NOTE: I am not a doctor.
For you (because this post is kinda old, actually - yeah, I know, the date numbers are really tiny), consider: what makes it a hard decision? Ann Landers used to always say - get a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle and mark the two columns "Positives" and "Negatives". Or you can call them "Reasons to Stay" and "Reasons to Go" or whatever you like but you get the idea.
Now start listing everything, and I mean everything. Just get it all out on paper (yeah, you could potentially do this on your phone but paper is better and I'll show you why in a moment). Pros might be he's a good provider or an excellent dad if you have kids, or he's kind or generous or a thousand other things. Cons might be things like never does anything around the house, no job and no ambition to get one, lousy father, snores, leaves dirty socks on the floor, whatever.
It's the big stuff and the trivial, annoying stuff. Because after all, you have to live with both.
Got all that down? Good!
Now go through the list, Rank both the good and the bad. The good list is best to "least good". The bad list is worst to "least bad".
So a good list might go something like this:
- Loves me
- Great father
- Good provider
- Trying very hard
- Takes the trash out without being asked
Whatever your personal list is, that's the right order. And the bad list might go something like this:
- Yells at the kids
- Won't try to get a job
- Never helps around the house
- Lousy driver
- Never asks for directions
- Drinks the milk straight from the carton
Again, your list, your ordering.
Now compare the two. Obviously, my examples probably aren't good for just one person because good father and yelling at the kids are probably not going to go together that much. So consider the highest highs. Are they enough to balance out the lowest lows? Or is it the other way around?
And also consider what can be fixed, and how. And what it will take to fix things. Someone who yells at the kids might be abusive -- or they might just need a parenting class. Someone who snores might need a trip to the doctor to find out if he's got sleep apnea. Someone who's not good looking is another matter entirely. Suggesting plastic surgery for someone who isn't interested in it is going to go over like a lead balloon. And I've had it, BTW - it's not necessarily an easy recovery and it's expensive as all get out.
So consider the fixes. Are they reasonable? Attainable? Within your budget? And some of those fixes should be on you
, BTW. If he never asks for directions then hey, check your phone and find the route yourself. If he tosses his socks on the floor, maybe he needs a hamper in the room. If he drinks the milk straight from the carton, why not buy two separate cartons and label them really well?
One of the members of this site, @chai2, once said something which really struck a chord with me years ago. She said, "Decide what hill you want to die on." That is, decide what is going to be the thing that matters the most, the absolute deal-breaker. Carton-drinking probably shouldn't be that hill. Abuse probably should be that hill 100% of the time.
One thing that a list exercise like this does is, it gives you perspective.
BTW, toss the paper once you're done with it. Burn or shred it -- just get it out of your home, okay?
And talk to a therapist if this exercise doesn't give you clarity. It doesn't have to be a marriage counselor, but it can be. You can go alone or with your husband -- your choice.
Talk about your feelings with an impartial professional. Lay those cards on the table. No one can make you love someone. But they can
help you to see what's there to be seen. And they can help you to make a decision, whatever it is.
Because limbo stinks. Go all in, or go.