We had serious issues that we had to resolve, and I considered leaving, very seriously, about 3 times. We got married a couple of weeks ago, just about 2 years since we met, and it’s been smooth sailing.
The main issue was that my husband was not really divorced from his ex wife, in habits. Even though there were no feelings there, he was still in a marriage dynamic with her. Some counselling, lots of huge fights (one was so bad he slammed the dishwasher closed and a plate broke), tears, but for some reason we always felt it would get better and worked together and it really was getting better. He now thanks me for showing him how entrenched he was in her ways and what a doormat he’d been and we are soooooo happy. I’d say it took about a year and a half total until we got stabilized.
There was also a lack of trust in the beginning which made it hard for me to believe his promises (all he kept though) because at first he said he was divorced when he was really separated and in the process of divorcing and because he was a bit shady about how involved he was with the ex, mainly because I think deep down he knew it was weird and was embarrassed to admit things with his new flame. And she was also horrible to me, which he would not see, her being mom of his kids and that frustrated me even more, he should protect me right?
The worst thing I did (and I admitted it to him every time) is read his emails a few times and once his texts to see what was really going on with the ex. This was highly uncharacteristic for me, I was mid 30s and he early 40s, I’d had relationships before, we’re not jealous kids, it was just such a weird situation for me. It was also hard for me to forgive some of the things he did, but knowing him better now, I know that he is really slow to change and actually did think he was doing the best for his kids.
It’s all sorted out now and I think that it’s because of everything we went through that we’re so strong and I feel confident I married the right man. Obviously there was a lot of love for both of us to keep going.
Also, if anyone’s wondering why I’d get involved with that situation, I didn’t know. She has a long distance boyfriend and when he’s around, everything’s normal, it’s when he goes away that she tried to go back to get him as her backup husband. That didn’t happen until the 4 month mark, well after we fell in love, and that was the first time I considered leaving (and told him so!) and the beginning of the rough times.
So… it can happen. I don’t know, I’ve broken up in the past for much less, but I really thought he was trying, as stupidly as he was, to do the right thing and I did see change and growing love for me, so I stuck around. Was a difficult decision because I’m not a spring chicken and didn’t want to waste years, but I did see the positive change and that was the key. On another note, now, at 38, I am expecting my first child with him too. It’s amazing where we are now.