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Relationships

Crossroads - advice please

22 replies

JustHimself · 25/01/2023 17:34

I’m at a point in life where I’m assessing options and would like your points of view? I am 50s, have been with my husband for many years, have grown up children but as we married late I have been married six years (so a short marriage).

I am not a thrill seeker and don’t necessarily want to LTB but wonder what you would do in these circumstances.

I hate the term ‘D’H so let’s call him Mike (not his real name).

Mike is mean and uncommunicative. Emotionally unavailable most of the time. Never says nice things, criticises, always right - shows many narcissistic traits. If I try to talk to him he’s not interested at all and I get one word responses at best.

Mike is much more financially secure than I am. I’ve always worked full time, other than short periods of mat leave. We have separate finances. We split the childcare costs but the house is in his name (remember short marriage). He has a wardrobe full of designer gear and spends £1000s on boys holidays and his hobby. I get by on my wage but have no savings despite working full time all my life. I buy nothing extravagant.

We married due to ill health (mine) but I have since recovered. I asked him and he says I forced him into it.

His friends think he is kind and loving. He puts on this impressive act and always has done. They have no idea how he is behind closed doors.

Our children adore him. He acts for them too. I often wonder if it’s me, if I have a super power that sees beyond his bullshit.
He’s not particularly generous with the kids either, just enough.

There’s no violence or neglect - although I do wonder if the complete lack of any emotional support is neglectful?

Is there more to life than this, or is this life for many? It could be a lot worse, he’s not a drinker/gambler/violent?

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LadyMargaretDevereux · 25/01/2023 17:38

He sounds awful and there is no reason you need to stay with him if you don't want to, regardless of other people's opinions of him. 'If I try to talk to him he's not interested at all' is plenty for me.

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Idontknowhatnametochoose · 25/01/2023 17:40

You're settling for much less than you deserve. You sound resigned and almost grateful that he's not violent. You have the choice what you do with the rest of your life. I know what my choice would be.

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JustHimself · 25/01/2023 17:45

I mention the violence as this would be a clear line crossed and no way I could stay. I just wonder if I’m looking for something more when it doesn’t exist for many.

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Napmum · 25/01/2023 17:46

If he's not meeting your emotional needs, I would consider vouches counselling. Also, if you feel he is only like this with you it might be worth documenting what he says and does when that feels unreasonable. That way, you can discuss this with him or a counsellor or use it to prove unreasonable behaviour in a divorce if needed

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JoanCandy · 25/01/2023 17:47

You’re the same age as me, OP.
I realised that I (hopefully) have about another 30 years left and did I really want to share them with someone who I wasn’t happy with.
I LTB last year and haven’t looked back.
All the best to you.

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JustHimself · 25/01/2023 17:51

Good for you @JoanCandy - any regrets at all?

I think I’m a little afraid of being alone.

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Idontknowhatnametochoose · 25/01/2023 17:53

Don't fear being alone. I was for many years and the freedom is amazing.

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JoanCandy · 25/01/2023 17:55

No, no regrets, only that I didn’t do it sooner !
There was no abuse or violence in our marriage either but there was neglect on his part and living totally separate lives - hobbies and interests are healthy but it isn’t right to be omitted completely, which was how it felt to me.
Going it alone is a bit scary - but isn’t that how it feels to you with your current situation anyway ?

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Watchkeys · 25/01/2023 17:57

I think I’m a little afraid of being alone

Are you happy for this fear to be keeping you in such a crap situation?

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JustHimself · 25/01/2023 17:59

Yes I do feel very alone most of the time, but with the ‘buffer’ of being married if that makes sense.

Ive never had any problem with him having different hobbies/friends/interests outside of our relationship, I’ve encouraged it. It does feel a bit mean though when he’s planning a golf trip to USA and I’m putting my half of the gas bill on my CC because I’m a bit strapped.

Thanks for your advice.

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RandomMess · 25/01/2023 18:06

The cohabitation prior to marriage and joint DC cancels out the fact it is "short" marriage.

You will be entitled to far more of share of the marital assets than you seem to think. Get to a solicitor and get facts.

Ultimately leave because he makes your life miserable.

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Watchkeys · 25/01/2023 18:15

Look, he's being really horrible to you. Details about how he's being horrible are neither here nor there. If you're married, he's illegally withholding money from you to the extent that you're putting yourself into debt to pay the bills. Keep records of everything.

Loneliness is something you can feel in company, and you can not feel lonely even when you're alone. That's because it depends on whether you have 1 important person 'on your side' or not: you. Currently, you will feel lonely, because you don't have your back. You're not making sure your emotional needs are being met by someone else, and you're not meeting them yourself, so, you'll simply feel like nobody really gives a shit about how you feel. And that's what loneliness is. It's not 'being alone', it's 'feeling like nobody knows or understands your feelings'.

So if you feel it's not fair that he's jetting off whilst you're scrimping, say so. And if your feelings will be dismissed, then distance yourself. Every time it happens, distance yourself further. If you'd started doing that (i.e. respecting your feelings) when he started doing it, you'd be on the moon by now, or somewhere equally far enough away, speaking in terms of emotional distance.

Start looking after you, and you won't feel lonely. It's you that you need, not him. He can get lost. Divorce him. You'll be a lot better off financially, and emotionally.

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Discontinued · 25/01/2023 18:22

A loveless marriage or long term relationship is awful. it may sound brutal but cut your losses, get out!


Sounds pretty similar to my relationship with my ex, just replace the name Mike with Mary, not her real name either!

The best part, after 19 years together. She left me for a colleague of hers. she met while working abroad. I had the last laugh, turns out he bullshitted her and was married with three kids!

I just feel for his wife, bloody men we're such a bunch of A holes

Oddly enough it was the best thing that ever happened.

I'm having the time of my life at 49, lost 8 stone, had a couple of dates which where hilarious disasters and I'm out dancing again. Life is fantastic

You are selling yourself short, no one deserves unhappiness.

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cosmicbabe · 25/01/2023 18:27

Honestly it sounds like you are his mum whom looks after his children while he lives his single lifestyle with his friends.... I would be very surprised if he doesn't cheat on you on all these weekends and nights away. Thats just how it reads...

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JustHimself · 25/01/2023 19:11

cosmicbabe · 25/01/2023 18:27

Honestly it sounds like you are his mum whom looks after his children while he lives his single lifestyle with his friends.... I would be very surprised if he doesn't cheat on you on all these weekends and nights away. Thats just how it reads...

The saddest part is I don’t think I’d care if he was cheating. We have a sexless marriage so there’s no chance of catching anything.

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Flowersintheattic57 · 25/01/2023 19:22

I’m on my own; my children are grown up and in their own homes, and I it’s lovely. Everything is calm and how I like it. I don’t have the daily disappointment of a partner who is not there for me. My home is my sanctuary. I am safe in it. I am loved, by me.
Maybe have some counselling for yourself, if you can afford it and explore your fears until you feel ready to sail away. Failing that see a good divorce lawyer!

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iamenough2023 · 25/01/2023 19:25

I left my "Mike" a little over year ago for very similar reasons. We were married for more then twenty five years but I felt overpowered most of the time. It was mostly financial and emotional abuse too. I was so unhappy for so long but it dawned on me, suddenly, as I was approaching my 50th, that I did not want to spend the rest of my life like this. It is not easy to sever the relationship like that, I will not lie to you. It was the hardest thing in my life and there was, and still is, a lot of pain and anxiety. However, I never looked back, never once doubted my decision and so far have not felt lonely at all. More then anything I found inner peace and joy, so much simple joy in just... being myself. I wish you all the best OP. Just remember you can do it and you ARE worth it!💕

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category12 · 25/01/2023 19:27

If you've been together a lot longer than you've been married, those years would most likely be taken into account if you divorced.

I would speak to a solicitor. I doubt very much it would count as a "short marriage".

There's more to life to living like this.

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category12 · 25/01/2023 19:40

You only get one shot at life. Do you really want to spend the rest of it this way?

When you were ill, did it not make you think - "is this it?" a bit?

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JustHimself · 25/01/2023 19:47

Thanks so much for these positive stories. I wish you all every happiness and you’ve given me a lot of food for thought.

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JustHimself · 25/01/2023 19:50

category12 · 25/01/2023 19:40

You only get one shot at life. Do you really want to spend the rest of it this way?

When you were ill, did it not make you think - "is this it?" a bit?

It did - but he was a little kinder when I was first poorly. As my prognosis got better he returned to normal and he always showed signs it was hard for him to be nice and it didn’t come naturally.
It did make me question my mortality and how short life is, but we married and my vows were important. They still are, but ultimately what’s the point of being so unhappy just to keep vows.

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category12 · 25/01/2023 19:55

I'd argue he hasn't been keeping his vows, if he's happily living it up while you struggle. Not much cherishing going on there.

It's supposed to go both ways.

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