As a rule, when people ask me, “Should I get divorced?” I try not to share whether I think they should or should not, and instead give my insight into their situation in hopes the answer comes to them. But in some cases, I just can’t help answering the question because my opinion is so strong. That was the case in a blog I recently wrote called “Should This Woman Get Divorced? Hell No!” But based on this recent email I received from a woman considering divorce, I feel quite the opposite. Should this woman be getting divorced? Hell yes! Here are 8 reasons:
I’ve been married for 9 years. We have two kids. I used to adore my husband more than he did me, however the roles are now reversed. I feel I have to force myself to have sex with him.
I do love him but I feel like we have grown apart. He drinks excessively and says it’s his way of dealing with the lack of love and attention I show him. He is terrible when he drinks and makes me feel anxious and scared.
I do not think to myself I want another man, I just feel unhappy with my life with him and feel guilty for feeling this way. I’m still relatively young and feel like I’m staying because he’s all I’ve known.
It’s all such a mess I really don’t know what to do. I just want to be happy and feel like I can’t here. There is no trust on both parts. I have found messages to a couple of other women recently which he does not deny. Instead he puts it on me not showing him love. I have also cheated on him several times. Surely if I respected him and loved him I wouldn’t do this.
Reason #1: I feel I have to force myself to have sex with him. This is so sad for both people in the marriage. What a horrible feeling for the person who doesn’t want to have sex, as well as for the other person, who can most likely feel it, which is hurtful. One person not wanting to have sex in a marriage is almost always a symptom of bigger problems; problems that can be caused by resentment, dislike, lack of respect, lack of trust, etc.
Reason #2: Her husband is drinking excessively which is in and of itself a big problem. But what’s worse is that he is blaming her for it! says it’s his way of dealing with the lack of love and attention I show him.This sounds like it could be an addiction or alcohol abuse problem. Addicts usually blame others for their addiction. But even if he is not an addict, it seems like he has no self-awareness. People lacking self-awareness also blame others for everything.
Reason #3: He is terrible when he drinks and makes me feel anxious and scared. Who on earth would anyone want to live in fear or on eggshells with a spouse?? This is abusive and very very unhealthy for both of them.
Reason #4: She says she feels guilty. No one should stay in a marriage out of guilt.
Reason #5: No one should stay in a marriage because he’s all I’ve known. This is showing me that she is held back by her fears of: divorce, being alone, an unknown future, finances, etc. Fear is very normal, by the way, but it shouldn’t paralyze someone into staying a marriage.
Reason #6: There is no trust on both parts. Marriage is a partnership. Without trust, it crumbles.
Reason #7: I have found messages to a couple of other women recently which he does not deny. Instead he puts it on me not showing him love. So, her husband is cheating, and again blaming her for something HE is doing.
Reason #8: I have also cheated on him several times. What?? This was the shocking ending to her letter. This woman is lonely and scared and is looking for any distraction to take away her pain. I’m not saying her cheating is justified, but rather that this is just another reason she should not be in this marriage. Cheating on both ends is unhealthy and a bad bad coping mechanism for someone in an unhappy relationship. The only thing cheating does is provide instant gratification to numb pain temporarily. And what happens after the cheating is, more complications, heartbreak, guilt, confusion, and bad decision making. I’m not going to judge everyone who cheats, but my point is, if you are cheating, you have big relationship problems that should be addressed in a healthier, more productive way versus having sex and or an emotional relationship with someone else as a Band-aid.
In closing, I truly feel for these people. This woman’s email is full of reasons why she should get divorced. I might be wrong, but from the outside looking in, there isn’t one glimpse of hope I see here. Wait, I take that back. The glimpse of hope I do see involves this woman’s opportunity to be happy. But if she wants that, she needs to let go of some of her fear and face up to what the right decision is—as difficult as that might be.
It takes guts to get divorced, to pick up and move, to get out of a relationship with your child’s father, to become financially independent, to become a single parent, and to be without a partner. It’s brutal. But the happiest of people I know did it (including me.)
They were scared and sad and devastated and at rock bottom and they looked in the mirror and saw the truth and persevered and followed their heart and their gut and went after the life they wanted. And they got it. And, countless people I know found love again—this time with someone who is a much better match for them.
Big hugs to this woman. I wish her all the best and hope she is able to figure out her best path to happiness. But the bottom line is, should this woman be getting divorced? Hell yes.
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationship column, Love Essentially, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.