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Loving husband fearing divorce - needs help

Lost in pain

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I am not sure how to pose my dilemma, so I will give you a brief history on my marriage to my wife.

When I first met my wife, I thought that she was the prettiest girl at the party. And I still think that today.


We dated for five months, before I proposed to her. At the time, we both knew in our hearts that we were meant to be married.

I couldn't stand to be away from her, and I loved her so much, that I couldn't wait any longer. I wanted to start my life with her as soon as I could. We have been married now for 5 years.


The first years of marriage were great, although our sex life did drop a little. Two years after we were married, we had our first son. When he was born, everything in my life didn't matter. I was in love with him instantly.


We had the typical marriage with child; restless nights, restless minds over illness, ...the typical stuff. We still talked, tried to go out on dates, and had sex occasionally (about once a month). Two years later came our second son. My heart was once again stolen by this wonderful little baby.


Since then, I have been pretty happy, for the most part. However, my wife has told me two times in the past year, that she isn't happy. We have talked this over, and I have worked hard to keep my stress and anger in control.

Keep in mind, I have never hit, or abused my children or wife.

My anger is shown by me raising my voice, and complaining about "everything that isn't going my way". I know, pretty juvenile, huh?


Well, I have changed my ways, both for my family, and for myself. But those changes might have come too late.

We have been going to a marriage counselor for three months now, and it doesn't seem to be having an affect on my wife.

She has mentioned that divorce is probably the best option, as she said that "she has nothing left to give". She also told me that she still cares for me, but is no longer in love with me.


Just a little more history on myself, and I'll shut up. Over the past 5 years that we have been married, I have done all that I could for my wife and my family. I have gotten groceries, run errands, cleaned, cooked, finished our basement (by myself; didn't know what I was doing!), painted both our children's rooms with murals, fixed our cars, changed out countless light fixtures, and generally done everything I could to help my wife out, so she wouldn't feel overwhelmed.


So when I heard the word "divorce" come out from her mouth, I was heartbroken. I immediately thought of the kids. I couldn't imagine what it might do to them, and when I try, I become physically sick.


What do I do? I'll be the first to admit that I have shortcomings, and that those might have played a part in this. But doesn't everyone have these?


All that I know is that I have loved her from the start, and I still do. I have never cheated on her, abused her (either verbally or physically). I love my family. And I would do anything I could to stay together.


Please help, as I am in a lot of pain.

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Are you really committed to the marriage counseling?

Have you sat down with your wife and talked about everything that needs to happen to make this marriage work?

Have you done any individual counseling ?

Is it possible to have a small seperation and keep in touch, keep the kids your first priority and then work on your own issues for a while?

Has your wife told you what she needs to be happy in your marriage?

I see that you have done a lot of things for your wife. Have you been there for her emotionally? Do you listen to her? Are you connectiong with her on an emotional, spiritual level?

I would suggest you get very curious about your wife, her needs, your marriage and what is right about it and what is wrong about it.

Ask a lot of questions. Ask the questions that make you feel uncomfortable to ask. Good luck.

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I am not sure if you can persuade her to change her mind if counselling has not worked. Perhaps she needs to understand the consequences of what she is suggesting.


One thing I would make perfectly clear - that you will not stand aside and allow her to take your children from you. That if there is a divorce you will be requesting the court to order shared legal and physical custody on an equal basis. That doesn't mean you won't cooperate and co-parent the children - but it does mean you will insist being able to father your children properly.

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What you have to realize is that the issue is your wife's and not yours. You have said that you have done everything for her and your family, but that does not mean that is what she wants. Your wife does want a divorce and I dont know her reasons but that is what she wants. Perhaps she views that this isnt want she wants or maybe it is just time for the relationship to move on. Saying that you will do anything to not break up doesnt mean that you can prevent it, what it means is that your wife has to have the same desire, and it seems that she does not.

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I concur with DN...


Make sure you know your rights so you can continue to Father your children. The realities of divorce will soon over whelm her. It is easy to say.. "I want a divorce" but once you jump into that realm... its ohhhh so painful.


I wonder if she's not suffering from Depression? or Post Partum?


To hear that you are helping her with the home and the children so she is NOT overwhelmed is great. THAT is half the battle for a mom with small kids. And if she's working outside the home... whoooaaa nelly. Its a lot to juggle if your mate doesn't lend a helping hand.


Your Anger. Being on the recieving end of being screamed at... or hearing a frustrated man bellow is pretty darned frightening. My children are little... and to very small children, YOU are a giant. I to this day remember my "GIANT" dad and when he bellowed. And when I had children of my own... it made me more sensitive to what was going on. My children would shake in fear when their dad yelled. My "X" would lose control and break things. You never knew.. WHEN it would happen. This behavior SCARS people. Look at me.... I'm a grown woman with kids.. and I STILL remember the fear I had of my dad going off.


Have you thought about ANGER MANAGEMENT training for you.


THIS is not ALL on you. or all your fault. So don't start taking ownership of the whole BLAME PIE. She's got 50% of this on her shoulders.


If I can give you ANY ANY ANY advice it would be... continue with counseling. Marital counseling.. or counseling on your own. If she wants you OUT of the house.. consider a SEPARATION. Move out but close enough for the kids. Create GROUND rules... for the kids sake on visitations and respecting each others space and time.


Don't get angry and feed the dragon. Throwing anger on to this fire will only make it get bigger and she'll run the other way.


While you are separated.. can you "DATE" each other. Go out casually but NOT talk about the relationship or the state of affairs.


If she wants to LEAVE this relationship... there is NOTHING you can do to stop her. But you could make it as amicable as possible.


Also... if its a divorce you are going for... please see if you can do it amicably without LAWYERS. The sharks will EAT all of your savings and equity you have in that home.

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My point is that he can only change himself. He should do some soul searching and see what he needs and what his wife needs. This could prevent the divorce hopefully.

The anger, the disagreements within the marriage are just symtoms of the real problem.

Please take the time , ask the questions, committ yourself to investigating what works and what doesn't work in this relationship.

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I agree with Shadows Light that she could be suffering from post natal depression. My sister did and she didn't cope very well at all.


When her husband shouted my nephew would crawl as fast as he could and hide behind a chair. You could see him shaking.


On one occasion when I was leaving their house to go home my nephew beat me to the door by crawling. He wasn't at the age he could stand yet. He wanted to go with me, unfortunately, I had plans that night and couldn't take him.


My nephew and I had had a good bond since he'd been born. At one time I lived with them for a while. I would change his nappy, etc., and play with him. I never shouted or argued. I think that's why he always came to me.


When I was little my parents fought all the time and I was always frightened. I knew he was going through the same thing.


Please don't frighten the children.


The problem with your wife... are you spending all your free time with the children and not giving her any? Usually it's the husband that feels left out when children are born because the Mother is constantly working for the children.

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I appreciate your feedback, I really do. It's nice to talk about this, even to those who I don't know.


I don't directly yell at the children, and I have never swore at them. I used to get stressed and frustrated, and would raise my voice, and basically yell at the walls. I would never direct my anger at my kids.


Since then, I have mellowed myself so much that I cannot recall the last time I lost my temper. I came to the realization that whatever the issue was, it wasn't worth enough to yell in front of my kids.

Example: I used to obsess about my cars, but when my son accidental hit my SUV with a hammer yesterday, I literally said "Well, that left a mark". I was proud of myself; I didn't raise my voice.


As far as spending time with my wife; I've tried that. I've asked her on "dates" and was about 50% sucessful.


When we did go on a date, it did feel pretty good.


Here is my course of action, as I see it. I probably have about three months left together as a family, if she still wants a divorce.

I am already getting back in shape, and I am looking to get a promotion at work. I feel better about myself, and it shows to my wife as well.


My goal is to get in shape physically, emotionally, and financially. And during this time, I am going to start "courting" my wife again. It's like I'm starting from square one. If it sparks something, then that's great. If it doesn't, then at least I showed her, and myself, that I tried.


Got to admit....some days are tougher than others. But I have to find the strength to go the distance. I have to give it my all, because if I don't and she leaves me, I'll regret that for the rest of my life.

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Good Plan. Just don't... overly sugar coat it.


One of the things your wife will look for is how genuiine you are. And if changes you are making are sustainable. Lots of times people revert to what was ... comfortable.


You might want to look for relationship books. Try Dr. Phil.. relationship

rescue. I read it... but it had been too late. Actually I could probably stand to read it again right now.. lol. He's got a nice writing style that is not at all intimidating and he's down to earth.


So you were 50% of the time successful on getting her to go on the dates??? i'd say those are great numbers. Have you figured out WHY you were unsuccessful the other 50% of the time.


When you planned these dates... who took care of finding a baby sitter???

THAT is a huge chore... and one that is left lots of times to ... MOM. I'll admit I may have been more responsive had Mr. Evil...taken on that responsibility. lol.


How about giving your wife a break. Tell her to go out with her girlfriends and you stay home and baby sit. ORRR... buy her a DAY AT THE SPA.. and let her go without worrying about the kids.


Have you tried going away to a bed-n-breakfast for the weekend? and overnight stay at a HOTEL as a date??? again.. pre-arrange for the babysitter.


Good-luck to you.

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I'm replying because I'm on the other end of your situation....I'm the wife with a husband with a temper. He gets angry very easily and sometimes it gets out of control. He will say things that are hurtful and calls names. He is a controlling person so it is usually his way or no way. We will go for a long time with no issues but then something happens and he blows up. I'm getting better to standing up to him so the fights can get worse because of it. Now that I do that he gets angry and says "don't you talk to me that way." Wow am I a kid or his wife.


I am responding to you because you said something about your anger and that we all have short comings. That is true but how much of this should I take? I have told him that I need some space right now to think and I told him what my issues were. He tells me I have a boyfriends (never have don't plan on it and never have done anything for him to think this way), calls names, says hurtful things, etc. I truly think he doesn't think he has a problem. He knows he has a temper but he always has excuses. Bottom line I told him I can't live like this any more and something needs to be done.


Am I way out of line. I know I am hard to deal with sometimes...I'm moody, I don't communication very well and I am good at avoiding problems. I here looking for advice as I have nobody I feel I can talk to.


Did I babble too much and not make any sense. Help!

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I don't think that you are way off base. You have just as much right to say to your husband that you don't wish to be treated that way.


Just to give a little more history on my marriage, I have in the past been too quick to anger. And I would get angry over the littlest things; things that didn't matter.


I think what makes me different from your husband is that I have acknowledged my anger, and how bad it makes my wife feel. That is why I changed. Seeing that I made her uncomfortable, as well as my kids, I made the change in myself. And I strive to keep it that way.

I am proud of myself when something happens, either big or small, and I don't react the way I did in the past. Some might say, "so what?". But it's a big step for me.


By the way, I have never called my wife any name, at all. I have never called her stupid, idiot, or that she was wrong if she saw something differently from me. Your husband should at least realize that it's just mean when he says that. If he hasn't apologized for that, he probably never will.


It's kinda refreshing to hear from someone on the "other side".

It gives me a different perspective on the whole issue.


I hope that he is working on his anger management, because it's hard to do. Believe me. But, it's the best thing that I could do for myself, and my family.


Good luck.

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Lostinpain.. and Robinboro...


There is a website called: link removed that talks specifically about verbal/emotional abuse. You may find it helpful. She lists a number of helpful books regarding the "cycle" of Anger... what is verbal abuse (VA) and what is the definition of Emotional abuse (EA). I have found this site to be very informative and was able to further research books on the subject.


To Robinboro... you question yourself consantly, because you wonder. "am I seeing this the right way?" and because it happens in "cycle's"

The first thing you learn ... like Pavlov's dog (excuse the analogy) is to walk on egg shells. You'll pick up subtle things on what ticks them off and when its going to happen. As the cycles progress... the anger gets targeted... it gets meaner... it no longer seams intangable. ahhh but there's still "CRAZY MAKING" because they'll shift the blame to you. Somehow the blame will always swing your way. You'll become depressed, you'll become hurt, you'll cycle with them with resentment. And its a vicious cycle. Your HUSBAND is crossing some very personal boundaries. To be accused of INFIDELITY in a marriage where there is NO REASON or SUBSTANCE to it is a very serious breach. I know.. I've been there. At some point you'll have to decide when enough is enough. I think it comes when you can "NAME" what it is he's doing.. that intangible thing.


YEP... I hated calling my "X" on the carpet for what he was doing. I felt more like his mother than his wife or partner. ICK.

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I cannot believe it, I am still struggling with it. My wife has decided to leave me, and there is nothing that I can do.


I asked for a separation, but she said no. She wants a divorce.


I thought that I would have her as my partner, friend, and wife for the rest of my life; for the rest of our lives. I never imagined that it would turn out this way. It hurts so much; it hurts everytime I think about each day we spent together. It hurts when I look at photo albums. It hurts when I think of the things we will no longer do together.


And it hurts the most when I look at my two kids, and how their lives are going to be changed forever.


She said that she has nothing left to give, emotionally speaking.

Someone suggested to me that I ask her if she'll have more to give emotionally, when she is living without her husband, and with our children.

I think that it would take more strength to go it alone, then it would to try harder to make our marriage work.


I feel that during the majority of our marriage counseling sessions, which have been going on now for 5 months, I was giving it my all, and she wasn't trying that hard. It's like she already had her mind made up, and that nothing I said or did would change anything.


I am still holding out hope that while she is away, she'll realize what a mistake this has been.


The only good news is that we both care so much for our children. We have both agreed that we do what is good for the children, first.

(Even though my argument would be to stay and work it out!)


I don't know what else to do. I feel like I should look her in the face, and tell her that no matter what, I am not leaving. I want to stay. I want to raise our kids, together, in OUR home.


It's a hell that I would never thought I would have to travel through.

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Lostinpain... (((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))


I'm sorry you are feeling this way. Don't go through the photo albums right now... don't be pulling on those nastalgic heart strings. You do need to cry and get it out....but don't compound the pain.


You asked if she would be more emtionally well equipped to take care

of the kids on her own... don't play that card. We are... and I am.

Those words pretty much came out of my mouth... "I have nothing left to give." Our situations or totally different Lostinpain.


Please try to be as fair as you both can for the kids sake. Try to be as amicable as possible. And DO try to get into counseling or a divorce recovery program for YOU... so you can heal and get back on your feet as fast as possible. If for no one else... for your childrens sake.

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Lost - my heart goes out to you...unfortunatley I'm basically there to. I'm cruzing these boards tonight...really anywhere on the web trying to feel a little less alone.


If your anything like me then your a good husband and you can't really understand why she no longer feels for you. You feel strongly about her and you don't understand why like so many other people she can't just get though this and fix/work/deal with the problems in your marriage.


I read the bit in your post about getting angry with her and I have read peoples respones to that and since no one else seems to want to say it I will.


Its not your fault.


Its not because you had anger management issues, its not becuase you've done something wrong or failed to be a good husband. After 5 years and 2 kids marriage is about survival. Your wife has decided though that it shouldn't be like that and I think she believes in her heart that it wouldn't be like that with somone else.


Any sociologist or psycholgist worth their weight can tell you that relationships survive on lust (not love) for many years but as that goes away during the first years of marriage and especially following the birth and raising of children many marriages dissolve in its absense.


I really believe that your wife is suffering from this absense not really from anything you've done. I just don't know that there is away to fix this. I always believed thats what the vows thing was for ...to survive though the hard times even if it takes years.


sorry this isn't a more upbeat post I just don't think you should be beating yourself up over something that isn't your fault...either that or I'm just angry to see someone else hurting the same way I am.

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Thanks 404, I appreicate your support.

I am sort of glad to see someone who is in the same boat, even though that boat is sinking.


I hope that you hang in there. I am trying more and more every day, but each day gets tougher.


We are still living in the same house, but we are looking to put the house up for sale next week. We, mostly me, were planning on staying here until after the holidays. My only Christmas wish, beside my family staying together, is to see my boys wake up on Christmas morning, one more time. I know after it's all said and done, it'll be every other Christmas morning. And quite honestly, when I had my two boys, I never thought that I would have to write these words.

I never wanted this. Not in a million years.


Each step that she takes towards our divorces is so deliberate; like nothing phases her. When she is going around the house, doing whatever, I hear her humming or singing a tune! She is F*&$ing singing a tune! Meanwhile, my heart is bleeding so much, I can't stop it.


My biggest fear and heartache are the children. I promised them, from the first time that I held them, that I would never allow anything to hurt them. Now, I know that's impossible, but I never thought that their first major pain in life would be from their parents (really, their mother)! Thinking about them is what makes me almost go insane. And there is nothing I can do to stop this from happening.


I still ask myself, "How can this be happening?". She has had boyfriends in the past who have cheated on her, beat her, used her, and basically made her feel like nothing. She told me that when we met, I treated her like no one else ever had; I treated her with love and respect.


I have never done the following:


Beat her

Cheated on her

Became a drunk

Used drugs

Swindled money


Hit the children

Swore at the children


Yet, even though there are thousands of couples, who have experienced these horrors, they are willing to go the extra step of trying to save the marriage. I have done none of those mentioned above, yet I don't receive the same consideration.


I have painted paintings for her, I have written letters to her, I have sent her flowers, I have sent her cards, and this means nothing.

I even finished our basement, by myself (with no knowledge), and that wasn't even a big deal to her. And now, as it's filled with toys for our children, we are going to be leaving it forever.


And, last night, I noticed that she has already taken off her engagement ring and wedding ring. They are now stashed away with the rest of her jewelry. It's like this past five years never happened, and that it's time to move on.


I have to remain strong, and face the facts. She no longer loves me, and she no longer wants me to be her husband. "For better or for worse" are words that I never thought so strongly about. And what really hurts, is that she has told me several times in our marriage that I was the best thing to happen to her, and that she would never leave me.


Well, here we are today, and I believe that she truly did not love me. True love can get past this with effort from both of us.


I don't know you, 404. But you sound like a decent guy; you sound like someone who would do anything for your wife. You sound like me.

This is what I told my wife, and I believe it is something that you probably have told, or should tell, your wife.


I told my wife that she will never find someone else that loves her more completely; someone that will do anything for her and our family; someone that will always be honest, true and faithful to her.


Stay strong.

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Lost - there is another thread here. One that a guy named Camber started ("Am I Holding on to False Hopes?") I'm sure you've read it or at least I hope you have. His situation is pretty bad but its not that different from yours or mine. To get to the point please go take a look at the last couple of pages there.


I think there is hope for you to be with your wife though it took surviving a divorce for the only person who has posted an experience of getting back together and living happily again. If your as committed as you seem to be I'd bet your willing to do that, at least if that were the only way.


You might have to stop caring so much for a bit though or at least act more detached. If I'm learning anything here its that we may be pushing our wives away by trying to show them how much we care.....F-d up thing is that if that wold work then I definitely don't want to tell my wife that I would do anything for her...in fact it might be better to be a bit cold right now......I don't really know just read though the posts K.

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Tigris, I wish that would be an option.


She has told me that she has nothing left to give, and that she has no desire to try.


At this point, she is actually in a good mood when we discuss moving out of our house, finding other arrangements, etc. I cannot believe it; she is humming and acting very happy. She has no regrets at all.


It's like she has had her mind in this place for a long time now, and now that she is getting her way, she is much happier.


I would love to go on a date again; try to spark our marriage one last time, but even a blind man could see that she wants no part of me, romantically speaking.

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She's happier because a great weight has been lifted off her shoulders. I felt like her last year, but my reason was different.


I was struggling with my sexuality and I was married and had been for nearly 14 years. I knew how hurt my husband would be if we divorced and I tried my best to stay with him. I even asked the doctor to get me help because I didn't know who I was anymore. I told my husband that I was going to see a Psycho Sexual Counsellor and the reason why.


Unfortunately, the help made me realise I'd been a lesbian in denial for 30 years. I hated hurting my ex. Everytime I looked at his face it showed me how much he was hurting. It felt like a knife going into my heart.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.


Ever since I have posted on this site, I have gone through a variety of feelings and emotions.


At first, I was crushed. I didn't know what do to, or what feelings were normal.

Since then, I have been getting stronger.


But yesterday, I fell apart again. I was watching the kids, and I was pretty frustrated. We have put our house on the market, and the showings have severly interfered with our lives. I am trying to work hard, even on the weekends, so that I can do better at my job. I want to succeed, so that I can make more money, and keep my mind on something else.


So, with all of this pressure; pressure to sell the house, pressure to keep a positive attitude and smile on my face for the kids, and pressure from my job....I just lost it.


I started to cry in front of my boys. I never wanted to do that, but it happened. I thought to myself, like I have before, that this cannot be happening. One year ago, we were a very happy family.

And what kills me, is that not much has changed since then. But, according to my wife, so much has changed. So much so that she doesn't love me anymore, and that I have changed from the person that I was before.


We have two kids! We have more debt! We don't have enough time for each other! I ask everyone here this: doesn't everyone have the same troubles with money, time, and attention if they have at least two kids!!!!


I feel that I have stretched myself too thin. When my wife says that she needs attention (not directly), I stop what I am doing and try to spend more time with her.


When my job needs more attention, I try to spend more time there. Just to give you brief history, I am not a workaholic. I am the opposite, mostly. This is why I have to, and want to, work harder.


And when my kids need attention, I give them attention. I give them attention no matter what. I also try to give my wife attention as well.

So when I am trying to give everyone, and everything, my attention, I start to feel a little stressed.


I had a dream last night. I dreamt that my wife was gathering all of our friends and family, to announce something big. Although she never announced it, I got the feeling from my dream that she wanted to tell everyone that she wanted to come back to me.

It was definitely hard to wake up from this. When I did, I looked over at my wife, and briefly smiled at her. I wanted to believe that the dream was real.


I guess what kills me the most, is the fact that the one person that I could always count on being in my life is leaving me. When I looked into her eyes, and asked her to marry me, I meant it. I meant it for our lifetime.


She hasn't left the house yet, but when she does, I will be melting down pretty bad. When she leaves the house with the kids, and I won't see them for at least 3 days, I'll be a mess. I have never gone more than a day without seeing them.


I can go on, and think about ways to improve myself, but I cannot get them out of my mind. I cannot get the terrible thoughts of them crying when one of us leaves them, out of my mind. My oldest son, who is 3, will have the hardest time with this. It just tears my heart apart when I think of what this will do to my kids.


And just recently, thoughts of my wife and what we were before, have crept back into my mind. I think of the millions of little things about her, about our marriage, and it breaks my heart. I feel discarded.



I am 35 years old, and I have a broken heart.

Ever since we have been married, I have tried to make her happy. Every day, EVERY DAY, I have given myself to her, and the children.

When I married her, I thought that I was the luckiest guy in the world. Imagine, a girl like this wants to be with me! With me!!!!


It feels like a cruel joke has been played on me.


I love her so much, it hurts. I love my children so much, but I cannot protect them from what they will be going through.


And what scares me the most is the dream. What if she came back? Would I still love her enough to take her back?


Aside from my children's pain, losing my love for her is probably the biggest fear yet.

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Unfortunately, she sounds alot like me and what I was going through in my marriage (still going through actually, but I'm trying). My husband sounds alot like you too.


Anyway, I just read your posts and empathize with what you're going through. I'm hoping I can help. Is there any way I can send you a private message here? This is my first time on a forum so I'm not sure how this works lol

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