Dear Miss Emily:

I have been married for 10 years to my husband. He travels 30 weeks out of the year.  About 6 months ago, I told him he needs to go on medication to control his anger and obsessive- compulsive behaviors.  He finally started taking his medication daily, great!  But he still does not treat me well.  When we talk about how to handle the money, he laughs and tells me he does not know what I am talking about ( I disagree with how he handles money).  If he does not agree with how I handled a certain situation, he tells me he is disappointed with me (while yelling in front of the kids).  And then he wants to "take over" the situation so it is handled his way.  When I tell him I am hurt by how he acts, he states, "You are overreacting or you are looking for things to be mad at.  He tells my parents and friends, "I know she hates when I say this, but I will not divorce because of the kids."  I have never asked for a divorce or mentioned it, although he asks me if I want a divorce(when fighting).  Or if he is really angry he will threaten to leave.  I have never threatened or asked him to leave.  When I approach as to why he says this to friends and family, he says he loves me and never wants to leave.  Do to all of this, I have "fallen out of love" with him.  He feels because he is on medication that things should be fine.  But, I can't "fall back in love" with him.  I try, but every time I feel I might be over the bad feelings something happens to tick me off.  He feels if I hug and kiss him and have sex with him, then everything will be fine.  For example: Yesterday, he called from the office, and I asked what was going on, and he asked, "Why are you not being nice and loving?"  My friend was there and thought I spoke well to him.  I told him that I do not love him, three days ago. The other day, he stated that I should be happy because he could cheat if he wanted to.  I have never cheated, I thought about it once, but ended it before it had a chance to even begin (again, never told him).  Besides ranting to you, do you think these are valid reasons for divorce?  He does not want to go into therapy, and I can't fall back in love.  Do you think there is a way to "fall back in love?”  Part of me does not want a divorce because he is gone so much.  I am afraid of the guilt I will feel for this upheaval to my children (3 and 8).  Thank you so much for your help.
Considering my options

---------------------------Miss Emily’s advice-----------------------------


Dear Considering:

I assume your husband is the bread winner, and this is one reason why he feels he has control over your life; although his OCD, and need for control are signs of deep-seated insecurity.  To compensate his shortcomings, and his physical distance from the family so much of the year, he exaggerates his sense of worth.  As a result, your rebellion is seen as silly and not worthy of his time.  Therefore, you often feel powerless (which is what he wants) even though you are in complete charge of the children and household, thirty weeks out of the year.  The fact that he is gone so often, has forced both of you to function alone.  Even with an ideal mate, this is not an easy circumstance to navigate.   This is less a marriage, and more an arrangement.  Now to answer your question:  Is what you have told me valid reasons for getting a divorce?  Yes.  Can it be done easily?  No.  And this is why: Your husband, more than likely, thinks he holds all the cards.  If you were to ask for a divorce, he may threaten your status financially and parentally.  Knowing this, and you are still determined to proceed with a divorce, prepare with great precision and do it cautiously.  Have a plan. Find out what rights you have, and how much you can expect financially.  Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved.  But if you do this with maturity, i.e., do not get down-and-dirty, nor bad-mouth your husband to your children, you might be able to keep a bad situation from turning into a nightmare.  If you file for divorce, perhaps your husband will no longer see you as someone who makes idle threats, and he will be willing to go to counseling.  After all, he did go on medication, per your request!  Can you ever love him again?  It’s possible, but he would have to be willing to show you the respect you deserve, and mean it.  In the final analysis, living a life, not your own, can be a fate worse than death.  If you truly believe that there’s a better life for you, away from this man, go for it.  You have one life.  He should not be the one to decide how you live it.