Stay or Go – why can't I decide?

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    Laney A.

    Hi all –

    I’m happy I found a place like this. I’ve been enjoying reading all the great articles and comments. Now, I’m wondering if you all could give me some feedback/advice.

    My husband and I have been married 5 years. We are vastly different – age, politics, beliefs, values, morals, etc. I have to admit, even on our wedding day I had a distinct thought of “don’t do this” but I chalked it up to nervousness, buried it and went through with it (for a hundred different reasons, I’m sure). Anyway, for the past year our marriage has been incredibly rocky. It is consumed with power struggles on both sides, disrespect, lack of intimacy emotionally and physically, and constant bickering about each of us feeling like the other doesn’t care. I know I’m not the easiest person to live with, but I’m seeing him escalate. He throws things, is very quick to anger and shouting, calls me dumb/stupid/retarded and is quick to say “F*** you” to me. He has lied to me several times, on one occasion he lied about drinking and driving on his way home from work even though I saw him put the beer bottle in the returnables outside (he did fess up). I’ve found myself searching for apartments after our almost daily arguments as a way to “de-stress” and feel a sense of control over my life (the way some people over-eat, drink alcohol or do drugs). I don’t look forward to coming home. I’ve begun to reduce my belongings in case I need to leave quickly. I’ve calculated my finances if/when I separate from him. I don’t think I love him. I mean, as a human being I do, but I don’t really like him. I don’t want to spend time with him. I look forward to when he goes to work so I can be without him. And I feel horrible for continuing this sham, especially when we could both be loved by people who aren’t “going through the motions.”

    Problem is…. it breaks my heart to think about leaving him. But why? It seems like I’m more worried about his feelings and how he will take it (it will be his 3rd divorce if it does happen). I worry about how he will manage his money. I worry about if he will get depressed. I worry about his student loans going back into default (another whole issue). I worry about my family thinking I’m nuts for leaving such an outwardly stable and great marriage. As I write this I’m understanding that I feel like I’m more in a caretaking situation than a marriage. I am 28 years old. This is the prime of my life. And all I feel is trapped, suffocated and like I’m wasting the precious time that’s been given to me.

    Anyway, I wanted this post to be much shorter, so I’m going to stop here.
    Comments? Opinions? Advice? It’s all welcome. Please, help.



    Dear Laney

    So, I’m only 23 and for sure not the wisest sister around here 😉

    But I can tell from what you’re writing, that you’re very unhappy. You want out. Maybe take a vacation alone or stay at a friends house just to breathe – and really find out what you want.

    Or maybe try couples counseling? But it seems you are already passed that stage…

    It’s normal that you care about his feelings, you loved him once. But seriously, this relationship does not sound good – so maybe it’s best for him to be alone, too. I guess he also has a lot of wounds and problems to fix.

    I wish you all the best, you’re gonna make the right decision.



    I’m sorry, dear. It’s a nightmare. I have a question. Are you sure that the worries about him, are instead about you? I mean, it could be possible that when you said he could get depressed, the money problem…his 3rd divorce, you are projecting on him your fear? Maybe you are worried about the same thing, plus first divorce and you are young…if it is so, my dear, you will be fine. It’s not a failure. Everything will be fine. You can torture yourself with this relationship.


    I will make this short and to the point – type in to Google search engine, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
    You will find that this is what you are experiencing, and your words to us, the readers suggest you recognize your relationship with him is unsafe: You state things are ‘escalating’…He throws things, is very quick to anger and shouting, calls me dumb/stupid/retarded and is quick to say “F*** you” .
    It is like you are asking permission to leave. Please, call a women’s shelter, or any of the services that pop up associated with Domestic Violence and get some support.
    I know you say you are willing to take responsibility for some of the conflict between you both, however clearly its not working a) he is violent b) there has been significant breakdown.
    Don’t be surprised if leaving is easier said than done. It often isn’t.
    Good luck and take care. xx

    Laney A.

    Thank you all for your extremely helpful and kind words.

    Christina – I didn’t think about that… you’re right.. I could be transferring what I’m really afraid of onto him as a way to deal. I’ll think about that some more.

    Helen – We actually did try couples counseling. We went for 3 sessions, I believe. My husband ended up leaving a message on the counselor’s phone a couple hours before our appointment to tell him we wouldn’t be going back. I honestly think the counselor was scared of him. But, either way, you’re right. It’s passed counseling because while we were in it I was thinking, “I hope this doesn’t work.” (Awful thoughts, I know.)

    that girl next door – You’re right. I know you’re right. While I was in nursing school I spoke with a teacher I knew I could trust. And she always believed I was in an abusive relationship. Fortunately I’m in a much better place now – I’ve graduated, passed my boards, and am bringing in my own full time income. I just scheduled an appointment to view a nice two-room efficiency apartment on Monday. Wow… after I got off the phone I had this surge of child-like excitement. I almost jumped up and down.

    I have left an abusive relationship before when I was a mere 18. I suppose it’s time to get away now and then take a step back and understand why I continue to let this happen… and to believe it’s “normal.”

    Thanks again everyone.


    All the best to you, Laney!

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