Marilyn writes, “I have been married for 7 years but been together for a total of 13. I love my husband but I don’t think I am in love with him anymore. I have had two miscarriages and today marks the one-year anniversary of the first miscarriage. My husband has two kids from two previous relationships and really has no desire to have any more kids. Although he says that I would be the only person he would consider having another child with. He was upset about the miscarriages but of course it does not affect him like it does me. My husband is a good, honest man and can be a lot of fun. But on a daily basis he criticizes every little thing I do and don’t. He often talks to me like I am a child. If he is in a bad mood then he takes it out on everything and everyone around him. I suffer from chronic daily headaches and TMJ. For years I have been trying to find relief but to him that is wasted money since I have not been able to find permanent relief. There really is no passion in our sex life although we do have sex 3 to 4 times a week. I used to adore him and when I even thought about him I would crave him. Now when I look at him I am just annoyed and aggravated. We have talked about all our issues over and over. We both agreed to work on what the other has a problem with but he has never made any changes. I just don’t know if I can live the rest of my life always waiting for the next criticism. I’m always thinking, I hope he is in a good mood, I hope I don’t do anything to piss him off, I wonder what will happen tonight that will cause yet another fight. For the past two months I have turned to several other men to fulfill the passion and approval that I crave. I know I need to stop or just leave but I just can’t do either. These other guys make me happy and let me escape reality; I think that’s why I can’t stop. But I am afraid of leaving my husband. What if it is a mistake? What if I can’t ever go back? But what if we can’t ever get that passion back that we used to have? Can I ever really get back there again to adoring him and feeling completely happy with just him? Or is it just time to move on? I’m only 31. But is what I am looking for really out there? I want respect, passion, not everything I say, do, and even wear to be critiqued all the time.”
What went wrong?
Let me talk about fatherhood and miscarriages to see if it has something to do with it. There is a strong possibility that he may feel as if another child is being imposed on him. And when he unwillingly agreed to join the process, unfortunately, there were two miscarriages. In other words, even if that may be the outcome he secretly wanted all along, it may have made him feel angry, frustrated, sad, and probably impotent for not being able to father another child. Such negative emotions can often come out in form of personal attacks on you because right now he is blaming you for all the ills in life and that is why he criticizes you.
Strain on relationship due to miscarriage and fatherhood
I am not condoning his behavior, but providing you context to look at him. Was he like this before you had miscarriages? Was trying to become pregnant a source of friction in your marriage? What triggered this change in behavior? It is very important for you to nail this down because maybe you can do something about it. For instance, if that change of behavior (I am assuming that you had a beautiful relationship when you got married because you have been together 13 years or for almost all your adult life) occurred after you wanted to be pregnant, then, you may have some decisions to make. Maybe it is not a good idea to push the pregnancy thing and move on. We all realize that we cannot have so many things in our lives and we must put parenthood in that same category. I mean not everyone goes to Harvard or become a movie star or become millionaires and they are was fine with those failures (if I may call them so but in reality they are just things that not everyone can have) and so one should be fine with the fact that they wouldn’t have kids. Unless the two partners seriously want a child, they should not have one, because that is a crime against the poor child that will be born.
Now, if the change in his behavior was at some other point or was always there and you did not notice it when you decided to marry him, then, you have no reason to suffer this abuse daily and live in pain with him. It is time to divorce him and start a new life. It is, of course, a good idea to think through before contemplating a divorce, but as you know, you wouldn’t be the first woman on the planet to get one. Maybe it will be a mistake, but it won’t be the first mistake in life that you will commit. You deserve a second chance, particularly because you are just 31 and have a long life ahead of you.
With regards to your question about what is out there, well, a lot of good stuff. I know it is hard to find a good partner, but trust me, there are a lot of good men out there. Good men who want nothing more than a woman who loves them so that they can enjoy simple things in life together. For all we know, you might even have a better chance of delivering a healthy baby with another man.
Life is about taking risks, and leaving this abusive man is just that. Yep, things could be tough for a while and you may never find that dream man, but it is better to be single than to live in fear and suffer everyday. You can do a lot with your life if you are free.