Is This Woman Selfish and Cruel for Wanting a Divorce?

wanting a divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Is wanting a divorce selfish and cruel? Here is an email from a reader who is being accused of being these things because she wants a divorce:

 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. I appreciate and respect you immensely.


Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys


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 in regards to wanting a divorce. I personally think that people who are jealous are insecure because they have a lack of self-esteem. Part of his self-esteem issue could be that you pay for everything. When someone feels like their partner is supporting them financially and they aren’t contributing, it takes a toll.


Want Financial Security After Divorce?


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 in wanting a divorce, 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.

Wanting a divorce doesn’t make someone selfish and cruel. It actually doesn’t make them anything except a very unhappy person who feels like they need a change to have a better life.

That doesn’t mean if someone should just give up on a marriage after a few bumps in the road or after deciding they just feel like a change. I strongly believe in trying to make a marriage work, and that marriage really is work.



Divorce, in my opinion is a last resort; a decision that makes sense when you feel like you’ve desperately tried everything, you’ve gone to therapy, you’ve truly given it your all, and it is still not good. You feel as though if you don’t get divorced, you might end up living a horrible life.

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. But, you have to do what you feel is best for you.

You are NOT selfish and cruel for wanting a divorce. Those are the last things you sound like. Feeling guilty is non-productive. Because you know in your heart that the marriage isn’t right, 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?

Like this article? Check out “20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self”




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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    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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