My husband & I have been married for 10 years, together for 14. We have 2 kids and our youngest (about to be 7) was recently diagnosed with asperger's syndrome. I work in a commission based job mostly and business has been slow plus I have recently had a lot to deal with with my son, so finances have been tight. These things obviously add strain to marriage.
We had always been extremely happy however. I never had any idea there was a problem. About 3 years ago my husband started to tell me he was unhappy. He hated his job and was miserable and was "going through the motions". I was devastated to hear he was so unhappy, especially since I thought life was great. We started exploring other things my husband might be able to do for work that might make him less miserable. He was insistent he wanted an online store. Over the last few years we started having the conversation about him being unhappy more & more often. It started to incorporate unhappiness in our marriage rather than his work. We spent a bunch of $ so my husband could learn about running an online business and build his inventory & marketing etc. I took on a FEW part time jobs so he could cut his workload and start this business. I am a realtor, loan officer, waitress & deliver newspapers once a month. It's a lot, but if it helped I was fine with it. This business has been in effect now for 1 1/2 years of which a dime has not come back into the house. My husband continues to work 30 hours a week and spends the rest of his time now on the computer.
Two weeks ago he told me again he was unhappy. He said he was moving out. I took my boys out for lunch & when I got back the closet was empty as well as his bureau. I talked to him on the phone & he said he thought it was best. My poor kids thought it was an April Fool's joke. By night time they realized it was real and were really upset. After I put them to bed I came downstairs to find him in my living room. Apparently he was never really leaving as all of his stuff was in the basement come to find out. I had had it at this point. I feel like I've tried really hard. We had a 6 - yes 6 hour conversation and at the end he thought separating was best as did I because I just can't live like this anymore. That night when I agreed to separate, he went into hysterics, said he was sorry, didn't mean it and wanted to make it work. Did I mention he was flirting with a 21 year old girl he works with? I do believe him nothing actually happened. I am a pretty reasonable person - don't freak out easily and him & I talked about everything in depth (obviously if it went for 6 hours). I had come to terms with it being over finally. Even though nothing happened, the girl was the final stab in the heart because I've tried so hard to be supportive thinking maybe he was depressed and wasn't really meaning to act like this. He will not go to counseling, alone or couples. Does this relationship have ANY chance? How do you get over this? Sorry for the length, it was too much to keep short!
This man is either so far into his own head that he has forgotten to be human, or he is playing a very cruel game with you. He wants to go but probably wants you to make the final move and throw him out, them he will have someone else to blame for his problems. Even if he has a mental disorder or something, he needs to get it sorted out. I think you should make him leave. I can't believe how someone could do what he did with the clothes, knowing his kids would experience this. For that alone, I would toss him out.
The effect on my kids was the worst. Of course they said things like mom please don't make daddy go - which was never the case. My kids were shocked because it's not like we were constantly arguing. We actually work opposite shifts so hardly ever see each other anyways. When we were having issues we always talked calmly about things. We do love each other and respect each other, although his recent actions certainly did not show that. It just doesn't seem like a healthy relationship anymore.
This is a really hard time for you. I also (on reflection) think you should be worried about this girl as well, it sounds like she is definitely mixed up in his conflicts. I may be cynical, but I still can't help feeling that he wants to end up being the wronged party, and it may be that that will remove the final barrier to going further with this girl. ("My wife doesn't love me any more"). Perhaps she is balking at going with a married man. I may be wrong, but I have seen this sort of thing before. Some people's image of themselves would not allow them to walk out or cheat, but the wife throwing them out would be different. Whatever, you need to consider only what is going to least hurt you and the kids, and get yourselves through it as best you can. Best wishes, Sera
Ouch :\ Wow this must be very difficult... I do think you've done more than your fair share of trying to help this man by fulfilling his desires (the business) and supporting him in doing so for so long. If he has been unhappy this long and went as far as to move this things into the basement to pretend he'd left? I don't think - if he is unwilling as you say, to go to therapy - that there is a healthy reason to stay with him at this point.
He seems locked away in his own world, and only interested in what life has to offer him, while giving nothing in return to a very devoted wife and family. That he would cause his kids such a scare and then flip flop is really concerning. IF something does need to end he can't be going back and forth, that must be far worse on the children than a decision and an attempt to camly play it out and end it.
I hate to advise you to leave this man, but he must know that he isn't being a partner, and hasn't been - nor a respectable father by doing what he did to his children that night. He's conceded that you two should split, then flip flops, then ends with you should split. I think you should take his decision and make it final, as difficult as it will be. You've been trying very earnestly to help make this man happy, but he's not trying to do anything himself aside from confusing and abandoning his family. You can't make someone happy, and he's proving he can't do it himself either...
Wow. That's a rough one. So let me get this straight... he went crazy when you told him you were leaving. He said he was sorry and wanted it to work, but won't go see a counselor??????????
Step one for him: If he wants it to work and is really sorry, he WILL go to a family/marriage counselor or you WILL file for divorce. If he doesn't, then file. Say we have a court date on XX/XX/2007 (whenever) and if he wants it to be final/official then he doesn't need to bother going to counseling, but if he wants any chance or hope for the two of you... he will be going.
Marriage is suppose to be 50/50 (or damn near close) and yours clearly hasn't been for a long time. You have gone above and beyond to try to make him happy and he doesn't seem to have done much of anything. You can't save a marriage on your own, no matter how hard you try.
I just don't see what else you can do at this point. He has some serious issues and in my opinion is being very selfish. I agree with the pp who said he has two choices; couples and alone therapy or divorce. It's that simple. If he isn't even willing to go to a counselor to try to save your marriage then that speaks volumes. Of course, his packing his bags and upsetting your kids the way he did says a lot as well.
I don't envy the position that you are in. It is clear to me from your post that he is only interested in himself and his own interests. I think you would benefit from putting your needs and the needs of your childrn first and toss him out. You all need a husband and father that you can depend on. Your poor children...
Thank you for the comments. I have never posted on anything like this before but was starting to feel nuts. I have tried really hard because I do believe in marriage and really wanted to make it work, but I feel like if we are not important enough for him to try, it is not a healthy relationship. My boys are never around any arguing, but I do want them to grow up to have loving relationships and they are not getting that example right now.
I think you should just let him go. The harder you try to hold on, the more he will resent you. As far as the kids, you must not let them blame you and make sure you tell them it has nothing to do with them, and most important of all, that's it not the kids' fault that you are separating.
You are not responsible for your husband's happiness, only your own. Let your husband go and figure out just what it is that is bothering him. If your marriage was meant to be, he will come back. Otherwise, there is something better in store for you.
Good luck in your realty business. I am beginning real estate school next week and am very excited!