Dear Bitter Single Guy: I had a good first marriage, I thought, but he cheated and it ended. Two years later I met my second husband on a blind date. I really felt drawn to him and felt he was my second chance at love. 12 years later, the kids are older, and all we (the kids and I) feel is frustration. I have made the statement several times that we are just not compatible. I have always been the one to compromise, and frankly I’m tired of it!
He has issues with every single relationship in his life, it just took me this long to realize that the issues were his and not theirs. I always believed that his parents, his sister his exes and even his daughter were the problem. Now I know different, but this is 12 years and 4 kids here. I feel like ending it and have already moved out once before. I decided to give him another chance, but now he has slidden right back into his old skin of complacency. If I leave him I am afraid he will fall into a deep depression. But I know I will be happier. Why am I more concerned about his feelings than my own when he is obviously not concerned about mine? ~Stay or Go?~
Dear SOG: The Bitter Single Guy is going to say that deciding whether a decision was the right one after 12 years is like closing the barn door 12 years after the cows have left and wondering whether it should have been closed in the first place. This decision is done, let’s move on.
So then, the decision here is whether to stay in your relationship. As you indicate, children complicate the issue because your decisions affect them. That said, it’s the BSG’s opinion (from his own singular experience) that separate happy parents are better for children than partnered unhappy parents.
The BSG will note that you think your “time served” is a consideration in this decision and the BSG has a tough time with that. If you have 12 years invested in an unhappy relationship, how is that cause for investing more time? If this relationship isn’t good for your family, the BSG recommends wrapping it up. Now that said, the BSG also acknowledges that ending a 12 year marriage with children involved is very different than ending a relationship with someone you’ve dated for a year and with whom you share no children. Don’t doubt that this is a weighty decision SOG, but doing nothing is a decision too.
If your primary reason for not leaving is that your husband will go into a deep depression, let go of that. You’re not his therapist and it’s not your job to prevent him from going into depression at the expense of your own happiness. Given the weight of this decision, the BSG recommends talking to a counselor to help sort out all our various feelings so you can make the right decision for your family. ~BSG~