Am I the only one who feels like this??

mistopheles52January 25, 2010

Hi everyone. I've been married 32 years to my husband. Believe me, I am not going through midlife or am I taking meds to screw my head up so I base this question on wondering if you could be honest with me about what I have to ask. I find I do not love my husband anymore as he has done things in the past and continues to do things that are not conducive to a healthy marriage. There can be many reasons why people stay. I stay because I don't want to start all over again and this late stage in life. I'm only 56 but my health is not the best. I keep myself busy with many things just to keep my mind occupied. Either I'm the crazy one here but his actions are not creating a warm and fuzzy feeling with me at all. I've discussed (until I'm blue in the face) how I feel....all to no avail. My question is: If you feel the same as I am feeling, do you stay just because it is convenient to do so?

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I don't knowe if this can help or not, since I don't feel the way you do. (My marriage is wonderful and my husband is very dedicated and caring.) But I have been there (in my first marriage) and I stayed for a whole lot of 'not going to do anything drastic' reasons that dragged on for ten long gray years.

By "not going through midlife" I assume you mean menopause, specifically. Because otherwise, I'd consider midlife anywhere between early 40's and mid 60's, early 70's if you're in good health. So to my way of thinking, 'midlife crises' can happen at any point (or several) along that path. Any time we look around and say "Is this it?..." -- which we all do...

So you keep yourself busy -- that's good. But is it just misc. busy-work type stuff? Or are you doing things that enrich your life and really bring you joy?

If it's not the latter, what would you do if you could do anything in the world? Really think outside the box, with your only boundaries being things that are humanly possible. Then take a look and see if there are any of them you could actually do now, or start preparing now to do in the future. Want to go back to college? You could do that. Start a new career? You could do that too. Bring clean drinking water to a village in Africa? There are many ways to do that from joining a relief effort and travelling to Africa to donating money or time to an organization that does that. Rescue animals? Lots of groups need volunteers. Take up painting? Why not?

Sometimes warm and fuzzy isn't happening for us because we won't let it -- we're just not 'there'. Other times it's because they just aren't trying. Oftentimes, it's both, because they really work together.

What would happen if you reached out to your husband and made the first few overtures? It would probably take several tries if you're both in a rut -- but if it works, that would be wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 5:38PM
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'' I find I do not love my husband anymore as he has done things in the past and continues to do things that are not conducive to a healthy marriage."

Unless you tell us what is that he is doing that is not conducive, we can't really help. If he leaves dirty socks on the floor I suggest you stay, LOL but if he cheats, is drunk daily, or something else then I suggest you consider leaving. tell us more to understand your position

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 6:04PM
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All your joy is not going to come from one person, you have to find it "within". Cliche but true.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 6:32PM
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I agree with the 3 excellent postings.

Scarlett expressed exactly what I try to do in my life. I try not to blame, I try to remember that whatever happens to me, I am the one that has to deal with it and cannot blame other people or events for affecting me.

Yes indeed joy does come from within. Find the joy, as brilliantly suggested by Sweeby, you never know where it is

I don't want to sound like I am preaching or that I am perpetually happy and well balanced because I am not, I still have grim days, self doubt, lapse in blaming somebody or something. But I pull myself up and try to open up a new pathway of thinking. That generally works.

Please expand on what behavior is upsetting you regarding your hubbie, perhaps we can comment on that.

Take care.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 9:28PM
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Hi: Thank you all for the helpful words and after reading all the posts together I realized I didnt explain myself too well and IÂll try to do that. This may be the long way around it but if you look over on The Kitchen Table forum there is a lady (marilyn_sue) HeÂs Done It Again which will somewhat give my situ. some creedence. I am not trying to diminish anyoneÂs feelings about things but this is exactly the type of thing I am dealing with all the time ON TOP OF OTHER Âbiggies IÂll get to shortly. When you get a dose of that behaviour from your spouse over and over again without any thought, understanding, caring for what is going on, after awhile you wonder WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS PERSON? My hubby is not crazyÂ.actually very level headed. He retired last October after 38 years with the federal government and now to keep himself busy throughout the week decided he would drive a school bus on 3 different routes. He loves it and I guess I love it too because he is gone for the better part of the day and out of my hair. If he was here, IÂm sure heÂd drive me crazy with some of the things he does or on the hand doesnÂt do (like sitting like a zombie on the couch). We have been having some difficulty with water pipe banging and the sound is more prominent on the bedroom wall. WELL, instead of calling someone or looking into this a little more, why donÂt we just rip the wall down (sarcasm here)ÂÂand thatÂs exactly what he didÂ the wall down exposing pipes and all. Sounds hilarious, doesnÂt it? NOT at all because it will stay like this for quite some time, IÂll hear the cursing and banging and all the mess that goes with it for the next several weeks. Last night he started quizzing me on what I thought about how to repair it!!!! Remember, this is my bedroom wall not a wall in some obscure part of the house. Basically, what it all comes down to (and this is on all levels throughout our marriage) HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS TO DO!!

The Âbiggie I spoke about was about ten years ago when I discovered an affair. That year had been a particularly difficult year for meÂÂhe was having this affair while I went into the hospital to have a hysterectomy and several months later my mother passed away. Poor dear, she was in hospice care (brain and lung cancer and given 8 mths to live) and had fallen from her bed breaking her hip. I was not able to be with her as I live 1300 miles away and had had surgery. Later, the following year, he disappeared for 10 days and no one knew where he was. Decided he just wanted to take a trip. He left me a note on the kitchen counterÂ..and thatÂs how I found out. When I spoke to him that morning before work he lied to me about why he was late getting up for work. It was because he was waiting for me to leave so he could leave the note and take off for 10 days. I was literally frantic when I got the Âtypewritten note left on the counter. Said he just wanted some time to himself. In all probability he went to meet someone but I never got a decent answer. My daughter was my strength for me back then and that was such a burden to put on her shoulders. I came through that a stronger person with a different outlook on who I thought I was married to. But I stayed with him and maybe all for the wrong reasons. None of his actions were ever dealt with properly in our marriage. Over the years, inappropriate internet chatting, meeting up with women while on business travelÂÂwho knows what else. And, I still I stayed for all the wrong reasons. I think he might have a passive aggressive personality disorder. I think I might be co-dependent personaility disorder. No one meeting him would think he is a bad person as he is very quiet in natureÂÂhe can be quite givingÂÂbut I think it is covert anger and it is directed at me.

The other Âbiggie is not giving me access to the account where all finances are. He says itÂs his account and I donÂt need to know anything about it. So, in his mind, I have no need to know the account number and no need to know anything financially of what is going on!! This is crazymaking, isnÂt it? I am being treated like I was a child.

I have rambled, my forum friends. Thanks for taking the time to respond to me earlier and maybe I have given you some understanding as to how I feel and how I donÂt know how to change.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 9:55AM
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You don't have money, you don't know what money & other assets he's hiding from you, & he's done some very cruel things *which are not accidental*.

See a lawyer.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 4:51PM
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It is simple don't like him.

You really need to talk to a counsellor, to help you formulate an exit strategy.

I bet your daughter thinks you should start a new life.

You have had a tough time, but does it have to still be like that, you deserve some happy times.

Doesn't matter what is wrong with him, he is a dill and you know it.

I wish you best.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 5:19PM
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OP, ITA with you; the incidents you describe sound very indicative of a passive-aggressive man. The wall thing is really a strong indication. I wonder if perhaps your DH has already mentally/emotionally "checked out of" the marriage.

My younger sister was married to a p/a guy for more than twenty-five years, and it was grueling once she realized what he was really about. Unfortunately, the more she tried to reason with him, the worse he got.

They went to marriage counseling, but her DH was very cunning; he put on such a good front (as he did everywhere except at home), the counselor couldn't understand why she had a problem! It was very, very sad. The only good thing about it is that they were unable to have children.

I called her when I read your post, as she had told me before about some books that really helped her (along with a support group of several friends, two of whom also had experience with p/a hubbies).

Here is the list of books. She says they're available at Amazon, and it seems she found one or two of them at her local library. I hope this helps.

Emotional Unavailability, by Bryn C. Collins

In Sheep's Clothing, by George K. Simon

Living With the Passive-Aggressive Man, by Scott Wetzler

BTW -- she bought copies of these books for the marriage counselor who couldn't understand her problem. She said she hoped they would open the woman's eyes to the games p/a guys play.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 5:38PM
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"The other biggie is not giving me access to the account where all finances are. He says its his account and I dont need to know anything about it."

Never mind everything else. 32 years and he's hiding accounts? So you can't know where you're at financially? HUGE red flag! HUGE!!

In terms of " this the hill you're willing to die on?".....yes, it is.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 7:09PM
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You said "he has done things in the past and continues to do things that are not conducive to a healthy marriage."

HELLO?! Bit of an understatement there, doncha think?
(Farting at the dinner table and complaining about your cooking is my definition of 'not conducive to a healthy marriage'.)

Next time he goes off to drive the schoolbus, dive into his desk and start writing down account numbers. Go through insurance files, pension files, 401K files. Find out where you stand! You can't afford to sit in the dark and whine that he won't tell you. Find out for yourself!

It's not that hard.
Though you may not like what you see. (That's how I discovered my Ex's titty-bar habit and a couple of investment accounts he 'forgot' to mention in our divorce negotiations.)

You don't have to divorce him if you don't want to. But at least know where you stand so you can make an informed decision.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 7:15PM
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I am so sorry...I suspected it is more than leaving socks on the floor, people don't question 32 years of marriage over minor things.

it was weird how people advised you to look for joy within yourself when your DH cheats, withdraws important info from you and lives his life as he is not even married. i find it often frustrating to read here when women complain about unhappy marriages (and 99% of the time their reasoning is serious even if it is not cheating) and are told to look for happiness within themselves. yeap, i would do just that but after I get rid of a selfish moron.

this is a very bad marriage and after 32 years I see no improvement, see your lawyer ASAP and then decide what to do.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:08AM
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OK, we did not have all the facts when we said that. Now things are different.

The money thing has got to be dealt with NOW. You have legal rights and responsibilities. Who does your taxes? Do you sign the tax papers? I would start there and get all the marriage assets and liabilities out in the open.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 12:38AM
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Are you ready to go to work full time? cuz he'll leave you with nothing.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Forget counseling unless the counselor is an enforcer for the mob and your husband will listen to him.
There isn't any reason for your husband to change.
You can change yourself. Do you work outside the home? If not, get some training, brush up on old skills and get a job. Make your own money; start saving it. Consider cleaning up around the house and sell things you don't use. Most important of all don't explain this to him. Learn to keep your own counsel (translation: keep quiet) If you have no skills or job, You could move out if you can get a job as a live in caregiver; when I was in Toronto recently I noticed they were advertising for help for the aged. You could do that job as a start and then move into something else.
56 is not old; you can walk everyday, you could exercise at home. You could change your life but if you take no action, next year you will be 57 and nothing will be different except you will look l year older. Men leave 56 year old wives every day of the week-and if its a surprise to you then you will be unprepared.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 9:26PM
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I'm sorry to hear this and can definitely sympathize with you!
I won't hijack your thread with my tale but its frighteningly similar except that we lived together (unmarried) for 21 years. I was left for another woman, and left with nothing but a mortgage I can't afford alone and all the bills.
I wish you the best...and seriously!...figure out the finances and get yourself a great attorney...NOW.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 6:53PM
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If i cheated on my wife or hid money, I'd expect both those things to be deal breakers. I've always made sure she knows EVERYTHING financially. Fidelity has never been a problem.

Now on other things, I've got my own marrige stuff going on, and as I read these comments they concern me. IMO it gets way way to easy to blame all our problems and shortcomings on our spouse. "if only he/she would do x THEN I would be happy" is way to easy a game to play, and it avoids a lot of responsibily.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 10:29AM
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You stick with him no matter what he does, why should he change?
Being married nearly 40 years myself your description of him doesn't even sound like a marriage.
Deception, lies, affair(s), hiding money, what kind of "marriage" is that?
Good luck in whatever you choose to do.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 8:33PM
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It's a sad situation and when you've been with someone for that long, starting over seems close to impossible. I was in a similar situation a few years ago. When my best friend died of cancer at age 49, something clicked in me and I knew my marriage would soon end. I finally realized that this was the only life I was going to get, and it was up to me to make it what I wanted it to be. And I wanted to experience joy, fulfillment, and independence for the first time. I couldn't do that as long as I was in the unhealthy relationship, blaming him, feeling sorry for myself, and building resentment. I didn't like the person I had become. Leaving the security of marriage was scary, lonely, and difficult, but now, five years later, I'm much happier, more useful to the ones I love, and I've found a real, honest, respectful and loving relationship with a man that I never dreamed was possible. My ex-husband is happier, too. I'm not telling you to leave, but I do urge you to do some self-exploration and find out who it is that you want to be for the rest of your life. The years go by fast and we never know how many we have left. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 5:58PM
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run. get a lawyer, a small cottage,a dog, plant a garden and read some good books. This partner is not a fair teammate. get the resources to win a fair trial with allamony. good luck 2u.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 2:29PM
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