Leaving "wife" = Good; Leaving Kids = Bad

After a marriage that's been fading for years, I've finally decided to do something about it - I've rented an apartment and I'm moving out tomorrow. I won't really miss the "wife", but we still have 3 kids living at home (17-22) and I'm finding it very hard to come to terms with the effects it will have on them. I've already signed the lease, and I really can't back down now, but it's a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Don't think I'm going to get much sleep tonight.....
OneIsTheLoneliestNbr OneIsTheLoneliestNbr
51-55, M
4 Responses Dec 7, 2012

So can I ask how the kids are these days? I'm staying in my marriage just for the kids but really don't want to. I go back and forth with the thoughts you mentioned. Which is worst for them to experience and so forth. Are you still glad you left?

Honestly, it's hard to say. I don't see them as much as I'd like to (maybe once every other week or so), and they say they're OK with things - but it's hard to tell how they really feel.

Yes, I'm still glad I left. In a lot of ways I wish I had left sooner - I stayed "for the kids", but eventually I figured out that presenting a dysfunctional marriage as if it were normal could easily set them up for failure in their relationships. I think you can make just as strong of an argument in favor of "leaving for the kids" as "staying for the kids". The ages of the kids factors in, of course, but there's something to be said for leaving sooner - younger kids can accept changes more easily than older kids.

Kids do better when both parents are in their lives and love them. It doesn't need to be under the same roof. My parents were divorced. What was effected me the most was how both my parents treated me. I gained an awesome step-mother too. She has been a huge bonus in my life. I was able to see a happy, stable marriage, and have another great role model. I never would have had that if my parents had stayed together.

Things I think are important... showing kids healthy relationships, loving them, having parents live near each other so both can be active in their lives, date people who are good for your children. They will grow up well that way. They will not with parents that are not good together.

You'll do well. They'll do well because you care so much! You sound like a wonderful, caring, father!

i had my husband move out 6 months ago. married 18 years. two kids at home (teens). i can create a better future for myself beginning with letting go of the marriage. if my girls saw me stuck, and later accept a sexless marriage without intimacy for themselves, i would be devastated. i would be so unhappy if they ended up with a marriage like mine became, and i love myself enough to not accept it for myself either. if you felt right leaving, you did the right thing. it's better for the kids too.

That's what pushed me over the edge - I've been thinking about it for years, but staying "for the kids"; only recently did it occur to me that presenting an obviously unhappy and sexless marriage as "normal" has probably done more long-term damage than a divorce!

Or else that's a VERY convenient rationalization - I'm still not sure.

i think modeling pain and discontent is not good. how can i encourage them if i feel hopeless. i deserve to be loved, we all do. i am actually "leaving for the kids"...they need happy parents. my husband won't touch me. it's painful (emotionally to me)

Yes, but imagine if you were the one leaving, and you were leaving the kids behind - it's easy to say it's "for the kids", but if they don't see you often they can't observe your healthy relationship (and might react badly if they could)

1 More Response

Its not easy, but you cant move ahead without taking the first step. You shouldnt have to stay somewhere you just arent happy. I know firsthand. My other half moved out a week ago. I have a sense of relief, but the hard times are just beginning. BUT I am standing by the theory that I have to do what is right for ME. And each day,no matter how hard, is bringing me one day closer to that. Best of luck to you. Stay strong!