Question by Martha:
So, I’ve been with my husband on and off for 19 years.
We started out in high school and we’re together for 3 years before we split. He got married, and I had 2 children during our break up. We messed around right before his divorce while I was pregnant with my second child. He wanted to get back together while I was pregnant, but I just didn’t feel that it would work, so we didn’t become a couple.
Skip ahead some years, he’s in a relationship and I’m single. He reached out to me to meet one day so that we could take. Once we met, he was telling me how he’s breaking up with his girlfriend and how if he had it his way, he’d be with me, and continued to say that he has always wanted to be with me. So he eventually broke up with his gf and shortly after we became a couple again.. That was 8 years ago.
We were doing good until I had our daughter in 2012. We began to argue more about intimacy and not feeling loved. Over the years the arguments grew longer and more intense. So the real problem came when I would say things to him that I didn’t mean while arguing and intoxicated. I’ve always been a tiny feisty person, and liquor intensifies that insecurity in me.
Since I’m a tiny woman and has always been treated as such, I feel like people feel like they can run over me and talk to me any kind of way, so I built up this tough facade to cover my insecure side. I’ve explained this to him plenty of times and he said that he understood it and that he would help me get over this “little person syndrome“.
During these arguments he would always threaten to leave, but he would never leave. Speed up to this past Wednesday, we had the same argument and I said some hurtful things to him; such as “You don’t do anything anyway ” “You’re Not gonna leave. You’re gonna be right here in the morning” and now he want to move out and break up.
The things I said, I didn’t really mean it. I said them just to hurt him at the moment because he was saying some hurtful things as well. He’s being very cordial with me for the kids sake, but very cold hearted when they’re not around.
He’s been in and out of the house for the past three day, just to grab clothes and a few other things then he leaves and doesn’t return until the next morning, then leaves again. Something tells me that I really screwed up this time and that he’s serious about leaving. I’ve been miserable without him. Please help.. How do I get my husband back?
This sounds like many years of drama you have endured and I feel for the both of you. I also feel for your children. They tend to be the forgotten ones in marital dysfunction.
Perhaps it’s the assumption that they’re too young to understand and the belief they won’t be affected that stops them from being a major priority in these situations.
I can’t mince words in the advice I’m about to give so I’m going to get to the point.
The only thing you can control is your own self
The only thing in life we can control is ourselves.
We’re not much good to anyone unless we are continually working towards self-improvement. We’re no good to ourselves, our husband, our children, our work colleagues, our friends and generally people we encounter every day.
Each and every one of us goes through tough times in life but it’s how we deal with it and work hard to overcome that makes us who we are.
Are you happy to be continually arguing with your husband and living a dysfunctional existence?
Of course intimacy with your husband is going to be non-existent when you’re making threats to each other and belittling each other.
Isn’t it strange how poorly we treat the ones we love the most? In reality, your husband and children deserve the absolute best of you. You can’t be happy drinking heavily, then lashing out at him, hurting him, then regretting it and then drinking again… and on it goes…
I don’t want to pretend that your husband has been perfect through all this either. I don’t know the details on why you split in the first place. He’s been remarried and had other relationships over the years. It sounds like a real mess – incredibly confusing and a terrible example to your children. You’re not going to have clarity on the situation until you do everything you can to work on yourself to be a better version of you.
Start with focusing on yourself
I am an advocate for keeping marriages together. I would like to see a time come where the divorce rate is dropping, rather than increasing at the alarming rate that it is.
I don’t encourage staying in a marriage where either partner is being unfaithful or where there is domestic violence or criminal activity. As long as those things are not present, there is work we can do to salvage the marriage.
I know the power one person has to change the state of the relationship.
This starts with you. You need to get to a point where you understand that the life you’re experiencing today is a direct consequence of what’s been going on inside of you for many years.
As you go to sleep tonight, vow to make tomorrow the new beginning of the rest of your life.
Stop drinking, start eating well, exercising, taking care of yourself, telling yourself affirmations that you are worthy of love. Hold your children and tell them you love them with all of your heart and that they mean the world to you. You’re not going to be perfect tomorrow but it’s your intention that counts. Each day you will get better and better. Focus on yourself and leave your husband alone for now.
You will gain clarity as you work on yourself
You will gain more clarity on the caliber of him as a man as you head down this path. Is he a good man, a faithful man? You don’t find out by asking him this or demanding it from him. You find this out by working on yourself and gaining inner strength.
By focusing on yourself and letting your husband go, one of two things will happen: He will notice the positive change in you and will be inspired to do the same. He will not want to let go of the woman he loves OR you will see with clarity that you can do a lot better than him, that perhaps there is a man out there who will love and adore you and never let you go.
This is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight but it comes from within you. No one is perfect either but it’s about striving to be someone better than you were the day before.
Make your children a high priority. Give the best of yourself to them: your patience, kindness and unconditional love. They are the ones who suffer the most in these situations. And never say a bad word about their father to them.
There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Dig deep for courage and the discipline to turn your life around. Everything around you will follow. You just need to take the lead, no one can do it for you.