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questions about divorce
I need advice from people who have been through divorce or almost through it. I have been married 3 years. The first year was awful, but everyone said that's normal. "Wait. It will get better." It didn't. It kept getting worse. I will spare everyone the details, but let's just say I don't think that I can ever trust my husband because he continually lies about everything. I am still in my 20s and no kids are involved, and I am very tempted to get out now before things get more complicated or I get older.
The best advice I've had so far is to get marriage counseling (duh!). That way if things still don't work out, at least I'll feel like we tried everything. So we're doing the counseling but getting nowhere.
What other advice, recommendations, and/or regrets do others have who have been through this? I don't want "do it" or "don't do it" recommendations. I want to know how to make the best of my decision, whichever it is. THANKS!
Wed. Oct 25, 7:40pm
I would speak to a lawyer and get a sense of what your options are, how to protect yourself regardless of the decision you make. You need to protect yourself on all levels.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 8:13 PM
I am also mid 20's no kids and having a hard marriage. We are in couselin, and it is helping. I don't even think it is the counseling so much as it is how we FEEL and what we WANT for our marriage. Are you and your husband on the same page? Does he agree that the couseling isn't helping?
My husband cheated, and unfortunately... not just once. Our main issue is also trust. I would suggest not only couples counseling, but individual counseling as well. We have 3 therapists between us and it really makes a difference. One person just for your support really helps.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 10:26 PM
wow-totally not here to judge at all-and i know this has nothing to do w/ your post . . .but i'm curious OP-you said that the first year of marriage was awful . . . what made you marry this man to begin with? how could things go so wrong so fast?
good luck to you-no matter what you decide.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 10:50 PM
I got divorced in my 20s after 3.5 years. He wanted out because I wouldn't start reproducing despite our pre-marital agreement to wait 5 years, I wanted out becauseI knew I would never get anything I wanted out of life if I stayed with him and he just plain old bored me to death. These reasons did not get much support from friends and family (well, I left out the "bored me to death" part), so after a year I pulled out my Get Out of Jail Free card - I revealed his weird fetish (not gross, just weird). Everyone got on board with my decision real fast at that point.
My advice - you know in your heart what you want to do. Counseling only works if you both want it to, and it sounds like you're just going through the motions for show. I don't think this makes you a bad person at all...you're just taking a slow, painful route to the destination you really want to end up at. You don't need anyone's approval to pursue happiness, especially since there are no babies involved.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 11:25 PM
It sounds like you've already made up your mind.
No amount of counseling or "working" on the relationship will make you love your husband more than you do now. I have not been married- but I broke up with my fiance in my early tweenties after a 7 year relationship. We had been living together for 4 years, had combined finances and assests, and we were very much like a married couple so please don't discredit me.
When I chose to end the relationship I was very hurt- I had stayed in the relationship far longer than I should have because I wanted to work it out. The truth of the matter was that no amount of work would ever make me feel the way I once had. Now I know "lust" dies, that's not what I'm talking about here. In a relationship when one or both people are having such a hard time relating to one another and respecting eachother to the point that they can no longer communicate and are thinking about divorce there is nothing you can do. Everything that goes wrong is the other person's fault, or the situation would have been different if you didn't have that person in your life.... you just end up losing respect for your partner. There is a point where you will never get it back.
Both people have to work towards the relationship- that's why marriage counseling is such a great option in the beging when things go bad-- if you wait too long it may be too late. If both of you still want to stay commited to eachother and work through your communication issues than you have a chance. But based on your post, it sounds like you've already decied that you want/need a divorce, so are you really committed to working your issues out? Making sacrifices for the other person? Is your partner committed to the relationship and prepared to make similar compromises? Really think about these questions because if you answer no to any of them do you really think you need to know what we think?
BTW- I think leaving my relationship was the best descion I ever made. You just know if you should be with someone. It's not always easy, but deep down inside you know what's right. Good luck. It's going to suck.
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 12:10 AM
For those of you who have not been married, sometimes the first year of marriage can be the hardest, as it was for my and my husband. For some people there are a lot of life adjustments in that first year.
I don't recall your saying - do you have children? I think that makes a huge difference in how much effort people should put in to trying to make it work. And I agree, consult a lawyer for important details you may not have considered, and individual counseling can help you bring some clarity to the situation as well.
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 5:20 AM
OP here - some more details. My husband and I have some personality clashes that initially complimented each other. I'm very uptight and he's very laid back. I take the initiative on everything, well he sits back and lets other people take care of him. That's great when you don't live together or share a checking account. We didn't do either of those until marriage, and that's why the first year was so hard. Plus he lied to me about how dependent he really was on his parents, and once we got married it all fell on me. He is very lazy. He was unemployed for a year and lied to me about what he did with his free time, because he wasn't looking for a job.
At this point (around our 2 year anniversary) i begged him to get us into counseling, because I still wanted to save the relationship. Since he is so lazy and doesn't take the initiative for much of anything, I wanted to see how long it would take him to get into counseling. How badly did he want to save this marriage? I said I wanted to leave him and would only stay if he got us into counseling. He begged me to stay and promised the counseling. Well, it took him from May 2005 (when I threatened to leave) until a few weeks ago to actually go through with this. During the waiting time I slowly grew away from him, and realized how unimportant I really was to him. He wouldn't even do the work to patch up our relationship. He left that to me too. I was two weeks away from making him move out before he finally called the counselor. By the way, I had to do the research to get the name and number of a good counselor, and it still took him 8 more months to call after I gave him the number.
So why haven't I left him already? I like his family. We share all the same friends. We share the same dogs, which are part of our family. He is financially unstable and will have to move back in with his parents if I divorce him. His career is dependent on having a good marriage relationship, and he will never be employed in his line of work again if I leave him. He is prone to depression and told me he doesn't want to live if I leave him.
My big dilemna is that I don't love him enough to have a good marriage. But I don't dislike him enough to ruin his life - make him move in with his parents and give up his career. I compare my feelings towards him as being about the same as an extended family member. You love them because you have to. You want them to have a good life and would never deliberately hurt them, but you really wouldn't be upset if you only saw them every few years at famly functions.
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 6:25 PM
OP again - After one counseling session as a couple, the counselor asked us to come in as individuals until both of us were ready to meet together again. I realized that I don't want to work to save this marriage. I worked very hard the first 2 years to save things while he did nothing. Now I want to see him put effort into it and prove that he actually wants me around. After one individual session, the counselor asked me to give her a few months working with my husband to get through his issues before we meet as a couple again.
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 6:28 PM
He has let his depression run his life and ruin his marriage. That laziness, lack of initiative, not caring about things that are important...I guess the question is, why hasn't he sought help for that? Maybe he likes pulling everyone's strings and making them prove that they love him unconditionally (his parents, now you)? Usually that causes a loss of respect in both directions and only gets worse, never better. Please don't buy into the suicide threats - it's pure manipulation. Two ex's pulled this on me, one was a husband, they're both alive and married last I heard. I considered those threats proof that leaving was the best idea ever - mental instability is a dealbreaker.
Your life will be so much richer once you're out, in a matter of months if not weeks. I promise.
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 6:58 PM
You don't love him enough to have a good marraige, but you love him (on some level) enough not to ruin his life. Hun by staying in this situation who's life is really runined yours or his? take care of yourself first and formost ALWAYS
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 7:05 PM
You are not responsible for his care and feeding. He is a big boy - supposed to be your partner for chrissakes!!! You are NOT ruining his life and career - you are simply no longer enabling his self-destructive behavior. He's got issues honey and he needs to work them himself before he is ready to be in an adult relationship. Your counselor was absolutely right that he needs to work on him before you guys can work on 'us'. Your leaving may be the best thing if it makes him wake up and realize there are consequences to his behavior and actively works to address them. Neither you nor his family is doing him any favors by taking care of him. Whether or not you want to be around while he fumbles to pick up the pieces is another matter - honestly a separation while he gets his head straight might not be such a bad thing for either of you.
Besh wishes to you both!
Thursday, October 26, 2006, 11:02 PM
Your story sounds very, very similar to mine except for the fact that we had a baby. We did go to counseling and it helped us to communicate, and helped me to realize that I did not love him enough to be married to him - and I loved myself enough to give myself a chance at a happy life. And like you said, at least we did go to counseling and give it a try.
If you need more affirmation, let me fast-forward for you: it has been just about three years since we divorced. I got remarried almost two years ago to the most wonderful man in the world and I am happier than I ever thought I could be. My ex has been with his fiancee for two and a half years and they have a six-month old baby boy. He has a better job and is very happy. Our daughter spends plenty of time with both of us and is also very happy. He and I talk often and get along well. Life is really good. As someone said before, the best decision I ever made was to divorce him - I gave us both (and our daughter) a chance at a better life.
Friday, October 27, 2006, 12:00 AM
If you can't trust him there is nothing there. If you look at him and feel angry or worse disgusted its time to get out. It sounds like you might have known how he was before you even got married? Ask yourself this, can you see yourself being happy with him in a year from now? Do you think he will change? The main thing is is that marriage is not just about commitment and love its about trust and communication and if you don't have that by now you might never have that. If he lies all the time how can you ever trust him? Do you want to continue to stay with him and always wonder if hes being honest, will you ever be able to trust him after 3 years of lying? I've gone through a divorce and honestly I felt so much relief and liberated. Do you want to spend another 3 years trying to trust him? Do you really truly love him or love the idea of what you thought it would be like. Its a terrible thing to be in a relationship without trust, its disappointing.
Friday, October 27, 2006, 3:38 AM
you're enabling him and depriving yourself. start with a separation and see if he can get his act together. if he can, maybe you could give it a second try. if not, file for your freedom.
Friday, October 27, 2006, 9:22 AM
it is amazing how manipulative people can be to keep you in a relationship. If you have a shred of evidence that this is the case, take that very seriously.
Friday, October 27, 2006, 2:01 PM
I agree with that post about calling an attorney. Finding out your options is important. Plus, they have to act like a therapist too when you think about it. Maybe after talking it through you'll realize you want to work it out. Or maybe not.
Friday, October 27, 2006, 2:54 PM
Here is my experience. My first year of marriage was absolute hell. I finally got to see him as he really was and it wasn't good. I started going to counseling by myself after about three years, to get my head straightened out. He eventually began going too as couples therapy and we made progress. Enough progress to think of starting a family. As soon as the kids arrived he went back to all those behaviors that he had before counseling. If he was working on his stuff he was ok to live with and even pleasant, but when he stopped, everything went to heck between us. I have now been married 21 years and his behaviors have worsened through the years. He used to try to make an effort to make me see him as a certain image, but now that he knows I see through all of that, he doesn't even try anymore. His depression has been a big problem we have had together. He won't get treatment or even admit there is a problem. Looking back to those first years I can now see all those red flags that I just brushed away as new marriage issues were really character issues, and they will most likely never change. I have changed myself and see that I no longer want to work on the marriage. I have set myself a 6 month plan to get out. Of course I would never wish away my children (I love them absolutely) but I do wish I had chosen a more mature and healthy person to have them with. KNowing what I know now, I would never have let him father my children and I would have gotten out after the first couple of years. He too was ultra dependent on his mother and I didn't realize it when we were first married. She made my life miserable and when she died a couple of years ago, he fell into the deepest depression ever (almost to the point of suicide).
There is only so much you can do for a person and living their life is not one of those things. If my husband refuses to admit a problem and seek treatment, there is nothing I can do. If he threatened suicide, if would not be my fault if he followed through. I would notify his family of the problem and let them deal with it. It sounds like this is too big for you to handle alone. Don't beat yourself up over this. I wish you peace in your decision.
Friday, October 27, 2006, 2:54 PM
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