Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

I Want To Leave, But For The Children ...


This is probably not a really unusual question considering how many people are using the Internet now. I am a married lady with two grown children, both out of the house. It seems when the kids left home that my husband and I had nothing to talk about anymore. He is a very negative person and having a conversation with him is like talking to the voice of doom. I find it easier and less stressful just not to discuss things with him. He has always been this way, I guess it was just easier to cope with when the kids were taking so much of my time. It seems he feels like our life is over… just sit back and wait to die. Well, I’m not finished yet!! I have tried to communicate this to him but nothing works. I have become very independent and he resents it. He won’t do things with me so I do them alone. We have just grown farther and farther apart. I am not making excuses for the rest of my story. This is just the background. It began to become unbearable about 5 years ago. Two and a half years ago, I started talking to a man online. We just struck up a friendship through an email exchange that was perfectly legitimate, not a chat room type thing. During this time I have found him to be someone that I can truly talk to, not just online but on the phone. I have met him a few times and we really get along well. There hasn’t been any sex or anything like that. I just enjoy his company in a way that I thought was lost to me! I think I have fallen in love with this man. I know I sound like a teenager but what I feel is real and he feels the same way. But I also feel guilt ridden. I don’t know what to do about it. I want to leave my husband, which I have been wanting to do before I ever met this man and probably will even if nothing comes of this relationship. My biggest problem is my kids. I hate to disappoint them. I have a comfortable home and a good family and it seems I should be happy, but I’m not. They would be devastated if my husband and I divorced, no matter what the reason. What to do??

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
  • ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

If the only thing holding you in your marriage is guilt over how your children will react you are half-way to home free. The question then becomes one of what is better for the children to have as an example, a loveless marriage that stays together out of duty, or divorce and ensuing chaos that might result in a better matched, more loving relationship for you with the result that your children get to see how a good relationship functions. The other question to weigh is: does your duty as a mother preclude you from making decisions to further your own well being. One school of thought says that you can’t be good to others if you are not first good to yourself. The other school would probably say that a mother’s role is to give and give only, never to take. The truth probably lies somewhere in between these extremes. Your heart and mind will have to guide you to the proper decision. Although it does not seem to be the central issue here, I’ll make the comment that you are engaged in an affair right now. This affair (any affair really) cannot help your marriage or your children. What are you teaching them when they find out that you have had an affair (and it is likely that they will find out if the affair goes on). That it is okay to be untrue to a marriage if you are unsatisfied? Another question for you to ponder as you make your decisions.

More "Ask Anne" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand