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I spend a lot of time thinking about the what-ifs associated with ending my marriage. What if my husband tries to turn the kids against me? What if he stops paying his portion of the bills and I wind up with a house in my name that I can't afford to pay? What if he fights for custody and wins it?

Awhile back my husband and I were sitting in a coffee shop. I laid it all out on the table for him: "If we do wind up splitting, can we both remain civil to each other? Can we still co-parent, just not as husband and wife?" I implored him to promise me that the two of us will always put the kids ahead of any disagreements we may have with each other. I asked him to assure me that if we can't pull it together to save our marriage that maybe we can at least make it as painless a process as possible.

No, I don't think that the end of a marriage is "painless" by any stretch of the imagination, for the couple or for the kids involved.  My hope, however, is that it's possible that two people can remain civil and end the marriage without all the what-ifs coming to fruition.

So on the one hand I can foresee a life without being married. If I take away all the horrible what-ifs I've had running through my mind then it would probably have the potential to be a really pleasant existence. Somehow, though, I doubt that our promise at the coffee house will hold.  Emotions will bubble over and the man who doesn't want to let me go will get frustrated, angry, and will have a very hard time being civil.  

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  • Comment Link Guest Friday, 20 March 2009 09:19 posted by Guest

    Sounds like you are doing the: Sounds like you are doing the right thing. I left my husband two years ago and he continues to make my life and my sons life miserable because he is unable to move forward. I'm at the point where I'm considering moving back and living a life like your at least for some peace. Being strong can come with a huge price and unfortunately th kids end up paying along with you so to protect them you suffer.

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 19 March 2009 10:39 posted by Guest

    I hope so: I would leave my husband tomorrow if I knew we could divorce civily and that he would act responsibly towards our kids. As it is, I stay in this nighmare of an empty marriage because if we split, I know he would fight for equal custody (our kids are an extension of his ego) and I don't trust him to look after our kids properly - he is bipolar and has a drinking problem.

    Even if I fought him for sole (or at least majority custody), I am scared that he would do something stupid if he lost. Unfortunately there are too many tales of fathers killing their kids (and themselves) after custody disputes for me to feel assured that he would not do it, especially given that his mental illness predisposes him to suicidal thoughts. I am fully aware that sometimes it is better for kids if the parents divorce than stay together. I just feel that I would be putting them at risk if I did. So for now I stay and try to take comfort in my kids. When they are older and able to decide more for themselves, I may finally be able to make the break.

    Some of my friends say I am very strong for staying. I am scared that I am just very weak.