lives have been well messed up by this dictator and monster of a husband. Please let me have your email address so we can encourage each other. I have so much more to share with you and hopefully we can help and assist each other to get through this misery.

  40. I need help!!!! I’ve been together with my husband for 6 years and married for 2. I feel like his life hasn’t changed and he still does whatever he wants. We have one car and I don’t work and have zero money because I stay home with my daughter who is now 16 months old. It’s like he expects me to do everything and doesn’t really want to help. Sorry this is vulgar but everytime I have a thought or feeling about something he says I am a nagging bitch. We got into an argument about intimacy last night and what do I find when I wake up with my daughter in the morning…. An empty house. He decided to go fishing and then golfing with his brother with out so much as a note, a phone call or anything. Knowing I had plans to get out with my friends and have some much needed alone time. The night before he told me I was an ungrateful piece of crap. Granted it’s not like this all the time but I feel like no matter how much I try to express that his daughter and I miss him and would like to do things other than being stuck in the house all day he just doesn’t seem to care which he has told me repeatedly. Tonight I asked him what his deal was and why is he being rude to me when it’s him that made the mistake. Of course he blamed it all on me because of the previous night when I didn’t feel like being intimate. It’s hard for me to be attracted to him when he treats me bad. Don’t get me wrong I do love the guy and our family but he just doesn’t care. What should I do? My parents are deceased, I have no family and I’m 2500 miles away from my home in California. Stuck in Indiana a place I hate because my husband makes me feel worthless. Just need some advice. I brought up counseling to him but he’s said he is not going and it’s me with the problem. I’m a super nice person and while he was out having fun all day I was stuck in my house cleaning trying to make it look nice for when he got home. Did he notice? Nope he sure didn’t!!! Any advice on what I should do?

    1. I am in the same situation almost! I feel like I need out of the relationship. Love him and our kids but we don’t communicate well and he expects sex even when we are fighting. I turn it down and he gets frustrated.

    2. wow, at least I’m not alone out there! It’s been 13 years for me. our son is 9. we argue a lot, he never wants to do anything with me. Sex is maybe once every 2-4 months and its only for him. he makes me feel unattractive.

    3. Im in the same situation except my husband is on the rd we dont talk for weeks.Then he comes home and is a total jerk!!! I have three boys its real hard i can relate to your situation you can email me to talk harkevanessa at

  41. Hello Tricia,

    It sounds like you and your husband have been through alot in the 10 years you’ve been together! I don’t know if you’re going overboard and being controlling. But, I believe that husbands and wives should respect each other’s opinions no matter what.

    I think there is alot going on in your marriage, and I can’t begin to untangle it all for you. I can’t give advice, but I often encourage women to go to counseling on their own. It’s important to get an unbiased, objective opinion on our own behavior and choices. Getting this type of insight can help us figure out how to improve the marriage, or leave the husband.


  42. have been married 46+ years and I wish I would have left my husband long ago. That was my mistake and the only person I blame is myself. We live in the same house but apart, since day one he’s lived in the basement and I upstairs. We never slept or had sex together, only one time we had sex and I don’t think was in me. It was a 5 minute thing, I never enjoyed it and all these I don’t understand what went wrong. I’m in my upper 60’s hate all men, have no kids or real close friends any more they all died. Plus we haven’t any real money for me to venture out on my own . Just stuck and hoping one day it will be all over.

  43. Mrs J,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. It sounds like you have alot to work through, and you can’t decide if you should leave your common-law, or keep supporting him. You’ve invested a great deal of time, money, and energy in him and your relationship, so it’s not easy to walk away!

    Where do you want to be in one year from now? Remember that you can’t change him – you can only change how you respond to him. You only have control over yourself, not him. Knowing this, what do you want your life to look like in one year? What do YOU have to do to take your life in the direction you want?

  44. Hello Laurie,

    Thanks for being here, and sharing your experience. It sounds like you’ve been through alot over the years with your husband!

    Have you talked to a counselor? Not a marriage counselor, but one for you. You need to get healthy and happy, for your own sake. Then, you can decide what to do about your husband.

    You can’t change your husband, but you can change how you respond to and interact with him. I don’t know if your marriage problems mean you should leave him – I can’t tell you that, and either should a counselor! But it’s important for you to take the time to figure out if you can stay with your husband the way he is, or if you should leave.

    Yes, leaving your marriage is scary. There is no doubt about it. What I always do when I have to make a huge life decision is picture myself when I’m 80. Do I want to look back on my life with satisfaction because I took healthy risks, or do I want to see a life of fear and regret? Your answer to this question is different than mine, and that’s good. The important thing is that you ask yourself the question.

    Also, your comments inspired me to write this article:

    I wish you all the best, and hope you keep in touch.


    1. Hi Laurie this is a great site. I am not married but I have been in a relationship for 4 years and 2 of which ive been engaged. I dated the same guy 3 years followed by a 6 year break. During the first 3 years we dated… I worshipped him. He was my first love I was 19. At that time he did no wrong. He treated me soo good. He couldn’t keep his hands off of me. He was on top of the world and he was at his best. I was very young and hadn’t experienced life and was still a virgin and he was willing to wait of course but other things complicated the relationship at the time such as my Christian beliefs.. He was a partier and I was a church girl. But we were just so in love. He always said we would never be together.. because of our differences. He finally broke up with me after the first 3 years of us being together. It hurt me so bad,,, it took me 2 years to just get over it.. I loved him so much. I hated him for hurting me. I was kicked out of College bc my grades were so horrible bc of the break up. I disappointed my parents. He continued his life dating another girl. I tortured my self by driving by his house seeing her car there. It was the worst few years of my life. I finally came to grips with things and moved on. Got back into school picked my grades up. Finally after 6 years I had let things go enough to speak to him again. He had been in a 6 year relationship that didn’t work out. I don’t know why I didn’t take my time getting back into a relationship with him especially since he probably needed to heal from his break up but I did. I also had a 2 year relationship that I was just getting over with with another guy. So we talked and it was almost like feelings rekindled again. But this time we were different people. I was more mature and more guarded against being hurt again. He was into gambling and drinking a lot more than I had ever been used to. He sometimes stayed out all night gambling and other times he was drunk. He would text females and porn. Because I still was a virgin at 29. He still waited of course, he was dealing with dwi and other court matters from things he had gotten into during that 6 year period. So his license were suspended just everything was crazy. I as a good woman.. encouraged him prayed for him. He was depressed a lot. I saw where I brought joy to his life. This time my feelings of being in love with him as I was before wasn’t there. He wasn’t the same person that grabbed me held me. So now for the first time in 4 years Ive started to think about me. I have given and given and given. He is in school and is not working. Sometimes we stay together sometimes not… he has his place I have mine. but sometimes I wonder if I could even live with him. the drinking, depression, inability to make the right decisions at times. He put hisself in a lot of the crap he’s in. I shouldn’t be punished for that. now I have to drive him around bc he chose to drink and drive. I am angry. As I look back over the 13 year span ive had with and without him. And I feel sometimes that ive waisted so much time. I love him and think and hope that he will get better. He has good points… he is talented musician, he loves horses, he is very honest speaks his mind which I love. He cooks for me, cleans and does those type of things. Finally lost my virginity at 30 and he is great in that department. But I have became very tired of pushing and supporting and feeling like im not getting the same back, bc he is to depressed with life. He feels like a failure. I have taken some time away from the relationship although we are still together. Im in the process of buying a home, although we are engaged, he doesn’t have a steady job to show me that he is willing to make contributions. I do make more money than him but from my view it doesn’t seem that he is ready for marriage. Maybe im asking too much. His license is suspended for a year… I hate driving him around for something I told him he needs to stop doing. I think he is finally waking up but im so OVER this cycle that I almost wonder if its too late. All I want to do now is just be by myself. Being in his presense too long makes me think of how some of his decisions has affected my life negatively. So I just decided that while we are together im gonna focus on me. Put myself first. Before I decide to get married. I have numbmed myself so much. I just stay busy. he is not abusive but he just seems like he is existing. He isn’t making money he used to make so he is just there no aspiration no drive anymore not like the man I used to know when we first fell in love. Do I wait around for him to get back on the wagon or do I keep it moving. Ive invested time money. I put in application for him to get jobs and go to school. I paid for his school. Im trying to be there but I just have become way to frustrated and TIRED!! im sorry this is so long. thanks for reading

      1. If I were you I would NOT continue this relationship. I am married to someone very similar….it did not get better, in fact, it has only gotten worse. When my Husband feels like a failure because of the choices he has made (similar to the ones you mentioned), he finds other women (usually via the internet) that make him feel better about himself. This has been an awfully painful relationship and if it were not for our children, I wouldn’t even consider trying to make it work. I wish I could go back and rewrite and ending or two…..

  45. I have been married to my husband for 32 years. We married fairly young and had one son who is now 31 years old. We both worked and contributed to paying our bills and creating assets throughout the years. His idea of marriage was not the same as mine. He grew up in a broken home, I didn’t. He has been physically abusive to me a handful of times throughout the years. He is non-communicative so I just learned from him to sweep our problems under the rug. We’ve never learned to talk about our problems. The last straw for me is when he retired at the age of 48 after getting his 30 years in construction. He has a nice pension and I was happy for him. When I brought up the subject of him working a part-time job so we could sock some money away for me to be able to retire, he blew me off. I mean, who retires at 48??? I will be working, at the least, 20 years more than him. I never had jobs with fat pension plans but I worked because we couldn’t live on one income. I had some crappy jobs but I did it. I find myself resenting him more each day. He hunts, fishes, and plays all the time while he watches me go to work each day. I’ve lost so much respect for him because of this. To be honest, I’m not sure I even love him anymore. I’ve had no say in any of the major milestones in our life, he made all the decisions. I’m afraid if I don’t divorce him now, I’ll always wonder what could have been. Problem is, I’m scared. I don’t want to make a major mistake. What do you think I should do — any advise?

  46. Dear Crystal,

    Your comments inspired me to write an article about Christian marriage and divorce, and I offer a couple of suggestions for you in it:

    Questions for you:

    What is the Holy Spirit guiding you to do?

    What word do you get from God, others, or the Bible when you pray about your marriage?

    Is your reluctance to get divorced because of your religious background and beliefs, or because God really is asking you to stay in this marriage?

    1. Laurie,

      Thank you so much for replying to me! I never went into detail about our marriage, but I have been stuck in an emotionally abusive relationship. I feel like you wrote that article just for me. All my friends and family have told me about the way he treats me and I never wanted to accept it or believe it. We tried talking last night and I tried to tell him how he puts people down or talks harshly to people, and he dismissed my feelings. My daughter screamed at him that she hates him and then the next moment she was crying and saying when she’s upset all she wants is for her Dad to put her arms around her and hug her. My husband just sat there when she told him this. When I brought it up to him again and said that was an invitation for him to hug her, he replied, “She just told me she hates me. I’m not going to hug her after that!” I just looked at him in disbelief because I can see the cry of her heart just wanting her father to love her. I still don’t know if I have a spine and I’m strong enough to leave because I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost our entire marriage and have no means of income on my own. But thank you for your words of wisdom in making me feel it’s ‘okay’ if I do decide to leave him.

  47. I am contemplating divorce. My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We have had problems the past few years that keep coming up every couple months. I have stayed just because I’m a Christian and God hates divorce and there has been no infidelity. But now my husband and 15yr old daughter are butting heads and he says she is turning out just like me. They got in a fight this morning and my daughter said she wants to be emancipated and move out. My husband said to give him the papers and he would kick her out himself. Now my daughter says she will leave and move out if I don’t leave him. I feel torn between trying to continue to make things work or lose my daughter. My husband says I have ruined his life and everything is my fault. I just feel drained. I have tried everything to make things work and I’m not perfect and have made mistakes too, but I can’t keep living this way. Suggestions?

    1. you need to leave him regardless if you are a christian or not…Nothing is permanent in life, we go through different seasons, and when love is gone and is unberable at home, and kids are in the middle and suffer it is time to move on!…i have 4 children, and I left my husband and divorced him, that was the best decision i ever made…:)….do the same, there is someone else out there for you, who will make you happier, life is too short to be unhappy….good luck, nd god bless…btw…no one knows what God thinks, BUTGod do not want you to be unhappy and your children….

  48. Dear Sal,

    It sounds like you’re working through one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make in your life! Probably the biggest decision. So, it’s normal and even healthy to feel fear. Of course you’re scared of the future! There are so many unknowns, so many possibilities.

    I believe the key to being a healthy, happy woman is knowing that there will always be unknowns in your life. More importantly – the key to being happy and healthy is trusting that you have the ability to take care of what comes, that you can handle it.

    Take one step at a time. Connect with God, or a whatever you conceive a Higher Power to be. Envision what you want out of your life, and start creating what you want.

    I don’t know if you should leave your husband – that’s between you and God. But, I do know that the only way to handle uncertainty and fear of the unknown is to take it one step at a time, and trust that your life is unfolding the way it should. Follow your heart and your gut. You won’t be misled if you stay connected to your true self.

    In peace and passion,

    1. Hello. My husband and I have been fighting g a lot. We have 3 sons together been in a relationship for 10 years married for 6. I’m contemplating separation. All because I feel like he doesn’t want to spend time with me. I have to bring it up to him which starts a fight. He is a drug addict in recovery. I have been going through this battle with him for 7 years off and on. I have no trust in him. Once I build it up it gets lost again by something new he does. Now I have suspicions he might be using something again. He doesn’t have missing money though. But he always has an excuse to leave everyday. He had to go see his best friend everyday and wants him to go places with him all the time. I told him I don’t like that he had to see him every day. He can call him if he wants to talk to him. But he says he live 5 mins walking from us why am I going to call him. It really bugs me because this “friend” was one that did drugs with him so I can’t trust that he not doin anything with him. My husband says I’m being controlling by wanting to know where he is and who he’s with and what time…bla bla bla. I’m jot controlling in jealous that he hangs out with his friend and asks him to go places with him and he is now trying g to get him a job with him. Am I going over board?

  49. Hi there
    I have just found this article – i went away recently to look after my sick dad overseas and the time away from my family (just 10 days) and my two young kids 3&5 was the clarity of distance I needed. I missed my kids but not my husband.

    I also was exposed to old friendships while away that had made change – had moved on – had not put up or settled with an ok or not ok situation. I found this quite amazing to see people who had been in long terms relationships of 10+ years have the courage to go out and change their situation. One friend saying she had never felt the love that she felt know with a new partner. And she deserved it.

    I came home from caring for my dad to my husband and my kids and immediately picked up my mother role -as you do – days worth of jetlag – few short tempers and yukky sleepless nights and I just felt this weird feeling of ‘have i settled’ and i really happy? Am I compromising with this man. It is not the first time I have thought this. We have grown apart – we have no shared interests – I do most of the parenting role/household role – despite the odd hands in the air fight about who does what. We are struggling a little financially and we argue alot.

    I went to see a counsellor in December as these thoughts started to manifest into worry and made me feel anxious/nervous. who explained i have a lot on my plate not only am I caring for my sick fathers affairs from afar I am also trying to weigh up my future and what that looks like – we did some work in to my past and every relationship on my family side are broken except for an aunt. No wonder I have this in me. M y parents are no longer together – mum left dad in her 60s. This is what has led to/triggered early onset dementia. She finally left – I admire her courage but i despise the outcome with dad. Why wait that long – I wish she had left sooner.

    Also my husbands folks are still together but their relationship is far from perfect and they keep secrets from each other – one is more dominant than the other and to me its all BS. They put on their ‘jazz hands’

    If you are no longer happy in a relationship it appears to be too clear cut to say – you know what I am a good person – you are a good person we are no longer good together anymore.

    The counselling has continued for me and i am on session 4 – I have looked inside myself – what I can change – what I love – what I am not doing – he does not want to do counselling – as men are so ridiculously private. So here I am thinking well what is there for us?

    We have been together since I was 20 – the world was so very different then – i am now 38 and through the baby bubble – i want to go out from time to time, have moments of laughter, belly hurting laughter, memories of dancing and singing and just letting our hair down. I have different interests and hobbies as does he – and that is OK!

    He did take me away for the weekend as a panic reaction to me explaining where I was at – it was nice but within days of being home we are back to the same old.

    I guess I am looking for something I could be missing – as my counsellor has said I am probably more down the road with this decision than I am actually admitting.

    But I am scared about the future too – scared about financials, scared about blending families, scared about ever being able to meet a man that can make me FEEL again.

    Thanks for listening to my ramble

  50. I’ve been married almost 12 yrs now. We both brought one son each and blended the family, both boys graduated high school last year. We also have a 4 yr old. My husband makes the majority of the income for the family and constantly reminds me of how hard he works and how much he pays for. I contribute plenty to the household, however he refuses to acknowledge that and wants to take all the credit. He constantly puts me down about the finances. Not only does he put me down about finances, he puts me down about my