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Old 02-18-2005, 06:24 AM   #1
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my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Hi. I am a 41 year old woman who's been married for almost 20 years. My husband told me on Valentine's day that he wants a divorce. I am still in shock, but I feel anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, hopelessness, and I've also felt like I don't want to live. As soon as this started happening, I did go to my doctor and inform him of my situation, and he put me on Paxil and Xanax. I have a history of generalized anxiety and panic, and stressful situations makes it so much worse.

I am very panicked about my situation, because I am currently not even employed...I was in the process of trying to find a job. (more on that later). I have basically lived my whole life around my husband, and my now 13 year old daughter. I've been married to him half my life, and all I know is taking care of him, my daughter, and our home. I do all of the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, with very little help from him.

My husband and I are two very different people. The biggest difference is that he is often very cold and unemotional with me, and there have been years of feeling unfulfilled. I am a very warm, affectionate, and loving person, both physically and verbally. There was a time in our marriage that he never even told me he loved me. We also have differences in other areas...he says we have different needs, desires, values, opinions.

I have tried everything to save this marriage, and make the situation better, even to the point of knowing that I'd have to settle and accept things the way they are. He had agreed to go to marriage counselling with me, and we did, but it now appears that we're going to continue with counselling to help get us through our divorce. I told him I love him and want to save our marriage, even for the sake of our daughter, but he told me he doesn't want the same thing, that the same problems and unhappinesses and unfulfillments on both our parts are going to keep coming up...that he doesn't want to put any more work into it. I am angry because I did not agree with this decision he made, and it will affect all of our lives. I do not want my life to be altered, or my daughter's. When I asked him about has he thought how this will affect our daughter, he said, she'll adjust.

I know she'll be taken care of financially, and all I want now, if this is going to happen, is for him to do the right thing and take care of me as well, to be fair. I have an appointment for a consultation with my own attorney next week, just to be sure of my rights, and what I am entitled to. He wants this to be an amicable divorce, and says that we'll always be a family to some extent...he wants us to be friends (but at this point, I told him I can't even imagine that). He won't move out and go for a separation, because he can't afford to, so he is here with me, sleeping on the sofa. He says he wants me to be comfortable and happy, and will give me anything in the house that I want, and has even offered for me to keep the better of our two cars and still make the payments on it. I wish to remain in our house, but he says we can't afford that...although I know that things can be worked out with attornies and division of assets and property. I told him he has no right to make the decision to sell our house on is own.

He knows he'll be taking on most or all of the financial burden, because I don't even have a job, and when I do find one, my earning potential is far lower than his is. (He makes $40 an hour, the most I've ever made was $12 an hour, to give you an example). I never furthered my education, or was financially independent, I always worked part time jobs in order to take care of him and our house...my whole life, I put that first.

This is my situation...I am so scared and lost, and sick, mentally and physically. I need all the emotional support that I can get. Our families know, and love us both and have been trying to support us, but I know it may come to the point that they don't want to get too involved, or try to remain impartial. I have absolutely no family other than an older sister, who has a family of her own. We are fairly close, but I really I have nowhere to go should something really bad happen. I'm scared of the unknown, but know that there are many people who've been in this same situation. I'll update this post more later...thanks for letting me tell my story.

Last edited by Sugar64; 02-18-2005 at 06:29 AM.

 
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:42 AM   #2
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Sugar,
I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It's got to be very difficult for you right now. Just remember you have friends here on the boards to offer comfort and support.
I am very happily married and have a wonderful relationship/partnership with my husband, so it's hard for me to imagine what your feeling right now. I would like to offer you some insight though:
First of all I think it's sad that after 20 yrs of marriage and taking care of your family, your husband all of sudden decides he doesn't want to be married any longer. Now you, who hasn't worked in a long time needs to find employment. And it's not easy like it used to be. Life is expensive these days and with limited job skills, it's hard to find a job that will pay you what you need to survive. I myself, have always worked (I don't have kids) and make enough money to support myself if I had to.
Make sure you obtain good legal representation that will give you your fair share of the marital assets. I think you would be entitled to spousal support of some kind for a period of time, as well as child support for your daughter. I know you want to hold on to the house, but that may not be possible. You may have to sell it and find another place for you and your daughter. And hey, that's OK. It will be a new adventure and a place to make new memories. You may also come out pretty good on the sale of the house.
I would suggest finding a job as soon as possible. Not only will it give you some income, it will also give you something to occupy your time and give you a self esteem boost.
Divorce is hard and never any fun. It will take time and effort, but you WILL get through this. Be strong for you and your daughter. You CAN do this!

 
Old 02-18-2005, 06:51 AM   #3
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

I am deeply sorry to learn of your problem. I went through this same thing six years ago after 13 years of marriage. It wasn't a perfect marriage, but it certainly had enough high points that made mine worth continuing. Of a handful of perplexing things I do not understand about my experience is how someone can so readily toss aside such a substantial commitment. No matter how much I tried, it was not possible to change her mind- I am particularly stunned at the lack of concern she showed at how this would impact our kids.

Unless he changes his mind in the very near future, I would give him what he wants as quickly as humanly possible. It will NOT be what he expects. Find good counsel, file QUICKLY so that the financial needs of you and your kids will be met. The longer you wait to do this, the more drawn out the pain of this will be. Doing this quickly will also secure any assets he may dissapate- yes, you can remedy that in court later but at a great expense and time.

With regard to emotional issues, if meds are right for you then use them. I prefer to face it w/o them but that is a personal decision. Establish a support network. You'll need a good mental health professional. I used two.
The one thing that helped more than anything was *vigorous* daily exercise. No matter how hard it became emotionally, no matter what anyone did to me, I could work up a good sweat and I feel on top of the world. Be VERY active- now is the time to find hobbies, new activities to enjoy with your kids. Find LOTS of positive destractions. If you find religion to be a support, hang on to it. Be patient with yourself. It is going to take time to get the emotional poison out of your system but remember at all times that this will pass with time. You will heal. You will survive.

Moving forward, never ever forget how lightly people take the marriage commitment.

Good luck

 
Old 02-18-2005, 07:02 AM   #4
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Hi, Sugar Susie has offered you terrific advice and she is right about two things....you will get an abundance of support here and you WILL get through this. When I read your post I can see your strength and with the shock of it all you seem to be thinking quite clearly, much more so than I would have expected. Please focus on doing what is best for you and your daughter right now. The counselling is a good thing....you need to be at a good physical, mental and emotional state for your daughter. Let that be your driving force...to make this as easy on your daughter and you as possible. Seek good legal advice so that you can insure that you and your daughter receive what is right & fair. In terms of the house...unless you can find a way to meet the mortgage after your husband buys you out for his half I only see it as a financial burden you don't need. Besides....moving to a new palce may be an exciting adventure for you and your daughter...try staying in the same area so that friendships and school are the same and hopefully your husband will as well to make this transition as easy for your daughter as possible. Reassurring your daughter that this is not her fault is important and should be the highest priority for you & you husband. Make a promise to each other to always put her emotional needs first and not putting her in the position of having to choose sides. Many times in divorce it is the children that are hurt the most when the adults don't handle things properly. That's why being amicable & friendly, although right now in your mind is out of the question , IS in the end, the right thing to do. Try to involve yourself in as many positive things at this time as you can. Keep yourself busy and your daughter as well. And know that we are here to hold your hand through the difficult moments....Goody

Last edited by goody2shuz; 02-18-2005 at 07:06 AM.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 07:46 AM   #5
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Sugar, I'm so sorry to hear about the hard time you're having. For him to drop this bomb on you on Valentine's Day, was pretty darn low of him. I hear great sadness and loss in your post, but I also hear how you haven't really been that happy in this marriage. Your post was very articulate and intelligent. You sound like a very bright lady. I know this means a whole lot of life-altering changes, and it must be incredibly scary, but is there any way you can look at this as a positive thing as well? Sometimes it's so easy to hang onto things because they're familiar and comfortable and easier than making changes, even if those changes would ultimately make us happier. You've been sort of forced to make these changes now, but in time, I hope you can start to believe that it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It may even be the beginning of a whole new, more fulfilling, more satisfying and happy life for you. I suggest when you talk to your attorney, ask him about the possibility of getting your husband to help pay for some schooling for you so you can learn a trade or vocation. Is there some line of work you've always been interested in? Perhaps something where you can utilize the experience and training you've received as a mother, like a receptionist or doctor's assistant in a pediatrician's office?

I know it's overwhelming and a whole lot of stuff has been thrown at you. But just take a deep breath and take it one day at a time, and know that you won't always feel like this and sometimes, getting out of a bad, emotionally vacant, unfulfilling marriage can be a good thing, for you too. Good luck to you.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Hi Sugar,
I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. I had a similar experience as you. I hope and pray that your marriage can be saved. I really do. Here are a few things to consider if you are to divorce. Although I agree with most everthing that was posted in the responses, I dont agree with you running out and getting a job. Do not run out and get a job just yet.
If you were to get a job now, it will decrease the amount of spousal support and or alimony your husband will have to pay. Stay put and get an action plan. Part of your action plan right now would be to enroll in some courses to better educate yourself. Typing, computer, what ever interests you etc. Take night classes so you not home to see him, or for him to see you vulnerable if that will make you feel better. Pay for the classes out of the joint checking. Speaking of finances: Some of these things you may or may not want to consider. I dont know your situation well enough.
1. Run a credit report on yourself.
Equafax, Experian and TransUnion all offer one free credit report a year. You can also get them on the net for a price. See where you stand. Should you have to sell the house and rent an apt, most places due run credit checks.
2. Using the credit report, cancel and or close all joint credit cards. When he moves out, he most likeley will charge more than usual and if you name is on the card, your just as responsible as he is.
3. Immediatley (if you dont have any already) apply for your own credit cards with your name only. Dont charge anything on the cards.
4. If there is a savings acct, take out half and open your own.
I'm at work now and have other suggestions that I will write later..............
Again, I am sorry that you are going through this. You are stronger than you think. Focus on yourself, your daughter and your future right now.

Marilyn
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:18 AM   #7
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Wow, I am sitting here half in tears at the support and responses from you all....thank you so much. Since this all happened less than a week ago, I've been trying to just look out for myself and keep calm....my daughter doesn't even know yet. He has been cordial, and even nice to me, it almost seems like since he told me, he feels relieved and nicer. The week before he admitted it, he was being very cold and distant, now it's like a weight off his shoulders. He wants us to not let attornies "rip us off" and handle this using one attorney, but I know I have a right to seek my own counsel, even if just to consult, and I made him aware of that. I have an appointment with one next week. I haven't told him that yet. He has offerd to even support me if he has to, but feels that I'll be less panicked and not look at this as all negative once I'm working again and saving my own money in a separate checking account. He wants us to pay down our bills and said there is no time frame on this yet, that he's not rushing me, and I've said I will not feel pressured to get a job, any job, right this minute. He has even said this will all turn out better for us in the long run...I am having a hard time seeing that right now, but honestly, I can't and won't stay with someone who doesn't want to work with me, and our problems. Plus, I don't think I could ever get over this, in addition to years of unhappiness and all that's happened now. Yes, we've had an up and down time of it for the past 20 years, but I never thought it was bad enough to end things. I've always been a big believer in working things out, compromise, forgiveness, all the things marriage is all about. Especially since he ahs been all I've had all these years. We have grown apart though, and are very different people. He said he still FEELS love for me, but that some people can love each other, yet not be able to be married. I am trying to look at this as being positive in the long run, but it's hard right now. I do want to be happy and successful, and have a wonderful relationship with my daughter, which he says will definitely happen. But, I think he has some ideas that she will be living with him AND with me, us splitting custody, and he said it's because of his income, the fact that she spends a lot of time going to karate with him (he owns his own school and they are both black belts) and the fact that he helps her with the majority of her homework and it's only going to get more complicated as she gets into the higher grades. (!!!!!!) That all sounded bizarre to me, those reasons, and I told him he has no right to decide what happens to our daughter on his own, especially based on those reasons...that really upset me. I don't know...I'm so depressed. He is still acting nice to me, and has even called me by my pet name a few times...it's all very confusing to me. I will add more later...thanks again for all your support.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar64
But, I think he has some ideas that she will be living with him AND with me, us splitting custody, and he said it's because of his income, the fact that she spends a lot of time going to karate with him (he owns his own school and they are both black belts) and the fact that he helps her with the majority of her homework and it's only going to get more complicated as she gets into the higher grades. (!!!!!!) That all sounded bizarre to me, those reasons, and I told him he has no right to decide what happens to our daughter on his own, especially based on those reasons...that really upset me.
Which is precisely why you must have your own separate counsel. I'm glad you are being strong about that. DO NOT let him talk you out of hiring your own lawyer.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

The thing is, my consultation fee for next week is $100...if I have no job right now, how in the world am I supposed to pay for continuing attorney fees? I've been told HE has to pay for it, and I think so, too, if this is his decision and what he wants. I have every right to protect myself, and I've also been told that even if this is an amicable divorce, I STILL should have my own attorney. Our attorney fees need to come out of our joint checking account. This is why he was telling me he doesn't want attornies to rip us off...I really don't think he's thought this all the way through, or has any idea what I'm entitled to here. He doesn't have many assets, other than his pension and retirement, which in addition to alimony and child support, I am also entitled to. We have no investments, and hardly any savings. I've been educating myself so I won't be scared to death of being left destitute, obviously!

 
Old 02-18-2005, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Sugar,
Get the phone book out and find out if there are any organizations in your area that can help. My divorce attny (and a darn good one at that) was free. The one in my area is called The Womans Recource Center. They help women with EVERYTHING from legal to food stamps -- not that you need the stamps, just letting you know that they have all kinds of services.

Marilyn
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:14 AM   #11
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

I am so very sorry to hear that you are going through this. I too encountered a similar situation. At 26 my husband came home and advised that he wanted a divorce and that our marriage was a mistake. I was in shock and went into depression fast. I could no longer care for my 4 year old daughter and could not make it through a full day at work without bursting into tears. My parents came and took my daughter for 2 months, I took a medical leave of absense. I went through counseling and at 33 am managing a Help Desk, and remarried to a wonderful man. My ex-has since remarried and is going through his second divorce. I'm telling you this, because I feel your pain and I know you can get through this. Please stay in prayer, consult with an attorney and seek assistance of a therapist. I will check in with you later.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 10:21 AM   #12
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Thank you again for all your replies...I am moved to tears every time I check in here and read them. I am in counsellinmg right now, individual and couples. I know this doesn't mean that life is over, and that I will be happy again somehow. Gee, my husband even told me that if I choose not to be alone, then I won't be for long because I am a much more beautiful woman than he is a handsome man! He even said, Oh, I'm sure you'll maybe even find some rich dude to take care of you! So insensitive! He told our counsellor that he was only trying to be reassuring. Dear God, am I ever going to get through this? My name is Dee, by the way...and thanks again to all of you.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

If it helps (and I know right not not much helps) someday you may be much happier because you will find someone who loves you just as much as you love them. During this time, try to remember that this relationship has never provided you with the love and affection you need and deserve. This could be a beginning, as well as an end...

 
Old 02-18-2005, 12:46 PM   #14
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Sugar...Your husband wants shared custody because he will not have to pay child support by doing it that way...my brother has been divorced twice so I know this is so. In otherwords...he will pay for half your daughter's expenses not all. So be very careful...as you said he has a good paying job and you would't be able to meet his half...and may be caught holding the shorter end ofthe stick You sound smart and while I'll agree most divorces the attorneys end up winning in terms of financial settlements....there are ways to keep the costs down while protecting your rights. Actually...find out exactly what you should be entitled to and tell your husband that's what it is and if he wants to keep the costs down he'll do as he already promised and be fair. Hopefully he'll be as reasonable as he says he's going to be.

You are a strong young woman and I am sorry that you are going through this and glad that there are many here to support you. It's a good thing, ain't it ......Goody

 
Old 02-18-2005, 01:55 PM   #15
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Re: my husband wants a divorce...how do I begin to cope?

Hi Dee I am so sorry for your pain and situation that you are going through.

I few thoughts to consider since your husband seems to be giving you finincial support he can afford. He also seems to be making the effort to make thing easy for you, tell him you will consider going to one attorney.

See what they are suggesting and then voice your opinions and thoughts that will benefit you too. Maybe you can work it out with one, but definately before you sign anything talk to a good close friend and see if you are being treated fairly.

If that does not work out then by all means get a second opinion from a separate attorney.

Hopefully the both of you can work something out. The reason I am saying this at times attorney likes to drag things out and causing you both the spend a great deal of money on them over $30,000+.

A bitter divorce is not good for the both of you especially your daughter she will be caught in the middle and you both seem to love and care for her.

Dee hang in there and take each day slowly don't try and slove and work out everything in a short time.

 
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