How do I initiate a divorce as painless and as cheaply as possible? (Rambling marital problems)

I like my husband, we have infrequent but okay sex, and he is a good dad to our toddler son. We both work part-time. But I often think I would prefer to live alone.

I am just so tired all the time. I like my husband, but I don’t love him, if I ever did. I was just in love with him, and he does have many good qualities.

But I don’t feel the love for him that I feel for my son or my two best friends; I define love as that feeling that whatever I do for them, I do for me. It is just so natural to want to help them, and they have the same for me. I sometimes just wished I could live with my BFF instead of my husband.

With my husband, it used to be natural from my side, but that feeling is gone. Instead I feel that he likes to take care of himself, and he expects me to take care of myself, and if there are mutual benefits, that is fine.
But I feel like a fool for taking care of him, and doing about 100 % of his share of the communal work, and a lot of care that he probably doesn’t even see as care, just as meddling.
We have a lot of squabbling going on along the lines of “will this come out of your of mine paycheck/me time”?
We don’t have that much mutual respect; he often ignores/disregards my contributions and I do the same with his remarks outside of his area of expertise.

I don’t know where to go from here. As I said, I don’t hate him. But living like this is a drag. I would love more me-time. I love our house.
He likes his life with me and likes to stay married to me. I have told him my feelings. But he prefers to see them as fleeting, hormonal, not fundamental. He sees me most of the time as fun and sweet. He certainly doesn’t feel a huge need to change, or the alarm that might prompt us to seek couples therapy. Neither do I, I don’t believe couples therapy would change anything for longer then two weeks. That is just the way he is. It is divorce or accept what is. Or me working less, but we can’t really afford that, I think.

Neither of us has another love interest lined up. I sometimes dream about him finding a ladyfriend and moving in with her: then we wouldn’t have double housing costs and he could take our son a part of the week. I doubt that I would miss him romantically.

I think I would date again then; I like living with a man I love. I have enough to offer to attract someone decent. And I can’t pay for this house alone in a comfortable way. I even considered that I should initiate finding a man to replace my husband. But when I scan dating sites, I become discouraged and finding another guy just seems like an chore.

Thanks for listening to my rambling. I know I sound cold and that in this rambling I don’t take the needs of our son into account.

Advice and even kicks in my butt are welcome.


You could talk, and get counselling, and work on things.

Wow. There have been times when I could have written most of the OP, so please don’t take any of my advice as dismissive.

Question one: any chance that you’re clinically depressed? I’m not discounting your feelings, but I know from experience that “I don’t give a damn” can be a major overlooked symptom.

Okay, not depressed? Your description makes your marriage sound more like a business partnership than a marriage. If that doesn’t work for you, except financially, then it’s up to you to decide whether the trade off is worth it to you personally. If your happiness is predicated on living in that house, then you either stay in the marriage or figure how to earn more.

If neither of those options works for you on a personal level? Get out. When my marriage ended, I went from a lovely suburban home to a tiny little outdated … well, shack might be overstating, but not by much. I was happier, and so were the kids, because it was our shack, dammit, and the kids and I felt much more stable, even if we ate a lot of Ramen and couldn’t afford things that we might have liked.

No concrete advice, except to remind you that happiness may not be tied up in a house… Good luck, and hugs, and virtual support, whatever you decide you should do.

Maastricht, I second the advice to get yourself screened for depression before making any big, life-changing steps. Didn’t you recently lose a large amount of weight? I’m wondering if there could be a tie-in there, different self image, changing expectations, something like that?

In any case, making an effort - through counseling, or really forcing your husband to take this seriously - before deciding to file for divorce would at least give you the reassurance that you’ve made the right decision with thought instead of ennui.

You have a toddler. Divorce is not a good way to get more “me time” right now. I agree, try counseling first.

Most women when they get divorced end up in a worse financial spot, with less time. Which might be worthwhile for you, but it sounds like a lot of your stress starts with time and money.

Didn’t we just have a thread on this? I know I saw something on this in the last couple of weeks, but it’s something like people seem to think that they do the majority of the work around the house, with the kids, in the relationship, when if fact it really is most of the time a 50/50 split. What the other person doesn’t see is that there are plenty of things that get done that just go unnoticed by the other person.

I think that the two of you should sit down and talk, see a marriage counselor and at least try. You might also ask for more ‘me’ time, you have a toddler, I’m guessing between 1-2, and those things are hard, you, and your husband, need some me time and some together time.

When my ex left I talked to a lot of people, and one woman told me that there are bad times in every relationship, sometimes lasting almost a year, but in the end it’s worth sticking it out. I can’t see cutting and running just because there’s a downturn in your relationship.

Hi Maastricht, I’m sorry you are having this trouble in your marriage. But I agree with the others who recommend that you get screened for depression before doing something as drastic as ending it. Although you have some disconnect with your husband, things could be a LOT worse, and leaving the marriage when you might be in a troubled state of mind could end you up in a worse place. So please take your time before doing anything precipitous. Good luck, I hope you feel better and then after that you can make a decision about your relationship.

I really don’t know how to force my husband to take it all seriously.

He takes pride in being “immune to blackmail” and he feels my complaints are just fleeting. When I don’t whine or complain, he sees no problem. And I don’t want to whine or complain more then 5 % of our time together.

And to those mentioning depression: yes, I am still mildly depressed. It has been worse the past five years, and it is slowly getting better.

chiroptera you are right about my expectations changing. I was at a healthy weight when we met six years ago; I gained and lost 80 pounds since then. When I was obese, I felt I should be glad he put up with me; now that I have pretty much a model’s clothing size, I kind of feel it is “now or never” in landing a man that makes me… happier, if that is possible.

I don’t know. Maybe it is immature to think that my husband should make me happy. Maybe my husband is right that all we can do is take care of our own needs and our kids needs. In that case, all is should do is stop taking care of him. But I do know it is possible to take care of each other in a relationship, because I feel that with my BFF and another friend.

I think the notion that you will have more ‘me time’ and $$ as a single mother than you do married is…misguided.

While you’ve dismissed marriage counseling out of hand, perhaps you would benefit from some individual counseling - you seem a bit directionless and a counselor may help you figure out exactly what it is that you want.

Maastricht, it’s not clear how long you’ve been feeling like this. I’m also not sure how old you and your husband are, or how long you’ve been married, which might change my advice, but I’m going to go against the tide on this one a little bit.

I think a trial separation might be a good answer for you. If you can work out the details, some time apart might tell you if you are truly no longer in love or if stress and other factors are causing you to think you are no longer in love.

I say this because I did this all the time. I would convince myself that I wanted out, boot my husband out or leave myself, only to want him back in short order.

But if respect is gone, I doubt the relationship can be saved. Respect is huge because the lack of it often means that people are really nasty to each other. That is more harmful to everyone involved, IMO.

Good luck.

I know. But I would go for shared custody, with our son spending equal parts of the week with me and him. And I think we would both soon find other partners to help with finances (if only by sharing housing) and child care.

Eta, I’m 43, my husband is 37. We’ve been married four years. Our son is three and a half.

Maastricht, I hate it when people give others a mental diagnosis over the internet, but I’m going to second/third/fourth what others have said- get screened for depression! I’ll give you a specific reason-

That’s not a normal thought. When most people consider divorce, they don’t think that an alternative solution would be working less. Those two things don’t solve the same problems!

I think you’re just overstressed. You’re working, taking care of the kid, and taking care of the household. That’s making you look to eliminate one of those things, and when you can’t, you blame it on your husband. Now it may be true that he doesn’t contribute to the household, but here are easier fixes than leaving him…that would probably make things worse!

You don’t want a divorce; you want a vacation.

I’m sorry to be blunt, but worthwhile men don’t want 43-year-old women with toddlers. And they sure as hell aren’t going to move in with you any time soon. You’ll either end up with a douche bag that can’t hold a job or relationship, or it’ll take some time to find someone. I’m talking at least five years.

This is the line that is most troubling to me, that he is just dismissing your concerns. Go and get some counseling. Can you move in with your mother’s for a while? This was a way women used to deal with this sort of feeling. Whatever you do, make sure it’s what you really want and not just a midlife crisis. Yes, women get them too.

A 43 year old single mother looking for someone to help support her isn’t exectly considered a great catch.

They would if they have shared custody, too, wouldn’t they? We would have a couple days a week just ourselves and our jobs to worry over, and a couple of days we would combine my and his kids. And his kids might very well be older and more capable of entertaining themselves.

And I am financially self reliant; and I do love to keep a good house. It is just that no-one can support a family and a home on a part time job, even though it is a good and steady part-time job. (four days a week). Besides I am, currently, good looking enough.

So, do you want to be alone or do you want someone else? I think you need to step back and figure out exactly what you want and then articulate that to your husband to see if he can help you get it. If he can’t or won’t, maybe you can agree to divorce.

It seems illogical to me, however, that a single mother with a part time job and a mortgage will have more “me-time.”

That remark hit me over the head with a mallet. That is it. Damn.

But: I also want a vacation from my husband. What does that say? My ideal of a vacation is a month home alone to sit on the couch reading, exercising, and catch up with all of my chores and projects. While my son and husband are out having fun.

No, my mom is just about as bad as yours. :slight_smile: From what I gather, a midlife crisis is when you want to get “more” out of life, right? Maybe I do, but it doesn’t feel like that because this kidn of life is still very new to me and I want rest far more then I want wild partying.

We all want that, hon.