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If I followed my heart I would be divorced already. It's been a long time since I felt as though my marriage was working, and when I daydream about being happy it doesn’t include my husband. I make enough money to live comfortably, although it would be in a small apartment instead of the house I live in now. I could make it on my own if I had to, and I think it would be a pretty good life.

That thinking comes to a screeching halt when I bring my kids into the equation.

I'm not even talking about the psychological trauma my kids would deal with as a result of a divorce, although I'm certainly not discounting that by any means. 

You see, while I know I could make it on my own financially, I'm not so convinced that I could make it on my own with two kids. A small apartment gets even tinier when there are three occupants. While I wouldn't mind eating oatmeal for dinner if money were tight, I wouldn't want to force that situation onto my kids. I don't necessarily have to leave the house since I work from home, so if the car needed repairs I could wait it out until I could afford to get it fixed.  This isn't true with two young kids who have to get to school on a rainy or snowy day.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not fantasizing about leaving my kids and husband behind so I can go live the life of a starving artist. I would never leave my kids behind. What I'm trying to show you is why sometimes women who aren't happy, yet aren't in any danger, take a lot longer to make the decision to leave. Some women like me want to get all our financial ducks in a row before initiating the end to a marriage.

And there are also women like me who desperately hope that something will click with the marriage and everything will be right again before the ducks ever get into a row.

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7 comments

  • Comment Link Dee Monday, 07 January 2013 14:13 posted by Dee

    I stayed for 20 years. My: I stayed for 20 years. My kids were my passion and I absolutely loved being an at home mom. But I was miserable with being a wife to my kids father. He didn't beat me...physically. Mentally, he did a major job of making me feel that I was never gonna be good enough to make him happy. He found that porn made him feel satisfied and wanted me to play a role in that satisfaction. For a while I played along. Then I got so hurt and sad when I realized that I would have to keep doing "more" to keep him entertained....it wouldn't ever be good enough.
    Two of our girls were in high school when I left. The other one was twenty but still living at home. She had a good job but now looking back, I think she felt that she would never be good enough either.
    Sad to say that my three daughters never really saw what a loving partnership is supposed to be like. They never saw a mom who enjoyed being with her husband. Never held hands. Never laughed at his "jokes" or slaps on my hiney hinting at intimacy (more like repulsion).
    Sad really.
    I left him last year. My girls are dealing with having to do household chores. They have to vacuum, mop, dust, laundry, cook dinner, walk the dog, etc. Their lifestyle changed a tad bit...but not really. He still provides them a very nice house, nice cars to drive, latest and greatest cel phone and gadgets, fancy trips, new wardrobe every season...
    Meanwhile, mom lives in a tiny apartment that their dad calls "in the gheTTo" and sold the Rolex to pay for Attorney's, sold the Suburban gas guzzler and got a VW Bug that my youngest daughter hates because it didn't come with a TV....but you know what?
    I am happy.
    I am sad.
    I am free
    I am sometimes guilty for the pain they are going thru.
    But, in the end, I am happy.

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 10 October 2010 15:57 posted by Guest

    what's the worst that could happen?: Really. think about it. I am in the process of divorcing my husband of 13 years. During those years, he became so comfortable with me, he took me for granted. He sayd I made him a better person: all i can say is he took all the energy from me. All he contributed financially came to a halt when HE decided to start a business and change our life forever. Now we are filing bankruptcy. I have no credit. I have a 6 year old to take care of. I have a job that pays minimum wage. I am the one paying for everything because the business is still not making any profits. STILL, I AM doing it (cant even pay for the divorce yet ). In my worst times, I like to think "whats the worst that could happen?". Hey, if I need to get help from the government (and believe me, i probably will have to) I will DO it for my kid. I am a professional, well educated, strong woman, I am a mom and a warrior. I deserve to be happy. My kid deserves a happy mom. I am with all the others that adviced against waiting just for the fear of change. One of my favorite quotes from "Eat, Pray, Love": "stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughta be"

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 22 June 2009 15:37 posted by Guest

    Divorce and kids: Every day it was one foot in front of the other until my daughter had left the household, my son off to college. Just the two of us - with nothing in common - no sex - no fun - just dinner - sometimes friends - but mostly always separate. I guess I never consciously thought about divorce until one day it hit me. I'm 47 - will I ever have sex again? (it had been 10 years+) I had done my job. To do it all over again, I would have found a way to get out sooner - while I was younger. Yes, money would have been an issue, but life is to short to be with someone who doesn't make you feel alive, feel like a woman, and be wanted and loved - not taken for granted and just there. It's been 4 years - my ex-husband told my mother he doesn't date because it's too much work! Yes, easier to have a wife you can leave behind! My regret that I didn't do it sooner: my children never saw a loving mother and father - cordial, friendly, more brother and sister than husband & wife.

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 22 June 2009 11:45 posted by Guest

    I so understand what you are: I so understand what you are saying. Unfortuantely, money is our ticket to freedom. I wish I had an abundance of it so I can be free and happy with my kids. Some days, my headache consumes me. I feel like I'm being smuthered and suffocated. Oh well, it's just the way it is. Because like you, I love my children and do not want to put them through what I went through as a teenager: a divorce. It was aweful for me and I never want them to have to endure that pain. I have a very busy and happy life otherwise. I finally graduated from college and have my own business. I love my work. So I try to focus on what makes me happy and eventually I will deal with what will come.

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 16 April 2009 15:48 posted by Guest

    Been there, done that: I would not have been married anywhere near 15 years if kids hadn't been in the equation. But as they approached junior high and I realized my marriage had deteriorated so badly that the hostility was just under the surface, I began to realize that my children would be learning this lifestyle from me. Even if my X and I weren't fighting, we definitely weren't loving each other and I knew my children would grow up thinking that was normal. I couldn't wish that on them.

    Two years after my divorce I sometimes chastise myself that I didn't go through with it earlier. The kids are fine. The finances work themselves out. My kids are learning to be self sufficient and strong and are growing up with laughter. But I console myself with the thought that everything happens in its own time. I grew stronger and more confident during that time. And tell myself if I stayed too many years in a bad marriage, at least I'm not doing it anymore.

  • Comment Link Guest Thursday, 16 April 2009 12:21 posted by Guest

    I am you. It's true, I am: I am you. It's true, I am afraid of change like the poster indicated, but, I know my kids will not have the "financial" life they could have if I stay married. AND, it's true, that I hope one day it will just click. At the same time, I sometimes (often) find myself jealous of people who did it - who were able to fight their husbands. My head spins every day - just like yours. I do fine. I could probably survive. But, my commute would be long, my insecurities deepened, etc., etc. The worst part is, I do feel pathetic. The empowerment would go a long way in some ways, but I wonder how far it would go when I could not have other things my children can have now.

  • Comment Link Wednesday Thursday, 16 April 2009 10:17 posted by Wednesday

    You sure this is about your kids: and not simply just you being afraid of change?

    Hey, I did it, I told myself it was better for my child if I stayed married. But really...I was terrified that I'd end up living with my kid in poverty, trying to raise her on my own and becoming every "single mother" cliche I'd ever heard.

    It didn't happen, mostly because I'd already *been* a single mother, just one who happened to be married. My ex barely played any role, other than financial, in our day-to-day lives. He was home, but he was rarely present.

    If your husband is a really involved father, good for him. If he's one more burden on your chore list, though...take a good hard look at what you're saying.