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Why do many of you still choose to stay married if you are so miserable

carolstepmother123's picture

I don't mean to offend anybody, but as I read through all these posts, All I read are complains, bitching and moaning about step children, bm dramas, miserable in laws, none supportive husbands - guilty daddies. I made a post about my cheating husband, everybody suggested that I need to leave. I think it is great advice, don't get me wrong.

I do decide to leave because I agree with all of you, I deserve better. But I am just curious, it seems like some of your situations are beyond repair (possibly very close to mine for different reasons). Why do you choose to stay with the marriage?

I just want to figure out the pros and cons, so I can leave the marriage for good.

My husband cheated on me, he also cheated on his ex. We had a heart to heart talk tonight and he said he cheated because he was afraid I was going to cheat on him. I don't buy this lame excuses. Cheating is a deal breaker for me and I am not going to sell myself short.

I do wonder though, have you reached to a point of no return in your marriage? Many of you here cannot even stand your step kids and bm, and many of you have non supportive husbands, why do you stay in the marriage?

This question does not apply to those women who have supportive husbands. THis question is for those who have unbearable step kids and non supportive husbands who show them no respect, no respects.

Thank you.

StickAFork's picture

Good question. I cannot imagine forcing myself to live in misery...ESPECIALLY like the women who aren't married. It's just their boyfriend who treats them like this!!

I'm happy to hear you think you deserve better. YOU DO. I wonder what excuses he gave his first wife for cheating?

mskaye2012's picture

Well it's just my boyfriend but I have not left yet because I have a kid involved in the picture who I moved from our place in order to live with them. I would feel bad moving my daughter again within less than a year and the expenses involved is large within a short period of time, I also for the most part had a good relationship with my bf until the BM started acting a fool regarding us moving in. I want to make sure I am leaving for the right reasons and not giving up too soon.

carolstepmother123's picture

I try to do the same thing.
I too want to leave for the right reasons and not giving up too soon.
My husband and I have a good relationship, but I don't think I can see past his infidelity.
I don't have a bio kid with him so If leave I will never look back.

I do however, believe any breakups are hard, it doesn't matter whose fault is it. So I am kind of stuck in the rock and hard place situation.

carolstepmother123's picture

To answer your question. I THOUGHT i had a good relationship I THOUGHT (past tense) I used a wrong word and you bite my head off!

Maybe my post confused you, but I have no desire of staying ! and dont take my post personally. I dont mean to offend you or anybody. I have enough of my own shit to deal with, have no desire to deal with YOUR attitude.

carolstepmother123's picture

hypovic I didn't say you were wrong. I am only saying, the previous poster sounds like she was biting my head off.

I am not a God damn mind reader or a psychic you know, we do have good times in our marriage, and like other poster pointed out, I m going through a grief process. I don't need any negativity or have somebody put me in my place. Just cant deal with it.

nothinforya's picture

My dear, take a breath, exhale, repeat. You are grieving. You have lost the life you thought you had. Poster was pointing out that reality. You have not assimilated the information that that life was an illusion created by someone deceiving you to get his needs met. IT WAS NOT REAL. Be extremely cautious with this man. He has great capacity to lie and deceive, and will do his best to convince you to stay with him. And then he can feel the rush from convincing you that this latest batch of lies has been believed.

You have to understand that he is DIFFERENT from the average guy in a marriage that has some troubles from time to time. Your H has a personality disorder. He is sociopathic, narcissistic, or borderline. You are not real to him. You are furniture that is in his life to use for his purposes. Every time someone has presented this group with such an unhealthy situation, and had a young woman ask for advice, the advice has been remarkably consistent. You can't fix him. All you can do is save yourself, before you have children that will tie you to him for the rest of your life.

lmc1218's picture

I agree with you totally. Being someone that once was in a so called marriage with a really breaks you down as a feel worthless, you blame yourself first as us women do..what could we have done..more sex, more love, doens't matter to some of these kind of men nothing matters but their self. They have issues. If you are ready to leave do so. It will be tough, but you can do it. You are worth so much more. You deserve respect and Love, you will find it. Thank GOD that you do not have any children with this man. I would not get involved with anyone for a year to clear you head, then during that time work on you, become the best you you can...and then expect nothing but the best from whomever should be lucky enough to have you! Take care you will get through it Smile <3

Ashleystepmom's picture

She just found out her husband was a cheater not long ago. She is still in shock!
Many people thought they had good marriages until a bomb is dropped.

Go easy on her, she did say she was going to leave the relationship, didn't she? That takes a lot of courage. A lot of women chose to stay in abusive relationships, or chose to deny there was a problem in their marriages.

She is not one of those. Plus, she mentioned, "This question does not apply to women who have supportive husbands."

She is wondering, "Why women who cannot stand their step kids, their husbands are not supportive still choose to stay in the marriage, she just want to figure out the pros and cons" This is not a crime, is this? This is an EXCELLENT QUESTION. I wonder the exact same way I do.

Everybody went through divorce KNOW divorce is NOT an easy decision. She is going to go through the grief process. I can hardly see why your challenge can provide her with any type of support, help. If you cannot be supportive, show some sympathy at least. I know your husband loves you, you are the lucky one, she obviously does not have the luck.

young_step_mom's picture

I think it is difficult. I love my DH and he is very supportive about many things, but we (like everyone else) have our disagreements. I don't post when things are sunshine and rainbows, I only come here to bitch about the crap that bugs me. I can't say the same for all posters, but I assume a lot of us lurk and comment other's posts for months and only post something ourselves when we have a problem with DH/BM/SK etc. So a lot of things on here are very one-sided and it is hard to assess the situation when all you see are the bad things and only once they get to be so bad that we need to blow up.

I also think some of us here are too quick to pull out the divorce card. Don't get me wrong, there are some posters here who are better off alone, but too many people come looking for advice and the very first response is RUN! If you are married and have made that commitment, you should exhaust every possible option before you leave. Talk it out, go to counceling, make a plan, put in some effort before packing your bags. It is difficult because some of us accept so much disrespect for so long that by the time we stand up it is just all too much and there is no way to get back. Some posters have been at this so long that when they see someone who is just getting started, they tell them to get out before they end up like them. But I think it would be more beneficial to hear how they would have done things differently than simply "get out now." IMHO of course.

carolstepmother123's picture

Thank you again for all your responses. The longer I am staying on this site, the more I believe I should have divorced a long time ago.

oncechoosetosmile's picture

Good for you!!
It is all a balance, a cheater would be surely kicked out by me!!
Sd making my life harder at times is a different issue.I also learned that many of the things we experience are totally normal.
Some people come here to vent, but it doesn't mean that everything in their marriage is bad:)
I choose the challenge of staying and having a SD although it is not easy, partly because she is soiled and partly because it is always hard in a step family.
But SO has changed and works o a lot.I wouldn't have the energy to do it allover again.But right here , right now, my life is mostly good.
If it changes I can reconsider or SO and I will try out councelling- he would be open for that.
ST is my place to vent:))

Drama3zone's picture

Exactly! This is a safe place to vent about our common situation! But I doubt that is all we do here - we also get reassurance and advice that's helpe us to make choices and action helpful to us. I stay with my DH in spite of all the BM and SKId drama because:

I love him
We have two beautiful sons who love him (my kids happiness is my happiness)
He is a good provider working 6 days a week
He is not a drinker, gambler, doesn't do drugs, and is faithful to me

Yes he in locked in dysfunction regarding his BM and Skids - This site helps me to see that it's not my responsibility to take all that baggage on - and now I have let go, and disengaged - I know all I am responsible for his my relationship with him and my sons. I hope he gets a healthier way to relate to BM and Skids - thanks to this site I'm staying out of that.

Some people say its wrong to stay together for kids, assuming that if you have made that decision that your kids grow up in a cold unloving home with rows etc. that's not what Im doing - I'm staying together for the kids and 'loving' DH for the kids too - it's not a war zone here.nplus outside of violence, abuse, addiction or infidelity - marriage vows do say For better or worse

stormabruin's picture

I am happy in my marriage & I came into the situation with my DH having custody. I was well-aware of the issues with his kids & BM before we married. We were together 8 years & had already been through the worst of things with them together.

I love my DH, I love our marriage, & I love his kids. I accept that they don't love me back. One thing I have in my DH that many here don't is respect & support. He didn't accept his kids disrespecting me when they were young, so they don't. He treats me like a partner, which keeps our marriage in check. My feelings & opinions will always carry more weight with him than BM's, so I never feel like I'm put on the back burner.

Realize, however, that this is a venting site. It's a place for stepparents to bitch & moan. It's easy to find other outlets for celebrating a great day or event. It's harder to find a safe place to share your deepest most honest ill feelings about your spouse/SO & their children.

I think a lot of people choose to stay because it's easier. With this outlet, they can bleed the pressure off when it gets high & make it through another day without having to pick up & move.

There will never be a shortage of people advising someone "leave" or "run" from an unhappy situation. There will be people in similar situations who will shout "RUN!" to anyone who will listen, but won't do it themselves. It's much easier to SAY it than it is to DO it.

simifan's picture

I've wondered this at times myself. But 1 - This is a venting site & no one's lives are perfect. 2 - if you still around long enough, you'll find most to the truely miserable do get out & leave. This is their support while they make that hard decision.

amber3902's picture

Good question!! I think people stay in their current situation even if they're miserable for the same reason I stayed in my first marriage.

1. You think if you just work hard enough you can make it work
2. You think your husband will change
3. You're afraid you'll leave your current situation and wind up in something worse

I dated a man for two years that had a spoiled 7 year old. Father did not want to discipline his son, and got super defensive when I said anything about his son's behavior. I stayed and tried to make things work, but finally realized the father was not going to change his lazy, guilty parenting so I broke up with him. It wasn't too hard because we didn't have any kids together, didn't live together. My life was not so entangled with his so I could unravel myself from him with only a minimum amount of pain.

I read and post on here to confirm to myself that leaving him was the right decision. I also try to save other women that are in the situation that I used to be in. I want to save them some of the heartache I went through. And maybe that's why so many on here are quick to say LEAVE even though they haven't left their own situation. They want to save other women some of the heartache they've been through.

No one has a crystal ball. The common image most of us know of step families is the Brandy Bunch. We naively think that's how our life will be. Then we find out the truth about step families. But like Storaburin says it's one thing to SAY leave and another thing to actually DO it. But when we see someone who is getting involved with a disneyland dad we want to "warn" her of how her life will be and to get out before she's too entrenched into the marriage like some of us may be.

carolstepmother123's picture

Great Thank you! This is exactly what I need to hear!! I will leave this so called marriage. Nothing will stop me

Jsmom's picture

I love my husband and I see a time when the kids are gone and we can enjoy our lives. That said I went through hell with him and SD16 and BM. But, we came out the other side. Therapy and continually putting each other first helped. Also, SD sued us to live with BM and we let her go....But, I wouldn't re-do that first year living together for anything. Would I do it again, hell no...Not worth the fallout.

We have a good marriage now and he sees his daughter for lunch occasionally and we have full custody of SS14 who sees his mom occasionally. But, if we still had SD and SS 50/50 like we did, I would have pulled the plug on the 2nd year out of self-preservation. If she came back and apologized for what she did, I may consider seeing her again in a social situation, but she will never come into my home again...

If I recommend for someone to leave their spouse, it is sad for me, but I see red flags for them, that I did not see for myself. Sometimes, we want to save people from the heartache that we know is coming their way. If they are married, I don't recommend it unless absolutely is not going to work, but if they are single, than get the hell out if it is not working with these stepkids...It doesn't get better after the wedding, it becomes a fight for survival. For me, it was so bad, that I wouldn't want to see anyone go through this....

carolstepmother123's picture

Thanks everybody for your perspective. I posted on my question


Obviously, some of you don't bother to read before you drop your 2 cents. But for rest of you, big thanks. I am so glad that I am not pregnant, and I WILL divorce this cheating bastard. and I wish all of you great life, most of you are brave, intelligent women, and a great inspiration to me! Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. hugs.

Ashleystepmom's picture

"we all have things that we can live with that other's look in and say, oh THAT's not something i would EVER put up with,."

well put.

TASHA1983's picture

I am not married to my BF and we do not live together. I can't stand his kid or BM. I want nothing to do with them and the drama/bs they cause. My BF knows this and is accepting and respectful of my feelings and choice in regards to them. I stay because I love him and want to be with HIM.

We are on the same page about kid and bm and they have no control or power with him/us. He also knows that HIS kid is HIS responsibility and does not ask or expect anything from me in regards to his kid. As it should be, because that is how I am with my BF in regards to my BS8.

My BF puts ME & US FIRST. If my BF DID NOT do all of the things listed I would NOT be in this relationship! PERIOD!!!

I refuse to let a bratty 11 y/o and some gold-digging whore run his/my/our life and relationship...if/when that happens...I am GONE and my BF KNOWS this fact. Smile

MarriedaBallessWonder's picture

I stay because I'm too sick to leave and worry about what would happen with health insurance. I may need a lung transplant at some point.

But more importantly, I love my H and if I can get past my anger and resentment I think we could have a fabulous marriage when the kids are gone. Only 2 1/2 more years! He has been trying very hard and making progress. There is hope!

carolstepmother123's picture

a big hug to you.

I undestand completely. I hope everything works out for you. It is great that your husband is trying very hard. wish you all the very very best!

We all have our problems to deal with, some of you choose to stay, some of us have to leave. No matter what we decide to do, there is always hope.

((( hugs )))

ctnmom's picture

Carol, the three things I would divorce over:1.Abuse. If your spouse is beating the shit out of you, he's not treating you like a wife, he's using you as a punching bag. 1.Addiction. If someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are mentally checked out of the marriage. 3.Adultery. If someone commits adultery, they've physically and mentally checked out of the marriage. Notice all 3 of these are the result of the SPOUSES behavior.2 caveats:1. Once about 18 years ago, it was the end of a long day, DH and I got into it and he grabbed me by the neck, and as my african american girlfriend says, "jacked a bitch up". :jawdrop: I didn't leave him over this, and he never ever put his hands on me again. I look back now and it was kind of a lesson in how far I could push him. Not our proudest moment for sure as a couple. 2. I'm an alcoholic, my drinking spiraled quickly in the last 3 years, I'm sober now. My DH has been by my side for the good, the bad, and the ugly of all of it. Never even threatened to leave, in fact he was crying when he picked me up at the jail after my DUI. Now, that's love, IMHO.

christinen's picture

No one deserves to be cheated on. If someone in a relationship is not happy, they should just leave. & if they ARE happy, why do they need to cheat? I don't understand. That's one issue my DH and I have not had (although we have had many other issues!)I am glad you realize you deserve better, but I know how you feel with not wanting to leave and move out of the house and all the trouble that goes along with that. To answer your question about why people stay in a marriage if they are miserable, I have no clue! I have been with my DH for 3 years and it's been trouble from the beginning with SD, BM, and DH's guilty parenting and financial issues and irresponsibility. I love him with all my heart, but is it worth it? I don't know. Everyone has issues in their relationship/marriage, whether they choose to admit it or not. I guess I'm afraid I won't find anyone else. I am 26 and have no kids of my own yet and I do want children, so I am also afraid I won't have time to find someone else and then have children before I am too old. I have a lot of fears. I could even end up with someone worse! It's scary to leave a comfortable situation (even if it's not the best situation, after 3 years you get comfortable).

Drama3zone's picture

Hi - I hope you are ok - things got a bit out of hand on here earlier - I'm sorry if anything I posted was unhelpful - you seem like a really lovely and intelligent woman and I'm sure your instinct about your situation is spot on - you can trust yourself - whatever your decide - if you trust your own judgement you will fine - hug x

carolstepmother123's picture

Thank you for sharing your story.
Just like one lady pointed out on my other post, I am lucky and I received a sign from God because I am not pregnant right now. Otherwise, I know I would stay.
Since I am not a bio mother and I am only 28 years old, I can find myself a single guy with no baggages to marry. This time, I will not be blinded by love.

I would like to thank all ladies and gentlemen for taking the time to answer my question. I hope all your situation change to the better!!

carolstepmother123's picture

I just found out last night that my husband had no desires of getting a divorce. He said, he would never cheat again. The reason he wanted to cheat on his ex wife is because she cheated on him. (Which is true). Well, I never cheated on him but the end of the day, he ended to cheating on me?! This doesn't make any sense.

He said he would never get over the insecurity of being cheated on. And this fat cow he cheated on me with gave him an ego boost. Well, in a way, I felt sorry for him, but the most important issue here is simply that I no longer find him attractive or feel the love anymore.

I don't know if I am just going through a phase, or I am just unsure about a lot of things. At this moment, I am still living with him, but I will move to my mom's house temporarily, perhaps very soon. I just don't know how to break the news to my family. I sure don't want to be humiliated in front of my whole family.

Just don't know what to do at this point. Sad

nothinforya's picture

"He said, he would never cheat again."

And you believe this?

He is trying out the different combinations of lies to find the one(s) that make you feel sorry for him, so you will continue the marriage. The narcissists are very gifted at manipulating the emotions of normal people to get the results that they want. Do you see that you are being manipulated by more lying? He will SAY ANYTHING to get you to stay.

reallifedrama's picture

As for me, I go absolutely friggin bonkers when BM starts her infestation procedures. I begin by bitching, then I move on to insulting her to my DH, then I go on to insulting him for being "stupid" for not handling her better. What you see me do here is RAGE.

In my case, I am part of the problems that I bitch about to some point, and I know this. I snap, quickly. I mean my tolerance is so low, you probably couldn't fit an atom of BM's BS into my brain and expect me to maintain my composure.

My husband is willing to listen, and he's supportive, and I realize you're most likely not talking to me, but since you mentioned complaining, I will explain myself.

I complain and bitch like a banshee. However, most of it is really to get my head together so that I can calm down and move on to doing what needs to be done. IF my husband were unwilling to participate in spraying some Raid on the cockroaches invasions, OMG!, my brain would burst and I'd have to run like hell.

I think we all got dealt a shitty hand and are trying to process WTF? just happened? We all don't come with the ability to quickly sort out when to stay and when to leave. I personally am quick to run away (the opposite of your post). We are all learning here. In answer to your question, you are lucky to have the information you need to get things done, process it all, and move on. Everyone's background is different.

Although I can be quick to say WTF are you thinking? I also know there was a time in my life, before someone taught me it was ok to care for myself first and was worth more, that I stayed, got beat, degraded, humiliated, sexually abused, mentally abused etc etc.

Maybe you could post about the positive occurrences that happened that helped you realize why you needed to leave. The processes you went through emotionally and how you overcame them, because we all are human, and it IS NOT EASY TO JUST LEAVE (unless you're a psycho bitch like me, then you think everything requires leaving).

Share your experience and knowledge, but know that not everyone is at the stage of process you are at. Just the fact most of the women here are seeking out answers says they are trying. Some women never make it to this stage, they never come to a realization, and you will never see a post here from them. They have become accepting and beaten.

I admit I sometimes read something and think UH UH, no way, no how, but, I'm sure the same could be said for me.

I think it's ok to say YOU THINK that someone would be better off w/o their DH, but remember the knowledge, tools, support, and understanding it requires. Maybe, now, you can share how you got through the terribly hard moments that almost made you stay, allowed you to be accepting of mistreatment. Sure, not everyone cares to hear, but some people will find it helpful, a lot more helpful than the "Why do you stay?" Some people can not honestly tell you why. They can give you excuses, but who wants to feel like someone is criticizing them and treating them weak?

Don't ask why they stay. You help more by telling them why you did what you did, and sharing what you did to get away.

Congrats to you for "getting away".

Maroma1984's picture

I love my husband. He's my soul mate and my best friend. He makes my world make sense.

It just stinks that he fucked up and had a child with another person before he met me. We all make mistakes and have baggage , it's just his comes in the form of annoying people.

My main issue is the BM and there is NOTHING I can do to change her. I just have to be the bigger man and ignore her. Can't feed the troll or she'll just ask for more and more. I can't really talk about this stuff with non-steps. They think I'm evil for not being head over heels with my child. Say crap like "His daughter is a part of him and you have to love her equally." The way I see it is his brother would be more a part of him , but you do see me showing him equal love, haha! It's just nice to be able to vent with people that don't think you are the devil for having one ill thought.

misSTEP's picture

This is almost exactly my life, as well. And we almost did get divorced, even with as great as our marriage can be. My skids were even good, although they are PASed now. His verbal abuse of me as a consequence of his drinking, was enough to drive the wedge where even a psycho BM couldn't.

When he realized I was not joking and pulled his head out of his nethers, we get along great. Even more so now that all the kids (bios and skids) have flown the coop and BM has another victim ensnared with another, baby.

Luna1234567's picture

I stay because although my husband is not supportive all the time...he is trying. He also didn't know what a step family would be like so he is also experiencing this for the first time. We are both learning. We just had our baby together so leaving is out of the picture now. I want my child to have the best family possible and it's worth the struggle. I love my husband and do think that our life would have been much easier if we had met before he had a kid...but if we met back before he got married to his ex...I probably would have been too young(he's alot older than I am)...It could've been illegal...LOL!!!

The reason I stayed before becoming pregnant was because I thought that I would be a good step parent one day and that my step child and I would bond. I have a step father who I love...and he's such a good step I thought if he could lve me and care for me than I can do the same for a child...but I think I've failed and I have decided to disengage. The reason I'm failing is because his mother is in his life and she makes him hate me. My stepfather didn't fail because my father was never in the picture anyway.

I'm a little worried about the future...especially now that I have a baby..I'm afraid the BO will try to make SS6 dislike his own brother (my son) and I'm afraid SS6 will be jealous because he won't have as much time with daddy.....however, I don't feel bad for stepson at all. He has two parents and the luxury of having TWO of EVERYthing...2 homes, 2 rooms, 2 beds, 4 bikes(2 at each house)...etc.....Oh and more money. Thanks to child support we are too broke to afford half the things that step son got to have at birth for my baby. We were hardly able to afford the necesseties for my child at birth....where as when SS6 was born...his parents easily got everything he needed.
I hate how people are always feeling sorry for the first child because his parents are divorced...BOOHOO...whatever. I feel sorry for my kid...and my job is going to be to make sure He gets everything he needs. My stepson doesn't deserve better treatment because his parents are divorced...most of us had divorced's very common and normal these days....people need to get over it.