Too Afraid To Start Over

I have a lot of single associates and friends and I see what they go through in their love lives, at least what is shared with me. It seems like the dating "game" is as much a game as ever. Humans are creatures of familiarity and comfort. We would rather maintain camp in a place with abundant resources and food even if wolves roam at night. We build a wall and put armed guards on a perimeter and we shoot the wolves instead of facing the great unknown. Will there be food out past these familiar walls? Suppose something worse than the wolf is lurking out there, somewhere? So many variables to consider when one is already "comfortable"...

But unhappy. Is the upheaval worth the price of the uncertainty? I guess it's a very simple equation. For some it is, for some it ain't. Most of us, are trapped in between. I'd be lying to myself if I said I couldn't start over. I know I *could*, but do I want to deal with the issues of that, when I live a comfortable enough life, and by tuning out the Him, I can live as freely as I please the only restriction being, I have NO love life. Yet I am married. Alone, but married. Then, there is no guarantee that if I were to separate from him or divorce that my life in general would be as good as it is now, and there would be no guarantee of improvement in the love department. I could end up being alone because I would be hyper vigilant about any new man. His traits, his ways, his every word and action. Can I even give another man a proper chance after all I've been through? Can I even trust again? I want to love again, but only in due time, but logically, I cannot see parting with all of the creature comforts at my disposal that are certain, for an uncertain future. That is illogical. It simply does not make sense.

I see these friends of mine going through the wringer with relationships. Crappy short term mates that give them VD, some I have never even heard of before. One of my associates, had been robbed by a man she was dating for a year or so. He spent the night ( a usual occurrence) but this time, left with about $400 that she had tucked up somewhere in the house. Another friend is being abused and taken advantage of...I could go on, and I do realize everyone's mileage varies, and nothing says this will be me...but would I be trading the safe encampment with abundance, only wolves to look out for on occasion...for treacherous terrain laden with tigers, bears and landmines? I take the testimony of others seriously when I can see that they speak truly about their life. Evidently, crappy relationships are an epidemic these days, whether you've taken vows or not. I can't justify trading a few turds for the whole lot in the sewer.

I dream of just walking away. Ha, walking away, and meeting a wonderful man with a beautiful soul and we can make one another happy as happy can get...happily ever after. Sadly, this marriage has shown me the truth about fairy tales. They are not real. No matter how hard you love and no matter how hard you work at it, sometimes the ship still sinks. I've become so shy. I feel so downtrodden from being ignored by Him, that I figure, "Maybe I'm not good enough to find a decent man." and so, then I become sad. He never says such cruel things, but it's in the things he doesn't say that speaks the loudest to me.

It's just too much sometimes. And I have no desire for it to become too much more.

I'm a total wuss.

Earthwalker4 Earthwalker4
31-35, F
13 Responses Dec 2, 2012

I too have thought about what it would be like to be alone again without my husband. Even though we live as roomates, at least I know he isn't trying to steal from me or give me some awful disease. I think this same excuse is what women tell themselves when they don't leave an abusive husband. I too used this excuse along with so many more. What it all boils down to is that it is comfotable to be with someone even though it's far from perfect. We accept the flaws in our relationships because we at least are familar with the flaws and have grown to accomadate ourselves and for our mates. I also think that as long as we can honestly say we love our spouse we are willing to hang on through the bad times in the hopes that someday things will get better. I know that's why I stay. I can remember the man I fell in love with who was attentive, funny and kind and I pray that someday the grumpy, silent man who is here now will change.

Your story and your comments lead me to believe you have not yet reached your tipping point. There is nothing wrong with that. This IS a process and everyone must travel their own journey in their own way and in their own time.

There will (almost certainly, unfortunately) come a time when you DO reach that tipping point. When you do, come back to ILIASM for the support you will need to get through the choices you will need to make. In the meantime, I fervently hope you CAN make things work between you.

There are more good people out there then there are bad. If we dont get too desperate, and save ourselves for the one good guy we are looking for, then we would do a lot better, I have learnt that there is plenty of good people out there. Thanks to ep!
No one is perfect, but we may be choosing a lesser evil. I think not having love and sex is the worst thing. Being proactive, having a concrete plan for fixing what you have may also work. But Timeline and strenght to follow through it may be important as well.
Ive given us the 4 weeks. I am optimistic about the future now.. I think God did meant for us to be happy, we need to accept and honor that..

My husband and I had a talk last night, and he admitted some things to me. A few, I already suspected. One, was that his doctors gave him some new diagnoses...low testosterone and also depression. He takes a lot of medication already for his back injury. I think he is very distressed by all that he is facing. I have a lot of sympathy for him, perhaps even pity. I know it kills him to appear so weak to me. I just wish he had the strength to try harder, because I believe that he can. I also wonder what would I be leaving for (if I left) if not just for intimacy and intimacy alone?

I have to question that degree of selfishness on my behalf. He is indeed my friend and my companion. I love him and I also hate him. I hate that 'US' is a vanishing concept, in that very special sense. I wonder can we ever get that back? It's more than just comfort and trappings, it's also the guilt I would feel from being so cold blooded if I did him wrong when he really needs help.

He is also facing another surgery soon, and I know I couldn't just leave him to fend for himself. Last time, he was bedridden for a week or so. I will demand that he get help for the depression. I feel weak too, because even though part of me wants to run, I also want to stay...for him, for the kids, for the familiar things, for the comfort. I know it's more than just some ding-a-ling (or the female accessory), for many who step away. And they sell those almost everywhere these days...but who can sell out a companion that you have a bond with? I know K would move Heaven and Earth for me, I have seen him do it before. Maybe now he can't 'get' what I need from him, because he is going through so much and we both are just frustrated, though, by different mechanisms.


Leaving will be very scary, It's a long arduous process. Of course you're not ready to delve into a relationship anytime soon again. In fact, it would be a bad idea to do that. You'll need lots of time to heal, and here's a big yourself from materialism. It's taken me a while to 'tear off the bandaid'. I live very comfortably as well, but I had to get to the place where I was ok with losing everything and starting over, because they are just things. Although, I'm fortunate to have a supportive ex, I've watch my credit tank, I've adjusted from shopping wherever I want, to not shopping at all to sales shopping only, or bargain stores only, and guess what? I'm perfectly happy doing just that! It took me awhile to realize that I didn't need Angus steak to survive, and neither do my kids. They see a better more authentic me and they've learned to value things more, and appreciate what I can give them. Remember without change, there is NO GROWTH. The more you hunker down and insulate yourself, the more fearful you'll become. You need to get to the point where you know that you'll be better off by yourself, than living in misery. Doing that will give you new strength and self confidence. It will come from inside you,and you'll be so amazed at your inner strength, but you must take the free fall. This is not about your husband, it's about you giving yourself permission to live and be happy. YOU ARE YOUNG!!! I did doing it...and I'm 10 years older than you! There's a better life on the other side.

On the flip side. It's unfair for us here on EP to encourage you to get a divorce. We're only getting a microcosm of the whole story. Only you know what's best. If you love your husband, and he loves believe there's a grain of hope, stay, but do get help, and demand change from him- a better healthier relationship. However, I think within your heart, you 'know what you know'. Pay attention to the honesty of your inner voice. That will guide you to do what is right. All the best to you...

I cannot like this reply enough. :)

Agree 100% MissLee!!

Love and intimacy, passion and ardor are not items in a credits and debits ledger - this model can never provide you the solution to the ache in your heart and those sleepless nights and involuntary sighs which catch you unawares but which are habitual. The balanced ledger mentality when you ascribe some comparative value against material trappings will never be able to adequately compennsate for the froced smiles and taste of dry ash or the lump in yoour throat when you see couples of all ages holding hands and snuggling into each other - that sense of shared space which you do not have. If this is what you are feeling, you are existing on fumes and its time to let go of looking at life and love as credits and debits because you are experiencing the slow death of the soul.

OK, EW4, this story and one of your others demonstrate equal amounts of fear and rage. In wondering how to continue living in the velvet prison, you might wish to consider what life was like before marriage. Can you remember previous interactions that belie these massive fears? Can you honestly say that all of your friendships, familial relationships, and business relations were worse before marriage, and that in the context of your marriage any or all of them improved? Was the poverty you experienced a discomfort without end, or was there some kind of hope, plan, or action that would lead to amelioration?

Have you considered what to do within the context of your marriage to manage your great distress? Have you been to therapy to make use of your anger and fear, using them to develop a specific plan?

I feel for you. Voicing these thoughts is the beginning. What comes next?

I don't mean to sound harsh. Your story and comments tell me that you have relegated yourself to a passenger in your own life. Your spouse has not taken anything you have not surrendered. He has not made you weak, shy or a victim. You have conspired to do this. The first step is to take a good hard honest look in the mirror and accept your responsibility for your part in this dysfunctional situation. Only then can you feel able to dig yourself out. We all have choices and being passive is a choice. Each choice has its measure of consequences and pain. You choose to be bound to the financial security and the pain which comes with it. It is entirely up to you to decide if this choice is worth the slow death of your soul. Be under no illusion - it is entirely your choice.

True indeed. But I would rather have a warm bed and steak at night than a chilly shack in the hood and a bowl of ramen...I realize that sounds crappy, but I have been poor before and I really don't want to be again.

And so you have chosen, knowing the score. Your pain is the result of your choice. Your spouse has not inflicted this choice on you. You have opted to stay in a cage with no lock on the door.

Earth, are you not "catastrophising"? Is it really likely that you will end up in a hand-to-mouth existence? Surely you live somewhere that allows for justice in terms of asset distributuion at the end of a marriage

Your theoretical future world appears to be populated by crack smoking, VD ridden, theiving layabouts.

I can understand your reticence to join this sorry scene.

Maybe if you stopped reading tabloid newspapers and switched off FOX News, you might get a glimpse of the real and 'normal' world. It ain't so bad.

Tread your own path.

I think I focus on the worst of everything at times, because it's easier for me than facing the possible good that can come from the bravery of saying enough, and starting a new journey. Indeed, I am afraid. That is my honest testimony. I am scared.

Fear is a very normal respons, especially to the unknown. But please know that you CAN plan to ensure your worst fears will not come true. Especially where YOU are concerned - you have control over your own life. You don't need to be the hapless victim.

You have less control over other lives (such as your children) but modelling strong, responsible behaviour is a great thing for a parent to do.

I have a lot of sympathy for your situation - but not a lot of sympathy for you. So you will lose $$$? So you will break up your business? You see these things as more important than living a complete and happy life??????

You talk yourself out of the possibility of being in a great relationship by scaring yourself with horror stories - which are rare enough to be newsworthy when they happen!

You have convinced yourself that you can "never" trust again! What a load of self serving rubbish! YOU get to decide if you trust someone - and whilst you are busy telling yourself these lies, you WON'T ever trust again! Ever heard the term "self fulfilling prophesy?

You ARE a wuss. You are allowing your circumstances to weigh you down so heavily that you are seeking out reasons to STAY. DON'T let that happen.

You are a very young woman with at least fifty years of life ahead of you. You are obviously very capable of supporting yourself. You don't mention any children, so I imagine these are not a part of your relationhip?

By your age I had two children, a divorce and a failed marriage behind me. I went on to have lots more triumphs and lots more disasters. That IS life. It is messy. It comes with no guarantees. But unless you seek it bravely and master your fears, you will live a life in the twilight zone - never experiencing your true self and never living to your true potential.

That would be a TRAGEDY. Please don't choose that path.

We have two kids, older kids. Nearly teen-aged. I do factor them into all of this madness too. It is hard. Tiring.

And that is SO true - hard, tiring, painful, challenging - but worth it. Please believe me. {{{hugs}}}

Everything you wrote is EXACTLY how I felt 3 years ago when I was ready to jump ship...contacted a lawyer and all....then he lost his job and I felt guilty and couldn't leave. We tried and went back to therapy, a marriage weekend, etc. But I recently had my last breaking point and all those fears just don't matter anymore. I am just done feeling this way. I'm taking my life back. I hope you can find the same peace. Remember, he really isn't going to change....when you truly embrace that you will be able to make a decision.

One day, I want to be where you are!

I don't have another relationship, but by all that's holy, I'd rather be sexless by myself than back with the EX.

WTF is he giving you that you can't take for yourself?

It all comes down to the $$$ that I am not willing to part with. Selfish, self-centered and frankly, dumb for the amount of hell I deal with. But, I have grown accustomed to certain things. That's the short and plain of it, and I know that's pretty sad on my part.

...because of our business, we both have each other "by the balls"

Have you checked this out with a lawyer to know for certain what you'd gain or lose?

Security is not easy to give up. But, ultimately, it is an illusion. I have lived in both wealth and poverty. I have had happy and sad times in both. Things that chain you to fear, sadness, and unhealthy relationships aren't security my dear....they are shackles.

LOL now that's real talk right there. However, they can keep the dope, never been my thing. But I will take the view by the sea...

2 More Responses

I have the same fears. I am still going to find out whats out there. Or I would never know. Anyway I am unhappy over here, just meeting new people and going out there could make me feel more warmer about the world out there. You dont have to jump ship until u know whats right for you, but you can go out there and connect with people, and youwill find out that you are a Lot more desirable than you think u are .