Should I Divorce My Husband?

Question: “I have been contemplating divorce for some time now. My husband has neglected me emotionally for years and is not willing to do any therapy or counseling. I have begged him to work with me but he said he can’t be changed, I should get used to it and that there are many more men that are much worse than he is. Help, I’m tired and confused and want a divorce.”

Answer: I am so sorry to hear about the current circumstances of your marriage. I know you must be in a lot of pain and hurt. I don’t have a lot of details from your question above but from what you added you sound alone in your fight to make the marriage better. I commend you for your courage to want to seek professional help. I have a few recommendations which I have listed below that hopefully can be of help to you.

It is important to remember that you can’t make him change, but you can invite him into things with you. What is in your immediate control is the changes you make. I am confident your husband is emotionally avoidant and is likely comfortable with his current status in the marriage. I’d strongly recommend you do some reading about avoidant personality disorder. Now, in saying this I am not diagnosing your husband but saying here that he is avoidant enough that coming to understand what is happening and why it is happening would be helpful.

I recommend also starting to take care of you and learning to find meaning and happiness in the present. I know this is really difficult as you are married to someone that you feel does not hear you or validate you. I am confident that you can find answers and peace both spiritually and emotionally.

I don’t have quite enough details to understand more of the situation and shed more light but you shared enough for me to hear that you are hurting and are not sure what to do. I’d recommend visiting with a therapist directly to help sort out the details and help guide you along in the most healthy way for you and your family.

I suggest also reading my other blog posts on the topic of divorce here on this site.

You may also want to read this recent article on communication in marriage relationships in the Ensign Magazine by a licensed counselor.

You may also want to read my other blog posts as well and watch the video below by Elder Dallin H. Oaks on the details of divorce for Mormons.