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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1768
Experience:  PHD LPC
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Psychiatry - Marriage seperation, divorce, kids, dating

Resolved Question:

My husband has been in his own apt since 8/10/09. He has asked me if I think we will probably end in a divorce, and I have said yes. I have told him I do not love him anymore. He is very depressed about not being here and being in that little apt. and has been telling me he loves me and wants us to be a family and wants everything to work out. He says I should give us another chance. Yet he still speaks to me in the same disrespectful manner when he is mad or things aren't going his way, yet he doesnt see it. He's not doing it often, but I can see it. I do not want to get back together. I know I will not be happy with him. He says he is moving back into the house when his lease is up on 11/30. So, what should I do? I don't have money to move myself and 2 kids somewhere else. Is there housing help in "safe" neighborhoods for us? Like section 8 housing or something? My question(s) are what do I say to him next? I do not want to hurt him yet I feel like I'm the bad guy if I bring his world down. He keeps saying I must be seeing someone else or else I would be trying. He really doesnt get it. What do I say? How do I say it to minimize hurting him/us? I have started dating someone - an old friend from high school - without his knowledge and am going to continue seeing him, but it is hard to do if I have to keep it a secret. Any thoughts on that matter?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 8 years ago.
Hi and welcome,

If you are sure this is what you want then you owe it to both of you to be honest with him and tell him that you want a divorce, not that it's "probably" going to end that way. As painful as it may be there is no way someone/ both of you will not get hurt emotionally. I always tell patients that you do not leave a marriage for another person, you leave for you, because you are not happy or you are not feeling the same way about your spouse. Since you are seeing someone you may have a more difficult time telling him and you do have to be honest. If he is intent on moving back into the house there may not be much you can do unless you do not feel safe with him there. If that's the case then you can take legal actions, otherwise he will probably move back in which will present a much more stressful environment for all.
You are not bringing his world down, you are both responsible for the marriage failing. Do not let him blame you for the demise. What do you tell him? The truth, as painful and as scary as it feels to you. What do you say? You tell him how you feel about the marriage, the unhappiness, the disrespect etc. Use "I feel" statements do not say "You do this and you do that" that will only make him more defensive since it will feel like an "attack" on him.
I have had couples come into therapy for the sole purpose of ending their marriage. I do what is called a controlled separation agreement that spells out the specifics of the separation even if they are both living under that same roof. It's helpful to have someone else involved in the process since these things tend to get heated. I would suggest you do something like this with a therapist.
You have a big stumbling block due to your dating someone. That is something you have to divulge but I am not sure you should do it without someone present.
If you have been to marriage counseling and it hasn't helped you may want to return and get some help with how to handle all a divorce entails, including telling your children. If they are very young they will accept what is happening because they may not have the cognitive ability to understand. If they are older you want to sit down with them together and tell them. This is going to be a hard time in both your lives, it is never simple or easy on the entire family. I hope this helps.
Dr. Keane
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Edited by Dr. Keane on 10/13/2009 at 10:26 PM EST
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