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

They don’t all stay like that. Sometimes one or two knock-down dragout fights are all that’s needed…after that he learns that you need to be listened to, just as he needs to be listened to. He doesn’t seem like a terrible guy, and if he could just learn…

I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I thinks it’s the rare married couple where one or both partners doesn’t feel the way you do now at sometime or other. I know I’ve been there.

Others have focused on other aspects of your situation, but I’ll just mention the part I’ve quoted (and bolded) above.

I don’t think it’s wise to pin your hopes of happiness on another person. Happiness ultimately comes from within.

I think you sensed that when you added on the thought “if that is possible” – so I think you know this at some level.

But it bears repeating: Don’t depend on finding the right person to make you happy. It’s a fools errand. Only you can make yourself happy. Finding another person to share that happiness with is wonderful, of course, but you must first find inner happiness anyway, so my advice is to get started on that.

And to go back to a great anecdote from the 7 Habits audio book (or something). If you want to feel the emotion of love, you must take the action of love. The action inspires the emotion.

I know that every time I have felt like it would just be easier to live alone, I remember this concept, and behave more lovingly to him. Maybe I’m lucky in that he responds back lovingly also. But then I feel back to being in love with him.

I found that anecdote, which sounds trite initially, to be actually very good advice.

The part that jumped out at me is that you have been married four years and have a 3 1/2 year old. Did you get married because of the baby? Did you feel trapped into marrying him b/c of the pregnancy, did he feel trapped into marrying you for the same reason (or do you suspect it to be the case and feel insecure in the relationship because of it?).

No judgement here, my wife and I had a 3 year old before we got around to tying the knot.

It sounds like you and your husband have never had the time to just be husband and wife together. It’s been pretty much “Baby Baby Baby” since day one. How long did you date before getting hitched?

Look, no offense, but this board is fully of bright, bubbly, attractive twenty-somethings with no kids who couldn’t buy a date. At 43, with a kid, the idea that you’d “soon find a partner” who wants to move in with you and support your kid is… well, optimistic, to say the least.

Forgive me for hijacking, but this truth is so very irritating.

WHY should I have to spell it out for them?

It’s like finding what I call “bachelor habits” all over the place – clothes draped over a chair instead of put away, dishes piled in the sink, etc. WHY should I have to nag? IT’S PLAIN COMMON SENSE. No married male I know of does any of that, so I’m thinking either 1) they’ve been browbeaten within an inch of their lives by their spouses, or 2) their spouses are sick of the battle and end up cleaning it themselves, which in turn makes them more bitter (and yes, I have friends who fit that description).

Add all this to having a toddler or two, and I can empathize with the OP.

BTW, calling a halt to cleaning up after a spouse doesn’t solve anything. It just makes matters worse, from my experience.

There has been a lot of good discussion, but I want to add that this sounds like your husband is being withholding, here. The “immune to blackmail” comment especially sounds defensive and antagonistic. It sounds like you believe that a marriage requires intimacy, support, and caring or there’s just no point to it and your husband sees intimacy, support, and caring as trespassing on his personal boundaries.

This is a big mismatch in expectations. I wouldn’t expect that to work itself out without councelling. The answer to Bob Ducca’s question may touch on one cause for him feeling like he needs to fight to maintain boundaries. There may be other things, too. It might be profitable for you to think that you BOTH deserve better. If nothing else, men in supportive marriages live longer and stay healthier.

I’d say this may benefit from financial planning, rather than councelling, but most money arguments are emotionally based. If there’s a mortgage, that split looks like you’re paying most of the bills, even before the joint account runs out. But that may not be the case or there may be a reason for it. Would he be more likely to see a financial advisor as neutral, compared to a marriage councellor?

Does your family have a savings plan? A retirement plan? If not, that could be a wedge issue for getting financial advice.

As other have said, this sounds like two different, but related issues. If you had to choose, which would you work on first or hardest, the personal intimacy issue or the logistical money/time/chores issue? Even if it’s the same issue underneath, there are two different facets that can be dealt with different ways.

Not always, I assure you. My ex did neither jack nor shit. It is a constant amazement to me that my new boyfriend does all this stuff.

Yeah. Not everyone sees their spouse’s contributions unrealistically. I, for example, freely admit that my husband does more around the house than I do, especially since I got pregnant. I feel kind of bad about this and need to do something about it, but he really doesn’t seem to mind at all.

Or maybe, just maybe, some of us married guys are just, you know, nice guys with common sense and decency, that didn’t need to be browbeaten to pick up after themselves?

I’ve also seen cases where the husband’s ‘willingness to do things around the house’ was in direct inverse proportion to the wife’s degree of expectation that ‘he should do more around the house’.

I’m going to go in completely different direction here -

You have a toddler. If it’s anything like every other person I’ve known who had a kid, for the first few years the kid sucks up all the time and energy in a family. Husband and Wife become Mom and Dad - and don’t really have the time and resources to be Husband and Wife. IMHO you have mis-directed your dissatisfaction in your life in general at your husband - because you don’t currently “feel the love”, whereas you aren’t directing the dissatisfaction at the kid - because there you do “feel the love”. I’m not suggesting you blame the kid for your state - I’m simply saying you should recognize that the dynamic of having a very young child is more than likely responsible for how you feel. Your husband is simply a convenient target for your dissatisfaction. All of his imperfections are magnified in your current mind-state.

Once again - the suggestion of counselling is in order. But you might have a better time selling it to your husband if you frame it differently - instead of “we need counselling because I’m dissatisfied with you!”, you could try “we need counselling because we are loosing track of our relationship, due to the dynamic of having the kid.”

This triggered a peeve of mine. This is not really a male/female thing. Everyone has a different tolerance for things left out or around. Both male and female same sex roommates have the same conflicts. And more importantly, things you leave around make sense to you in some way (it is convient, it is temporary, or whatever) while somebody else’s stuff left around is just clutter.

True story, I have been yelled at by my wife when she tripped over her own shoes because she thought they were mine for a second. Because just like most human behavior we cut our own actions much more slack then would for some else.

Do NOT do this (sorry Anaamika)! My ex-husband and I had separate bedrooms when we were having problems and that was the final nail in the coffin for our marriage. We thought it would help, but it had the opposite effect. If you’re disconnected now, sleeping in separate rooms like roommates will make it worse.

I moved out a year and a half ago after trying date nights and counseling. I’m much happier now, but our 5 year old has been having behavioral problems ever since, but we’re good at co-parenting and are doing our best to help her deal with this.

I still don’t regret leaving and I’m satisfied that we tried everything to fix it before we split. If you don’t try everything, you may have regrets. Good luck with whatever you decide.

I haven’t read that book, but I can second the idea. Any kind of stress in my life makes me feel like I’ve fallen out of love with my SO. However, that can be overcome by acting like I’m in love. It’s not immediate, but it does work. Very much the same idea as “You make your own happiness”.

Also, I strongly recommend a husband- and child-free vacation. Even if it’s just a couple of nights in a local hotel. Hole up, watch whatever you want on TV, order room service, sit by the pool, whatever. I think it will do you a world of good. And don’t worry that wanting it means your marriage is broken. Admitting that you need it and acting on it will keep your marriage intact. The happiest marriages in my family are couples who regularly spend time apart.

I don’t have time to read the whole thread right now, but one things about the OP strikes me - it’s all about you, Maastricht, and what you want, and nothing about what your son needs. You haven’t described an abusive relationship or anything like that; you just want more out of a relationship than you’re currently getting, it seems, but you decided to have a kid with this guy - that is a big commitment, and breaking it because things aren’t as fun as you think they should be doesn’t sound like the answer to me.

Sorry, dear. :slight_smile:

If he won’t got to marital counseling with you, go alone. But for heaven’s sake (and your boy’s sake) please get some professional help before you decide to make such a big decision. It could be depression, or it could be something you could work on together, but a bunch of strangers on an internet message board cannot give you the kind of personal advice you need.

But it’s good you’re asking for help, even if you’re starting here.

You have a nice house, a husband, a toddler, a job.

I’m sorry. You sound spoiled right now. I don’t know what else to say except talk to your husband. You don’t sound like a treat to live with, either. :confused:

That too. I do know a few husbands who aptly fit that description. In my experience, however, they’re far and few between.

Because [del]they[/del] WE are not telepathic.

“He should be sensitive enough to know how I feel without my having to tell him” is a load of crap.