How to prepare for a divorce that might or might not be coming
September 3, 2013 9:53 AM Subscribe
My husband is talking about getting a divorce. It is unclear to me whether he is serious or whether he is having a midlife crisis of some sort. Without knowing whether we will or won’t get divorced, what should I do?
We’ve been married for less than five years and have no children.
About a month ago, my husband told me that he was not sure that being married was making him happy. We have had a rough year together, dealing with job loss, lots of time apart, and a high level of career stress. I am just finishing a master’s program (that he has supported both emotionally and financially), and he made certain career choices to be with me that went unexpectedly badly. We just moved to a city where he has a job, but has had to make some career compromises for, because we think that my prospects there are good. He feels that he has had to give up a lot of freedom to be with me, and he’s not sure that it has been or will be worth it.
After that conversation, he seemed to feel better, I felt worse, but we had a busy and enjoyable month together, moving into our new apartment.
I think we have a great marriage. Yes, we have some rough patches, but we communicate well, work together as a team, and have a good time hanging out. I expected that some years would be tough and that over the course of a lifetime, the good will outweigh the bad. I still believe that. I love him. I love being married to him. He’s a wonderful person who makes me happy. But he clearly had a different perspective.
We talked about it again this weekend, and he says that he’s still not sure that he wants to be married to me. He’s afraid that he’s going to have to continue to compromise his own happiness without sufficient reward – he tends to see relationships in a quid pro quo type of way. We had a long conversation and otherwise a nice weekend. Now I don’t know what to do.
I think that there is about a 25% chance that he will ask me for a divorce by the end of the year. I’m not sure what to do with that uncertainty, either practically or emotionally.
Practically: Right now, I’m unemployed, so it’s important that I find a job. We have a large amount of savings that we have always held jointly.We just moved into an apartment that I probably won’t be able to afford on my own, so I assume that I’ll be the one moving out. Can I/ should I do anything now?
Emotionally: I feel like I’m in limbo. My ideal outcome is that he thinks about it, realizes that we have a good thing going on, and tells me that he’s in it for the long haul. But then how do I believe him? And how do I prepare for the opposite?
Other common questions/ answers
No, I won’t DTMFA.
Neither of us is in therapy, though we each have been in individual therapy in the past. We also went to pre-marriage counseling together but quickly stopped because it felt like it was actively undermining our relationship.
I have a strong support network and financial resources, so while I do have practical questions, I know I would be okay in that sense.
There is no adultery, addiction, or abuse in our history. I know you can never be 100% sure of your partner’s behavior, but I am 90% sure that there is no other women.