Carolyn Hax: Don't add to series of bad decisions

The Washington PostApril 9, 2014 

Carolyn: I have been unhappy in my marriage for a long time.

So long, in fact, that it started long before it became a marriage. I always had an excuse for putting off ending the relationship. In the beginning it was, "I'll wait until after the summer"; "OK, now I'll wait until after the holidays" … etc., etc., etc. Never happened. Then it was, "I can't do it now, the wedding is already being planned; I can't disappoint family and friends." Eight years, two children and a major home renovation later, we are still married.

He is aware that I am not happy, but I'm sure he does not believe I would ever actually leave. Our kids are amazing - I don't regret anything because I can't imagine my life without being mom to these two children, who are 2 and 5.

We recently renovated our home and now live in our dream home, in which he put a lot of his own blood, sweat and tears.

We have done some counseling; however, I feel I am at a point where I am not interested in fixing the marriage and trying to stay together.

I worry about the effect on our kids - although I can't imagine the constant tension and almost daily bitter, nasty arguments in front of them are having any positive impact.

I work part time and don't make enough money to live on my own.

How do people do this? The logistics of going through a divorce seem like enough to make one stay in a miserable marriage.

TRAPPED

So many years of so many decisions undermining your own well-being - and of bringing others aboard in the process. I would want to get to the bottom of that before I made any more decisions, especially as big and consequential a decision as dissolving a family.

You say "we" have tried counseling, but you don't say you have gone, solo. Please do, to figure out what drove you to keep postponing tough consequences and to build a life on excuse after excuse.

At some point you might still need to find a lawyer, a better job and a new home, but first things first: Find you.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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