Death By A Thousand Cuts

It's been over 30 years.  We've been through so much together, raised two children, and have created such a rich shared history.  I don't regret my marriage.  I just don't want to live like this for the next 30 years.

For the last 10 years I've tried to fix our intimacy.  I learned a lot through workshops and counseling.  It's really not about the sex.  That's just a symptom.   Unfortunately,  I've been the only one who was willing to work toward change.  I wasn't content living with my best friend.  I wanted more.  Just as he settled in to being comfortable living with his best friend.

The epiphany of what went wrong came to me while talking with a friend.  And, I shared it with my husband during a therapy session.  There was no one thing that had pushed me over the edge .... woke me up to see why I wasn't happy in the life I was living.  It was so many things, big and small.  That's when I referred to it as "Death by a thousand cuts."   I listed many of them to my husband.  I explained how I felt about each thing.  I explained the story that went on in my head when he would say "You better stay with me .... no one else will ever want you."   I think about this now and can't believe that there was a part of me that really believed this.  Now, of course, he's saying that he didn't really mean that.  He knew it was an absurd statement (that he repeated over and over).  My self esteem was so low that I did believe it, for way too long.

I became whatever everyone else needed me to be.  I lost myself.  That worked very well for me as I raised my children.  I was their mother.  My role was clear.  My children are now grown. 

Over a year ago now, I woke up to see who I really am ... to understand my own self worth.  And, I've never been happier.  It's taken most of this past year to understand all the changes I was going through ... all the new feelings and desires.   It's taken months to explain it to my husband, to get him to understand why I am leaving. 

I'm married to an alcoholic.  So, it has been difficult to have meaningful conversations.  For reasons that I am unaware of, he stopped drinking a few months ago.  He started back up again a few weeks ago.   After 21 days without a drink, I decided that it might last a little while (he's stopped many times before).  That's when I started going to counseling with him and explaining what was going on with me.  And, more importantly .... I was very clear in stating that I was leaving.  

I am so overjoyed at the prospect of moving out.  I am shedding so many responsibilities.  I will have only myself to take care of.   I can stop living for others and start living for myself.  Actually, I started that process about a year ago.  I'm getting pretty good at it.

Last year, when I first told my husband I wanted a divorce, I really didn't feel inside of me that it would happen.  Unconsciously, I believed I wouldn't be allowed to leave.  I suppose I was thinking of myself as a child.  And, now .... I've finally grown up.  I'm in charge of ME.
Annikka Annikka
51-55, F
19 Responses Aug 23, 2011

It is hard to leave but happiness well return after awhile. There is some type of morning time after a long relationship then a breakup. I spent thirteen years in a bad relationship. I'm better off single now. At least I got my dog.

Your statement that you don't regret the last 30 years, but you don't want to live the next 30 years this way rings true with me. Thanks for sharing.

How your words ring true. I don't have a "good" reason to leave my husband, or a "typical" reason. I am dead inside because of my 1000 cuts. It would have been more humane if my husband had just stabbed me in the heart with a butcher knife. At least it would have been "over" a lot sooner. Thank you for taking the time to post such an eloquent account of your story.

The toughest step was that first one....and with each passing day you will see how And it is far passed the time for you to discover...or rediscover the true you. Enjoy the will be surprised at what you discover.<br />
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My best wishes to you...

Do you ever wish you left sooner?

No. This is the right time for many reasons, especially our children. Everyone's story is different. For me, this is the right time to leave.

Do you ever wish you had left sooner?

Your desc<x>ription of yourself sounds like me.<br />
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I wish you the best! Please let us know how you are doing!

You have come a long way...and you really don't have to go any can remain in the town your currently in..there is no need to run away..and there is no need to be someone are finally free to simply be you and live how and where you'd like.. So open the door to life..and look around, get comfortable..and finally just live..

I hope it goes well for you,very sorry about what you have been through.I feel for you and hope you heal and feel good about life again with or with out your situation.Always here if you need to talk.Take care,.

It is a sense of peace to accept you have done what you can. Change is something that only you can do... for you.<br />
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Heal, find yourself, make your vision, pursue your dream. Th future belongs to you.<br />
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I wish you continued strength and courage.

Thank you for your encouragement. I'm on a path that feels right.

ELuv - All the best to you. We have so much in common (from reading your posts). I wish I had half of your courage and strength. Been going through a lot (like you have) and just trying to take one day at a time. You will be okay - I know it! :)

wish u alots of success and luck ..<br /><br />
god bless U..

Ok ELuv,<br /><br />
What to do now..<br /><br />
Move,move to somewhere like Germany,Sweden,or places ,get a job,flat,do this for 8, 15,months,<br /><br />
Be away from your current environment to find out who you are,or who you want to be.then you just might be free ,love Tzn.

Interesting thoughts .... thank you for your reply.


Good for you! I'm sure it must feel so good. You are an encouragement to me to be strong and have more confidence in myself. Thank you. :)

I wish you the best on your own journey, my dear MissLee.

Thank you. :)

You are a strong woman on the right path.<br />
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You have tremendous courage and the intelligence to back it up. Stick to your plan. Don't let anyone or anything divert you from your move to freedom. Life is short and unpredictable. In the end we have only ourselves and our own happiness to be concerned with. You've been a good mother and a good wife. You've done your duty and done it well. You should be proud of the job you have done! The return you got was mixed.<br />
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Now it's your turn to have the joys and fun of life. Forget the bad things from the past and look to the future. You will soon be the captain of your own ship. You can steer it anyway you want. Life can be a happy big adventure if you let it.<br />
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I am in your corner, I am on your side. <br />
I know you will be happy and find the next 30 years to be so fun and rewarding that you will look back on now and wonder: "What took me so long to see the light"<br />
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Your friend

Thank you. I cherish strong friendships, especially now.

No need to wish you a happy future. You will be in one!! Enjoy your new life!!!

Wishing you a happy, romantic & passionate future :-)

Thank you .... and the same back to you. We're all seeking our own brand of happiness.

Thank you, Ophelia