And Then I Had Enough....

I have been married for 31 years through sickness and health, for richer and poorer and alas I could no longer last until death do us part.  We have two amazing children and had a relatively good life in spite of my partner's chronic health issues.  I supported him through it all, even to the point that he did not work since 1993, - - but the last illness - alcoholism and cigarette smoking did me in.  My husband, when he drank, which became more and more often, was obnoxious and beligerent.  I worked very hard at my job and put in long hours with an almost two hour daily commute and it made me very angry when I would calculate how much he was spending on his addictive behaviours.  On the outside, we had it made - incredible children, now 26 and 18, who in spite of their surroundings are very impressive young ladies.  We had a beautiful home and could have had a wonderful life.  Did I love him?  Yes, at one time, I did.  But the man, I know now is a mere shadow of his former self.

For my own sanity, I had to leave.  It took almost six months to wind down our 31 year marriage - but it is now complete.  We sold our lovely home, and each have bought condos.  Our oldest daughter, recently married with a masters in early childhood education, is moving to California, and our youngest daughter who is living with me will begin her post secondary studies in the fall.

I find myself wondering how I lasted as long as I did.  The last years of my marriage were not healthy.  He went on all night binges, was disrespectful to me and my family and thought that I would stick around forever.  I had faith that better days were ahead but the challenge of living with someone who does not respect you took it's toll.  My self esteem has been affected and my health has taken a dive.  I find myself physically and mentally drained and it is hard to find my equilibrium. I am ready to begin the next chapter of my life but have scarcely the energy to function in my job.  Meanwhile, my husband, with a generous settlement that I provided, is partying and in less than a month since our separation, is entertaining women with wine and candlelight.

Why did I not leave sooner? and how did I let it go on this long?

- confused and angry
inmyelement inmyelement
6 Responses Jul 11, 2010

Please don't feel badly. I too was married to a very abusive man for 35 years and despite the proddings of my daughters I never left either. I was abused as a child and then by my husband, it was all I ever knew. Then I became so numb from the abuse. I didn't even know I was being abused<br />
I would act as if his words didn't bother me so my children wouldn't think I was being hurt.<br />
Yeah, right , I was only fooling myself not them. I too wish I hadn't wasted all those years with an abusive man. But I know I didn't know any better. As Oprah says when we know better we do better.<br />
I hope you cut yourself some slack, because I believe if you were ready and could have you would have. The time just wasn't right. But now that we've both done it, I look forward to the next journey of my life being happy and abuse free. Now that I have awaken! Yeah!<br />
I hope you and I meet the most loving and understanding men in the world. Don't give up hope!! Pls.<br />
Mary Ann

dont feel bad. it took me 32 years. <br />
why do we last soo long? <br />
<br />
well for me, it was because it was a combination of 'just comfortable enough' and 'fear of change'<br />
<br />
i finally got to a turning point where the comfort level was soo low, the thought of staying caused more discomfort than the thought of 'changing everything'<br />
<br />
i also had to decide that i was going to live FOR ME, and NOT for ANYONE ELSE.<br />
<br />
living ROCKS!<br />
:)<br />
Love and Light.<br />

I ended my relationship recently that was very unfulfilling and with very little intimacy. She was the refuser. The Peter Pan. I can't believe it took me this long to end it but alas it is. Now I want to connect with a woman who has been through a similar thing not so much to hash over the ugly past but because we both come to where we are now with a deeper appreciation of intimacy and the need to take care of each other. If any women is out there in the 40 to 55 range who wants to talk with a professional, sane but recently single male, please private message me.

I was married for 24 yrs,when my husband walked out on my New Years Eve of 2009,we have 2 sons 23 and 26,which are great men ,I found he was cheating on me,I tryed to make it work,but I lost the trust I had in him,and durning the 3 years before we seperated I look back now and think of all the differnces in him,and how he treated me ,from the man I meet years ago.He never took reasonsability,and never wanted to grow up,hes having fun with his motorcycle club,and local trash Im sure,but Im going on ,im going to start a new part of my life,I have family and friends and my sons,and life goes on.It was very hard at first but you have to go on,dont let them when,and why be in a relationship that wont go any will all get better,but you have to also let it by going on,and be strong.

It sems the resons for staying are many, but a common theme seems to be the hope that the situation will imp[rove. I have two children of 10 and 7, and my biggest concern in staying in my unhealthy marruage was that our children would come to beleive a marriage like ours was "normal".<br />
<br />
I am so glad your children have adjusted so well. I have no doubt they were aeare of the situation before anyone said anything.<br />
<br />
I can identify with your comment about being off balance, and I am hoping it passes soon. I know my work is suffering because of ot.

Oh dear! not another one! I kept trying to make my relationship work until I realized that I did not want my children to mimic my relationship. It is one thing to be there for someone in good and bad times - it is something else to work hard to support someone who curls in the winter and golfs all summer and gets away with being irresponsible - to the point of having to threaten to call the police if he attempted to drive under the influence of alcohol. It took me a long time to realize that I was no longer a partner - I was becoming a parent to a fully grown man who was no longer responsible for his actions and I was footing the bill!!!