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Can I leave my marriage?


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Married for 4 years and a half, one 3 years old daughter. Great intellectual relationship, but emotionally distant. Sex got worse and worse, and now it is totally inexistent. My husband has been emotionally abusive since beginning of marriage -- and I allowed it for love and for fear that the marriage would fail (huge mistake, I know). After all this time I want to leave. He has improved over time, but it seems that I got so heartbroken I just became bitter and cold. I know I still love him, but I don't feel anything physical anymore -- feel fear of humiliation and pride. Besides, have started seeing marriage as something terribly restrictive - I thought that it would be more of a partnership between equals and now I see myself serving stuff to my husband like a maid. Now that my daughter is growing, I just want to live my own life with her, to get a job, to get her a more proper environment for a child to live in -- he never allowed me to make of our house a home, to turn it cozy, decorate, etc. Everything has been always under his terms. I think my child needs something better -- and myself too. I am becoming sad, depressed, and I long for love and human contact.


Now my husband is having some serious familiar problems and wants to move closer to his parents. I'm afraid of asking for separation in such a hard time, I wonder if I am not being selfish... I don't know what to do and where to start from... I'm afraid of letting him know that I want to leave, and he decides to do something bad to me or to my baby. I don't have where to go or a family. Should I get a job first so I'd feel more secure? Does it sound like I am betraying him? What are my rights? I am very lost and confused and need some advice. Thank you in advance!

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Of course you can leave. If you're afraid of your husband, you need to make a plan to leave. Call a shelter for victims of domestic violence. They will give you ideas on how to get out and give you a safe place to stay, help you get on your feet.


You have every right to be able to make a safe, secure, comfortable home for you and your daughter.


Have you and your husband been to marital counseling? Would he be open to that? If you haven't broached the subject before, perhaps a way to get him to think about it would be to say something like: "I love you and want us both to be happier. I was thinking that a counselor might help us to learn to communicate better and compromise to make things better for us and our family." If he isn't receptive, do you have any friends who can help you leave - if he's not violent. If he is, go to the shelter as soon as they help you make a plan to get out.


You have no family? None?

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Because I don't think he is emotionally stable. He is a very pessimistic, anxious type, who thinks always the worse of any situation. He has a history of a failed marriage - wife left him for another man, and it left a lot of resentment and anger in him. He doesn't have any belief in anything good or any hope for the future. I think he sees me as some type of anchor to his life, like a reason to keep living. Nobody can put their hopes and happiness on other person's shoulders, and that is making me feel horrible and tied to him. He says that he loves me, but I doubt that is a healthy kind of love. Sounds weird to love somebody and not even want to touch that person, or make her carry most of the burdens of a marriage/parenthood. I'm afraid he wants to do something crazy if I tell him I want to leave.

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Autumn, I am an immigrant. I don't have anybody in US and I don't want to leave it here to start life over in my country after a hard period of adaptation and having started a career here - it's hard to keep starting things when you are almost 40! I am a graphic artist, but I'm based on commissions and don't have yet a stable income, this is why I want to get a regular job. I've thought about marital counseling, but I don't know how he is going to receive the idea (negatively, I believe.) However, I sincerely think that the marriage has no salvation anymore. I am too heartbroken.

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