I'm Stuck With A Grumpy Old Man.

Here's to all my sisters (and brothers?) who are counting down the days until the children are grown and they can leave a bad marriage with a clean conscience. I'm one of the many who's staying married for the kids. My marriage is not abusive, or I would've left long ago, but it's pointless, painful, frustrating, not good at all for either of us.

I married husband #2 (#1 was a five-year starter marriage. He tried to boss me, wouldn't listen to me - I left.) when I was 28, he was 42. It was a good match at the time. We shared many common interests, and he was lively, passionate, great in bed, interested in life around him, active, physically fit. I knew that the difference in our ages could one day lead to heartache, but I had no idea that it would come so soon. Now he's in his early 60s, retired, bored with life, depressed, in poor health, seldom leaves his recliner chair, anti-social, impotent, a heavy drinker, resentful, but afraid, I think, to start over without me. Honestly, he's become so passive that I just can't imagine him starting a new household on his own. And yes, I've urged him many times over the years to get professional help. He took a few tentative steps in that direction, but with no improvement. Hubby is much more of a burden than a friend or supporter these days. I can count on him in a dire emergency, but that's it. Hell, I have friends who would help me in dire emergencies! And me? What's my part in all of this? Well, when we first married I was young and willing to follow his lead in most areas. Now I'm middle-aged, confident, earning good money, and not willing to settle for the crappy relationship and crappy living situation I'm stuck with for now. I'm not afraid of being on my own - in fact, I crave solitude and independence. Some people need a mate to feel safe and happy, but I've learned that I don't.

We moved recently, and hubby hasn't unpacked much - and only his own stuff. He's retired and home all day, while I work full-time and transport our daughter to her various after-school activities, but he can't be bothered to deal with anything that's "ours" - he only deals with what's "his," and he deals with it by spreading his belongings and papers over every available surface. Daughter is also a lazy slob, though a wonderful person in other ways, which means that they'll only help unpack and clean up if I raise a huge stink. I'm someone who needs a reasonably organized home to feel relaxed, and his (and her) stuff is everywhere! I've been fighting this fruitless battle for 19 years, and I'm through.

He lost interest in me sexually early on - probably when he saw our daughter being born. At first, he introduced various kinky approaches to increase his interest, then he lost interest entirely. And there's never been anyone on the side, as far as I know. There's been no sex at all for three years, and in my mind, that's grounds enough for divorce! I'm too young to be expected to give up sex just because he can't/won't. I mean, if he truly cared for me, he could please me in other ways, right? But he can't be bothered. I don't want another spouse, but I'm looking forward to finding a boyfriend - a nice guy with whom I can share some laughs, some good meals, a movie or show now & then, and fantastic sex. And then he'll go home to his place, and I'll go home to mine. Heaven!

The thing is, we have a lovely 16-year-old daughter whom we both want to protect. I nearly divorced him five years ago, but she begged me to hold it together until she finishes high school, and that's what we're doing. Our situation has an extra geographical complication - I work overseas, he did too before retiring three years ago, and if we divorce now he'll have to leave the country. Daughter wants to graduate from high school here, so here we stay. We're working on the plan for afterward, but it looks like husband and daughter will be moving back to the U.S. where she can start college. We've lived over here so long that we don't really have a U.S. home, which leads to another problem -where and how to divorce? If hubby establishes residence in the U.S., I guess that makes me a resident too, and then I can file for divorce - my fervent hope is that he'll file, since he'll be there and I'll be here. I can't afford to quit this well-paying job in this economy, and I really don't want to give up my financial independence. I could eventually file for divorce in this country, perhaps, after we've been separated for two years. We've talked about this before, but I'm avoiding bringing it up recently because things have been fairly peaceful in our home lately, and I'm afraid that if we start planning the actual divorce, things will get very unpleasant. So I'm waiting until he's back in the U.S. to broach the subject again. Cowardly? Maybe, but I only have the measure of peace I've found by distancing myself, refusing to engage in arguments, and treating my husband like a roommate.

I belive that I'll be much happier living alone. I've been married (to someone or other) since I was 22, and I'm so looking forward to getting to know who I am on my own. Every day, I get through the rough spots by reminding myself that in a few years, all this will be mine - my house to organize and decorate, without his and her dirty laundry and trash everywhere, without the constant blaring of the TV, without anyone expecting me back home at a certain hour. I can work out, go out to dinner with friends, take classes in the evenings, a world of fun and freedom beckons. If I can just make it through another two years, life will be good!


sadirabintsanna sadirabintsanna
46-50, F
8 Responses Jan 31, 2010

Wow, I feel like I am in the same boat. Married 11 years ago this week. I got two candy bars for a present (so then if I eat them, he can make fun of me). I was very active when I dated, danced, hiked and no weight issue. Now I am overweight and bored to death. He started out caring, attentive and generous. We had sex twice and then it went caput. He was overweight when I met him. I didn't judge but now he is rather abusive verbally about my weight. But he buys chips, cookies and other junk food as "gifts". Seems like a set up to me. He's 10 yrs older and may be going thru mid life crisis. Almost 64. He goes to work and only has two more years until retirement. I don't know if we will make it until then. We have little in common anymore. He doesn't want to go and do anything. He is negative and lives in fear. He won't defend me, just criticize. He mentions dying as if willing himself. He has diabetes but it is managed. He has no friends and now I don't either. I am social, he is not. I like change, he hates it. Even things being moved in the house. We don't cuddle,hug or hold hands and rarely kiss. He wants his own blanket in bed. My main concern is his temper goes from zero to 1000 in warp speed over nothing. I cannot talk to him about anything without him turning it around and saying that I am attacking him and shouting all the while. He threatented to divorce me recently and that put a wedge in my feelings for him. Now the roommate description really seems to fit. He does do nice things. He does the dishes, laundry, walks the dogs. His pride level is so bad that he will wear sweatpants to work. He has excuses for EVERYTHING. It feels like I am living with a petulant little boy. I don't want to divorce (he apologized but it hurt deep). I am not entirely financially in a good place to leave. I am working on it. If I wait til he retires, I can split everything. I know that is straightforward but I have invested over a decade of my prime years here. Is this behavior change male metapause??

in all honesty if i have to rely on internet **** for my jollies then so can u.it is second best but it is sexually stimulating.my wife has not touched me for many years and its decision time for u at least in the short to medium term...all the best....

My life story too, my Hubby was funny, affectionate, we would sing & laugh together, play music & dance, get drunk together, do karaoké into the small hours, but h's now a grumpy old git we have not had sex for 9 months despite my trying with sexy clothes, innuendo, assuming "inviting" positions, caressing him during the night,.. nothing it is like the current has been switched off, in fact i now dread the weekend when he will be here all the time and insult me and be nasty to me.I have not done anything to deserve this situation and I am pretty sure he is not having an affair. Any ideas? Thanks.

It was like reading my own life story. I have only been married once though and he is 10 years older than me. Had six kids and youngest is now 15. He used to be so lively and full of life but over the past three years he has become a grumpy old git. I am at the point where he drives me crazy just listening to his doom and gloom. He hasnt retired yet and we would be well off financially but if you listened to him you would think we were penniless. In the early years he was an alcoholic but stopped when we were married about six years. I supported him through all of this but last year i had a business venture which went sour and had to get him to help me out financially to the tune of 25,000 (believe me he could well afford it) and even though he doesn't say it straight out, he makes snide comments about it all the time to make me feel i should be eternally grateful to him. I know we have been together 25 years and for the majority of that time it was an marriage made in heaven but the past three years have been so rough that we are now at the point of no return. I have told him i Want us to separate but i know he will never leave it will be up to me to make the move. 4 of my children have already moved out and i dont miss them at all, becaus i was just a skivvy for them so I understand how you feel about your daughter, its not that you dont love her, you would just like her to respect you more. I desperately want to leavebut I will have to walk away with nothing and this scares me. I think the age definitely matters now, in the early years it didnt but while he is content to just moan his life away I still have some life left in me and know i have to get out sooner rather than later!!!! God, I really hope every thing turns out well for you and i will pray that you find some peace!!!

my heart hurts for you...

i think you are doing the right thing for your daughter,because if you put yourself before her you will always feel guilty,i am in the same situation and people say your kids want you to be happy blah blah but you know some kids just want stability,and i wont put myself first until the time is right but when it is oh watch me fly,i long for my freedom just to be able to let the dog on the bed or have a cigarette or paint the house the way i want,and not to be critisized daily,some days i daydream he dies,god forgive me for that but i tell myself when the time is right i will escape and the freedom will be guilt free.

Sounds like you know what you need to do for your situation. Just hold on and once you can be completely free...LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST! Take Your Happiness By Force.<br />

Oh my much in common with my story -- except for the sex part - my h. is the opposite. But he is also an 'old man' in behavior. What a toll this takes. I am compassionate for your situation, but also let''s not forget how short life is. Your daughter will be fine, and this is a sorry model for her to have to observe and probably emulate one day. But if you can manage to be courteous and civil in the interim until you can spring free, more power to you. There are always so many convoluted reasons to keep things status quo, aren't there.