Do you feel guilty for divorcing a really nice guy?

 

Recently a mom emailed me:

“I feel so guilty for leaving my marriage. My husband is a really, really nice guy. He is a great dad, loves me a lot, has a good career. There was nothing really wrong with our marriage. I just didn't love him any more and wanted out. Now, our divorce is almost finalized, and we have all been so devastated — especially our kids. Now they have to schlep back and forth between two homes, go through the pain of having divorced parents, my ex is devastated, his parents and our friends are devastated, and we are both poorer having to support two homes. Even the dog looses since she stayed with me and misses her ‘dad'!

Listen to my Like a Mother episode on this topic:

Of course I am very sad about all of this, but I just could not be married to him any more. We are not intellectual or professional peers — I am growing a digital business I am passionate about, while he is 100% content in his middle-management corporate job with good benefits. I stopped being sexually attracted to him years ago, even though he is still a very handsome and fit man. Instead, I find myself fantasizing about and/or flirting with men in my professional circles who are mentally stimulating to me, understand my career and creative drive and ignite in me something I think I never experienced with my husband — deep, feminine PASSION (some of these guys are fat or old or not handsome — and I still find them so, so sexy!). These are men who jibe with my own growing social circle of equally driven and creative people — people who my husband never really connected with or felt comfortable around (even though, in all his decency and devotion to me, was always kind to and made an effort for).

I don't have any commitment to any of these men, but simply feeling that way around them made me realize that by staying in my marriage. I am missing out on something I deeply crave and long to nurture. Now, on the other side of my marriage, I see that I may not ever find that kind of romantic connection that I crave, and I may be lonely. I see those I love most suffering because of this decision, and I am left feeling selfish, guilty and all-around rotten.”

I have heard many similar stories, all of which resonate on some level. I am glad I am not married to my ex, even if he is a good guy. Lots and lots of reasons, including some mentioned above by my emailer. But there are times when we are getting along, when we are chatting like old friends at the kids' T-ball game, the kids are exhausted from schlepping back and forth between our apartments, I remember all his good qualities and all the benefits of marriage, and I think:

Can't we just be adults and make it work? Can't we just agree not to fight any more? Be in one home, be practical, get over this trite, adolescent notion of forever soulful romantic love, have no expectations your husband will fulfill you and just be realistic already – FOR THE KIDS' SAKE? 

Then he will blame me for my kid tripping in the hallway of my apartment and getting a bloody boo-boo on his head, or cancel a visit with the kids last-minute because he wants to see a concert and all those cozy notions are thrown out the window quicker than a Las Vegas divorce.

sell engagement ring

Maybe it means I'm selfish. Maybe it means I can't control my anger. Maybe it means I am a indulgent adolescent artist, but I don't want to be married to my ex-husband so I am not married to my ex-husband. We were great together in many ways, but we also bring out the worst in one another — something that neither of us are committed to overcoming. Also: I just don't want to be married to him.

Also, also: That is OK.

I want to explore my sexuality in a way that is impossible with him. I want to be with people who support my huge professional ambition and creative pursuits without competing — again, impossible with him. I want to be with someone who easily forgives, and easily laughs, and easily picks up his fucking dirty clothes and just puts them in the hamper.

I just don't want to be married to him.

And that is OK.

The end of that marriage was not my decision, though in hindsight I knew what I could have done to make him stay (beg), and I didn't. I never visit the idea of a reconciliation with him (I even sold my engagement ring to make a point of it). I'm done, and it is because I know I am so, so much happier outside that marriage.

Even if it means that I am not in a relationship.

Even if it means that we are both poorer.

Even if it means that things are much harder on the kids in many ways.

All this is OK because it is way, way, WAY better for me. I am happier than I could ever have been in that marriage. I am thriving professionally in a way that I was impossible for me in that partnership. I am creatively free and fulfilled, which could not have happened in that marriage. Dating at this stage of my life, I know, is part of a much greater plan for my life that of course could not have blossomed inside of a traditional marriage.

The end of that relationship was painful for so many people. And being divorced is hard for him, me and my kids in lots of practical ways.

But the net result for all involved is positive. I am thriving and my very best self now — and I, my kids and those in my orbit benefit. Is that selfish? Adolescent? A mentality of post-feminist, navel-gazing Gen X/Y/millennials?

Maybe?

I don't fucking care.

I am glad for it.

And I free you to be glad for it, too.

 

emma johnson family
Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.

Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list. Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

209 Comments

  1. Kate on January 8, 2016 at 11:03 am

    What? This is what is wrong with society. You made a commitment to your husband. Then you Get bored. So forget the commitment? Weak mined. Yes. If you make the promise of marriage and don’t commit, you are a bad person. Marriage is WORK- and its selfish to put yourself first before your children. You will be miserable. And deserve it.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Dunno – I know plenty of people who are way happier after divorce — myself included!

      • Ms. M. on September 2, 2016 at 8:28 am

        I just read your post and it was so comforting. Because I am married to a really, really nice man and I DON”T WANT to be married ANYMORE!! Unfortunately, I’m in a space right now where I have to build up support for myself before I can leave, or ask him to. This will take time. I am struggling so much with the guilt and shame of what it will do to him and our daughter when I tell him it’s over. No one will truly understand because he is such a NICE GUY. But they don’t have to f*ing live with him! So thank you for your post, every word resonates and I think you are so brave.

        • Shelly on November 27, 2016 at 11:55 am

          I’m going through the very same thing. Thank you thank you for these comments

        • Ashsav on March 16, 2017 at 1:39 am

          I’m going through the same thing. We have been married not even 2 years, and have a 10 month old daughter. I feel SO guilty.. but I just do not want to be in this marriage anymore. I’m 30 years old, and my mother passed away from cervical cancer when she was 29 (I was 8). I refuse to live my life any other way but in my truth. And if I stay married I will be living a lie. Thank you for this post.

          • azeppelin on March 17, 2017 at 5:59 pm

            That’s very strong of you, and I love the honesty with yourself and others. Best of luck to you

          • Annne on June 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

            I am in the exact same boat. Almost 30, been married under two years and I want OUT. I can’t bring myself to say it because he is a nice guy, loves me and has done nothing wrong but…… we are just more like friends and i just dont want to be married anymore.

            How have things turned out since your post?

            • Kim on October 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm

              I left my husband after 27 years. He is a nice guy, good job, good father and there was nothing really wrong with our marriage other than I just didn’t love him. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. Its now been 3 years and I still feel the guilt everyday. It just never stops. I have come to believe that I will never have another day in my life when I won’t feel bad for what I did. Honestly my advice is to just stay. The guilt will never leave so just stay and try to find another perspective on the relationship. What is the point of leaving if happiness just cannot be found. I know some of you would think I am crazy for thinking like this but I am so tired of the guilt for causing others pain.



            • Mase on October 13, 2018 at 6:32 am

              Hi Anne

              I’m in the same boat. How are things with you two now?



        • Wendy on May 23, 2017 at 10:13 am

          I have never wrote on anything like this but I am going through the same thing and have no one to talk to. I feel like I am going crazy. I’ve been with my husband for 19 years and have never felt I was in love with him. He is a great guy that my family loves and he loves me in a way that no one else ever has but I don’t feel the same way about him. Did you get the courage to leave?

          • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 12:32 pm

            Yes I left. After 19 years. Just 1 month ago and I love being in my own place. I knew in year 2 that I was in the wrong marriage and wanted to leave ever since. I tried over the years, I really did. But I continued to live this lie for 19 years. Now, I finally get to live my truth. And the guilt is something you need to work on in order for it to go away. It may not ever go away completely, but it can be reduced so that your life and your decisions are not dictated by it. Guilt is not a reason to stay with someone. Follow your heart you only get one life!

            • Yasmin Sultan. on March 5, 2018 at 10:52 pm

              Hi Tracy..it’s amazing how u left after so many years. I am leaving my hisband too after 17 years and I have so much guilt



          • Melody on February 5, 2018 at 11:13 pm

            Wendy do you still feel that way im wanting to leave to i got some reasons but outside world dont have to live with our husbands like somebody responded

          • Melody on February 5, 2018 at 11:14 pm

            Did you leave wendy

      • Raven on June 25, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        I’m 28 years old, Ive always had extreme behaviour bipolar to say the least
        I’m so extreme that when I chose something I go all the way,
        I’m on fire and most of the time In a bad way
        Long story short I became Jewish orthodox (very religious)over night (the night I went on a date with my husband)
        I married him because he is so frickin stable logically that’s what I NEEDED
        7 years and 4 kids later, we moved from U.K. To israel and back to uk a year ago with 4 kids because I decided I hate Israel, we suffered so much there financially while he worked for £4/hr but I forced him to study every night and now he is an incredible web developer (but hasnt ye the horn a job)
        He is frickin amazing and loves me like no one else ever will
        He is the best father in the world anabolic best husband- I have never worked a washing machine since I met him! I’m his helper albeit a shitty one,
        Im trully the most fucked on wife and I’m a good mother but then I could have days that I don’t wana know the world and go into hiding,
        It’s not a secret that they go to him when they want something
        I stopped being religious about a year ago,
        I put him on a high pedestal it’s an obsessive problem I have cos truthfully he is a grumpy old man and we fight so much I can’t take the pressure of being narried, when he Is out im a different person and a much better mother and I DO things and not relying on him

        Anyway like I said I’m extremely messed up I told him 5 months ago I want a divorce and that I’m Gona cheat on him otherwise
        (I haven’t been able to sleep with him since we got married- I went to countless therapy thinking it was an problems wirh me caused by my step dad sexually abusing me for 10years)
        And since comings back to uk I found out i don’t have a problem and I go to gym every day
        I’m soooo much hotter than him and maybe that’s is a reason i want that’s fiery passion with a guy I’m actually attracted to
        Weve been talking And preparing divorcing for 5mobths
        Now im having an affair under his nose
        I hate myself so much
        I started cutting my arm again
        Shame guilt x million
        My family Are all supporting me but are on his team .they all liked him so much it’s breaking them
        He is accepting it but going through hell
        HELP

        • Raven on June 25, 2017 at 1:39 pm

          Please don’t tell me how selfish and evil I am
          Just things I already know
          As I’m writing I’m preparing to meet with This other guy that he fully knows about
          I want to disappear sometimes
          But I just can’t escape myself

      • Src91790 on August 10, 2017 at 5:51 am

        This is such a narcissist article about this author. Worst of all, You’re attitude and lack of empathy speak volumes of your ignorance. If you’re not happy, just leave but don’t go around trying to convince yourself and tge readers that you’re a “victim of suppression”! Marriage is HARD and it’s about giving and receiving. But, I’m sure you’ll fire back with some ignorant response. At the end of the day you have given your husband the gift of goodbye. You, on the other hand, will experience nothing like what he gave you; unconditional love. Sure, you’ll date around and have men satisfying your “needs”. But in the end, you’ll only regret your decision. Trust me, I’ve dated so MANY women in your shoes and I see them trying to convince me of “how much better life is”. Bull crap! Men will only use you for sex. I’m sure you’re ok with this; however, good luck finding unconditional love. Enjoy life.

        • L on June 21, 2018 at 9:04 am

          Wow. I am so sorry you have had some bad experiences but your comments only demonstrate immaturity and lack of empathy you accuse the author of. While it is sad, sometimes people stay together longer than they should becaus they recognise the good in their partner and don’t want to hurt them. However wanting to love someone becaus they are awesome and really loving them are different feelings and a relationship is better when you can admit the difference….and sometimes feelings change over time as people grow, age, and change. In the long run it s best to be honest…even n the face of the immature and uninformed.

        • Kim on July 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm

          Good and right these people use people and then dump them

      • PortaJoh on August 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        Be careful what you wish for. One day you’ll be old, with stretchy skin, and no man will want you cause you obviously have a terrible personality an nothing else to offer. You’ll be alone, sad and miserable

        • L on June 21, 2018 at 9:09 am

          Bitter much?? You need to develop some empathy. Everything written here suggested a lovely but torn personality. You are lucky if your life is such you can see it all so clearly in black and white.

      • Alli on December 1, 2018 at 11:40 pm

        Emma, you are a narcissist, you are a disgrace to women, you destroyed your family and caused people pain because you are selfish. You had everything you ever needed, but it’s not enough for you because you are a rotten, pathetic, self indulgent human being . You don’t deserve to have children, you don’t deserve happiness, you never deserved your husband, and you are just a lost soul who will die alone. You hurt the most important people in your life, and you hurt your own children all because you are a selfish slut. Nothing will EVER be good enough for you, because you are way too in love with yourself to understand how to love someone else. You are despicable, disgusting, worthless pile of garbage, and hopefully your kids never speak to you again, because you absolutely don’t deserve a second of their love.

    • Anon on January 8, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I’ve seen how screwed up kids turn out when their parents stay together “for the kids.” If you as a parent cannot model a healthy and happy relationship with your spouse, then you NEED to divorce. Preferably, you need to divorce before the relationship becomes so poisoned your divorce process becomes toxic and spills over into a bad co-parenting relationship with your kids.

      Trust me on this. Had my in-laws split up, my own marriage would not be in deep, deep trouble. They stayed together and it absolutely wrecked their sons, both of whom are on their second marriages.

      • SC on October 27, 2016 at 2:25 am

        Thank you for posting this! I just told my husband I wanted a divorce and so much of it is because his parents are so dysfunctional that he does not have the tools to be in a marriage, and he refused to get help with me for years. The guilt is overwhelming though, because I so badly do not want to abandon him. But I can’t wait around and keep on accepting bad behavior and a bad marriage. ESPECIALLY when kids are involved.

        • Emma on October 28, 2016 at 11:27 am

          It is hard, and you are brave and strong for taking the next step.

        • Nicole on January 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm

          I’ve been the provider fir my family for 22 of the 24&1/2 years we’ve been together. 24years of unfulfilled promises yo get a real job and help out. But yet he’s enjoyed everything’s because I was married to a good man who loves me. Waits on me hand and foot. I am also married to a man who doesn’t make love to me once a month is the norm. He cannot provide for me. And now with our youngest of six being 14 I am counting down the days til I am free. Or so I thought. I am actually looking at boarding school and freeing myself because I’d rather be alone than ignored and neglected in my own home. Enough is enough.

          • Rusty on November 23, 2017 at 2:31 am

            I think the majority of the women who are agreeing with the author of this article are suffering form clinical depression or are bi-polar. What they need is a psychiatrist and maybe an SSRI medication, not a divorce.

            This post alone, it either makes no sense because of how it contradicts itself several times in about 10 sentences and is barely comprehensible. Or the person is so bipolar they were changing their mind between sentences as to if their husband was good or not.

            I’m not really sure, by going to guess it’s just really poor writing skills that are the problem.

            • Emily Kelm on March 22, 2018 at 3:44 pm

              Says a man.



    • Stephanie on January 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      I am MUCH happier after my divorce (not yet finalized). My ex left me. I was just content to allow him to “online cheat” many times and keep forgiving him. I didn’t want a divorce, I thought we could make it work, basically I thought I could change him. He was a liar, lazy, cheated and had trouble keeping a job. He withheld sex from me (find out later he is a-sexual). Even his family doesn’t like him. We tried counselling, it didn’t help because he said “why am I always to blame?”… well it was mostly his issues we were trying to work on but he was in denial and defensive. He couldn’t “man up” to anything.

      A few years later, I am still single, but I know who I am. My son sees him regularly, but he knows his dad lies sometimes. My ex is engaged, even thought we are not yet divorced. I can see a pattern with him and I see that he did me a favour by leaving.

      Many people have told me that I can find better than him, and I know I can. I am not in a hurry.

      Nope, I do not regret our divorce. I deserve much better.

      • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

        Good for you, sounds like you are on a great path, Stephanie!

      • Kay on January 10, 2016 at 6:09 pm

        I am going through a divorce with two young boys. One being under 1. I discovered my husband was seeing prostitutes on top of our relationship just not being a healthy one. I stayed with him for a year following the discovery and wanted to see if things would change or if he’d try harder. He didnt. He wanted me to just act as though I didn’t find out anything and also blamed me. Even with this, I am going through the regret phase where I am questioning my decision to divorce. I know I deserve better but it is that fear of the unknown ripple effect. My soon to be ex keeps asking me am I sure as if I am making a bad decision and he’s the victim. I don’t know, I’m not at the “fuck you, I deserve better “. I have my moments when I’m reminded but it is a struggle.

    • David on October 4, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Agreed! Too much of this happening for no good reason.

      • David on October 4, 2016 at 12:47 am

        Agreed, Too much of this happening for no good reason. No wonder men go MGTOW.

    • Amanda on December 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Kate what is truly selfish is showing your kids that one needs to make sacrifices for his or her happiness. Is that the kind of role model you want to be for them? Yes marriage is work and a commitment to the other person but these are all just rules society has made up. The true relationship is with yourself and being honest about how you feel. Sometimes people grow apart or go different directions in life and the marriage expires. There is no medal of honor working through something that your heart doesn’t want. True strength comes from being honest with yourself and your needs.

      • Emmy on March 1, 2017 at 4:47 pm

        Amanda – this was the most helpful comment I read… THANK YOU! I needed to see that.

      • PortaJoh on August 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        You’re right solo right Amanda. Hitler is the perfect example to your analogy. He was so honest with himself and his hatred towards Jews that he just had to murder millions of innocent people. Could you have imagined if he would’ve been a little selfless and thought, “hey maybe that’s a little extreme?” NO Way! We should just act on whatever we are feeling, be true to ourselves. And live life to the fullest!!!

      • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        100%

      • Anonomous on November 24, 2017 at 5:34 pm

        I’ve been married 29 years. I have screwed up many times and I think my husband walks on water. I got married at 16 and I do feel like we were perfect for each other. We have changed and to be honest me much more than him and not for the better. He has been the glue that has kept me together and I love him but question am I in love. I would have left me a long time ago. I feel like it’s over but I’ve never been on my own and I petrified. I will never know unconditional love like I know with this man but I am being so unfair to him. I told him this morning he deserved to be happy.. I just need to find the strength to move on even though it will kill me and him both.

      • Stacey on January 17, 2018 at 2:11 am

        Idiotic thought…….. Many people have followed your way and ended up suffering in volatile life and a life without security………. Most of them regret and are miserable………….. Women’s reason of divorcing good husbands are pathetic……….. They don’t know the harsh reality of life……… But karma always teaches these people……… I have seen that….. Instead of opening up to your husband you vouch for divorce……… It’s not bravery but weakness…… I am a woman too but i know how to keep communication open despite our fights and incompatibility because we have each others back every time we face crisis……….. If you have evolved more than your husband, you need to inspire him not leave him……….

        • Chrysalis1222 on August 15, 2018 at 8:46 pm

          The shaming of women for trusting their intuition is age old. We are taught to continually betray our knowing in order to manage other people’s impressions and live an illusion of safety.

          This is not meeting the demand’s of Love. Love sometimes says “no, I will not trade freedom in exchange for a need to conform to society’s expectations.” I won’t hinder another’s growth because I’m afraid to hurt their feelings.

          Pain is the fertilizer for growth. My parents divorced after 20 years and yes, it was hard, but i deeply admire the fact that they did. My mother showed me an example about how to live out truth, bravery and healing, while letting my dad move on.

          She found the love of her life a few years later and they had a wonderful marriage of 30 years until he passed away. I grieve the idea of her never meeting my stepdad. They were best friends in a way she could never be with my dad. My dad wasn’t “mean.” He just wasn’t able to connect.

          Just because you can’t be with someone doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It also doesn’t mean that a beautiful new life isn’t possible.
          We have this notion that kids desperately want to see their parents stay married. In reality, kids want their parents to thrive and to show them that sometimes it takes a brave person to stay as well as to go.

          Sometimes saying “no more” is the most loving thing you can do. Occasionally the other spouse and even the kids deep down feel a sense of relief! They knew it was a stale, forced arrangement held together by fear and obligation.

          Everyone is selfish to a degree. It is called being human. Let’s be honest however… some of the people that stay are only doing so because they want to look good.
          They don’t want people to look at them poorly, so they hide their truth and abandon themselves in order to feel accepted. You live to manage impressions. You stay married as a coping mechanism to feel safe while you are living a lie.
          Lies eventually make you sick. Physically, emotionally and mentally.

          How is living in a dissonant state more noble than living a commitment to honesty? How are you honoring another person if the only way you can stay with them is to live in a manufactured reality? Do you really think others don’t feel something is incongruent?

          Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is setting them free.
          Sometimes plants need to be transplanted to a new container in order to grow healthier roots and thrive. This new container is not “pie and the sky” notion that life will be easier single. Life has it’s beauty and brutality whether you are married or otherwise.
          Staying with someone in contractual obligation does not guard you from pain. Nor does leaving. Pain is pain. It teaches us what we need to learn in order for us to grow. Pain no respecter of persons. We all have growth potential. Pain will meet us to do it’s work.

          Staying for the kids does not always serve them.

          I can’t tell you how many people I know stayed together out of fear. Maybe some religions think that is noble, but as children and grandkids, we don’t.

          We feel your sadness and tension. Your unresolved issues scream at us without a word spoken. The staleness in your interactions cuts like a knife. We know you tried. You thought staying and settling would be best. At the very least playing the part wouldn’t be so messy or hurt us, right?

          Guess what…we feel it. We know you aren’t the least bit connected beyond raising us and deep down we wonder why you are showing us that this it’s okay to be miserable as long as you are married?

          We wish you would show us that Love is sometimes a cold and broken hallelujah. It is being bold and brave enough to admit when something is no longer working.
          Love is not pretending for the kids.

          We live to try to avoid the mess and don’t even realize what pain and needless suffering that denial creates.

          Ladies, I’m so sorry that people assume if you are leaving a nice guy that you haven’t tried to make it work. Sometimes you exhaust all options. Every woman I know that went through a divorce worked like hell to make it work.

          Let’s also not pretend that “nice guys” can still have very cleverly disguised issues or even an inability to connect! They may check the boxes and do the “good” thing, but that doesn’t mean they are able to intimately connect or be emotionally safe.

          Trust that gut sense you have. Love and Life are to be lived by the bones. You don’t have to die on the mountain trying to prove that you are a good person. Work on what you need to work on so that when and if you need to move on, you know you did everything you could.

          The very nature of our existence is Life/Death/Life cycles. Sometimes this includes our relationships with people.
          If it crumbles to ashes, it eventually becomes fertilizer.
          New life springs from a mess. Birth is a perfect example. : )

          Follow what brings you closer to a clear view of your own soul and clarity of how others impact you, while honoring the cycles and seasons of relationships.

          Push beyond your desire to feel safe.

          What scares you away from wanting what you want? Judgement? Fear?
          Maybe that means staying and giving it more time because you aren’t ready to live out what your deeper knowing is speaking.
          Eventually the pain of staying the same will become too much. You’ll find a new way eventually.

          Perhaps you are being invited to a solo quest now and you are trembling as you face the uncertainty that comes with honesty at all cost. You are at the cusp of a powerful rite of passage.

          It could be that you give it another go and somehow the shifts occur in your relationship dynamic that create a more sustainable intimacy.
          Staying finally feels life- giving rather soul- crushing.

          All options possess beauty and mess. Each choice has it’s own initiation of soul. To say we know what is right for the other is to think we somehow have God-like perception into another’s reality.

          There is beauty in the “not so beautiful” if you look for it and trust it.
          We feed the deep intuitive part of our soul by heeding it’s advice and acting upon it. It is less important what any of us say about what you should and should not do.

          There is no greater gift you can give to your kids than modeling the veracity of trusting intuition and how to nourish it.
          Trusting your own GPS sharpens your ability to move confidently into the world as the most unpolluted version of yourself.

          You are at a turn in your life. “Should I stay or should I go? Should I resist or be flexible? Should I go this way or that way? Is this relationship true or false?

          Your gut knows. Your dreams speak what your mind won’t hear.

          A lifeless life and marriage encourages the neglect of intuition. Eventually there is little light in the soul left to see anything.

          Stay awake. You are not reduced to one choice.
          No need to censor your thoughts or feelings.
          “Not” saying, doing or being will kill any creative life that remains.
          Give atleast one person your “real.”

          The answers will eventually find you. <3

          • Miranda on August 28, 2018 at 1:46 pm

            Thank you so much for this comment. I am in this situation of ending a marriage with a “nice guy” who in so many ways has been an ideal husband – loving, dependable, accepting of my quirks, an amazing father, easy to compromise with, and doing his share of household duties without complaint. However.. even from the early days we were missing a certain spark of passion and intimacy. He was never very good at expressing emotions or being able to deal with big feelings, be they mine or his. In so much of our communication, it felt like we were speaking completely different languages. Conversations about relationship issues or feelings or sex or intimacy were always initiated by me, always difficult, and he had a hard time being empathetic for me in the way I needed from an intimate partner. And having fairly routine sex an average of once a month or less was not enough for me… I suggested potentially opening up our marriage to help deal with this and this was like dropping a bomb into our marriage for he is 100% monogamous and always will be. He refused to go to counseling to address any of these issues, and eventually, we decided the best course of action was to split up.

            Since that conversation, I ended up getting together with a friend I had always had an intuition about and felt drawn to, like we were meant to be in each other’s lives in some way. Of course, I struggled with this while I was (mostly) happily married, but the feeling was so strong I couldn’t ignore it. So when it was clear the marriage was over, I let myself open to the potential of a romantic relationship between us. And, wow, was that intuition correct! My new man is the most amazing communicator I have ever met – he is completely open about how he feels about me and an amazing listener. We have an incredibly passionate, emotionally close physical chemistry, and we can talk about anything and everything without holding back. The only thing holding me back now from fully embracing this new amazing love in my life is the guilt of ending a “good enough” marriage and feeling selfish for leaving my husband.
            You wrote:

            Let’s also not pretend that “nice guys” can still have very cleverly disguised issues or even an inability to connect! They may check the boxes and do the “good” thing, but that doesn’t mean they are able to intimately connect or be emotionally safe.

            Trusting your own GPS sharpens your ability to move confidently into the world as the most unpolluted version of yourself.

            Your gut knows. Your dreams speak what your mind won’t hear.

            These lines in your comment really, really spoke to me and are helping me let go of that guilt and feeling that I don’t deserve the amazing new person who has come into my life and who loves me more passionately and completely than anyone ever has.

          • Eman Arnout on September 30, 2018 at 11:37 am

            Thank you very much for your wise words
            It comes from heart and goes to heart

      • Melody on February 5, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        Amanda dead on i mean why keep living a lie i feel its even worse to sit in and live a whole lie and go on with it when it kills you. to lie you may feel hurt and guilty but forgiveness is here to have for yourself too

    • Kimberly Brown on February 14, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      I disagree. You did what was best for you! You are NOT a bad person. I am in the same position and I am happier knowing that my divorce will be final in April. You go girl!

    • azeppelin on March 17, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      LOL She didn’t say she was bored. There is a difference between losing hope of having a close connection (intimate and not) with the person you are married to VS being bored. I am still not 100% on the leaving regardless of what the kid’s lives have become BUT if their mother becomes so unhappy living in a deteriorating marriage then I think it’s better to be seperate so the adults can be healthier for the kids. It is NOT healthy to keep working at something that will inevitably fail, and you don’t know if she had tried to make it work their whole relationship without him really trying to change, let alone it can be selfish to want to change what’s just personality. Neither party should have to do that. If you get married and as life happens yo change or discover things about each other you had not known, when a relationship was already not great then it can divide even two good people who just aren’t relatable enough to one another. Take your ignorant judgement somewhere else.

    • Emma on January 11, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      If you’re not happy in your life you aren’t going to be the best you can be for your kids. Do you exoect one spouse to suffer through their whole life for the sake of their kids? Marriage shouldnt be like that.

      • Melody on February 5, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        Emma dead on im mean marriage is about helping each other grow and growing together not about suffering through because you got married and feel stuck .that is not a marriage at all if your in it for kids then it already failed because thats not what its all about

    • Strong Women on February 8, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Honor your life…. I would never want my children to think you have to stay somewhere that you are not fulfilled. When you become a better you, you are better for your children.

  2. Johanna on January 8, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Nope! Glad I divorced mine. We were young when we married but loved each other so much. I just knew in my heart I that lifestyle we lived wasn’t something I wanted or needed in my life. Marriage was never my goal. My goal was making money and creating a business for myself. He wanted me to be a traditional housewife. When we met, I had a career. I have no desire to ever be a housewife nor stay at home mom like his mother was all his life. Nothing wrong with a housewife, thats just not for me. Not everyone is cut out for it just like marriage isn’t for everyone.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Awesome -but did you ever go through a period of guilt? Regret or questioning your decision?

  3. Janeen on January 8, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Yes, I have a little different situation but the same guilty feelings are there.
    My ex and I were not together very long before getting pregnant and he and I haven’t been a couple since my son being born (5yrs old).
    Lately with working overtime everyday him at 2 jobs, my son back and forth to whomever is available is driving me crazy and exhausting and I feel so bad for my son.
    His dad is so great with him, so patient, so involved in his school.
    I feel like I’m making things so difficult by us in separate households. Then I drop off my son and have a conversation and remember all the reasons why I can not stand living with him!

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 11:19 am

      I wonder … do you think that annoyance will subside in years to come? Do you worry you may look back and think you were petty or hasty? I’m not at all suggesting you were, just want to know what YOU think :)

  4. JMK on January 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

    My ex-husband and I grew up together. We have known each other since we were four years old. Our parents socialized together for years and years. Our families spent holidays together……ok you get the idea, except that I couldn’t stand him growing up. Fast forward to when we started dating which was immediately after college. I didn’t realize it at the time but I felt trapped, so when he proposed 4 months after dating, I rationalized and romanticized it by saying that we didn’t have those requisite “getting to know you” years. It was supposed to be this beautiful fairy tale. What I didn’t do, was listen to that voice that said that this wasn’t right, from the very beginning. Then, you blink, and 20 years have passed by. You’ve adapted. You’ve raised kids. You’ve built a home together. What you haven’t done, what I didn’t do, was recognize that something was missing and how unhappy I really was. I needed more. Wanted more from my marriage and from what this really nice, great guy, could give me.

    So, no, I NEVER feel guilty about divorcing a great guy. And he is a really nice, great guy. For someone else.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Wow, really relatable story for so many women. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kimberly Brown on February 14, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      My husband too! Geez I love this column.

    • Anne on April 2, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing. I have been married for 27 years, my children are 25, 23 and 20 and yet I still feel so guilty for saying just yesterday that I want to leave.

      He is a good guy to so many. My daughter, who has never gotten along with him now says she is heartbroken for him and suddenly wants to stay with him.

      I tried so hard to stay because of the children. I want to be vulnerable with someone in a relationship and because of how is when I have been that way I just can’t with him anymore.

      The guilt I feel is overwhelming. Thank you, this post and your reply helped.

  5. Amanda on January 8, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for publishing this!!

    In 2011 I started feeling like something was missing from my marriage (passion, respect, attention). My ex worked so much that I became accustomed to taking care of our daughter, our home and our pets by myself. I worked full time as well. My frustration eventually turned into resentment which then lead to a few bad decisions for my exit strategy. My ex was surprised by my unhappiness.
    I moved out and took our then 3 year old daughter with me. He had agreed to this and we set up a schedule for visitation.
    I hurt a lot of people with my decision to “break up” with my husband. It took me a few years to manage the guilt that I felt.
    I left a “good guy” for the unknown. He’s slowly becoming less bitter towards me. We have the most wonderful 7 year old girl that is incredibly understanding and well adjusted.

    Mostly, it takes a lot of courage to make a move like this. I felt selfish and empowered at the same time.

    If anyone is going through something similar right now, please realize that you’re not alone.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Thank you for sharing. I agree — takes A LOT of courage.

      A lot of people might read this and say: “Why didn’t you tell him you were unhappy? Did you try to work on it with him– alone or together? Therapy?”

      Just curious what you tell people who no doubt ask.

      • Amanda on January 8, 2016 at 11:43 am

        I told him that we needed to spend more time together as a couple and as a family. I told him that I needed not just more sex but more intimacy as well. Nothing that I tried ended in our satisfaction. When I told him I wasn’t happy we did try counseling that ended up not being successful.

        • Diana on January 8, 2016 at 3:04 pm

          Intimacy is so important! It’s definitely not just sex! Great answer! And good for you for telling him.

          • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:06 am

            yes!

      • Kimberly Brown on February 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

        We went to counseling 3 years earlier. I couldnt do anymore counseling, nor did I want to. I figure that I no longer wanted to be married and I didnt want to be convinced to stay just because he wanted me to stay. I do go to counseling for me to work through the guilt and I told him to do the same. He says, Ive broken him and he cries everyday. That really hurt and all I could say was Im sorry.

        • Emma on February 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

          That is tough but honestly -he is responsible for his own happiness and sounds a little manipulative. Hopefully he is just going through the grieving process and will move on.

    • Mindy on October 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Thank you, I really needed to hear this today.

    • MT on December 16, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! I am going through this right now.. Its so hard because he does not want to let go or grasp the fact that, although he is a great father and friend, i want to end it. I have a 4 year old and he will be devastated.. It is so hard to choose yourself. he was not perfect and neither was i but i always gave all of myself .. i loved whole heartedly and had to keep pulling him back to us. he would ignore and here in the end did something that i found very hurtful and disrespectful. I finally decided.. i deserve the love i give. If i can give you 100 % of the love i have … raise our child.. push you to do better .. support ANY idea you have .. listen when you need to speak.. then you know.. i deserve the same. It came to a surprise to him, that we were falling apart… he has since started doing ALL of the things i wish she would have done years ago.. throughout our relationship. He does not understand why i want out. Why i will not try “one more time” I have been trying for years.. and it just got old. I shouldn’t have to tell you how to love me.. i shouldn’t have to tell you hey.. remember us?? its to the point where i love him as a friend and father to our boy. The guilt KILLS ME.. its on my mind ALWAYS and i dread that i am making a mistake. I feel guilt for “breaking up” our family and am trying to live with him so the change is not so bad for our son. This is proving difficult since he refuses to let go. im so glad i came across this article. I don’t feel alone.. ughgh i just want to be happy .. i want EVERYONE to survive this.. especially our son. it seems like FOREVER away. Thanks again.

      • luna on February 7, 2017 at 10:48 am

        IT’s like I wrote this. Thank you for sharing. I feel sooo guilty. After 8 years of marriage where it’s been turbulent from the beginning and me telling him for years that I wasn’t happy, he now is like, “where is this coming from?” And now-NOW- he wants to make it work. It makes me feel guilty and RESENTFUL. Really, now, buddy? I wish the righteous rage could quell the guilt but it doesn’t. I don’t know what to do.

        • Emma on February 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

          This seems to be really common – women expressing their discontent for years, and only when they file for divorce the guys start to take them seriously. What do you make of it?

        • Kimberly Brown on February 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm

          I too have been married 8 years. Jan 2, 2017, I asked for a divorce. Hardest thing Ive ever done. He doesnt want it. The guilt had me bound and still does but therapy is helping and when he moved out this past weekend. I actually had a deep sigh of relief! Its hard, I definitely know but with time, it gets easier. Choose you!

          • Emma on February 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

            That is so hard. Good for you, stay strong!

    • Ashsav on March 16, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Thank you for this. I told my husband tonight that I just do not want to be in this marriage anymore. I originally told him on valentines day ( I sound awful right?) after he came home complaining about work for the 6th straight month. I want to be free and not in this marriage anymore, but he is such a nice guy and we have a 10 month old daughter. That part really kills me, but I refuse to be an unhappy mommy in a relationship that I just don’t want to be in. Also.. I am just not sexually attracted to him. There is no real reason why.. I’m just not and am sick of forcing it. I told him from day I saw him as a friend, but he just kept pursuing and I guess I just “gave in”. Thank you again for sharing!

    • Anon on October 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      Courage or selfishness? You are causing pain to others not yourself. It is your decision. Whenever I read about “courage” of the leaver I want to barf. You are hurting your kids and your husband in the process. Where is the courage in doing that?

      • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 12:55 pm

        hmmm… what does staying in an unhappy marriage teach your children? Staying is easy. Leaving is hard. Once of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. Staying would have been continuing to live a lie. If my children are ever in an unhappy marriage (hopefully we haven’t already done too much damage in raising them in one already) than I would advise them to leave it if both partners were not willing to work it out. By leaving my marriage, I have shown them that they have choices and I have shown them strength in executing them. I hope to teach them next how to we are all responsible for our own happiness.

    • Anne on April 2, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      Thank you x

  6. Martha on January 8, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Thanks for sharing this story! As a divorce coach who works with clients who struggle with the guilt of leaving a marriage that checked off all the boxes of what a “perfect” marriage was, this story hits home.

    Here’s the thing—a marriage requires that both partners are happy and healthy as individuals…then, and only then, can their marriage–and the unit–be happy and healthy and productive. And when one partner can no longer be healthy and happy in that relationship, it doesn’t seem fair to anyone–to the spouse, to the children, and to the person who needs to leave–to stay in that marriage.

    At that point, then everybody is living a lie. And that’s setting an example to the children that it’s okay to not be happy and to not speak your truth, and to live an un-authentic, fake life. Some people may call that selfish, but at the end of the day, to me that seems like being courageous and honest and self-aware.

    And if you did divorce a nice guy, that’s great–because then your ability to co-parent and work together in that matter is so much easier than there being custody issues.

    Nobody’s saying that choice of leaving, but more often than not, the right choices are never the easy ones. Best of luck to you!

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Well said, thanks for chiming in!

    • Wendy on January 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Well said……after 26yrs, 3 children college age, moving several times and being married to a man devoted to his job, it was over. I needed someone to have a relationship with me. My marriage was a commitment. I believed in the vows. Believed it should be a partnership for life. But in the long run, I was alone in a marriage and needed to make myself a priority. It had become mundane, no affection, no friendship just ships passing in the night. I would lay in bed at night and sob and he would just go to sleep. He was so detatached and unpretentious to our children. They had moved on and just accepted dad was at work or to tired to be present for them.
      Two years later, after the divorce, the cloud has lifted. I’m almost 60yrs old now. My children are happy and moving on with there lives. They have accepted that relationships don’t always work and sometimes you have to move on. I can say I am happy! Yes, it’s hard to be alone, to loose friends because their uncomfortable with me being single. Hard to not have the income I did and to be independent, but I’m a better person for that.
      I know what I want. I know what I need. I know what I’m looking for in life and my future relationships. Yes, I’m judged because of my decision. But it was my decision. My ex was a good provider, he tried to be a good dad. He just wasn’t a good partner. I wish him well and hope he finds happiness. I am strong and I will be good. I am on my path………

      • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:01 am

        So wise and wonderful. Thank you, Wendy. xxxx

      • Anne on April 2, 2018 at 10:49 pm

        Thank you so much Wendy x

    • Ashsav on March 16, 2017 at 1:48 am

      Wow I’m saving this. Thank you!!

    • June on May 23, 2017 at 5:48 am

      That makes great sense, thank you, (single wealthy dad)

    • Anne on April 2, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      Thank you so much x

  7. Bobbi-Jo Romanishan on January 8, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Courage and Faith! I could have written most of the letter above. Yes, I was married to a “good man” – an overall nice guy, good provider, great father and handsome to boot. And I was unhappy and felt caged. There was so much more I wanted to do/experience in my life and I knew I couldn’t do in my marriage.

    I found my courage in my sons future who were 8 and 5 at the time. I recognized that if I didn’t have the courage to be true to myself and take the risk to live my full potential despite what others may think/say, then how could I possibly be a role model to my sons for them to achieve everything they are possible of if I played it safe and let my fears rule me.

    Fast forward 3 years… Ex is happily remarried, our sons are thriving and I am happier than ever and my life is moving forward positively. Fortunately, the Ex and I are true co-parents and share equal custody, time and expenses for the boys.

    A good divorce is possible.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      i love me a good divorce story! Thank you for sharing Bobby-Jo.

  8. Melissa on January 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    It’s different, but my ex-husband isn’t the one I feel guilty about leaving. I keep having pangs of guilt related to leaving my last boyfriend. We’d been together for over two years and friends for a while before that. My kids love him and he loves them, but it was to the point where I was constantly questioning if he was with me to be with me or because he cared about my kids and didn’t want to hurt them. We would go WEEKS without sex and he lives less than five minutes from my house. He would show up for other things, like Christmas and shopping, we would go out to eat, but I felt like he wasn’t attracted to me anymore.

    He keeps texting and emailing me to say he still loves me and will always be around, but I just don’t feel happy with the relationship we were in, and he doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      True – that guilt can be attached to ANY relationship you chose to end.

  9. Allison on January 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I have to say that I am kind of shocked and a little jealous of all you women who were once married to good men. It is so hard out here trying to find a decent man to go out with, much less start a serious relationship with. My child’s father and I were engaged for a year, but he left us before my daughter was born. I can’t imagine being married to what this woman described as a great guy, having a wonderful father and role model for my child, but ultimately leaving him because the men at work make me hot and horny. I guess the reason I am still single 10 years later is that my daughter comes first in everything I do. I can’t imagine putting a sexual fantasy before the needs of my child.

    • Melissa on January 8, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Unfortunately, when some of us are unhappy sexually, it comes out in other ways. We end up short-tempered with our kids and resentful of our husbands/boyfriends who may be willing to take care of and be great towards the kids, but they aren’t willing/able to meet our needs. Kids are almost always better off with two happy parents than with one miserable, resentful parent and one who’s blissfully unaware or who’s happy despite the other parent’s feelings.

      • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm

        Thank you for saying that. Perfect.

      • Tom on October 24, 2017 at 7:39 am

        Read through all these comments and imagine a men’s forum having the same discussion. “You know if I don’t feel sexually excited by her anymore it’s most important that I be true to myself”. “I was always attracted to young women after all and she just doesn’t do it for me anymore” The guy would be looked at like the selfish jerk he is.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      “I can’t imagine putting a sexual fantasy before the needs of my child.”

      No one is saying that.

      I worry your idolization of your child has prevented you from attracting a quality man.

      • brandon on September 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm

        says the woman who is divorced…

    • Bob on April 30, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Allison ,I want to commend you on being what a real woman and mother is and probably the only reply here that makes sense to me.It seems all these women seem to only care about themselves and what they want at the moment. Truth be told most off them are not happy with themselves and blame their partners for not being happy.Most will end up being alone and wonder why there is no good men out there when they get older

  10. Kara on January 8, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Great post!

    My ex is a wonderful guy, but a little bit too Peter Pan-ish.

    He is still one of my best friends, yet it is a HUGE relief to be able to walk away from his drama and not be tied up in it.

    My sincerest hope is that he finds a woman who truly appreciates all that he has to offer in a way that I wasn’t able to.

    • Emma on January 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      That is a lovely wish (I feel the same for mine)

    • brandon on September 27, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      … because you never really appreciated him in the first place.

  11. Erika on January 8, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    This post is exactly what I needed as a mother of two who is in the process of divorcing a “nice” guy. Despite marriage counseling over the years, we grew steadily in different directions and are no longer remotely compatible. I even tried ignoring the problem for two solid years, hoping it would go away. It didn’t. My guilt over deciding to end it and the subsequent effect on our kids is overwhelming at times. However, a dead marriage shouldn’t be a life sentence just because the other party is a decent person. I’m a decent person, too! I also know from childhood experience that it doesn’t do kids any good to see their mom (or dad) stay in a miserable relationship. Thank you for the reassurance that there is life and happiness on the other side.

    • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Erika! And yes– you are a decent person, too! Love that!

    • Mandy on December 13, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Your reply resonated deeply! A dead marriage SHOULDN’T be a life sentence.

  12. Diana on January 8, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    If I had a relationship like this where there was nothing really wrong with him at all, I would do everything in my power to make it work. Obviously, if we still couldn’t get it together, I’d still go through with a divorce. It might be better to part as friends than to build hate between each other. I would let him know what needs weren’t being met and talk about it.

    I didn’t marry my children’s father so there was no divorce but it was a horrible, god awful, terrible, dysfunctional, bad, bad, bad relationship. So if I even had something there with a nice guy, I do everything I could to make it work.

    • Diana on January 8, 2016 at 2:48 pm

      Also- I tried my damnedest to make that awful thing work

    • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Who is to say that these women didn’t do everything they could to make it work? Always easier to judge, and grass is always greener on the other side.

  13. Brandi on January 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I needed this article today! Yes I do feel guilty, but I also don’t want to be with him anymore. I wish I felt like this less and could just move on more easily. I never married my son’s father and I thank god for that everyday but we have done some bad bad things in the process of tearing each other apart and he just wants me to give in and go back to him so he can control me more. I’m so not into being controlled and need the freedom of not being with him. The guilt and mind games are not enough, but these feelings today she wrote are real feelings that could not be more true in the depths of my mind while going through a somewhat similar experience. Thank you!

    • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for chiming in, Brandi. Be strong — you know what you need to do, and best of all YOU ARE ALREADY DOING IT! Keep on keeping on. It gets easier.

  14. Peter Bowerman on January 8, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Great topic AND comments, Emma!

    While I understand the preachy crowd’s rap about it being selfish, self-indulgent, morally weak, etc., to walk away from one’s vows, in all fairness, larger cultural forces are at work. I assert that we’ve literally been rewired, arguably, neurologically, by 30-40 years of being bombarded by self-help books, programs, gurus and more, reminding us that “you deserve to be happy” (which, in the long history of marriage, has only very recently been a stated goal of the institution), along with visions of the “Ideal Partner” and the “Ideal Relationship” (which, often, bears little resemblance to reality).

    Together, these things have rocketed our expectations of a mate into the stratosphere, as well as having us forget that the grass isn’t always greener. And as a 50-something unmarried male (with a number of long-term relationships under my belt), I’m no better than your letter-writer in being able to resist those forces. Add in having the financial wherewithal to leave a marriage, and perhaps the knowledge that you’re still attractive (and as such, have “prospects”), and, in the face of a lack of desire, excitement, common interests, etc. in one’s marriage, and with our newly rewired brains, keeping one’s vows (broken by half of your fellow Americans) starts seeming increasingly pointless.

    Sad, perhaps, but I think it’s less a character weakness than a radically shifted paradigm – one that has created a new norm.

    • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Wonderfully put, Peter. Thanks for your sage words.

      • Sarah on January 12, 2016 at 1:26 am

        This is brilliantly articulated thank you. I am 10 years on from leaving a ‘good man’ and I can honestly say the grass is no greener on this side. You exchange one set of unhappiness for a different set. I suspect it is the human condition. Now instead of constantly seeking to change my circumstances in search of an elusive satisfaction I try to be be in the moment, appreciate what I have in other words the age old advice – count my blessings

        • Emma on January 12, 2016 at 7:39 am

          Well said :)

  15. Christine on January 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Emma,
    This article resonated with me. I called our marriage over from a very low point after trying to make it work for two years. Our children suffered under our tense, conflict-fueled interactions. I hadn’t slept properly in months due to the stress of indecision and deep unhappiness. My hair was falling out and I could barely eat. My daughter asked me when I was going to stop crying. I knew I needed to do something to change the situation and separation was the only way to care for myself and become the good parent my kids needed. Today, I am happily divorced and have a new normal. My own peaceful house, a happy, stable disposition, my health and a new normal. The kids are good. And their dad is in their lives in a bigger way than he was when we were married. I will admit that I miss being married. And sometimes I wonder if I didn’t call it off, what would have happened. Sometimes I feel guilty because I took these vows and thought divorce was a failure. What can I say? Things change. I think feeling guilt as a mom is pre-programmed. If I didn’t feel guilt about my divorce, I’d feel guilt about something else. It’s important to remind myself of the facts: I did the best I could at the time and can’t regret the past. Especially because I am much happier and you can bet my kids feel that. My 8YO daughter doesn’t ask me when I’m going to stop crying. In fact, she tells me that she can see I’m much happier.

  16. Harry Bosch on January 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Hey Emma, it’s been a while. I have mixed feelings about this one. Yes, life is short. I understand the urge to pull the plug on a mind-numbing dull marriage.

    Yet, I’m betting most of the women here knew what they were getting when they married Mr. Nice Guy. Perhaps there were cases where the ex was a dashing bad boy when they were dating and turned into a couch potato once married. Or maybe he made it seem like he was more ambitious than he really was. But by and large, my guess is what you saw when you dated was pretty much what you got after you married.

    I’m not denying how you feel. If he was as dull as watching paint dry, I believe you. But consciously or subconsciously, some of you pulled a bait and switch on Mr. Nice Guy. A defining training of Nice Guys is they play by the rules. And specifically, by your rules before you moved the goal post.

    Peter is correct. Decades of self-help and unrealistic expectations have had a powerful influence. The way a fair number of women talk negatively about their husbands doesn’t help either. Complaining begets more complaining.

    But, it is what it is. I sincerely wish you all the best.

    • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Great points, Harry (and great to see you again!). Bait and switch, or simply that life and people change, and what worked at age 25 when everyone was single and childless doesn’t work at 40 or 50 or 70. None of us have crystal balls about who we will be — or who our partners will be — or what we will need in the future. And as you and Peter point out, the world is changing so much, so quickly in unforeseeable ways. All relevant.

      • Harry Bosch on January 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

        I don’t disagree Emma. This still puts guys in a bind anyway, though. They can get married but run the risk of ending up divorced for vague reasons, while losing half their assets and seeing the kids every other weekend. But if they opt out of the whole getting married, having kids, and buying a big suburban house and tons of useless stuff paradigm, they’re raked over the coals as Peter Pans who won’t “man up.”

        • Emma on January 10, 2016 at 5:36 pm

          Maybe one of the many reasons young people just aren’t getting married in high numbers any more.

        • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          So men get married, have kids and buy big suburban homes to avoid getting ‘raked over the coals’? What does this even mean? If this is not what they wanted and only did it to appease others, then that is the foundation for a build up of life-time resentment. Marriage should be between two people who love each other, Enjoy each other, and want to support and do things for each other while maintaining their own individuality and supporting the other in doing so. There should be no obligation to stay together if either parties’ needs are not getting fulfilled and the other party is not interested in fulfilling them. Don’t overlook the fact that you are reading a forum where mostly women are posting about leaving their marriages. I will bet if you hop over to a similar forum with posts by men, you will also see that they too leave their wives for reasons of being unhappy. What about those women who are ‘put in a bind’ because their husbands choose to leave? Life and circumstances change all the time. The status quo is not for everyone (or at least not for those who recognize the vortex they may find themselves in and decide to change it).

    • Nice Guy on July 10, 2017 at 4:16 am

      Good point…

  17. Harry Bosch on January 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Meant to say a defining trait of Nice Guys…

  18. Coco on January 10, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I’m just confused. She wanted out, she left him, he was devastated. Then she says in order to get back together she would have to beg. Why? She left him. Wouldn’t he be begging her? I may have misread.

  19. Kay on January 10, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    I am going through a divorce with two young boys. One being under 1. I discovered my husband was seeing prostitutes on top of our relationship just not being a healthy one. I stayed with him for a year following the discovery and wanted to see if things would change or if he’d try harder. He didnt. He wanted me to just act as though I didn’t find out anything and also blamed me. Even with this, I am going through the regret phase where I am questioning my decision to divorce. I know I deserve better but it is that fear of the unknown ripple effect. My soon to be ex keeps asking me am I sure as if I am making a bad decision and he’s the victim. I don’t know, I’m not at the “fuck you, I deserve better “. I have my moments when I’m reminded but it is a struggle.

  20. Eira on January 10, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    I wish my husband was a nice guy, so I would never asked for divorce, but my story is very different, in fact I have waited around 7 years to finally ask him the divorce, I tried all this years to work on our marriage, but I’m convinced this is the right way to go! I want out!!! I need out!!!

  21. Lois Parkison on January 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Thanks, Emma, for once again being so brave as to say what so many of us need to here. You’re on the forefront of our next feminist wave. And, yes, I had guilt for divorcing a nice guy too. But I also believe that he and I will be friends and family for life; and that that’s what’s important–the commitment to our kids. Meanwhile, women should be happy and sexually-fulfilled. We need to model being whole for our children. I can’t wait until we all view divorce as progress and a brave attempt at truly living this glorious life.

    • Emma on January 12, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Really interesting perspective!

    • michael on January 26, 2016 at 12:59 am

      Divorce as progress? Why get married in the first place?

      • Emma on January 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

        Legit question.

  22. michael on January 26, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Problem is that with women you are not really attractive to men once you hit 36 or 37. So odds are you are going to end up alone and sad.

    • Emma on January 28, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Not my experience. Nor of most moms here.

    • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      ha ha. that funny :-)

  23. Amanda on February 3, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Although I’m not a single mom I could completely relate to your post, in terms of my last relationship. We were together on and off for 5 years and engaged twice. He was the quintessential nice guy and on paper and in everyone else’s opinion he was perfect for me. But I knew something just didn’t feel right for me. I found him boring and complacent, because I craved adventure, travel, passion and ambition and he was very “settled” with his mediocre job he liked to complain about but do nothing to change. He was always tired and easily stressed and was quite happy with me making the big bucks at my high powered job while he came home at 5, played video games online against teenagers and then complained about how stressful his day had been.

    Worse, there was no sexual passion and he wasn’t into sex whereas I totally was. I can relate to enjoying the attention of other men who stimulated me mentally and emotionally and who would have loved to have sex but my fiance was at home feeling stressed and being bored. We finally ended it and it was the best decision of my life. He is a good guy but is not the right guy for me. I still wish him all the best in life and in finding a more compatible partner.

    As for me, after a couple years of being a single party girl I met my now-husband. He is exciting, sexually adventurous, mentally stimulating and everything else I could ask for in a partner. It felt and still feels like the perfect fit. I was 30 when I met him and now I’m 35. We have a toddler and another baby on the way and I love raising children and fulfilling other life goals with my perfect partner. I am so glad I didn’t marry or procreate with my ex or I probably would have never known the truly satisfying relationship I’m in now. And more importantly, I wouldn’t have been being true p6y8y7y,

    • Emma on February 4, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks so much for your honest note — reminds me of my college boyfriend, who was so sweet, smart, cute would have been a great dad. But not for me. Hard for most people to understand, and I’m glad to hear you found a great match!

      • Amanda on February 5, 2016 at 12:42 pm

        Thanks! I found your blog by your outsourcing the laundry post and enjoy all of it. And I don’t know what happened to the last part of my prior comment but it was supposed to say true to myself!

  24. Pete on February 9, 2016 at 12:05 am

    My gf date me for over a year then dump me, never left her husband, mad at me cuz i slept with another girl after she broke up with me.
    so bad

  25. Stavros on February 13, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Is what you did OK?

    Well, no. You hurt a bunch of people, including your close family members, kids, husband and set their lives on a very difficult path. Any person who enters into a relationship of any kind with you, business included, should be wary of your ‘flaky’ behavior.

    Does this mean you deserve to be thrown in jail? Does it mean you aren’t meant to be loved? No, nothing so dramatic as that.

    What you deserve is heat. How about a few insults? Some distrust. A lot of people won’t be your friend or enter into business with you. You can certainly do whatever you like, but it’s not free of consequence. You hurt people by making bad, selfish weak willed decisions. Just because you didn’t have malice behind it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Imagine you vomitted all over someone’s expensive leather couch, or you knocked over a TV. What you’ve done is some order of magnitudes greater than that. You don’t deserve a free pass.

    • Emma on February 15, 2016 at 9:32 am

      OK, so then what? This is childish thinking.

      • S. on June 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm

        This comes across as a pretty nasty and controlling reply. It’s just that you don’t agree, nothing on the commenter.

        He/she’s right, it bears on her character, and people should act accordingly. If you thnk it’s fine, then do business/start a relationship with her. If you think it’s bad character, say so and avoid her.

  26. Susan J. on March 7, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I want a divorce. But I will have to move back home and live with my mother. Ugh. I live in a very expensive area that I cannot afford on just my income. Stayed together all these years for the kid. She’s raised and I am not sorry that I took that bullet for her. Now I am so miserable but I am terrified of having to sell all the stuff and move back to my hometown (I hate) to regroup. I have let myself be isolated so I have no friends. I am totally alone. And he is a great guy for someone and a good provider. We just have absolutely nothing in-common. We were young and got pregnant. We would never have ended up together otherwise. How do I get the courage to do this all by myself? I am literally totally alone.

  27. http://www.alexishowick.com/ on May 5, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Regarding USMCvet’s assertion that anti-war protesters want “us to lose” is not worthy of a Marine. Anti-war protesters don’t want anyone to lose; that’s why they’re anti-war.

  28. cheap car insurance on May 20, 2016 at 10:08 am

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  29. Melissa on June 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    So glad to have found your site, Emma, and all of these comments. I have been struggling with the thought of divorce for a few years now. I have been married 22 years to a very good man. No one is perfect and he has hurt me in our past for sure. I have hurt him too. He wants it to work and I just can’t shake this feeling of wanting out. The children are absolutely the only reason I stay. I often wonder what is wrong with me. If I were to write down all of his good qualities, women would be lining up at the door to meet him! I am a very passionate, social person, and tend to thrive when he isn’t around. We were separated at one time and it was the happiest period of my life. I felt as though I could finally breathe and was enjoying the “real” me. However I came back due to guilt. Guilt over the fact that my children missed me when I was gone, guilt over the fact that he lost tons of weight due to loss of appetite, and was depressed. Damn that word “guilt!” It is so very difficult to deal with. It is sometimes hard to know if we are feeling guilt or unhappiness. I know to leave, I need to be selfish. I am an excellent mother and sometimes feel I need to sacrifice my happiness to make their lives complete. Then I think on the fact that children all leave someday….and then what? I know I am saying things other people have already said. It’s just good to say it out loud and a relief to hear from others who understand.

    • JMarie on March 30, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      I’m impressed by your bravery to separate in the first place. I just can’t seem to take the step it takes to separate. Or even mention that I think about separating. I’m so overwhelmed with guilt that I just fake everything. And it’s destroying me. I’m seeing psychiatrists and therapists and harassing friends for support. I just can’t take that first step, even though I need to for my mental health which is spiraling downward out of control.

    • Jessica on June 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      I have done excatly same but I m moving out again hoping is once and for all . I need to live my life and I got every right to be happy ful it is concern I think I have to bare it and face it but years down the line I will be living my life and most importantly I will be happy

  30. A Left Behind Husband on July 14, 2016 at 6:59 am

    And another article that hinges on the phenomenon that is “Eat, Pray, Love”.

    One question for you ladies: Why get married at all in the first place?

    There are times when divorce is absolutely warranted: Abuse. Child endangerment, etc.

    But to divorce because you are “bored”? REALLY?

    Lets be honest here. Its all about sex. It HAS to be. If you need to find fulfillment in your own life, nothing is stopping you! If your spouse truly is a “good guy”, and you have desires to better yourself, and grow as an independent person, I’m sure your good guy spouse would support you if you communicated your needs. Need time away? Want to travel? Do community service? Volunteer? Nothing is stopping you, except YOU. If your spouse is controlling, that is one thing…and you should RUN from that unhealthy relationship. But this is about divorcing “good guys”. Good guys aren’t controlling. So you have all the freedom you need to expand your horizons as an individual person. There is only one thing you aren’t supposed to do while your married: Sleep around. So in order to be free from being labeled a cheater you HAVE to get a divorce to ease that conscious.

    So lets be honest, and call it for what it is: Taking back your promise to be only with one person so you can @#$% around.

    And to the poster that posted way earlier: I’ve seen just as many kids get screwed up *BECAUSE* of their parents divorce.

    Maybe the institute of marriage is obsolete. With the divorce rate at 50% and rising, maybe people should say “I don’t” more.

    • Joel Beck on August 15, 2016 at 1:18 am

      Where can I read your blog “left behind husband ” ? You are spot on !! J

    • A Left Behind Husband on October 9, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Another thing I wanted to point out: First world Problems…

      Notice the URL of this website itself “WEALTHY” single mommy. Emma, that is fortunate that you have the resources to stand on your own two feet and have thrived post divorce.

      Another problem (along with all those that get hurt) is the average American doesn’t have the means to slit up a marriage and yet still maintain their lifestyles. You are probably thinking money & success doesn’t make one happy, and therefore it is more important to be happy than have wealth. While true, you may not suffer because of your actions, your significant other will, and more importantly the children will ultimately lose out the most. One could argue that sending a message to the kids that it is okay to be happy rather than wealthy successful is a positive message. Then why bother at all with working to ensure our kids have a better future than we did? Make no mistake, the children suffer the most. The loss of the lifestyles they were accustomed to, and more importantly, the loss of precious time with BOTH parents. Time that can never be got back.

      If you are reading this and considering divorcing based on the sole fact that you are “unhappy”, then I ask you to consider this: Your can’t FORCE someone to be happy any more than you can force someone to jump off a bridge. Your feelings and emotions are under YOUR control and NO ONE ELSES. You are not responsible for making your spouse “happy” any more than they are for making you happy. They don’t “own” your emotions any more than you “own” theirs. So if you are truly unhappy, you need to take a DEEP look inside yourself and ask yourself exactly “WHY” you are unhappy, because the only one responsible for your own internal feelings is YOU. I pray some of you figure this out before making a huge mistake that you will certainly regret when you are on your death bed and you look at your past life and the choices you made. You think you are the first one to feel this way-stuck in a rut/the feeling that time is running out-your not. Do some research. This story has played out many, MANY times, and while there are exceptions to the rule, it rarely ends well.

    • WhenInRome on September 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Dude, You won the internet with this comment.

  31. J on July 14, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Hi Emma,

    I was so glad to see your post about divorcing a nice guy. I definitely divorced a nice guy. But we were so young when we met and I got completely consumed in that relationship, lost touch of who I was, even how to form my own opinions without consulting him. After the divorce I struggled with that but have slowly come into my own.

    My ex recently got remarried and I found that this event had me looking back with rose colored glasses. As childish as it is, when someone came and scooped him up I started to look at him again with more fondness. Could I have tried harder, could we be living the good life if I had chosen to stay? But honestly, that’s the difficulty with divorcing a nice guy. There’s no black and white, he was evil and I left, so it’s much easier to think back with some fondness and almost forget what brought you to that decision in the first place. We really brought out the worst in each other. He was more like a crappy roommate to me than my partner and although he was always a good dad, we had struggled to connect as a couple outside of our kids. We were broken and tried to fix it, but we couldn’t.

    The part about reading this post that makes me sad is all of the very judgmental comments below. I met another divorced woman recently that said she had such a difficult time after her divorce from a nice guy because no one could understand. The truth is, a nice guy doesn’t mean a good husband to you. And that’s the bottom line. Everyone’s relationships are their own. This woman said she had to give up all of their mutual friends to her ex because they just couldn’t understand her or support her. So she did, and has since moved on and married a great guy whom they have 3 kids, but remained friends with her “nice guy” ex. My point is, each relationship is different. Each marriage has it’s own life…sometimes it has no breath left and there’s no reviving it. For those on the outside looking in, it’s so easy to say one is being selfish by walking away. But the truth is, if you stayed because the guy is nice, or because everyone else thinks you should, then you are the one who has to suffer in your own life and marriage. So kudos to all the women who face that condemnation and brave the unknown to live the life they want to live.

  32. Confused on August 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I am replying to this because I too am thinking about divorcing a “nice guy”. We met 23yrs ago and have been married for 17 of them. He was my first boyfriend/sexual experience and all of my firsts. When dating I knew that I was not attracted to him and that there had to be more to a relationship. I also had feelings of being attracted to women too. Because I did not know what to compare this relationship to while having guilt from possibly hurting him I decided to marry him. Once the children came I focused on them and not me. For years I would cry because I felt trapped. Two years ago I had an affair on him with a woman. She allowed me to feel a connection like I had never felt and only thought existed in fairy tales. I loved being with her sexually and as best friends. She has decided to be with her husband for the sake of her kids but I am feeling like it is best for me to get out of my relationship in order to explore my sexuality, to not cry anymore about the decision that I have made. He is a great guy, supporting, great looking and a great father. My daily questions to myself are: Are my children better off if their parents stay together? Should I continue to stay in this relationship in fear of hurting him? (then I would be doing the same thing I did 23 years ago. I want to have a connection with someone in and out of my bed.

    • Emma on August 6, 2016 at 3:41 am

      Thank you for sharing your story. In short: The best gift you can give your kids is a mom who is fulfilled and living her best life. There will be so much pain, judgement, friends and family who do not understand, and heartache. But it is a gift to you, your kids, and the world. Because you will then live your truth. Now, you are living a lie.

      • elfwys on November 4, 2016 at 7:08 am

        you really believe that?what a rationalizing bunch of bullshit…you,you..happy,happy…you are up to rude awakening in a couple of years when years catch up with you but you won’t be allowed back.you think your children won’t see the real reason for abandoning the family?i’ve seen that many times and at first i felt sorry for people like you but not any more.you deserve everything that happens to you…good luck.you ‘re going to need it.

  33. Jenna on August 29, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I support your descision I have a very similar cicumstance and I know how difficult it the choice is and all the confusion and guilt that is paired along with that choice but at the end of the day we only have one life on this earth

    • Emma on September 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      So true, well said.

  34. Dre Gregson on September 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Oh dear

    What did I just read. Marriage isn’t all sunshine and like the movies people. Sometimes it can be cruel unfair and lonely if your married to a person with this type of mentality. Now I understand people want things that make them feel good in life. A big mistake would be to keep it too your self and expect your unknowing spouse to be fine with your decision not knowing anything is going on at all. You make a commitment to God and your spouse on your wedding day for better or for WORSE !!!. I’m sure some of you are happier being divorced, from Husbands/Wives that you tire from. What you don’t see if the heart wrenching pain that causes that person and in the long run the children. Divorce Isn’t a good thing, now I understand that abusive relationships, affairs, drugs etc warrant a divorce when there’s no other option. But to celebrate the death of a marriage when you don’t know how its effected the spouse divorced from is just darn right cruel. Each to their own decisions, but don’t throw away your marriages because of selfish desires. It’s simple TALK to your spouse about what you lack in your marriage. My daughter was 1.5 years old when my wife ran off because I found out about her and plumber of all people, to have my daughter at that age say to me im sorry daddy im sorry im sorry please come home, will haunt me till I die. I HATE divorce and anybody who took marriage seriously would feel the same.

  35. John on September 23, 2016 at 11:18 am

    It’s not okay Emma. You have no values or morals. And you do not know the concept of love which is loyalty. What do you think all the wedding vows come down to: loyalty. It is loyalty through better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, etc. It is women like you who have destroyed the concept of marriage for men like me. Do you want the future spouses of your children to feel and have to deal with the same pain you gave your husband? The fact is, you don’t care about anyone other than yourself.

    I am attorney, have a great job, am self supporting, and have multiple skills. I was married for 20 years and did not want to be divorced. But my ex-wife left for reasons similar to those stated by you. It devastated me and my boys. But the saving grace is that my two teenage boys are now familiar with the typical woman today, what to look out for, and what to avoid. I would never encourage them to marry. It is a game stacked in favor of women, who file for divorce 70% of the time.

    Enjoy your cheap and shallow relationships. I pray there is such a thing as karma for people like you.

    • Chris on December 15, 2016 at 12:55 am

      Its funny how Emma never responds to the reality set forth by respectable people calling her out on her selfish behavior. Women like you are becoming a dime a dozen. Riddled with insecurities and being duped by Disney with all their “fairy tails dreams”. Eventually you all will grow old and be lonely. Karma does go both ways. You get back what you put out there. So enjoy your high horse for now. It will eventually ride you to lonely town

  36. Bluztoo on September 29, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I think it’s great that y’all are so fulfilled in your divorces from good men. Mostly I appreciate that I can show this article to young men and explain to them why marriage is futile. I don’t believe many of the women that have expressed themselves here will pay a price. Their daughters will though, because young men are not going to make the same stupid investment of time and love, when they can only expect this empty future.

    • elfwys on November 4, 2016 at 6:57 am

      sadly you are damn right about that.i’ve seen it time and time again.i also feel that marriage is something i wouldn’t recommend to young men these days.
      when i see all this shit i believe that instead of marriages we should make ten years contracts and see if we wanted to go on or break off because this is really discouraging and if things are going this way good people should be protected from these lazy,selfish people as much as they can.

      • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 1:53 pm

        I am going to agree with the your suggestion of a ’10 year contract’ with marriages. I actually think that is a really smart idea! And/or charging people a large sum $5000 for a marriage license in the first place! I find it inconceivable that someone, for example, in their mid-twenties (male or female), is expected to commit the REST OF THEIR LIVES (that could be 60 years!) to one person who they have been with for only a few and at such a young age where they still have so much to experience and grow! Would you sign a 60 year contract for the same job with the same boss, same duties? Would you sign a 60 year contract to live in the same house, same town? Marriage can be a wonderful thing, until and unless, it becomes a life sentence…

  37. Zee on October 8, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I’m crying as I’m writing this comment. Those of you that has never experienced how bad it is to be unhappy in a relationship with “Mr. Nice Guy” will never understand how bad it could be. Yes, possibly I could have a problem and contribute to my failing marriage, but I have the right to be happy in this life like any other. If having a marriage is more important than living a happy life, please be my guest. Although I’m still unhappily married to my Mr. nice Guy because I do not have the means, courage, and strength to divorce him yet. I understand each and everyone of you guys, and I applaud your courage. Please try not to judge anyone, at least until you have experienced their situation. Thank you.

    • elfwys on November 4, 2016 at 6:49 am

      happy,happy.i,i ,i me,me,me….does he beat you?does he cheat on you?no?then fight for your man and marriage and don’t give up.what the hell is wrong with you people.you can rationalize as much as you want but one day you ‘ll be sorry for the choices you are about to make…trust me on this one..

      • Grace on July 24, 2017 at 6:30 pm

        Just because something isn’t wrong, doesn’t mean it’s right. We need to get over this notion of “fighting for it”. If you’re not feeling it anymore you’re not feeling it anymore, and that’s ok. Don’t let assholes like this convince you otherwise.

      • Tracy on October 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm

        maybe. But I would rather make a mistake and learn from it based on my freedom of choice to exercise my birthright to find happiness then to remain in a loveless, unsatisfying marriage for the next 30 years. Or maybe I will realize that the mistake I made was getting married to this person in the first place. Or staying in the marriage too long. There is no choice that will ever guarantee it being the Right Choice. But how will you ever know if you don’t make it? If your soul is screaming at you, listen to it. Or it will just keep screaming and screaming and screaming.

    • JMarie on March 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you for this post! I can completely relate. I just can’t take that step to separate much less even express how unhappy I am because I just fake happiness. I told my nice husband three or four years ago that we MUST start marriage counseling, and he refused. Now he wants to, and I don’t! I’m done! Where was he three years ago when I needed him? Why do I have to be willing and devoted now that HE wants to try?

    • Yin Ding on April 24, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      I have experienced it. It hurts because I refused to face the reality — not knowing how to be a spouse and too prideful to learn. It hurts because I refused to be practical and rational and somehow thought my “feeling” reigned supreme — without knowing the simple truth that feelings change ALL THE TIME. Glass is half-empty or half-full, the attitude is key. It hurts because the deepest love ever was staring at my face (a love by choice — agape) and I somehow didn’t think it was love at all because it lacked “passion.” Anger is passionate, jealously can be passionate, happiness can be passionate, but they all flee. Love is not supposed to remain “passionate”. If we are not wise enough to enjoy the comfort of true love (and know that we both need to compromise to maintain it), then we do not deserve true love and we should apologize and let Mr. Nice Guy go.

  38. MikeS on October 12, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Ugh. He deserves better than this wench. Shameful that so many persons are connecting this with larger issues of “rights” when it’s just a personality mismatch being rationalized in umpteen different ways so that she can do her own thing. Of course she should feel guilty. People should not treat sexual excitement as a particularly valuable thing, especially when it causes a family to collapse. And conflating materialistic career aspirations with the notion that she’s on a higher intellectual level? Puh-leez! Morality should also count as an intellectual attribute, in which she’s clearly operating on an inferior level.

  39. Sarah on October 22, 2016 at 11:17 am

    All I see is women saying “I’m so much happier now” and me, me, me. What a bunch of selfish women. Narcissist much? Yikes. You did these nice guys you left a favor. You are all gross and disgusting people.

    I feel bad for your kids if you have them.

    • Chris on December 15, 2016 at 1:02 am

      Couldn’t agree more. My ex pulled the same me, me, me victim bullshit while my 2 daughters and I are left picking up the pieces. Then she wonders why my girls are unhappy with her breaking our family apart. The grass is definitely not greener. At least I’m free of such a shallow person and can focus on our daughters and make sure they grow up with much better morals and zero insecurities. What a bunch of selfish women out there. Hey Emma, any chance you could face your B.S. and actually admit it? I’m assuming not.

  40. elfwys on November 4, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Jesus Christ,what kind of people are you?i pray to God i never stumble on some one like you people.you are bunch of selfish cruel people who are giving each other props for breaking promises you gave to your partner and ruining your children’s lives by saying see through shit like it is better for the children to have two divorced happy parents.guess what?only you will be happy in this case and nobody else you selfish pricks.the one who wrote this garbage will find out what she has lost and that is 100% something she will eventually realize.
    just keep doing what you are doing but lease don’t get married any more.you are not evolved enough to realize that love is a choice.love changes through years,making full circles,falling down and raising up.life is not only eating cakes.it is about splitting a shit sometimes but staying together no matter what.
    you people should stay single and (fuck) explore your sexuality with your bosses,mailmen,bad boy drug dealers,..whatever rocks your boat but just don’t fuck up any more ,as you call them,good guys lives.you have no clue about commitment and love so maybe you should do what you do best.fuck around and leave your kids to better fitting parent who will give them better view on life,love,commitment,marriage,family and parenthood.you just ruined my day.you are just awful human beings and you deserve ,and you’ll probably get it,the same selfish asshole who will ruin your life at the end.you see,you think you are some kind of prize but come back in afew years and tell us all how it worked out for you when you find out that good divorced guys are much wanted among younger women who will appreciate what you clearly couldn’t.just a bunch of old rags pinning for their good old good guys husbands living their life with better partners.good luck and i hope you like cats…

    • Yin Ding on April 24, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      I just came upon your comment. Though I do not agree with your language, I think your frustration is warranted. Women often want to get married because they are sick of meeting guys who only use them as sexual object — that’s too “demeaning.” Many a time they marry a solid person (on the boring side) whom them can trust and entrust their kids, but … those guys turn out to be a solid person on the boring side whom they can rust and entrust their kids, but the women get bored. Of course it is dangerous to generalize, but I do concur with your observation that somehow at least some of us come full circle and think our “freedom” to sleep with anyone is different from our original disgust of being used by others sexually.

  41. Djay on November 17, 2016 at 12:31 am

    With all those comments from divorced women, I think I will choose to not marry.

  42. Becca on February 22, 2017 at 10:33 am

    It’s nice to know I am not alone. I am not married but in a 12 year relationship with a wonderful man. We have a 2 year old daughter together. He’s my best friend and a good provider but I am not in love with him. I have been emotionally detached from the relationship for years and felt that I was trapped when I accidentally became pregnant. We decided to try an open relationship for a bit to spice things up and it only made it more clear to me that I can’t be with him forever. His family is like my family and I am heartbroken. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the courage to leave.

  43. Veronica on February 23, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    I googled “divorcing a good man” and i am. After Almost two years married and 4.5 years together, everything has taken its toll on me. We knew we didn’t have chemistry, weren’t best friends, weren’t having sex, and weren’t spiritually compatible….. But we were codependent and got married anyway. He’s not interested in a divorce because he values consistency and stability over actually intimacy. At the onset i was a single mom and i respected how willingly he stepped up and took us on as his family. But suffocating, depressed, have gained weight, and can’t manufacture this bond that i need as a very passionate person. Idk what to do because i honestly hate the thought of him being hurt. I love and appreciate him but I’d just have an affair to make up for what I’ve never gotten from my husband.

  44. Abandoned Dad on February 24, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Wow. This experience for me has been a major eye-opener, if anything to see the science behind the minds of both men and women. After all I’ve read online, it’s incredible to me that this is such a common thing where married women just get bored and want to leave their husbands, and I had no idea of the reality of the situation until my wife recently started the divorce process.

    I’m not going to claim that I’ve been absolutely perfect. I don’t know that anyone is, but part of growth in life is to always try to focus on self improvement no matter how great you are at something. I’ve made mistakes in the things that I’ve said at times,. These things never help a marriage but I don’t know that they are cause for divorce. The whole thing is devastating. My wife and I have been married for more than a decade. She begged for a ring, two dogs, the home, a child, etc. She’s had a pretty comfortable life for the past few years. She developed an addictive running hobby and disappeared from her family, often for several days per week, several weeks per month, got bored with her marriage, and it all came crashing down hard. Now she doesn’t care about our home, or her family, or even her two dogs. She’s become so cruel that she outright refuses to feed our dogs because “they are annoying.” What kind of person does this? In the end, our son is going to suffer and now our financial situation is going to be challenging when we finally are at a point of where everything should get easier. I contemplate whether or not I should have simply left 7 years ago when she stopped talking with me and disallowed even a simple hug or kiss, let alone any real contact, but I have always been dedicated to my wife and son. Instead of working on fixing marital problems, she accumulated years of trivial things to be angry about, in order to justify this behavior. It’s soul-crushing to have a son who is heartbroken because his mom is gone on evening trips with her friends instead having dinner with her family and putting her son to bed at night. She asks; “What did you do to fix things?” Truly, I don’t know what I could have done differently. Once a person “falls out of love” you can’t change their mind. They have to be determined to stick through it if they want a marriage to last.

    When we begin to break down the concept of marriage and make it so easy for people to separate, its whole purpose is lost. It’s inevitable that most women, even in “good” marriages, will come to find that the fairy tale is just that… A fairy tale. The jewelry and wedding industries perpetuate these myths to continue to get women to marry even in spite of crumbling framework behind the entire institution. It really nails home all of the fallacies that conventional media and literature has told us about female sexuality. Most women are clearly hardwired to be inherently just as promiscuous as men, or perhaps polyandrists or at the very least serial monogamists by nature. That’s okay, but the lies need to stop and this concept of “till death do us part” needs to be destroyed before more people are devastated when they devote their lives to someone who will not do the same.

    I come out of this knowing that I am going to be fine in the long haul. It still hurts a lot but it’s just the reality of the situation. Trying to discuss it with her just makes her more hateful. She’s already having online affairs with at least one guy from a dating site, and hasn’t even filed for divorce yet. She has more actual conversation, via email, with a complete strangers, than her own husband. I can’t stop her from leaving but the real tragedy is how she’s ruining the future for her son. I can support one home but I can’t support two. Maintenance / alimony laws make it challenging, if not impossible, for any man to survive this trap. I know that some of you ladies will claim that alimony laws are gender-neutral, but take a hard look at the statistics. It’s said that women file for 70% of divorce yet make up something like 97% of maintenance recipients. Marriage is clearly a one-sided contract. She can break it at-will, yet reap the rewards by bailing out on her man at a moment’s notice. My wife is pushing 40 years old. While I deeply value her role as a caretaker for our baby for a few years, I absolutely feel cheated by having to bear this burden when she leaves. I’ve supported her for the past 7 years but ultimately she decided long before she met me that her dream was to be a stay-at-home mom. Now she’s faced with the reality that her financial situation will never be the same because she lacked education / career ambition in her early years.

    I’m trying not to judge some of the ladies here but I can’t help but to outright say how appalling it is to me to see how some of you try to justify your actions and encourage others to abandon their family. You try to rationalize how it’s your personal freedom before all else, or how it’s “better for the kids” to force separation from their fathers and force a man to pay for your lifestyle afterward like some entitled princess. Many women these days are little girls trapped in grown-up bodies, seldom having to face reality, always living off of a man, whether it’s daddy or hubby. And those 40% (head of household) of you that are “wealthy single mommies” don’t have what it takes to be a real woman, responsible for her actions and loving of her husband. Just don’t do it. Stop messing with men and leave the good men for the good women. My mother worked full-time (more than one job) and raised two children on her own, yet she loves her current husband very much and they’ve been very happily married for about 20 years. But it was only after she’d been through about a half-dozen marriages throughout my childhood that she finally managed to fix what was broken. What were the other sacrifices?

    I love my mother very much but I refuse to believe that my father was 100% of the problem. Take a hard look at your own actions and own up to what you’ve done, or didn’t do, in your marriage.

    If anything, my son will know the truth when he gets older. I couldn’t protect him from the broken home that both my wife and I experienced, as children, but perhaps I can protect him from making the same mistakes by marrying. America has truly gone to hell in a hand basket.

    • Yin Ding on April 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      I am so sorry. Please stay strong for your son. You are right, those of us who gets drunk on the fantasy and bail out without putting serious efforts in the marriage do not deserve to be married to begin with (and definitely do not deserve to have kids). Unfortunately, we are also very good at making excuses for ourselves, so despite the truth in your words — they will likely fall on deaf ears. There are women out there who truly think that marriage is good and not disposable, don’t give up and your son should not either.

  45. stace on February 24, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I have been with my husband for 7 years now, married for 3. We have had an easy life together with wonderful jobs, a house , travel and being generally comfortable. I have always thought him being a little dry / non-romantic , there were times when he wouldn’t go out of his way for me and it was always me that caved in to his likes. We would do things that he / both of us liked and enjoyed and never things just for me. I always planned all the fun activities, which he was reluctant to participate in yet was quick to criticise. When we did reno’s , it was all @ his pace and he wouldn’t hear me when I asked that we do things together. I was merely told to participate whenever I could and that he wouldn’t want to wait for me to come home before he started. He did not stand up for me to his sister that treated me like sh*t or his buddy that insulted me in my face. For the past year I have been feeling like he has fallen out of love with me and whenever something happened that got him out of his comfort zone, he would unleash at me (we don’t even have kids or have not had any hardships in life yet!). He did not acknowledge my birthday (except for wishing me so). When I mentioned it the following day, he became very mad at me and I ended crying (it was a big date!!), which got him irritated even more (oddly enough). He told me he did not love me anymore but then took it back. He has been telling me that all I want to do is have fun (I work 2 jobs, study, have a career and take care of the house) I addressed the lack of love . He said that if he gives me a finger, I will ask for an arm. I told him that it is stupid to control how much love you give someone, as if I only deserve a certain amount. The last straw was when we were visiting my family and he got aggravated at something and told me to shut up. I pulled him in the hallway and told him that I felt disrespected. He said that he was not sorry and that he was better than most guys out there and he will speak to me however he likes. We went to therapy but that did not help. It does not help that I always want to do things, whether it is travel or activities and that I am very driven, yet I feel like is dragging me down. He says that all I want to do is have fun. (I have a career, a second job, studying and take care of the house). I have asked for divorce. He is shocked, according to him. He agreed to it easily and it is me that always tries to talk to him and he says he is confused. I am done and so devastated @ how easily he has given up and yet again it is all my initiative (whether we stay or split). It kills me that a guy who married me is so indifferent to me, so passive

  46. Lynn on February 27, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    I was married to a pretty nice guy. We got married way, way too young – I was 18 and he was 20. Married for 19 years, had two children. I was immature, and so was he. We both had been unfaithful at one point or another in our marriage. He traveled for work pretty much Monday-Friday. When the kids and I started dreading him coming home I knew that our days were numbered (our oldest child was in high school). Our divorce devastated him. I still feel guilty for putting my first husband through so much pain. I didn’t at the time because I wanted out – selfish I know. He also acted like so crazy when I left (everyone thought he would end up killing us both) that it somehow reinforced me getting out. I look back on that period and feel sad; and terrible guilt. He didn’t know how to deal with his pain except thru fits anger and rage. He was just doing the best he could. I know that now.

    He has since remarried and divorced again. I remarried 17 years ago. My current husband is a polar opposite to my first husband, and our relationship is based on respect and friendship first. My first husband and I were not friends – sounds really weird when I say that now; and we really did not respect each other. For a long time I have wanted to tell my first husband how sorry I am for creating so much pain for him. I think my apology might make me feel better but would make him feel bad and dredge up painful memories for him. I don’t regret my current marriage or life, I do regret hurting someone who loved me. I only hope for good things for my ex. I think the guilt is my burden to live with for hurting another individual to such a degree.

    • Yin Ding on April 24, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      I truly feel for you. Thank you for your comment and the courage to admit the harm you inflict — all while in a lovely current relationship (congrats!). Please do consider apologizing to your ex to unburden yourself. An email or text would do. It will help you and I am sure will help him too.

  47. Anony Mouse on April 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Clearly the majority of he men commenting have been scorned by a woman. As if men have never been unhappy in a relationship and left because it simply didn’t suit them anymore or cheat beforehand. Get out of here with your high and mighty moral superiority complexes, no one has time for you today. When they say good guy, why does this automatically mean she’s a wench? As if you’ve lived our lives and wished day in and day out you could be happy in your relationship. Day in and day out you tell yourself to just be happy. What is wrong with you? Why can’t you just be happy? So they say, take a pill. Change who you are and how you see the world. That will fix it. Oh he doesn’t need counseling, just you. You’re the one who’s unhappy. Why did you get married to begin with? As if people are not allowed to make mistakes and then try and live with them, and when they realize they can’t without making themselves or others miserable, they leave. Everyone needs a vacation. And let’s be honest we’re not getting the real mental health and communication skills we need in our most important years. So, what do you expect? I hear from clients time and time again how they just don’t know how to get through to their SO. They don’t understand why they act this way and that etc etc.

    I’m so tired of anyone out thinking they have any right to sit and point a finger. Seriously, who are you? Why do you feel it necessary to judge or shame? Will this push us to agree with you or fight against you? Have some respect for yourselves and stop commenting. You’re only fueling a fire. I’d like to see that 70% statistic and of those stats how many women were abused and how many were just fucking “bored”. It’s so cute how you take all these words of all these women and bring it down to a base sentiment that she was bored. Men really are from Mars.

  48. Lee on April 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    You did yourself a favour by divorcing him as there are no “really nice guys” they are a myth.The so called nice guys will turn nasty eventually and take you for everything.I married a guy who everybody thought was a fantastic guy now he is divorcing me and taking me to court to try and get the house and half of my inheritance even though I did the majority of child rearing, housework and pulled my weight financially during the marriage.When we had rough times, I never wanted to leave him because I believed he was such a great guy.Now I wish I had have dumped his arse years ago.Don’t feel guilty you have the right to live your life on your terms and experience all that life has to offer.
    A sexually fulfilled woman is a happy woman.

  49. Jo on April 14, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I hate to admit it.. They’re right. I was you at one time. Years ago, I left my wonderful, loving, generous, husband. I destroyed My, now, adult children. We lived in a beautiful home. We had a wonderful life. We were together for 20 years. He was the only man I ever loved. But in my early 40’s, I decided I wanted to explore a new, different life. He (understandable) didn’t want us to. So I left… Had my “fun… And now, 5 years later I am devastated for what I’ve done. I would give ANYTHING to have my old life back. I miss him and mourn him everyday. I made my bed. Now I have no choice, but to sleep in it… I’m never alone, but I’m Very lonely without him. I miss him every day. I believed he would always love, and take me back, if and when I was ready. But I was wrong. He has moved on. And wants nothing more to do with me. I can’t blame him :(
    I just wish I could take the last 5 years back. I would gladly give up 5 years of my life, to be with him again. I’m so heartbroken over what I’ve done. I live with a man now. But I can’t move on with him because I love my husband so much. I’m In a horrible pattern. And I’m a horrible person. I’m going to break his heart too.

    • Frankie on March 9, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      There you have it. I would like to hear more from Jo. Because I do believe a lot of this change of heart after years of marriage is a temporary thing and a trick of the mind to not appreciate what you have until you have lost it. Funny I have heard it before that it takes a woman about 5 years to regret divorcing her spouse, and it also takes about 5 years to get over losing a spouse. Then all is lost. Marriage is an investment in time and money and love. The payoff and dividends are grandchildren and a mate to share retirement years and memories with.

  50. Insidious_Sid on April 19, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Don’t worry ladies. The MGTOW philosophy is spreading like wildfire. Men know that to marry a woman THESE DAYS with THESE KINDS OF ATTITUDES (comments section: barf) is a completely unacceptable risk from a cost-benefit and risk-benefit perspective. Marriage is now just a bad business decision, especially for men.

    Every time I talk a man out of getting married I save a mans life (and get to enjoy knowing there is another p1ssed off woman like those above who “WANT A GOOD MAN” – right up until the day she decides she no longer wants/need a good man.

    All you “strong independent women” wonder where all of the good marriageable men are after you’re done chasing your career dreams. Well, the reality is, there a very very few (if any) women out there WORTH MARRYING and every fewer you can trust with that kind of risk and such flippant attitudes towards the commitment of marriage these days. Women always cry and moan men don’t want to get married. Well, we all know how badly WOMEN want to get married, especially if she’s in her early thirties with a bad case of baby rabies. But the reality is, women are leaving marriages these days as quickly as they get into them. Women want to GET married, but they don’t really seem to like STAYING married.

    I’ve been told to “mind my own business” when I tell men about to tie the knot to run for the hills. Nothing warms my heart more than saving a man from the clutches of the modern “strong independent empowered” woman. Such a woman should remain independent, and instead of children consider the short-haired pointy-eared variety.

    I married once. I worked my ass off when it was going well, and even harder trying to save it. I, like the chump in the story above, had a “just not into it anymore) wife. My poor daughter still hopes we will one day reconcile. My son has just been angrier since the divorce. Not into trouble, but just… colder. Sarcastic. He used to be so lively and funny. Now he doesn’t get his hopes up – he protects himself by assuming things will eventually turn to sh1t.

    Will I ever do this again? With some starry-eyed woman in the heat of a new romance with all those feel-good chemicals coursing through our veins? Of course not!

    Some people just CANNOT BE with ONE PERSON for a “happily ever after” and in many cases this person does not even know they are this way.

    But don’t worry ladies, men still shoulder most of the blame when it comes to divorce.

    I’m not marriage material. I’m faithful, loyal, smart, hard-working, intelligent, decent shape, socially connected, and an *amazing* wedding guest. But what I am not is a fool who goes into marriage without a serious cost-benefit and risk-benefit analysis here.

    I mean, we’re all business-minded folks here right? Would you enter a contract with someone that has heavy penalties for YOU if they decide to bail “just because”? Where there is no real definition or way of confirming “performance of contract”? That even if everyone else around thinks you’re doing a bang up job – even better than other people in similar contracts, it doesn’t mean a damned thing?

    No, none of you would enter into a contract like that.

    So I make it my life’s mission to talk men out of marriage. I save men’s lives… one at a time.

    Ladies: Get cats. If you change your mind, get a dog. Or a hamster.
    Trust me. The animals will get over it so long as someone else feeds them.

    I know we live in an instant gratification, fast paced, throw-away world.

    But trust me on this: nobody is every going to throw me away ever again.
    Sure as hell not for weak paltry reasons like those in that disgusting story above.

    If you ladies feel men are starting to treat you like disposable objects, don’t wonder too hard or too long. We’re not here on this earth to be your ****ing ATM machine until something better comes along. Your behavior is affecting men’s behavior.

    And your behavior is looking at “decency” in the rear view mirror.

    • Anon on October 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Exactly. Never marry a woman. Their commitment is as long as oxytocin in their blood, 1-3 years. Then they courageously branch swing to another man who provides higher status or higher oxytocin level for that moment. Great comment Sid.

      • Frankie on March 9, 2018 at 2:23 pm

        I believe in this oxytocin level science and have seen it in action many times- to what I thought were intelligent, well aligned women-they literally seem to be enchanted and entranced by a vampire. Until it wears off. The branch swing is the addiction to find a new supply to keep the high- I think we have all been warned about this, but so have the opioid addicts. Be smarter ladies and dig deeper into your souls and rekindle your spirit and your love for the man you walked down the aisle with, its often up to you to find it

  51. Forestsight on April 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    This is a wonderful article and comment section to show to young men, to never get married. Did you ladies know that men are no longer looking at single mothers because of this public display of disloyalty and soon to be regret. Hypergamy is real and you are all admitting to it like it’s cool. Men!, research MGTOW and how you can navigate life without being dragged into family court where you can lose your kids and half your stuff. Women don’t see us as human but a shovel or an ATM at best.

  52. Fred on April 20, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    It will be interesting to see how these businesswomen who pulled the plug on their marriages react in a commercial situation, where getting out of a contract is not quite so easy.

  53. Yin Ding on April 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Is the reason for the divorce — “I got bored”? How is this different from kids treating their new toys? They “love” the toys and then they discard them because they no longer “love” them. What is the “strength” in doing what kids do? Strength is to swallow our pride (and fix our own shortcomings) — Courage is to face the issue (and not run away). Power is to solve the problems. After doing all that, the reason for leaving is “I have an unlovable husband”, not that “I am bored” or “just don’t love him anymore”. The writer said she had no choice, so she is in a different situation. Other commenting here sounded like they do. The lesson a divorce teach kids is that there is no everlasting commitment, that as a matter of fact, all marriages are disposable (and therefore affairs and divorce are all fair game). Most divorced parents try their hardest to tell our kids everything will be alright after the divorce — in reality, that’s the worst lesson possible for them. A big part of them do not feel “alright”, but are told that these pains are “normal.” Pray that they will actually not listen to me and will actually hesitate before inflicting this pain on others when they grow up. My girls prayed each night for “a loving family together forever,” that’s truly what they wanted. My leaving because I am not in love with my spouse — am I really “Strong”? My leaving because I selfishly phrase the question as “stay and be unhappy” or “leave and be happy” — am I really “Courageous”? Am I showing my “Power” by wrecking the lives of everyone who loved me because I don’t want to compromise and want everything my way?

  54. Mario Rodgers on April 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Anony Mouse and Lee’s comments just prove the men right. Selfish selfish selfish.

  55. DieSter on April 30, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Being unhappy is the hardest thing to live with. I knew from the first time I met my ex husband that I will never be fulfilled but I ignored that little voice in my head. When I agreed to marrying him i was 24 years old and naive. I didn’t think about how all this will backfire.
    I love him, he is the nicest person I know. He had his flaws, all of us do but I never doubted his love for me.I felt guilty that I couldn’t return that amount of love and affection. I didn’t leave with a hope of greener pastures but it felt like that was the answer for the both of us to salvage a bit of happiness before it is too late.I have realized that the problem is me, I am not marriage material. I like my own space. The kids suffer the most. Mine are now 8 & 5. They haven’t asked heavy questions but i know the day will come.I regret the pain I have caused this man. I will have to live with this guilt for the rest of my life.

    • Yin Ding on May 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      Sorry to hear another family separated. You feel how you feel and there is no way to deny your feeling. We can try to change our attitude so that we find true joy where ever we are (as Victor Frankl wrote that even some in Nazi’s Death Camp were able to, but how many in the world can do that?) Love is much more than temporary passion and spontaneous affection, intoxicating and strong as those feelings may be. A read of this blog seems to suggest that some people think marriage is a magic bottle that can capture the passion and prolong the affection, and that a marriage “fails” because the passion and affection inevitably fade. – I tear up when I read you writing “I never doubted his love for me” — that is the most beautiful and lovable thing I can ever hope to be able to say about my spouse, the parent of my children. The commitment underscoring that unwavering love and the undeniable courage supporting that commitment … I find that precious and can’t help but feel the tremendous pain now that it has to be destroyed and erased. Pray that he doesn’t give up on true love and will find a special someone who would truly enjoy and treasure his form of sustained love. Pray that your young children will find strength and peace.

  56. Lila on June 28, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    I think the saddest thing here, is the disrespect between men and women in the comments I’ve read. I’m in the same situation as many of these women but I’ve stayed with a good man, after 38 years of marriage, because of doubts, it seems there is always something worth saving. I’m trying to be the happiest person I can be on my own, and while my husband and I sleep in separate rooms and don’t have an intimate relationship anymore, we are friends. We have memories in this home and this life that we’ve built together. I commend those of you who do what you think is right for you, but we are all different. To the men that point fingers at these women: One cannot explain here all the details of one’s life, so understand that you are judging someone over a few sentences. I am sorry you were hurt by women. It must be really horrible when someone leaves you for what seems to be “a sudden” decision. Having worked in the therapy world, and I can tell you that what may seem a surprise to you would have probably been building up for a long time, and possibly your wife/partner told you many times what she was feeling, but you really didn’t listen. It happens a lot just because man and women speak and listen differently.
    Again, I’m sorry you were hurt by women and that now your opinion of some of them is so negative. I hope you are able to find women that you can share your happiness with, I really do. Men also deserve happiness and love.
    And to this women, think 1,000 times before jumping off. Try not to compare your situation to others, not on this post, not anywhere else. Your life is unique, your situation is unique. Your heart will tell you what to do, but please do so after you’ve exhausted every single possibility to mend something that seems incompatible or broken. My mother stayed in a bad marriage for 53 years. She died at age 89 with a deep regret to not have done in life things she wanted to do because my father was so controlling. It broke me. I engaged myself in counseling and psychology because of this. Hope that at the end of our lives, if we have something worth saving, we can say we did everything in our power to keep it going, and that if it couldn’t be saved, we can also say that we had the courage to move on. To each its own. Let’s be kind and helpful instead of critical and demeaning. That’s my hope.

    • PatyA on July 17, 2018 at 3:00 am

      Oh, Lila…the most compassionate comment that I’ve read in all this. Each life is different and we all have problems and solutions and we learn to carry our own cross. And we should learn how no to carry regrets for decisions made.

  57. Jen on July 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    You know what makes me laugh? MGTOW. It means men going their own way. When a woman practices WGTOW the men get all upset. Screw you! I left I’m glad and I will never be in a relationship again! Happiest women I know r single. Raised my kids alone no AT either…..

    • Ano on October 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      They have, tell me feminism is younger than mgtow. We see marriage as unfair contract not upheld by family courts. There is nothing wrong with men not willing to enter it.

  58. JJ on July 19, 2017 at 5:46 am

    I think the problem is that our entire society tells women, “marriage will make you feel fulfilled. motherhood will give you meaning. you’ll reach the pinnacles of happiness if you get married.” and for most women, it’s not true. When they find themselves in the role of a wife and mother, the role itself feels constricting, so that even if they have a good husband and a happy family, simply HAVING a family, EXISTING in that role, makes them boxed in and they want to get divorced so they can start a podcast and have sex with other guys or travel the world and do an Eat Pray Love thing or whatever.

    If that’s what you want from life, then why didn’t you do some deep, solid introspection before you got married? Why didn’t you spend alone time seriously contemplating your goals and what you wanted from life, before you ensnared some poor guy in a marriage, made him commit his life to you, and then destroyed his heart when you realize that marriage wasn’t what you wanted? Why didn’t you just stay single?

    I’m less angry about women achieving their potential and dreams and happiness, and more angry about women waiting to realize that’s what they want, until they’ve created a family, which is kind of incompatible with having the most exciting sex life in the world or being free and responsible only to yourself. Having children and being married isn’t really entirely all about you, and your happiness. It’s partly about your happiness, and partly about theirs. So if you’re not willing to settle for anything less than ABSOLUTE happiness, then you’re not cut out to be a wife, and you’re not cut out to be a mother. And that’s OKAY! Not everyone has to be a wife and a mom. It’s not the end-all, be-all of existence. We have plenty of people on the planet already,

    The reason you guys all feel guilty for divorcing is because you really, truly are negatively impacting the most important people in your life, and that’s not something to gloss over or ignore. Your children aren’t better off watching you “succeed.” That’s not better for children than having a stable, secure family.

    I’m fine with you guys divorcing – do whatever you want. But I’m tired of the excuses about how it’s better for the kids, and I’m tired of hearing women gloss over their husband’s unhappiness, as if only the wife’s happiness matters.

  59. JJ on July 19, 2017 at 6:09 am

    If you are only going to stay in a relationship as long as you are utterly, deeply, completely fulfilled and ecstatic to be in that relationship, then commitment is not for you. It just isn’t.

    Don’t promise “to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” when what you’re really thinking is, “I’ll stick with you as long as you fulfill every single one of my emotional, psychological and sexual needs as a human being, I never feel bored or constricted, or until someone better comes along.”

    Millions of women, all over planet, are telling men they value commitment, desire commitment, believe in commitment, but they really don’t. What they really mean, “I want to be in a relationship that sustains me and fulfills me, and if it stops doing that, I’m not going to work it out with you. I’m gonna bounce and start a podcast.” Which is….the opposite of commitment.

  60. Broken on October 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Im in a similar situation where I have fallen out of love with my husband. We have been married 9 years and have 3 children, 8,5 and 2.
    He is very insecure and possesive but on the other hand he isnt a bad person, he doesnt drink, gamble or mess about with other women. Ive never felt happy as I find myself living his way of life for me. Im not allowed to dress the way I want, cant go out on my own to town or with friends anywhere. I cant even take the kids to the park or anywhere. I have tried supressing myself to keep him happy to keep the family atmosphere happy.
    I stay at home all the time and wish I could be myself just to experience what it feels like to be independent.
    I feel sorry for my children to be in this situation and hurt that I have put up with this for so long.
    I want a divorce but im scared I might hurt my children and regret what I have done.
    I have told him many times to let me live my life too but he doesnt seem to see where hes wrong. Hes happy to be this way. Over the years ive realised he doesnt really love me he is selfish and self absorbed. I mean nothing to him. He isnt romantic but expects sex whenever he wants. He gets annoyed if I dont do as he says or if I got against his rules.
    Im torn but I want out. Theres no love in me for him and I just cant be with him any longer. Just worried about how life will be after divorce and how will I be able to afford to live. We have bought a house but he hasnt even put my name on it and our marriage isnt even registerd as he didnt see a point in it aslong as we are religiously married.
    I just dont want to think the grass is greener on the other side and end up leaving the comfort me and the kids have

    • Frankie on March 9, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Now this sounds like a lady that needs a good lawyer and a better man, I hope you can manage your situation “broken”, hopefully you can “scare him” into being a better man with the threat of divorce. He does not sound like the “good guy” we are all discussing here.

  61. Rusty on November 23, 2017 at 2:19 am

    There is one central theme in all of this and it shows the obvious personality type that someone will want to avoid marrying. Me, Myself and I, those are the people who are being considered when making the decision to get divorced.

    These people all sound like their relationship and marriage were like an addictive drug. First you loved it, then you still liked it but it carried burdens and became something that dominated your life and eventually you began to not even get enjoyment from it, so you decided to go through the pain of stopping it.

    The problem with that analogy is this, first, most addicts go through misery when they get off their drug of choice and then continue to feel awful for a long time until they readjust. While at the same time the people in the addicts life, usually family like parents or a spouse and also friends who want their old pal back.

    But in the case of a person who decides they want a divorce and the decision is not amicable, the result is the exact opposite. The person stops the marriage like an addict stops their addiction. Putting aside legal fees and hassles of child custody, the person who wanted the divorce is happier than ever. But, they crush the ones around them who love them. It’s the exact opposite effect on family and friends of an addict stopping drugs. And it’s for the exact opposite reason, an addict stops so they are no longer being hedonistic, a person gets a divorce (in circumstance(s) the writer of this article did) purely based on hedonism. They do no one good except for themselves. Family, specifically the spouse and children are drastically affected in a negative way.

    Friends also could be affected, in the case where couples would spend leisure time together and will no longer have that. Maybe the spouse who didn’t file the divorce papers had a friend who is married and that friend spent most his free time hanging out with the other because the wife/husband who did file the divorce papers was liked by that friend’s wife/husband. Sure that is minor in comparison to the affect on children and the former spouse, but still another person(s) affected in a significant way.

    But I guess that is what a lot of people are viewing marriage (and bearing children) as today, like a drug they enjoy using until it gets old and the they stop using it. Except it’s a lot easier to accomplish ad keep it that way. There are rarely relapses when it comes to divorce.

  62. Chris Matthews on January 7, 2018 at 4:19 am

    I feel Guilty and selfish for feeling the exact way you do, people think I’m crazy! I really needed this article! Thanks

    • Chris Matthews on January 7, 2018 at 4:20 am

      Female lol

  63. Teaky on January 11, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Thanks for the article. I need to be reminded that the institution of marriage is as meaningful as mail order art certificate. People say it’s easier to stay in a bad marriage than leave. They don’t feel passion for their spouse any more so it’s time to divorce and find someone new to have passion for. That is immature thinking and as someone said earlier very small minded. You are trying to justify and rationalize your selfish decisions by saying you are showing your children how to take care of themselves. Yikes! That is pretty twisted. Be honest with yourselves. People feel guilty because they did or are doing something wrong. Period.

  64. Jen on February 2, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    This website is equal parts inspirational and infuriating.

    My author’s original post and several of the supportive comments uplift me and give me hope that I can follow my own heart and free myself to live the life I want and deserve.

    However, the judgmental, hate-filled comments really confuse me and make me protective of the author (which I’m sure doesn’t need me to shield her!). If your own daughter realized that she was in a broken and unhappy marriage, would you really tell her that she has to stick with it no matter what? And how can you be so bold to call the author or other commenters ignorant and selfish? Sounds to me like some of you may be projecting and need to deal with your own emotional demons.

    But let’s end on a positive note. Thank you for writing this. I appreciate the concept that your happiness is enough to justify change. I keep feeling like I need to force fights just so I can feel comfortable with my decision. There will be pain, but I have hope that it will be short lived and that just like the author said, “the net result will be positive.”

    • Jen on February 2, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      I meant “the author” not mine… :)

  65. sz on February 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    This is your only life and you have one chance to live it. You are NOT a bad person for doing what’s right for you. I am in the same position, however I have been dealing with a stoned alcoholic who never pays the bills, cleans the house – who has a negative attitude and acts like a 15 year old. I’m ready to be happier. Regardless the guilt is killing me. I can’t even get the words out to tell him. Anyhow, I’m glad I found this article. Ignore the haters – as they do not know what your life is like behind closed doors.

  66. Another broken husband on February 25, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Sad. It’s really sad that there are so many women ready to break up their homes and crush their kids because they’re chasing their hormones.

    It is so selfish and cruel to leave just over a general sense of unhappiness. You are adults. Your kids depend on you. I really can’t understand how you justify breaking so many hearts.

    But of course you’re miserable because there is no room for selfishness in a marriage. You’re unhappy, I get it….but it scares me to no end to know that someday, no matter how good I am to you, no matter how loyal and faithful I was, no matter how much work and bullsh*t I dealt with, that youd take the most important thing away from me (my home and family) and destroy not just my heart, but those kids who want and deserve mommy and daddy.

    Though it really must be difficult for you to know that you’re doing this. I cannot feel sorry for you. Typically we feel guilty when we know what we did/are doing is wrong. Especially in the cases of these good men. Their hearts and souls are destroyed simply because they were guilty of truly loving your selfish a$$3$. Thier love for you has become a curse for them.

    I’m also a victim of a walk away wife who somehow switched up over the years and decided that our good life wasn’t good enough for her anymore and checked out without letting me know until it was too late.

    I feel sorry for any man who might fall in love and want to marry you in the future. You have NO clue what love and loyalty is. A wicked heart cannot delight in doing what’s right so of course you’re miserable.

    You are incapable of true love and I feel sorry for these men and your kids. I know it’s not an easy choice for you so maybe you’re not all bad. I know that I have to pick myself up and move forward with love and forgiveness, but this hurts so bad.

    It feels like betrayal to know that we dedicated our lives to you, sacrificed so much for you. Would have taken a bullet for you and gladly laid our lives down to protect you…only to have u walk away because we’re somehow not good enough. We’re not perfect, but neither were you and honestly, if anyone settled for less, it was us.

    But yet we still fight for u even though our hearts and souls are paying a huge price. You see we know that true love isn’t about me. We put our family ahead of us even when we aren’t feeling it. We aren’t miserable though we also sacrifice because it’s not just about ME.

    You guys have become the selfish antagonists that you used to hate on those old lifetime movies. SMH lol

  67. Amy on February 26, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    My ex and i were together for 10 years. Married for 1. 2 kids, a 9 year old and a 5 year old.
    I wont get into it… but towards the end i looked around and my 9yearoldson was so depressed, talking to my friends and neighbor parents why dad wont stop yelling at mom. Why dad wont stop making mom cry.
    My 5 year old daughter was there hugging me while im trying to push her outside while her dad is yelling. My son yelling at his sister in that same way my ex yells at me because thats what he knows.
    I didnt want that for my daughter to think thats an ok way to be treated by a man, i didnt want my son to think thats an ok way to treat any female ever in his life.
    So i packed everything and left when he went out of town for fathers day weekend last year.

    But when the fighting wasnt there, this guy is an alpha male. Funny, smart, handsome, amazing lover, amazing dad. He seriously is perfect in almost every way except when he gets mad. Every day after work was not tv time, it was time to be outside and hang out with the kids, with me. He loved us very much.
    But man, when he got mad, his word, he would rip you to shreads for hours and hours and hours. We once had an argument about my lack of cleaning the house(he was raise with a white glove inspection type of clean) that argument lasted 7 hours of him repeating how im a horrible mother, a hoarder, a slob, a pig. In the end of every fight i apologized for the billionth time, just for it to be finally over. I was drained. Completely drained.

    Thats how my son would scold his baby sister. Maybe not the length of it but he would hurt her heart in such a strong way.

    I feel so guilty. I cant get over it. Somedays i feel like i cant breath the whole day. Somedays my eyes constantly have tears streaming down. The worst is when my children beg me to go back that dad is nice again.

    My ex tells me he hates me now. That he cant stand the sight of me. That im an awful mother for doing this to our family. He tells the kids all about what their mother is doing to our family and how horrible of a decision shes made because its biblical.

    Hes turned into pure evil. But i cant get over this huge guilty feeling. It hurts. When i dont have my kids i dont want to live anymore. When i have my kids, its very special time spent together and it goes by way too fast. Im much happier without him but im now dying inside because i dont have my kids all the time.
    I cant live like this, not making it through the week without wanting to die, but then being completely happy on the days i have my kids.

    I just dont know what to do. Im lost. So so lost and just dont know what to do.

    • A Left Behind Husband on February 28, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      While I am a left behind husband, what you describe is ABUSE. Specifically it is verbal abuse. You do not have to put up with that behavior. Either he needs to get professional help with his anger issues, or you need to walk away from the relationship, guilt free. I do not say this lightly. I am totally against the author’s actions of this article “feeling guilty for leaving a NICE guy.” That does not seem to fit your situation based upon your description.

      No one deserves to be abused.

    • Frankie on March 9, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      If he was a great guy he would do whatever to make it right with you. I would give you a Taser and overtime when I got out of hand you could shock me back to my senses. I would do that to keep my family happy and intact :) Or some other strong bargaining chip.

  68. Kmd on March 30, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    I know this is old, but I just wanted to say this is one of the coldest things that I have ever read.
    I really hope that you never have to feel the way that your husband did when you ripped his heart out. No wait, actually I do. Then you may finnally realize the pain you have caused.
    My mom did the same thing to my dad. Fair warning… you’re children will resent you forever no matter how happy they appear to be.

  69. M on July 9, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I married my husband in 2011, and even then I had a voice in my head saying something wasn’t right. I married him because he’s the most selfless, wonderful man I’ve ever met. Truly he is. But I don’t think I’ve ever been in love with him. Before I met him I fell in love with my best friend and the heartbreak from that relationship ending just about destroyed me. I convinced myself that the only men I feel a spark for are unavailable, emotionally or otherwise, and the challenge associated with those kinds of men. When I met my husband he was so nice to me, and really the first man I let take care of me. I wish I was passionate about him. I hate that I’m not, but pretending isn’t fair. We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and he is the best father in the world. Most of the time I think I just need to suck it up for her. That’s the commitment you make when you have kids right? I’ve recently fallen in love with a man at work and while we haven’t cheated we talk about it. A part of me thinks he’s proof of my pattern – that I’m only into unavailable men and the challenge they provide, but the way I feel around this man, our connection, the thought of growing old with him and taking care of each other, of having another child with him are all so appealing. I lost my mom to cancer at 61 years old in August and losing a parent slaps you in the face with thoughts about your own mortality. Life is so very short. I want passion, sex, love, laughter, chemistry, intimacy. I’m just so scared I’ll regret leaving such a wonderful man.

  70. Magic on July 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Sounds like most of you used your husband as a sperm donor. Wanted committment, got it, got the baby, now want out. And it is easier to leave a marriage knowing most mothers get the kid. Most likely why women initiate 73% of divorces. Good luck to you all!

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