Marriage stressed/failing/failed........PARENTING


New Member
Hi there,

I am not holding my son accountable for my failing marriage by all means. I will say that I have found parenting very difficult (emotionally/physically draining). I am sure many of us here never dreamed this would be what having kids would amount to.

What I never dreamed was that I would have such a husband turn into such a bad person and non involved father (for the most part), after having children. I don't know what happened to him. I never would have dreamed he would basicially let me do this really hard hard job on my own.

Have any of your marriages changed (NOT FOR THE GOOD), after having your challenged child/children? Have they let you down?

I would be curious to know if your marriage ended, is strained in part due to parenting (OR LACK OF)?

Am I making any sense here with my questioning?

Thank you.

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

Before I had Tink, My Dex and I were one of those couples that made people vomit. We worked together for years. We thought we were Bonnie and Clyde, working tough jobs: we repossessed cars for a few years, then drove a semi over the road for a couple years. My older daughter hated him. Not that he was a bad guy, but I doted over him so much, it nauseated her. At the time, I used to think that people who devoted their life to their kids were weird. (this is not easy to admit. I never bonded with my older child because I was deep into a drug addiction shortly after she was born. By the grace of God, my mother DID bond with her, and kept her in the family. And raised her most of her life. I had no idea who it meant to love a child unconditionally.)

Well then along came Tink. I was in love. Dork face lost his job. Well it was not the first time, he lost his job a million times before Tink was born. But this time there was a baby counting on us. I was not so patient. I also had no patience for his attitude towards me & the baby because his manhood was compromised. His impatience with her ticked me off, and by the time she was 2, I left him.

My life is extremely difficult. He owes me $10,000 in child support. he has had another kid since then, and is out of work AGAIN. I do not regret my decision. And yes, my kid means more to me than anything in this entire world.


Active Member
Listen, marriages are hard. Add the component of kids with troubles and marriages live or die. I think I remember one of your first posts when you described how your husband announced that he didn't think he was cut out for the parenting thing. He sounds about as self-absorbed as he can get.

Bottom line: you've been a single parent in a 2 adult household. Which do you think does more damage:

1. a father that divorces his family, steps out of the picture and basically rejects his responsibilities


2. a father that divorces his family, steps out of the picture and basically rejects his responsibilities but lives in the house and is a constant daily reminder that he's neglecting his wife, children and adult duties?

Frankly, been there done that. I decided that I'd had enough, announced my expectations, and DEMANDED a change. I was set in stone that things were going to change with or without the 2 of us together. He changed (and is making changes every day) and we're in a better place than we were. But believe me: I had all of my backbone ready to go it alone.


Speak to your doctor about medication for depression. You sound like you've been carrying this burden for toooooo lonnnnng. Check and see if you may be clinically depressed.

Check in your community to see what type of resources there are to help you. Check for government programs that will be able to assist with legal issues, food programs, respite services, mental health support and even Big Brother/Sister organizations that can help with you and the kids. Look into Web Based training that will help you get job skills that will render you more marketable for higher paying jobs. You've put up with his crap long enough. Use your time wisely. Once you have your "ducks in a row" and you're ready to draw your line THEN you take action.


Keep us posted!


Well-Known Member
I live here with my husband- who I met in high school. We're now on our 40's . Infatuation..its not love, we both came from different backrounds and I WISH I HAD THE COURAGE TO SAY GET LOST. Too many years have gone by. difficult child and all his problems, I wish i could get out of this trap. I too would chose my children over him in a heartbeat. Your difficult life is to be highly regarded by the likes of me. I feel like I'm the mother and the dad, as you must. We all ignore him. I feel bad for the kids, and when they grow up I hope they forgive me. He is not abusive , but didn't have parents and thinks the kids are adults. I too do the best I can. Right there with you! Thats all we can do.I do try to teach them from my mistakes.And husband's who has no clue he is making any. I feel like if I can provide for them things, sports,activities that any kid can do-they're on an even
keel. My girlfriends have it even worse, so we are not in the boat alone. You would all be surprised!!!!Is this too forward?


Active Member
my husb got worse when the first child was born...with heart disease. my son lived to be almost three. my husb never went when he was sick and never cried when he died.

7 yrs later I had nick. my husb would ask me to take him out of the room so he could watch TV. I spent a lot of time outside or in my room with nick.

5 yrs later I had ant. my husb did all he could to make ant's life miserable and to get ant to leave.

he is now my ex. too late.


Active Member
I feel like I have 3 children, husband, easy child, and difficult child. husband is the most difficult. At the same time he does contribute. He cannot work, cleans house, makes dinner sometimes, folds laundry, works on the cars, takes kids swimming and to some activities, but is also very disengaged. I choose to stay in the situation as sometimes a less than perfect (but not abusive) father is better than none. My father remarried after the divorce, and had a "new" family. That took over his life. My brother is doing the same thing. We do not make easy choices. difficult child's issues have made things worse as husband is very likely suffering from something, but has not gotten treatment. Some days he thinks difficult child should be medicated, other days I am horrible for keeping him on medications and the medications are causing all of his problems. I decided when we first started this journey that I and I alone will deal with difficult child stuff, and I just accept this.


New Member
I had a great marriage to a wonderful man. I desperately wanted children but couldn't have any. After many attempts and many more discussions, we finally agreed to adopt a child. It was truly my decision, he just went along for the ride.

We agreed to adopt a child but when the child became "difficult" he wanted to send her back. I couldn't do that, she was my love, my heart, my soul. This wasn't fair to him but it was the way it was.

So, he agreed to stick around until the adoption was finalized and then he would leave. In return for staying, I agreed not to ask for child support and he could keep his pension. The rest of the assets would be split fairly.

We're still friends and occasional lovers. Neither of us have remarried. He refuses to see my daughter and does not want to hear anything about her. We won't admit it, but we do still love each other but we could never get back together. I could never forgive him for rejecting my daughter. He could never forgive me for putting my daughter first.

In the long run, I think our splitting was for the best. If he had stayed, he would not have been a father. He would have been a resentful man tolerating a child he didn't like. I don't think I could have handled the stress of his resentment, behavior AND the behavior of my child.

I do think you have to look at everything before deciding to end any relationship but if all there is stress and resentment, it will just end up hurting everyone if it continues. Sometimes it really is best to be free.

I'm sorry your marriage is ending. Hopefully, it is the beginning of a new, better life for all of you.


Active Member
You are certainly not alone. I believe the stats are pretty high for couples who have a difficult child to get a divorce. My first ex I kicked out when my son was 4. I briefly got re-married to "a mr wonderful" who I thought was willing to take on all the burdens of a life with a difficult child. It only lasted 3 years before we hated each other. I hated him for hating my son - and he hated me for having a difficult child son. It was horrible - and a decision that greatly impacted my poor difficult child - he was hospitalized twice in 3 years. I regret the day "mr wonderful" ever entered our life, and made me hope in love again enough to marry him. I will always choose my child first, as you said - and in both of my marriages I had to do just that. (Although I waited too long hoping in hope.) You are not alone.


New Member
I agree with Beth, you're better off to not have the constant reminder that he's not involved. I hate to encourage divorce, but if this is how it is, I would rather encourage happiness.

My ex didn't help much at all with the kids and had no patience for little ones. This is why I filed for divorce. Hes not a bad father now, but he just wasn't meant to raise my kids daily. My husband now was a marshmellow when we married and has become extremely impatient, but he is still a great guy. I think for him its just hard to live in a house when you have 3 easy child kids and 3 difficult child's, it makes him feel like he did something wrong parenting, when in reality, its in their genes.

You're not alone and I'm sure most on here have gone through what you're going through. We understand!


Well-Known Member
I opted to "go it alone" after GFGmom was born and my then husband
and I could not get on the same page. It was FAR more difficult
than I anticipated. It was FAR more difficult on the children
than I ever thought.

Do I regret my choice? No. on the other hand, I do want to share that "some"
of my reasoning was based on realizing that we had been married
ten years and things were not as I had expected. You have been
married twenty years plus, and having passed that milestone I do
believe that spouses periodically look at their life and say
"what to heck have I done!"

A whole bunch of new problems pop up after a divorce. You kindof
trade an existing set for a new set. My Ex is still made at me for the divorce....yep, it was l970....and he still uses the
children (now middle aged, of course) AND the grandchildren as a
means to hurt me.

The moral of this long responsive post is.....try to make sure you analyze all the areas that could/would be impacted. DDD


New Member
I am right along with you...My 5 year marriage is ending because my husband is just so miserable and negative that I believe it greatly affects my children. difficult child#1 absolutely cannot stand husband, and although husband says he likes her, his demeanor and attitude shows differently. Before I met husband, I was a single mom of 2, and was quite proud that I was able to make it on my own. Shortly after marrying husband, we fell in love with difficult child#3 and made plans to adopt him. difficult child#3 is still not legally free. I have lost any loving feeling toward husband. I know I married him for the wrong reason, and now I will have to deal with that. I am too young to "settle" for this kind of marriage, with the lonliness and distance. But to answer you question, I believe that the relationship between difficult child#1 and husband has contributed to me wanting to end my marriage. Of the 5 years we have been married, I have been telling him for the past 4 that I am unhappy. I am finally done! I am in the process of my "plan", which involves getting a job after being stay at home mom for 4 years and I have completed application for Section 8 housing. I know the list for that is long, and I will probably have to rent without it. When I think of being asingle mom again, I don't get stressed, I feel more of a sense of freedom!

Good Luck...


Roll With It
OH yes. I have seen stats that show that most marriages with challenging (difficult child) kids fail. My husband and I work every day to keep our relationship together. We are in a really bad place right now. I am dealing with anger about the way he left the dangerous hard things to me, walked away or ignored them.

I wish I could offer more help. But therapy and medication/treatment for depression are important. If you aren't depressed dealing with all this, I would be really scared for you. It is a lot to handle, and depression is a really sane reaction to it, if that makes any sense.



Andrea Danielle

New Member
Wow, what good timing to be reading your post, this is a very sad night for me. husband and I have been married for 11 years and overall have been happy but I feel that things are unravelling. I have been depressed about our relationship and family dynamics for about a year and it seems to just get worse.
husband is obsessed with easy child and being the superdad to him, coaching his soccer team etc.. that he seems to be excluding difficult child and I. It is like he is running from the problem and leaving it all to me. It is hard to be with difficult child and find fun things to do but I feel like I just keep fighting for him to do it. If I stop fighting for difficult child my husband will not make the effort. It is like our family is divided in half. It also makes me resentful to easy child that he is put before difficult child and I all the time. It is all very sad. I hope our marriage can survive this.



husband and I were happily married. easy child - stepchild. Things were great. difficult child was born, husband was total opposite. Wouldn't let easy child sit on his blanket...germs. Wouldn't let anyone touch a toy or he had to wash it. Most obsessive, protective parent ever seen. difficult child had colic. husband walked him, hour after hour after hour. I put him in his bed because I couldn't take the screaming. husband forgot that easy child and I exist. I believe today I feel the same way. difficult child is his entire life. At first I blamed it on how old husband was when his first child was born. Thought it would pass. It has not. He refuses to believe that difficult child is a difficult child. BUT...difficult child would never think of treating husband the way he treats me, or school.


New Member
Hello everyone,

I can't thank you enough for your thoughs, suggestions. I hate to say it, but I am not alone here. I know no one understands my situation (friends and family), as they don't have challenged children. They don't get my complaints, worries. I think they think I am making it up.

I am so sorry to hear many of your stories.

Truly, I don't know which way I/the children would be better off. He is a good provider and although he doesn't talk much to his boys (he will more if I am not around to entertain them), he will NOW do what I ask of him. He doesn't always like doing what I ask, but WILL do it. We don't fight infront of the boys, but they see no love between mommy/daddy. I FEEL JUST AWFUL ABOUT THIS. However, things could be worse.

I love this man and he ripped out my heart and soul when he got involved with another woman. It really changed him. THE CHILDREN REALLY CHANGED ME. I really don't want to do the parent thing alone. I don't know that I could handle this. My challenged child together with my younger guy would drive a person insane. The younger one is a screamer (always the screams brought on my his brother who teases him, or tries to control him). I AM WORN OUT!

On the other hand, I have been in a permanent state of depresssion since my husbands affair and since he has told me since this time "he is no longer in love with me." How does a woman live this way?

I am not sure what rates the worst with me........depression, stress, exhaustion or anxiety.

If I had to take the boys to an apartment to live, things would only become more and more stressful. The closer the quarters the boys share (the smaller the space), the worse things appear to be.

I would like to just run away. I am so so so sad.

Seems I am damned if I do. Damned if I don't!


Active Member
Listen: YOU HAVE TO SEE SOMEONE ABOUT THIS DEPRESSION!!!! Until you do, you are going to be beating yourself up about what you did wrong, what made YOU change, what the kids did, what YOU did to have him not love you anymore, what YOU did to "have him cheat on you, etc.

Look: I had the same situation, and that's probably why I'm so passionate about your problems. I got the same line of crap about "I don't know if I love you anymore, blah, blah, blah." Whether or not there was physical cheating, I'm not sure, but there certainly was emotional cheating that went on.

I spent an entire summer alone in the house with 2 difficult child's and a daughter who was mimicing her brothers behavior.

We had a confrontation the day before our anniversary (13th) and very slowly worked things out. Sure, I'm still sceptical and suspicious every now and again, but I deserved better and eventually demanded such.

You're not ready for that yet...YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE DEPRESSION!!! Depression is so prevalent in women with difficult child's. I think because we lack respite and support from our spouses, significant others, family, and communities. But the most dangerous thing is that depression will feed on you like a tapeworm and will diminish you as a person. Once you get some medications. and some counseling, you will soon be the person not necessarily that you were, but someone you can love and respect.

This guy sounds like he's going through a major mid-life crisis and he may not even recognize that HE's the loser in this situation. Once lines were drawn in the sand, mine woke up and works every day (not always successfully):D to try to do something to show me that he values me.

Keep in mind: until you get some help, you are limiting your children's ability to love you the way that they need to. They already love you as a Mom, now they need to love you as the clearly beautiful, caring, intelligent woman that you are.

Talk to your doctor. If you believed that your child suffered from depression, you wouldn't hesitate to make the it for yourself and your kids.

You ask "how does a woman live this way?". I'll tell you: at first that phrase "I don't love you anymore" is gut wrenching and terrible. You're sad, your depressed, frightened, but then the anger kicks in. How dare he find the time to mess around on you, rather than step up to the plate with the kids. How dare he defile the sanctity of your relationship. How dare he take the immature route of explaining away HIS :censored2:-up by laying it at your feet. Keep in mind: He cheated on you, not the other way around.

Since you are suffering from depression, stress, exhaustion and anxiety...get help with the depression since this feeds all of the other feelings (usually symptoms of depression).

Keep us posted. I'm sorry if I seemed a little rough, but your husband is REALLY TICKING ME OFF!!! :grrr:
nvts hit the nail on the head.

Your husband is treating you like a doormat because you are LETTING him treat you like a doormat.

Let me give you 2 scenarios:

Bill and Brenda are married. Bill has an affair. Brenda finds out about it. Her reaction is, "Oh Bill, what did I do wrong to make you stray? I can change! Really! Don't leave me, please!"

John and Jenny are also married. John has an affair. Jenny finds out about it. Her reaction is, "All right, you had your one chance. I found out. I have mommy eyes, and I will ALWAYS find out. If you EVER even CONSIDER disrespecting me like that again, you will find yourself out of this house without a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of. This is your one chance, do you want to work it out? If not, there is the door."

Which wife would YOU respect?

Brenda is begging to be walked all over. Jenny "ain't playin". Even if John decided that he wants to leave, he will not string her along. He will get the hint and go.

As depressed as you are, you will never feel confident enough to tell husband to take a flying leap. ANd trust me, husband needs to be told to either treat you right, or take a flying leap.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


New Member
I understand your troubles, I think. I've been through something similar. If you need another place for help, I know of another forum that might be worthwhile. If you are interested, you can PM me, and I will give you the website. Otherwise, I would be glad to listen.


New Member

I am so sorry if I am makign you mad. It is not my intent.

I truly believe I am a good mom. NO, A GREAT MOM.

Maybe I will do the medication thing. I have another problem however, my Dr. just moved to Calgary. So, I am sol. Finding a new Dr. is almost absolute. I have been calling around.

Just so you know, I don't think I am ready to have him leave. Will I truly ever be ready? I can't bare the thought of no more him and I. Or him with someone else. BUT, I did ask him to leave. I can't believe I did it. I even called his sister who I no longer talk to. I called out of desperation. I asked that she, or her Mom, give my husband a place to live. They will take him in, but not my kids the weekends he has them. They have their own selfish reasons. Both of space. Is sister an extra bedroom (she lives alone), and Mom who has three spare bedrooms (and lives alone).

Please don't think I am being fussy. He is willing to go (I think so he can freely and without guilty conscinece be with this woman or a new woman), but he wants to stay here some nights to be with boys, as he claims he has no where to take them. I can't live this way. Him coming and going from this home. Nor is there anywhere for me to go by myself. CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT I DO NOT WISH TO SHARE A HOME WITH HIM IF WE BECOME DONE AND HE IS GONE? Many don't get it and say I am being difficult. My heart couldn't take it and I think it would mix my boys up.

I no it is not my place to find him a place. But, I thought if I could locate a place, he would leave.

I think I will dye the day this is over. He is gone. I don't think I can be prepared for this day.

The ohter problems will have to line up, AND there are so many of them. My first is getting him out and to stay out. Second, protecting my boys and making sure they know this is not there fault and that we love them. To make them feel secure and not change everythign on them once. Change does not go over well with my Challenging child.

To be quite honest, one of my fears is spending so much time alone with them (the boys). They stress me out and wear me out big big time. There is no help/support. I have looked EVERYWHERE!

I am doing my best. Really, I am trying to keep it together for my kids.