Advice or resources for dealing with guilt/fear in a divorce?
February 16, 2011 8:45 AM Subscribe
How do I stop myself from second-guessing my decision to get a divorce? Does the little bit of doubt mean that I'm doing the wrong thing? Are there any books or resources for people in my situation?
posted by catfood to Human Relations (43 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I've been with my husband since we were seniors in high school. We dated throughout college and moved in together afterward, and got married 3 years ago.
For the past couple years, I have grown increasingly doubtful of whether our being together is the right thing for either one of us. I feel like we've sort of grown into incompatible people, though he disagrees with this. We have been in counseling for a few months, after a ridiculous fight during which he shoved me hard. I think it was at that time that I just fell out of love with him.
It took me 15 minutes to write a list of >50 reasons why I just don't think it will work out with him (for my own benefit). In short, I see him as inconsiderate, extremely critical of me, dismissive of my feelings, difficult to have a conversation with, difficult to have fun with, and pessimistic. The pessimistic part may not seem like a big deal, but I've battled with depression & anxiety for the entire time we've been together, and I've started to wonder if being on my own would help me rise up out of it.
He travels for work a great deal, and I've started to look at the times he's away as the only time I can actually *breathe* in my home. When he's away, we barely talk at all, and I don't really miss it or him.
That said, when I first brought up the issue of separating, he was completely shocked and upset. He thinks things are fine and have always been fine. He remembers situations differently from me, and he doesn't think it's a big deal that we have never really had anything much to talk about.
Counseling has really only brought to the surface the things I suspected -- that he pretty much "puts up" with the things that I like about myself, even though he doesn't like them or understand them. He can't tell me what he likes about me or why he wants to be with me, aside from "I love you" and "sometimes you're fun".
And yet, I keep backpedaling whenever I think I've made a solid decision. We're both the only relationship and adult life either of us have ever known. We have pets together. We have a house together. Almost all of our friends are mutual friends. He does seem to love me and I do feel like I can trust him when it really matters.
But I also realize none of these things are really good reasons to stay together. It's primarily fear and guilt, and really, he deserves someone who isn't constantly debating the pros & cons of leaving him. A lot of this is making me hate myself and doubt myself. What if I expect being on my own to make everything all better, and am underestimating the challenges of being on my own?
And yet, I feel like maybe I need the challenges of being on my own, so I can finally learn to take care of myself without spending all my energy trying to make a relationship that doesn't want to work work.
I just haven't found a lot of support -- no one I've confided in seems to want to actually say that I'm doing the right thing or that I'll be ok. Most books I've found are targeted towards women who are in *really* bad marriages or who have been the ones to be dumped. Online, I'm having trouble finding any forums or sites that aren't really just crap sites trying to sell divorce services. Is there anything out there to help me figure things out?
I am seeing my own therapist, but an hour a week is hardly doing this justice. Even if I went up to a few sessions a week, I just really want to hear other people's experiences of things like this working out in the end. Any suggestions?