I’m 37, and just broke up with my husband of 13 years.
I’m worried about how my ten-year-old son will adjust to living between two parents, especially since his father has always worked long hours and late.
I’m considered smart but I’m feeling pretty dumb. I married a man who said he was “ready to settle down.”
Not exactly a passionate proposal. But that’s all it took, for me to believe that I’d be “complete” as a married woman.
It didn’t work. It turned out that I still needed to become a great success at work, a great mother to my child as the more-present parent, and a great wife running the household.
That took all my energies, and for years I missed realizing that he was not the “great” husband that I needed to complete the picture.
I feel like a failure in my own production.
My husband wasn’t home till late, needed dinner immediately and was never very interested in sex.
Was I not sexy enough for him? Even when he occasionally sought intercourse, there was no emotional intimacy.
He also considered his businesses as much more important than my job, and resented my passion for my work.
I went to counselling to discuss how to keep our small family together. He only attended once and said the problems were all in my head, he felt things were fine.
I couldn’t stay in a marriage that made me feel like I was constantly pushing a heavy weight but not getting to where I’d be happy. Did I fail at my marriage?
You called a halt to a marriage that wasn’t working on several levels.
You had a distanced husband who showed little interest in you, your work or your connection to each other.
Add your own emotional needs plus personal ambitions, it’s obvious that you weren’t going to become a happier, more loving couple, and the home environment would reflect that.
By separating - if both of you stay committed to jointly raising your son with love and shared responsibilities - he may have far more positive benefits.
Still, you should watch his adjustment carefully and both talk to a counsellor experienced with children of divorce about the best methods to help him.
You did not fail. Focus on making sure any new plans for where and how you live, and whom you eventually date, come from the experienced, capable and self-confident adult you need to be.
My common-law wife was caught sexting another man from work. She said nothing happened, just a kiss and butt grab, but feels terribly over it.
I’ve had this happen to me in past relationships and the thought of it makes me so sick I can’t sleep or eat.
She said she won't talk to him or do it ever again. How can I ever trust her?
Cheated On Again
She made a very thoughtless mistake. She’s taken responsibility and wants to prove that she can be trusted.
However, she must’ve known about your past relationships and how deeply you were hurt by others.
So, her sexting/flirting flashed bad memories to you.
Time will tell clearly if she’s sincere about never letting this happen again.
If you love her, give her that chance and don’t dwell on this one episode.
Tell her that you won’t be able to live with a second one. She’ll know you mean it.
FEEDBACK Regarding the wife who starts discussing their schedules when he’s ready for sex (October 19):
Reader – “The wife, who also works full time, apparently has the task of remembering everyone's schedules and seeing that everything gets done.
“She takes on all the stress and planning. I doubt she can begin to relax until she has a chance to remember and delegate everything. He just wants to forget about it and enjoy sex.
“Until he’s willing to step up and take responsibility for some things, it isn't going to change. He wishes she’d just handle it all without him.
“He's being very selfish and self-centered and his wife is burning out. He's acting like a child and, eventually, his wife will get tired of acting like his mother.”
Ellie - Agreed that he needs to take on some of that scheduling/planning responsibility. I suggested that they have the needed talk after dinner, not in bed.
Tip of the day:
Divorce is rarely only one party’s “fault” but rather a result of both accepting a distanced, hurtful situation for too long.