Considering Divorce After Almost 25 Years Of Marriage

I have been married for almost 25 years and am considering getting divorced.  For the great majority of my marriage I have served the role of head of household, managing all the financial, familial and housekeeping functions.  During that time, my husband, although a good contributing provider (I also work and we both make similar salaries), was not a supportive husband, partner or father.   I recently spoke with him about how I feel our marriage was more similar to a mother - child relationship as opposed to wife - husband.  I feel like I always held the responsiblity for our home and everyone in it, including raising our children (23, 19 and 14 yrs old) and am very tired.  His response was that he acknowledged and accepted what I said, but wanted time to work on it.  Please understand I have been telling him how I felt for years now, with no change. I am not getting any younger and really think I have done my fair share of being a wife and mother and that it is time I live MY life.  He told me he didn't want to lose me because he wouldn't know what to do, since I had always managed everything.  I responded "that's my point".  I am tired of being his mother and that is what I have become.   I would appreciate any advice you can share.  Thank you.
works4all works4all
41-45
5 Responses May 17, 2012

Yup - very similar - can totally relate. I'm tired of raising kids. I want a partner.

Your experience is nearly identical to mine. I have separated from my husband of 26 years and will be divorcing him this year. My one daughter is on her own. There has not been infidelity. The marriage has been sliding towards this end for years. I cannot imagine spending anymore time with this charming, immature and histrionic manipulator. I, too, am finished with being "the responsible one". Naturally, as in most troubled marriages, I made extraordinary excuses for negative things said and done, and was baffled as he promised it would never happen again. Back and forth...back and forth. I feel like I have emotional whiplash. I am too old for the put-downs, slights, temper tantrums, etc. So, I left. He needs counseling. I don't hate him, but I will no longer be within his control. Good luck. LKP

This sounds so much like my situation. I've been married for 22 years this September and am considering leaving. My husband comes from an extremely dysfunctional family - a hyper controlling mother and a child of a father. They hate each other but for some crazy reason they are still together. Not my problem but I see and feel the legacy of that dysfunction in my marriage: alcoholism, lack of interest in family functions of any kind, selfishness, immaturity, extreme negativity (put downs, slights, outright slams), explosive outbursts, depression and denial of the need for help. When he explodes, I've held my ground since day one but ironically I still feel like I walk on eggshells - I think mainly because I don't want to perpetuate this crap relational behavior in my daughters. I'm seeing a relationship coach who has helped me immensely. She believes he loves me and that it is something worth trying to fix. I'm not as hopeful and am not sure I even want to continue trying. He just doesn't care - about so many things that I believe a spouse and father should care about. Problem is I do not hate the guy, I forgive fairly easily, he's quite funny and he has moments of being very tender, but that is usually after a four hour blowout between the two of us. I think I know my answer but I'n scared and don't want to emotionally damage my teenage girls who I love dearly.

this exact behavior you are speaking of is due to men who are media crazed and womanize, they are self centered, not child friendly or good husbands or family material.. We cannot stay married to or ever date a man who is a womanizer! Even after 25 years, my ex was just worse! I am a very beautiful woman, one in a million beautiful inside and out and he still womanized on ugly woman , low life people, and was very much like the above described men. It is from the media brain washing men and their parents raising them without values and from the competition in sports and the way the world supports men degrading men and being violent and womanizing is the norm and looked up to in todays society of american men! !!!!!!!! that's the entire problem., It is rare to find a great guy, but guess what they exist and they are beautiful and I have found some and am here to tell you not to give up!! believe in love and follow your heart and stay away from women and men like this in the world so we can all be graceful , have intgegrity and live beautiful lives for ourselves and our children. We need to keep only friends whom share the same values as us. this is our lesson.

Hi, I have no words of wisdom to offer, as I am in the same position. My children are 23, 20 and 19. I have been waiting for them all to finish university. 2 more years. I have decided to go for counselling alone in the fall to help me sort out my feelings. I'm so afraid I'll make the wrong decision, or that my relationship with my kids will suffer. I'd love to stay in touch and have someone to talk about the process with...

Hi SuzeM..I apologize for the very late response. I have not gone to counseling. Instead I decided to wait and see if after our talk things would improve. They did for a few months but have since deteriorated. Please let me know how things work out with your counseling. Perhaps that may be my next option...but honestly, I am so tired of trying to keep things together that it is even affecting my health. I would appreciate keeping in contact with you as well.

I think this is common in men who womanize they are self centered. We cannot stay married to or ever date a man who is a womanizer! Even after 25 years, my ex was just worse! I am a very beautiful woman, one in a million beautiful inside and out and he still womanized on ugly woman , low life people, and was very much like the above described men. It is from the media brain washing men and their parents raising them without values and from the competition in sports and the way the world supports men degrading men and being violent and womanizing is the norm and looked up to in todays society of american men! !!!!!!!! that's the entire problem., It is rare to find a great guy, but guess what they exist and they are beautiful and I have found some and am here to tell you not to give up!! believe in love and follow your heart and stay away from women and men like this in the world so we can all be graceful , have intgegrity and live beautiful lives for ourselves and our children. We need to keep only friends whom share the same values as us. this is our lesson.

You are not alone..I can relate to your story. Don't know if you've done any counseling or not. We did and while were were able to "air" things to someone who was not a family member or friend, we are still in the same position..Hope you have better luck.