To Stay Or Not To Stay… For The Kids Sake

Hi Ladies,

Today’s post was supposed to be another topic that I have decided to save for next week. Instead, something that happened midday yesterday was the driving force for today’s Blog. I was grabbing a salad for the road and on my way to my son’s school to serve hot lunch to 650 students. Never one to skip a meal, I was waiting for my salad, when I bumped into an old friend’s sister. I actually found out on facebook that this old high school friend recently separated from her husband. Unfortunately, they also have two young children. I proceeded to ask the sister, “How is your sister doing?” To which she replied, “My sister seems much happier and he seems much happier, so I guess good for them, but I’m not so sure about the kids. I have a different point of view than her. Who’s happy? Who is living in marital bliss? Sometimes you have to suck it up, and stay for the sake of the kids.” I told her, “This is tomorrow’s Blog.”

To Stay Or Not To Stay… For The Kids Sake

In fact, we hear things like this quite often: couples divorcing after 25 and 30 years of marriage. When you ask many of them why, often they’re quick to answer, “I couldn’t break up my family. I stayed for the kids.”

Is this right? Is this wrong? Is it fair for two miserable people to stay together for the kids’ sake?  Depending on the different people you ask, you’ll get numerous answers.

After being spoken to candidly from a few divorcees, I learned a lot. One separated woman told me, “Trust me, it was worse for my children to live in such chaos and fighting. The kids are thriving now that my husband and I are finally separated. We both have made a conscious effort to create a calm environment in our respective homes, and the kids see that we are finally happy. Albeit happy without each other, but happy nevertheless. And we make the kids our number 1 priority. We come together for the kids’ sake. It’s not easy, but we try our best. We will always be connected through our children, so even though I harbor tremendous resentment towards my ex-husband, I make it work.”


I spoke to another recently divorced father, and he paints a very different picture. “My children feel displaced. They are doing horribly. They are shuffled around. We do our best to get along for the sake of the kids, but my ex-wife can barely take care of our children now. She’s too busy living her own life. I receive numerous disturbing phone calls from my kids asking me to pick them up from their mother’s house, as she is not properly caring for them. They feel confused, and they are suffering in school. I should have stayed longer and sucked it up. I almost wish we could have lived separate lives quietly, but at least I would still be there, and could see them daily. I made a horrible mistake by breaking up my family.”

Wow, sad.

I have to tell you, I see both point of views. Now, I’m not talking about staying in an abusive marriage, or staying with a serial cheating spouse. I am talking about staying in a loveless and/or toxic marriage.

For myself, I  believe in marriage.  I take the vow that I made 9 years ago very seriously. Call me old fashioned, but personally speaking, if I were unhappily married,  I think I would stay for the sake of my kids. I couldn’t go down without a fight. Therapy, whatever it would take to keep us together. I’m just being honest. And for the record, my husband feels the EXACT same way as me. Aren’t we just perfect for each other?? Hee hee!  He always laughs, even if we hated each other, he says he would never leave. He says he’d sooner live miserably together. His reasoning; he couldn’t go a day without seeing our boys.

But then I also truly see the flip side. When we marry and decide to have children, we envision a family staying together forever. But what if the marriage starts to crumble?  I’m not so sure it’s better for everyone to live in a highly anxious and tense environment either. Someone once said to me about this topic, “Would you really want to set the example for your children that your own happiness is not worth anything? That your needs don’t mean or count for anything?” The more I think about it, the more torn I become. I’m not sure I have my answer. This is such a complex issue, one that I truly feel needs to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

To Stay Or Not To Stay… For The Kids Sake

So the burning question is:

“Your relationship is falling apart, or maybe it died long ago. But your children depend on you both for love and security. Should you split up or stay together for their sake?”

I decided that for today, I am not going to give any expert tips or suggestions. Instead, I think this is a VERY subjective issue, and would like YOU my reader, to comment on what you feel is the correct answer. And no answer is right or wrong. What would you do if you had children and were living in an unhappy marriage… stay or leave? Have you already separated from your partner, and if so, how are you fairing? How are your children doing? Please tell us.

FYI, you are always able to comment anonymously, without an email address or name. Just go ahead and type a reply…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! TGIF!


  1. When children are involved, the marriage somehow includes the children, they become part of the equation and the bond between husband & wife is magnified.
    Leads to very tough decisions and lifestyle choices!!!

  2. As the Husband of the Author of this blog, I can hardly understand how she can relate to this subject. I have sweated desperately to create a loving home where both she and our children thrive…..
    Besides how could I possibly live without her?

  3. I know quite a few girls who got pregant as a fix to an unhappy marriage. How stupid can one girl be? Bringing kids irresponsibly into this world is not fair. Whether you can’t afford kids or if you’re in a bad marriage. Shame on people who do this. I don’t know what I would do if I was in this position. Good question. It’s very tough to guess how you’re going to react with regards to your own children in a bad marriage.

  4. I would never stay in a bad marriage. I’m not married yet, but I imagine I could never live my life miserably with someone I fell out of love with. That’s just my point of view.

  5. Erica, i am with you. when you make a vow at teh alter its for better or worse richer or poorer. to break up a family leaves such devastation especially for the children. i have seen it with my best friend. so i think you have to try and reconnect with your husband. you fell in love with him for a reason. but work on your marriage before you go screwing your childrens life up. its not fair tothem, they are innocent.

  6. Yep, I’m a stick to it person. You can choose to get along with someone. Fake it til you make it. If you always think the other has the best intentions that becomes reality. Divorce is horrible on kids. Even when the kids understand the parents were a horrible match. This follows you your whole life. My family is now filled with step parents who dislike me and parents who still do what’s best for them at our expense. I stay connected to them for the kids’ sake. If I were single, I’d so live in a remote part of the world away from them all. lol

    if you made it work once, you can make it work again if you’re both committed. (and don’t have mental illness or something else to physically/mentally prevent it)

  7. Well I’m a firm believer that if you are not happy you need to do what it take to make yourself happy! Life is way too short to be miserable. You should definitely first try to work on your relationship before splitting up. But what if that doesn’t work?? It’s also not healthy to raise children in an unhappy environment either. What, you think that your children don’t feel the tension??? You’re all dreaming! That could cause more damage then the divorce itself.

  8. I am finally realizing after a terrible marriage that there is no reason any child should have to sit and witness their parents hating eachother and fighting all the time. We are supposed to show our kids how to be caring, and to truely love others and themselves for who they are. What greater sign of love is there than to accept what each person needs and bring it to an end before any real trauma is done. I have a one year old and a two year old, i have spent the last two years fighting and hiding tears in order to keep my kids happy. Why? If we wouldve ended our marriage when we first knew it was going nowhere but down hill, I wouldnt need to hide anything from my kids. My son even became violent because of all the fighting and hostility between his father and I. Now that we are no longer together my son has learned that when you love somebody you are nice to them and not cruel or meen. In the long run its up to each couple, however then minute the marriage starts to impact the kids in a negative way, the adults should end it and save the kids the trouble. Remember its like a wound….when u end the marriage its a cut that is clean and can heal correctly, when you keep it going its like taring the cut open again and again for those kids no matter how old they are.

    1. from a broken home I can tell you that the terrible fights my parents had did not impact me like the holes in my heart when they weren’t together anymore. My mother did the right thing in leaving my alcoholic and abusive father. But the negative impacts on the children continue long after the parents move on.

      Teach your children that, even though things could not have worked out between your father and yourself, that healthy relationships are those in which problems are worked through and sacrifices are made on both sides for the benefit of the family as a whole. I was never taught this concept I’ve just mentioned…the string of unhealthy relationships in my young adulthood was long…I stayed in the unhealthy relationships way too long and knew in my heart of hearts that the only way to resolve conflict was to leave.

      I hope one day I can be in a relationship that is healthy. I am damaged goods, now, in the respect that I don’t know if I can healthily function in a relationship. I say this to you to let my experience brighten a small part of your vision to prevent your children living a life like mine. May God bless you and watch over you and heal your wounds. And may He heal mine, too. 🙂

    2. You did what I’ve yet to have the courage to do…leave. One day, I believe I will when my son is older (he’s only 2). I also stay because I don’t truly know how my husband would react.

      My parents fought, not always be there were a few years when it more often. I know they love each other, but the fighting did impact me negatively.

      I can’t recommend therapy enough for your children (and you). I have a master’s degree in social work and know better than to stay where I am. Please, even if they are doing well now, be open to counseling. Let them have someone outside of the family be there to talk about it.

      They will heal with love and consistency.

    3. I have a few comments. I am currently in that situation (20 years, 3 kids), unhappily married. I have been unhappily married and sticking it out for at least 10 years. My kids live in a world of unhappiness. My son came home after a short vacation, and said “wow, this is an unhappy place.” Is this better for them?

      My parents divorced when I was a teenager, and I remember being relieved that the fighting was finally going end.

      When you’ve been unhappy for that long, is it better to stick it out? Also, there is no one to talk to because you don’t want family and friends involved and taking sides. Hmmmm

  9. I think it is very important as a married couple to work through each issue…it always takes two, though, and both don’t always reciprocate. When children see their parents argue, talk through problems, come to compromises, and continue with life the children are learning that an argument isn’t grounds to leave a marriage…that it can be the first step in solving a problem. It teaches children how to think critically. It teaches them that being in a relationship includes not seeing eye to eye and that the important thing is to work toward common goals.

    I say this as one who has had nothing but failed relationships. I’ve yet to find a partner who will work through things without shutting down and walking away.

  10. Very nice post. I’m in a similar situation to a few described above. I want to go away, leave and disappear. I cannot stand my wife anymore but I think I’m staying for my daughter. she is 3 yrs old. I also don’t want to disappoint my family (father, mother etc) by leaving in such a fast way and destroy a family. In a way it is my mental escape, my solution to the problem. I know one day i will do it. Maybe when my daughter will be older and able to understand. Slowly the relation with my wife degenerated. she has a difficult character,she is very aggressive(basically only with me), and she gained a lot of weight. that doesn’t help. sometimes i would like her to understand all this and i tell her about it(not the weight problem) but she seems not to want to understand. sometimes she behaves differently and she is nice but then when there is a slight problem or obstacle she becomes aggressive again. I have had enough. she was not like this when i met her. I m not saying i don’t have any faults but her “strong” & aggressive character and her weight are the main problems and people around her know it. even her father once told me .” How patient you are with her…..” …..imagine…….
    well i hope things can change and we can come back to the happiness when we met and before my daughter was born. After my daughter’s birth things between me and my wife started going worse and worse. My daughter is my joy, she is such a beautiful and intelligence kid and i would love to talk about this with her but she is too young and i don’t want to hurt her. I’m a bit lost and feel trapped but i ‘ m pretty expierenced with life, i lived in different countries and i’m already studying the perfect escape to a place they could only guess im there but not reach. even if it was successful for 1-2 days that would be freedom, from stupidity,from psychological aggression, from being fake, etc.
    Well, again i want to make it work with her and i would really like her to lose weight. isn’t it possible that she doesn’t understand??
    Thanks a lot, feel free to post comments

  11. Me a 50 year old dad i have 2 beautiful girls and love them with all my hart. but the ex wife i can do away with uts been 12 long years trying to make her happy. we were only married for 6 months and her freind talked her into getting devorced. alittle back ground i am old fashion in my beleives but i was raised in california so i do have a liberal side but i dont have the best qualities when picking women. i must of been lead head thinking; after a couple of days she wound up in jail for shoplifting so i split but the little head did my thinking. i have been with her for 12 years the last because of my girls. to cut it short i went through the step dad thing, her 2 older girls treated me like crap and still do, i went through the court and bail out with her, the domestic violence, to this day i have never hit her but she has hit me many of time. Dont get me wrong there has been a few shinning moment but not many. she has always been on welfare and is on ssi. myself i just finished 6 years of school getting my BS. I work hard and want the best for everyone but they dont care except for my girls which want to go to college. she does not have the basic ability to do their school work and does not understand it. i am in a miss i want her to leave but i want the kids so they have a chance and not the welfare life stile. dont get me wrong some good people have received the help and are doing good but the others depend on it as a cructh. sorry i had to vent i am a caring man thanks for your shoulder to lean on.

  12. I married in my mid thirties to a guy that met the minimum acceptable standard. He wasn’t great but better than a lot out there. Why? Because I wanted to have kids. We had a short dating period, the first six months of which he couldn’t decided whether he wanted me or his ex-girlfriend. After he finally chose me and I had him to myself, I broke up with him six months later after realizing he was not all that. I went a few more months with my 35th birthday quickly approaching. I talked to him several times on the phone and thought, maybe he isn’t so bad after all. Besides, no one is perfect right? No matter who I chose (and the field was pretty narrow by this time) there would always be issues. So with this level of enthusiasm, I headed into marriage. I got pregnant four months before the wedding. Having my daughter was the highlight of my life. Living with my husband was the lowlight of my life. I spent the first year barely able to be in the same room with him. He belittled me in front of friends, attacked me personally whenever we argued and I found him to be physically unattractive (which didn’t help our sex life). I was determined not to have an only child so I hung on. Not to mention, my little girl was all that really mattered and I felt life with her dad was better for her than being shuffled between the two of us. I had my second daughter and for a while things were better. I think between the two girls, I was busy enough that I didn’t really have to pay much attention to my marriage. I started to have a couple glasses of wine at night before my husband got home. This helped me make it through but now I’ve started to drink enough that it worries me. That’s pretty much where I am now. Loving life with my girls during the day and drinking in the evenings to separate myself from my situation. If only he would go on a never ending business trip……ahhhhh…one can dream.

    1. I married at 35 as well and chose poorly. we have an awesome child and he’s a good father…just a not so great husband. He can verbally abusive and emotionally. I stay for my baby, but believe I will leave if things don’t change when he is 4 or 5 (old enough to speak up).

      As the daughter of an alcoholic mother (not saying that you are at all…but you’re worried), I beg you to seek help. Read the book “Perfect Daughters”. It will give you insight into the future (for every daughter of an alcoholic I know). It truly srewed me up but I’m working through it! 🙂

      I wish you all the best!!!

  13. I found this discussion after typing in the search term ” should I stay for the kids” It’s interesting to hear different viewpoints. My situation is that i am 38, two kids aged 8 and 2 to the same dad who i met after a relationship which had left me heartbroken. He was kind and caring and I needed a shoulder to cry on but i knew he wasn’t “the one”. I got pregnant through carelessness after two months and decided very irresponsibly that having a baby was just what I needed to set me on the right track. Six months into the pregnancy I knew that we were mismatched but I wanted the baby so much by then I kept trying to make myself feel something I didnt. I’ve been trying to convince myself for 9 years now and have finally faced the fact that I’ll never really love or feel physically attracted to him. However we have two children, he says he loves me so I feel like I am the problem. Like one of your other contributors, I drink more than I would like to and it’s a way of “coping” with the situation where I am unhappy but feel that I should say for the sake for everyone else. In the equation just now me being unhappy is better than all four of us being unhappy, maybe it would be different if my partner was unhappy too, that might alter the balance.

    1. I am very grateful to have stumbled upon this blog. For years, I thought I was the only one living a life like this. Our marriage really wasn’ good from the beginning. We had 3 children, who are now, 16, 15 &almost 14. We’ve been to 4 marriage counselors, 2 of them came right out and said, you two don’t belong together. I filed for divorce 2 years ago, couldn’t go through with it because my daughter was so distraught when she found out. I felt that I was being selfish being concerned with my happiness. Two years have passed. My husband and I live in the same house, have not been in the same bedroom for at least 5 years. Our fighting subsided for a period of time but now it is back. Any time we have a disareement, it is never worked out in a mature manner. It escalates to insanity, he throws insults saying I am an awful mom, I am poison to the family, I ruin the family, If Iwould have my hormones checked, we wouldn’t fight like this. This morning, we were having a disagreement that escalated, he said to my kids, “look at the calendar boys, its the first week of the month.” For years I have been putting up with such ignorance. Telling me I am an awful mother because I try to make rules for my kids, try to teach them to be good, caring, considerate adults? Isn’t that a job as a mom? My kids don’t want to do homework and I am a bad mom for making them do it? I truly feel I am emotionally abused and I have about had it. I have gone to many counselors because when you live with someone who continuously tells you how screwed up you are, eventually you start to believe it. It feels good to put this out there and get it out of me. If Iget one response, someone to give me a few words of advice, I would appreciate it greatly. Iwish I could find a womans group that meets weekly or something.

      1. I’m in a very similar situation as you, but my kids are 14 and 8. This is a tough situation that you’re in. You’re kids are only a few years from being 18, so part of me thinks you should tough it out, especially because of the reaction you got the last time you left, but another part of me is saying you need to get out now. You DO NOT deserve the emotional abuse you’re getting from your husband. If you’ve filed before, you’ll do it again. I’ve done the same…actually twice, and more times that not, I wish I had gone through with it. You just have to figure out when. Do you want to live the next 4 years of your life in misery, or are you going to hang in there until the kids are 18?? I’m sure your kids HATE the way their father treats you. He is supposed to be a role-model to your boys. You staying sends them a message that this type of treatment is acceptable.

        1. Hello, I am just reading through these responses and the blogs. I am so sorry I didn’t respond to your response. I appreciate you writing and responding to me but unfortunately, just saw it now, 9 months later.
          How are you doing? Are you still staying in it for the kids? I am, but, I really think and hope this might be the year that I break out. I am currently seeing a counselor for myself in hopes that she will make me stronger so that I can take the big step. I used to think it was better for the kids to stay in unhappy but now, I am almost sure it isn’t. As you said, it is giving them the wrong message that this behavior is ok. It isn’t ok.
          I am not sure if you will read this, but I sure hope so. it would be nice to know there is someone else in such a similar situation. I hope to hear back from you.

  14. I do not think you should stay in a unhappy marriage that is not healthy for anyone. Yes it may hurt the kids but it also hurts the kids to see that there’s no love between their parents, or witness all the fighting etc.. Life is to short to spend your life being miserable, people fall our of love all the time you try and try but if its not there my goodness its just not there. example, my brother and his wife 28 years since they were 16, they have 3 kids and my brother had been miserable for years we all knew it we tried talking to him and he always said I can’t break up my home…ok after all these years they finally separated and he took both nieces out to dinner my nephew to young and explained what was going to happen and what was going on, he was so nervous and they looked at him and said “about time, you need to be happy”. That was his approval stamp I guess,I haven’t seen my brother so happy and relaxed and more connected with family and friends in I think it really all depends remember kids grow up and go on to live there own lives, and you lived miserable and will look back like damn!

  15. I am contemplating the same thing. I have three young daughters. My husband works and comes home and sits and watches TV. I do everything inside and outside of the house. That’s not what we agreed to before we got married. I don’t bring stuff like that up anymore because it always ends up in a fight and nothing gets done. So we just don’t communicate about issues that are important. We have been to two marriage counsellors. Nothing ever gets better or changed. He’s set in his ways and what he thinks is how it is. We have been married 9 years. I like when he is not home. We don’t fight that much, we just don’t really interact all that much because I work in the evenings after the kids go to bed. I am worried about disrupting my kids’ lives. They live in a good area, have lots of friends. We would have to sell our house and we have great neighbors and a good situation. I don’t know what the future would bring and that scares me. At least now I have him helping out with the bills, once and a while helping out with the kids. I don’t know if I have the guts to do it because I don’t want to upset my kids. If it was really a terrible, volitile marriage, I would do it but when it’s kind of unhappy and no connection, then what? Is that enough reason to end things?

  16. I m glad I got to read this article & comments. I am like everyone else in the same boat. I have been married for 9 long years and have 2 beautiful kids; both girls ages 6 and 3.
    I dont remember being happy at all with him.
    It was love marriage turned sour because we just cant get along nor agree. He is set on his ways and will take a slightest step towards me. I m the one always making changes trying to please him. In return all I ever got was I am lazy, fat, bad mom, bad wife (abuse goes beyond words…)! All of this abuse has taken a big toll on me. Lately, I have been feeling fed up and am ready to walk out and thid time not come back BUT
    iI fear for my kidd. They have a stable life, not perfectly norm family life but they serm so happy with mom & dad (who dont communicate & dont sleep together)! I wish I could give my kids the world & I feel like a failure that mt marriage is this way. I feel lonely, unloved and miserable.
    I keep myself busy with friends, activities but it hits me just how trapped I feel. Bcz he is a good provider and a decent father I m staying. BTW if he was a good father he d take care of his kids’s mom. Anyway there are days when I m ready to head towards the shelter and struggle through to a good life but then when my daughters seem so content with their lives I stop:(

  17. Interesting reading these posts. I am the blessed mother of two adorable children (ages 8 and 9) whom I love with all my heart. I married my husband one week after my 18th birthday(far too young), my high school sweetheart and 13.5 years later, 3 businesses, 1 bankruptcy, different religious perspectives, 11 years of trying to be the best wife I could be regardless of our differences, (the first couple years came without trying so hard), chronic health issues, giving up my career, 6 months of Christian counselling which has revealed so many lies and so much resentment that date back 13 years to present, 5 months of living in the guest room, constant manipulation and snide underhanded remarks, I have CHOSEN TO STAY FOR THE KIDS. We do not really fight, we are past that stage, plus he has never been one to express himself -he manipulates when he wants something. There is so much resentment between us and so much that I only found out about recently that while I am working on forgiveness, I don’t believe I will ever trust him again or even like him for that matter…I feel sorry for him and have done for years now. It feels as though I am raising three kids but the younger two are maturing, growing up and actually love me! They are also developing good communication skills and perception and in their daily lives.

    My husband was ready to split at the beginning of the summer and I told him I wanted to stay together for the sake of the kids. He told me that that was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard so we took it to our counselor who said that statistically, providing there is not constant fighting or any outright abuse issues, staying together for the sake of the kids, has many benefits both long term and short term for the kids.
    Reasons I Stay:
    I love my two Children with all my heart and I am by far happier being their full time mommy than being their part time mommy. Right now I can offer them more of my time and more extra curricular privileges with both of our incomes. I am totally involved in my kids daily lives and he never was until recently when he started to try to prove something (still trying to figure out what). I cant imagine splitting them up between two homes! My husband is the most selfish person I know in that he always thinks of himself first and I cant bring myself to trust him with them if I am not around. I know the courts would divide things 50-50 which is something I would have a very hard time coping with. He has never cleaned a toilet or any other part of the house since I have known him and lets just say after 5 months, the master bathroom is nasty (He had complained about not having HIS space, so I told him the master suite was all HIS space but that also meant I would not be cleaning it. Right now, I want to give my kids all the stability I possibly can and that means one home. They are doing fabulously in school, developing into beautiful people. They only have one childhood with no re-takes.

    I do have some wonderful friends that are always there for me and for me, after the last 13 years, I have no emotional energy left for a relationship with my husband or any other man and really do not even want to entertain that notion until I can be at peace with myself again which is going to take awhile anyway. If at any time in the future I think my kids would be better off with us separated, it may come as a relief, but for now I am at peace that I am proceeding in the best interest of everyone involved…for now. Oh to know the future!

    1. That was long…it helped to write it out though:-) BTW, I also come from a very dysfunctional home that I left at age 15 to get away from it all… My kids are growing up in paradise in comparison!

      1. Thank you for sharing. It is very inspiring. I am a husband stuck in a loveless marriage in the same predicament. I have to make sure the kids are provided for, are brought up in a good environment, and given a chance to have a stable home. Basically I am an ATM to make a long story short. We don’t have chemistry and she just can’t see past her own self-centered interests to make enough of a change. I am miserable as hell but the only thing that brings happiness to me is to see the smile on my children’s face. I am so tired and worn of my marital situation but I know I have to suffer with her in order to make sure my kids have a stable environment and stay up at night thinking about my dilemma.

  18. This has been an ongoing delima for 6 years. My partner and I had been dating. Then he broke up with me. Then I discovered I was pregnant. Throughout the pregnancy we broke up several times (his call). Then eventually decided to be together and moved in together. About 3 months later I had our daughter. She is almost 6 now. Our relationship with our daughter is solid. Our relationship with each other is not-never has been. We go through periods of stability and respect and even love for each other where we get along and mostly enjoy each other. Then without warning it all falls apart. It’s been this roller coaster for sux years and we are both rather miserable due to it. There’s never been infidelity but there has been vicious arguments. No physical abuse-but the lack of respect that can take place when we argue is awful . Then there is the underlying tension and general unhappiness that is always there even when it’s below the surface. Our daughter is thriving-but we are unhappy. We have gone to counseling together. I’ve been in counseling off and on for myself this whole time-he has not. We coexist -cohabitate-not married but living in a “marrairge” . I’m at a loss. We’ve stayed for our daughter and also probably out of codependency on each other . Untill recently -I have been the sole financial supporter of this family , since our daughter was about 2. Now we are both unemployed which only makes our unhappiness with ourselves and each other greater. I don’t know what to do. To stay is miserable -to leave could be even more detrimental to our daughter -at least that’s my fear-which is why I’m still here.-stuck on a roller coaster that never ends.

  19. Its hard to put in words. I dont want to go because of our daughter. I dont know what will happen to her if I leave them. Its hard to be with tur mother of my child but iI dont want her to experience a brocken family like her mother did. Abortion is illegal in our country but we had 2, the first was because we were afraid there was something wrong since she was taking contraceptive pills to be exact. The second was because we where both afraid. On my side I agree because i dont want to be tied down. We are not married by the way. Perhaps i was also selffish not to be tied down. There are time we talk aboutbthe future that we are not together, when will it be. I really xint know what to do.
    I tried to givr them everything. Financially I can say I did everything, emotionally i give our daughter all the love. I also try to give her my love but something always came up. Though i am not perfect and i do a lot of mistakes thats why i am hesitant of leaving. Also alot of people expect better from me, from us.

  20. Married 25yrs. One grown child and one 17 yr old. I have done the “fake it till you make it” for YEARS. We are so completely incompatible, it’s ridiculous. Without getting into all the negative personality and character issues I have with him (and there are many!), for the most part we both have the same goal for our kids. The plan is I’m working on my masters degree as the youngest finishes high school. Our state requires a one year separation before filing for divorce. At this point, we are about six months into living separately in the same house. He is downstairs and I am upstairs. Both “kids” live at home and they seem to have accepted it pretty well. They are too old to keep this plan from, so we have told them that we will be splitting up as soon as the youngest finishes school. We discuss household issues, sometimes work, the kids, etc. We even go out to dinner together and eat together as a family every night, as we always have. I have been adamant in not letting go of one day of raising my kids, which would be the reality if we separate before the are grown. I also had no desire to reduce they’re quality of life due to us having to pay for two households, shuffling kids back and forth, arguing about who gets who on what day and of course refuse to let any women he dates or possibly marries have anything to do with raising my kids. So I have stayed. Right now it’s not perfect, and we have our disagreements, but it’s the best we can do for everyone at this time. We have had to decide to love our kids more than we dislike each other. Interestingly, I have told my family and a few close friends what’s going on. He is silent. He even goes to his family’s a couple of hours away for holidays, WITHOUT ME. I wonder what excuse he comes up with for why I’m not there??? Like I said, there are MANY character issues I have with him.

  21. I have been married for 25 years, 3 beautiful children, 17, 15 and 12. So many times I have wanted to leave the marriage and now it is 1/1/2013 and I want out. But, for the sake of the kids I cannot do it. They would be devistated. I now I will be alone when I am older but better alone than miserable I say. I am studying a degree and will be finished in 3 years hopefully. My youngest is starting to sense something is wrong but I am trying my best to keep things going. My husband had DBS before xmas and his personality has changed and his speech in too difficult to understand and he is in no rush to go back to the specialist. My son said “mum i just want my dad back.” That broke my heart. I don’t want to be round my husband or near him, it’s like living with a different person now. I have had enough. But I can’t do anything until my youngest is out of school and in college. I will just sink into my studies and dread school holidays.

    1. Well it all comes down to the details. When things dont meet on the same level then you need to talk about it. The problem is that if YOU have it in your head no matter what that you don’t love your husband anymore, maybe wanting excitement you dont have, you need to (a) be very honest with him and (b) look for happiness in other things, activities, interests rather than other people.

  22. I should have left. We have been married almost 30 years. I am 45 and he is 49 now. The children, ages 26, 20, and 18 are all messed up. One is a recovering drug addict, but very mean to her own little children, one has severe anxiety disorder and one lives with a married man who is 20 years older than her. I adore my husband, but he has the Dr. Jeckyl, Mr. Hyde thing going on. Oh, I have read all the books: Co-Dependent No More, Walking on Egg Shells, etc. But I stayed. Always there was an excuse on my part. I still love my husband, and we have great fun, etc. But I never know when he will scream at me, threaten me or destroy something in the house.
    I should have left. How do I undo 26 years of the damage to my children?

    1. You don’t undue it Sandy. Your forgive yourself, forgive your husband…in the eyes of God. And you be the best Mom your kids and grandkids could ever want. You can NOT blame yourself for your children’s behavior as adults. That is the biggest BS that is in our society today. Why do some kids turn out fine and some don’t? Ask the kids that are messing up and they will blame their parents, ask the kids that make it and they will take responsibility for it. They are young. You were young too. Don’t blame yourself Sandy. You have done what you believe was the right thing to do and you did the best you could. NOW, do the best you can! Do what you think is the right thing to do. If your husband is toxic to your creativity and blocking the good Sandy and loving Sandy from being all you can be then move around that obstacle and get out there. You are in your 40’s and you still have lot’s of life worth living. You can still do alot staying. You can still do a lot leaving. Weigh it out, and make a decision. But don’t be stagnant. Your parents wouldn’t want their daughter to be stagnant.

      Just my two cents…

      John in Omaha

  23. Turning 40 hit me like a ton of bricks because I felt like I wasted my 30s being married to a selfish and moody male who saves his ugly attitude for his family. The best part of our marriage is when I am away from him. I dread returning home to see him, hear him or be near him. If he was a good father, I could have left long ago. Since he is too self-centered to be a good father, what kind of mother would I be to force my child to be with him on a court-ordered visitation schedule? I can escape him but she’s not able to. Maybe I will leave when she is a teenager and can have her say about what kind of contact she wants. Until then, I’m trying to focus on the joy I get from raising her. Marriage has been bitter but Mommyhood is ever so sweet. In time, I will walk out the door to start a new life without him. No turning back.

    1. anon…I am your male mirror image. I told Harry above…we do what we have to do. I feel the same of my wife…if she was a better mother, I wouldn’t feel so horrible to leave…but I know if I did, being a male in Nebraska, I wouldn’t get custody no matter if she’s struck me or not. But, at least I wouldn’t have to deal with my girls crying on the phone wanting me to come get them. They do that now when I’m at work till midnight, pharmacist in hospital shifts. So leaving them and going somewhere else??? Gees. That would tear me up! I can stick it out…there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hey…check out I’m creating it. Find something to focus on besides the pain in your life. Make it good. Take your energy and use it on your kids, your hobbies, other loves in your life…do it anon.

      John in Omaha

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  25. Hi. Read all the posts with mixed views, but I’m surprised there are so many who believe its also damaging for children to live with unhappy parents. I’m a 45 yr old, separated for a year after a mid-life-crisis made me have a bit of a breakdown. Have 2 wonderful kids I’d die for, boy 9 and girl 12.5, from a 13 year marriage. After many years sticking with a deteriorating marriage to the point where I had tried everything, simply ran out of ideas, my wife driving me mental with her loveless and controlling ways. She’s a wonderful mother and we were in love at first, but it got the point where absolutely nothing in me interested her and we could not talk about making a cup of tea without it causing tension, worse a massive blazing row. What the kids heard, not good. I tried everything to communicate, stupidly even letters etc, but she never read them, said she was too busy. I worked 50-60 hours on my own trying to keep the expensive house etc. I felt my children were my only joy. They were everything to me. My absolute. I resigned to the fact that I was to be the selfless dedicated father and just find other interests in playing football, enjoying comedy to make me laugh and listening to old music I liked….. but, a crazy moment occurred. I met a woman 10 years younger. She’s attractive, but I seriously never thought of that. I thought nothing except that we connected, like a spark. It was a weird energy. Maybe she just filled gaps in my life. We laughed so much, talked, she was so interested in everything, same religion, same views, such a freaky connection I can’t explain. It knocked me for six… I told her I was married, she didn’t want to know me after that, but we somehow kept in touch, I just wanted to talk to her, maybe it was me keeping the contact…. it destroyed me emotionally as she made me sooooooo happy. It’s sooo, hard when you feel alone in a marriage, laying awake at night just wanting someone to talk to and laugh with. I was in a sexless marriage, but I never wanted to sleep with the girl, seriously, she just filled my soul with happiness…. she beamed a radiant smile all the time, enjoyed the simpler things in life, different to my materialistic wife… eventually we developed feelings. We were very stupid and I take full responsibility. The guilt of my betrayal, being sucked in like a drug addict, it has torn me up close to suicide many times in the last year… but after a few months I decided I needed to talk to my wife. I had no plans to leave her but I wanted to tell her about how I felt strange, things were odd and that I’d been talking to someone else. She flipped and threw me out. She then tried to hurt me. I moved in with the other woman. I have had to keep my business going, somehow, just to keep the roof over my children’s heads while living in my new partner’s flat. While my wife went from raging nutter to begging me and trying every trick to get me back, my head was simply done-in…. I couldn’t think straight, I had become a wreck. All the time I maintained quality time with my children, we’ve had wonderful times, my boy quite chilled about it all, my daughter, naturally hating my new partner…. but, my new partner has proved even after 18 months of me knowing her to be the most amazing person ever. We have never had one argument, are so passionately close, caring towards eachother. She seems to adore me and would do absolutely anything for me. She is a dream woman in almost every sense. I don’t doubt we could have the most wonderful life together, the one she wants very much, but my wife is in a mess, so upset her plan has not worked. She claims she’s fallen back in love with me and wants me back. I do still love her, kind of, but she still makes me feel kind of ill inside. I sound like a wimp, but I think I’m just scarred from the past. But, aside of all of this, I just cannot bare being apart from my children day to day. I am half an hour away yet I try to drive over to take them to school, pick them up as much as possible, have them for tea one evening a week, a whole day at the weekends, but now my wife wants me to either stick or twist… come back or let her move on. I just can’t bare to have my children hate me. I feel it wasn’t my fault, except for meeting someone else, but I just don’t have the energy and emotional strength to hurt another person again and this young woman (35) doesn’t deserve it. She didn’t want to get involved, but did and while she loves me unconditionally, she doesn’t deserve to be dumped after picking me up from the floor so many times over the last year. I want her to be happy, to have the life any young woman deserves. I want my wife to be happy too, but most importantly my children. I worry they may be detrimentally effected by their parent’s break-up, but then, children can go off the rails even when both parents are together so I just don’t know what to do, but I feel I can’t hang around much longer. I need to do something decisive. But, if I go back to the house to stay with my children, maybe make it work with my wife, I fear I will never get over loosing the most amazing person in my life. The pain is hard to bare.

    1. People do not change. If your wife was a controlling manipulative woman from the start why would she change ? That is not possible. As far as the other woman, People that you connect with on so many levels do not come into our lives that often. Do not take a chance of losing her, especially after she has been there for you. She is your soul mate and be grateful that you were lucky enough to find one, not everyone does.
      Your kids are resilient. If you handle the divorce maturely and show them that they are both dearly loved by both parents, they will be fine. You will see the kids more once the divorce is final, you should get to see them half of their time.
      I am a firm believer in love and if you have it with one don’t let that go. Your wife WILL NOT CHANGE!!!!
      Your kids will be fine as long as you love them unconditionally and spend as much time as you can with them.
      You will probably mess them up more if you go back and you realize your wife did not change and you live the loveless fighting marriage. Your wife will move on after you divorce and use her manipulative ways on someone else.

      1. Thanks Anna. Interesting to read a reply with this view. It’s refreshing. I have been mentally tortured to say the least by my wife’s friends telling me how I will be destroyed with guilt for the rest of my life, that my children will hate me and that they never recover. The only problem I finally face is that while my daughter is hitting the age of independence and being more into her friends these days, she says she really wishes I would come home. It’s so hard to explain things to her. She has seen her mother crus so much in the last year that she sees my new lady as the root cause and naturally hates her. I just feel worried that i will have to choose – spending my life thinking our I put my own love first, before my love for my children, or going back for my children and thinking about the love that I let go. In this world there is far greater suffering that my kind of fortunate dilemma, but it’s a big one indeed and very painful. Thanks again. Any other contrasting views welcome.

        1. Harry, I’ve been in the same situation as you. Two girls, 8 and 10. Married 13 years to a controlling manipulative woman, anger issues is an UNDERSTATEMENT! 🙂 Just tonight, she was freaking about everything…as usual. But you know what? A couple of years ago, a coworker and I began talking and we both realized we were in the same type of marriage. We shared so much just by talking, email, and texting. Then one day, my wife caught me texting. It was the best thing. I was living a lie and that is not what I ever wanted to do ever in my life. So, we quit talking to each other…it was and is hard not feeling the closeness that we shared…similar to what you share now. I won’t tell you what to do. The women we have married unfortunately will never change. I will never leave my girls and I’ve told them this. Their love means so much. My wife? I still treat her the same, but don’t put up with the BS. I throw it back in her face. I’m not afraid of her anymore. Do not fear her Harry. Honestly Harry…I’m a sinner, your a sinner, he’s a sinner, she’s a sinner…wouldn’t you like to be a sinner too? Read the Bible. Realize that it’s not your fault. Seeking love is not a bad thing. We all need it. Your children can give it too. They love you so much. They have been around longer than your new love. I know this doesn’t help at all. But remember…if you go back to your wife…it will be hell. But how much and what kind of hell we choose is all up to you. I was in hell while in a pseudo love with my coworker… Maybe we will be together some day. She couldn’t leave her family, I can’t leave mine. But some day…the Lord works in mysterious ways Harry.

          Take care…
          Write back if you dare. 🙂

          John in Omaha
          Omaha, Nebraska that is…

          1. By the way it was a bit confusing reading this…but I quit talking with my coworker…not my wife. I stayed with my wife. 13 years in July…coming up. Lucky 13. UGH. Oh well. Love ya like a brotha Harry. You are NOT alone.

          2. John… it was very good to read your reply. Just what I needed. I am on the edge of breaking it to my new woman in a few days. Someone has to get hurt I know, but she is the most wonderful kind, loving, adoring, adorable, spirit anyone could ever wish for. I feel I am the most crazy man in the universe giving her up and hurting her. A love I fear I will never ever find again. But… my children. For me it is God, my children and then the woman of my life. I feel so bad, but my children I created, they are the innocents in all this and I cannot go to my grave knowing I abandoned my children, even if it means an eternity of pain for the great woman who came into my life. It’s harder for me as well as I lived with this wonderful woman for the last year. We have been glued together. We have had the most amazing times together and she has also done so much for me. The hardest moment of my life. Seriously.

          3. Harry? Did you make the break? I feel for ya man. No matter what you did…or didn’t do?
            I couldn’t reply to your response. Just remember, no matter what mistakes we make. There is light in the end. Hopefully much later down the road for us to do a little better than we have in our past. Take care out there, if you get this…

            John in Omaha

  26. So far I have stayed together with my spouse who feels the same way you do Erica about staying together but it has been very trying at best. I sought therapy for myself which was life changing and extremely empowering and the relationship got better. I don’t know what the next day will bring but I will tell you that if my spouse and I would separate – the general public would say “what took so long”?! He’s an awesome guy, just a lot to put up with. When my teenager found out I was in therapy, his first words were “so this is NOT a normal home. You know this?” like I validated his feelings too, growing up in a verbally and emotionally abusive environment. He’s in therapy, mine ended but and new communication skills brought new respect to the forefront. Saw online: “The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side” and “The Grass Is Greener Where You Water It”. Work work work. Sometimes, it’s just that way.

    1. I feel sad for those in a very bad relationship that seems to be stuck. My relationship with my wife was good on the surface but bad seep down. There was no interest, self-respect or joy at all. At times it was very abusive to the point where the relationship was dead. But it took me talking to another woman to shake our marriage. Not suggesting infidelity, but sometimes although it’s risky, small measures don’t work. The relationship needs a shock to the system.

  27. This very issue is what I’ve been battling with for almost 12years now. I’ve been in an abusive marriage thid years,sometyms he beats but mostly harsh words that sometimes I feel like killing myself to end it all because I don’t want my kids to live in a seperate home.
    Just wish I have an answer to ur big question because I’ve been so so unhappy and which I have a solution.

    1. This is not good, but so common as well.

      You MUST change something. I know it’s not easy though.

      If you can’t seek professional help then just be nice when he’s nice and blank him out when he’s not. He will soon get bored. Look for your you own pockets of happiness. Life is like that. It can be poo for most people but it’s all about finding those bits of happiness that make us smile and you need to try to find that amongst the relationship.

      I’ve been suicidal enough in my life and realised that it will only gain those who abuse me. The ones who will suffer are my children. That should NEVER be an option, so put that right out of your head now.

  28. my life is full of joy because Dr nanadu asked me to be happy What happened to me is not what i can keep only to myself but to also tell the world so that those that were once like me will get there love ones back and been happy once again. I and my lover had some issues which leads to our break up since after then my life has never been the same i tried all method to get him back but they were just waste of effort and waste of time. But one day during my search on the internet i came across someone testimony about Dr.nanadu was able to bring back my lover within 48hours. With the great thing that happened in my life i decided to tell the whole world about this great man called Dr nanadu. For those in need of anything he told me that in his temple there is know impossibility now i believe him so much friends if you need help to bring back your ex lover kindly contact him via email: [email protected] And i promise you that your lover will definitely be back to you.

  29. I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster when i went to see my friend in usa beginning of this year on a business summit. I meant a man who’s name is dada, he is really powerful and could help cast spells to restore one’s relationship and also promote his business. I’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me a week before our wedding and my life was full of sorrow cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided, skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And 4 days when i returned to Poland, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he is called to resume a new paying job in two weeks time. I was excited and happy and we immediately get married. I didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our kids. His email is [email protected] if you need any assistance in life.

  30. My name is miss Lilian am giving a testimony on how a spell caster has bring back my ex boy friend. I meant a friend who directed me to Prophet Jakula at the internet who help people to solve their problem, then i explain my problem to Prophet Jakula he said i should not worry about that, that i should give he 2days for him to caster a spell after that 2days my ex boy friend called me on my officer line then he started begging. That is how my ex boy friend came back to me please contact [email protected]……Lilian.

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  32. Fenado Rebbeca

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  33. My name is caroline. i have read testimonies about this great spell caster called Dr.ogaday how he helped people to bring their lover back. so i decide to give him a try, i am here today to give my own testimony on how this great brought my ex back within 48 hours for just to contact him. this girl has broke up with me over 6weeks but she came back just within 48 hours that Dr ogaday said he will make her to come. just contact this man and he will bring your ex back here is his email address [email protected] or call +2348163974382

  34. WTF all these spell casting comments, this is absurd, I am sorry your blog has been jumped in like this by pure spamming silliness. I was looking for serious debate and found nothing.

  35. Sergio, yes many spam comments get through our spam guard I am so sorry. We tried to delete them and what is left is a conversation for you to join. 😉 Thank you and sorry. Refresh your page.

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