Reply To: feel guilty for breaking up family home

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It sounds to me like you are dealing with some abusive behaviour from your husband. Counselling may be helpful even if it doesn’t repair your relationship, it may help you separate more amicably. I had couples counselling with an ex and the first time it got us past the fact my ex had been unfaithful, the second time (5 years later) it helped me to leave and helped my ex to accept that. Maybe try relate? Separating parents will be less damaging long term for your children than growing up in an unhappy home but the key thing is to try and minimise the damage to your children, which an amicable separation will do. You’re not a doormat for wanting to leave your marriage, but focus on the outcome you want and do everything you can do to achieve that (it sounds to me like this is to separate with minimum disruption and upset for your children). You can’t control how your husband behaves, but you can control how you respond to that, and clear boundaries will be helpful at this difficult time. In my experience, counselling is really helpful in achieving those. It also sometimes help to have someone else involved, especially if your husband is controlling and bullying. Most bullies don’t want to be perceived that way, and if he agrees to counselling, knowing that someone else will be hearing about how things are going may help him regulate his own behaviour. If he won’t go with you, go by yourself because it will help you work things out. There are lots of counsellors around who do low rates for people on low incomes, and some local counselling services can also offer free sessions if you can’t afford anything. Really good luck.