Q: I am so sad in my marriage. I am a stay at home mom with 5 kids, ages 12 to one year. I DESPERATELY want to divorce my husband, but I have no means. My family is so far away. The pain of not leaving is killing me. I don’t trust my husband at all, even though he’s my children’s father. He is a pathological liar, and having him in my life is a growing cancer. What do I do? He is a good dad – actually, more of a good provider for me and the kids, but that is not enough for me. Please tell me how do I divorce my children’s father?
In her original comment, this woman also described how her husband has been cheating on her. They’ve been married for 14 years, and he’s been with up to four different women at the same time, plus being involved with ladies outside the country.
I’m a Stay at Home Mom – How Do I Divorce My Children’s Father?
A: I wish I had an easy answer for you, but I don’t. There is no simple, uncomplicated way to divorce a man when you have five kids together and you’re a stay at home mom. My heart goes out to you, because I know from your comment that you’re in a lot of pain. I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes, but I know how heartbreaking it is to feel powerless, sad, and trapped in a situation you have no control over.
The first thing you need to do is contact a women’s resource centre and a legal aid organization. I don’t know where you live or what social services-type support you have access to, but I do know you need to start doing some research. My friend’s husband just left her and their three kids – she’s also a stay at home mom – and she had to find a lawyer. It’s a difficult step to take, especially when you have financial concerns, but it’s necessary. If you want to divorce your kids’ father, you need to know what legal rights you have.
The second thing is to consider moving closer to your family. I know they’re far away, and I know how stressful it’ll be for you and your children to move! But, you need to compare the short-term pain of divorcing your husband with the long-term pain of staying with him, and continuing the path you’re on now. Call your closest relatives, and talk about the possibilities. Can you stay with someone for a few weeks, while you look for a place?
The third thing – which is actually of primary importance – is to figure out your finances. I assume you don’t have much money, as a stay at home mom of five children! If you’re divorcing your children’s father, you’ll probably need money to support yourself. Don’t forget that he will have to pay child support and alimony (that’s why you need to talk to a legal aid representative).
The fourth thing is to start gathering evidence of your husband’s affairs. You’ll have an easier time seeking a divorce and getting child support if you have concrete evidence that your marriage is unhealthy. Again, a women’s resource centre in your area can help you with this.
I’m really sorry you’re facing this. It’s a very difficult time in in a woman’s life – even if you weren’t a stay at home mom! You have to remember that you’re a survivor, and you can make huge, positive changes in your life. Take it one small step at a time, my friend. Make one phone call a day, and give yourself time and space to process the information you get about divorce.
Dear reader, you left your comment on my article about getting money to leave your husband, so I know you’ve read that article. I invite you to re-read it, and try to apply the six steps in that article to your life. You don’t have to divorce your husband today, or even this month. Take a deep breath, and find an in-person support network to help you figure out what step to take next.
If you know in your heart it's time to move on, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
For more tips, read You’re Scared to Be Alone, But Know You Need to End Your Relationship.