I'm just so tired. How does one end it?

Note to Mods: I don’t know if this belongs here or IMHO. My apologies if I’ve mis-placed it.

I’m not accustomed to whining and/or bearing all to strangers but I need some help. Here’s my story…

I’ve been married for 10 years and the first 5 were very good (I thought so, anyway). Then one day, about 5 years ago, I caught my husband looking at internet porn–A LOT. I told him if he ever did it again, I’d divorce him. After that, we started trying to have a baby. I have several infertility issues and it took us about 3 years to get pregnant. Finally, we found out we were expecting and we were so thrilled. About 2 weeks later, I caught him on the internet porn again. I was crushed and terrified of being pg and alone. So, I stayed. Our sex life just died. I’d initiate and he’d push me away. Over and over. Finally, the more pg I got, the more the rejection hurt–feeling like a fat cow and all. So I stopped trying. About 6 weeks before our son was born, he started an affair that lasted 8 months. By the time I knew about it, it was over by several months. I found out on 1.02.03 and I just died. I decided to stay with him because of 2 things: I figured I’m 33 years old with a baby…who’s gonna want me? and our little boy is so happy when the three of us are together. So, I thought I’d give it a year.

It’s now been 10 months and things really are not much better. He still works about 100 hours/week (not exagerrating), we have had sex only about 5-6 times in that 10 months, despite my repeated requests. We went more than 2 full years with no sex at all. Nada. Not even once. He promised me that he’d spend every day for the rest of his life making it up to me and I don’t think he has. He has even said he hasn’t given it his best effort. He’s uncommunicative, when I try to talk even about mundane stuff (much less our marriage), he cuts me off. We did go to marriage counseling for a while but quit mostly because of money but also because of time.

He says he loves me and that I’m a wonderful wife. I do love him but I can only take my needs being ignored for so long. I need a partner, a help-mate, someone who puts my needs and desires first. I’ve given up any realistic hope (there’s still that fantasy hope that won’t go away) that things will get better because when I’ve told him what I need, he says OK, OK but it never changes. I’m not afraid of being alone anymore. I think that reaction was just a reflex from the blow to my self-esteem just finding out he’d had an affair and hadn’t wanted sex from me for a long time.

Will my little boy adjust? Is this going to mess him up for life? Is it wrong to want a full life when my little boy is so happy with us together? I don’t think this is an example of a happy marriage for him to follow. And I don’t think I can live like this for the next 16 years or so. Also, the hurt from the affair is still so sharp. I don’t feel like I trust him any more now than I did 10 months ago since he “works” so much and I can’t get ahold of him most of the time when he’s at his office. Also, I’ve gone up to his office to surprise him and he’s not been there every single time. He comes up with some excuse.

How does one end it? Talking to him hasn’t seemed to help. The last time I tried to put my foot down and get him out, he sobbed and said we’d be better off if he was dead. I know it’s manipulation but couldn’t it also be valid? I don’t want my son to be without a father. I just want to get out. On the other hand, I am scared out of my mind for my financial situation. I’m a teacher and don’t make much money. I just don’t want to stay because I’m too freakin’ weak to leave. I know my “hope” that things will get better isn’t based on reality as it’s been presented over the last 10 months. Still, it stupidly persists,

Before anyone even asks: no, there is no one else in my picture.

Does anyone have any advice? I’d appreciate it so much. Thanks.

mmm…

I also wanted to add that he acts like everything is just great. I don’t know if he’s in denial or if he really believes that. Also, forgot to mention that I’ve caught him watching porn a third time. Just so you know, I don’t have a problem with porn per se, but only when it interferes with building intimacy with one’s spouse or SO.

I’m not being judgemental here…I just want some clarification.

You say you caught him looking at pornography and then threatened him with divorce, right? And prior to that your sex life was fine? Yet you say you don’t have a problem with porn per se…just with the damage to intimacy it can cause (and I’m not disputing that last).

Do I have that part right?

I know you said that money/time were issues for counseling, but. You. need. help. now.

Please re-consider the counseling. No one, either you, your hubbie, or your son should go thru life suffering with this situation. Either the two of you can re-build your relationship, or you must part. Being in limbo is Not Good.

Good luck hon.

I’m so sorry, hon. I left my ex-husband 13 years ago with two littles one in tow and have never looked back.

To be perfectly honest - divorce is always going to have a negative affect on children. Children don’t want their parents to break up even if their homelife is hell on earth. But, having said that, yes your child will survive. And probably thrive. My kids did and they’ve grown to be very fine young men.

Was it tough? You betcha. Did we struggle financially, God, yes. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely.

My addy is in my profile if you’d like to email me. I hate to see you hurting and I care!

Sort of.

Before the first porn incident, I believed our sex life was fine. If he’d wanted to look at porn together I’d have no problem with that (thus no problem with porn per se ) . I do have a problem with him looking at other women and getting himself off. Getting him off is supposed to be my job but he doesn’t want me to. And, for the record, it’s not like I “cut him off” or anything. He withdrew from our sex life all by himself.

After rereading my post, it looks like I’m advocating divorce. I’m not. Divorce was right for ME. I just wanted to reassure you that life does go on after divorce - sometimes for the better and sometimes not. For me it was for better.

I absolutely believe you two should get counseling first. If he won’t go, you should go by yourself.

OK, thanks.

If I understand the timeline here he didn’t withdraw until after you threatened to divorce him for looking at porn. I know you said ‘a lot’ but that’s a value that will vary from person to person.

Just speaking for myself it sounds like you overreacted there. Is it that threatening to you that he was doing so?

Again, speaking for myself that would have damaged my relationship with Lady Chance if she’d approached it that way. Toss in overwork and some kids and there are plenty of reasons for intimacy to head out the door.

As far as divorce goes only one person can answer the fundamental question: are YOU interested in continuing the marriage. Don’t make a decision based on his needs. Don’t make a decision based on the kids needs. Look in your heart and determine whether you’re interested in putting in the work to salvage the relationship.

My best friend separated from her husband about 8 months ago because she decided he was not the love of her life and she was very unhappy. There was an outside interest on her part - but not an affair.

I have to say that she is doing just fine. Her daughter was approximately 16 months when she left. She has financial concerns but is getting by.

Am I advocating divorce. Maybe. It just sounds to me like the situation with your husband is beyond repair. Without trust - there is nothing, in my opinion. And I am glad that you recognize that your home-life is the example your son will follow when he grows up and creates his own home.

My husband and I had some terrible marital problems the year following my daughter’s birth. He was overwhelmed with the responsibility and fell into a clinical depression. It culminated in an arguement in which I told him he needed to get some help or get the hell out because I was not going to raise my child in a home in which she was resented for her mere existance. I felt that that would be far too damaging for her in comparison with being raised in a ‘nuclear’ home. Thankfully he did and things are quite wonderful now. However, there was no affair and there was no loss of trust.

If you feel that you can repair things with your husband with the help of a counselor and rebuild your trust for him - then by all means do it. Even if you have to go into debt to pay for it. But, if you thinks it’s too far gone - get out now. At this point your son is far too young to blame himself for the divorce. That is not the case as he gets older. *just another little something to think on. . . . *

(((hugs to you)))) I know this is a very tough time.

I’m not sure this is true. My home life wasn’t hell & I was happy for both my parents when they got divorced (I was only 7). My father was never home & my mother wasn’t happy while they were married. I didn’t find out until I was an adult that my father hadn’t been faithful to my mother. She made it very clear to us when we were young that they both loved us but couldn’t be as happy together as they could apart. I think the most important part is that they never argued in front of us & never bad-mouthed the other.

I saw more of my father afterwards, due to visitation weekends. My mother was 31 with 3 children & met and found a wonderful man who was great with us. It was the best thing that could have happened.

My advice: Get the hell out of there while the getting’s good. He’s not going to change, because he has no reason to change. He can fuck around on you, deprive you of sex, ignore you, interrupt you, and break his promises to you with absolutely no consequence to himself. Oh, you might cry and make empty threats once in a while, but that’s no big deal. There’s absolutely nothing to keep him from treating you like shit but his own inclination, and he clearly isn’t so inclined.

What’s fairest for your little boy is for him to have happy parents. You’re clearly not happy with your marriage, nor are you likely to ever be again. Will he be sad if the three of you aren’t together anymore? Probably, although with your husband’s schedule you probably weren’t spending much time together anyway. Will he adjust to the new order of things if you leave? Almost certainly, and he’ll probably adjust better now than he would if he were a few years older.

Your husband doesn’t want a wife. He wants a “wife.” He wants the trappings of a marriage but doesn’t want the work that being in a marriage entails. While I personally find your “don’t look at porn without me because it’s my job to give you orgasms” demand to be unreasonable, the fact that he knows how you feel about it and continues to do it tells you that your feelings are unimportant to him. The fact that he would have an affair tells you that he has no respect for you or your child.

I am advocating divorce, and I’m advocating cleaning out the bank accounts before you go in case he decides to be a jackass about supporting you and your child during the divorce process. I’d advocate giving him 24 hours to leave the house and if he doesn’t find himself a motel then put his shit on the lawn while he’s at work and change the locks. And if he kills himself, then he kills himself, and it’s not your fault.

And start shopping for a good divorce lawyer.

:eek: Manipulation is one word. Scary is another. Has he ever been screened for clinical depression or other mental illnesses?

{{{forbidden doughnut}}}

No, he hasn’t. I’ve tried to get him to talk to our doctor about it and he won’t. He’s one of those people that won’t even take advil for a headache.

And I understand that, to some, the “no porn or I’ll divorce you” stance might seem harsh. But he used to be a minister and we entered into our marriage with the understanding that “when a man looks on a woman with lust in his heart, he commits adultery.” Now, whether you agree with that or not, my feeling is that he should stick to the arrangement that he agreed to and helped establish in the first place.

This isn’t always true. My parents had a somewhat amicable divorce when I was very young. He wasn’t interested in acting like a grown-up, and my mother was. My mother loved me and loved being a parent. My Dad wasn’t so into the whole parenthood thing. In the end, everyone got what they wanted. There was relief all around. I grew up in a small but stable and loving home where fights, crying, and tension was no longer a part of my world. I can honestly count my parents’ divorce as a positive in my life.

In my experience, children get hurt when there are messy custody battles. But if your husband is working 100 hour weeks, I’d venture he’s not all that concerned with being a father to his son.

He is not being a father or a husband, and he has made it clear that he does not want to be. You can’t change anyone once they’ve made up their mind. You and your son deserve more than that. At the very least, you deserve a home that is not full of hurtfulness and tension.

Does your town have a woman’s community center? They might have some experience handling the “better off dead” issue, and can provide a support system for you and your child should you end up on your own. Your not the only person this is happening to. But you seem to be a strong person and I know you can make it through this and build a better life for yourself and your son.

OK. Another question: I’m not real surehow to leave. Honestly, I don’t know what steps to take and in what order. Honestly, my feeling is that neither my son nor myself should have to leave our home because of what my husband has done. But, if he won’t leave, I will. I just don’t know how.

Well, I guess that just proves how unrealistic that stance is. Maybe if you let him know that you are truly considering divorce, he will redouble his efforts at counseling. Counseling can do wonders, but sometimes you have to shop around for a counselor that you can both deal with. I’m inclined to say you have to lighten up about the porn, and on the flip side, it would seem he has some issues. Counseling would help. Some counselors will even come to a conclusion that, yes, maybe divorce is in order. But you owe it to your child, your self, and your marriage to work at it before throwing in the towel.

I’m going to modify-yet-reiterate my advice that, if you decide to end the marriage, that you contact an attorney before you do anything else. A good divorce attorney is there to help you figure out what steps to take to end the marriage and in what order to take them.

Be careful.

As I read this, there was a story on the local news- rebroadcast from the CBS Daily Show- that stated flatly: you are 25 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence after you leave him (or kick him out.)

Their advice: Go to a shelter first, then call your lawyer. Don’t go to a friend or relative’s house, or anywhere else that he can track you down easily.

I hope you find the answer gives you the most peace.