I Hate My Wife But Love My Kids
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
Staying married is hard work. It starts with picking the right person. Someone you know well, someone you enjoy, someone who shares your beliefs, values, and plans for the future. Healthy marriages in my mind start with pre-marital counseling so that the counselor can bring things to light that the couple might not have discussed. They help the couple to know their own red flags and to honor them when they see them. They help them to release old baggage before they bring it with them into the new relationship. They don’t need to be the same or to agree on everything, they just need to know what they are getting into. But even with the right person marriage is hard work. It requires communication, and quality time. It requires dedication and loyalty. It requires the ability to listen to the needs of another person without becoming defensive. It requires learning to deliver the message without triggering your partner.
Sometimes staying married seems like too much work. The couple has grown apart and are angry and resentful, but neither could bare the idea of sharing custody of their children, so they stay. My advice to these couples is to pick a side. Stay and figure a way to fall back in love or leave and move on with your life. Just don’t be selfish. Don’t be a martyr. Children hate divorce but they hate a miserable home just as much. But I can never fall back in love with him. You can. But you don’t know what she’s done to me. I don’t have to. I made a big mistake marrying here. You may have. I thought he would change when we got married and had children. He didn’t. Now do the work and make it work or do the work and make the change. You owe it to the kids. This is not about you. But when you walk at that door make sure you can look your children in the eye and tell them honestly that you did all that you could. They will ask if you did. Be sure you can answer yes. People ask me as a Christian counselor if I am against divorce. My answer is I’m for what’s best for the children. People ask me if God can forgive them if they get divorced even if it’s the right decision for the kids. I’m not God but my God is filled with grace. I don’t know where you are in your marriage right now. If you are happy keep working to stay that way. If you are not happy do the work to see if there is a road back. There usually is. I’m here to help.