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Should I Leave A Bad Marriage Even With A Small Child?

by J

There Is Hope Ahead

There Is Hope Ahead

I met my husband when we were both active duty in the Navy. We have been together for 6 years and married for 5.

When I was still active duty everything was great but as time passed I found out that he has had multiple online affairs and one in person that ended just 3 weeks before our wedding. On top of it he has serious anger issues and I find that I have now become very quiet and reserved when I used to be a very loud and energetic person.

I am always worried that I will say or do something that will cause a fight and I'm so tired of fighting because in the end I always feel like I'm wrong even if it was him who really hurt my feelings originally. It always gets turned into making me feel guilty, so I have just given up.

When friends are over I try and stay as quiet as possible because I never know what I will say or do that will offend him and cause a fight later in the evening. We have an 18 month old daughter who is my world and loves her daddy too, and that's the main reason I stay.

I can't imagine missing out on a single second of her life and I know with divorce there is split custody and I don't want to miss anything so I stay. But the depression in me has gotten much worst.

I was in a prior abusive relationship in which I was physically, emotionally and sexually abused. When I left I swore I would never let someone control me and hurt me again, and while it's not physical or sexual this time, it still hurts. And my self-worth is pretty low.

He grew up with a very abusive father both physically and emotionally so I feel like he really doesn't know that he is being abusive. I don't want to leave because I feel like it will blind side him. I hide everything so deep that he doesn't really even know that there is a problem.

I am just scared to talk to him about it for fear that it will turn into a fight that gets turned back around on me. I'm at a loss and don't really know what to do.

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Nov 20, 2015
Hard Choices
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello J

I strongly encourage you to seek counseling for yourself. You have to consider the impact that you have on your daughter. If her mom gets more and more depressed (which could easily happen if the situation stays the same or gets worse), this will have a powerful effect on her. You simply cannot be as present and available to her as her mother when you're depressed.

I totally understand why you don't want a divorce, joint custody, etc. That's why I think you need to seek counseling. There are no easy answers for someone in your circumstances.

If you did not have a child, your choices would be more straight-forward, but even then this would be hard.

You will make the right decision. Trust yourself, and seek the help you need. And remember, to do nothing is to decide to continue the harm that is currently being done to you and your daughter. And you're not doing your husband any favors by giving him the impression that this situation is acceptable.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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