Is This Woman Selfish and Cruel for Wanting a Divorce?

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

Is wanting a divorce selfish and cruel? An email from a reader:

 I have been married to my husband for 5 years. 3 of those years I spent deployed away from him. We met online while I was deployed. I went home on vacation a month later and stupid me…said yes when he asked me to marry him.


He is a very jealous type of man, I noticed it from the first day. I can’t even go to the gym too long or wear certain clothes without him raising hell. He also doesn’t contribute to any of the bills. I pay for everything. He had two children when we met and I found out later he had more. Since then, more have popped into the picture.


Last week, I told him I want a divorce and he is trying everything in his power to get me to change my mind. I am tired of this situation and can’t take anymore. He is calling me selfish and cruel. I kinda feel like I am, but I also feel released from his drama.


The first thing I want to say is thank you from the bottom of my heart for serving our country and keeping us safe. You are completely appreciated and very very very respected and held in my highest regard.


Please don’t say “stupid me.” You were in love and getting married felt right. Ask anyone who is divorced and most did the same thing. What’s the difference if you said yes after a month or two years? Nothing. You married a man you loved. That’s not stupid.


Let’s move onto this jealously thing. I personally think that people who are jealous are insecure because they have no self-esteem. That makes sense in your case because your soon-to-be ex has no self-esteem because it doesn’t sound like he does much. Why doesn’t he pay for anything? Most likely because he doesn’t have a job, hence the low self-esteem.


He also was not forthright with you in sharing the fact that he had additional children than what you thought. Would you have married him knowing that? Maybe, maybe not. He probably doesn’t think you would have, which is why he didn’t tell you.


Regarding selfish and cruel. Please believe me when I tell you that you are not those things. You were misled. You are supporting him. You are dealing with his unwarranted jealousy streak. How does wanting a divorce from all of those things make you selfish and cruel? It doesn’t.


Life is about being happy and making a difference in the lives of others. You are already doing the latter. You deserve to be happy. I’m by no means encouraging your divorce. You have to do what you feel is right. I’m simply validating that you are NOT selfish and cruel. Those are the last things you sound like. Feeling guilty or bad about yourself is non-productive. Because you are having doubts about the marriage, that doesn’t make you a bad person.



I do want to say one more thing. I feel like my response really slammed this guy and I don’t mean to do that. I don’t know anything else about him other than your email to me, and I’m sure he has some really good qualities, too. But you? Selfish and cruel? No. Selfless for sure, and just a person who wants a good future. How is that cruel?



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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

2 Responses to “Is This Woman Selfish and Cruel for Wanting a Divorce?”

  1. Monica

    Wow this really inspires me! Thank you. I’ve been feeling so selfish about wanting a divorce and have been unhappy for the past 10 years. I finally decided with myself that I am done. I can’t live another day so miserable and I am tired of fighting for something my husband has no interest in saving. My situation is that my husband has a really hard time connecting with me emotionally, and spiritually. I have been feeling abandoned and communication is non existent when it comes to him. I am the only one holding this marriage together and I have got to the point that I am detached now. Although I am no longer in love with him, I am still really sad and hurt because divorce is a scary thing for me specially with children involved. And I do will always love him as a person. I just feel like we are not compatibly good for each other. I am really scared of facing his mother because I am certain she will hate me and demand reasons why and I just don’t want to explain I am an emotional wreck and I don’t think I can handle. I always felt that her feelings towards me weren’t genuine either so I can see her just showing their true colors now. What should I say when she wants my story? I don’t feel as if I have to explain in details.. I rather him do the explaining. Am I being mean for not wanting to give her my explanation?


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