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Wondering if “the grass is greener on the other side” of our marriage

Community Member

We’ve been married 4 years and together for 11 with a young child. We’ve had our ups and downs along the way but everything changed after becoming a mum.

I changed as a person but he didn’t and I‘m not sure we’re compatible. I’m confused on what to do. I’m constantly wondering if this is what marriage is like or could we both be happier apart. I’ve been thinking this for over a year now and my main concern is the effect on our child, my selfishness of not wanting to share our child’s time with people besides myself and whether I might be wrong in wanting to leave.

The time I spend thinking about this has increased lately which is why I’m here. This is my first relationship really, I’d been on dates and that before I met my husband but no one ever felt right until I met him. This makes it hard for me as well, as I don’t have any history for comparison.

I’m constantly questioning whether I should ask for a break and time to find myself and what I need from life? Is that asking to much from him? With what’s going on in the world at the moment timing also isn’t great. There’s a lot of underlying things we’ve been through that I’m not sure I can move passed either. We do have good days but the bad generally out way the good.

I’m hoping this might find others who have been through a similar situation who might be able to offer their experiences or advice whether positive or not.

6 Replies 6

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I could be on the wrong track here so by all means correct me.

Could it be that in other ways apart from your husband that you are unfulfilled and that being married and a mum has reinforced that lack of fulfilment?

Do you have hobbies? Friends? Sport? Ambition? Career? If so what are they and are you happy with them. Your answers will open up the core of the problem I hope.

Many people fall victim to the grass is greener option only to find it is more yellow. As an example some who have affairs or choose career over family.

Min short is there other factors missing?


Community Member

Hello Lost in reality

Your post echoes thousands of similar posts in this forum over the years. You are alone.

Often in marriages, we can find ourself wondering how different might my life be if only I had (insert alternative narrative here). I have never seen anyone leave a marriage to find themselves, and discover some secret to a happy life that eluded them while they were married (except of course, abusive relationships).

Is that asking too much from him?

I’m afraid it probably is. If a young wife with a child comes to the husband and says, I need a break. I’m leaving and taking our child. That will be quite a shock to the husband and you can expect some serious push back. I’m not suggesting it is not your right to seek fulfilment, but the step you are proposing is pretty serious and may have unintended consequences.

Lost, you wrote “....there is a lot of underlying things ...that I’m not sure I can move pass “. You don’t say what these things are but I’m sensing these underlying things are important information that reveal a lot about how you are feeling. Of course, we don’t want to pry you to reveal information that you aren’t comfortable in revealing, but even if you could talk about it in general terms it would help us sharpen our advice.

Anyway Lost, I hope you keep posting here and we’ll try and be more helpful.

Hi TonyWK,

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

You aren’t wrong with the path you’re suggesting, it could possibly be that and my issues with my husband being forefront are taking the full toll.

I am unfulfilled in basically all those aspects. I was made redundant last year and it is quite difficult to find a new career that fits within our family life, I am working casually and studying which I am enjoying but isn’t my dream. Hobbies are a bit difficult with the time I have free for myself and the access to those avenues.

I do feel quite isolated as we aren’t located near my family which is a big thing for me and where I can carry out my hobbies. This has been discussed and after 11 years we will relocate closer to them when we can afford to but not anytime soon.

Like many others my friends have got distant since becoming a mum, some I have lost and some our schedules don’t work well together so it is difficult to catch up often.

Even just posting my original post has made me feel like I’ve lifted a weight of my shoulders.

I will add that being a mum is one of the most fulfilling things I could ever imagine doing and the bond I have is supreme. A lot of the care does fall on me with what I feel to be little support, which has made me resentful towards having to live so far away from family.

Hi Betternow,

Thank you for your reply. I absolutely agree with the alternative narrative scenario you mention, I do feel this is happening. Comparing what I have to what we see in shows with planned out relationships isn’t realistic but it is done nonetheless.

I agree, when writing “is it too much to ask” I feel I deep down know it is. Being confused with what to do I’m picking at straws.

There are a few underlying things, he is a person of addiction. Which is mainly alcohol, he can sometimes direct it to healthier options but it tends to not last long. Along with this, where I have changed to adapt to parent hood, he has found that difficult. He is determined to not let that change his life which in turn resorted in me being alone a lot of the time to parent especially early on when I needed him the most. He commits strongly to his hobbies and activities and friends but doesn’t treat our needs as a family the same.

He has troubles with his mental health and has long been in denial about them or pushes them on to me, he has started to see someone recently but this has been put on hold. I feel his family have a big impact on this with them still not treating him like the adult he is.

I read somewhere that when we dream of others, it’s doesn’t mean we don’t love our partners, but the characteristic of the person we dream about is what we feel is lacking in your own relationship. (I hope I wrote that correctly)

I feel this is very real in my situation. The idea of these has taken over as the reality isn’t fulfilling.
We have quite opposite personalities, I struggle with the negatives and with his health being all negative and my positive support going nowhere it is very hard to handle on top of everything else I’m dealing with myself.
I still care for him but feel in regards to our marriage we’re gripping on to what little is left.

It is helping to talk about this with an outside perspective so thank you, I appreciate the honesty too.

Dear Lost

Thank you for your response. The picture is much clearer. I truly understand (been there myself) how dreary it feels to wonder every day whether you should stay or end a marriage. Usually a day arrives where you say “That’s it, I’m done”. You know it in your heart and you’re ready to go.

One further point Lost, is your husband aware of the depth of your feelings? Does he really understand how unhappy you are and the risk to the marriage? I’m always astonished at how many divorced husbands I meet that never saw the marriage break up coming. Men often don’t understand subtle, indirect conversations. If he is not aware, I think you should have that difficult conversation.

To stay in a marriage where you are unhappy will lead to a decline in your mental health and as the children grow older it will negatively affect them too.

Have you tried or considered professional counselling just for you? Relationship Australia and Anglicare both offer inexpensive counselling. They may be able to better counsel you on your own feelings without judgment. If this is successful, it may assist you in seeing the whole problem with a clearer vision. This in turn, may fortify you to make decision regarding your future one way or the other.

I truly wish you all the best Lost.

Thank you so much for your response Betternow.

Your reply truly has hit home. I have had the “that’s it, I’m done” moments. It’s just hard to except as it does seem like such a final decision. Not knowing if I’m just overly emotional about it all. Along with having a child involved and worried how it might effect their future in either choice.

My husband is aware of my feelings and he doesn’t care. He never shows he does. I get the “just leave then” response when I say that I might go stay with family while we try work things through, or I don’t care if you leave, I’ll miss our child but not you.

Yes I am concerned about the effect it is/will have on my mental health along with our child as a result. This is why I think I have emotionally checked out of his struggles as I can’t take that on on top of everything else.

I have considered seeing someone, but have never got around to it. I will aim to do that this week. I know it will help no matter the result.

Thank you very much for your time and advice it has truly helped.

All the best.