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September 25, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Love

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I hate the sight of him!


I have been married for 13 years. I have left my husband several times, both physically and emotionally but always came back due to financial and security reasons (we have a 12 year old daughter). Now, after completing my education, I am beginning my dream career and have achieved a degree of independence and security away from him.

I would like to divorce him and start a new life ASAP, and am meeting with my attorney today to begin the process. My problem is, I have not told my husband my feelings or intentions! Now that my mind is made up I cannot wait to have him move out and leave me alone. I feel like a cold-hearted woman, but I am anxious to get on with my new life, which I look forward to with excitement and hope.

I doubt my lawyer would be able to help me break the news and I want your advice on how, when, where, etc. to tell my husband that I am breaking up this marriage and want him to move out quickly. He is a great guy and I want to maintain the love and friendship we have always had together, especially for our child.

What is the kindest, most sensitive way to break the news to an unsuspecting partner that your marriage is over and he needs to leave?

Hollie (42 year-old woman)


Dear Hollie,

You've painted yourself into a corner by not revealing your true feelings and intentions, and somehow want to get out without getting paint on your feet. I'm here to tell you it can't be done. And shouldn't. This is messy, has been messy, and probably will be messy for some time.

First off, your letter is filled with mixed messages, even about liking and not liking your husband. How can you actually say you want to maintain the love and friendship you've had with him, when you're also saying you can't wait till he leaves you alone? You are actually asking how to be kind and sensitive about something in which you don't seem to feel either kind or sensitive, so that you somehow come off smelling like a rose when you are in fact sticking him with a thorn. It's a two-faced thing you are asking for, and you might not be able to have it both ways.

Perhaps though, the kindest most sensitive thing you could do with your husband at this point is to be honest about the mess, and own your part in it, how you've used him, made choices out of fear, and have been dishonest about your intentions for some time. Be empathetic to his feelings, whatever they may be, including possible outrage, anger, and disgust. Although you'd like to get this messy business behind you quickly, and without a ripple, I think you owe him some healing time that might still include some waves. By being honest and humble in a clear communication time with your husband in this break-up phase of things, you can still model some integrity to your daughter, seeing as how she will probably want to keep both you and her father in her life. You can do her and him right by confessing your mistakes, and facing the consequences of your past deceptions and new choices.


Andy Bernay-Roman

This question was answered by Andy Bernay-Roman, RN, MS, LMHC, NCC, LMT. He is a nationally certified counselor in private psychotherapy practice in South Florida working with individuals, couples, and families with a deep-feeling therapy approach. Andy's medical background as an ICU nurse contributes to his success with clients with difficult medical diagnoses and/or chronic physical conditions. He also serves as head of the Psychological Support Department of West Palm Beach's Hippocrates Health Institute.

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