Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Should I leave or stay for my child? Emotionally distant spouse

Community Member
Hi there, I’ve been married for 7 years and have one child, my husband has always worked away and he came back after our child was born, we instantly had difficulty being around one another as we were not used to it, we also had our son and the stresses of sleep deprivation, sleepless nights, and not being able to do much as our child was full on, we started to argue, fight about things, my husband has always been emotionally distant, even when I told him I was pregnant he sat there angry for a couple of hours and kept asking me if this was for real, he didn’t hug or congratulate me, since then I felt distant from him. We became more and more distant as we had this child and didn’t spend time together, we both worked hard but forgot about ourselves. I started to workout to get my frustrations and sadness out and met someone and we instantly clicked, we have similar values, morals and are basically exactly the same in every way, he is very caring, nurturing, kind and considerate. My husband altho a hard worker he has never shown me love, and I’ve had no affection from him. He would often see me cook and clean and when he saw me sit down he would ask why am I not cleaning or cooking. I felt very unloved. He was constantly cruel and would never ever appreciate or thank me for my efforts. I come from a traditional family where marriage means ‘for life’ but since I’ve met this person and we’ve become good friends I feel like I need to find happiness again however I am very nervous to leave this marriage due to my child and us being married. I separated from my husband one year ago however we live under the same roof, he wants to make it work but I’ve given up hope. Should I continue to be separated and stop talking to this other person who I feel I may have a future with or should I give this other person a go who is exactly like me, caring, nurturing, kind. Our families are alike too in every possible way hence why we have clicked. We both don’t know what to do but we do realise it may be best to end for our son. I would have never thought I’d ever be in a situation like this ever and here I am. I’ve been so lost. Anyone in the same situation please help!
7 Replies 7

Community Member

Good morning Maricia

Please allow to express my sympathy for your suffering. To feel unloved in a marriage is one of the loneliest feelings on earth. Should you end your marriage and make a life with your new friend. Before we can discuss that option, I’m curious about a couple of things.

Have you told your husband how you feel? Is your husband happy in the marriage? How does he feel about being separated while you still live under the one roof? Does this mean the marriage is already effectively over? Busy work lives and looking after a child have threatened many marriages, but until you sit down and have a clear conversation about your feelings with your husband, it is difficult to offer you advice.

Now if you have a husband that wont listen and civil and polite discussion is impossible, that is a different story. If your best efforts at dialogue are ignored, then after 7 years you are well within your rights to formally end the marriage. If that is the case, that’s another area of discussion that we haven’t got room for here.

Your new friend seems like a lovely man and you obviously enjoy his company. I would however, counsel against rushing into his arms while you are married to someone else. Often, when we are unhappy, it is too easy to get swept up in the sweet emotions of a new love that will take me away from my present unhappiness.

I guess what I am trying to say, is don’t use your new friend as the lightning rod to end your marriage. Try and fix your marriage, if it can’t be fixed, end it. Whatever happens post marriage with your new friend will take of itself, one way or the other.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Maricia

First of all I'm sorry to hear about your situation and how unhappy you are in your marriage. It is tough to feel unloved. I am not going to say what you should do because ultimately it is up to you. I do suggest you talk to a professional and your husband about it. I also think that if you have been separated for a year and not much is changed then it may not change.

I want to speak as a child of divorce. My parents divorced when I was young. I really cant remember them together. Was I sad my parents were divorce. Yes. Did I wish they were together. Yes. Would I prefer they stay together for our (the kids) sake. NO. And would I rather my parents stay together and be unhappy. No. I would rather have grown up how I was with two loving parents separated then two unhappy parents together. I was still shown the same amount of love as parents married. All in all. As long as I grew up with parents that loved and supported me then I was happy. I know your kid would agree with this (maybe not at this age but when they grow up they will).

Everyone deserves happiness and love. Whether that is with your husband (if you are able to work it out) or someone else. We all deserve love and respect.

I hope this helps hearing it from someone who has grown up with parents not together.

Hi better now,

I expressed to my husband last year prior to asking for the separation, we kept arguing and wouldn’t get anywhere with it. I said if we continue this way I will burn out and will ask for a separation, he advised he would be ok with it as long as he gets to keep our child :(.

Altho both of us have been working hard, He does shift work and I work from home looking after our Child and working, the reason behind me getting back to work ASAP after having our child was to ease the pressure off the husband so he would not work 6-7 days a week and we could spend time together however he continued to work all the time. We’ve discussed this however to him I feel money means more than spending time with the family. We are financially well off and we don’t need him working all the time.

he hasn’t taken the separation well, he hasn’t accepted it, the only reason why I haven’t moved out is because of our child and the impact on him. Also my mother has been extremely stressed and I worry for her and her health too.

my husband has had anger issues for years, he was convicted of aggravated assault eleven years ago since then he’s become better but the anger, cruel behaviour, lack of communication and lack of sympathy has always been an issue.

I feel no matter what since we are totally different people I don’t see us being together long term. As we are the complete opposites.

he wants to work things out, and he wants to change, but I feel he may change and it may be back to how it was.

my friend on the other hand is exactly like me, I know it’s wrong I’ve been confiding in him however since we both see things the same way I feel we’ve clicked. We both come from cultural backgrounds and are very close to our respective families. We are family oriented people however my husband isn’t.

ive been so lost for months not knowing what to do.

ive never been in a situation like this and I don’t know what to do. I’ve always held good jobs and am a disciplined person in general.

And yes my husband has always expressed he’s been happy as I’ve always looked after him, the household, worked, and looked after our son. He has always expressed he won’t find anyone like me. My only outlet is the gym. Which makes me feel better mentally and physically. I do feel I’m staying cause I feel bad I’d hurt him and our son if I left. I’ve always put everyone’s else’s happiness before mine.

Hello Maricia

Thank you for the response. Everything is a lot clearer for me now. It sounds like you have already emotionally left the marriage and the only reason you still share a house with your husband is the logistical restraints. I or nobody else has the authority to tell you what to do as your next step. Whatever you choose, the decision must come from you. Here is how I see it for what it is worth.

From what you have written, its difficult to see how things will improve for you in the marriage. You have a child whom you love deeply and you are naturally concerned that ending the marriage may cause pain for your child. You also mentioned that your husband is okay with the marriage ending as long as he has custody.

Second point first, your husband has no more legal right to have custody of your child than you do. If an arrangement acceptable to the authorities cannot be worked out, a court order will make a judgement on custody. You as the biological mother will have a strong case. Rest assured, you will not lose custody (it may be a shared custody arrangement).

The effect on your child will be far worse as he grows older seeing his mother suffering in a dysfunctional marriage. As is written by many posters to this site, children need a happy, confident parent (even if its only one) rather than two unhappy parents forced to share a house.

I have to be blunt here and say, you should not allow your mother's health to sway your decision. As a father of three married women, I can assure all parents want to see their children in secure happy marriages. Don't prejudge your mother, she may be a lot stronger emotionally than you give her credit.

I know this is difficult, but I think its better not to allow your friendship with the man you are confiding in become a player in your situation. You only have one problem, your marriage. If you can sort out a separation, you can move along with your life but don't be too hasty in jumping into another "marriage".

Community Member

Hi Maricia,

I do not have children so please take my advice with a grain of salt but I think the best thing for your child is for you to be happy!

You sound very traditional like me and I hate the though of having a child and getting divorced but life happens and your happiness is the most important thing.

I am a bit confused if you are separated from Husband or not, but I think you should follow your gut!

Sounds like it is time for you to look after you, maybe you could 'end' things with Husband if not already and work on yourself! Do what ever makes you happy!

There is no point staying in an unhappy marriage for the child, I think the best thing for your child is for them to see their mother happy!

All the best!

Thank you for your kind words and words of support.

Community Member
Thank you ms purple. Yes I do agree everyone deserves happiness. Appreciate your kind words