I Am Going Through A Separation. I Am 53 Years Old And Ill Too.

I am 53 and soon to be separated. My husband and I have had problems in our relationship for years. Moreover, I have been fighting cancer and depression for the last 4-5 years. In the meantime, my husband accumulated debts and it got to that point where I discovered we are losing our house. I am not working anymore. I am disabled, half deaf and still coping with the last surgery- Whipple- which is very hard. I certainly didnt want our life to go on as it was: financial irresponsibility, lack of communication and huge fights. All that in addition to my sudden illnesses and depression. I used to be a successful teacher, excellent student, had my BA and MA with honors, etc. I had a life full. Now I can no longer work, can hardly walk or hear. I cant find what to do with my life anymore and am devastated that my husband just wants a separation without even trying therapy. (We once tried it but he stopped believing in it so we did nothing about our relationship despite my constant plights).
I feel sad and scared. He is my 2nd husband. We have been married for 23 years. I was happy to divorce my first husband whom I married at 19. It was a bad marriage.Really bad.
What is sad is that my husband and I still have some love for each other. He says we will always be friends and he takes me to every dr appointment, hospital checkup etc.
I feel as if he does not want to fight for our relationship, for our marriage. He says there's no way he sees it can get better so we just have to separate. We first have to sell the house, return debts and with what remains, find a suitable place for me (I'm handicapped).
It feels as if I am a failure, as if nothing awaits for me, there is no future for a 53 year old invalid like me......I know it sounds depressing, but thats how I feel.

Aloneagainat53 Aloneagainat53
51-55, F
7 Responses Jul 1, 2012

How are you getting on now? I have just separated from my husband after 36years of marriage, and feel intensely alone. It was an emotionally abusive marriage and much of the time I was very unhappy, but it was my familiarity, and now I have to start again at the age of 56. Like you Im confused that after all these years of giving me such a difficult time, he has already moved on (we have been apart for 2 months) Does it get any easier with time?

Dear lindajeanlord, first, thank you for your reply. In short I can tell you that it does get easier with time, something I just hadn't been able to imagine.
I posted my story in July. I was an emotional wreck. I hurt like I never hurt in my whole life. I was grieving, shocked, crying day and night. I felt useless, old, a piece of junk with no future except get older and die. I am disabled, almost deaf, just finished battling with depression and a second cancer in 5 years, now on disability allowance, confined to the house after almost 30 years of a successful career as a teacher. Everything looked BAD, hopeless and pointless.
The mourning/grieving period was hugely beneficial. First, I didn't suppress my emotions. I cried, grieved, talked to friends, allowed feelings of anger, etc. come out. In short, I let all the emotions flow out knowing that after this phase a calmer period would arrive. Nevertheless, I still FELT worthless and cheated. Felt like a victim.
Then, to my surprise, I started seeing, what you call familiar situations, in a different light. Suddenly, things which I always just accepted because I saw no other choice, became clearer and clearer to me so that at some point I asked myself, even with some anger:"How was I able to take it? Why didn't I rebel years ago?, Why didn't I see it as I see it now?etc". That was the most amazing, enlightening moment of all. It got to a point where I realized that not only did I come to terms with the decision to separate, but that now, for me, going back was impossible. I would never want to go back to a hurtful relationship where my needs and desires were never met. Believe it or not, suddenly I came alive and I got some inner strength knowing that now it was I who had control over my life. I no longer expect anything from him, no longer long for him, no longer see myself living with him under the same circumstances. Once I felt free from my emotional dependence, I started seeing friends, I took up reading books again, I started to live the day. It feels so good to know you are independent!
The funny thing is that once he saw my change, he started being more compliant, although I knew there's no way back for me. He rented an apartment 4 months ago. He always accused me of everything bad, he claimed over and over again that he needed peace of mind and that he could find it only living apart from me.
Ha! He isn't able to move out although he says he wants to. He doesn't dare to shout at me or say hurtful things because he knows now that I answer back and that his choices are "behave or move out". He's not able, emotionally, to leave now. I understand it. He's def not making any moves towards restoring our relationship. It isn't as if he's trying to become a lover/partner again, but he now helps more around the house and doesn't criticize me over everything I do.
lindajeanlord, it is important that you share even your basest feelings with someone. Let all your anger, sadness, etc. come out. Think whether you would allow a daughter or a good friend go through what you have gone through. What would you tell another woman if she experienced the same kind of abusive relationship?
You are the most important person. Your well being and happiness are not for sale nor for abuse. YOU deserve a better life, alone or not.
Of course there are disadvantages of being alone at our age. It isnt easy to think of a new relationship. I certainly do not see myself finding a new love. It scares me to death to grow old alone. I am often unwell. I have permanent damage to my digestive system, I just got diabetes and other health issues, all related to my last cancer operation (Whipple Procedure-it's called). I am not and will not get better physically but I know that inner strength is far more important than physical strength.
I am not yet happy. I still don't know what I'll do with my life. I am still living with all the old demons and fears, but I got myself back to my old me.
I hope you will see the light soon. And please, keep me updated as how you are doing. Sending you lots of good energies and virtual hugs :)

I looked at your initial story again and I disagree that there is nothing out there... Despite everything I think there are people that care and believe that there are helpful forces around us all... despite whatever condition you might have and/or find yourself in but unfortunately sometimes yes it comes down to things like distance and money... But I've seen alot of ppl conquer things they were not expected to...

Its one of those things - it seems sometimes the people that want and/or perhaps need care cannot get it and those who do not want/need care can and do not appreciate it. <br />
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There are lots of legal obligations of course but I often wonder how much of these benefit the people in the situation. As you say currently there is some type of relationship - other seem to question the nature of it... I guess the crux of the matter is you have to live the life... We can do "in my opinions" but really when it comes down to it... is the stress of it all going to be worth whatever benefits are left?

You really need to take control, he has a legal obligation to you and your children, he has no right to sell the family home, you are now at a stage where you have to shelve the emotional abuse you are feeling and take legal advice, believe you and me he is no longer your friend, he is taking control of your life and more importantly your children's life you are entitled to have a family home for your children until they are 18. It is very important you do not let him sell the family home from under you do not sign anything until you have legal assistance, please get legal representation immediately and draw up a seperation contract which he has to agree to and sign, let him move out, but do no release your home without a fight.

Thank you for your reply and your sound advice. Fortunately, I am separating from a kind man. All that remains after we sell the house will be used to buy a house for me and the kids. There's not enough for 2, but he wants me and the kids safe and in a stable place.
There is no way to get separate bank accounts with all the loans/motgages, etc. there are in our bank account; the bank will not release 1 of us from the account as the responsibility to cover the debts falls on 2 people and not on one, and that is what the bank "prefers". So, the only way to start anew, with separated bank accounts is to sell the house, return loans, etc, and move on. In the meantime he still provides for us as much as he can. This is what is sad: we are friends. He sees himself as a loving friend...(well, I can argue the part of "loving"), so it seems that so far we are having a civilized and "friendly" separation, all that for the kids' sake too.
What breaks my heart is his point of view that he doesn't see now any future for us. I can't really accept the way he sees the separation. He says: "let's separate, each one of us will live his/her own life; I don't know what life has for me, I don't know whether I will want back or not, etc"
To me, it can be either:"we need a separation in order to check our relationship and see if we can amend things for, let's say, a year"- or - "We are separating. Period."
As he has not and is not saying anything about giving us both time to see how our relationship can work or be repaired (in a time frame) while we live apart,I take it a a separation, period. I do not want to be in a situation where I will find myself "waiting". No way. I need to be strong enough to tell myself that it is over and not be dragged back to him the moment he suddenly decides that he does want me back. Or, "wait" and see he has chosen a different path without me, with a new partner. This kills me. I can't allow myself be "in the back burner" just in case.no way. I am not a toy you dispose of when you are tired of playing with, and grab back when you miss me. I just wish I could trust myself to be strong about it. To act according to what I say to myself: "it's over".

Well, he has started moving some stuff. He is little by little arranging his apartment and my heart sinks each time. Now, we have also put up the house for sale, so it's another "good bye" for me. Another loss. I am totally grieving. Sad, confused, angry, disappointed. Crushed.

Today my hubby signed a contract to rent an apartment. He'll probably leave in a week or so, as there is stuff to arrange and move before he can live there. We are still friends, but he doesnt really feel, see or understand what I'm going through and how saddened and heartbroken I am. He thunks that if he keeps on taking me to checkups, dr's appointments, places, etc. it is as if almost nothing changed. It isn't true. He's not even aware that, although still living here, he already acts as if he's not part of this household. He used to help a lot around the house since my physical condition does not permit me anymore to do stuff as I once used to. Now, he hardly does those things and I have to do it all by myself and ask my daughter to do a lot. Yesterday I was hanging laundry and he scolded my daughter for not helping me. He was angry with her coz she was watching TV. She got up and came to help. I told her to put the socks to dry and go back to the TV. He wasn't aware that all that morning she had done more than enough with the dishes, laundry, etc.I am still sad. So sad.Never have I had my heart broken like this.

You are not a failure. It takes two to make it right and work. You need to put things into perspective, your health first and if he's adding stress because of the debt he's accummulated then it's better he takes care of that. Do you think he doubts himself, that he's not up to the challenge, his own ability to cope and be strong for you. He may be scared. My 2 cents!

thank you for your reply :)