Divorce After 25 Years Of MarriageI am getting divorced after 25 years of marriage and I hate it. My husband s 15 years older than me but the age difference has nothing to do with our problems. He actually looks younger than most men my age and is very handsome with little grey hair (not that that matters). This was his second marriage. People ask me why are we getting divorced? There isn't just one glaring reason. No infidelity that I know of on his part. No reason not to trust him. We have 2 daughters 16 & 18 who we have raised to be really great girls. They attend private school and seem to be very well grounded in life so far.
So what's the problem? For one, my husband is very self-centered. He has what I call rules, he calls preferences, for things. For instance he prefers the house be kept a certian way, meals be cooks a certian way etc... I can't say any of his preferences are unreasonable but it seems that once I adapt and settle in then the preferences change. This has been the pattern since day one. We have very limited things in common, although we are both Christians and very active in our church throughout our entire marriage. However, even that has been seperate. We didn't serve together in any capacity. He always chose male ministry activities like prison ministry, Gideon's Ministry and other areas that I did not have interest in or calling too. I did Women's Ministry Chair, founded a MOPS (Mothers of Pre-School International) in our church and then worked for MOPS International on a state level to help support and start groups throughout our state. I supported his ministry work by making phone calls for him, cooking dinner for his jail minstry buddies every week before they went etc... He failed to see the importance of the women's ministry/mops work. Constantly said I was putting my work before him and our family. He said this because he didn't want me working in the evenings once he was home but with him home playing with our girls when they were small was the block of time that worked best for me to make phone calls do internet work etc... We still did a lot of family time together.
I had also walked away from my career in Purchasing Adminstration and making $32k annualy 19 years ago to stay home to raise my children. That was the one thing we both agreed on. However, once I stayed home with the girls things changed. He was no longer helpful around the house, everything became MY full responsibility because I "wasn't working" any longer. I am a very hard worker. We also added 2200 sq feet to our house while living in it. Not only did I help with the build but since we did it with the help of extended family , I cooked daily for everyone, cleaned up all this messes all the while chasing two toddlers around and keeping them safe from the construction hazards. Later it was me and a friend that resurfaced our hard wood floors, did house maintenance, etc... I'm not complaining about all the hard work. I actually enjoyed it but I received no credit for it from him. He is very critical in subtle, not mean agressive ways, and just didn't see how that was hurtful to me. In hindsight I can see that he is actually like that with everyone and it's just not me, but that doesn't make it any easier to live through.
He is a fun guy, makes people laugh, very smart and admired by our friends but very controlling. He made over $100K salary yet we lived on about $36k per year. I was only allowed to spend $200/month as my spending allowance. That had to include gas, incidentals for me and the girls, entertainment etc.. and since I had to make two 52 mile roundtrips daily to take and pick up the girls from their private school most of that was used up. Now going through the divorce I still have no idea about our fiances. We lived debt free. No mortgage, no car loans. Paid cash for the things we needed or wanted. Money went into his retirement and annunity funds. Still there seems to be some that is not accounted for. He now has to pay me support but wants me to accept a settlement offer from him that would end that. (I'm not!)
He showed me little respect, gratitude and love, yet I was to think he was the best thing since sliced bread. He is an all or nothing kind of guy. When he did do nice things for me, and he did, they were VERY nice but when it was just the every day life he would just let it slide by until the next BIG thing. I do love him. Never thought I'd ever be divorced but not that my girls are older I just couldn't live like this anymore. So when I tried to talk to him about our relationship problems yet again he made the usual "Why don't you just go get divorce papers?" comment, so I did. We were fortunate that my parents home that is now used as rental property was available so I moved there with our youngest daughter when we seperated. We have tried counseling since this process started but the counselor was worthless and we have no idea where else to go. He says he is heart broken and doesn't want a divorce but his actions don't follow his words. For one example, during our time of counseling he got rid of our queen sized bed and got a single for himself.
What I wish is that he would be a Christian man and step-up! If he could just show me respect and love and like I mattered to him we would have someting to work with but not to be busting on him or anything I just don't think his personality lends itself to that. The changes he would have to make would be major. I feel like I have changed and changed and changed and will have to continue to do so to stay with him yet I feel like such a failure through this divorce and to my family. Yikes!
So that is where we are. Our actual final hearing is on our 25th anniversary. We are very amicable except when trying to talk about the financial part of this, then he gets angry and says I'm trying to ruin him financially. I really am trying to be more than fair. I took nothing with me when we seperated except for my 2002 car with 160K miles on it and my daughters and my personal items. Family and friends gave me furniture and money to help me us move and get set up in my parents rental. He has all the furniture, tools, lawn care items, property, house, motorcycle, 2 vehicles etc.... Yet he makes me feel guilty for wanting to make sure I have enough funds to live on. I'll also have to start buying health insurance for myself. I just hate being in this position at 50+ years of age.