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Forums / Relationship and family issues / I want to separate from my husband but don't know how

Topic: I want to separate from my husband but don't know how

  1. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    10 May 2018

    I've been married for 20yrs and we have 2 healthy children. We are financially stable. I know I should be happy but I feel depressed and stuck. I no longer want to be married.

    I care deeply about my husband, and he is a good man, but he has always been totally closed off to his emotions. Since the beginning I felt rejected and alone when he wouldn't talk to me. After we had our first child I asked him to come to marriage counselling, but he refused. Then I asked him to read a book I’d found helpful, but he was offended that I was 'picking on him' and very angry about it. He said hurtful things I’ve never been able to forget. I think it was then I started to shut him out the way I had always felt shut out by him. That was 8 years ago.

    He finally agreed to counselling about 2yrs ago but I feel like it's only scratched the surface. I've asked him to do extra reading or even his own therapy but he refuses. I’ve tried to initiate some fun activities for us but we don’t enjoy the same things and neither of us end up having a good time.

    Intimacy is also a problem. For years I was having sex in order to keep the peace and now I just feel used up, like I’m not even capable of enjoying it anymore. The idea of having sex with him makes me so anxious I feel physically ill. It’s been months since I’ve tried and I don't want to again. I've read about sexless marriage, but I know my husband wouldn't handle that. Sex is very important to him. but the real problem isn't the sex it's the lack of connection. I don't know how to feel connected to him anymore. I don't think I want to.

    I dream of asking him for a separation, but how? I only work part time, and I don’t want to move the kids even if I could afford to. And it seems too cruel to ask my husband to move out. Should I stay until the kids are adults and waste another 10yrs of both of our lives? The alternative is to break my husband's heart and break up my family. But staying is just adding more layers to my resentment and I'm scared I'll end up hating him.

    Has anyone been through anything like this? I’m still seeing my own counsellor, but I think it's gotten to the point where more talking about the same issues won't help. I need to take some action, because I can't stay in limbo. I'm not living just existing.

    Thank you

    13 people found this helpful
  2. Jacko777
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    781 posts
    10 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hi GoodWitch,

    I relate to some of the things you are saying and I know, it's a tough call. You don't want to rock the boat in case things can be improved within the relationship but meanwhile, not much changes.

    Now I'm not suggesting you do this but, when my wife said 'I don't think we can keep going like this', that was enough for me to get help and start on some recovery for the things I had ignored for so long. It's great that you are seeing a counselor and perhaps you can talk to them about separation, (you probably have) what opportunities are left to get your hubby to the table and how to make that happen. Perhaps hubby doesn't realize how seriously this is affecting you?

    You say you want to take action, is that something you can do within the relationship? Can you start doing the things that you would like to do, or at least some of them, without your husband? Show him that you are just going to get on with it, whether he is coming or not. I guess we have to weigh up the pros and cons. By the way, it sounds like you have given much care and compassion to your relationship, you have made many compromises for the sake of your family, you should be proud of that, not sad. And here you are, still on the track, trying to improve things, well done to you, now and then take some satisfaction from knowing that you haven't let up.

    The fun activities sounds good, maybe you could try that again but smaller steps, keep at it. Does he understand that having a greater connection might lead to a better sex life? I guess he would feel sad that there is an issue with connection but he obviously isn't currently ready to work on that head on.

    Sorry, I'm being no help at all! Talk any time, Jack.

    7 people found this helpful
  3. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    7368 posts
    11 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Oh wow, I can relate to pretty much everything you have said. I don’t have an answer to how to seperate though. But I do understand the aloneness you feel. It’s heartbreaking to desperately want to feel loved and connected to the man you are married too and it’s not happening.

    Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I believe there is hope.

    Shell

    7 people found this helpful
  4. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    11 May 2018 in reply to Shelll

    Jack and Shell, it helps just to talk so thanks for responding.

    I have said we can’t go on like this as that was the only way I got him to go to counselling. I’ve also said in a session that I don’t see the point in continuing in the relationship if he doesn’t make some effort to examine his own issues as I have done. I was crying and basically begging so I don’t see how he could have missed that I was at my wit’s end. That was a year ago and I still don’t feel he’s taken up the challenge. I’ve said as much to him and it didn’t go well, ended in a fight, which has made me wary of bringing it up yet again. I don’t know how many different ways I can say the same thing. And I have started doing more things on my own or with friends for my own mental health, but it only makes me too aware of the fact I have more fun without him. I’m happier when we are apart and that is pretty dreadful when you’re contemplating the rest of your life with a person.

    Thanks so much Jack for saying I should be proud of still trying to improve things. I’m afraid my husband thinks I am looking for problems that aren’t there and that I am out to punish him for something. My quest for improvements = I'm judging him and telling him he's not good enough. It’s a much longer story than I’ve presented but it’s hard to condense 20yrs into the character limit. I've had low self esteem, which made me believe I didn't have the right to ask him to make changes. Now that my self-image has improved and I'm standing up for myself more, maybe it's too hard for him to handle. I also fear I might use alcohol as a way to escape the tension, because having a couple of glasses of wine does relax me. Addiction runs in my family tho so that scares me a lot. I even mentioned my fear to him and he said I was overreacting. I’m trying to choose healthy options, like yoga and walking, but sometimes when I do things on my own hubs accuses me of trying to escape my family, which isn’t true. I might be craving space from him but never from my children.

    I feel like on one hand he is pushing me away while at the same time he's accusing me of running. I feel like nothing I do is right and I'm mentally exhausted from trying to figure it all out.

    5 people found this helpful
  5. geoff
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    11 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch
    Hello GoodWitch, this is not an easy decision to make but if you're not happy in your 20 year marriage and the communication has broken down, then a compromise between the two of you may need to be made.

    Being financially stable, with two healthy kids is not the perfect solution for a happy marriage, it maybe for a certain period, but long term you change in how you look at the situation, your personality becomes different and your favourite colour may even change and this is what's happened.

    This is what happened to me after 25 years of being married my wife had had enough, I was depressed, using alcohol to self medicated and I wasn't getting any better, so she upped and left me, divorcing me along the way, I can't blame her.

    We talk to eachother and I still love her but we couldn't live together again.

    An option is to stay until the kids grow up or perhaps they may want to move with you, these are questions that you may need to talk over with your doctor because 10 years can be a long time.

    You say 'that it will break your husband's heart', but what you need to do is look after yourself first and foremost.

    Wish you the best and please reply when you are able to.

    Geof
    5 people found this helpful
  6. MiaM
    MiaM avatar
    1 posts
    12 May 2018

    Hi,

    reading your post, I felt like I am reading about my future. I am at the phase where this all has starterd happening and I am realising what a big mistake it was to get married to him and he doesn’t even know that this loveless life troubles me. I am very romantic at heart and my husband is a very simple man. Day and night he just bags about his work, his life! I’m feel like I am just his homemaker, tiffin and meal maker and mother of his kid. Again, intimacy is a problem as I want more if it and he simply doesn’t any! If I don’t initiate it ask, he can go on without having any for months.

    I feel so lonely and tried to find work but not getting any despite having two post-graduate degrees. It feels like as if my life is doomed. Staying all day at home day after day, and this depressing Melbourne winter weather doesn’t help either.

    I can see how my life will be if I stay in this marriage but again I want my boy to have a father and for his sake, I’ll have to stay like this.

    4 people found this helpful
  7. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Geoff your words are very kind and helpful. Communication has totally broken down and that is a big deal for me, even if he would rather put his head in the sand and hope it all blows over. I am trying to take care of myself but it's so hard to imagine putting my own needs ahead of my kids and even my husband. I've always put everyone else first, didn't realise I was such a people pleaser until recently, but it turns out i am and very susceptible to the slightest suggestion I'm not being a 'good' person because of it.

    Had a bad weekend when I felt so happy that husband left the house on Saturday night and I had the place to myself just me and the kids and it was so relaxing. Sunday when it was all 4 of us again I drank a bit too much because I couldn't stand how sad I felt. Then last night up with insomnia, feeling miserable and sleeping on the couch because I can't even stand listening to him breathe next to me when the sadness grips me. I feel like a terrible person even if I tell myself I'm not 1000 times.

    I know I can't go on like this and I think it is a matter of working out the ins and outs of how a separation works now, not just wondering if I should do it. This situation is making me mentally and physically unhealthy with stress, I'm over medicating with alcohol and overeating too. But I'm heartbroken. I never understood how hard it was to wrestle with a decision like this I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

    5 people found this helpful
  8. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to MiaM

    Hi MiaM I'm so sorry you are struggling with the same issues. It is very hard and I sympathise. I hope you do continue to look for work as having that bit of independence can be very comforting. I know despite my only being in part time admin work that is a bit boring and not best use of my degree that having a job helps me stay engaged with the world outside what is going on at home. It helps to have some work friends to talk to as well, so even if you are willing to apply for some things that don't require your post grad education it might be worth it for you emotionally. It's not fair but sometimes after we have kids we have to chose flexibility over job satisfaction and things like that (just another thing I've had to come to terms with myself, that I gave up what could have been a lucrative career to raise the kids while hubs has benefited to the point he earns decent money which I can never do now...these are the things they don't tell you about motherhood!)

    If your husband is a good father he will always be in your child's life no matter what happens with you 2. Perhaps now is the time to push him to attend counselling. I wish I had pushed harder 10yrs ago when he first refused because I think the time for saving us passed sometime around then. I wouldn't recommend you wait and just hope things get better on their own as I've done. Make sure your husband knows how badly you need to address your issues now, as they won't get better with time. Take it from someone who knows.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. geoff
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    15288 posts
    14 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch
    Hello GoodWitch, thanks for your reply and what concerns me is your self medication with alcohol, because the more you feel down the worse it may become.

    The reason you have to look after yourself, first of all, is that it will allow you a better frame of mind with your kids and start to give you some strength, that will make it a little bit easier to decide to separate if that's what you want to do.

    The ins and outs of being separated maybe planned as you want them, but can change due to what happens each day, circumstances may change so they can't generally be known.

    Remember when you were feeling relaxed, that means a happy life.

    Hi MiaM, well done for replying and being a romantic is something I've missed out on for years, that's lovely.

    Having 2 post-graduate degrees I hope that you are able to find some work, and if you like you could start your own thread.

    Wish you both the very best.

    Geoff.
  10. EmptyInside
    EmptyInside avatar
    4 posts
    20 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Thank you so much GoodWitch for posting this thread. I have felt like such an ungrateful malcontent for feeling I wanted more from my marriage than I was getting, I have felt like this for years now but have lacked the courage to do anything about it. I, too, have been married for a long time (30 years) and have 2 wonderful children. I recently became a grandmother and, to anyone looking from the outside, I seem to have a wonderful life.

    But I feel so lonely and depressed. My husband is a lovely man but we haven't been intimate for around 10 years and I feel I have changed a lot where he seems to have stayed much the same.

    Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments in this thread - its comforting just to talk sometimes because I don't really have anyone to talk to at the moment. Thanks for sharing your story Geoff - it must have been hard to make the break but you were very brave. All the very best GoodWitch and if you need someone to talk to about this more I would be more than happy to help.

    3 people found this helpful
  11. SubduedBlues
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    841 posts
    21 May 2018

    Hello GoodWitch,

    Once upon a time, ten years ago, I was where you are now. I cannot advise you whether to stay or to depart, that is your decision. I can, however, regale you on what happened for me.

    For the sake of my children, and their happiness, I chose to stay. I did everything I could think of to try and make the marriage work, but in hindsight I was only delaying the inevitable. She refused to open up, to share any of her inner feelings. She used to say, "If you haven't worked it out by now, then you haven't been paying attention."  How was I to know anything if she never gave any indication if anything I did was or wasn't to her liking? Also, how come she never tried to connect to my feelings?

    Anyhow, some six years down the road, we split up. But the most interesting thing is that my kids had been waiting for us to do just that. And, that they are now 'happy' that she is gone. (At one time, after we split up, there was a possibility that we might get back together, and the kids were horrified of that.)

    My advice to you is to write a list of all the reasons why you would stay and all the reasons why you would leave. And, only stay, so long as the reasons to stay outweigh the reasons to leave.

    You may also want to start squirreling away some savings in an account that he's unaware of. (no letters home, use your parents/siblings/cousins address for bank mail). Hint: only ever bank spare "cash", as then there is no chance of a transfer being asked about. If everything works out, 5-10 years down the road, you will have the money for a big family holiday. If not, then you have what you need to help you re-start your life.

    I don't like recommending people have secrets in marriages, but in this instance I think it will behoove you to keep this one.

    Best wishes
    SB

    6 people found this helpful
  12. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    22 May 2018 in reply to SubduedBlues

    Thank you everyone for your kind advice and support. It helped a lot to be able to post my story here warts and all and be accepted.

    I have an update. It is thanks to my post here that I found the strength to write all this out for my husband in a letter. I realised that whenever we try to talk face to face his first reaction is defensiveness, then blame and heightened emotion from both of us and it all disintegrates. So I thought writing it was my only option. I left the letter for him and went away for 2 days so he could absorb it. I knew that the only response I could live with would be 'I see that you are right and I apologise. I want to make it up to you', but I figured I was reaching for the stars and I had better start looking for a place to rent.

    To my utter shock his response was positive and heartfelt. He admits he has done many things wrong and actually started to talking to me about his feelings! you have no idea, this man does not talk about feelings, ever. So. I'm in shock, in a good way, although I am still very tentative about it. But we have had a couple of good long chats since the weekend and I haven't felt like a drink at all. Perhaps the truth has set me free.

    It is very early days and I don't know yet where this will lead. It is still possible it is too late to repair our romantic love as I don't feel anything in that department yet, but if all that happens is we can finally have some honesty between us and friendship it will have been worth the effort and anxiety I suffered thinking he was going to yell at me for what I said.

    *SB I have written pro/con lists before and they always end up even! Also had small nest egg growing 'just in case' for a while and I won't be letting that go yet. I will see where this new development takes us first.

    4 people found this helpful
  13. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    22 May 2018 in reply to EmptyInside

    Empty Inside, I'm sorry you are going through similar things. I hope you find a way to cope or get through. Your offer to help means a lot to me, and I offer the same to you. The hardest thing I've found is the guilt for feeling like you don't appreciate what you have, when others have things worse. Being married to a good man who for whatever reason you can't seem to find a connection with, that sometimes vague feeling that something is missing, doesn't seem like a big enough problem to complain about. You do feel ungrateful. It took me a long time to convince myself my feelings were valid and I deserved the emotional support I needed. Otherwise, what is the point of being married in this day and age? It's not like as women we can't look after ourselves if we choose, and have the tools. There are ways to get by on your own even if you are in the habit of sharing some tasks etc with someone else (after 20-30yrs there is definitely some habit involved in staying with someone you no longer feel in love with). If your husband is not a best friend and or good life partner, what, honestly, is marriage for?

    All very philosophical questions I guess and all things I've wrestled with. Anytime you need to chat, I'm here

    2 people found this helpful
  14. EmptyInside
    EmptyInside avatar
    4 posts
    22 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Thanks so much GoodWitch - the guilt and fear are very difficult. Also there are financial issues - pragmatically speaking we would both end up worse off financially if my husband and I split up. I agree with you that its much more possible, however, for women to be independent and have a lot more choices than they used to. Most of me wants to make the most of my older years - I've been looking forward to a relaxing time for all my working life - just not quite working out that way just yet :).

    I hope you sort out your own relationship and can figure out exactly what you want and find the strength to implement it. Its so hard to know exactly what is right in some situations but someone told me once that when your heart, gut (instincts) and brain and in alignment - a choice becomes clear.

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Sarzy61
    Sarzy61 avatar
    32 posts
    27 May 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hello GoodWitch,

    I have just read all your chats & it seems that you have been given so much good advice. I am a 56yr old man who has been married for 30 yrs. I didn't realise that my wife thought our marriage was iver years ago until I was shocked by her decision to end it 15 months ago. I am still so badly affected that I am in a state of severe depression & cant cope with life.

    This would not be the case with your husband but what I want to tell you is the letter you wrote is a great positive step in communication. 2 days to be alone was an ideal way for him to process your feelings without any possible knee jerk retaliation.

    If my wife could have only given me the valuable gift of communication I think our marriage would have survived. Men often dont realise how a wife is struggling but what you did has given him a lot to realise that he didn't before.

    We often didn't speak for periods and this really etoded our relationship. The catalyst for her telling me was the loss of our beloved son & my subsequent nervous breakdown.

    I sincerely hope that with your effort to communicate (which women often do better than men) your husband may appreciate you better & with gradual improvement you can also rekindle the relationship that you once had.

    I hope that your marriage works out as much as I regret mine is seemingly over. I still love her dearly & cant forget what a wonderful wife & mum she was.

    You both deserve to be happy, I personally still hope that it may be together.

    Kind regards, Sarzy61

    4 people found this helpful
  16. Porridge
    Porridge  avatar
    1 posts
    13 July 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    hi goodwitch

    i am in a similar position i have been married 21yrs have a 19 yr old son and 17yr old daughter who will be doing her HSC . i no longer want to be with my husband but don’t feel i can say anything until my daughter has completed year 12. At the moment he thinks i am depressed ! which although i have had depression before this is not the case now i just am not happy. Sex has been a bit of a chore and i am now trying to avoid any contact. Sex is and has been very important to him i switched off long ago .He keeps talking about our future once daughter has finished school .I feel really bad about not telling him so will be seeing a psychologist to try and sort out what to do and how to end this relationship . i have definetely moved on and just know i don’t want another 20 yrs of not really being me! He is quite negative and awkward in social outings which i am just over. Life is not a dress rehearsal . cheers

    4 people found this helpful
  17. geoff
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    15288 posts
    13 July 2018 in reply to Porridge

    Hello Porridge, and a warm welcome to you.

    I understand your problem and feel sorry for you, but living in a marriage where you haven't been happy for a number of years means you aren't looking after yourself as well as your daughter because what will happen is she will notice changes to how you speak and realise something isn't right so this may affect her studies.

    She may not want to say anything to you, but I'm sure she will be aware of the situation but even so, but maybe it could still be influencing her and have to decide what's doing more harm than good.

    Tell your husband you're seeing a psychologist because it's not healthy in the long run to keep pretending especially to your daughter and maybe suggest to him that you want some time alone after HSC finishes.

    I am pleased you're seeing a psychologist as there are pro's and con's in what you do for the next 3 -4 months, and would certainly like to know.

    My marriage ended after 25 years, but for the last couple of years it wasn't easy.

    Geoff.

  18. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    17 July 2018 in reply to Sarzy61

    Sarzy61,

    I'm sorry to hear about your separation, and even more sad to hear you have lost a son. I can't imagine how awful that's been for both you and your wife. I don't think it's uncommon for a relationship to fall apart after such tragedy, which I'm sure makes it no easier for you, but well, I'm sure you're not alone.

    Do you have a counsellor you talk to about this? I'm assuming so. I hope it's helping. Maybe there is a grief group you could attend too?

    Hope you are taking care of yourself

    GW

  19. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    17 July 2018 in reply to Porridge

    Hi Porridge,

    Sorry to hear you are going through similar things. I'm beginning to realise just how common it is.

    For a long time I also told my husband I was depressed--which I was, but I was feeling down because of our marriage and I let him believe it was hormonal, or about my job and not him. It was just too terrifying to tell the truth. But telling the truth has relieved a lot of my depressive symptoms, even if it hasn't solved our problems. We are still trying to work on those. It's possible despite how scary it is you will feel better if you are able to be honest with your husband. I guess that does depend on how he reacts though. I recently had to admit to my husband's face, when pushed, that I didn't have any romantic feelings toward him and I think of him only as a co-parent and friend. He cried over this and I know he's heartbroken. It was awful, but again I feel better for having said it. He even admitted it was better to know the truth. I couldn't go on lying to avoid an emotional scene.

    Right now my husband is saying he is willing to wait for my feelings to return and that he believes they will. I'm not sure I share his optimism, but it is nice that he is being patient. It's nice to know he does love me. I'm trying to look at the positive things instead of focusing on what's missing. Who knows? maybe he's right and I will feel in love with him again one day. I don't know. I miss being in love with him and I miss the time when I did enjoy sex. It's like a big part of myself has fallen away and I'm grieving it.

    And OMG my hubs is socially awkward as well and it is frustrating! Sometimes I think 'just once can't we just go to a party without you moaning about it and not getting on with someone'. So there's that too. I feel your pain Porridge!

    Did you contact a psychologist? Keep me posted

    GW

    2 people found this helpful
  20. tnb2910
    tnb2910 avatar
    7 posts
    18 July 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hi GoodWitch

    I was in a very similar situation to you there was a lack of communication between myself and my ex. One day his ex girlfriend from high school turned up at his Mum's house out of the blue (apparently) and they went out a week or so later for a coffee, 2 weeks after that she called him in tears saying her husband had left her. Long story short within 2 months my ex had left me and started dating her 3.5 years later they are now unhappily married (according to our kids) so looks like the karma bus arrived and I'm happier than I've ever been and am loving dating in my 40's lol!

    Like you I avoided issues to keep things calm at home.

    The biggest problem I see with staying until the kids get older is that it only gets harder on everyone especially the kids you say it's only 10 years but what if you manage 3 or 4 then you just can't take it anymore. My kids were 15 and 11 (almost 12) when my ex left me. At the time my 15 year old took it very hard but long term my 11 year old is taking it harder the amount of change in her life in the last few years makes my head spin. She had changed schools 6 months earlier half way through grade 5 as she wasn't happy at school we split she met dads new girlfriend within 13 months she was starting high school and in a period of 3 years between myself and my ex there has been 7 house moves all this on top of puberty. She has withdrawn socially and I am very concerned about her mental health.

    I'm not sure how old your kids are but they adjust much quicker to changes than you realise the younger they are.

    There is heaps of help out there I'd start by talking to a lawyer (try legal aid) for legal advise on the how to and what things you need to put in place and what you can do to split your assests. Centrelink (go in if you can) and finding what financial payments you'd be entitled to and also Child Support if you're only working part time and you have even 50/50 care he'd be required to pay (I assume he works full time), if your youngest child is under 7 (could be 8) you can get the sole parents pension to supplement your income if not they'll put you on newstart and you will need to look for work if you're not already working at least 15 hours a week (include time you volunteer at school if you do in your total hours).

    The most import thing you can do is get some counselling for yourself and if you decide to separate for your kids as well.

    2 people found this helpful
  21. tnb2910
    tnb2910 avatar
    7 posts
    18 July 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hello again (I ran out of characters lol)

    If you are happier when he isn't home that is you screaming at yourself that things need to change, it is not selfish to look after yourself first it's called self care and is very important if the mothership goes down what happens to the rest of the family.

    Also you need to think about the relationship you are modelling for your and they start to think that the it is okay to treat people the way your husband is treating you or I think worse that it is okay for other people to treat them like that.

    I have recently started dating an awesome man, I have a connection with him that I never had with my ex and have realised that this is how things should be if I don't like something I tell him I don't have to keep my true feelings hidden out of fear of upsetting him and I've finally realised that I deserve more than what my ex gave me I only wish I'd woken up earlier and done something about it.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    2 people found this helpful
  22. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    18 July 2018 in reply to tnb2910

    thanks tnb2910, that was really helpful. My kids are 13 & 10 so a bit late to say they're young they'll adjust and not old enough to handle it with total cool. I do know I'd be financially ok if I did leave as there is assistance and I could probably start working full time (though I worry about the kids being on their own too much), but there's also a part of me that's thinking I contributed 20+years to this life, the house, the savings etc. I should be better than 'ok'. We were working towards eventually being comfortable and on a practical level I'd be looking at starting over. I admit that's part of it. I'll probably have to rent for the rest of my life as single women on basic incomes don't get loans, not that I hear about. is it worth it?

    I don't know. Things have definitely improved but there are still moments when I think what the hell am I doing? I do worry a lot about what I'm showing my girls by appearing to cave on issues or worse let them do stuff they can't do when dad is home because I think he's way too strict. I need to actually fight him on some things like that but my habit of trying to keep the peace for everyone's sake is so ingrained I almost don't think I'm capable of fighting him.

    GW

    3 people found this helpful
  23. Reyman
    Reyman avatar
    3 posts
    18 July 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hi Goodwitch

    I am a husband of a wife that i think would like to say the things you've said, but doesn't know how to say it.

    i am looking for answers on how to fix our lives, and even though we have all the material gains, comfort of life, our relationship has gone out of the door.

    if my wife told me your words, i would remove myself from her life as i cannot see her suffer anymore.

    i totally feel for you and sympathise with the situation.

    1 person found this helpful
  24. tnb2910
    tnb2910 avatar
    7 posts
    18 July 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Goodwitch

    I am glad things have improved for you hopefully you can figure things out with your husband.

    If you decide you can't do it any more know that it is not impossible to avoid renting ,I have a friend who split from her husband and while they were negotiating a financial settlement she maintained the mortgage payments on her own and was able to get an increased mortgage to pay him out (though house prices were a lot lower 7 or 8 years ago when she did this) and keep the house on a part-time income, I was not so fortunate and thought I'd be renting for the rest of my life however I have been able to buy with a friend so you never know what's around the corner. Your kids will adjust it will just take them a little longer just make sure you are and your husband are there for them and get them all the support they need especially in the early days.

    Two bits of advice I can give you is to get a parenting plan drawn up and stick to it (there has to be some room to change days etc for family functions holidays and even to re-negotiate down the track if situations change) so everyone knows what is happening, this is actually a legal requirement which I wish I had known as my ex refused to be told when he could see his kids and we have never had a plan in place and my girls do as they please my oldest has been with me pretty much 100% of the time since we split but goes to her dads for dinner once or twice a week she's now 19 and my youngest now 15 was with her dad 1 night a week until 15 months ago then changed to 50/50 but has discovered the art of playing us off against each other and my ex lets her get away with it especially if it means he has to pay less or no child support or I have to pay him child support and I have no legal recourse.

    Take time to be on your own it's amazing how much stronger I've become having spent most of the first 2 years after we separated single I've dated a few guys but nothing serious until the guy I met about 5 months ago I think he might be a keeper.

    Finally is it worth it I can't answer you and you will only be able to answer that if you try it, but for me ABSOLUTELY, I am not in the greatest financial situation but I can cover my day to day expenses and I am happier in the last 2-3 years than I was for 10 or 15 years before that (I was married for 21 years and we split Dec 2014) and that to me is a million times better than having money for things like holidays.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    21 August 2018 in reply to tnb2910

    Well 2 weeks ago I sat down with hub and told him it wasn't working out, that we tried as hard as we could but I don't think of us as a couple anymore, we are co-parents that's it. I wanted my independence and a life of my own. I think it's time we went back to counselling to talk about the possibility of separating. It was awful, but I was glad I finally was clear with him--at least I thought so. Hours later though because he was upset I asked him how he was, we had a good long talk. He said he thought I was going to up and leave any minute so I said I wasn't packing a bag 'right now' that we had time to regroup and think about how we move forward. I think he took that as hope that I was going to keep trying. Maybe move forward was the wrong term. Yes we are finally saying a lot of things that have needed saying for a long time, but my feelings haven't changed. I don't love him romantically. I said as much and that I didn't hold out hope those feelings would return. I mentioned being separated under one roof, which is something you can do without moving out, but I didn't go into it more because the word 'separate' just seems to make him agitated (understandably). I said we could put off going to the counsellor for a bit, talk about it again soon, as I could see he was distraught and I didn't want to hurt him anymore at that point.

    Now he seems to be acting a bit like it never happened. Talking about how we're improving in our communication and 'working on things'. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing left to work on. I think he's in denial. I don't know what else to do. I don't really want to pack up and move out, that's more disruptive for the kids than if he moves out because they would have to come with me due to our work hours, but if he's going to stick his fingers in his ears and pretend he can't hear me, I might have to. I really wanted this to be easier on the kids though. ugh.

    I think I'm going to set up a separate bank account and get some legal advice. This denial is just starting to feel like yet another way he is refusing to listen to me because he doesn't like what I'm saying.

    Anyway...just updating. Still struggling with this but trying to move forward (or away..?).

    GW

    4 people found this helpful
  26. itsagamble
    itsagamble avatar
    16 posts
    24 August 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hi GoodWitch,

    Sorry to hear that. I hope everything works out for you (i.e. the way you want, and you are happy/ier again).

    thanks for the advice you gave me too.

    I'm in a similar position feelings wise. I think my actions have caused me to rethink everything and I'm in two minds about staying married. I think I've just realised that maybe she isn't right for me and I definitely am not right for her with my past indiscretions. Problem is it will be totally out of the blue for my wife and I just don't know how everyone will cope, particularly in the early stages. Our kids are young so will adapt, but the thought of part time custody and other partners in the future etc is just all so overwhelming.

    I think the realisation of shattered dreams and future plans is possibly the toughest part too. You think everything will be perfect and plan the future and then somebody changes (me in this case) but I guess you can't help how you feel and can't go on unhappy to keep others satisfied.

    All the best.

    2 people found this helpful
  27. Trybe
    Trybe avatar
    1 posts
    24 August 2018 in reply to GoodWitch
    I can relate to this on so many levels. I have stuck it out for the children and feel like my soul has been sucked out. I have repeatedly told my husband what I need from him but he is incapable of putting in the hard yards. We used to be best friends but now I feel no connection and feel like we are house mates. There has been a lot of issues that have arisen throughout our marriage that I have just tried to work through but unfortunately now that has turned to resentment. My daughter's are 18 and 20 now so will be able to deal with anything that happens but my son who is 12 does not handle change and will be devastated. 2 years ago I worked up the courage and said I wanted out. When I told the children my son was so distraught I back tracked. I thought I could stick it out until he is older but the more I wait the more resentment and soul destroyed I feel.
    1 person found this helpful
  28. GoodWitch
    GoodWitch avatar
    187 posts
    27 August 2018 in reply to Trybe

    Thanks Trybe, I'm so sorry you're feeling so awful. It is precisely as you say, soul destroying. I am so scared of telling the kids and my little one (10yo) gets easily anxious, I'm having nightmares about how it will go down. Also having nightmares where my hub is holding onto me and I'm screaming for him to let me go and he just stands there not reacting. Doesn't take a therapist to work that one out. Like your hub I feel mine is simply incapable of doing what I need. I've talked to my individual counsellor about it too and from what I tell her she seems to agree that emotionally he isn't mature and has always let me do the work there and always will unless I make a drastic change that forces him to confront his own issues.

    I don't have any hope for us but the reality of doing what needs to be done is just devastating.

    1 person found this helpful
  29. CJs_mum
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CJs_mum avatar
    94 posts
    27 August 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hi I just want to say you're amazing and I understand how hard that is!

    its so difficult to have someone blame you for them pushing you away. It's too hard to exist like that.

    there's options:

    (You may see more here but...)two I can see right away are:

    you discuss it and ask for changes in the relationship, continue to go to counselling together, talk, compromise (as you seem to have been doing anyway) and understand that many men find change difficult and grow at their own pace, (no offence guys- women seem to expect men to grow with us quickly lol), challenge him to help the both of you if he wants a family.

    or take a short break and see where that goes. (Even take your kids for a holiday or something, if that's possible).

    i wish you all the very best!

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Guest_1973
    Guest_1973 avatar
    10 posts
    2 September 2018 in reply to GoodWitch

    Hi GW

    I admire your strength in you and finally having the courage to move forward. What was the final break for you and interested to know how things are goin now.

    Has the separation been ok living under the safe roof?

    I wish you all the best and please keep me updated. You are giving me strength too.

    2 people found this helpful

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