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Making Excuses

Question:

I have been married for five years (I am 27 & my husband is 30). We have no children. Our marriage has never been good, as my husband is emotionally and verbally abusive and used to be physically abusive. He stopped the physical abuse (I don’t really know why) about a year ago. I now want a divorce. I cannot see myself living my entire life having to walk on eggshells and constantly being berated. It was difficult to come to this realization because my father was also very emotionally abusive, and I guess it’s just what I’m used to. My dilemma is this: We are both full-time college students (we started late) and have full-time jobs. We have very little, if any, money left after bills are paid. I cannot see a way, financially, for me to move out on my own, get an apartment, etc. My husband will not move. I have asked him to move out before, and he says he will not & for me to move. Do you have any suggestions? Am I just making excuses? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Answer:

I think you’re making excuses. Not that I blame you for that – it’s difficult to really leave a relationship even when you know it is bad for you. If you are sure that you want a divorce, and the only reason you are sticking around is a financial one, then you should do everything in your power to raise the money you need to make a new life and get the heck out of there as fast as you can. You are young; you can find a better relationship and make a new and better life if you leave. If you stay you’ll fall back into the old dissatisfying abusive patterns. When I say do everything in your power to raise the money you need, I mean beg and borrow and lean on others for help (stealing is hopefully not necessary). Talk to supportive relatives and friends. Older divorcees may be very able to relate to your situation and be willing and able to put you up for a while. Contact the battered women’s shelter in your area and see what resources they have for women separating from abusive marriages. Talk to your school or bank and see about a student loan or part time job. This sort of thing. Make it happen. Don’t waste your life.

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