or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Advice needed for a friend...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Advice needed for a friend...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is having some problems and I thought what better place to get advice than here.

She is in a really bad marriage...he hardly ever talks to her and doesn't even care what is going on in her life outside of what she is fixing for supper. They don't even talk to each other or sleep in the same bed anymore. and when they do talk, it usually ends up in sarcasim or yelling.

Yes...divorce would seem like a simple answer....not so simple..... she cannot afford to pay the bills by herself, and also is afraid of being alone, since she never has been.

Marriage counceling is out...she told me he won't do that...he says it is stupid.

She says people tell her to just be strong and leave him and that things will work out, but that they don't understand how hard that would be at this point in her life (she is jobless and has a child)

So should she just live with it and deal with it until she is financially able to stand on her own two feet...or should she risk losing everything....(her state law says the hubby would get half of everything whether it was actually his or not)

She talks to me on a regular basis, and I try to help her as much as I can...but thought I would get your input...she would really appreciate it. She feels very sad, very hurt...and tired of trying to make the marriage work...but she is just terrified of being alone, or that noone else would want her, and that she couldn't pay the bills alone.

I know she doen't deserve this heartache. I guess there really isn't any advice you can give her that I haven't already given her. It isn't that she doesn't WANT to take the advice...it is more that she is scared to.
post #2 of 11
Your friend must have family to take her in while she is working on a divorce (I assume she IS divorcing him). I can't believe she is ALL alone?
What about support groups? I understand that in the US it is easy to find one near your home. If she talks to other women in a similar situation, she might find the courage to do the right thing for herself and her child.
I was also wondering about the husband. If he doesn't love or want her at all, how come he isn't leaving her first?
Your friend is really making her life difficult by her own choice. She really has to work on her self esteem and confidence.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Actually she isn't getting a divorce at this point. And she really has no family left...both her parents are gone...and she does suffer from low self esteem...and why he hasn't left, given how unhappy he must be, is beyond her.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
And people can judge and say what a fool she is for staying in this marriage....but until they have been there...dependent on a man to help pay the bills...plus she said she is worried about what it would do to her child to live without her father....they can't really know.

So really I guess it all just comes down to fear and low self esteem for her. People have tried to help her (with advice) but they still have no clue how hard it is for her
to cut those ties. The sad thing is....she still loves this man. So I guess nothing anyone can say will help her until she decided she has just had enough.

I think she is at the point of having enough...but scared about trying to pay the bills by herself....especially on unemployment.

Thanks or listening. I will tell her what you all said...she really is a good person....just a little naive and scared.
post #5 of 11
5 year ago, i left my husband of 18 year for another man.
I had everything, money, a brand new house, a new car every 2 year, but i was lonely!.

He never treat me bad, in fact he was a kind, caring person, but after 2 years of married life, the love and affection had gone. It's as if now that he had me, he did'nt have to try anymore!.

Then we had someone new at work who showed me that affection,he had nothing, in fact was up to his eyes in debt, but we loved each other.

Leaving my husband was'nt easy,it took me a year to make sure that i was doing the right thing, but i paid the price with what i did, my husband suffered a nervous breakdown through it, and to this day i still suffer with guilt, even though i knew i had done the right thing, because at the end of the day i had to think of myself and my happiness, not the material things in life.

And thats what i'd advise your friend, she can't stay in a marriage if she's unhappy, she'll only regret it in the end.

As for being alone, she wont be when she has friends like you around, i dont know where i would have been without mine, and as stupid as it sounds, having the love and affection from my cat Rosie is something i couldnt live without!!

Hope this is of some help

post #6 of 11
OMG Susan, that is almost a carbon copy of what happened to me - right down to the husband's breakdown, and to the having a nice house, fur coats, posh cars, money etc etc. But I just didn't love him and fell for a man 13 years my senior at work in 1991, who (despite our ups and downs) I still love enormously.

Anyway - back to Debby's question which is a different kettle of fish altogether. Debby - I think you may have written about this before (correct me if I'm wrong) sometime over a year ago. If nothing has been resolved between this couple in this time, and things have degenerated to the point where separate lives are being led, then (and without knowing the people it's a difficult thing to say) I would suggest that maybe it is time to call it a day on the marriage. It could be that both parties would be happier apart.

However the issues of the child and the joblessness are an obvious worry. In the US does the state provide for single mothers? Here there are all kinds of benefits and jobstart programmes for single mums, and they are often treated better than married women in a similar situation. Has your friend explored all the options that may be available to her?

I do understand what is meant about the fear of leaving and stepping out into the unknown. Maybe the answer is to live with it for the time being but set targets in terms of time to achieve job retraining and to establish some degree of independence (including squirelling money away in a separate account) until the day comes when she feels confident to make the move to divorce.

Millions of women around the world, many with kids and without jobs, leave unhappy relationships and in many cases find renewed strength in the joy being free of a bad marriage.

I wish your friend all the luck in the world in whatever decision she makes.
post #7 of 11
Staying in a relationship with a man who treats her apathetically at best (which is how it sounds to me) will certainly do nothing to help her self-esteem. However, she may find that taking a few small steps towards independence may help her to develop some. Inertia is such a powerful force; it is so much easier to stay in a bad situation than to change, and our defense mechanisms come up with so many reasons why we CAN'T do something, when actually it is probably possible, just difficult.

My advice at this point would be this: consult with a divorce lawyer. I believe many have a free first consultation. She is making no commitment to a divorce by educating herself, but she may really have no real idea of how it will work out financially, and a divorce attorney should be able to help her with that. She has a child; if she retains custody of that child she will get child support, and she may qualify for other assistance if she is a single parent and her income still falls below certain levels.

Second piece of advice: counceling for her. She doesn't need her husband to agree to marriage counceling, she can go by herself. An objective professional can help her put things into perspective and develop her self-esteem. If money is an issue, many places offer sliding-scale fees, so people with lower incomes pay smaller amounts. Many health insurance policies will also cover counceling.

Even if she decides not to get a divorce, she needs to realize that she does have options, and she is NOT trapped for life in a crappy situation. She may CHOOSE to stay in the marriage, but that is way different than staying because she feels she has no other choice.
post #8 of 11
She needs to do some planning. If she has a plan in place, she can deal with this relationship for a while longer as it is not physically abusive. She needs to start putting away at least some money in a secret account everyweek. Even if it means taking from the grocery fund - there are always ways to save on groceries without her hubby finding out. She needs to look into State programs for child care and support and line them up before she leaves. She needs to start looking for a job. If she leaves without a plan then she is setting herself up for pain and heartbreak.
post #9 of 11
Most places have women's crisis centers, that provide counseling and referrals, at no charge. As she is not working, she should be able to get six months to a year of spousal maintenance, from her husband as well as child support. She would probably qualify for child care assistance, food stamps, job training and Section 8 housing assistance, too. Advise her to check into crisis counseling. These centers are women working to help women.
post #10 of 11
Debby, I feel sad for your friend, it sounds as if she feels trapped. No one should feel that way. I can understand that she is dependent on him for the bills etc, but the others have given good suggestions.
I do not have any advice but I do want to say that I hope she is okay and works through it. She needs her friends right now.

post #11 of 11
I have never been married, so it is hard to give any advice. I agree that she needs to find things that make her life enjoyable. Finding her joy in life (passion) will go a long way to helping her self esteem. I take it from your posts that he is not abusive. Is he faithful to her? Has she ever tried talking to him on how they both could improve their marriage? He can't be happy either, if they are not even sleeping in the same room.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Advice needed for a friend...