Pit in my stomach - it's time to end it

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2013
Pit in my stomach - it's time to end it
7
Fri, 02-22-2013 - 10:56pm

Anyone have a similar story? I have been married for 10 years. My husband has been under-employed for 6 years (trying to grow his own practice) but he isn't self-motivated enough to make it work. This is after putting him through three years of law school. So he is barely making $5,000 a year, while I am working all the time with a full time professional job and a freelance side business that keeps me working nights and weekends. 

Although I make good money, we are in debt from his schooling and lack of income, so we struggle. I can't get him to get a side job because he tells me that it would effect his professional reputation if he was seen working at a job outside his field. I don't care- our family needs money. After years of arguing, I finally got him to realize that he needs to give up private practice and find a job where he is employed by someone. He has been applying for various positions for two years now, and has expanded his search throughout the country now, realizing how badly our family needs the money.

So this sounds good, but in the meantime, he is depressed, so he doesn't do anything (he is on antidepressants). He is a very handy man and can fix and build anything. He built our garage all by himself. Now I can't get him to cook, clean, fix things or run any errands. So I come home after working a full day to make dinner, pick up the house, help our son with homework, put the toddler to bed and then begin the freelance work.

I am at the end of my rope. I am not easy to be with- I know I'm not perfect. But I work hard and want a partner who works as hard as I do (if not at a job, then at home or with the kids or making my life easier). We've gone to counseling, but I feel like we are just delaying the inevitable.

He is a great dad and a nice man. He is completely trustworthy and is extremely smart. I am at the point where I feel bad arguing and trying to push him anymore. I can't make him be what I want him to be- he is his own person. He just isn't right for me anymore. To add to everything, we have always had sex issues- he doesn't want it and I want it all the time. And he spends money and hides his purchases. So the bad has just outweighed the good. I feel like he is my third child instead of my husband.

I told him I was done- and now he finally understands. We have been existing in the same house as roommates for the past few weeks, but I now have a pit in my stomach and feel so lonely. I don't have a lot of friends to talk to because I have been so focused on work and my husband has been my best friend. 

He had two job interviews in the past two weeks (after not having any in 6 months) and is counting on getting one so he can move away so we can separate. I am so used to him being around. I know I will be better off without him, but I am so worried about being alone....

Thanks for reading and letting me get this out...

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Hi,

I can certainly understand why you are weary - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. One person can't keep doing the job of two forever without consequences.

Your husband's depression is No. 1 issue here. Depression is debilitating in a ways you won't understand if you've never suffered from it. It's like trying to crawl out concrete-grade pudding from the bottom of a deep well. It's maddening and it's frustrating for everyone involved. I had a similiar experience 15 years ago when I was in a similiar place in my professional life like your husband is now. I had to get help or it would have destroyed my marriage. I had to humble myself to get meds and therapy.

Your husband needs therapy not just pills for his depression. Pills can help with the brain chemistry but you need help to see what's holding you back as well. I don't know if there's a community mental health service in your town, but very often you can get lower-cost help there. Look into it.

No. 2: Money. If you don't have a budget, you need one. I highly recommend DaveRamsey.com. You don't have to take his class to get the jist. His books are excellent and all common sense. You're the responsible one so you should do a budget and take charge of the money. I'd start by separating your bank accounts so your husband isn't spending food/rent/utility money on whatever he's buying. Give him a set amount of money for his spending and when it's gone, it's gone. He shouldn't have access to the family expense money. Cut up your credit cards too. This is critical to getting a handle on your debts. 

No.3 Get his student loans in an income-based repayment plan. This is the link to the federal student loan page: https://www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/RepayCalc/dlindex2.html. He may qualify for zero monthly payments, which still count toward the loan. This will help take the pressure off this bill. (You can't bankrupt out of federal student loans.)

No. 4: Set boundaries and that includes giving him a set number of tasks to do each day. This will be tough with the depression but giving him some structure may help. Even one or two things like picking up the children's toys every night and clearing the table is a good thing.

No. 5: Keep the lines of communication open. A depressed person isn't going to be initiating discussions, that's going to be up to you. A depressed person also isn't going to be interested in sex. The endorphins aren't working for waking up with a smile on your face so the rest of the body follows suit. 

No. 6: Finally, get good legal advice for yourself before this progresses to actual divorce. You need to know what your rights and responsibilities are and you will need a plan for how to maintain yourself in the event of separation. By the way, even if he gets a job there's no gaurantee he'll keep it or that he'll contribute via child support given his history. Being lonely is part of the consequences of ending a marriage. It's not life threatening unless you don't count your children, friends, and family as others in your life. It's also true  you can love someone but not be able to live with them.

I'd encourage you to get counseling on your own. It may help you cope and make decisions.

Good luck. This isn't easy,simple, or quick. 



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 10:56am

Hi, I really feel for your situation.  It's hard when the person you are married too seems just like an extra burden instead of someone who is helping you.  YOu start to feel like if you are doing everything anyway, why have him around.  I have a couple of things in common with you here--first I'm a lawyer (for 30 yrs).  Depending on where you live, it could be hard to find a job but after 6 yrs he shouldn't be barely making any money.  It might be too late but there are thing he could try, for example, getting court appointments--like public defender if he does criminal, or guardianships, etc.  He could be advertising to do per diem work for other lawyers.  He might think that it's embarrassing to have to work in another profession after he graduated from law school but a lot of lawyers who do lower paying work (like gov't jobs) where I live end up having to work a 2nd job that is non law related.  I think the problem is more one of lack of motivation.  If someone is self employed they really have to hustle to get new clients all the time--people aren't going to just walk into your office all the time & hire you, which is why I decided that it was easier for me to work for someone else and have some guaranteed income.  But I think if he's depressed, he probably has no motivation to do anything work related if he can't even help out around the house.  So it seems like whatever medicine he is on really isn't working.  My exH had bipolar disorder (and I wonder if your DH has bipolar instead of just depression since excessive spending is more a symptom of bipolar, but they also have increased interest in sex, but antidepressants can also kill the sex life).  There are many different kinds of antidepressants and a lot of times, people have to try different ones and tweak the dosage to figure out if it's actually working--my ex was kind of medicaton resistant and had to keep trying new things and actually he ended up having to take 3 or 4 meds at the same time, but it constantly had to be changed because after a while you build up a tolerance and might have to switch to something else.  So I wonder if he just keeps filling the Rx and never actually tells his psychiatrist that he's still depressed & the meds aren't working.  And I agree with Wisdomtooth that he also needs counseling as well.  So I hope you can encourage him to go back to his doc--if he could get that under control, maybe everything else would turn around for both of you.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 10:57am

Hi, I really feel for your situation.  It's hard when the person you are married too seems just like an extra burden instead of someone who is helping you.  YOu start to feel like if you are doing everything anyway, why have him around.  I have a couple of things in common with you here--first I'm a lawyer (for 30 yrs).  Depending on where you live, it could be hard to find a job but after 6 yrs he shouldn't be barely making any money.  It might be too late but there are thing he could try, for example, getting court appointments--like public defender if he does criminal, or guardianships, etc.  He could be advertising to do per diem work for other lawyers.  He might think that it's embarrassing to have to work in another profession after he graduated from law school but a lot of lawyers who do lower paying work (like gov't jobs) where I live end up having to work a 2nd job that is non law related.  I think the problem is more one of lack of motivation.  If someone is self employed they really have to hustle to get new clients all the time--people aren't going to just walk into your office all the time & hire you, which is why I decided that it was easier for me to work for someone else and have some guaranteed income.  But I think if he's depressed, he probably has no motivation to do anything work related if he can't even help out around the house.  So it seems like whatever medicine he is on really isn't working.  My exH had bipolar disorder (and I wonder if your DH has bipolar instead of just depression since excessive spending is more a symptom of bipolar, but they also have increased interest in sex, but antidepressants can also kill the sex life).  There are many different kinds of antidepressants and a lot of times, people have to try different ones and tweak the dosage to figure out if it's actually working--my ex was kind of medicaton resistant and had to keep trying new things and actually he ended up having to take 3 or 4 meds at the same time, but it constantly had to be changed because after a while you build up a tolerance and might have to switch to something else.  So I wonder if he just keeps filling the Rx and never actually tells his psychiatrist that he's still depressed & the meds aren't working.  And I agree with Wisdomtooth that he also needs counseling as well.  So I hope you can encourage him to go back to his doc--if he could get that under control, maybe everything else would turn around for both of you.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2006

wow, I swear I could have written this post. I feel the exact same way as you, except for the fact that I have been marreid almost 2 years, not 10. The only advice I have for you is to leave. You obviously are the breadwinner, seem very independent, and seem to be the only one to put forth any effort. It is the same way with my marriage, and I we are on the verge of divorce; just about over the edge, per say. I don't have much advice for you, except to think about your kids. Are they happy? Is it a hostile environment for them? Are they happy around your husband? This should make it easer. It did for me. Hence why I am separating. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2006

wow, I swear I could have written this post. I feel the exact same way as you, except for the fact that I have been marreid almost 2 years, not 10. The only advice I have for you is to leave. You obviously are the breadwinner, seem very independent, and seem to be the only one to put forth any effort. It is the same way with my marriage, and I we are on the verge of divorce; just about over the edge, per say. I don't have much advice for you, except to think about your kids. Are they happy? Is it a hostile environment for them? Are they happy around your husband? This should make it easer. It did for me. Hence why I am separating. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2013

Thank you all! This is a lot of great advice and gives me a lot to think about. I really appreciate your insight. It helps to see other perspectives because I have been dealing with this for so long. 

The kids make it complicated. He is great with them (he is really a great dad and is very selfless with them). But they are feeling every bit of our tension and stress (kids are very smart and pick up on everything) and it is really miserable in our house right now.

One day at a time. I'm goIng to start with the budget and divide the money up. I never did this because I didn't want to treat him like a child, but I guess this is what he needs. I also worry about me being the one that will have to pay spousal support and child support (because he has been underemployed he has been the primary caregiver, so I worry about custody).

My family will support me, but I can't get into all the issues with them right now because they will just tell me to leave him and then won't give him the support he needs if we ever decide to work things out.

I get a little "break" because he got a temporary job out-of-town for the next 5 days. So he will be gone, but that leaves me to take care of everything by myself. Which is what I will have when we split up, less the "mother's helper".....

Again- thanks. I felt so much better writing this down the other day.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2013

I really appreciate all the comments. I have been dealing with this for so long that the different perspectives help!

The first thing I need to do is set a budget and separate the money. I didn't do this because I didn't want to treat him like my child, but I don't have a lot of choices anymore.

He is great with the kids- he plays with our daughter and is very selfless. But the kids can pick up on our tension and stress and it is miserable when we are home together.

I can't really confide in my family right now because they will just tell me to leave him and won't be sympathetic to him if we decide to work it out. 

I get a bit of a "break" because he has a temporary job that starts tomorrow for 5 days. So that leaves me to take care of everything by myself without a "mothers helper". But I can set aside the stress from my marriage and he will be bringing home some money.

I'll update as things progress over the next few weeks/months. Thanks again for the advice.