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

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
<span style="color: #006600">Oh, please don't think that anyone is mad at you - quite the contrary. I think everyone here is simply trying to be supportive and through our own experiences want to cheer you on so you can take care of yourself first and your boys in a nurturing environment. Being as many of us have lived through and survived separations, affairs, divorces, the loss of a spouse or child, we all have much to offer in the way of advice and support. You asked and received. We all also know that ultimately only YOU can make the necessary choices that feel right for you and your family. All we can do is be there to listen, support and catch you when you need catching. Many gentle hugs to you...

Based on what you've been posting, you are more worried about your H than he is about you and your sons. You have stated yourself that you love him and can't figure out why and that he has told you he does not love you. You've spent 23 years with this man trying to attain the goal of perfect balance in your marriage and as parents of your children and that hasn't happened yet. You are at the end of your rope emotionally, intellectually, physically, and mentally. You've finally come to terms with the fact that you can't continue doing everything on your own...and if you are, perhaps you'd be better off. That's a tough nut to swallow. On the one hand you are still clinging onto the vision in your head of everything being 'right' and balanced...but since you're in pain, you're also struggling with leaving H behind. You are right to take your time and think this through. When I made the choice to leave my exh years ago I agonized over it. Not so much because I was in love with him, but because I was finally, once and for all, severing my life from my dream of having that perfect union and family. In my head I kept thinking things would change, something would make exh change his mind and we'd be okay. It never happened and it took me a long time to realize that and move forward. And it was not easy or fun. I felt moments of such total despair, but I leaned on friends and yes, even loved my daughters probably too much at times, just to get through those times. Living alone and being lonely is much easier to live with than sharing a home with a spouse and still being lonely. I reposted my post from this morning, because I really hope that you are able to reach through the darkness and seek help for yourself. If not even for yourself, then for your kids.</span>

<span style="color: #990000">Originally Posted By: ME & THE BOYSI am insane. I love this bad man who depresses me. It is depressign to live with a man who does not love you. He has told me he does not love me. What is wrong with me?! </span>

<span style="color: #3333FF">I STRONGLY suggest that you contact your local Catholic Charities, YMCA, church or outreach center to find yourself a decent therapist who can help you answer that question.

When my oldest was just 5 months old, I knew something was wrong in my marriage and sought out counseling to figure out what was "wrong with ME, why did I choose men like my exH to give myself to, how did I get where I was??". To say the experience was illuminating is an understatement. I saw two counselors before I found the one I felt comfortable with best. I took my daughter with me since she was so little, but as she got older, the receptionist would watch her for me, and eventually they added a sitting service. The fees were all sliding scale based on my income at that time and because exH was such a slug - that wasn't much.

I went for approximately 18 months (had difficult child in the interim) and when I came out of it, I was stronger and felt more capable. I felt more secure in who I was and able to make a concrete decision about my (our) future. It took another year for me to finally leave and I moved into a large house with a friend of mine who was also a single parent with a little girl. Our 3 girls shared a room and we took the smaller rooms. It was very difficult, I sought out public assistance for a short while, received state aid and medicaid, but I grew stronger and the girls were happy and it worked out.

Once you are ready to make that break, with each passing day, you grow stronger and more confident. You are obviously the better parent and you have the strenght of many, your children trust you and believe in you, they come to you. Now it's time for you to believe in you. I PRAY that you find yourself a counselor who can help you find yourself again and build up your belief in you to realize that life IS short and it could and should be better than this. We all deserve to be happy and have a moment or two by ourselves and if yours has to be court ordered, so be it.

Someone here said the thing about when you're on a flight and there is an emergency - you put the oxygen mask on YOU first, then your child. So it is with raising children across the board - you have to take care of yourself so you are better able to take care of your children. If your energy, emotion, heart, etc., are depleted, there will be nothing left for your loved ones.

Many many gentle hugs - I don't think there is one of us here who doesn't know what you feel like. At one time of another, we've all felt very lonely and isolated and have struggled. Tomorrow is a new day and each day is an opportunity to help yourself. You can do it. </span>


Active Member
Whoa! No one is mad at you!!! We're getting ticked at how he's treating you and channel the energy that you need to decide what you want to do.

Frankly, I think he's coming up with these "difficulties" and "problems" for relocating because he has NO CLUE as to what he wants. Do you have a priest or minister that does marriage counseling? He needs to figure out what HIS problems are. You know what yours are and he's playing on them. I applaud your strength and your insight about how things are going to confuse the kids and you. He's trying to figure out which side his bread is buttered on at your expense! I like the "pot to pee in and no window to throw it out gives a great visual!!! :smile:

As we told you before: don't do too much without getting this depression in don't want to drive yourself any more crazy than necessary. If he's dragging his feet about finding a place, let him find one, but give him a serious period of time. Most places will only rent at the 1st or the 15th of the month. If he keeps coming up with excuses, it may mean that he's not ready - so you need to make sure that you give him the ultimatum of stay and go to therapy or go to his Mom.

Please please please know that I'm not you. I just know deeply how you feel, what you're going through and I felt many of the things that you're feeling.

You're truly in my thoughts and prayers - daily!!!


Beth (aka: nvts)


New Member
Hello again everyone,

I wish I had the time to send all of you a very big personal thank you. I am just so busy with the boys. It is late, I should be in bed. The days are long and the nights are short and I do not sleep well.

I can't thank you all enough. Those of you who were kind enough to take the time to read my posts. Those of you who were even more kind and found the time to respond with concern, passion and advice.

Here are some very quick thoughts:

I need to find someone who can get me on antidepressants. I think I realize this now. Not sure if you read my prior posts, but my family Dr. just moved to Calgary and I have been looking and looking and looking for a new Dr. This is ridiculous trying to find one.

I also wanted to mention how sad I get when I read your signatures and many of you write that you are married to your best friend,,,. Makes my heartache sooooooooo very bad. You are very fortunate people!

Andrea Danielle of Toronto. I don't know how to P/M you. I would be interested in hearing more from you. I am close by you. Things you wrote, I could relate to.

Well, for that matter.........MANY MANY OF YOU I COULD RELATE TO!

NVTS, thank you for your special thoughts. You are fortunate that you and your husband together made the choice to stay together. I don't get the choice to have my husband want to stay with us. I know if we had no children he would be gone now. If he had more money for two places, that to would have him running. GONE!

Big Bad Kitty - I just wanted to say that I don't think I am letting him treat me like a door mat at this point. I thought I did pretty good calling his sister to ask that she and her Mom give him a place to stay. He ordered that I not call and I made the choice to not comply with his demand. I did try and find a solution to get him out of here. I can't just kick him out by law. I know this for a fact.

fed up - I don't know how to private message you. I am curious to know how your situation was once similar to mine?

I want all of you that I think I have exhausted every possible avenue. I have been to churches, prayed with Ministers. Made a million calls to sooooooooooo many womans groups. I have asked help from friends/family. I have seen two lawyers. TRUTHFULLY, I was so surprised by the LACK OF SUPPORT OUT THERE. At this point, only a winning lottery could help. With this, I could get some paid for therapy, babysitting to free me up some much needed time, and I could get my own townhome and take the kids with me, and leave the goof behind.

JOG - Thank you for your analogy of my situation. Much of which you got very very right! I do want him to leave us now. I do. I mean, I don't. But he needs to leave, I realize this. I can only handle this much for now. Him leaving, grieving and coming to terms with it just being the three of us. This would be my first big huge step. From there I would make the other baby steps. I am feeling overwhelmed thinking of "those others" all at once. I will not leave and have to worry about finances as well. It just is not fare. I can't make money fall from the sky. I will not make my life and my childrens life harder by leaving. They don't deserve this. They deserve more. Please understand and trust me that I am trying my best and making the desicion to ask him to leave was THE BIGGEST THING. Now, the problem is, he won't leave (cause he has no where to go with the kids when he is to be with them).

nvts- as I stated above, there is a place for him to go (his Moms), but she won't have my kids stay there. How awful is that?! I mean, this woman has the space (three empty bedrooms).

Thank you again. Please please be patient with me. I truly am trying my best. Please keep posting to me. I truly appreicate it!

Sleep well.


New Member
I read your story and my heart goes out to you. I am remarried but "lost" my 1st husband to a different kind of mistress - booze and drugs. Pain is never easy to deal with, but it must dealt with. I went to a psychiatrist and started with Prozac 25 mg 10 years ago. I now am on my 3 medication, Effexor XR 300 mg. It is the best help I have had. I need it due to all of the issues we deal with regarding my daughter. Sometimes I am scared our marriage is falling apart from all this stress.

I will pray for you and talk to you anytime you email me, if you wish.

I am just one person, but a person who understands a lot of pain - I've been through a lot too. I am surviving ... one day at a time.

Try to get some rest ... (I know, easier said than done) and please take care of yourself and those boys,


I can totally relate. If it wasnt a financial situation I would be gone. I also feel difficult child deserves better. I WAS a single mom, many years ago. It was hard, but I was happy. I see now that many of difficult child's mood swings coincide with MY mood. He hears us argue, he unfortunately is aware of our financial situation. He worries we will lose our home. He worries about each of us. We have no family to turn to. He has no place to go, nor do I. If we were going to split, we would each have to make it on our own. We are recovering from job loss and great financial distress in the recent past. Glad to say we are on our way to recovery. The process is slow and hard. I often debate with myself the two issues you have stated.
the Children deserve better. But you are not happy.

When you think very hard, would your children be happier if YOU were happy? Isn't this all about what is best for our children?
Isn't their happiness the goal?

I can say those things, unfortunately I cannot act on it at this time. Hoping that by the time we are financially able TO act on it that something will come and save our marriage. For now, I am making decisions for myself and difficult child. husband is a big boy and can make his own decisions. I tell him when we are going up north/vacation and if he chooses to join us he will. He hasn't in the past. I gave him a list of phone numbers for the dr.'s and he can make his own appointments. Tired of doing so and begging him to go, only to have him cancel. Does he affect me? Oh yes. I LET him and it angers me that I do so. That is my goal at this time, to NOT become engaged in an arguement with husband. To not blame myself when it is husband's choices. To keep difficult child out of the adult loop.
Amazing how you can talk directly to difficult child and he cannot hear you, yet when he isn't even in the room he hears everything.
I feel for you. The harder you try, the more stressful it becomes.


Active Member
I found your description of his sister's and mother's responses very interesting. They will take him, but not the kids when he has them. This sounds very selfish... so is this how he was raised? To only think of himself and his own 'needs' before giving proper consideration to others?

And he "ordered" you to not call them - how dare he?

Marriage is supposed to be a partnership. There are often times when one partner carries more of a load than the other, but it should all balance out in the long run. In our case, husband is the one who looks after the books, but he does it with me fully on board, knowing our position to the last cent. I am mostly the one organising the meals and accommodation as well as the various medical matters for the kids. We balance out. He helps me out when he can, he does tend to have a shorter fuse with the kids than I do, but we can talk about it (although sometimes we have to make the opportunity).

This hasn't come easy. We have had to constantly work at things. If we get lax, we get problems. If we don't immediately stop what we're doing and resolve these problems, things will get worse until we're at screaming point.

Things work for us because we both will respond to a sense of failure and helplessness by immediately digging in and facing the problems together. If he is concerned, he comes to me and says so. I do the same. And we each receive the other with, "We need to talk." And we do.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for many, especially those brought up in dysfunctional or selfish families. How can you learn to parent, if you've never been parented properly yourself?

I've seen problems in my siblings' marriages, mostly from partners who had no understanding of what a normal family life or commitment should be. Sometimes they can work it out - and sometimes they can't.

The thing is, you try. And when you've tried your hardest and things still aren't working, you have to find another way. Sometimes that other way will hold a relationship together. Sometimes that other way means leaving. But whatever path you choose to take, you must take it wholeheartedly and with full commitment. Never look back. Even if you feel you just made a terrible mistake, you have to continue. You can sit down and re-evaluate a decision, but once that decision is made you have to have the courage to OWN it. You made a choice - live with it. If that choice is to keep him, then keep him and be glad of his good points. If that choice is to ask him to leave, then whenever you feel doubt creep in, remind yourself of why you made that decision and do not reproach yourself for it.

You are a worthwhile person. You deserve a good life. You deserve respect. But in order to be respected as you deserve, you must first respect yourself. You have been disrespected so much that you have lost this. You must get it back, and get it back for yourself and by yourself. If you choose to keep him - your choice. But find your own respect by yourself. Don't lay any of this on him - once you respect yourself he will have no choice but to follow your example, whatever your relationship is with him by then.

Good luck. We're with you. Do not see us as being critical of you - that is your lack of confidence disrespecting you.



Active Member
Wow, soooo glad to hear from you! I was getting a little worried! As you mentioned, we did decide to stick it out, but there are days/weeks that I wish we hadn't. His mom and sister sound like a couple of self absorbed people - your kids are better off not being in that type of environment.

I'll keep checking on progress!!

He's melting down...gotta go!



Active Member

Just wanted to let you know how to private message someone. All you have to do is highlight the person's screen name that posted to you with your mouse, and you will see that there are 4 options, one of which includes private messages. Once you send the message then you will receive any messages back in the folder labeled "my stuff" at the top of your screen. You can also PM someone by finding them in the directory, under the folder "user list" at the top of your screen.

I also wanted to let you know that this thread you started really has touched me. It is amazing how many stories we all have of pain, hardship, loneliness, and heartache - and yet we women all remain strong to do what we need to for our kids, for ourselves, and for our families future. It was just really moving how much all of us have been through, and are going through, on this board, and yet, we all remain resilient, tough ----- steel magnolias.

The best of luck to you, you will be in my thoughts.


New Member
Ok I had to respond to this post. My husband and I are married 36 years and have been on the verge of a divorce for 36 years. He was never involved to the level I needed when the children were being raised up. But they were there and husband was a good provider.
He did undermine me and made raising the kids harder than it had to be. He did cheat on me. He did stand by and allow his mother to abuse me. I could have left but I didn't. All the reports back then said that kids needed their fathers and that divorce was often harder on them than a dysfunctional family. husband and I didn't fight in the presence of the children everyone who knew us though we had the perfect marriage and were so "in love". When the kids got older and some were out on their own I revisited the idea of divorce. The impact on our retirement possibilities is enormous. so we decided to leave the marriage intact. Many of the issues that we had when the kids were younger no longer exists. But much of the pain he caused me still lies just under the surface of my consciousness. I push it away and tell myself that I have now chose to stay with him for my own needs and that if I do I must respect him and honor him. He has strengths and he can be a lot of fun. I try to dwell on that. But the reality is that if had to do it over I would have left him when I was pregnant with my first. My parents were willing to help me then. Two years later when My second was born and I asked them if the option of living with them until I got on my feet was still open they said "you made your bed now you can lie in it." So with no education and no support group to fall back on I decided to stay. I spent the next 15 years trying to gain an education and a means of being self supporting. When I finally got my degree in 1994 I thought I was home free. I was 47, still time to have a career and a retirement pension. Then sickness took over my life and here I am. Married 36 years to a man I still care about but do not love and have to work hard at respecting. Life is never perfect. It is a series of compromises. I sacrificed my independence from husband for my kids sake. Now I have grown to a place that realizes that I should have taken better care of myself and my needs along the way. My advice is weigh all your options. Make an honest assessment and answer the following question with candor and total honesty. "Am I better of with him or without him?" Then act accordingly. If you stay with him get to counciling to learn how to live together with respect for each others needs and dreams. If you decide to leave get your ducks in a row. Have a plan. Build a support system that includes daycare providers, respice, financial planners, Food stamps and medical care if necessary. When you have it all together then leave. Don't even tell him until it is in place. Many husbands have been known to do horrid spiteful things if they know the wife is planning to leave. Take care of yourself. -RM


New Member
here's a different perspective sort of...

my husband adopted my difficult child when he was a baby. my difficult child's bio dad signed off on him early on. my husband has loved difficult child throughout. my difficult child is 14 now and HATES my husband. my husband has lost his cool with difficult child a couple of times and i feel compelled to make everything ok with difficult child. i think sometimes that my wanting to protect my difficult child from any further hurt (being abandoned by bio dad) has partially caused his odd. the boy pits us against each other. my trying to make everything rosy emasculates my husband.

i feel like i need to back my husband in his strictness. i'm starting to see that my cooing and coddling are just making things worse.

i'm trying to keep my husband from leaving me,he just told me last night that he wants out because i don't back him up.

parenting this boy of mine has been the most difficult experience imaginable.


Active Member
Jenbug, get yourself a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene, and read it. get husband to read it too. Or you can read discussion of it in the Early Childhood forum. It explains how to get out of the very situation you've got yourself into. It's not too late, for any of you.



New Member
thank you - I did read their website and my husband and I listened to the sirius radio broadcast interview of the doctor that wrote it. It makes perfect sense. I'm getting the book tomorrow!


New Member
Hello everyone,

It has been awhile. Nothing new to report (not sure if this is good, or not good).

I think someone wrote, that it is hard enough to cope with the difficulites of our challenging children, we shouldn't have to cope with painful marriages/partners also. I keep asking God, what learning experience is there in all this. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE EXPERIENCE. I just want to be happy parenting, happy in my life. I AM NOT, but what am I to do, run away?!
To think about spending more time with my challenging child if spouse was gone.............well, this is an unbareable thought. Another concern is that I would be so worn out/stressed out (more than I am now), that this might make our homelife even stressful for all (the kiddies). I have been making myself go out more lately and although this is lonesome, I find I am less stressed getting these "Mommy moments away from caring for them." He will take care of them, if Mommy is not around to do it. He just doesn't do things as well as Mommy, nor love them as much as Mommy. I think this is why in the past, I rarely went out. This makes me more exhausted and angered if I am doing everything for everyone!

Debra, I was so sorry to hear about how you lost your first husband. Did he ever straighen himself out?

Marguerita, Ohhhhhhhhh yes, he comes from a very very selfish family. They were raised with no love, no attention, no involement of their parents in their lives. You know, I didn't come from the most loving family either, but I love my children to death. I complain about them, they wear me out, but they are my world. I will do everything for them. I will give them everything I possibly can to enrich their lives. I hate the term he uses, "well this is how I was raised, this is who I am."

Sequoia, you are single. How have you managed with a challenging child? Have you support? Financial and family help?

Regjected Mom, I am so sorry to hear about the hardships of your life. Your regrets. Your health declining. You asked that I answer a very serious question. I have made a pro/con list and right now I am better off with him. Mainly for his money (which allows me to stay home and run my son around to his many appointments and pay for their costs.) It also allows me to put my p/c in many sports he enjoys. WE ARE NOT RICH BY ALL MEANS, but we just get by. I also have him to watch the kids when I have had enough and need to get away from them (for an hour, for a half day). I could write you my list, but why.

I only wish I did not love him. If only it didn't bother me when he goes out and I believe he is with a woman (and in love) and won't say where he is going.

I have little education and am where I need to be with my young kids (ESPECIALLY MY CHALLENGING CHILD). He requires sooooooooooooo much of my time with homework,,,. AGAIN, I can't imagine doing this on my own. A lottery would be a huge huge, huge help.

Maybe we could all pray I could win a HUGE LOTTERY. Like now.
I would share with you all.

In ending this note, I would just like to say, I am so sorry for your pain (maritial problems and difficulties with your children).

Thank you for your ears, your advice, your friendships.

Night for now.


I am so sorry for you pain. The only thing I feel compelled to say is to please love yourself and take care of *your* needs. I am basically doing it alone as well though I only have one (but it feels like I have 10). I'm exahausted too. I wish I didn't have to work full time but I've always picked me that I had to take care of.

I think if I were to give advice to a young person getting married I would say to pick someone who does at least half the work. Nothing can ruin romance faster than a burnt out woman (or man) who is tired from doing it all.

Thinking of you,



Well-Known Member
Me&theBoys: I sent you a private message - you should see an envelope next to 'my stuff' - just click on it.
Not sure if you ever did that before.


New Member




I have not decided to allow spouse to stay here. I can't kick him out and he is refusing to leave PERMANTENTLY. Again, I can't have him coming and going out of convenience. Once he has gone, I must move on. YET, I HAVE NO OHTER SOLUTIONS. I am so tired and stressed with coming up with no answers.

How will I manage, I dont' know. I am so concerned for my kiddies and how they will handle it when and if Daddy leaves. He has been spending more time with them (but has way way less patience and is way less loving than I). Just the same, they are much liking daddy giving them his time/attention. He is doing this because I have told him when everythign is done and over and will let people know that he was "good to himself and good to his friends." And that this did not include the children and I. THIS WOULD BE THE TRUTH. I think he thought the only job he had to do was financialy support them and speak the odd word to them (the way he was raised).

I am sorry if I am confusing you all. In alot of ways I am better off with him here, as are my kids. But it is hard living with someone who does not only not love you, that has damanged your soul to the core.

I don't know how I will cope/manage with him not here. But, yes, I do want him to leave. Boy, don't I sound mixed up!

Again, the lottery winning would sure help ALOT.

Thank you for not being so frustrated with me.


Well-Known Member
Me & The Boys, be good to yourself. All we can do is all we can do. You sound very, very strong despite being tired. Hun, we're ALL tired. Best wishes for a quieter life.


New Member
after the birth of our first child, I have to say my husband became a total stranger to me. While once loving and quite attentive, he folded up and fell apart. He wound up becomming so messed up, he has not worked since, and has been psychiatric hospital'ed several times. The diagnosis? delayed onset combat ptsd for my husband. combined catatonia, passive suicidal tendancies, and then followed physical deterioration, related to AGent Orange and the effects from that.

It has been so difficult, the most difficult thing I have ever lived thru. My oldest child is bipolar, my youngest has multiple diagnosis'es. The financial support, the child care, housework, yardwork, car maintance etc has all fallen onto my shoulders, with no outside help becuz my husband was an only child of only children and his parents died after me supporting them as well for years, and my family is estranged.

Do what you have to do for you and for your kids. Thats prolly all you CAN do.
Hugs to you.


Active Member
Hi Me&theBoys,

To answer your questions about being singe and raising a difficult child. For quite awhile I was fortunate to have an amazing job, where I made amazing money. I started making 7.00 an hour at the company when my son was first born, and I left making a middle wage income. I credit it to working my tail off, because I did not have the education or credentials of most of their staff - but I was determined to support my son - and do it well.

I do not really have much family support or friends, just my parents, who I do not trust with my difficult child. The Ex has never paid a dime of child support, and saw his son about once a year, up until about a year ago. has been tough......but not as tough as you might think, because once you are in the trenches of it, you have little time to think or commiserate.

About 5 years ago my son nose dived in behavior. He was uncontrollable, and I was forced to resign from my job in order to take care of him better. I was ready to go on welfare and disability if I had to, but my parents stepped in and helped pay the bills. They thought what I was doing was the right thing for my son and they looked at it as the ultimate in therapy expenses (which they had been paying for even when I worked).

I am now in the process of starting my own business to be financially independent, but yet still flexible for the needs of my son. It has been a lonely, hard road, but not unrealistic for someone, anyone, that has to walk that path. You just do what you have to do for your you know..........we would walk through fire for them, and sometimes we have to do just that.

I don't know if that helps or not - but at least it is one warrior mom's perspective. Good luck in whatever decision you make, we are all here for you no matter what.


Active Member
Hi! So glad to see you back! Don't worry about being confused OR about making rush decisions. Have you had any luck looking into the depression stuff? Someone wrote that you should contact your insurance company to get a new doctor. I wish I had thought of that!

I wish I could take the pain away from you that the husband has handed you. It isn't fair that they pull the stuff that they do. You're strong...otherwise you wouldn't be looking for alternatives. You'll know when you're ready!

On another issue: we had our 5 year old in our bed EVERY NIGHT FOR 5 YEARS! Which means I went for 5 years without sleep! Needless to say I tried every tactic known to man to get her to knock it off and stay in her own bed.

The Easter Bunny brought her a cheapo $6.00 alarm clock with Cinderella on the top. I set the clock for about 15 mins. earlier than mine would go off. I told her that the Easter Bunny must have felt that she could have the job of waking me up with a kiss on my forehead and she would then get in and we'd have "snuggle time" just her and I. BINGO! The best six bucks I'd ever spent.

For the fighting: try beans in a babyfood jar (like dried kidney beans). For every 15 or 30 mins. that they don't fight they get to put a bean in the jar. Once they fill their jar, they get a trip to the "treasure box". We have a store called 5 Below - everything is $5.00 or less. I load the box with junk from there and the dollar store and they love it. It usually took about a week to make it to the box. :smile:

Keep the faith! We're all here praying and supporting!!!