wondering is this realtionship toxic

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
wondering is this realtionship toxic
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:36am
My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years. The first several were good but over the last 7 years things have went bad. My husband doesn't communicate well and has in the last three years in particular spends all of his free time in front of the computer rathere than with my or our children. About two years ago I was making plans to leave the marriage. This was about the time of our 10th anniversary. I was frustrated because he thought it was no big deal and thought that it should have been. I had his parents take our two children and nagged at him to get him to even want to go out for dinner and finally got him to convinced him that we should get a hotel room for the evening (otherwise he would have spent all eveing with the children gone on the computer) so that we could have some time together. In my mind I was doing this as the last shot to see if things couple work out. He had the tv on the whole time and rarely spoke to me. And a couple of weeks later I figured out I was pregnant with our third child. So I thought that was a sign to stay and try to make things work out. Things didi get better for a while but now they are bad again. The baby will be one next month and I am ready to leave again. He rarely talks to me but spends hours talking to his friends online. I am lonely and do everything -- all the housework as well as child rearing. About three weeks ago I gave him an ultimatium -- we go to counseling together or we are through. I am so tired of being taken for granted, underappreciated, and unhappy. I feel that my children deserve a happy mother as much as I deserve to be happy. He didn't want to do the counseling (said we could do it ourselves and I told him I was not going to try to do it ourselves again. I have always given in to the we can do it ourselves only to get disappointed when things start to go bad again when he gets tired of working on the relationship). So I am not sure if the counseling will help. He is the type of person who preferrs to stay home and not go out, he gets too comfortable and resists any changes, and lives for the computer (I feel that he is addicted because he cannot stay off the conputer). Over the years I have made changes and have done all things for him that I would like him to do for me but I do not get anything back while he takes. All of our friends and both families see how difficult things are for me and all that I do while he sees none of it. I am tired and lonely and do not know if I love him anymore. I feel that I have some very difficult decisions to make in the next few months but it is also very scarey to be thinking about being on my own with three children but in some ways I feel that I will be happier. He told the counselor that he does not want the marriage to end but yet is not contributing. The counselors inpressions were that he is neither happy nor unhappy with life. Besides why would he want to have the marriage end when everything is taken care of for him and he can live his life and not worry about anything. I do not want to live this way anymore but I need the strength to do what it is that I need to do.

Thanks for reading this very long message. I appreciate it as well as any thoughts or advice.

Thanks, Mis

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 2:22pm
If emotional abuse/neglect constitutes a toxic relationship, then I'd say unfortunately yes, this does fit the bill.

It sounds like your efforts have been exhaustive but fruitless, and ideally your husband should leave. You and your children don't deserve to be uprooted because of his holdup. If he leaves (maybe all you need is temporary separation) you can free up all this energy you've devoted to wishing he would change, and can then better focus on your children. One parent who's completely there for them is better than two who are only half there because they are preoccupied with other stuff.

Be strong!

Avatar for cl_mothermel32
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:32am
I don't think this is so much toxic as you both have grown apart. You both are in a pattern of life being status quo and your husband does not feel any need to change it. You are unhappy and who wouldn't be? You don't feel cherished or loved, or that you are a priority to him. As you just started counseling I feel you need to keep going because 3 wks is not long enough to understand issues that have built over 10 yrs. I think you will have some difficult decisions to make in the next few months but you need to go to counseling so you can understand how and why your marriage got to the point it did. You do not want to keep repeating mistakes no matter what happens with your marriage. Give yourself a timeline to go to counseling so you aren't pressured and can the best decision for you and your kids. It may be to leave so you would need to get your ducks in a row in regards to living and making ends meet. It won't be easy but there is no reason to be miserable and stuck. Good luck.