A Parent’s Obligations During a Divorce

Dear Coming Through The Rye Staff,

My husband and I have been married for five years. I am 24 years old, and he is 28 years old. So there is a decent age gap between us. I will start with a short background.

I had my first child when I was 16 years old. I decided not to give her up for adoption. So I got my life together – I graduated a year early, started college, and in a semester, am graduating with a physics degree. After I have my undergraduate degree, I will be continuing my education through a doctorate program and will work as a teacher while I get my Ph.D. I met my husband through church about six years ago. At the time, I didn’t think anyone would ever be able to love and accept me, because I was so young and had a child. So, I was eager to settle down. To this day, I’m not so sure why I was so eager. My sister believes I was scared that my then-fiancĂ© would leave me when he really realized what he was getting into… by marrying a woman with a child. So I married. And one month into our marriage, we discovered we were expecting. (end background information)

When I married, I knew we had differences. I just thought, “Hey, everyone has differences, but we’ll make it.” As I got older, and dare I say, as I discovered more about myself, those differences seemed to become tremendous. I feel like we don’t make each other happy. A few examples of some major differences are as follows: I am atheist, he’s Christian; I have a lower than normal sex drive, he has a super high sex drive; I love being outdoors, he would rather watch t.v. all day; I seek knowledge constantly, he could care less. I don’t feel like we have meaningful conversations… I don’t feel comfortable around him anymore… I don’t feel happy. I don’t feel like he’s happy. I don’t think that we make each other happy.

I see him lust after other women. I find my mind drifting and thinking about my future. And when I think about my future, I don’t picture him in it. I believe that I should stay in this marriage for my children. I am so scared to break up my family, despite my unhappiness. So what do I do? Do I stay for my child, or is it better to leave have my child be brought up in a divided household? I am so torn on what to do. I cry about it constantly, and I have read article after article after article. Are my only two choices either to stay unhappy for the sake of my child or to put my children through the pain of a broken family for my happiness? I feel like it would be terribly selfish of me to divorce my husband because of the pain my children might go through. Please help me. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Even if you don’t respond, it’s been nice just typing it all out. Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Marissa

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