Ask Dr. Sherry: 'My Husband Won't Support Me Going Back To School and I'm Thinking About Leaving Him?'
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 her chair…
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
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