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I am unhappy in my marriage but don't know if I can leave


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I am 29, have been married almost 10 years and have three children 5-8.

My husband works an 1 hour and a half from where we live and works 14-18 hour days not including driving. I NEVER see him and he is never around to help me with the kids. I feel like a single mom with no perks and no time off. He has said that if we move closer to his work that it would be better but I just know it won't be. He would still work really long hours he just wouldn't have the drive. Even if I take away driving time he is still gone before the kids get up and nothome until right before bed or after. If I move I won't have the support system that I have set up here because I cant seem to do it alone. He didn't have this job when we got married and has refused to try and find a job closer to us.


When he is home he expects me to do whatever he wants and to be with him all the time.


I don't know if I love him. I don't know if I ever truly loved hm. We married really young and kind of ran away together. I remember having serious doubts the day of the wedding but I had just found out I was pregnent and chalked it up to nerves. Every time I started feeling Unhappy in our marriage we would have another baby.


When I talk to my husband he says that I won't ever leave him and that i couldn't make it without him because I have been a stay home mom for 9 years and don't have a college degree.


My parents say that he is controlling and that i shouldn't move because he has never helped with the kids and they don't think he would start if I did. They feel that the kids and I would be miserable.


I don't htink he even realizes that I am thinking of leaving him. I do think he loves me in his own way I just don't think the kids and I are his top priority. Or at least spending time with us is not his top priority. I have told him that I am unhappy and wish he wouldn't work so much. That we don't need the money. but he says that he has to work this many hours to get farther up in the company. Well his manager who has been there 15 years STILL works 80 hour weeks.


I just don't know what to do. I feel like I should stay because I agreed to marry him and Have three kids with him but I am so tired and I am just so unhappy and feel like I am in a little box with no way out.

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Theres always away out of things, you shouldn't be with someone that you're not for sure that you even love. If you don't want to leave him maybe you should separate and then if he really loved you and your kids he would start to realise what hes about to lose and come to his sense's and find a job closer to home and work things out...........Do what you want to, thats just my opinion.

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Well, from what you've written, it's all about HIM, as far as what he expects in this marriage. Not you, not the kids, simply him. If he's stated himself that 1) you wouldn't make it without him, and 2) he works BY CHOICE to move up higher in the company..... come on, what's there to think about? Especially if you're having doubts, and have HAD these doubts, about this relationship to begin with. It's not healthy for ANY of you, kids included. Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, and pick up on the subtle (and NOT so subtle) moods of frustration, anger and depression, which often leads them to blame THEMSELVES.


I would highly suggest having a serious sit-down, no-distractions-allowed conversation about where you each ultimately want to be in life. And be honest-tell him that you're having doubts about your love for him, especially when it's not reciprocated, and that you aren't happy. Ask him what HIS goals are, where he wants to end up, how he sees his future.


If the end result is an overall NO, then something needs to give. Unless you're both willing to make some MAJOR changes and compromises, this is only going to get worse, since repeating cycles and fixtures such as demanding jobs simply don't go away.


Good luck to you, and with your relationship......

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I agree with Kuja, I think you should separate for awhile. I've witnessed several marriages that have survived when the husband and wife have taken time apart to realize their true feelings for eachother. I wouldn't bring the children into the equation. I know they're a huge part of why you're together, but perhaps that should tell you something. You shouldn't be with him if you don't love him anymore. So even though you are supposed to be a family, it was the love between you two that was supposed to build the family and be the stable foundation for it. If that foundation has crumbled or never was there, rethink it.


Good luck!

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You sound a lot like me about 5 years ago. I have been married for 18 years, married at age 19, have two kids. My husband worked for the same company for 13 years even though the expectation was that he would work 70-80 hour weeks. He was not happy doing this but felt compelled to by their demands and his own perfectionism. He became seriously depressed and suffered complete burnout. I finally confronted him and said that if something didn't change I felt sure we wouldn't be married in a few years. He went into therapy, we had marriage counseling, and finally moved to a city about an hour and a half away where he could get a better job.


Things were good for about a year. He was working only about 40-50 hours a week, but he was bored! He kept taking on more responsibility and eventually injured his back, I think from stress. He had to have surgery, then early this year we found out his mother has terminal cancer. He has been a mess, and he lost his job. I am still with him but it is hard. So much of his identity is tied up with his career, and he is becoming depressed again.


My question is--does he like his job? Does he like working 80 hours a week? If he doesn't enjoy it, he may be a workaholic. That is my husband's problem.


Workaholism is an illness, and an addiction. But a true workaholic is someone who doesn't necessarily love working, but rather feels compelled to. My husband's problem is he really doesn't know who he is outside of his job, or what to do with himself when he isn't working. I would advise you confront your husband, tell him how unhappy you are, and that you can't continue to live with him the way things are. If he truly loves you, he will want to make changes, but it won't be easy.

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  • 1 month later...


I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through as it reminds me a little of what happened to me. I got pregnant and married when I was 18 to a guy who blinded me with what was supposed to be love! He told me when we found out I was pregnant that we would get married and everything would work out. Well, I was young and scared so we tied the knot. Huge mistake. He was alaways at work or out with his friends and I was the one left at home taking care of our baby. He claimed he loved us but could never find the time for us. Well, of course I gave him chance after chance thinking that he could change.....but they don't. He wasn't ready for a child and may never be. I have been divorced for two months now and been away from him for almost a year now. My daughter has adjusted and I got sole custody of her and he is no longer in her life. He told me after the divorce that he wanted the single life and that he never wanted a child. If you are unhappy please look inside for the strength to leave. I am 21 with a young child, living on my own and have no friends ( he was very controlling and wouldn't allow me to have any ). I get down but I just remember how he wasn't there when we were together so the only real difference is what is on paper!

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  • 3 years later...

I have been married almost 8 years (together 11). We had our first child before our wedding and have had nothing but parenting time together. My husband also works far away, 45 min. and works all the time. When he is at home his computer is on and he is working. He gets frustrated with the children quickly and loses patience due to his illness and medications for RA. I am a nursing student and work part time after being a SAHM for the last 8 years. I wish I knew how to make this work but as the days go by I just fall farther away from the married life. I love my children and they are the biggest part of my life...but I am so not happy anymore. I have scheduled counseling for myself and I start next Monday...after I do this solo for a while I am hoping he will join me. I had a complete meltdown on him last weekend, he seemed to get it for the fisrt few days but is now thinking I was just over reacting and couseling will help...and I am sure he is thinking he on't need to go.....UHG! One day at a time right?

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Okay...I am a guy, and this is how my marriage ended. Although I don't have the drive, I have to work a lot. Long days, and staying away from home. Having gone through this, I have to say that I totally see how the both of you are thinking. Now, it's not right for him to feel like the boss, but some people, after a while of being the bread winner, get the "power" bug. When somebody works that much, and is away from home that much, all they want to do is go home. I've been through it. That was me. Wrong way to be, i know. But imagine yourself working his schedule....long hours, long drive, would you really feel like going out when your dead tired? I know I did some things wrong, and there is more to it than just my job. But I kind of have the "other story" so to speak.


I wouldn't go for the jugular so to speak. Try to "reconnect" with him. Try to get him more involved with the kids. Can anybody take the kids for a night? Cuddle up, watch a movie. Soon you should sit down with him, and talk calmly about this. That was my ex's biggest fault. She could never calmly talk about a situation, in turn, making things worse. Try to not make him feel like youre attacking him. If he gets upset, drop the conversation, say well finish this when youre calmed down. If you think it is really worth saving, try counseling, if that doesn't work, separate, and if that doesn't work, divorce. Take it in steps. Don't do anything rash, and if divorce is what you want, be 110% sure.

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  • 2 years later...

Ok--I am a 45 year old man with a 42 year old wife and 2.5 year old son. I manage 27 contractors and 34 project task orders with a federal government agency.


I pay 98 percent of the bills; do most of the cooking; shopping; cleaning the bathrooms (showers/tubs/toilets). Now, I get little or no appreciation in paying the bills or running the house EVEN with my crazy schedule/work routine.


Sex is non-existent. I have to watch XXX to make myself happy but ashamed of it. Whenever I ask her to do anything, she gets into a tizzy. She has ZERO motivation to get her and us ahead financially.


All I got this year for my birthday is a big heart-shaped cookie.


This is getting me so unhappy--I rather just go to work because I get more respect than home.


This unhappiness has got to stop--she is taking advantage of me (whether she believes it or not).


ON THE OTHER HAND, I do understand the pressures of being a Mom; and yet, I do alot of chores around the house.


I am getting seriously fed-up.



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Gowdsab, since this thread is old I am replying to you. I hate to say it because it seems like a canned answer but go to counseling. Here is why, most marriages or relationships are a power struggle. I don't think most people consciously think I am going to duke it out with my spouse until I control 85% of the territory or till I have her/him submit to me. I think this is very common when you have two people in a relationship that are hard skulled. Anyways, when you have a third party give you their perspective then it has a lasting effect, most of the time. The counselor can find out why you guys are doing, the specific triggers and how you should change your actions to then change the uneven relation you are having. It’s kind of funny, but a good counselor sometimes won’t even say much, you guys are going to bring out all the stuff and almost figure it out yourself.


I realize you might have been married before and I might be preaching to the quire, but I think it's a valid place to start. Good Luck

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  • 11 months later...

I read your post and it sounds almost exactly like my life. I have been married for almost 15 years. I have 2 beautiful children. In the last 3 or 4 years my marriage has been suffering.....my complaints are a little different then yours.....My husband doesn't want to have sex, he's not affectionate anymore, we don't seem to have anything in common outside of our kids. When I bring these issues up he tells me the reason he doesn't want to have sex, and is not affectionate is because he is unhappy and needs things to be right in order for him to want sex......Well we went to counceling and things got better for a short time. Now of course they are back to the same old thing. Our sex life has never been wonderful....and I should have realized that from day one...but we dated long distance for the first 2 years and only saw eachother on weekends....He pretty much swept me off my feet.....(the boyfriend I had before him cheated on me) So when my husband came along and was stable and seemed to adore me, I think we both overlooked things about eachother that should have been signs that we were not a good match. Anyway...I have no college degree either, and the job market is terrible. I live in San Diego and there are no jobs....I have been a stay at home mom for the last 5 years and I am scared to death of what will happen if I leave. I know I love my husband, but I don't think I am in love with him anymore...and I don't think he can be in love with me either if he doesn't want to make love, or be affectionate. I think he would just let things go the way they are forever because it's easier. I just don't think I can live like this for the rest of my life. I am 42 years old...and I'm not getting any younger....Does anyone have any advice for me????

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  • 10 months later...

He's not working all those hours to support the 5 of you? In this day and economy two people working full-time can barely support a family, so if you're not working, he has to work extra hard. If you were to leave him, how would you take care of your kids? You'd have to work full-time and long hours, and then you'd never get to spend time with your kids. Me and my boyfriend BOTH work full-time, and have no kids, and we end up broke all the time. I just hope whatever your decision, you think of your kids first, they are the most important, more important than you or your husband.

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Keep in mind that it can also feel like the burden they bare as well... My husband was the only working person in his first marriage... he made the money and his wife blindly spent it by not paying the mortgage or utility bills for months at a time... the financial stress it created forced him to work 12hr days and holidays such as Christmas... It was exhausting and he never saw his kids. One can argue that perhaps his being gone for 12hr a day led to them living separate lives and killing their marriage but one can also argue that when one person carries sole financial responsibility for the family can kill a marriage too... By the time his wife decided she could go and get a job it took her six years to actually get one and at that point my husband had already checked out of the marriage for being put off for so long.


I don't know the specifics in the OP's marriage as to why the husband feels he needs to work so much - is it because he wants to his kids to have more than he did? Sometimes people forget that kids don't just need money to grow up healthy but they need actual time with their parents. Skewed logic may be the cause but it maybe that he is also so unhappy in his life that he works to completely avoid it. I think it would do you both some good to seek some counselling - you each need to see and appreciate the others viewpoint.


As --- your kids are 5-8 so I am assuming they are all in school now... start looking for part time work or into education courses to work toward a degree. By all means you need to be able to take care of yourself and your kids and you are at a point where you don't need to be home full time with them now.



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  • 9 months later...

I would say please leave him Life is too short to just stay here thinking of what to do when nothing is going to change and feeling miserable the rest of your entire life to please others. Your kids will grow up , will have their own life one day and will understand your choice one day. If I was you, I would have tried to find my happiness somewhere else as he is not paying attenion of what you are saying and how he can change thngs to make it better for you. He is just thinking that you wont move and believe me or not but some men think after marriage that their wife has become a furniture. So move on and be happy everyone deserves to be happy in life!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...


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