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How do I end a 34 yr marriage Hot Conversation

I am so unhappy. My marriage of 34 yrs is not good, not bad, not anything. No sex in 8 years. No companionship… just nothing. My husband’s marriage is fine so he says… But everything is wrong with mine and I want out. He is 11 yrs older than I. I used to think that he would die 1st than I could have a life of my own. The problem is that in January I had a massive heart attack and almost died. I realized that the stress of working, raising our family, worrying about the bills and everything had taken a toll on me. I have been the one who handled and did everything. I raised the kids as if I was a single parent even though their dad lived with us/ But they are all grown and have families of their own. Here is my problem. I don’t know how to end this. I am now on unemployment because my position was eliminated, I have 2 car payments but both cars are in his name as well as the credit cards. I am currently in school and when I finish I want to look for work in another state. This will at least get my feet out the door. I’m scared and yet not at the same time. Basically, I just need guidance as to how to even start this. I am 100% positive that I want out of this unhealthy environment and want what years I have left to be happy ones. Even if it means spending the rest of my life alone. There is a big difference between alone and lonely. Please can someone help with some guidance as to how I start.

Thanks so much

Posted in family & relationships, love & sex.

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35 Responses

  1. Generic Image wittyone says

    Hi! Nanijad:  You situation is so similar to mine.  I am in the process of ending my 35 year marriage.  My husband suffers from bi-polar disorder and in the past was very abisive.  I finally got him into the mental health department of our local hospital about 7 years ago and he is no longer physically abusive but still very verbally abusive.  He has had several affairs and I kicked him out of the bedroom about 16 years ago.  Now that our daughters are out of the house I am planning to leave myself.  My oldest daughter works as a law clerk so has been a great asset to me.  Things may be a bit different in the USA but I know that you need to have proof of your income. Copies of both of your last year’s tax submissions are needed.  You also need to have your monthly expenses recorded…..everything!!!  A copy of your house deed and mortgage papers showing the amount owing on your home is needed.  it is best to photo copy these so you don’t get charged for it by your lawyer.  Here in Ontario they charge $1.00 for each copy.  I would suggest you get a legal aid lawyer if you don’t want to pay a fortune in legal fees.  These at least are the beginning steps.  Hope this helps a bit.  Hang in there.  There will be good days and bad days but I am with you about being alone does not mean lonely.  I need to get out of this madness.

     

    5 like

    • Generic Image nanijad says

      Thank you for your advice….Thank goodness we don’t own a home so I don’t have that headache. I finish school next month, then the holidays will be here. So I’m waiting till they are over as I want to be here to celebrate with my 7 grandchildren… Then I start looking for work and an apartment in Maine…. I look forward to this new and exciting chapter in my life. I am finally going to get to know me….I haven’t told my husband my plan other than I will be looking for work in Maine.. I am afraid of what he might do if he finds out that after I get there I will be filing for divorce. Wish me luck and good luck to you.We can both put this madness behind us

      4 like

      • Generic Image wittyone says

        And we will be FINE and STRONGER on the other side!!!

        3 like

    • Generic Image pg58 says

      Oh!  I, too have a husband with  bipolar disorder.  What a life.  He decided he was in love with someone he met while inpatient 9 years ago and  has given money, gifts, furniture,ect…  He decided he would move her and her 3 children to a new  place and move in with them.  Last week, the day he moved them, he called to say he had made a big mistake!  he wants to come home.  My heart aches!  I was doing fine, I thought, without him.  Now he has nowhere to go!!  What to do?  Today is a bad day. 

      3 like

      • Generic Image wittyone says

        These men are so hard to live with.  I have done my best but now it is taking a toll on my health.  I need to move on.  I do feel badly for him but I can’t keep doing this.  Unless you hve walked this path you do not understand the heart ache.  He was abusive to me and the girls, put us through bankruptcy.  Thought he would start his own business and bought a truck and went long haul trucking.  Couldn’t pay for the truck and we lost everything.  He still doesn’t take any responsibility for anything.  Drives me nuts.  Don’t let him come back.  He needs to get help.  I really hope things work out well for you!

        3 like

      • shewhowouldprevail shewhowouldprevail says

        My husband of 10 years was recently diagnosed as bi-polar. While this explains a lot of his behavior, I agree with you about the heartache.  The medication he is on now – and his therapist – have helped him a lot, but I am so worn out from years of verbal and emotional abuse, his financial irresponsibility (he started a business, couldn’t deal with the realities of it, and we ended up losing my house which I lived in when I met him), and the heartache that accompanied it all, that I don’t have any desire to see this relationship through.. Yet I’m torn, because of course there is still some love there. 

        I am working with a therapist now myself; going to college for the first time at age 57; and desperately attempting to create a life for myself.  I was laid off from my job last February with 10 minutes notice.  All-in-all it has been a struggle, but in a way it has forced me to reevaluate my life and its possibilities.

        I really love this site… I wish some of these incredible women lived near me so we could sit down face to face and talk, laugh and cry together!

        4 like

      • Generic Image pg58 says

        Understand completely.  My friends and family think I am crazy for having any desire to make it work!  Bi-polar and only married 10 years.  GET OUT.  I know from years of no diagnosis and years and years of verbal and emotional abuse!  It is in the terms of my therapist(yes I have a therapist he does not) CRAZYMAKING!!

        2 like

      • Generic Image pg58 says

        Thank you!  It is the most suffering I have done in this life to date.  He says he has changed but why  after 37 years of abuse.  I understand the no responsibility thing.  Everything is everybody elses fault-from the employees at Wal-Mart down to me and usually Me.  Such a frustrating life.  Thanks, again. 

        2 like

      • Generic Image evy says

        don’t take him back

        1 like

  2. shebeest shebeest says

    I can remember feeling similar to you when I was working up to ending a 20+ year marriage.  It has been over 10 years since my divorce and all I can say is follow through on what your head and heart tell you is right for you.  I am so thankful I did it, it was not easy, but really the hardest part was making the decision to divorce. 

    You sound like you have a good, well thoughtout plan.  If it gets tough consider talking with a therapist, it helped me.

    Best wishes for your future and new life.

    1 like

    • Schtroumpfette Schtroumpfette says

      Hi shebeest, how is your life since you ended your marriage, may I ask?  I am seriously thinking about ending my 20 year marriage – there is nothing left on my side although he still does not accept the idea.  I know I want out and I am waiting for my house to be sold so I can leave.  Did you have children still at home when you ended your marriage?  I have two and this worries me as they will partly rely on me financially.  Among my other worries:  loneliness – I do not have any close girlfriends.  So many thoughts and worries.  Anything you want to share will help.

      2 like

      • shebeest shebeest says

        I hesitate to say, because if I said my life had sucked since my divorce that wouldn’t mean yours would if you divorced, so when I tell you my life is better than it ever has been that doesn’t mean life after divorce holds that for you?  But the truth is it is one of the very best things I ever did for myself.  My daughter was going into her senior year when we split.  We lasted that long together because she was home and I kept hanging in there because I thought that’s what I should do.  It was hard for her, but the last years of our marriage and family life was worse (her words).

        Truly my only regret is that I waited so long and tried so hard to make it work, to make myself FIT into the marriage.  I didn’t.  I didn’t even realize how unhappy, how not myself I was until I got out.

        I can also say I had very few friends but I wasn’t lonely.  I didn’t date for the first 2 years I was divorced, I felt like I had been married my whole adult life (I had!) and I wanted a relationship with myself to find out who I was, what I wanted, what I liked, etc.  I read a lot, spent a lot of time outdoors and just lived, simply but fully.  At this point my daughter was in college (which financially was hard but we made it) so I could focus on myself.

        Lastly, it seemed so hard and undo-able at times to consider ending the marriage but looking back I realized pretty quickly being married was harder than being divorced ever was. 

        3 like

      • Schtroumpfette Schtroumpfette says

        Thank you for your response.  You seem to have been in a very similar predicament as I.  I feel guilty about wanting to end the marriage as “he” keeps on putting his head in the sand and thinks we can salvage it.  But he no longer represents what I was looking for in a man.  I actually think that I will feel less lonely once I am out of the marriage as I feel quite lonely now, lonely in my heart.  I also feel used by everyone in the household, being taken for granted.  I need to be me again.  I have major issues with my 18 year old daughter right now as well so coming home at night is so the last thing I want to do…  Sad, no?

        At this point I know when the house is sold (it’s been for over a year on the market!), I am out of here.  I just need the strength to stay until this happens!

        2 like

      • shebeest shebeest says

        Schtroumpfette,

        You’re welcome.   I do empathize with what you and others are going through trying to end a marriage.  It is not easy, that’s for sure.

        Try to hang on until you can safely execute your plan (and start taking any steps or actions toward it that you can now).  Good luck with selling your house and starting your new life.  This site and others like it can be a good resource I think. 

        1 like

  3. crystalli crystalli says

    Hi, Nanijad

    Wittyone has the basic beginning steps covered for you. In order to know what to do when I ended a 33 year marriage, I went to a divorce lawyer who had advertised a half hour free consultation.  My then husband, who had squelched any furthering of my education, had to contribute heavily to my support till he retired, as it was a longterm marriage.  I was also entitled, by law, to half of the 401k, which really put his nose out of joint.  I worked, of course, to supplement the support.  He was also rabidly against my getting my own lawyer, saying we could go to a paralegal to save money.  However, knowing what he was like about money (tighfisted) and knowing that I wasn’t particularly savvy about financial matters, a friend warned me away from that course of action.  I’m telling you this so that if you aren’t especially worldly, and he is, you will need your own representation.  When it comes to money, nice guys bare their teeth.  Also, given that it is a longterm marriage, he will be responsible for some support. 

    At first, I wondered if you were asking how to break the news to him.  That was my biggest worry, but since you are planning to move out-of- state, unless he’s braindead he must have some idea of what’s going to happen.  Take it one day at a time and do whatever you can to keep your stress level as low as possible.  Take care of yourself.  You’re a brave lady and you’re going to be fine.

    1 like

    • Generic Image nanijad says

      Yes, I believe he is brain dead…hahahahahaha… thank you for your advice.. and yes I was asking how to break the news…. If I am in another state it will be harder for him to bother me with his antics. I am a coward to face him on this…. The only way I’ll get out with my possessions is under the pretense that I’ll be working out of state and need my things there. These are things that I have worked very hard to purchase over the years. Not one thing has he bought. He spends his money on alcohol and pot. I do not partake in either. Most of my adult life I’ve had to work 2 jobs to keep the family afloat because of his spending habits.Some of my things have been passed down to me from my grandmother… The only thing I’m leaving behind is HIM. Oh I’ll make sure he has things for his own place as he plans on moving to an efficiency apt after I leave. But, I’m making sure the things I treasure are with me.To my knowledge he has no idea I’m filing for divorce once I get to Maine. If he knew I wouldn’t be sitting here at my computer… I think he would destroy everything I wanted just so I wouldn’t have any of it. He is a very vindictive man. Once when I tried to leave him many years ago he destroyed my car so I couldn’t…. I have to be very careful

      Thanks

      0 like

      • whatshername whatshername says

        Be sure to check the laws in the state you are moving to  – there will probably be a residency requirement before you can file for a divorce- do a Google search and you will find your new state’s code of law online.  Also check your current state – It may make more sense to file in that one.  Educate yourself thoroughly -

        0 like

      • Generic Image wittyone says

        Yes.  This sounds like my husband.  He has threatened to harm both myself and our daughters if I left him.  Now that the girls have lives of their own and I am stronger I am not willing to live under his threats.  Be very careful and get to Maine as fast as you can!

        0 like

  4. Generic Image llmkay says

    I left a 30 year marriage 5 months ago…and I left a lovely man.  I had been thinking of leaving several times during our marriage, but my fear and guilt held me back.  I moved away from my home, friends, childrent to a new town, new job, new everything…and it’s been really hard.  All I can tell you is to take ONE DAY AT A TIME.  I have very dark moments, but I have faith that they are just that day and not my whole life.  Surround yourself with positive people and get used to being alone…it’s difficult, but necessary.  Faith is my favorite word these days…I have nothing but faith to keep me moving forward, but the option is to lay down and give up.  If that’s what you do, then you may as well have stayed in the unhappy environment.  What I’ve had to learn is patience…and to be good to myself.  Good luck…

    2 like

    • Generic Image lainie says

      Limkay, your situation is similar to mine. I left a nice man after 26 years of marraige, because for the last three years he said he didn’t know if he love me and I couldn’t live like that anymore. I went back to University in another city across the country. I don’t regret my actions, but there are very dark times when you question yourself, and it becomes easy to remember way back to good times and forget the sad, lonely times that caused the break up.

      1 like

      • Generic Image llmkay says

        For sure…I don’t think anyone leaves a relationship and doesn’t question it from time to time…I don’t think that ever goes away…the one thing I try to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other…there is no other way to move forward!

        1 like

    • crystalli crystalli says

      llmkay, I especially love the second half of your post…I have nothing but faith to keep me moving forward, but the option is to lay down and give up.  If that’s what you do, then you may as well have stayed……

       

      You see, for a very, very long time I stayed because I felt guilty, and for a long time after I felt guilty, for the reasons I outlined to Grammy 2.  It takes more than desisting from the obvious vices to make a marriage work (as we understand marriage to be in this day and age) and desisting from the obvious doesn’t automatically make one a lovable person.  I didn’t understand that it’s ok to divorce simply because  the marriage isn’t right for you personally.  Because of this misconception, I wasted my entire youth.  My options were to lie down and give up in the marriage, lie down and give up when I was on my own and felt adrift, or keep moving forward.  It seemed ridiculous to go through the agony of divorce and then stop living.  What you implied, and what I agree with, is that despite the dark moments, there is always something to smile at, to laugh at.  When we have faith that dark moments won’t be our whole lives, when we learn to not take for granted the simple things of life, the darkness gradually dissipates, and we move forward.

      3 like

      • Generic Image DMD1058 says

        “I didn’t understand that it’s ok to divorce simply because the marriage isn’t right for you personally.”  Those words are so soothing to my ears!  I too am in a 35 year marriage (I am 57) and didn’t know it would be ok!  I am trying to find the time and words to tell him.  He is not a bad man and I have not always behaved well, however he has a VERY abrupt manner and has re-acted in a verbally abusive way to our situation many times.  Frustration has been the trigger.  Today I put some clothes in a suitcase – he has been visiting his bi-polar sister 70 miles away who has caused many difficult times.  He has returned and gone for a drink to relax.  So, another evening will pass.  I believe I will know when the time is right but am afraid of wasting more of BOTH our lives.  Fear and financial fear are the keys.  I live in the UK but find this website such a support.  I too wish we could all meet up.  God bless all you fabulous and strong women out there.

        2 like

  5. Socalmoxiegal Socalmoxiegal says

    I ended my 30 year marriage five years ago by going out and getting myself my own place, that was my very first step. I know you want to get a job in another state, but that may be too much as a first step. You didn’t mention where your children live, so I will assume you all live in the same state.  Get your own bank account, and move at least three months of bill money into the account…I didn’t do a change of address with the post office because then my ex could find where I lived. I actually had to quit my job to sever all ties with my ex….it’s complicated, but he could reach me there, or stop in or any number of things, like sit in my car, etc. I moved physically and emotionally away from a very bad situation.  It sounds like you are there anyway, just move your things out, take what is important to you, remember ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ can be replaced, only take the important items.  Good Luck!!!

    2 like

  6. Generic Image kats says

    So many of us ending or wanting to end long term marriages.  I need to do this also, I just don’t know how, I’m scared to try it on my own.  I stayed in it for my kids now they are gone, I need to go also.  I wish I had gone when we had money , now we are broke so it is harder to go with no money and no job.  What I need is a check list of how to leave, what to do first, what to take, where to go et et et.  Can any of you who have done it make me a check list?  I bet it would help others to be given a game plan to help us start the process.

    5 like

    • Generic Image MagentaRose says

      Step One: get a job.

      0 like

      • Generic Image kats says

        I have applied to every job I’ve seen in the last 2 months. so hasn’t everyone else, sometimes 100 candidates for a position.  I have gotten quite good at interviewing, but haven’t gotten a job yet. although I am an RN I have been a SAHM and not up to speed with anything.  I am looking into returnig to school, just waiting for my transcripts to come in so I can apply to a few places.  I also live in an isolated small town and job searching here is difficult.  I will need to relocate to find a decent job.

        AND once again…………….  I want my son to have a good holiday season, this being his first year away from home and his first time back.  So I am looking towards spring, maybe.

         

         

        0 like

  7. Audrey B Audrey B says

    There was a book written a few years ago that was called “Happy Marriages, Sudden Endings”. The author described men who tend to be bipolar & women who tried to keep the marriage together but it all ends anyway.

    Put your ducks in a row: get your own bank account, have your own safe deposit box, get use of one of the cars or pick up one on your own, keep a job or get another one. If you are planning to leave the state: take a long weekend to go learn about the area you want to be in & check out residency requirements, available jobs & places to live in. Get a good lawyer & have any correspondence go to a mailbox at a post office or get a separate email account & cell phone not tied to your husband: ask friends that have gone through divorce for help. Sock away as much money as you can even if you have to be sly & it’s only $10 or $20 at a time. Try to make a new friend or two while you’re thinking about leaving that you can go to or just a supportive family member or friend who has kept your confidences. If you need help with finances, call around to agencies. Your lawyer will help you find a way to get support from the husband even if it’s short term. When you do get the nerve to tell husband you are leaving, put all the cards down & conditions then Don’t look back. He may or may not fight back, what’s done is done & you grew a backbone to make this decision.

    It may not be easy emotionally, you’ll feel like you’re falling and have days of guilt or even grieve: move on. Write down why you want this to end; keep focused if they are strong points. No one has to put up with any sort of abuse & even if he comes bowing & scraping saying he’ll change Remember he won’t. If he hasn’t changed in 30 years what makes you think he will now? Sure you had good times, but if it’s been a long while something has to give.

    3 like

    • Generic Image MagentaRose says

      This is great advice. I remember even cooking extra and freezing it. It came in very handy with the moving expenses eating all my $.

      0 like

    • Generic Image kats says

      good advice   tryiing to follow it quietly.

      0 like

    • Generic Image pg58 says

       

      Thanks for this post.  I have to remind myself that in 37 years he has not changed.  Even with medication for the first time-he is who is.  One neurologist ask him a couple of years ago what he was waiting for -that he woud probably die in a few years!  Made sense to me. 2 years ago he was going to leave with the other woman and children and then begged to stay.  Now it came around again and he went through with it but then came back home.  I suffer such grief at this point because he has put the decision back on me!  I could actually have hit him for saying this to me! Now it is I who will be the bad guy and he is the one who has created all of this.  The fear of the future but the relief pushes me on. 

       

       

      2 like

      • shewhowouldprevail shewhowouldprevail says

        These men have made an art of making the woman the “bad guy”…. despite their behavior and the choices they made – i.e. cheating, lying, being abusive, etc. – they frequently somehow are able to turn it all around in their head and make everyone else responsible.  It’s easier for them to pretend that it was your fault than to admit it was theirs. 

        My husband’s combination of meds and therapy have made an enormous difference in him.  If he had been this way throughout our marriage (well, except for the fact that one of the meds has completely killed his sex drive), our life together would have been pretty awesome.  Now all the things that happened have built up inside me like a ticking bomb… it’s hard to forget them, even if I can almost understand and forgive them.  My therapist has brought me to realize that I have a choice to make…. I can stay and see if we can create an awesome life or I can say “I’ve had enough and I don’t want to take a chance”.  And as we women all know, it isn’t necessarily an easy decision.  My husband was never physically abusive, he was continually angry and unreasonable.  He lied a lot.  He had an affair.  No one deserves these things.  Yet now as I watch him go through therapy; as he talks to me about the things he is learning about himself; as he is able to let go of the hurt and abuse he suffered as a child… well now I hae to wonder if life with him could be good.  Because we’re in a very difficult position financially – he is on disability now and I lost my job last February and have been unable to find another one; we lost our home to foreclosure in April and have been reduced to renting a tiny apartment – I am taking steps to create a life for myself and figure I will see what happens as far as our relationship goes.  I’m going to be going to school full-time starting in January; so is he.  In the meantime I will keep looking for part-time work and keep trying to sell some of my articles to magazines, etc.  But I am not in a dangerous position – my husband is not violent or physically abusive, and now with meds and therapy he is pretty “normal”.

        My method of dealing with the situation would not be a good one for anyone in a relationship where there is any threat of violence!

        0 like

  8. Generic Image LadyM says

    Nanijad, almost 2 years ago I ended a 32 yr marriage, 3 months after my mother’s death to Ovarian cancer and still grieving deeply for her (one of my best friends).  Ending my marriage was a very difficult decision and I was scared and worried what my family and friend would think, let alone thinking what it would be like to be single in my mid-50s.  Well, that fright cost me everything we had built together – house, savings, retirement plans, etc.  Looking back, my only regret was that I didn’t divorce him sooner when I realized we had grown worlds apart.  I realized it was much better to be lonely by myself than lonely & miserable with him!  Yes, these past 2 years have been tough.  But, I am doing things I never would have if I stayed married and have met some fabulous new people!! Don’t wait, it won’t get easier.  Just call a good divorce lawyer who can guide you thru the mechanics of divorce since your emotions will get the better part of you!!  But life will be better !!!

    Good luck and I will keep you in my prayers!!

     

    5 like

  9. Generic Image says

    My fear kept me in a 31 year  abusive marriage…Fear of being alone and everythng else one can imagine.
    Have you considered counseling?  It could go a long way as a support system.
     
    When it came down to it, one sentence “did” it for me:  “Try to let the side of you that is trying to save yourself…..win.”

    1 like

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