I have been married for 21 years unhappily. I have been through sooooooo much in our relationship....I went through the period when the kids were young and he was never home and did what he pleased, often lying about where he was, not showing up for little league games, standing me up for important events in my life, etc. I tried to hide the fighting from my kids but it's hard and frustrating. I was miserable but I was too SCARED to divorce. Then I found out about a woman "friend" bartender that sold beer at the train station. He was calling her many times during the day. He first lied about the number but when I kept calling it finally admitted that she was only a friend and that he definitely didn't cheat. I really didn't believe it but I was too SCARED to divorce. So, I miserably stayed in a very unhealthy relationship. Then, I found out that he was subscribing to a porn service that charges 25.00 a month and he picked a woman named Susan, PTA mom during the day and sex slave at night. We were having sex 3-4 times a week but he said that was not enough. I felt betrayed and depressed but I was too SCARED to get a divorce. I also went through a lot with my kids too. He called our daughter a c*** when she was 11 years old, he pointed an unloaded shot gun at our son to scare him into going to school, tried to choke him for wanting a PS3, amongst other things. I live in a constant state of fear that he may snap and something tragic could happen between my son and him. My son is now 17 years old and has severe anxiety/panic disorder, and ADD. My family doesn't know why I stay with him, some of my friends don't even talk to me because I stay. Nobody understands. I'm now 45 years old and have been living with anxiety for 15 years and depression.
I'm telling you my story because I know the feeling of being so scared of the unknown and such change that you just don't think your strong enough to handle it. So for me, I hung on to a miserable, unhealthy relationship because of being SCARED. And my kids, now 19 and 17 years old, have no respect for me for staying. It hasn't helped them at all growing up in this kind of family environment. So many times I have come SO close to doing it--I saw a lawyer twice and chickened out, always thinking about the good times or the good traits, always questioning my decision, always professing my love to him. I truly believe if I had the self-esteem to know that I would get through it and I wasn't so SCARED, I could have moved on and perhaps been HAPPY. A word I forgot the meaning of. And my kids could have been so much better off. So you know, it's like prolonging the inevitable--I might end up getting divorced or might not but the truth is I'm not happy and want a change so badly. So yes, it will be painful and you might not find "instant" happiness but in the long run, you will get through it. It's better than what I'm going through right now. peace