What follows was not written by me – it is a Blognonymous post.  If you’re unfamiliar with Blognonymous please click on the link and find out more.  Our poster would like to remain anonymous and really appreciates you taking the time to read and comment. Thank you.

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My husband wants to leave me. But he’s not sure.

How do you deal with that? How am I supposed to behave?

This started a long time ago. He has been, in his words, sad for a long time. He doesn’t want to engage with me and our child, or with our extended families. He struggles in situations with mutual friends, on holidays, out of his comfort zone.

He sees the world as a dark place. Bad things happen. And you can’t fix them. It seems he thinks you just have to let everything happen to you.

Personally, I think he’s depressed, or suffering from stress or anxiety. He, on the other hand, won’t speak to anyone who knows about such things. He doesn’t want to pop a pill and says counselling doesn’t work.

But those years of trying to help us with those issues seem pointless now. He was just about ready to admit there was a problem.

And then he realised. Then he realised that there were times that he wasn’t sad. Times he wasn’t stressed. And if that were the case, it couldn’t be in his head.

And those times? They were when he was in the company of other people. Specific other people.

His friends from school, with whom he goes on the occasional lads night out, and comes back happy and relaxed (and drunk).

And another woman.

He’s not had an affair. But they have grown close. She has issues of her own. She needs him.

He’s not leaving me for her. But it’s made him think he’s in the wrong place. Living the wrong life. That he needs to work out what he wants.

We’ve been together over 10 years. We have a child. I am the strong one. I’m the one who’s held it together through some tough times. What am I supposed to do with this information?

I don’t want him to stay out of obligation. I deserve someone who loves me completely. I refuse to beg him to stay. But I don’t want to let him go too easily. His problems will follow him. He’s running away. A part of me feels that I should be supporting him. That he needs me…

I’m scared. And resigned. And sad. For the first time, through years of him being sad, I am sad.

Blognonymous – My Husband wants to leave me…
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28 thoughts on “Blognonymous – My Husband wants to leave me…

  • November 7, 2010 at 11:18 pm
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    Oh Hun. I am so sad for you.

    There is no right answer. you are the only one who knows what is best.

    His relationship with another woman though in my opinion is NOT acceptable.

    Can you get some counseling on your own?

  • November 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm
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    I’m so sorry to hear this and that you are going through such a painful time. These are his problems and as much as you feel you need to support him, you cannot help him get through this. He has to realise there is something wrong on his own. I went through a similar problem with my husband after my first was born. He admitted he had a problem and got counselling and we have been stronger and better ever since. But admitting it and seeking help is the tough part. You are doing everything you can, and you can still be there for him whether you are together or not but like you said you deserve someone who loves you and is there to support you too. My heart goes out to you and I hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. xx

  • November 8, 2010 at 1:10 am
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    This a tad too close to home for me to comment on, but I wanted you to know that I have read it and my heart goes out to you. *hugs*

  • November 8, 2010 at 1:37 am
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    A long time ago, I was married to someone who had severe issues. It got to the point that the wrong word from me (according to him, it could be just normal conversation) could mean he was in floods of tears for HOURS – normally late into the night – with me trying to talk him round. It was exhausting.

    In the end, he decided to leave for a short period of time. After a few weeks, he tried to come back. I said no. As much as I was sad about the end of things, and we’d had some very good times, I should have known that he was not going to change easily. More to the point, I felt released from the bad things that we shared, and it was a huge relief.

    It was terrifying in lots of ways – distinct lack of money and loneliness, but I know it was the right thing to do.

    I guess what I’m saying is this. Sad is normal, you wouldn’t have got married if you thought this wasn’t going to last. HOwever, there is no shame if it does break up and ultimately, it could be the best thing that happened to you. I didn’t have a child involved when I divorced my husband but my sister did go through it and she can tell you that even small kids pick up on way more than you think about it so ultimately, it could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

    And you know, you are right – you DO deserve someone who loves you and you can’t make someone love you.

  • November 8, 2010 at 7:12 am
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    Kudos for writing so clearly about a situation that is anything but clear and for having the guts to throw your thoughts into cyberspace. Not for me to offer advice (wrong gender, too flawed) but can shout ‘go girl’ and hope you get what you want with as little pain as possible.

  • November 8, 2010 at 7:28 am
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    i’m so sorry to read this sad post.
    i do think that your husband sounds depressed, and i also don’t think that him finding glimmers of happiness outside the home goes against this. AS a depression sufferer myself it all resonates with me. The unhappiness and the guilt i felt was all connected to my homelife, and any place where i could be someone else with no past was a release.
    But if he won’t entertain this thought i don’t know what to suggest.
    Do you still love him? Do you want to fight for him? it’s not clear from your post. You sound so sad, so defeated.
    But if you want to fight – Let him go for a short while to work out his own head but tell him you do want him come back, and you will wait for him, within reason of course.
    Perhaps he needs a shock to jolt him into getting real. I’m not sure you can do this on your own.
    i’m a layperson who knows little of your life, i am conscious of that writing this, so you must only take advice that feels right to you and ignore the rest.

    Big hugs and hope

    M2Mx

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  • November 8, 2010 at 9:17 am
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    Like the other commentators, I’m really sad for you but can feel your strength. Your husband does need professional help to try & unpick what is in his head. I’m sure you & your child are part of his thinking but none of it is clear. When your head is full like that the old saying of the grass is greener, often comes into play. However, you have both been through some tough times & I’m sure you are not at the bottom of your relationship yet.
    Can you speak to one of his school friends about it. He may be able to point your hubby into sitting & talking about it. As others have said, sadly it is your situation & you must be guided by what is best for you & the little one. You do have support here though even if it only in virtual hugs!

  • November 8, 2010 at 9:33 am
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    This is so sad. I agree with the commenters who say your husband needs some professional help. He sounds depressed and it’s clearly having a devastating effect on you too. I don’t think him spending time with another woman is acceptable either even if it’s just platonic. That just isn’t fair on you. I think he needs to sort out whatever it is that is going on in his head. Then you will both be in a better position to talk this through and find a way forward. Something needs to change, you can’t carry on like this. Hugs.

  • November 8, 2010 at 9:39 am
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    I can only agree with the other commenters. He sounds as if he really does need professional help. But so hard, so hard. Big hugs to you, I hope you manage to find a way that he can find his way back and you can rebuild your life together. But most of all I’m so impressed and in awe of your strength. You are amazing. He is a lucky man to have you in his life. Big hugs. xxx

  • November 8, 2010 at 9:43 am
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    Such a difficult thing to live with, it can be devastating when the one you love has these feelings. I’ve got a different suggestion to some of the other comments as I don’t believe professional help can always solve things. Personally I’d suggest a temporary separation, this is really hard on you but it may well make him realise what’s really important to him in life. It’s so easy to take your family for granted and when they’re not there everyday things hit home a bit after a while. It can take time (sometimes over a year, I may or may not have been through a similar experience) but if your relationship is worth something and there’s a future then you will be able to mend it again. The best of luck, it’s so, so tough.

  • November 8, 2010 at 9:43 am
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    Oh, this is so sad.

    He is certainly depressed from the sounds of things, although getting him to admit it is such a hard thing. Maybe the best thing would be to let him do what he thinks will make him happy – it won’t be long until he realises that it’s not all rosy and that he still has those feelings.

    The relationship with the other woman – whatever its nature – is not acceptable when he is married to you.

    You have gone through so much with him, and that you are still thinking of the best thing for him is amazing to me. But you really need to start thinking about you and your child, and what is best for you. If he is unhappy, so will you be, and so will your child be. You can never protect a child from a situation like that.

    I grew up with a very depressed parent, and believe me it’s not easy. He needs to work out his issues so as not to impact your child. I know it’s a cliche, but you can’t help someone who is not ready to be helped – now is the time for self-preservation and the preservation of your child.

    I’m so sorry you are having to go through this, but things cannot stay as they are or you will all suffer for it.

    Big hugs to you xxx

  • November 8, 2010 at 10:17 am
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    From your post I am struggling to see why you want to keep your marriage together. You sound fond of him, you have years of emotional investment. But ten years of unhappy marriage is no reason to embark upon ten more. You have a child, but it is better in my opinion two have two independent, happy parents than to be brought up in a miserable household. Your husband has problems and you wish to support him, but do you want to do this as a wife or a friend?

    In my opinion you need a long and honest conversation, and you need to figure out if you are better off together or apart. Maybe a trial seperation wil help to clarify your thoughts.

    All the best x

  • November 8, 2010 at 10:46 am
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    Okay, my long and intensely personal reply has been deleted by me but I do want to say this – don’t be scared, you don’t realise how strong you are. You are in control here. Think of you in all of this. Do what you think best even if you don’t know yet what that is. But also be aware that there’s a truth neither you nor your husband has faced yet – life away from you would not be what he thinks it would be. Big love. xxxxxxxx

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm
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    Thanks to everyone who has stopped by today and to those of you who have left such thoughtful comments an extra big thank you. The following is the response from our original poster (OP)

    *************************************************************************************

    Thank you all for all your comments. They really mean a lot. I hope you are all right, and that I *am* strong. I have to be for our child. For me.

    What do I want? Well, I’m not sure. A good part of me wants to be there to support him, not because it’s pleasant for me, but because as my husband he deserves, and needs, the support, and in the hope that we’ll get through it.

    Another part of me thinks, as some commenters have suggested, that things might be better if we were to split.

    Anyway, the decision has been taken out of my hands. He’s decided he’s going. He’s not talking about it as a trial separation. But who knows.

    That said, I’ve made it clear to him that if he goes, I can’t guarantee that he can come back. I can’t predict that. I can’t know what he or I will do or feel.

    Now it’s about the practicalities. Those are easier to deal with.

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm
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    A decision i think is a good thing. you sound lighter, despite the challenges ahead.

    M2Mx

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  • November 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm
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    I agree. The worst thing to live with is uncertainty. If things are certain one way or another, you can get on with making that work, whatever it is. Good luck.

  • November 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm
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    OMG! He’s decided to go?! Good luck, good luck, good luck. It’s a whole new ball-game now. Everything crossed hoping it works out.

  • November 8, 2010 at 9:25 pm
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    I hope that this decision offers some clarity in some way, or at least allows you time and space to you to form what you truly want. I can only imagine how hard it is to have these confusing, conflicting feelings rushing about inside you whilst trying to remain strong as a Mum, and try to work out how you actually feel as just ‘You’.

    I wish you a clear head, strength and good supportive friends, virtual and real, to give you hugs and tell you that you’re a strong woman and good mum – take care of you, time and space may turn out to be a good thing x

  • November 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm
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    Our lovely Paula knows I could write to you at length about the legal fallout when a marriage ends, what your options are, how to find your way through the legal maze etc, etc……but, that is not what this is about at all is it?

    I’ve had so many clients over the years who come in and say the things you are saying. I send them away with as many words of comfort & wisdom as I can. I tell those people (men & women) not to rush, to talk (to someone other than their partner if need be), to think things through and to reflect. We can’t make others do what we want, even if we think it is in their best interests. What you can do is take ownership of your own feelings, your own emotions and your own future. Whoever that is with.

    It’s not my place to say I hope you find happiness with or without your husband. All I wish for you is a future in which you are happy and loved. I truly hope you are able to feel happy again soon.

    MD xx

  • November 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm
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    I never read other comments on these posts until after I’ve written mine for reasons of my own. I’ve just seen your follow up comment. If your husband has drawn his line in the sand, be prepared for some hopping back and forth over the line. I’ve seen it more times than I care to tell you.

    My advice above still stands, but I’m adding a new bit – Get Some Proper Reputable Legal Advice ASAP. You don’t need to tell him you’ve seen someone but you need to be knowledgeable about your own situation.

    Please don’t randomly pick anyone out of the Yellow Pages. Go to Resolution’s website as given here. They are the organisation who represent the best of the Family Lawyers in the country. They subscribe to a code of conduct which others do not always follows. If it was me, I’d only ever trust my family’s legal matters in a breakdown to a Resolution member. I’ve seen the alternatives and bizarrely, they charge the same but their service doesn’t come close.

    http://www.resolution.org.uk/

    Good luck & best wishes for a positive future

    MD xx

    PS Yes, I have been a member previously during my years as a family lawyer. I am not working in that field now so membership has lapsed. There is no commission or payment or referral scheme, it is simply my personal recommendation.

  • November 9, 2010 at 11:33 am
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    I can’t read this and not leave a (((Hug))) I have no experience or words or wisdom. Relationships are a journey and sometimes they come to an end, doesn’t stop it being extremely sad for all involved. xx

  • November 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm
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    I can’t read this and run – I am so sorry to read this but hope that at least with something having changed you can at least start to move forward

    Wishing I could do something practical to help rather than just send my best wishes

  • November 9, 2010 at 9:02 pm
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    Wishing you all the love and strength in the world. Here, always x

  • November 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm
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    I am so sorry that you are going through this. It’s the hardesrt thing, but sometimes the hard things can lead to good stuff too and I really hope it does for you. I hope he gets the help and support he needs. He does sound depressed, but in the end he is the only one who can help himself to deal with this.

    Take lots of care of yourself, surround yourself with good friends and keep talking. And cuddle your little one lots. That helped me so much during mine and Mr B’s break up. Take care.

  • July 27, 2011 at 8:35 am
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    Hi
    Just wondering how things worked out? I have a friend in a VERY similar situation, I would love to show her this post to let her know others have been through it and survived…that’s if the relationship did survive? Also do you have any advice on how to help her get through this? I feel im way out of my depth! I want to tell her to leave him, that she deserves to be treated better (she does!) But I also think if it were me id want to fight and save my marraige as well.

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