More than half of all marriages end in divorce, but that doesn't make it any less painful for those going through it. How did you start over after your marriage ended? Are you struggling to co-parent with your ex? Discuss your experience here.


Soon the Community will be closing down on DrPhil.com. Please log in to your account now to save any content, including images, posts, blogs and comments from your profile that you would like to keep, prior to the section being inaccessible.

Just because the community is closing doesn’t mean the discussions are ending. We still want to hear from you and encourage you to join the conversations on Dr. Phil’s social media channels! You'll be able to find exclusive show content, behind-the-scenes footage, personal Dr. Phil photos and more! And, you can join active viewer conversations.

Come join us:

Replied By: piggymac78 on Dec 21, 2016, 2:00AM - In reply to findingher
omg its like i wrote this . its so true
Replied By: doeserena on Aug 6, 2016, 4:49AM

On May 25, 2016, the Virginia State Bar, compelled my previous divorce attorney, to surrender his files, after 6 years, because he quit in an email. Dr. Phil, he literally attempted to rape my sanity. I was right the entire time. There can be no excuse for a lawyer knowingly, hiding and withholding evidence, unless they have something to hide. Based on the evidence contained in 4 boxes, he sent me, I really need help, Dr. Phil, because I am seeing things, for the very first time, and I am frightened because I can not afford an Attorney. I need to understand what happened to me, and my parents, since my parents paid for most of it. I have the same rights as anybody else. 

To the Governor of the State of Virginia:

I want an apology from the Virginia State Govenor, and the Virginia State Chesterfield County Courthouse. I am not going to allow, these individuals, to blame me and my parents, for being purposely misled, misguided, and deceived by this attorney.

To my previous Attorney:

I know what you did. You haven't gotten away with anything. You purposely made me look irresponsible and disrespctful to a Civil Court Judge by not informing me about upcoming trials, hearings, depositions, and other legal proceedings. You almost suceeded, but you failed. You are actually thinking that if you turn over evidence on my former spouse and his Attorney, this will absolve you of any wrong doing?

To His Attorney:

I am hurt and angry, at my former spouses lawyer, for the hate-mongering, mean-spirited, hurtful and harmful secrets you kept behind my back, by prosecuting me, behind my back, when I had never committed a felony, when I had never been convicted of a felony, and when I had never been incarcerated. Who in the name of the Most Holy, did you think you were?

To my former spouse, of 23 years:

I am extending to you, grace and mercy, even though you led the charge against me. What you and those two lawyers did to me, you did behind my back. I want my former spouse, to tell me his side, of what was going on. I believe he will tell the truth, if he is asked, in front of Dr. Phil. He has never said he is sorry, to me, for any of this. There is no need for either one of us to submit to a polygraph. He will not lie to me, in front of you Dr. Phil. If something was wrong, Dr. Phil, he knows that all he had to do, at any time, was pick up the phone. I want him to not feel threatened. He has remarried. I believe he will not lie to you, or me, in front of you. He has two wonderful children, two great parents, a wonderful sister, and two nephews, all whom I still love and care about.

Constitutional Rights

I believe my patient and human rights, were obliterated, and my constitutional rights were suppressed, because I used to suffer from mental illness. But, before I tell you anything, accusing others of what I know happened against me, I want to meet with you, in private. During the summers, of 2010-2011, I started leaving you messages online about this matter, but I chickened out because of mental health, and wellness. I have overcome my mental health past.






I want to ask all women, in the State of Virginia, and the United States, to come out of hiding, if their Civil Divorce Attorney or any Attorney, has damaged them. I want all women to come out if they have been abused by an Attorney. I want all women to come out, if a State Bar, has refused to disbar the Attorney who harmed you, and if the State Bar has refused to prosecute the lawyer who has harmed you. If you believe that legal documents were hidden from you, in order to keep you from getting alimony [motive], which has always been a woman's right to have, this is your year.

I want all women, starting today, July 12th, 2016, to declare a peaceful, non-violent war against all lawyers, whom knowingly break Mental Health and Wellness Laws regarding Mental Illnesses, Women's Rights Law, Human Rights Laws, HIPPA Federal Laws, and Freedom of Speech Laws, because of lawyers who line their pockets with money, and then, they knowingly proceed to throw our cases, because they know you are not wealthy enough to pay them.

If you, as a woman, are a survivor of domestic abuse of any kind, and your former spouse led the charge against you, to keep you from getting the alimony you deserve [motive], you need to speak out. If a lawyer helped your former spouse carry out, and continue his mental and emotional abuse, please come out about this. Stop lawyers from playing 'ping-pong' with you, and your former spouse's emotions. 

Let me just say to these women, Alimony, originally, was never meant to rescue men. Originally, if your husband left you, you automatically got 100% alimony. Alimony is not an award, Alimony is not a gift, Alimony is not an apology, Alimony is your 'right'. 

(The only time, you may not want it, is if you are being beaten, or threatened with bodily harm).
Replied By: elggy72 on Jun 22, 2016, 12:30PM
in the end its the child that suffers the most becasue one parent is and has always been their and the other has not been and its the one who has never really been their that gets custody
Replied By: elggy72 on Jun 22, 2016, 12:29PM - In reply to juanderson


  I saw the signs right after our child was born and my estranged went back to work for her father and then to the second job she had as a bartender. it was either i have to work my other job or hunny can i go to the bar and have a few drinks my dad or her dad's employees stressed me out today I need to unwind and such please. sure I don’t mind then any time after let’s be nice and say 1:00am in the morning she would get home or I would have to take our son load him in the car and go get her. if she how ever did drive her self-home I was in for the ARES chewing of my life it was either I was sleeping with the house wife’s of Atlanta, New York or New Jersey. heaven forbid I leave the TV off when she went out in the bed room it was a fight over that. she was just downright a hateful drunk when she got home heck sometimes I was the blame for her dad’s stuff that he would dish out on her that day or whatever.


fast forward to 2012 I walked out of the house I had enough did not take our son and glad I did not I toke to many of my anxiety pills and ended up in the hospital. then served with a DVO telling me that I was emotionally and verbally abusive towards her and our son. That same year our marriage counsel tells her I have traits of a Borderline Personality Disorder, just to inform you it’s almost virtually impossible for me to have this issue due to the fact I have suffered a server Brain injury when I was ejected from my car from passenger side trough drives side window in February of 1998 and they I had never saw any mental health doctors at any time before that February of 1998.

April or end of march 2013, she gets into a car wreck they arrest her because she is drunk she then blows like a .16 or a .18. I bail her out and she is charged with her second DUI. I kept telling her would happen and just what I said would happen did the reduced it to reckless driving and dropped the speeding ticket. In September of 2015 is when she got just what I told her would happen.

All doctors and therapist will say that I have traits of this and that because of where the injuries are on my brain, google.com has convinced my dear wife that I have Borderline Personality Disorder plus all the message boards as far as I know she has never spoke a word about my head injury to anyone. Then July/August 2015 I spank our son just pop his rear end one time and it’s like I killed him to her. We proceed to argue I tell her that we never talk about anything we just live together not even our son. Things got way out of hand I may or have not done something to explain just how dead I feel inside because we do not talk or anything. Everything is always my fault she never starts any agreements or anything and everything is my fault. I have taken care of our son since he went home with us when he was born. I mean everything period.

Then August 31st 2015 I admit that do have that then our marriage consular calls me or text me then I call her and I started to hurt I tell her and she ask me if I felt like I was lying I said yes I know that I am she tells me then tell her this because you will at some point throw this up in her face.

I call my wife tell her we need to talk she ask why I tell her why then she comes home gets our son while I am in the floor crying because I knew she would do that when she got home I prayed for God to do what he felt was the right thing and to help myself and our son.

2 things have always been before our son and myself, her father’s company which she knows owns and her drinking then company and drinking, company couponing and bitching about the company and her employee’s. at one time she thought her Uncle hired her cousin so that she would either before to sell her half to them or give it to them both.

Replied By: juanderson on Jun 9, 2016, 7:10PM
How did I miss the signs?   I have a master's degree, my own house and money, and very independent.  He was charming and attentive, but little did I know, he was a monster.  He had custody of his 3 kids in SC, so he had to be good, right?  We dated for a year, and I thought I asked all the right questions.  A year after we got married, I saw the slow changes.   i starting paying for everything, I never received a present for anything, even though I definitely gave them.  I was told I was a marriage of convenience over and over, his mother said how he couldn't possibly love me, he said he married me to pay the bills; he made me feel worthless.  The best part:  he was an alcoholic (30 years), and had hidden that from me.  He had many crimes expunged, had committed domestic violence, had done pills, pot, and coke, all which he failed to share until after our wedding day.  He had a violent marriage with his first wife, and of course, it was always her fault.  He choked and hit his first wife a lot, and I saw him choke his 95 pound son right in front of me.  Before I left, he was always drunk and passed out, he punched me in the chest, was caught doing drugs, and told me he hated my son.  He had even been kicked out of the military for destruction of government property.  I left him with nothing but my clothes.  Tomorrow is my ticket to freedom, June 10, 2016, the day my divorce is final and I'm hopefully rid of him.
Replied By: sorenreece on May 3, 2016, 8:03AM - In reply to cheryla74
I c
Replied By: nochanges on Mar 19, 2016, 6:14AM
I hope this wont be long.  I've been posting this question for about 10 years on various message boards and I know the answer.  I just need to find the courage to do what needs to be done.  I met my husband in 94 and dated for 5 years before we were married.  When we did get married we already had our 1st son.  I was head over heels for my husband and in spite of what he was doing TO me, for the longest time I didn't realize it and when friends would point it out, my resolve was "I'll never divorce him".  Not bc I believe whole heartedly in the vows - I know they're broken even after the best intentions and efforts.  I get it - sometimes it just doesn't work out.  Not bc I don't want to be alone.  I think i'd be perfectly fine.  SImply because I love him.  still do.  but at the same time - I hate him. 

He's hit me

He's called me names

He doesn't work

He doesn't contribute financially

He's cheated on me (no proof - but I'm not stupid)

He's on those have an affair websites with pictures!!

I emptied my 401k to save a house in foreclosure that he has as a rental and hasn't rented it since - he has a garage on the property that he basically lives in - it's gigantic and he calls it his "shop" (contractor).  The garage is on our property bc the rental is the house next door. 

When we first married, he was out all night 5 nights a week.  I had to call him to come home so I could leave for work and the only reason he wouldnt' go out the otehr 2 nights is bc he was too hung over.

He's been into drugs that I've known about but never saw it firsthand so I bury my head

He's in legal trouble w/ the feds which scares me bc the ppl he's involved with are BAD and i think if he's in trouble and rats them out - we're in danger

99% of our fights are bad - and our kids (4 boys) are usually around.  I know it's not right but it escalates and is our of control.  He's said to me "call the cops...and if you do...i'll be sure to get one good shot in so going to jail is worth it".

he's put my head through walls, squeezed my face so hard there have been bruises on both sides of my jaw line

black eye

i've been to the police for a report but couldn't bring myself to file a protection order.

i know my duty is for the kids and i have no business staying in this relationship but if i can avoid him - it keeps the peace.  Meanwhile, I'm not getting any younger (46) and I don't want the boys learning this is the way they are to be acting as a man/husband/father. 

the positives is he can be sweet - he can be invested - he can be sober from the drugs and when he is - I feel a little bit of the love again but i'm not happy and don't see anything restoring for us. 

my family sees it - they don't like him at all.  It's a shame bc it used to be so good - when I buried my head and loved him no matter what he did to me and what he got away with. 

I've been on other boards and have been trashed as a bad mom.  i'm not a bad mom.  I'm just making bad decisions to stay but I need to find a way to be done.  I know me - i know that I'll always want him back - i know that I'd probably cave and take him back.  I don't want to take the boys out and then be too weak and then move back only to want to leave again.  if i haven't reached a breaking point yet - how do i stand up for myself and determine when enough is enough??  i've always said i dont want 64 year old me yelling at 46 y/o me when I knew what to do to save my own life and happiness.

I guess I'm just asking for someone to say "been there - understand fully - and this is what i did and this is how my life is now"
Replied By: cheryla74 on Feb 22, 2016, 3:39AM
I have been married for nearly 17 yrs. We have 3 children and only one is ours together.  We have had a very rocky marriage at times. You name it we went through it. There was all kinds of abuse by my husband.  And just a couple yrs after we we're married I committed the Adultery. We we're having problems and I was unsure if I wanted to stay with him so I packed up some items and went to my moms. I stayed there a few days and I don't recall how it came about but I ended up going to another state to see my high school flame. And that is when I committed the worst sin possible.  After I  did it I was so missible and I knew I wanted nothing more than to go back home and try to work things out with my husband.  When I got back home I lied and said nothing had happened.  I did that because that's what I wanted to believe and I didn't want to hurt my husband any more than I already had. And I wanted to be able to work things out for the kids. The lie lasted for about 8 yrs then I finally admitted to having sex with him.over the years my husband became more verbally and pyscical abusive to me and my two older kids. He was very strict and mean at times to my kids but our daughter never received any punishment. I would try and set rules and regulations for our daughter but he never backed me up. He would let her  do whatever she wanted. Everyone was able to tell how he treated them differently. We never agreed on any of the discipline.  We ended up getting the older 2 through school and moved out. Then July 2014 we moves to Arizona because that is where his family was from and his mom was getting sick. So he wanted to move there to help her so we did. From the time we moved our 15 yr.old will tell her fad for this or that reason she didn't like the school so he changed schools for her and she still would come up with stuff why she didn't like the other school. Me and my daughter never really seen eye to eye because I used the word No so she would just go to her dad to get whatever she wanted. If she would ask him for money or something and I found out I would tell him I'm sorry we don't have it right now we can't do it. Well he would go behind my back and give her the money that was supposed to be for bills or something and let her have it. Or he would let her stay with a friend or something on a school night when he knew damn well we didn't allow the other 2 to do that. I was always on a losing battle when it came to her he would take her side over me. Well U knew she was doing things she wasnt suppose to like skip school and having sex. And I told him but he didn't want to believe me. I guess he thought it wasn't true if I didn't talk about it. In December 2014 she ended up pregnant and very sick.  She had gotten an abortion in Feburary , then at the end of March I was telling my daughter that I knew she was pregnant again. She kept lying telling us she wasn't but I had a gut feeling so I took her to the doctor then it was all out. She was. I knew I didn't want to be a grandma and I questioned myself how was I going to be able to love the baby when I didn't even want it. I set down with my 15 yr old and told her if she was to have the baby we All was going through parenting classes and we need family counciling which I had already tried before. Everyone agreed. During her pregnancy I found myself getting very attached to the baby and she wasn't even here yet. She was due on December 31 2015 bilut she came real early on October 20. Due to complications. When my daughter starting having problems with her pregnancy I became very sick with stress and anxiety.  With in 3 months I dripped nearly 40 pounds. I thought  my health would get better after my daughter cane home from hospital but it didn't it even got worse . I started to loose my hair and my teeth we're getting real loose. My daughter behavior was bad before she gave birth but it was extremely  worse afterwards. She was constantly lying about anything and everything.  She wasn't taking care of the baby I was, she was rebelant. Her dad knew she has responsiblity now but he would never help me ingorse my rules. Now I want nothing more but to leave them but now I I got a grand baby to take care of. I am always on the losing end when it comes to her. This has caused even more problems in our marriage. Another issue we have in our marriage my husband is addicted to porn and is constantly on chatgroups.  He be little's me all the time and everything that happens is always my fault. We are always fighting and just on Valentines he grabbed me and shoved me across the room of our hotel.  I ended up face down between both beds but on my way down my back hit the metal bed frame. I had two really big bruises and I wasn't hardly able to move for 5 days  ( I previously had a back injury and I think he just read injured that). He ended up leaving the hotel for a few hours and I was there having anxiety attacks and could Hartley breathe I told myself again that was the last time he was placing his hand on me and  was going back to Texas. Later I thought I can't go back to Texas who would take care of my precious grand baby since I did it the majority if the time. My husband hasn't even cjhanged a diaper and my 16 yr old can't even wipe her own ass yet. So I am lost what do I do I'm not happy anymore at all. And when he has tried to touch me since valentines my body just cringes. I can't leave my grand baby but they differently don't care if I go or stay  because the way they both treat me, they have cause me to are over 10 yrs.  in just a two yr period. Any advise is appreciated. Thanks Hopeless 

Replied By: butterfly6118 on Nov 27, 2015, 9:53AM
PM by Chattydani6118 I really just need advice on healing from this broken heart . My story is long so please bare with it. 
I've been married 9 years. We have 1 daughter. I live in a very small rural town. About 1000 ppl. The next city over is about a 20 min highway drive and is the only place anyone can find a job as jobs in my home town are extremely limited. 
My husband has left 4 times in the last five years. Usually we are fighting alot before it happens. And when it happens my husband will stop talking to me all together and avoid me. The first time I got a text from him saying he'd found someone else and was moving out with a friend. He came back in a week and did some counciling with our church pastor. Not long later maybe a year it happens again . He distances himself from me. Stops talking starts avoiding me. He tells me he wants to separate. But because we both own the house he lives in the house but doesn't wanna be with me. Again there are signs of him bonding with another women again. After a few months of this torture we get back together . He hates living here . I met him in the big city 4 hrs away. He wants to go back. At first I agree but after thinking and private counciLing I decided it was not a good move for my daughter and me. I tell him. He says fine he's still going. He continues to live in the house but we are not together. 3 months he finally moves out and goes and lives in the city. After being separated for 9 months we reconnect again. This time we seek professional marriage counciLin. And things go very well for the next two years. Till now. Everything in our relationship seemed great. I have texts of a conversation with a friend of mine saying how wonderful things were with us. How he had been so romantic and caring. More than he has ever been. He had alot of credit card debits. This was a huge strain on our marriage. We had separate bank accounts to ensure that my credit and money was safe. He would pay me a certain amount a month to cover his end of household expenses and the rest was all his. He brought up how he was ready to finally change his ways. He hates the debt he felt so bad about it and wanted to change. He suggested using the equity in the house to pay off his debts . I was convinced that things in our relationship were really good. So I agreed to this. And signed the papers and the money was paid out . Not only were his debts paid but mine were as well. Mine was very minimal compared to his. He kept me thinking everything was fine. He kept saying how he was working extra hours to bank his over time and take me shopping for new clothes. It was something he really wanted to do. He mentioned this to me on a Monday. Wednesday he stopped talking to me. Friday I asked what was going on. He said he didn't think we were best friends aND that he couldn't talk to me anymore. And he couldn't tell me anything because he didn't know how I would react.( in all the last 3 separations this was what he'd always say) . He started saying he didn't want our daughter living in a house with two ppl who didn't wanna b with each other . Saturday he said that his supervisor said he could live there if he needed to. Since he had a place to stay arranged I knew he was planning on leaving. Not wanting to live through living with him when he doesn't wanna be together I told him to leave. I did it nicely . I all I said was leave. And he left. Our daughter sobbed on the couch as he packed his stuff. He never said goodbye to her. Never said he loved her or that it wasn't her fault and he'd see her soon. Nothing. He packed his stuff and he was gone. 
He's left me with the house and all the bills that go with it. His share of household expenses was arouND $700 a month. He left me with all of it. Also the car was his. All in his name. I had no claim on it. He took it. So I'm left with no vehicle to get to my job that I just got. At a great place great pay that I liked and it's a 20 min highway drive everyday . Now I have no car to get there . I also suffer from generized anxiety disorder and I was so stresses I couldn't function at work anymore . I made a ton of mistakes. They were ****** but they knew what was going on. I was able to borrow cars for a while but that was a temporary solution. So it's been 4 weeks now. He's seen his child once . He sends money the odd time not even close to any amount to support us. I went to legal aid and got a lawyer. We had a separation agreement from the last time we had separated for 9 months but it never got filed in court before we got back together . I had to apply for social assistance to cover his half of expenses . But the stress and lack of car has Been so overwhelming that I had to resign from my job. Not because I wanted to. I loved my job but it no car to get there and absolutely no money to afford a car and gas etc I could t get there. There stress has been so much my doctor pUT me on anti anxiety meds and recommended stress leave . So now we love off social assistance.till I can heal but also find a job in my small community. We have good family's support with my family. I don't know we're we would be without them. I have so much anger towards him. He convinced me everything with us was fine l. He took all that money. He knew the situation his leaving would put us in and he left. Now he lives his care free life and has no responsibilitis because he doesn't have to pay all the bills anymore. I do. He doesn't have to raise his child. He just visits for a few hours every few weeks. I am a mess . I cry constantly. And this anger is so strong. I thought he would go back to the big city 4 hrs away again were his family is and Cuz he hates it here so much but he's staying here . I can't go out without planning because of being so scared of running into him. I should note he has never PHYSICALLY cheated. But he has emotionally cheated countless times. He starts talking to a female coworker. Starts pouring his heart out to them about his feelings , me and our marriage and he falls for them. Then he will always wanna separate but he comes back. I guess he finds out they don't feel for him as he does them. I suspect he's doing this with his supervisor. He lives there now with her and her boyfriend . But a boyfriend has never stopped him before. 
He always says I am emotionally unstable . I am not. He has a terrible temper and was breaking things like lamps before we left . Usually when we would separate I would always write him an emotional letter with all my feelings etc . I didn't do that thus time. I've never said a thing to him. Never started any fights in the last 4 weeks. He texted said he wanted to see his child. I said sure pick her up Saturday. That's basically all the communication we have had in 4 weeKS. But I'm still a mess . I feel like I have lost so much. I feel stupid for believing everything was fine and letting him go with all the money I feel stupid for taking him back 2 years ago. I have no idea how I will ever be able to trust someone else. I feel so lost.
Replied By: ledchanging on Sep 14, 2015, 9:36PM - In reply to jenlovesju
i hope to get to where you are soon..
Showing 1-10 of total 94 Comments