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Should I Fight For My Marriage?

Question:

I have been married for a year. I have known my husband for almost 4 yrs. Tension has been accumulating because he was laid off. It’s been about a year now when everything blew up. I threatened to leave him. Instead, he left and took our daughter.

He is very short tempered. He never hit me but has been physical in holding me back. He treats his stepdaughter, my oldest from my first marriage, very cold and bitter and she loves him like a father.

Now he tells me that he no longer feels like the man of the house because my parents decide everything about our children and he has no say.

I’m in between a wall and a sword. Should I listen to my mother and leave the home we started together or forgive him for taking our daughter and try to start over without my parents in the picture?

Please help. I don’t have much time because I need to see my daughter and don’t know what to do?

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Answer:

Your situation is complicated because there are so many factors involved. For example, it is understandable that your husband would feel awful after being unemployed for an entire year. Most men and women experience that as a big blow to their pride and sense of well being.

However, an additional complicating factor appears to be your parents. Evidently, they make many decisions about your children and, perhaps, try to influence you about your marriage. There is nothing worse for a marriage than well meaning in laws intruding.

The most serious problem involving your marriage is your husband’s aggressive and abusive behavior towards you. Even though he has not hit you, the very fact that he holds you back, constitutes abuse. Running away with the daughter both of you had together is another example of abuse and is most likely illegal.

What steps you decide to take is up to you and not your mother. You could attempt to save the marriage and reunite the family. Marriage and family counseling would be a good idea for this. Another option is to file for divorce and have your lawyer help you regain custody of your child. In fact, you can probably go to the police right now and have them step in and return custody to you until a judge makes the final custody decision at a divorce hearing.

None of these options are very attractive and all are filled with difficulty. Yet, if you really want to give the marriage another try, that is very understandable. The two of you would have to agree to rules about how you behave towards each other and to all of the children. As part of that agreement, he must keep his temper in check. You would have to agree to keep your mother out of your marriage.

If you make this last decision, please remember you can leave if things do not work out.

Do what is best for you and your children by following your heart, or, what you really prefer.

Best of luck with the choice you make.

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