If you were having problems in your marriage/partnership, what would be the straw that broke the camel's back?

April - posted on 09/10/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Me: I thought for sure it'd have to be cheating, but my husband did something this past week that I'm struggling to forgive him for. Work has been slow for him, so I begged him not to away on a 4 day trip with his friends. We didn't have much food in the house (no eggs, no milk, no meat) and barely any money between the two of us.

The drive down, the meals out, the hotel, and the drive back was all going to cost money. Please, don't do this, I begged. He still left, said he split the cost of the hotel with his buddies and couldn't leave them to come up with his share.

Meanwhile, it's raining cats and dogs out there, not even safe driving conditions. As luck would have it, this was no ordinary rainstorm. It became a massive flood that devastated our town. He says I hold grudges and that I have a problem with forgiveness. Hey, buddy you left me in the middle of a natural disaster to go on a joy trip with your friends!! (PS. we didn't starve. my mom came to the rescue!)
*This is the straw because he keeps going on trips/concerts with his friends. I don't feel married. I am seriously thinking about leaving, but I still love him!

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Amie - posted on 09/10/2011

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If it was a repeating problem that my husband wasn't even trying to change or see how it's affecting our family (not just the relationship because that type of things affects everyone in the house) and my family or in laws were rescuing us repeatedly I would leave.

There comes a point when a person needs to act like the husband/wife, father/mother that they need to be. If given enough chances and they don't correct their behavior, sometimes it is better to be a single parent. I know I would rather be a single parent making sure my money was going to taking care of my children and myself than a married mother who has to worry about the finances and ask for help from family when there is no good reason to be asking!

Things like the trip mentioned above are a luxury and if they can not be afforded, you don't go. If you do go and possibly put your family at risk (any risk, not just the left home alone in a natural disaster thing) then you are not acting like a responsible adult.

I'd leave after trying to get my husband to see what he's doing is wrong and he would be getting an earful as well.

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It would be good if you could both sit down and discuss what you want for the future of your relationship and try to find compromises that will accommodate you both.

Money wise you need to work out a budget that is set aside for family bills including food, utilities etc. I would make that a major priority if you are struggling for money.

Also if you want to go and get yourself a haircut or go to the mall by yourself then TELL him to look after his child ... you don't have to ask or wait for him to suggest it himself (could be a long wait).

You need to be more assertive of your own needs rather than focusing on what he doing wrong. Ask him what you want him to do rather than what you don't want him to do. I think when men keep hearing "don't" they hear it as nagging and do the opposite.

Yep, he was definitely an ass but if you want to save the marriage you need to leave past mistakes behind and find ways to move forward on a positive note.

Mary - posted on 09/12/2011

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I think Dyan brings up an excellent point. In all of the marriages I know of where the couple has had troubles and come out of it intact, both partners were able to acknowledge their "faults", and both strove to change them.

As well, I think your willingness and ability to forgive are going to be crucial to whether or not you two can work things out. I obviously don't know your whole story, but what I do get from reading all of your posts is that you are very angry with your husband, and you have been for a while. I am by no means implying that your anger isn't justified - it is. However, if you truly love him, and want at least a shot at working things out, you are gong to need to let go of it (which is hard, I know). Yes, he has fucked up royally, but if you continue to berate him about past transgressions, he isn't going to be all that motivated to change.

I'm not suggesting you be a doormat. You need to have one big blow-out where you tell him all of the things that bother you. If he apologizes, and makes a sincere effort to change, you need to give him the opportunity to do so, and not continue to fester over past events. And when he does screw up - only bring up that particular occurrence, without dredging up old offenses.

I do think counseling can be helpful if both partners are ready and willing to give it a go. It's not just him that will need to change though - it will be both of you together, or not at all.

Rosie - posted on 09/12/2011

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i think the thing with counseling is that after our first session, *I* realized that he wasn't the only one in the relationship that wasn't fulfilling their fair share in the relationship.
i was so concerned about what i did, how much i did, and how i didn't get any recognition for it that i didn't realize that *HE* was unhappy as well. what would he have to be unhappy about? his wife takes good care of him, and his babies. i'm faithful etc. but, in reality most it had nothing to do with ME, as to why he was unhappy. his accident caused him to gain 60 lbs, he was in pain all the time, he couldn't provide for the family, he was depressed. he could also feel my resentment about the car accident, and thought the resentment was towards him, not just he situation in general.

i mean when someone starts doing dickhead things you'd automatically think that they should just grow up and get on with it...but sometimes it's their reaction to how they are feeling inside. you can't expect someone to function properly in a relationship when they are depressed. i know i couldn't when i had PND.
communication is a HUGE key, it's figuring out how to get there that is challenging. i like jenni's idea. maybe work off of that?

Jenni - posted on 09/12/2011

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Sorry April. :( *hugs*



Can I be so bold as to assume this runs deeper than him just going out with his friends and leaving you high and dry (no pun intended)? To me it sounds like an issue with communication. You're talking, he's not listening...



I hate to generalize a gender but some men, (like my own husband) are not great communicators. I know this may seem like very small, maybe dumb, advice in light of your large problem. But sometimes it's all in how we explain things to them.



If I tell my husband flat-out "I don't like it when you stay out really late with your friends, it makes me worry". I never get very far in helping him to understand why it bothers me. He'll come up with excuses too. "Well, it's not like I'm doing anything I shouldn't be. I just go to Rob's house and we jam. I'm on nights so it gets really boring here by myself". Which are valid reasons of course, to me. But he is missing a very important key of why I'm upset by it. So I can give him a bunch of reasons why it does bother me. But it still doesn't address the underlying issue of him not fully comprehending how it makes me feel. There's a disconnect for him between the reasons we have and empathy for how it truly makes me feel. He still has difficulty understanding the emotions I'm feeling. So he may agree to change his ways a bit, but it would hold little weight and rarely last... I hope I'm making sense.



But if I pose it to him in a 'shoe on the other foot' scenerio. It clicks for him! I'll ask him to try to imagine me doing the same thing. Imagine me going out to my friends while you're sleeping, not telling you where I've gone or when I'll be back. Staying out past 2 am. How does it make you feel imagining me doing those things?"

And then..... he gets it. :S

I get the "Ahhhh ok, now I see... now I understand how you *feel*".



We've resolved many disagreements with this very simple method. I'm not sure why he has this disconnect from empathy and why he needs my assistance to understand where I'm coming from but... it at least works for us and opens the door for a subsequent compromise.

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Mrs. - posted on 09/13/2011

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On the counselling end, my parents went. My father was not as eager at first. They went for awhile. They have been happily married for over 30 years.

My fiance and I are going. We just thought we could do better communication wise and that is was good to explore that before we got married. Also, someone in his family killed themselves and he was very upset about it.

I also went with my ex, The first time we went, it really helped. Although he was less eager to go, it was useful. The second time I asked, he refused to go together, but said he would go alone. I also went alone at that time. Even though we didn't stay together, it was helpful in resolving that relationship is a way that wasn't full of bitterness and hatred.

So, I highly reco it, if you can manage to get him in. If not, I reco it to you, so you can sort things out in your head without being judged or getting it clouded. You can go, take the lead, often men get so scared about you leaving them - they will follow.

Shae - posted on 09/13/2011

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If he isn't thinking of you and your children, only himself, and you are having to pick up the pieces... He seriously needs a kick in the butt. I understand that you love him but perhaps next time he does it you should just pack a couple of bags for you and the kids and stay at your mum's place till he gets it in his head he's being a child, and you need a man. Sorry if I'm seeming rude, but I've been going through that and I'm starting to get sick of boys who don't sleep in the bed they made.

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2011

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Wow. Do guys ever grow up? My husband is 26 & still gets a kick out of "body part/bodily function" jokes. I mean, it was [kinda] funny the first time...and maybe the 2nd, but after the millionth time it gets old!

My husband & I were having some problems a couple of weeks ago, and I suggested marriage counseling to him. He agreed to it, but we never ended up going. We are doing better now, but I still think it wouldn't hurt to talk with an unbiased, 3rd party who might be able to give some tips on how to communicate more effectively, for instance. I know it doesn't work for every couple (especially if one is completely resistant), but it might be worth a shot?

April - posted on 09/12/2011

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Emma, what's the age difference between you and your husband? And what it is with straight guys and bromances? i swear i have gone into a time machine and it's 1990 all over again!

Elfrieda - posted on 09/12/2011

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re: did you or anyone you know have marriage counseling and how did it work?

We had quite a few sessions before we got married. (in our church they won't marry you unless you do that) It was mostly to make sure we agreed on the big things, and would have been helpful but we had been dating 3 years already and had already discussed all that.
My friend and her husband went to counseling a few years after they got married. No fidelity problem, but they just couldn't seem to communicate, and there were lots of hurt feelings and a lot of dragging their parents' issues in. For them, it helped a lot.

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2011

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Oh dear hahaha my husband is a bit the same only it's him and this Beetle guy from work harassing their other friend who is more my age than theirs. they're all having a bromance in the car on the way home from work.

April - posted on 09/11/2011

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Emma, we got married at 25 (him) and 26 (me). I don't know if I would call that young, but i feel that psychologically, he really is like 10 years younger. He's 29 and all of his friends are like 20 and 22. They're always making stupid jokes that no one except a 10 year old would find funny. For example, I got offended because my husband drew (with symbols) a picture of boobies and forwarded to his friend. Then I told him I was offended and he was like oh, i'm sorry SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING! Then I was like, that's still offensive. Then he was like Fuck Breastfeeding, it's for suckers! (0h this was all on facebook, btw). Then all of his friends on facebook laughed. I seriously thought it was high school or even middle school all over again!

Jodi - posted on 09/11/2011

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With my first marriage, it just simply reached the point of no return. He got abusive, I really did want to save the marriage, but he refused to go to counselling. There comes a point at which if one party is refusing counselling because he can't see the problem, and the other party is unhappy and believes there needs to be changes and can't live like that anymore, that quits has to be called. But when I say I tried, I tried for TWO YEARS to convince my ex we needed counselling before I finally gave up.

My current hubby and I have been married 8 years, and we did a 6 month stint in marriage counselling, and I also did individual counselling, shortly after we had our youngest. I was suffering PND, and we were going through some tough times financially, which neither of us was coping with well. Couple that with a blended family, and there were so many pressures that marriage counselling saved our marriage. It really helped us to be able to talk about things and find ways to move forward without arguing over it. If anything, we learned new ways to communicate with each other.

That's not to say we don't still argue at times, and get shitty with each other occasionally, but the communication skills are better, and we are more open to listening to one another without flying off the handle.

Stifler's - posted on 09/11/2011

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Did you get married really young? Sometimes I feel like going out and being a dickhead and never coming home just for the fact that my needs will never be number 1 priority in my life ever again. I always have to consider 3 other people and sometimes it makes me feel trapped. We haven't been to counseling.... yet.

Minnie - posted on 09/11/2011

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No, we've never been, I don't really know what it entails. One way or another we've always managed to hash out the problems ourselves.

Johnny - posted on 09/11/2011

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My parents spent several years in marriage counseling. In their case, my mother wasn't willing in the beginning, but when she realized that it wasn't just going to be "picking on her faults" she decided it was worth it. If I were you, I'd at least suggest it and see if he would be willing to go just once. Don't try to force a whole program or series of appointments. Just ask for one trial appointment, and see where he'll go from there. If he isn't willing to give you at least that, I'd personally have a hard time trusting his willingness to indeed put you first. I wish you all the luck April, this is a very painful thing to deal with.

We haven't been to marital counseling, but we've had our problems. It took a while, but after a few incidents, my husband finally went to anger management. It honestly took years to get it to happen, but he finally did see the light. It's made a huge difference for us.

April - posted on 09/11/2011

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Has anyone besides Dyan ever been to marriage counseling? Does anyone know anyone who went through it? Just wondered if it helped. I am inclined to agree with Dyan that it's probably a waste of time for some people (possibly us). For counseling to work, both parties have to want to be helped. If he's going to constantly defend himself, then it won't work. I will def keep everyone posted if we go the counseling route!

Minnie - posted on 09/11/2011

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Ugh, April. I don't have much advice save try the counseling. It sounds like things are going so horribly for you right now- so much piling on you!

My husband and I have been through a lot, nothing fidelity-wise but really big financial disasters. I've been worried a few times if our marriage would handle it, but we've always pulled through. I don't really know what would be the last straw.

April - posted on 09/11/2011

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I don't know if anything can change if he doesn't start seeing his friends a lot less. I am not sure how much would be fair. TBH, i wish he would dump all his friends and get classier ones. I wish we had friends that were married to each other, so we could all hang out together once in a while. Instead, it's like high school all over again. I can't stand his friends and the fact that he is so immature when he is around them!

April - posted on 09/11/2011

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I think I need to be more clear with him. Here are some changes I'd like to see: 1. no more calling out sick to go hang out with your buddies 2. no more long weekend trips without your family 3. get together with friends once every few months (they live far) 4. do stuff for our son without me having to ask him 5. stop trying to impress 20 year old friends when you're 30 (making farting noises and thinking they're funny) 6. once in a while i'd like to go to the mall or to get a haircut without having to bring our 2 year old 7. treat me to something nice once in a while!

April - posted on 09/11/2011

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It's so hard to communicate with him. He has an excuse for everything. It's like running into a brick wall, he doesn't budge one bit! I talked to him again last night and he said he would "start putting you and Zach first from now on". I just don't feel like jumping up and down because he said that. Excuse me, but why weren't we first to begin with? I'm supposed to give him a chance to try to make things better. I have my doubts because we've been on this path before. He messes up. I talk to him, He says he'll be better. He messes up again and repeat!

Rosie - posted on 09/11/2011

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have you talked to him april? made him see how truly upset you are by this? i'm sorry you have to go through this.
i've been at a point in my where i thought i wanted to leave. we went to counseling but i and he agreed that it was kinda pointless (the one we went to was anyway, may be different for you), and we just worked together to find a way where both of us could be happy.
he was going out a lot, i was going out alot. he was depressed after his car accident. he felt i didnt' understand certain things, i felt overwhelmed by the amount of work his accident caused me to have (i was also pregnant) and everything just came to a head a few months after lucas was born.
we FINALLY talked about everything, and worked on getting back to us. communication is huge. hope everything goes well for you april. :(

April - posted on 09/11/2011

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I'm willing to try counseling first. I hope that a 3rd party would be able to make him see what I'm seeing. Maybe he/she could help me understand what goes through his mind too. I have told him that if he wants a bachelor life, he's free. If he wants to act single, then BE single. He keeps saying he wants to be married, but the man doesn't know what married means! Every time I tell him not to go on a trip or somewhere with his friends, he tells me I am trying to keep him from having fun/having friends.

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Honestly, I would prefer my husband to cheat on me. Just bring some eggs and milk on your way back.

I agree with Erin, this sounds nuts.

Lady - posted on 09/11/2011

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I agree with Nikki - I think you should give counselling a try before making any big decissions - it might just help him really hear you concerns and make him see how serious you are.

Nikki - posted on 09/11/2011

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April, I am so sorry, that's just awful. I understand why you would be upset. I honestly don't think I could forgive my husband if he did that to me and my daughter. Or I would at least hold a lot of resentment.

Although he is by no means perfect my husband would sell the shirt of his back and give up anything if it meant providing for our daughter. Which honestly is what I expect from him.

Does he realise how upset you are? Would you consider seeking counselling?

Hope your ok :)

Erin - posted on 09/11/2011

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April, that is just nuts. I have a friend who's husband did something similar. They had a 12mth old baby, we had a terrible storm that killed several people, flash flooding, and the whole city lost power for various amounts of time. You know what this douchebag did? Went on a camping trip the day after the storm. Left his wife and baby at home with no power and no car (she didn't drive at that point). Fucking dick.

They are now separated. That was just one of a long line of examples of him being selfish, irresponsible and dishonest. Their parents had to bail them out financially several times. Once he even got a court summons for 12mths of unpaid gas bills... which he'd lied about and hidden from his wife.

Sounds like you've got some pretty big decisions to make :( I don't think you're overreacting at all, especially if this is not the first time something like this has happened.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/10/2011

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No, I wouldn't stand for that. Unless he's willing to get help for your marriage, I wouldn't tell you not to leave him. Definitely you should give him that opportunity. But umm...that is really screwed up. If you don't have food, you don't get to go on holiday. And you certainly don't leave your family with no food and go on holiday without them. wtf.

Stifler's - posted on 09/10/2011

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I would be pissed off too, that sucks. I kind of wish my husband made friends and went away because I am the one who goes away for a week here and there and sees all my old friends. Not to the point where he gets pissed off with it and it's sending us broke I guess though. If he cheated, ever, that would be the end of it. I couldn't deal with him having feelings for someone else or having sex with someone else.

JuLeah - posted on 09/10/2011

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I am sure you do love him, but you love yourself and children more.

He is not a partner, but a roommate.

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