During our marriage, my husband of twenty years has screwed around, lied and taken drugs – and I’m angry because I know he’s at it again. That said, he’s a loving father to our twin teenage girls, is likeable and fun and our social life stems from him. This is relevant because I have no family in Queensland and no friends because I work from home.
So my question is, if I kick him out will I be better off? I know I will have to live with overwhelming guilt for separating him from the girls. They love him to bits (he is the ‘fun one’). He says he loves me but it’s rubbish and his betrayals are constant. What do I do? Lola
There’s only really one answer I can give you, my friend. It doesn’t matter that he’s the life of the party or a great dad or your social link to the outside world. You’ve put up with 20 years of his crap and you need to get out of this marriage. Not just because he has zero respect for you or your feelings, but because you’ve got two impressionable young women watching every move you and your husband make. And by letting him stay and screw around and lie over and over, you’re modelling to your girls that it’s okay for men to treat them this way. And it’s not. It’s just NOT. It’s the last lesson you want to teach them.
If you take this path, it’ll be rocky and traumatic for all of you. You need a good counsellor to be a sounding board. You’ll need to make new friends and carve out a new social life and create a support network you trust, which is going to take time. You’ll have to make it abundantly clear to your girls that it’s not about them or anything they did, but they might well put up a fight or put you through hell as the ‘fun parent’ vacates. But you know what? I reckon down the track they’ll love and respect you more for it, and you’ll have a crack at a life that doesn’t revolve around constant secrets, lies and pain.
Love, reality chick