The doubts start to creep in!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
The doubts start to creep in!
Wed, 08-13-2014 - 10:29am

I finally, after almost 6 months of being separated and making the decision that divorce IS the right answer, went to talk to my DH 2 days ago and tell him I'm ready to move ahead and contact a lawyer.  I tried to keep minimal contact with him over these months and to be honest, I'm doing just fine for the most part.  Do I miss him?  Of course.  Do I miss some of the things we had and our little "family unit"? I do.  But as I said, I've been ok and enjoying the freedom....enjoy the drama free days and have been working on myself and getting to know myself better.  I felt so sure of the decision.  Then when I talk to him though, it screws with my head.  

This is our 2nd separation in the 5 years we've been married.  Logic would say- end's not going to end up in a good direction.  But when I see him and I hear him talk about the "good" that was between us, a part of me really feels like there is/was something special between us.  We are 2 people very similar in a lot of good ways.  There are many good traits about him that I love.  However, there are many not so good traits that I can and could never seem to learn to deal with and accept which is what always brings me back to this point.  Our relationship also lacks respect...more so on my end towards him.  I don't respect and admire him as I would want to feel towards my husband.  In many ways, he hasn't grown up.  He's very emotionally immature...often can't control his reactions/ very needy....has a "victim" attitude and seeks pity...always needs praise and recognition- even for the smallest things (which makes me often feel like his actions aren't genuine, they're just for that praise).  I so often thought to myself if I had a child with him, it would really just be gaining another and I'd have 2.  I hardly ever viewed him as an equal.  In many ways, I feel I've grown and changed but yet, his growth is stunted in many ways.  He also has a lot of family issues (don't we all!) that he just suppresses and has for the past 20 years.  I know those ghosts are part of his stunted growth and he's never been interested in seeking therapy on his own to try to heal.  So, in so many ways…I feel we're both unhealthy (I'm trying to better myself) as is the relationship all together.

With all that being said, there's still something inside that questions and wonders if I’m ready to let him go.  It's so hard to imagine this really being IT and him not being in my life.  The crazy thing too is that after we reconciled after the first separation about 2 years ago, things DID change and get better.  We started to communicate better and have more fun together.  When it came to sex though, I was still so far out of reach.  It just wasn’t there.  There’s that spark that’s missing that separates us from husband and wife to best friends. 

The other part of me says about him- WHY IS HE STILL HOLDING ON??? I have put this man through the ringer, even before we were married (even cancelled our wedding the first time around).  But yet- here he is, still waiting and holding on and hoping we can get back together (again!) and make this work.  That's when I say to myself "wow...does he love me THAT much?  I just don't know what to think!  He’s my first love and as I said, I do feel there IS something special about US.  In a lot of ways, we just GET each other, he gets me and we mesh well together.  And then in many other ways, we clash.  Certainly if it's the latter, that's even more of a reason why I should just stick with the decision to divorce because I want better for myself and for my future kids (God willing). 


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 08-13-2014 - 10:37am

You have given a lot of good reasons for getting divorced.  I think the bottom line is that if you do not respect this guy as  your DH and feel like he's kind of an immature baby, and add to that the fact that your sex life is not good, it doesn't sound like a good reason to stay married.  You can't go back hoping that he will change--you have to decide whether you could stay with him based on how he was at the time you separated, because chances are he won't really change.  I think that when you have a relationship where you cancel the wedding and then separate twice in 5 yrs, that shows that you don't really belong together.  You have to make this decision based on how YOU  feel, not whether or not you think he loves you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Wed, 08-13-2014 - 11:24am

You need to stop thinking about why he does what he does.  What he does (or doesn't do) is why you're divorcing him.  You cannot understand why he does the thing he does, or acts the way he acts.  Those things are his problems to figure out, or not figure out.  You are lucky you DON'T have children, because you can end your marriage, and not have any ties to him anymore.  You aren't responsible for hs happiness......only your own.  He sounds very needy and insecure, and he will just suck the life out of you if you don't get out now.  I think you saw these problems before you married him, and that's why you called off the wedding.  Then you felt sorry for him, you hoped he would change, and the wedding was back on.  You're now in your second separation, 3rd if you count the delayed wedding.  That says you two are not a good fit, and YOU aren't happy.  He might be happy, but he isn't your responsibility, you are only responsible for your own happiness, and it won't be with him.  Stop beating yourself up, and move on with your life.  Also, you don't have to go to him to tell him your decision.....that's what your lawyer is for.  He will be informed, and he will have his chance to rebut.  It's like diving off a high board, or jumping out of an's just that first step that's hard to take, after that, it's a piece of cake......good luck.  PS: Because he's so needy, I'll bet you that he'll find someone new before you do...and that's a good thing.  He's taken care of, and you can stop feeling bad about "deserting" him. 

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 08-13-2014 - 12:30pm

You asked why does he keep holding on?

It reminds me of a song by Death Cab For Cutie called "You Can Do Better Than Me". Look it up on YouTube.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
Wed, 08-13-2014 - 12:51pm

Well, that just put a knife in my heart, Khatru! lol! 

While the song had truthful lyrics, I have a bunch of different thoughts floating in my head from hearing that.  I agree, a part of him is holding on out of fear.  That, I know.  I wish I knew how much genuine love is there and how much IS fear.  That's what drives me crazy and make me question the relationship.

Music and Fissa, I say about us not being meant for each other in my own head...if all THIS has happened over the course of the years, and I'm still at the same place, or keep going BACK to it, then that in itself is my answer.  I just wish my heart felt the same and stopped questioning.   

I guess those thoughts about us having something special and unique should just be ignored in my head Embarassed 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 08-13-2014 - 3:12pm

The thing is that no one is 100% bad--obviously there are good things about the guy or you wouldn't be trying to hold on.  You should recognize that he has good aspects to him and that the relationship had some good times as well as bad.  It doesn't mean that you couldn't find those good times with someone else--and that there would also be fewer bad parts with another person.  It's not like he is the only person on earth you could be compatible with.  

I'd recommend that you read the book Too Good To Leave Too Bad To Stay by Kirshenbaum.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 10:32pm

Thanks for the reply again, Music.  I know...there is good in all of us.  That's what makes this all so damn complicated.  

I've read that book before actually...along with several others in my whole experience with my husband.  I've been in therapy this whole time too, trying to figure it out.  You'd THINK I have an answer by now.  Unreal...

Thanks for the reply again.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sat, 08-16-2014 - 8:26pm


Are  you holding on because you think you're going to change him, or he's going to become the husband you want?

According to the history you provide in your background this relationship has been anything but mutually satisfying or joyful. It's also natural to doubt a major decision with major consequences. At some point, however, you will reach a point where the pain of staying becomes greater than the pain of leaving. And either you or he may play the back and forth game for a while, but after a while this will get old, too, and you'll want to move on. That said, most men attempt to hold onto their partners at least for sex. Hey, it beats going to a bar.

Separation can provide perspective as you observe. The trick is to remember  the reasons you are apart. Those aren't going to change.

good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
Mon, 08-18-2014 - 10:51am

Hi Wisdom,

To answer your questions as to what I'm holding on to...maybe it is a little of what you said.  I think I'm HOPEFUL that things would change and get better, especially since they did improve the second time around.  And the other thing is I doubt MYSELF.  I start to think "Was I too judgmental?  Was I expecting too much? Maybe I was too rigid.  I start to analyze myself and my own behavior and think maybe I was and that if I was, that it was unfair.  These are the same doubts and thoughts I've had all these years too about myself.  So I go back into trying to be more open minded and flexible.

I really try to remember and focus on the reasons we're apart.  I go back and read journal entries and I think "ohhhh yeahhhh"  

I know it hasn't been satisfying to either of us.  My DH doesn't even see that though.  To start with, he doesn't remember how sexually unsatisfied he's been for years.  Or he won't admit to himself that ALL he's been doing for these years too is WAITING for me to decide to get married, to buy a house, to go on a vacation, etc.  His whole life has been put on hold.  And he'd complain about it until the cows came home, but again- he doesn't think of any of that.  He only remembers the good.  When I sit there and really think about it, I feel incredibly guilty and sad for him.  That's part of what pushed me months ago to finally leave and tell him we should divorce.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Mon, 08-18-2014 - 3:47pm


I can understand your dilemma on this and not being able to make a decision....................This isnt like your story but when I was married to my ex who was verbally and mentally abusive I still couldnt make the decision on leaving him.........I was in therapy, I read every book on the planet about it and I read tons of things online and knew in my heart I had to go but I loved him and yes he did also have some great qualities... Dr. Phil says are these the qualities we can live with for the rest of our lives?? I knew I couldnt live like that on a day to day basis let alone years to come...... .. I used to also write in a journal and write all the horrible things ex did to me and then when I got weak I went and re read the journal and said like you yep that is what those horrible things he did to me....... one therapist said he was a sociopath and was narcisstic and the more i learned and studied this the more my decision became clear...

So you made the wrong choice in this marriage but it doesnt mean you have to stick around any longer and remain unhappy .. There are too many people out there with whom you could be more compatible with....Dont wast time on someone who probably will not change.......okay he changed a little but how long before he resorts back to his old ways................I find in this life no one really changes and I am 60 years old..... unless they want to go on a soul searching and spiritual journey with you ..

If you walk around feeling like there is something missing then there is and you can earn your way out of the marriage.. just in case you arent sure............Again Dr.Phil has some books on this... one is relationship rescue...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2013
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 10:21am

Thank you, Freeatlast, for replying and sharing your story.  I'm glad you got out of that situation and hope you are much happier now!

I agree and understand 100%...why remain in an unhappy place?  I have finally been able to come to peace with that.  It's just coming to peace with this being the RIGHT decision for me is what I'm still battling.  As I said, I continue to GUESS and doubt myself and think maybe the grass ISN'T greener on the other side and maybe what I have (had) is better than I realize.