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Is It Worth Trying To Save?

by Maddy
(New York)

I was married once before and had a 3 year old when I connected with a former high school friend who is now my husband. Our relationship seemed great, until I found out that he had been cheating on me.

I found this out the same day that I found out that I was pregnant with our oldest. He denies the cheating to this day.

Fast forward to 11 years later. We now have 3 children together, along with my daughter who he raised as his own (she only had sporadic contact with her biological father). My husband seems to hate her now. He has no patience at all-he never really had a lot to begin with.

So when she acts like a teen and makes comments, or swears, he loses it. He explodes regularly. The two oldest hate him. Our son has anxiety because of these explosions. I suspect he has either IED or compassion fatigue. Either way, it's draining because I have to diffuse situations.

Now, my husband wants to leave. I'm not sure why I am so bothered by it. I am hurt that he has not done the things that he said that he would do (ie. therapy). I haven't been perfect of course, and I have a habit of interfering when I feel he is too explosive.

He tries to isolate our kids together from our oldest, saying that they can't be around her if she is swearing. He is right regarding the language but seems to want to control and isolate my oldest from the others.

My husband says that we will separate but be amicable. He thinks he will parent half time, and that my oldest won't be an issue since he doesn't want anything to do with her. I had to involve the authorities the last time because I was worried about what he might do, he was so angry.

I want my marriage to work, because he and I had a great relationship for a while. I`m just so tired of the anger, not to mention concerned for my kids. How can I help him?

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Jun 05, 2018
Some Things To Consider
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Maddy, and thanks for telling your story here. I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with your marriage. I will try to help.

I totally understand why you would want to save your marriage. And yet, in light of the things your husband has done with and to your children, perhaps the separation is the best thing.

You and your children are worthy of respect and kindness...all of the time. It doesn't sound like your husband is capable of that, especially re. your daughter.

I know it's hard to let go, but from what you've written here, that seems like it might be the best thing for everyone. Learn about the steps in letting go of a relationship, and see if you're able to make some headway there.

Also, you asked, "How can I help him?" The bottom line in that is that he isn't asking for help. So if you try, it might only backfire on you.

Obviously, there's a lot more to your situation than what I've learned here, but based on what you've provided, this is my best effort to help.

I wish you all the best as you go through this difficult but important time.

Dr. DeFoore

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