Is your marriage toxic? Do you bring out the worst in each other? Is the misery really worth it?
Every time I hear someone say, “We stay together because of the children,” I shake my head and roll my eyes. Another common excuse for staying in a bad marriage is, “I don’t want to be alone” or “I don’t want to be a single parent.”
What is the point of trying to work it out if all you do is bicker, yell and blame each other for your misery? This is not a good environment for children. If you’re miserable, how do you think the kids feel? Life is too short to stay stuck in a rut for years. Being single and lonely compared to married and miserable really doesn’t sound so bad. Who enjoys being angry 24/7? It’s no fun to be so mad that it’s hard to sleep. If you do manage to doze a few hours, you are so tense that you grind your teeth the whole time. The only person benefiting from that in the long run is your dentist.
A complaint I have heard dozens of times is, “He won’t help me with the kids. I have to do everything.” I agree that it’s a very frustrating problem. Look at it from your kids’ point of view. While Daddy is watching tv or playing games on his phone, Mommy is cooking, cleaning and bathing kids all while yelling at dad. Mommy is tense and short tempered, hurrying through homework and bedtime routines in the hopes of getting a few minutes to herself. Do the kids understand where your anger is really directed? Not likely. They probably think you’re mad at them. Like the saying goes, “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
The tension practically vibrates in the air. Are you the same person now as when you got married? Are you a tooth grinding, dish slamming, angry woman that spent all her energy trying to get her husband’s attention with noise… whether it be by banging two pots together or screaming in frustration?
Do you like who you’ve become? Your husband thinks you’re a bitch. You think he’s a selfish asshole. Your kids think they have done something wrong. Your friends probably avoid your calls because all you do is vent and ignore their advice. The rare times your husband gets sick enough of listening to you complain to help out with the housework and kids certainly doesn’t help the situation. He still thinks you’re a bitch and he’s itching for a fight. So he does the chores half assed and rushes the kids through bath time so he can get back to his recliner in front of the TV. You both deal with the unhappiness by eating more, maybe going from an occasional glass of wine to a couple glasses every night or even sneaking a cigarette on the porch swing every night. Anything to find an escape.
The resentment you feel toward each other multiplies each day, growing uglier as time goes on. He stops listening to anything you say, tuning you out as he develops “selective hearing loss,” followed by “selective memory loss.” You morph into the bitter, ignored wife that emotionally and physically turns away from him. This can’t lead anywhere good without help from an outsider; such as a pastor or counselor. As is often the case these days, if both of you don’t want the marriage to survive, it’s not going too. Even if your husband isn’t interested in marriage counseling, there’s no reason you can’t go by yourself to individual therapy.
At this point, is the marriage falling apart such a bad thing? You fight constantly. There is no such thing as a normal conversation anymore. The kids are insecure and acting out, which causes more fighting as you both play the blame game. Even the dog has started hiding when you and your husband are in the same room. Why continue the negative patterns when you should be enjoying the time with your children? Before you know it, time will have flown by and the kids will be grown. Do you want to be able to look back on their childhoods and smile at all of the memories?
If you’re afraid of being alone or a single parent, take a step back and start doing things just for yourself. Get used to being a person instead of a couple. You were a woman before you were a wife. Find yourself again. Take a daily walk, start a journal, go to church, take a class or take up a hobby. The lists of possibilities are endless. Whether you decide to stay in your marriage or not, just remember neither of you are going to change. You’re still who you used to be, but the negative emotions that are always on the surface have brought out the worst in both of you. Either you find a way to work it out through therapy or go your separate ways. After years of spending every waking moment doing things for the kids and hubby, you lost yourself in the clutter. Only you can choose to find yourself – again.
How did you know if you should stay in or leave your marriage?
- The Big Question: Divorce or Stay “For The Children”
- What I Learned From My Parents Bad Marriage And Divorce
- Divorce lesson: What I Learned From Being In A Bad Marriage
- What To Do When The Bad Outweighs The Good In A Marriage