“My Husband Won’t Support Me Going Back To School and I’m Thinking About Leaving Him?”
BY: DR. SHERRY
You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the
Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in
Hello Dr. Sherry,
I’ve been married for 10 years but he and I have been together for 12 years. I’m
having issues with my husband and his role in our marriage. For the first years, I
pretty much did everything! Cook, clean, laundry and half on all bills. I have two
sons (22 & 18) from a previous relationship and he has a daughter who was just
months old when he and I got together.
He’s not fair to me when it comes to money. If he thinks I have any extra money
he will not help. He refuses to do any chores now that my sons are grown up and
are gone from the house. Even on his day off I can’t get him to help. He won’t
wash the cars or take them to be serviced. I have to do everything or it won’t be
done. It’s like he and I are roommates—not husband and wife. For the last few years,
my boys have been feeling different about him because they see how he treats me.
Recently I’ve decided to return to school. So I talked to my husband and let him
know what I would need from him in order to support me. He informed me that he
was not going to help me and that I should have finished school before I met him
and on top of that he said I was too old! I’ll be 40 this year. I was so hurt! I’ve always
put him and our family before myself. And now that I want to better myself
he says these hurtful things to me.
I informed him that with or without him I was going to pursue my degree. I
enrolled in school and I’m doing well! I’ve had to prioritize my bills and have cut
out a lot of extracurricular activities, like movies and going out to eat, pedicure,
etc. He’s not happy about this and is mad when I won’t give him credit cards or
cash to help out like I used.
Long story short, I have really been thinking about leaving! My thoughts are, if
you can’t help me during this time while I’m in school then you don’t deserve to
enjoy the fruits of my labor! If my thought process is wrong, please help Me!
Stay or walk?
Rather than signing off with “ Stay or walk”, maybe it should be “Walk or run”! In your
case, Run and Run fast! It definitely sounds like you have done more than your fair
share in the marriage without getting much in return and no support. You mentioned
that you feel like a roommate. Actually, having a roommate would be much easier! If
your husband was only a roommate, you would not be doing all the cooking, cleaning,
laundry, having both of your cars serviced and washed as well as paying half of the
bills. You have been doing a whole lot and my question is “Why?”. The more
responsibility you have taken on, the more your husband will allow you to. That choice
is yours but don’t be surprised when he ignores your plea for help. Neither should you
be surprised when your husband is not supportive of you returning to school. But, good
for you for pushing ahead, making the necessary sacrifices and going to school! Don’t
be surprised if your husband doesn’t try to sabotage your progress. Given his behaviors
towards you, I am surprised that you are hurt by his comments regarding school. I
recommend that you seek individual therapy to process your feelings and to understand
why you are stuck emotionally. Why continue to be a roommate in a marriage with no
benefits? If you want more, do not settle for less! —Dr. Sherry