I don’t love my husband.
I haven’t done for quite a while. We used to be madly in love but too much has happened. Any love we had died a million betrayals ago.
I know I’ll never be happy again in this marriage.
And yet I can’t leave. It would be too harmful to my children. I know that for a fact. My children and I have watched their friends go through divorces, my oldest in particular. His best friend was in the middle of a custody battle between his parents. One day he came home and said, “If you and dad ever get divorced and start fighting over me, I’m going to go outside and kill myself.” He was nine.
His words left me feeling ill. Firstly, I didn’t know he even understood the concept of suicide and secondly, I knew I was stuck with my husband for the time being.
Watch the trailer for Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce below, where the protagonist tries to stay in the marriage for the kids. Post continues after video.
My husband knows how I feel. It took too much energy to hide it. I told him that I don’t love him because of all that had happened but that I was committed to our marriage for the sake of our kids. I said that I hoped through friendship the love would return but for now, I was just trying to get through each day.
He asked me if there was anything he could do. I told him there was nothing. In fact, the thought of having to spend any extra time with him filled me with dread. I couldn’t think of anything worse.
If I were to be totally honest, I actually can’t stand him. I am so angry with him for so many things. He doesn’t deserve me. He doesn’t deserve us. I hate everything about him.
But I love my children more.
Sometimes I don’t think I’ll be able to do it. A relative I’m fond of left her husband the second her youngest turned 18. I was so happy for her. I knew their marriage was hard for her. Her husband was argumentative and hostile regularly and my childhood memories are full of images of her sitting down quietly with a grimace on her face as her husband fought with anyone over everything.
She is so happy now. I dream of that time. I have 12 years to go.
When my husband and I first met he told me about his best friend who lived with his wife however they were pretty much separated. They lived under the same roof for the sake of the kids and that was it. However their children knew of the arrangement and were negatively affected by it.
I decided from their experience that keeping up the pretense was important. My children need to believe that their father and I are happy and in love. They need to feel the security of knowing that their parent’s relationship is solid.
Please don’t think of me as weak. I’ve thought about this and weighed this carefully. I’ve tried everything over the past fifteen years to repair our marriage however my husband is incapable of change.
The saddest part of this is that he feels he still loves me. It’s not enough. His feelings never stop him from hurting me and hurting our family, so his words bounce off me as the meaningless, manipulative diatribe I know they are.
He’s not a bad man. He’s just flawed. Those flaws have ruined our relationship and I forgave him once, twice, a million times before simply giving up. Now I expect nothing from him except that he be a good father to our children. He is a good father. I just try and live my life as best I can.
It’s not as bad as it sounds.
I have found a way to be happy. My husband works long hours so it’s normally just me and the kids. When it’s just us, we are happy and relaxed. During the times my husband is home I try and keep myself occupied until he returns to work. I have my friends. I have my family. I have my work and I have my children. They keep me going. They keep me sane. They get me through.
I don’t consider my husband part of my family.
We still have sex. It’s easier to keep up all the actions of a happy couple than to completely disconnect. When we disconnect, our squabbles and hostilities bubble to the surface and the children start to notice that all is not well.
I know with 100% accuracy that my husband and I will not grow old together and that fills me with joy. I love my children, I am enjoying raising them and I am finding meaning wherever I can. Then, once my children are grown, it’s going to be my time.
Daydreams of being free from my marriage keep me going. There’s so much I’m going to do and I’ll answer to nobody. I’ll be dependent on no-one.
I hope my children understand my decision. I hope they choose to support me. If they don’t, that’s something I’ll have to accept.
I am giving up everything for them and they are worth it. I have no regrets. I don’t regret meeting my husband, marrying him or staying with him. He gave me my children. For that, I will be forever grateful.