Want to leave for me but Stay for my child..

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2013
Want to leave for me but Stay for my child..
14
Fri, 01-18-2013 - 3:01pm

I am married (this yr makes 3 years) with a 3 year old child. I married my husband after dating for about 2 1/2 years. It was a rebound relationship following a recent divorce. At the time we got married I was 9 months pregnant. I had reservations about the relationship that I ignored due to my desire to be married and start a family (I was at the time 35). My husband was a safe option (he had an old highschool crush on me, was a family friend, a good father to his eldest child, hard working, family man). But despite all his redeeming qualities, I wasn't in-love him then, and I'm still not. Now that we have a child together, home and life together, I cringe at the thought of destroying it all because "I'm not happy".  I don't want to hurt my child who is helplessly in love with her  father.  I'm afraid of what divorcing would do to our family dynamic.  I feel selfish and alone. Part of me believes that "I made this bed, so I must sleep in it" but the other part is dying inside and screaming to get out.  There is no abuse, although we are in counseling to work out our communication issues and seem to be working through them. But counseling won't help me fall in love!  The bottom line is I really don't believe I've married my best friend.  We rarely do things together and laugh very seldom. Personality wise we are very different (he is introverted and quiet and  I am extroverted and LOVE to laugh!) Making love is a chore to me so I try to avoid it. We don't even share the same passions, desires, or goals in life outside of raising our daughter.   Realizing that I'm now 2 marriages in and still unhappy, there is no doubt that part of blame is solely mine. I try to make myself happy but cannot seem to do so w/in the confines of my current marriage.  I'm not sure what to do.  Am I being selfish? Should I look to leave  the marriage now or try to deal with it (atleast until my daughter is older.)   

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Have you tried individual counseling, to help you recognize what you want from life, rather than just what you don't?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2013
I do plan to begin indiv counseling to address this and some other traumas from my past. I don't doubt there is a connection between my inability to find happiness and my past. Somehow I believe that the damage done by my past is partly to blame for my poor decisionmaking and failed relationships....thanjks
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Do you think you would be happy raising your child as a single mother? What do you need to fulfill you? If it is another person, then I think you should spend a lot of time working on yourself so that you can make yourself happy. How does your marriage confine you that would be different if you were alone? I suggest reading some of the Single boards here to see if that life sounds better than yours. If your husbandis a good, kind man, perhaps you can find a way to fall in love...to appreciate the man he is. The idea of amazing chemistry and soul mates is great, but maybe not always an option. Sometimes finding someone to walk the path of life with can b enough. My advice is to Find out who you are and what you need before disrupting your family - life is long, and some decisions are hard or impossible to reverse...you can decide to leave at any point in the future, but once you do, you might not be able to go back. Just my opinion (and for full disclosure, iam 57 and never married...so really, what do I know..except the grass isn't all green on this side of the fence)
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 01-18-2013 - 7:09pm

I suggest reading some of the Single boards here to see if that life sounds better than yours. If your husbandis a good, kind man, perhaps you can find a way to fall in love...to appreciate the man he is.

I agree 100% with individual counseling, but not necessarily the above statement.  There are a lot of unhappy singles on the Singles Board, and sometimes for reasons other than the fact that they are single (i.e. money problem).  It is actually kind of funny because when I was single, I got too much going on to even browse that board.  Now that I am married, sometimes I read those posts for fun.

While you can perhpas learn to love someone, It is impossible to learn to be in love with someone.

The point here is not to put down single people, but to stress that those boards are not a good representation of single people.  Many of my single friends have fun, fulfilling career and personal life, and have established financial security on one salary.

FYI, I am in my early forties, married young, got divorced soon after, and was single for 15 years before I got married again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I'm thinking that counseling isn't really going to work if you're not telling the whole truth.  I also know it would be very hard to tell your DH, who seems to be a decent guy, that you're not in love w/ him and you hate having sex with him.  I also recommend indiv. counseling.  You could figure out whether your past issues are what's hurting you now, you could get help to see if you have an unrealistic view of love/marriage, etc.  I think that fact that one person is more outgoing than the other shouldn't be a huge issue unless you can't compromise.  Maybe he wouldn't like going out as much, but does he go out with you sometimes?  Can you go out w/ girlfriends to things that he doesn't want to go out to?  I don't think in happy couples that the people have to be identical in all issues.  What are the goals that you & he want that are different? Is there a way you can compromise on some of those too?  FWIW, I don't think it's that useful to think about whether other people are happy being married or single because there are happy & unhappy people in each group.  Of course being a single mom of a  young child is harder than being married because you have to do a lot of things for yourself even though he would have his time w/ your DD--some people hate it when they don't have every day w/ their kids.  I'm divorced and never really felt like that--I worked and so it was nice to get a break.  But those nights when they are sick or won't go to bed, I missed having another parent around to help.  I also think that staying in an unhappy marriage for the child isn't that great an idea because it's better for a child to be around a happy mother--if you aim to divorce eventually, you're not going to put the effort into being married and having a good relationship, so it's not a really good role model for her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
I didn't mean to imply that all single people are unhappy...I am happily single and although I do have time to read the boards, I have a fulfilling life. What I was trying to suggest was that if you were unhappy married, got divorced, perhaps unhappily single, got married, still unhappy that some work on what happiness means to you is in order before walking a way from a marriage. Because if your definition of happy includes being married (as many people on the Singles boards are) then it is not always easy to find Mr. Perfect. My definition of happy for me never included being married...I was in some long term relationships but although there were great times and I am happy for the experiences and growth they brought, the effort for the relationship was very challenging for me. On balance, for me, I am happier single. If Dreamchaser thinks she would be happier single, then I hope she has a realistic picture of what single might mean for her. Or if she feels like she would be happier married to someone closer to perfect for her, to evaluate realistically the chances of finding them. Because sometimes in things like love and marriage, the choice you want isn't always one of your choices. I am only urging her to tolerate unhappiness long enough to make the best choice. As someone who has not married I perhaps don't have the right to say this, but wedding vows should mean something...I don't think divorce is always wrong, but I do think it is a big decision to make, especially when there are children. If your goal in leaving a marriage is to be happier, I think you have to be pretty sure you will be.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2013
I do often think about life as a single mother. It would be especially hard because I don't have a lot of family support. In fact most the support I have regarding my child comes from my in laws. My husband is a home body who has little desire for travel or adventure...Most of his conversation is about work. He doesn't have any known interests so there isn't much to discuss other than matters of the family. When we go out its usually an outing that I've arranged. There is very little excitement. Again he is a good man but I feel like we are incompatible.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 01-18-2013 - 11:32pm

@Happysj56:  Thanks for the clarification!  Smile  Along the same line, I want to add that if the OP considers herself unhappy in her current situation, she needs to ask herself what would truly make her happy.  The answer may have nothing to do with being married or being single.  For example, regardless of my marital status, I am always happier with a demanding job.

I agree with you that divorce is not to be taken lightly.  However, sside from the fact that the OP is unhappy, it is not quite fair for the husband.  The OP described him as a hard working family man and a good father.  He deserves someone who appreciates his dedication to family instead of a wife who would simply tolerate him because she is afraid to be a single parent.

Also, I think you really hit it when you said, "If your definition of happy includes being married (as many people on the Singles boards are) then it is not always easy to find Mr. Perfect".

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

Seems to me if you dated him for 2 1/2 years you must have had enough in common to stay with him that long .Personally, I am all for staying together and making it work when there are young children involved, unless of course there's cheating, abuse, mental disorders, substance abuse etc. So if I were you I'd do everything posssible to make this work for the sake of your young daughter. Sounds like you got yourself a great husband/father with none of the above issues, so maybe you ought to think twice about jumping ship so quickly. You could end up regretting your decision and with someone a lot worse. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
I don't think many people would say there life was exciting...at least not a high percentage of the time....do you and your husband both work? I don't think it is unusual forgone person in the reaplationship to be the 'planner '. Heck, my dad is 80, (and has an awesome 'girlfriend' who is 79.). When we ask him if he wants to do something, he always says 'I have to check with my social director'. Left on his own, he would stay home and read the paper, but she likes to go and do, so she makes all these plans and invites him along. Sometimes he says yes - most of the time - and sometimes he stays home and she does what she wants by herself (with freinds and family). Just because he doesn't arrange the events doesn't mean he doesn't enjoy them. He has never been comfortable with people but with her help, he is learning how to be social. She isn't trying to change him, just exposing him to something different. You and your husband can define the terms of your marriage. If you long to travel, and he doesn't, then perhaps he wouldn't mind if you traveled with freinds or alone. Or maybe he would go on a trip every other year. If you long for excitement, make some for yourself. Train for a marathon. Learn to drive race cars. Go skydiving. Make yourself happy in the place where you are and then evaluate your marriage.

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