Abusive husband wants a divorce.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have been married for 9 years and have two young daughters. My marriage has been horrible since day one. My husband is verbally abusive and controlling. I have only stayed in this marriage because I didn’t want to put my kids through a messy divorce. My husband is a good father to the girls and I was afraid he would never let me have a peaceful divorce. Two weeks ago out of the blue he tells me he isn’t happy and wants a divorce. He has never wanted out. He wants the divorce to be as amicable and easy on us and the girls as possible. I am all for it. Now I have found out through the cell phone bill that he started some kind of relationship with a co-worker one week before he suddenly wanted out of the marriage. He is defensive and angry about my need to know the truth about his sudden need to leave. On one hand I am glad he is leaving, but on the other hand I am deeply hurt that after putting him through school and putting up with all of the nastiness from him, he decides he can be happier with someone else. I want to call this girl and shine some light on what kind of person he is. Also I want to hold each of them accountable for what they have done to my two kids. Part of me thinks to let him go it’s what I have wanted all along anyway. The other part of me is very hurt and angry that he just gets to pick up and move on while I have made all of the sacrifice and am left with two angry, hurt, and confused little girls. Plase help!

A: Please. Thank y0ur lucky stars that he’s leaving you. If you had tried to leave him, he would have abused you further and probably would have threatened you with a custody battle besides. You may have been sparing your kids a messy divorce but they’ve been growing up thinking that it is normal and usual for a husband to abuse his wife and for a wife to not only put up with it but put him through school and make sacrifices besides. Yikes! Unless they get some powerful message that abuse is not, not, not okay, they may accept the same treatment from their own husbands someday. I say, leave well enough alone and get out while you can! Then get some good counseling for you and the kids. You all deserve some support. You need to develop enough self-esteem that you won’t get yourself into such a terrible relationship again!

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Nov 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). Abusive husband wants a divorce.. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/11/10/abusive-husband-wants-a-divorce/