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Should I stay, or should I go

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Long post, please forgive the rambling nature, typed as thought.

My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and I have had enough

I am a 45 Aussie (Hubby 54) who works full time and tries to maintain a home and look after a 4 year old daughter, and I need to make the biggest decision of my life and hope that the empathetic readers of this board can offer me some guidance.

I was a single parent with a 7 year old child when I met my husband, perhaps looking back now, in desperation for a better life we started a relationship, at the time I was happy to hand over control of my life to this person and let someone else make the decisions, even if this involved a lot of tongue biting and frustration on my side.

My eldest child left home at 16 as there was much confrontation between her and my husband, I should never have let this happen, but felt that I was forced to take sides. My husband was always asking me if I sided with him and his decision against my daughter, and I felt unable to stand up for her or myself.

I hate conflict of any kind and have always put other peoples needs before my own, which has now resulted in some kind of mental blow-out, from all the frustration that has built up within myself. I have had enough of all the demands on me. I seem to have lost myself over time.

My husband and I have not shared a bed in over 7 years, we still have sex occasionally, when he feels like it, but I feel nothing for him. I don’t hate him or anything, more resentment that he believes himself to be all knowing. My opinions seem worthless and my job is useless ( I am an Office Manager). My husband has always been arrogant, but to treat me with such little respect now has finally even breached my tolerance level.

I have no friends to turn to, as my husband has alienated them all, and states that he works hard and doesn’t want to socialise when he gets home.

It may seem that I have bought this on myself by being docile, but this has led me to question whether I am really worth anything, my self esteem is nonexistent and I have reached the bottom of what has been for some time a very long dark tunnel.

I know people will say I should go, but there is a 4yo involved in this and she is most important. I have been a single parent before, and it was horrible. But the things are different now, more mature, in employment, so this shouldn’t be holding me back, but I must confess that I don’t enjoy being a mother. I think right now I need to spend time by myself to find myself and regroup. Having to look after a 4yo would probably push me to the edge as my patience has run out and I find myself constantly screaming and yelling at her in frustration – I know this is wrong, and I hate myself for it, but that is where I am at right now.

Please know that it has taken a lot of courage for me to write this, and put it out there,now I am asking for your help and support in this very tough time.

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I know people will say I should go, but there is a 4yo involved in this and she is most important.


Yes and no.


It's a bit like the saying, you can't really love someone else until you love yourself.


Your 4 year old will be far more cognizant of your unhappiness than you may think. And that will be causing her stress and potentially issues later in life.


To be honest, I think your first concern now, after years of sacrificing it, has to be your own happiness. Leaving your husband is not a step to be taken lightly and yes being a single mum is incredibly difficult. But I think that if you are seeing no hope for happiness in this marriage then you really only have one choice and now it is more about finding the courage to make that choice.

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I think your emotions are all over the map right now because your self esteem has taken a major hit from spending years in an emotionally abusive relationship. You turned over the reigns to your husband and that is why you are even doubting your abilities as a caring mother. I think this is a natural reaction of being in an emotionally abusive and empty marriage. Have you gone for counselling? Have you looked into support groups for women who have dealt with these kinds of marriages? Perhaps your first step might be to find these kind of support networks where you live. They will be able to encourage you and provide emotional support as you get back on your feet again. I think if you leave you will find strength you never imagined you had. I think being in the situation you are in has sapped your energy...leaving will give you that energy back and you will be the doting mother again. Right now things are so overwhelming that motherhood is such a chore...take your husband away from the equation and you might find that your enjoyment of life and motherhood will be renewed, despite the challenges of being a single parent. You might relish the challenge because it will give you a purpose in life...something to prove to yourself...something to wake up in the morning for. You are worth so much and if you look for the support groups, you will find other women who have been in your shoes and have pulled out of it and gone on to a brighter future.

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I think you need to have a serious talk with your husband and demand that you and he go for counseling together. He needs to know that you're considering walking out on him. He also needs to know without beating around the bush what exactly he needs to do to fix it. Take that first step, then take another. Hopefully he'll agree to counseling with you.


P.S. It is NOT okay to be screaming at your 4 year old, taking things out on her. She has no idea about your stress level, and frankly she doesn't care. That's the joy of being 4 years old. Don't rob her of that.

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Counselling is not on, he believes that I am the only one with a problems, in the past have been for counselling with a few different people at different times over the past decade, but have always just let it trail away, because of complete lack of support. To continue to go would mean somehow finding the money and then hiding that fact. This is a man who wants an explanation for every cent I spend and checks phone bill every month and asks who i have been calling on my mobile phone, so I find it easier to give up than live with the lies and deception. When I had my second child I started therapy with a great guy, because of previous history of severe post natal depression, so got started early to try and catch it early, he even paid me a visit after I had my baby in hospital, unfortunately husband was in room at the time, was a nice as pie to the guy to his face, after he left we had a huge argument (2 days after caesarian) and he told me I couldn't see him again.

On and off anit depressant since that time, and every time he has been completely unsupportive and just tells me it is all in my head, but when I lose my temper at 4 yo he screams at me to take a pill.

Would find it difficult to get to support groups as husband doesn't like it when I go out, says its unfair that he has to look after 4yo by himself.

Everything is a competition to him and he always has to right or the winner.

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Be careful what you do right now. I've seen women in your situation leave and give custody to their husbands just because they're too stressed to handle the kids right at that point, only to later regret giving up primary custody rights. (not sure how custody is handled in your country).


Do you have any agencies there that provide counseling or childcare assistance to women for a low fee? These places might be able to help you think through a plan of what's the best course of action to take. Call womens' shelters for recommendations of places to call, social workers, etc....


My recommendation is that you do not raise your daughter in that environment. It doesn't sound like it's healthy for anyone involved.

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You need to leave this man. Just reading how you treat your daughter breaks my heart.


My friend does the same thing to her oldest son. She takes her frustration out on him because she is mad at her boyfriend, and her oldest son looks just like him. It's disgusting that anyone can look at a child and be mean to them in that way.


This man is not good for you, and this enviornment is not good for your daughter. Your oldest daughter saw that, that's why she rolled out. He has alienated you from your friends, and probably your older daughter too, and that is so sad.


You are too old to be letting a man walk all over you. It's time to take control of your life. Why is it okay with you to have sex with him when he wants it? Where is the respect in that?

I hope you do the right thing here. Being a single mother is not half as bad as living with this creep.

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