Should I Stay or Should I Go

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“I am in my second marriage and have been married for 18 years. My husband is a good man, but very untidy and unmotivated to maintain our home…

We have a very good income, but he will not do maintenance and will not allow me to hire anyone to do this. We have lost 100k of our house value and it is currently unsellable due to repairs needed.

I work full time at a stressful job, I have a chronic fatigue disorder and I am responsible for all household chores, cooking, cleaning, shopping, bill paying… and I have to clean up after him too. He does have a physically demanding job and I try to offer grace and try not to be selfish and demanding. But I would like a nice, clean, safe house to live in. Especially since we are getting older.

I am ready to just walk away from everything – but I am not in an abusive relationship and I do not want to break my marriage vows. I am so torn.

What can I do? I don’t like conflict and if I say anything he just gets mad and yells and makes being home very uncomfortable. I have recently hired someone to come in and help me clean and organize – so maybe I will feel better at home… what would you do?” -Anonymous

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40 thoughts on “Should I Stay or Should I Go”

  1. Pertaining to verbal abusers, one of two things eventually happen: you will start to hate them or you will start to believe them. Neither is a good scenario, and both these situations cause much pain. Now that you have named your problem, I pray you will do whatever it takes to be happy and healthy! Hopefully, you can talk to him and work it out, but if not have Plan B ready to go. Best wishes!

  2. Sweetie there are other types of abuse other than physical. Oftentimes verbal and psychological abuse is just as traumatic. When he gets mad and yells and makes things uncomfortable for you at home, that is abusive. Ask him to go to counseling and tell him you are considering leaving and why. If he refuses, pack up your things and go live your happiest and neatest life. You deserve more than what you are receiving. Good luck to you!

  3. I married my husband because I love him, not for his house keeping abilities.
    Maybe your husband is unwell, but hasn’t discussed his health issues with you.
    Maybe a weekend away and a long talk to discuss your concerns and ask if he minds if you get someone to help you get your home up to scratch. Surely it’s not worth breaking up what you say is a good marriage over his ability to maintain a house.
    Just wish you well.

  4. No one can tell you what to do. No one but you truly can know what’s right for you. All I can say is that I, personally, would attempt to discuss it with him. If he refused to do so, or to compromise at all, I would go. Love and marriage are about compromise, but compromise requires both sides to give. When someone fears speaking their mind because you might get angry, that’s a way of controlling them, it’s abusive, and it’s wrong. Do what feels right to you but, no matter what, speak your mind and do what will make you feel happy, safe, and loved. If it doesn’t give you those three things, it isn’t worth fighting for.

  5. Is it possible he is suffering from some sort of mental illness? This sort of behavior indicates a disease. Speak to his doctor about this. If this has been his behavior since day 1 of your marriage I wonder why you stayed so long.

  6. I don’t know how you get through the now of things, but remember that we usually outlive the guys. I will probably clean up the house, get a couple of pets and keep chocolate cake in the house all the time, when the sad day comes. In the meantime, I love his company.

    1. One of the best answers yet I so know how Anon feels I’m in the same boat except.. it was his house first but now my home but still seen as “HIS HOUSE” 16 years later……. love the chocolate cake idea, already have animals.. and I do love my husband… guess I wait 🙂

      1. I honestly could not handle the house in that disorder ,it would have to be fixed up to a liveable standard .I find that abusive or he has some kind of issue which ever needs addressing immediately.

  7. If you’re paying the bills, hire whoever you need to repair your home. If you have a joint account, I would suggest putting at least half the repair costs in a separate, personal account before paying for the work, then pay the full amount from the joint account. That way, you’ll have money set aside so you can leave should he go ballistic when you defy him.

    1. I agree. Hire the help, whatever help you need. Will he go to marriage counseling? If not, will you go to counseling for your own self. A good suggestion was made about the possibility of a mental illness. It might also be a physical issue. Only you can decide what’s best for you but I’d get the house in order, repairs made if possible and try to stick it out a tad longer.

  8. I wish it was as easy as everyone is suggesting to just quit a marriage and walk away. It should not be easy and it is not easy. But once you have decided that the toxic environment is damaging you emotionally and physically- you can develop a plan. But see a lawyer. I do not advocate divorce as a Christian but I do advocate women’s rights. You will get screwed over without a good lawyer.
    A legal separation will give you some security and some finances. He will have to see that you are serious.
    If you love him you will hesitate at this suggestion. If that love is gone, you will see that you must protect yourself because he is no longer abiding by his marital vows to protect you.
    Best of luck- but many prayers

    1. Sorry but if you work and have your own income you can hire anyone you want…you don’t need permission to do these things

      1. I agree with Toothfairy! You have an income, use it as you see fit. Let him get angry….but do the repairs and maintenance that need to be done. There is not point in allowing your home to fall apart around you…and by the way…could your husband be depressed?

        1. I stayed married for 49 years. Took care of him for 8 parents for 10.
          Now I have fibromyalgia, anxiety , chronic fatigue.
          arthritis. Worked for 26
          years. Very important to look at your feature. O

  9. You have become complacent in living in the home as it is. It’s time for your happiness and your joy. Don’t back him in a corner, suggest that he look for someone who he feels can do the “projects” around the home that he has been unable to do. Then that person is paid out of his pocket. Once the home is brought back up to a condition that you can sell it, do so. And while it’s on the market find yourself a little place and start moving forward to getting on with your life.

    1. Completely agree! I was in exactly the same situation and made the break. It was tough to deliver the message but at that point I was so far gone from the relationship that I was able to maintain my resolve. It was the best thing I ever did. Now I live a happy, healthy life and enjoy my time with my family and friends. Stay strong, you can do it!

      1. What about a separation? Ask him to move out on his own, fix up the house and then decide whether or not you want to continue the relationship. If you decide to divorce the house will be sellable and you can go your own way…

  10. You need to re-examine what you consider abusive. To me someone who yells at me and makes me uncomfortable in my own home is abusive. Emotional and verbal abuse are just as damaging to a person as physical abuse can be. 18 years of it is very damaging to sense of self and causes depression so you think you are in the wrong. The advice about getting legal advice now is important. Make your plans and then leave.

  11. I would suggest that you plan ahead. First, find out what the laws are in your state and proceed from there, a legal separation might be advisable? Make sure you are not obligated to him and that he cannot sue you for support, bills etc. You can rent on your own after you find out your rights, if that is the road you decide to go. I was miserable and figured working at a low paying job was better than the mental abuse! Good luck!

  12. I say go live a separate life from him. Go get your own place if you can. You don’t have to divorce. You can even date him if you want, Just don’t live with him. If he still yells at you and forbids you to do anything, get a divorce and breathe the sweet air of freedom. Life is too short!

    1. Excellent. This was what I was going to suggest. Get a little flat somewhere but stay married. He is expecting her to be his wife and his mother.

    2. After taking care of my mum for so long, and having taken care of my husband’s every need, I would put my foot down and say it is time you learn to care for your home, and pay your way… and if he doesn’t comply… leave. You don’t have to get a divorce or legal separation. Tell him you will be back when you see changes. Make him a honey do list and leave it by the door.

  13. I beg to differ. You are in an abusive relationship, not physically abusive, but emotionally abusive. You deserve to live in a comfortable home and if he won’t do the work you should be able to hire help to do it. You used the word “allowed” and I find that particularly abusive. If he won’t talk or seek counseling, leave. Being alone is not all that bad when your surroundings are safe and comfortable and no one is yelling at you.

      1. You have said your answer, once u have a seed that u have planted like this one it will only grow until u do something for yourself, you only live once, you know what he does hes predictable and boring do not stay where u are not watered so u can blossom & if ur that hung up on staying married, marry someone else simple, stop leaving your actions, as if they are predetermined because u are married, im sure hes said stuff he has “broken” words he doesnt uphold, ur vows were words not spells or god, words and actions always different – jst move on u will be happier and u know it

    1. Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. Try to get counseling together and then you will know you have tried everything you can. Life is too short to live miserably. Best wishes

  14. Lay it on the line, tell him how you feel that you can’t live in a home you aren’t proud to come home to and that you will hire people to come in and fix the house, put earplugs in your ears for the yelling and screaming that follows, then when he’s done yelling tell him if he tries to stop you then your only option is to leave and let him deal with the house.

  15. You may not be in a physically abusive relationship. , BUT it would seem that it is emotionally abusive .
    YOUR needs are being ignored

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