How do I tell my husband I want a divorce?

@girljar (287)
United States
January 6, 2008 3:11pm CST
I have been married for 21 years. Our marriage was built on a lie, in that I broke up with him, and he started crying (literally), so I married him. I was only 19. We have 2 kids, ages 18 and 14. I left him a year ago, and moved to FL. My 14 year old son had a real hard time with it, so hubby and son moved to FL with me. I arranged a job for him, which has outstanding benefits, and he hates it. He hates Florida. He cries all the time, and sleeps all the time. I know he is suffering from depression, and I talked him into going to counseling, but I don't think he is telling the therapist everything, because if he was, surely they would suggest medication for depression. I myself go to counseling, and I have for years. Both therapists I have seen suggest we get a divorce. We have tried marriage counseling, a few times, to no avail. Even our last marriage counselor said she doesn't know how we are still married. He is not a bad guy. But I don't love him. I don't want to hurt him, but I don't want to live the rest of my life being unhappy, either. I am pretty sure he feels the same way about me, but he is the type of guy who doesn't like confrontation or change, and he would never initiate a divorce. He would rather stay in a marriage where he is miserable than to make change. We don't communicate, as he doesn't talk to me. I try to talk to him, but half the time, he only hears half of what I am saying. He doesn't really listen. He doesn't like to do anything; I have to do everything by myself because he never wants to do anything. I am tired of living like I am single, without any of the benefits of being single. I feel so lonely, even when he is right next to me. He doesn't participate in our relationship. I was happier than I had ever been in my life-until he moved to Florida. Now I am miserable. We have a house in Indiana, which we have rented out, but he could kick them out (or I could, since he doesn't have the ****s to do it himself). He cries all the time, and I was feeling sympathy for him, but he refuses to do anything to help himself, so now, I am just feeling disgusted with him. I have lost all respect for him. I don't even like him. I don't want to hurt him, but I think it is inevitible. I am ready to move on, and find someone to share my life with, who will enjoy spending time with me, and doing things with me. And for those of you who are wondering, no, there is no one else at this point. How do I tell him? I guess he is going to be hurt no matter what. I have spend the last 21 years walking on eggshells, trying not to hurt his feelings. He has spend the last 21 years trying not to tick me off. I am so over it, and I want out. It will be a financial burden for both of us, but it is doable. Thank you in advance for any advice you give.
4 people like this
15 responses
@Amanda_NZ (125)
• Lexington, North Carolina
7 Jan 08
Your situation has similar bells going off that I experienced in my 20 year marriage. My husband did not want to hurt me by disagreeing with discussions we had on a personal agenda e.g. decorating our house, children's welfare, day to day personal talks one would expect to be able to have with their spouse. He would nod and agree on a solution and was suppose to carry out, yet behind my back did not do anything and I did not want to be a nagger so waited because I thought he was busy and would get around to it when he could.. I found that we were living a lie and I lost respect for his weakness and not standing up as head of the house and making decisions. He would not attend marriage counciling because he did not see a problem. I attended family counciling through my church. I told him that I wanted a separation (I am a New Zealander and lived in NZ back then so separations are 2 years before couples can get a divorce) I could not get a rental house or apartment at the time to leave straight away so he thought I had changed my mind and would not leave. However I went on vacation and decided to stay where I was and had to phone and also write him that our marriage was over. He took it badly and it has cost me with my family and our friends because they took his side. I did not tell everyone how bad our marriage really was so they did not know and did not really understand why I left. My children are now adults and see for themselves the weakness in their father and lack of support when they need him.
• Philippines
7 Jan 08
It is sad that you have to go through these things. Maybe when you married him, you thought things will turn out well as the years come and I admire you with your patience and understanding on dealing with your husband and your marriage. Your fear on hurting your husband was also the reason why you married him. And I guess its about time to face your fear. Hurting his feelings doesn't mean you can't help him through the pain. After the divorce, you can still be a friend since you cannot totally evict him from your life because you have kids with him. Telling him that you are unhappy the soonest time possible would save you both from being miserable. Saving yourself from the misery means that you can also help him to get out of his own misery. Hope things will turn out fine for you.
@girljar (287)
• United States
8 Jan 08
I think the reason I resent him so much for his crying (I have seen him cry many times, over the years, just not like this) is because that was why I married him. I guess, cold hearted as it may sound, I feel like a man shouldn't cry like that. Don't get me wrong, every woman hopes for a sensitive man, but for Heaven's sake! This is ridiculous!! I just know that when I have gotten depressed over the years (I am bipolar), I only let it sit for a day or two, before I pick myself up off the floor and do something about it. I cannot respect a man who refuses to do that for himself. Thank you for your response.
• Philippines
9 Jan 08
I agree that a man should not cry too much. After all, a man is a symbol of strength in a family. I just hope things would turn out well for you. I'll be adding you as a friend :)
@dania_elm (422)
• United States
6 Jan 08
i think the best thing to do would be to just sit down and hey look im not happy we have the kids and 21 years there will always be a special place in my heart for you but i just dont love you and im tired of the both of us being miserable all the time yeah ive been there he was angry for a while but he got over it now he has a new wife and kids and he agrees i was right
@girljar (287)
• United States
7 Jan 08
I really want him to find hapiness, too. I don't want him to grow old alone, but I'm not going to stay with him just because I feel sorry for him. I've already done that for 21 years. I doubt he will remarry, because he doesn't want to put in the effort to find someone else. But, that's not my problem, I guess. Life is what you make it, really, and I'm ready to make mine be happy. What he chooses to do with his life is up to him. Thank you for your response.
• United States
7 Jan 08
i wish u the best of luck and hope that u both find happiness
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
7 Jan 08
I really feel for you. I know a little bit of what you're going through. I think the kindest thing you can do is to make your home in Indiana available for him to go back to, pack his bags and tell him to go home. Tell him you will handle getting the divorce papers started and just end it there as quickly as possible. Give him a bus ticket or gas money for his car if you have to and make sure he knows that he has to be gone by a certain time/date. I think if you do it in a direct, matter of fact kind of way and keep boundaries around yourself so his crying doesn't "work" on you, you'll both be a lot better off.
@girljar (287)
• United States
8 Jan 08
Thanks for your advice.
@subha12 (18463)
• India
7 Jan 08
I think its better to tell him ASAP. what is the point in delatying an unhappy marriage? you are getting hurt this way. Don't try to console him. More you do so, more you find it hard to go for divorce.
@girljar (287)
• United States
8 Jan 08
Thank you for your response.
• United States
6 Jan 08
My heart aches for you. I say get out. I have been married for 30 years and have not standing to give you advise. I know when I need to talk to someone I write down what I need to say and take the paper with me. I may write it in letter form and read it or I may use bullet points. That way I will not forget anything I want to say. You seem to say it so well here for us you might try writing it down before talking to him. Good luck
@girljar (287)
• United States
6 Jan 08
Thank you so much for your advice. I might just do that, because everytime I need to tell someone something, I always walk away with a million things I had wanted to say, but forgot.
@TazRes (827)
• United States
6 Jan 08
Hi girljar, I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. I would say just tell him you want out. there's no reason for you two to live that way. stress can kill! He will be hurt at first but life goes on. and for the kids,they should be old enough to understand, I'm sure they would be happier without all the tensions around the home. Good Luck, and may god bless you.
@girljar (287)
• United States
6 Jan 08
Thank you for your understanding and support. It is much appreciated.
@PunkyMcPunk (1478)
• Canada
6 Jan 08
The relationship you describe could be my mom and dad. Us kids all know they don't love each other. They do live single and solitary sleep in the same bed but don't go anywhere or do anything or even really spend time together. Dad watches TV or reads his books and mom does her crosswords and sleeps a lot. They are not happy. If the marriage is loveless then divorce. and I know I shouldn't be saying that because I was raised Catholic but i see my parents, each in their silent agony and it's horrible. They don't see joy and love in each other. Right now I think my moms only happiness is my son Gabe who is 5 years old. Her and I do go out shopping and for lunch and what not but I know that doesn't make up for her lack of a partner taking her out.... It's a horrible situation. You both have tried to work it outseveral ways so you aren't just giving up in a pinch decision. I applaud you for that. As for how to do it. Be honest. Don't be mean. Don't say anything hurtful or spiteful. Don't say anything you will regret later but don't cave. Do what needs to be done. Of course there will be tears and hurt and pain no matter what. I'm just so sorry that this has happened. I wish you and you husband all of the best of luck in life and this.
@girljar (287)
• United States
6 Jan 08
You are so sweet. That does indeed sound like my marriage. We do sleep in the same bed, and on occasion, satisfy each other's most basic physical need, but there is no passion there-NONE whatsoever. Thank you so much for your advice, and for the perspective of a child of this type of relationship. I don't want to hurt my kids, but my 18 year old understands we are not happy, and has said several times why don't we get divorced. My son, on the other hand, will be hurt and resentful and angry. He is at the age when he only cares about the impact to him, and no one elses feelings matter to him. I know he will eventually get over it. We can get him counseling if he needs it.
@anniepa (25928)
• United States
14 Jan 08
I did the math here (real tough...lol!) and I see you're only 40 years old; I say, go for it, Hon, while you're still young enough to have a big part of your life ahead of you! It won't be easy in any way I'm sure but you owe it to yourself and to him to make a clean break - or as clean as possible - and move on. You obviously aren't like some of the young people today who get married and take it so lightly they don't give it half a chance; you gave it 21 years and you've pretty much raised your kids. 14 is still young but old enough to get through it and probably to understand in time that it's for the best in the long run for all concerned. Best of luck to you whatever you do. Hugs! Annie
• Philippines
7 Jan 08
I am sorry for the suffering you felt right now. I understand you. I think your husband and yourself need to talk a heart to heart talk with each other. Because for that long years in your relationship I think there are many things to be talked. And pray for guidance. Why would he cry? I think he loves you still and don't want you to be out of his life. I think he just want a simple life even if you are not with him anymore. Only the two of you could really talk about it and settle everything.
• India
7 Jan 08
Hi girljar! Your discussion reminds me of my experiences with my husband( we have not got the divorse either and i am not responsible for it). I spend 12 long years with him compromising and adjusting till 4 years back i walked out of him. We do communicate with eachother once in a while but he is nolonger part of my life.
@Harley009 (1420)
• India
7 Jan 08
:( It is sad, you couple started hiding many things each other and sloped talking everything openly from the beginning onwards, If you had told what are your likings and if you asked his likings and tried to satisfy both might had lead to success. Anyway still you can openly talk to him in personal and say your interests, and if he is still not able to co-operate you can ask him "why are we living as a couple, and any happy married life is for us" If he is still like that then you can ask about getting separated, It may open his eyes. You have gone so far and lived 21 years, now thinking about a divorce is not healthy though, it will make the life of your children bad. Again, try to talk in open and openly discuss the current feelings privately, not on the phone. Wish you happy future life.
• United States
7 Jan 08
My guess is not that you dont know how to ask him, but you worry about after you ask him... www.womansdivorce.com Wall
• United States
7 Jan 08
Its really hard by yourself financially but if you are that miserable and can make it on your own then tell him that you think that you both would be happier if you got a divorce from eachother.
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
7 Jan 08
How about going for family counseling, have sessions with your son so he is aware of how unhappy you both are. Then, at a session where your son is not there, discuss divorce, the therapist should be able to help your husband with his feelings and help him move on. This will ease things for your husband and son and you will feel less guilty is you know that you have down what you can to ease the transition for both of them.