I'm Divorcing A Sweet Man

When people first learned my husband and I were divorcing, they were surprised. We seemed like the ideal couple from the outside. He had a great job, I was a SAHM, with 2 great kids, beautiful home, trips, and as a family, we work! But as a couple, that's where we failed miserably. First of all, I didn't marry for love. Mistake #1. He was a best friend which people assured me wasn't a bad thing. I learned much later...be in LOVE with your man, and not just his buddy. Also, as a Christian at the time, I believed love would grow over time because we had a good foundation(so I thought). I did grow to love him as the father of my children and someone who provided for me all these years.

It's difficult to fit 21 years into a letter, but basically, we were a mismatch, spiritually, intimately, financially, child rearing, and generally on how a marriage should function. He often wanted me to tell him what to do when it came to the home and family, yet he was brilliant at his job, and told other people what to do. People looked up to him there. At home, it was like living with a big kid. It was immensely frustrating.

We did therapy a couple of times to no avail, and in the end, I realized that he is who he is, and I am who I am, and if I stay, I need to accept him fully, and without judgement, but I couldn't see spending the rest of my life this way. I was miserable even though yes, he's sweet, and kind...and not to mention generous to a fault. I tried desperately to express what I needed from him, and he always kindly said, 'ok', and did few things in that direction to appease me for a few weeks, but ended up falling back into old behaviors, leaving me with the ball all the time in terms of decision making at home, yet balking when it came to 'grown up' type efforts that had to be made. Basically, he needed a mommy type of wife, and I'm not that. I expected a partnership, and a man who was somewhat of a leader.

No, he never hit me, verbally abused me, or even cheated, but much of the time I felt alone and unfulfilled..as if I were the only adult in the house. I grew, pursuing lots of interests when the kids were in school. He didn't, and really hasn't grown up much from our college days. He was happy. I wasn't. The kids were happy. Friends and family were happy. I was the only miserable one. I smiled for them. My kids weren't seeing their 'real' Mommy, because many days I felt like I was in a prison. I started to cringe when he'd walk through the door because it was like having another kid to take care of.

Every day, he'd drop his shoes, and head off to the computer. I get he was tired, and had a hard day, but this occurred on weekends too. Often , I had to beg him to come up to bed. I'd go to sleep waiting for him to come up. In that area, I had much more energy & drive than he did. Later in the marriage we learned that he has ADD, as well as Sleep Apnea which let to a lot of his lethargy and seeming disinterest or inability to take part in our marriage. He lacked energy for helping the kids with HW, playing sports, sex, doing manly things around the house, cooking, you name it.

There were smart things I wanted to do with our money, but because he was the breadwinner, he vetoed my ideas...kind of passive/aggressive. He loved to spend, spend, spend, never saving or planning for the future. It killed me so see our income, and have very little to show for it. I mentioned talking to a financial advisor, but he said no, that they'd shaft us, I suggested investing in real estate(this is years ago...before the crash), he said no. What used to be fun, seemed like death, because I could see money just going out the window. 5 star hotels, and expensive trips, restaurants...oh we had the best. I guess some women would shut up and deal with it, but I can't. I need passion, and a real man in my life to communicate with (which I've found). I was the most difficult decision I've ever made, and it still hurts my soul, but I know it's the right decision.I'm not without fault. I got so frustrated that I ended up having a couple of affairs. He found out. Mistake #2. I regret it to this day. It just made things worse.

We are having an amicable divorce. We both date, and have been separated for a couple of years now, but I know if I said the word, he'd happily move back in, but I think it's time to file the paperwork.

TheRightFitforLife TheRightFitforLife
46-50, F
15 Responses Sep 10, 2012

This is what most men think that they do everything for the family but nothing for their wives at last. Very nicely written and also husbands of this nature..

Thank you. It hasn't been easy, but I'm thankful we're good friends, & the kids seem happy.

Some people just aren't the right "fit" and you can't make it fit any more than you can put a square peg in a round hole.

Yes!! You get my name!! Well stated.

Mismatch sounds familiar to me... I too really wish to put this marriage behind me... one way or another.

I know this is an old thread, but it sure sounds like me. Thanks for posting this.

Missed your comment somehow...thanks-yes, old post, but still 'active'. We've been separated for 5 years which has been great for the kids, & had allowed us to date & really be sure this is the right thing to do...getting the D this summer.

This was a wonderful post. Extremely well-written. Thank you.

Thank you.:)

Classic example of why if you are a nice guy, don't get married. She will always have hots for the men she humped in high school and college. Don't be that nice guy that paid for it with a pound of flesh. Be the jerk that got it for free.

Being nice isn't enough in a relationship. There are responsibilities in a marriage, and honest communication is necessary. It's not just about 'f...ing'. If you think that, then you didn't read the story. If men want to work, and come home & chill like they did in the 1950s, then don't get married then, because it's much more than that.

Hey girlfriend! You don't owe this man anything!! Just cause he worked for a few decades and provided you with a home and kids and provided for them and worked a job that will shorten his life from stress just to give security and life necessities to you and the kids means absolutely NOTHING!! A girl has got to have her fun right? Divorce that chump and make sure to financially rape him in court, take that simp for all he's worth and make sure to stick him with the court costs! Then, it's on to the next man. I'm sure they'll be lining up for ya since you are still young and fertile and all that! YOLO girlfriend!! We're modern day empowered, independent women!! We do what we want!! Big Daddy Government will make sure to stick you ex husband with all the bills necessary to finance your new empowered life style. YOU GO GURL!!!

Actually, I'm not interested in taking his money. I'm working to become financially independent. It was never about the money for me. In fact, I encouraged him to stay at his original job that paid way less, and I would work. He didn't want to. Yes, I want fun. I wanted him to have fun as well, and enjoy life more. I don't think it serves anyone for a man to work that way, and lose his life. I never asked him to do that, but thanks for your 'thoughtful' remarks anyway.

I know this is an old post and sounds similiar to my situation minus the spending. I discovered my spouse was Asbergers. Might be worth googling it just to know. Oh I didn't have any affairs and still in the marriage but want out. It's not the life I signed up for nor the partnership aspect of a marriage. Where are you now in your relationship? Hope you are well and thanks for sharing. It takes a brave woman to see the light and courage to do something about it :)

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I'm not sure you're here anymore, but we're still separated. We both date. I working at a new career, but I'll never make the money that he does. I gave up my career to take care of our family. It's funny how when women give up their life, no one gets how that investment of time is a 'job' as much as the husband. We are still friends and will always remain so.

Thank you for your empathy.

I cried reading this, in a way it validated what I'm feeling. I didn't marry for love either...well I did fall in love with I him in the beginning but that faded as quickly as any puppy love interest would. But I continued to force it after that, he was a good guy and we were good friends, so I married him and had a child with him. I kept forcing it, kept telling myself that it would "click" some day. Until life really started to wear on me...I "emotionally cheated" feeling lonely, undesirable, and lost. I married way too young, not knowing what I really wanted out of life and not knowing one another very well either.

Sometimes it's nobody's fault

I appreciate that

I totally get where you're coming from I am somewhat in the same predicament, we're going to a separation right now feels like everything is on standby, love to chat with you and get more into details about this situation and get your input on it, sometime when we both have the time ;) thanks

Wow. I'd love to chat with you. Added you to my circle... Please contact me anytime.

Its over and time to move on. I do wish you had not cheated. I always say if you are so unhappy you need to cheat then you have no business being married. Get a divorce and do what you need to do. Life is short so enjoy!

"I do wish you had not cheated."...

Me too. My biggest regret. Moving on is so tough, because even though I'm unhappy with him, after 20 years of marriage, there's a bond I realize, that has been difficult to break. We are dependent on each other in so many ways, and though we both WANT to move on, practically, it is happening at a snails pace. Truly the slowest pulling off of the band aid.
Thank you for your response.

"First of all, I didn't marry for love. Mistake #1. He was a best friend which people assured me wasn't a bad thing. I learned much later...be in LOVE with your man, and not just his buddy."

Boy can I relate to that. You should read my story, "Couldn't write her a song".

I have a very good friend whom I deeply care, and to an extent I also love, but I cannot be IN LOVE with her. There is no better way for me to put it than just to state that I could not write her a song. If you've ever written anyone a love letter, you'll know what I'm talking about.

As one friend once said, "It would be unwise to introduce a false notion of romance into a friendship".

I don't think you would be the first or the last person to fall for a friend. Some people accept that and live their lives with their best buddies, usually without the passion, the spiritual, emotional or intellectual connection. I do not think that's what love is. I wrote a story about love titled a "Blessing and a Curse". Once you've experienced the genuine article you will not settle for less. Sometimes you may not even get to experience it but you will know that something is missing. You will feel it.

Very few have the guts to do what you did. To leave a comfortable life, a relatively safe relationship, for the sake of finding and experiencing that "true love". I applaud you for that.

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you, but I don't feel as though I have guts. I feel like a failure, and some days I feel like running back to him, but I know in my heart it's not the right thing to do. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

We can't help but to want what we want, and to be who we are. Its quite mad isn't it? How you can love someone but not be able to love them in that special way? Its just not something you can force or manufacture.

Thanks for sharing.. My marriage mirrored your marriage. I tried everything to make the marriage work. Will you change your mind at all? Someone told me once a Woman changed her heart, it's final. Is it over? What you have described are very closed to what I am dealing with. I would love your input.<br />
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A little about my situation. My wife and I aren't separated. She is dating and I'm not by choice. I gave her the divorce paper to sign and she hasn't signed. She is going through her midlife crisis. Thinking she is still in her 30/40 period. She have been dealting blows after blows trying to destroy the moral of this marriage. She may have done so because I have given up (?). <br />
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Again, loved to hear your viewpoints.. It's a partnership.. I guess I can't accept failures..

Thanks for you comment. Every relationship is so unique, it's tough to compare notes really. I'm not sure about the idea of this 'midlife crisis' in my case. I've known for years that we were mismatched, but I tried to make it work. He's very sweet, but he's not the kind of man who works best with me. He hasn't tried hart in my opinion like you are doing. He clearly loves me, but sadly, love without action isn't enough. I can't 'carry' the marriage anymore. I love that he's a provider. Don't get me wrong, money is extremely important, but on all the major areas of the marriage, we just don't connect. He comes over now to visit the kids, and he'll edge the lawn and do other minor household things that I used to beg him to complete, but it's late. I wish he'd done these things without me asking during the thick of it. How about washing dishes after dinner when I was taking care of the kids, or coming to bed early, knowing I was tired so we could have 'our time'. Everything was me pushing him to contribute. Nobody said to me, it's time to do this thing, or that. I just did it because I felt it was my responsibility. I'm not perfect. I just wanted him to work at home a fraction of the way he worked for his career.

I can relate to your situation to a degree. I'm on the other shoe. I was dealing with a depression that I didn't realize and even when I started to realize it was possible I denied it for a long time. 17 months ago my wife was having an emotional affair and If I hadn't found the condom in her wallet it may have gone further. But I took responsibility for my part in her getting to where she was. For 17 months I fought and worked on me in many areas. It all seemed to just push her further away. She told me "you're the perfect husband that every woman would love to have!" and I said "but you! I don't want every other woman, I married you and have loved and adored you with everything in me from the 1st time I told you that I love you." What happened to "til death do us part!" or was the commitment only until things were tough? People deal with things through out their life and in a relationship, there are times when you are strong and he isn't and other times it is reversed. We we had overlapping times that we were both weak.
I hope you tried and did everything in your power to make it work. We are legally separated and divorce will be final on 1/1/15. What about the consequences to our children? We are still friends right now, and hopefully can stay so. I'm very angry with her for just giving up and not fighting harder for what she needed.
Reading your post and the comment I'm replying to here, has helped me some. She's not the only one that was just struggling to get me to wake up. I was always actively participating and doing things. I slipped into depression and lost my self confidence. We are still living in the same house right now (basically as roommates) and our 2 daughters don't know anything. If I could do something that would give her hope that I have changed to a large degree, and save "us" I would. Not just for us but for our girls as well to spare them the pain and confusion and consequences from our actions. But your comment "getting it a little too late" hit home. My wife has said that also.

Then maybe I'll never marry again. I thought marriage was a partnership, even if you aren't 'in love'.