Wife seems to want a divorce


She’s expressed dissatisfaction with our marriage for some years now - but she doesn’t want to talk about it. Recently she said that she could see no future for us, and as our two children are 16 and 18, she hasn’t quite said, but strongly implied that she wants a divorce.

I got her to agree to counseling but she said that I just couldn’t make her happy.

We haven’t been to counseling yet (next week and might get put off for external reasons).

There are many factors in this - she’s a professional woman and I’ve been a stay-at-home dad for about 10 years. She’s burned out at work and is getting some pressure from her family (very non-catholic) to get rid of me. She’s also a fairly recent convert but I don’t know how committed she is to the sacremental nature of marriage (and her parent has divorced several times)

I suppose some of this is to vent to sympathetic ears, but practical advice would be appreciated.

Of course I have been praying.


*I would cement the idea of counseling…please don’t let any ‘externals’ get in the way of trying to keep your marriage together. Finding a good counselor needs to be a priorty for you both.

Did you both discuss who would stay at home before the decision happened? Have you been trying to find work, now that your kids are older teens?

I am sorry her family is putting this bird in her ear to leave you. I would ask her if I were you, to please leave her family out of your lives. It’s not up to them to determine the fate of your marriage, unless a man his abusive to my daughter someday, I would not step in and say anything about their issues. That is between your wife and you.

I will hold you both in my prayers, praying that your marriage reconciles. *


Has she had a physical exam with blood (and other) tests recently.

Is she taking any meds?

There could be organic issues such as thyroid.

Does depression run in her family?

Sometimes an adjustment in meds can make all the difference.

And an anti-depressant.


I am so sorry to hear about this situation. I will certaily pray for you!

I’m afraid I don’t have much advice other than to say that counselling is a very solid idea. Divorce is ugly, and couples who power through report that they are far happier 5 years afterwards, than ever before in their marriage. Have you thought about trying to go above and beyond in things to win her back? Trying to woo her as when you were dating? Yes, it reqires a lot of you, especially since you are still so hurt though all of this, and also need your heart to be chased as well, but it all has to start somewhere. Again, praying for you!!


I’ve tried the ‘above and beyond’ but she really doesn’t respond well to it; I’ve actually been told not to give her flowers and things, and at this point she says she doesn’t like to be with me.

But thanks for the suggestions.

For the record I’ll mention that I asked her if there was anything I did, or didn’t do that caused her problems and she said there was nothing.


I think depression is certainly a possibility, but she’s against taking medications.


I’ve started to look, but my specialty is pretty fast-paced and my skills are stale.

We did discuss my staying at home before I did it and she was more than fine with the idea. We both hated the idea of daycare.

Talking to her about her family causes a very angry reaction. Even my mentioning her parent will make her quite angry. I haven’t had an even slightly critical thing to say about the parent for many many years.


Maybe she feels overwhelmed by being the breadwinner and would feel some relief if you went out and got a job, any job.


*Praying that things get better…it’s hard when someone won’t meet you halfway. I agree with fultonfish, maybe if she took some time off, and you went out for work, it might help, but I know what you mean about being out of the workforce for a while…might have to work back up, to get the skills back on pace. I hope things get better, I’ll lift your marriage up at mass tomorrow. *


Betcha anything the ‘stay at home’ is the fire under the simmer.

Sexist or not, I think women secretly resent having their man dependent on them in a way that men don’t when things are reversed.

Even if your original career has gone sour on the shelf, you ain’t dead yet. You’re in a unique position of being able to start a business. Got any skills you can market directly to buyers?


Yeah, I agree with others whom have stated your “stay at home dad” status might be the core issue. Obviously I can’t know for sure, but it’s a hunch. I haven’t read this thread in detail, but are you now looking for a job? It sounds like the kids dont’ need a parent home all the time any more, that they have some indepeance and are even getting ready to leave the nest. It’s a great time to reboot that career. I would start there, and work on whatever other issues you have as they come up. Hopefully you’ll be able to pull it out.

I would also talk to a Preist about your issues. I’m not even sure if he’ll specifically be able to give you good advice or not (depends on the Preist and their expereince) but at the very least you’ll feel better talking about it. They might also help nudge you towards finding some of these solutions on your own, sometimes just be listening, others perhaps by giving spiritual advice which on the surface may not seem to contain any great epiphany, but maybe when you think about it more… Anyway, just a thought.



Teenagers NEED a parent at home. Teenagers at home with no adults around afterschool is just on your knees begging for trouble.

If it is SAHD or SAHM or split schedules… anything that keeps an adult there in the house with the teens is best!


Yes, this is true and NOT at all clear. I do NOT intend to demean the value of an at home parent or the dangers of latch key kids. Lord knows I went plenty astray in high school during lunch at the homes of kids with 2 working parents!

But IF this is the source of the relationship problems, then there ARE ways to get both done - especially if some kind of home business is a possibility. If you’re near a major urban area where most of the new homes are in subdivision with an HOA, I might even have a business idea for you. PM me if interested (I ain’t giving it to just anybody!)


In the words of my father in law, “Time for another child”. :smiley:


If the postitions were reversed (working hubby wanted divorce, SAHM doesn’t) what we would tell the SAHM?

I don’t know if telling him to get a job would do anything…


I appreciate all the thoughtful comments - I am beginning to look for work; even so, I’m not sure that will get at the fundamental issues - there’s more going on with my wife than I have been able to get her to tell me.




Well, I am not giving up, but I think that the prognosis is not good. At this point it’s in my wife’s court and I have to accept that she probably doesn’t want to ‘do the work’ necessary to understand the real reasons why she’s unhappy.

So… if it comes to a divorce, is there a way to secure some sort of Church-sanctioned separation? I have no desire to marry again and would consider myself still married to her.


Your best option is an anullment. If that can’t be granted, the next best church option is a church ordered seperation, this would not, however allow you to remarry or engage in extramarital affairs. I’m really hoping for the best for you here.


It’s highly unlikely that I’ll be interested in another relationship. I just don’t want to loose the sacraments.

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