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I Want Out... But Have No Idea How To Go About It

Ive been with my husband for 35 years, married for 27 of those years... I have three gorgeous sons, whom I love unconditionally, but I just cannot be with their dad any longer...

He has been a good provider and up until six years ago I was the major wage earner in that we both worked but my job paid more! Six years ago he wanted us to start a family business where myself and my sons would run it... After 3 years of struggling in the terrible financial climate we threw in the towel. I had a breakdown and one of my sons moved abroad and still lives there with his new family (wife and baby) happily... My two other sons live at home, work and enjoy their lives... My husband has his hobbies, which includes ownership and running a basketball team (he's no way athletic, apart from the social side, he's a couch potato), popping into the pub every night before coming home, reading and watching tv or DVDs... His drinking is a problem which both myself and my sons have tried to address with him, to no avail... When he's had a drink he's so belligerent and verbally abusive and this has gotten worse and worse calling me the "c" word all the time, calling me a liar, that I say things that are obviously in his head... Outside of the house people think he's a really nice chap... The sort you'd want as a mate... Little do they know what I put up with... He made himself a sandwich the other night and decided, as he put it, that it'd look better on the hallway floor, so promptly threw it down the stairs... Tonight Something triggered yet again and he threw, yes threw, his laptop (albeit he'd not paid for it, it was gifted by a friend who no longer wanted it) not once but four times whilst hurling abusive names at me again...

I'm 53 this year and I want out of this marriage... We've not slept together for about 7 years now as through his drinking he snores like a pneumatic drill... There is no intimacy between us...I can't even kiss him without feeling its a chore, just going through the motions etc. I have nothing of my own, just the clothes I stand in... No savings, no earnings as I don't work as I'm carer to his dad who btw is lovely... Definitely not like father like son!! I just need somewhere to go.. To be alone... I don't need anyone else in my life (partner wise). I'm through being at his beck and call, he's never lifted a finger in the home, ever... Proffering that he works all week, well I raised three kids, worked as a secretarial manager on nights for over 20 years and looked after a home, washing, ironing, shopping, etc he can't even change a lightbulb...

I could go on forever, but it just makes me angry at the wasted years, especially since my boys have grown up... I'm following a path I enjoy in holistic healing, but it has to be done around his timetable... Where's dinner, why is the bathroom dirty, where's my shirt.... On and on... I need guidance... I need friends, and I need help! Before there is none of my life left to enjoy!

Thank you for reading this and I'm sorry it's all over the place, I'm literally sobbing as I let it all out, and to complete strangers too! Just about sums my life up! Thank you again!
Givememylifeback Givememylifeback 51-55, F 14 Responses Jul 19, 2012

Your Response


I know this is an old post but I want to comment in case someone else in your shoes is looking for inspiration and they come across this site like I did.

First, I can't imagine what it's like to spend 35 years with a partner, and I'm not married. We have been together so long it feels like marriage, but it's not. Still I hope I can help.

If drinking seems to fuel his mistreatment then addiction counseling is the ONLY answer to things getting better. Of course you can't force him, he'll have to decide that the marriage is worth it.

Personally, I always see a problem when someone says they are not sleeping with their partner. I know every relationship is different and some people CHOOSE to be chaste, but it doesn't sound like it is a choice in yours. I believe that relationships need intimacy. If not, then what is the difference than living with a roommate? We need to not only receive it but to be able to GIVE it to someone. You seem like a giving person who needs that outlet. Intimacy comes in many forms and if he is refusing all kinds, then I can see why you're frustrated.

You said you can't kiss him without feeling like a chore. I'm not a counselor but you might be feeling resentment. Please get a good counselor if you haven't already, they can help you get to the root of what it is.

Him shirking his household responsibilities? I've been there too, where he thinks because he works 40 hours that he's too tired to take out the trash or do anything remotely in the house. Here's the thing, they can do it, they just know that you will. When he was single, he did it. He's gotten too comfortable with you handling it for him.

It's good you have your own interests (holistic healing). DO NOT LET GO! I was living life on his time too. My life ended when my bf would get home. If I got online or used my phone or did anything other than sit next to him on the couch he was calling me a bad gf.

I clean my home whether I'm single or involved, so it's going to get cleaned but I had to have it cleaned when he got home and I have a very active toddler, which means that if I clean it early it'll be back to chaos in no time, so I had to pick up after her all day but start cleaning (vaccumming, mopping, scrubbing, etc..) a couple of hours before he got home so that it would be like a hotel for him. If it wasn't, he would call me lazy and dispute that I'd done it earlier and hold it against me for a later argument.

Here is what I did. I decided that it was okay to be single. I've said it before but never have I felt it. I realized that I was jumping through all of these hoops so that I wouldn't lose him and I'm sure he knew it. When I decided that it was OK if he left, then things started changing. I'm not saying I WANTED it to be over then, I just knew that it wouldn't kill me. So my approach changed. I stopped letting him call all of the shots and when he would threaten to leave, I called his bluff. He stopped doing that.

But now I'm to the point where I just don't want it anymore, so I'm trying to break free. It's not easy to leave an abusive or neglectful relationship. People think you can just get up and go. There are mixed feelings and loose ends that need to be tied up. In my case, I have to consider our child. I know leaving would be irresponsible because I do not have a sufficient income to support our child alone and it would mean forfeiting custody or being homeless, neither are acceptable to me.

So my plan is to secure the right income. I'm actively looking for a full time job and scouting daycares and apartments so that my plan can fall into place when I find one. I'm not going to settle for a mediocre job because I need something stable that will support the two of us. Until I find something suitable, I will continue being the supportive gf I have been and dealing with his neglect and abuse one day at a time. Either one of two things will happen. I'm going to find the job or I'm going to reach the savings goal. But there's a goal in sight.

At first I had guilt because I felt like I would be using him (and it hurts when he uses me). But I realized that I'm not using him because I still fulfill the duties in the home and relationship, raise our child mostly alone, remain faithful, support his decisions, and communicate (though to deaf ears). I also carry my own weight (buy groceries and help pay some bills out of my tiny paycheck).

I'm giving him more than enough time to get his act together, so if by the time I have the job or the savings, he still hasn't shaped up, he has no one to blame but himself.

You need a support system if you don't have one. I agree that life is short and you do need to start taking care of YOU!

I know you're married but I'm going to suggest to you what I would suggest to any person in an unfulfilling relationship. When someone is neglecting your needs, first determine if it is their responsibility to fulfill. This is based on values so yours might differ. Usually this is what makes us compatible or incompatible with a mate and can change over time.

For example, for me I expect to give and receive only from my partner: sex and intimacy with another. In order for me to fulfill this myself it would involve me cheating. We took on that 'responsibility' when we chose each other as partners. Another one would be quality time. It's not a big deal to others but it is to me. I make time for him and I want him to make time for me. Otherwise what separates him from a friend with benefits? That does not mean I smother him, I just want meaningful moments together.

Now for having someone to talk to instead of my LO, it's ideal that my partner fulfills this, but I'm responsible for my own happiness. So I might reach out to my support system/friends for this. This does not mean to REPLACE him with friends; only to bring me happiness without placing the responsibility solely on him. I still expect him to talk and share with me and give me quality time.

Another thing I used to do was not go anywhere without him and get mad bc I didn't have a life. But I started going out alone and with friends from time to time. He said I was trying to present myself as a single woman and I told him the easy fix was to take me out. We still struggle with this one but I'm not as lonely as I was.

So figure out what commitments you think he should be fulfilling and what you can do for yourself and get him on board. If he's like most people in long-term relationships/marriages it'll go in one ear and out of the other, so be ready to show him the alternative if he can't provide it. But use your best judgment bc I don't know your husband and you know his ticks and what will send him through the roof, so be careful but show him that you will be loved whether he does it or not. Then love yourself!

Now, if you're really at the point where you're done and dead-set on leaving him, then make a plan. Not a wish. Plan your exit.

If money is your issue, you'll have to get some. Unless you're impulsive, you'll expect to put in some more time into the marriage as you build up your savings. So take a job. You don't have small kids anymore, so you'll need less to live comfortably which means that you can take a job that pays less and be okay. But aim high still. Just find something that you're okay with doing in the long-term. Make sure you keep time for your holistic healing, this could even turn into a business for you.

Decide right now how you feel about the assets. Do you want alimony? Do you want to keep the house? Sell your part to him and cash out? What moves will you have to make legally? Don't just think about it, start planning it. Some (ex)wives don't even consider a job, they just expect alimony and/or half.

Bottom line, find out what's holding you back from leaving (money, emotions, etc..) and deal with that. Choose a good, TRUSTED friend or counselor to talk with and help guide you through the process. Don't feel guilty about whatever you decide because you've been in it for 35 years and you weren't sitting silent. How many times do you have to ask a person to be considerate? You deserve better.

Anyhow, I hope you cried your last cry and you're smiling these days! Good luck!

P.S. Also to any woman reading this. ALWAYS keep yourself up. Not just for him. For YOU! It's a LOT easier to be prepared to move on when you are still feeling confident in your looks! We are all going to age but you still have to feel beautiful when you look in the mirror. When you lose that sense of confidence you will find yourself 'trapped' and afraid to leave regardless of the circumstance. What ways can you make yourself FEEL beautiful when you see your mirror image?

Nobody had given any answer! Everybody just adds their own miserable story. That.s really sad!

I am glad to see that I am not the only one in this situation. I have been with my husband for 28 years. I also found this page by searching for "how to leave my husband" the problem is I don't see any solution. Did any of you actually get out?

I know this was over a year ago, I wonder if you left? I'm 45, bf is 25. What was I thinking. I chose a young guy because of my bon vivant lifestyle and high sex drive. He seemed very mature, actually enjoying many of the things I enjoy. But his emotional maturity is horrible. He too has tantrums and yells, gets impatient, won't talk "relationship" EVER, has threatened to kick me out (I moved into his place)...I'm an idiot. I earn a good living and support us mostly, it's 75% me, 25% him...but because of my pride, I don't want to tell him it's putting me into bad debt. Yeah, I'm an idiot. So tonight, another snide remark from him makes me sure it's over this time, but...I have no freaking money to leave. I made this bed and I unfortunately have to wait it out until I can save the money. He's an a-hole, very mean. What was I thinking...I don't want to be stuck in my 50's like you...thanks for posting, it's helped me see perspective. Love does NOT conquer all.

HI, I too am in a marriage of a drinker and am in therapy because the verbal abuse is so bad.. I also am wanting out of this nightmare.. and am trying to think of how to do it... Stay strong and make plans..thats what I`m doing

I'm so happy I found this place. I was feeling so alone and I now know I'm not the only one. I'm stuck with a man I can not stand to look at. I'm just so repulsed by him. I am a stay at home mom. My son is not his. Thank god. I can just leave without a lot of court battles. I blame myself mostly for my situation. I have gotten kind of comfortable just sitting at home with my son. I love it. I am broke though and depend on him for everything. I used to have an amazing job but my husbands jealousy have drived me to qquit. He wantted to provide for me and take care of me. I was so stupid for falling for it. It was just his way of controling me and my every move. Its hard going back to work. I have some social anxiety on top of everything. I just have to get a job and run from this crazy person. I don't know why it seems so hard..I know some of you ladies understand what I mean. At this point I kind of blame myself for putting it off and being comfortable but its not worth the trade of. Thank you for sharing your story. And listening to my ramble.

Just wondering if there's any relation between unhealthy relationships and social anxiety bc since I've been in one, my self esteem has not only taken a huge hit but I have TERRIBLE social anxiety. I'm mostly a SAHM too (with a lite part time job) and I can't even have a decent conversation with adults anymore. I think part of it has to do with him making me feel worthless all these years, maybe I believe it now.

I don't know but I too fell for the plea of him wanting to provide for me because I should be at home raising our child instead of a stranger. It sounds like a good deal on the surface. But watch your step.

Luckily I was able to keep a few hours on the weekends though they won't let me go back to full time. It was a huge power play. Once he made the majority of the income, the respect and love stopped. He treats me like a second-class citizen. Not just behind closed doors either, other people are starting to notice. It's embarrassing and heartbreaking. Breaks promises, does not honor his word, lies, pretty much does every unacceptable behavior in the book because he knows he has me where he wants me. People who will kick you when you're down are the worst. I'm just glad I got to see his true colors because before this, he was Mr. Charm.

So I'm saving what I can from my miniscule income and working on getting a second job that will cover all of our expenses minus him. I love him but if I keep letting him mistreat me, I'm really mistreating myself. This is not the relationship to be in but I have to deal with it until I get on my feet because I can't be homeless with a toddler or risk losing her to him.

When it's all said and done, I think I'll deal with the custody battle if I can have my independence and voice back.

I hope you're in a better place now.

I cried when I read this, because it rang so true. I am 57 and worked for my husband for 10 years in his office, and ended up marrying him three years ago. I have a son who is 26, a wonderful person, but with learning disabilities which limit his job opportunities, so he lives with me. Before we got married everything was fine, he is a professional who works for himself and made a good living, and even though I did not always agree with how he handled his finances, it didn't matter to me because I made my own money and did my own thing. After we got married I found out he had enormous tax debt, which I now share for the first year of marriage, but the second year kept my finances separate. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that he opened a retail business which is breaking us and sucking all the money out of the office. Our office staff is reduced to part-time, I stopped receiving a paycheck in March 2013 due to the office finances going into the retail business, with promises that he will catch me up, he has taken every penny of my retirement, sold my car and even took my son's money he saved for a car to pay the bills for the retail space. In the meantime, we have no money for food or our personal bills and are always scrambling....the landlord has actually come to our house twice asking for the rent, Instead of doing office work to generate income, he works on the retail website or just stares at it, 24/7....sitting so long he actually gets hemorrhoids. If I quit working in the office I would have to leave him, which I cant because I have no money, no car and do not speak spanish [we live in Miami]. When I tell him I need a paycheck he screams at me and tells me that if I want to get paid I need to fire the staff and take over all of their jobs to free up the finances. In the meantime, the retail bills and payroll always gets paid. To add to the drama, he is in constant litigation with his ex wife, and scrambles to pay over $5000 per month to her for child support and money owed to her. He has two children from his first marriage who are spoiled, and he recently leased his 16 year old daughter an expensive car, which we cannot afford, while I have nothing to drive. He treats me like his maid, not his wife..and has no sense of taking care of me. He actually has a life insurance plan that his ex was still on a year after we got married. He finally took her off, but did not add me. I mean nothing to him. I have lost all love and respect for him and don't know what to do. I have no money...not one dime, and I have my son to think of. Unfortunately, my son works in the retail store, and if I left he would have no job. If I stand up to him he goes on a rampage, which upsets my son terribly, so I try not to set him off. I feel trapped. I used to be successful and never dreamed that at 57 I would be in this position. Not only has he robbed my present, he has robbed my future by taking my retirement and by not paying me, so I am not contributing to Social Security. I also have another son with two grandchildren and an ailing mother, all whom I would love to send little things to and visit, but cannot. I feel like a fool and cry every day. It actually feels good to write this because I have no one to talk to. Thank you, ladies.

I am also in a similar situation. Married 35 years, 4 husband and I have lived apart for most of our marriage due to his job. We grew apart years ago and even though I know he does not love me and all I feel for him is nostalgic love, I can not get the courage to finally break all ties. I REALLY appreciate your strength in telling your story and I feel your pain. I think life is too short to spend it living in a negative situation. I will be praying for you and good luck.

I'm in the same situation as you.. Married for about 23 years, 2 boys (twin) ,18 years old, and I'm just sick of my marriage. We don't sleep in the same room for years and we also dont have intimacy - i really dont even want with him anymore. I have no family here in the US. I dont know what to do! I need help!

You have my sympathy sister. I am 46, married with 2 young kids, 6 and 4, and I really don't like their dad. You know what I mean? Sure I care about him and maybe love him a little but I don't like him as a person. He's an a*hole. I have no family or friends around, his all live abroad, and I just don't know what to do. I have a freelance job working from home which is isolating so I'm going to try my hand at volunteer work, see where that takes me. Of course I'll keep up with the freelance work as it's my only income. I'd love to leave him but where to go and what with? My daughter would be devastated as she's a real daddy's girl. Is this it? Do we have to put up with this?

I'm in much the same situation and I'm 64. If I had enough money I would have already gone but Its scary at my age. I have persuaded him that we have to sell our house but my half of that are all I have. I so long for peace and quiet and a less stressful life. We need to find a support group. I feel so much stronger when I have people to talk to. B.

Ok, sounds like you gave up your power a long, long time ago. In that, I mean the first time he called you an ugly name, threw items about the house, acted demanding and belligerent, you reacted very passively. I have recently posted this expression on another board, and it is, "You TEACH people how to treat you". Just as people learn something, they are capable of unlearning it as well. But, you're going to have to have VERY clear boundaries that you enforce 100% of the time. Do not look after him in any way. Call the police if he shows aggression or violence (that means throwing things...). I would maybe even get a video recorder and start documenting how he behaves. Show it to him when he's sober but have copies stashed.
I am realistic and understand that sometimes it is easier just to go along to get along. I also realize that you probably have things to do in order to be able to be independent. Make finding a job priority # 1. ACTIVELY work on the practical issues you have for not being able to leave this moment. Stash money, get your car in working order, start looking at places you could afford to stay in or would like to live in, get out of the house as much as possible and start networking and finding a way out. You would be amazed at how much more in control you will feel even if you only start doing small things that start the ball moving in the direction you want it to go. Do you need to work on you? Weight issues? Health issues? Education/training? Go do it! Don't discuss it with him, just go do it. Before you know it you will have all your ducks in a row and can slam the door on the way out. Good luck

Keep the faith.... Know the feeling you are not the only one.

You have touched my heart you seem like the most beautiful lady that unfortantly hasn't been appreciated the way you should've been, your still young 53 is the new 21 you may not think your strong but reading your story your a super hero you raised 3 children and worked provided for your family all whilst going through what you've stated I'm only 26 but quite mature so although I can't give u the answers I will tell you that you can do this there's a whole world out there to discover the world is your oyster gain your controll back gain your life back we only get one he's already had he's fair share of you let the rest of the world have some haha, thank you for sharing your story and I hope all your dreams come true......Kat xxx

I don't know how to thank you Kat for your kindness. I'm so distraught, I didn't sleep at all last night, look a wreck today, can't stop crying as everything I do seems futile... And I cannot see an end to it all... My sons do care, but they just keep their distance by staying with friends... And so I'm alone, just waiting for the key in the door... There's no dinner, I've not been shopping as there's no money in my purse... So I guess he'll have to fend for himself... Thank you again x x x

Hi ladies; respect to all. I am very happy to have found this page, even though I only found it accidentally as I used the search term "how to leave my husband" All the stories here sound like mine. I have been married for over twenty years, never cheated emotionally, sexually or in anyway on my husband over the twenty years. I have stopped counting how long I have been married since the number hit twenty years because every year that goes by with me still here makes me feel trapped but of lately I have been getting angrier. The childrens father lies, goes for days without speaking to me and for months speaking to me only directly about things connected to the house, children, household. Just recently he left the house for work at 7"30 pm Monday and went to work again the next evening at 7:30 Tuesday without coming back to his house to change, eat shower, sleep. He did not return to the house until 5:30 the Wednesday whereupon he promptly went straight into the bedroom, lay down and up at 7:30. and left again for work. This has been the pattern since he began working.When I first began being limited by him financially, after he asked me to quit working so we would be in a higher tax return bracket, I told him I was going back to school. He told me then that he had no intention of helping me and what did I need to go back to school for as I had more education than he did. I went back to school and finished my masters without his help and while still being the one to do everything for the 3 children. He has told me repeatedly that he works so he can pay for everything we have. I remind him that I worked too until he asked me not to and he then tries to discount all the work I invested into the family. I have the ability to go find a job, but I have no money, two children, are still dependent and I am struggling with how to make the right decision and how to leave appropriately. I made a commitment to the boy that I would stay and see him through just like I did for the others. In three years he will be done with high school. Their father is presently out of town as I write. He invited me to go then said he felt it was not a good idea and then told me he was leaving on Friday. I told him good luck and left it at that. He went out of town did not call text until 1:57. Texted three one liners some pictures of the place. Called him the Saturday morning, four times the phone rang without an answer then he texted back, low signal. How do I leave, how do I get over the pain that makes my throat do funny things when I am speaking, how do I get rid of the pounding I can hear in my head when I think of my time that I gave to this relationship. All I want now is to find the appropriate way to leave so I do not 1 create generational communication and relational patterns to my children 2. repeat the futile pattern of going into a new relationship to get another chance to get it right 3 work on myself so I erase negative communicational/relational pattern from childhood and from my family of origin. does anyone know how this can be done orderly, wisely and appropriately. I would really appreciate directions on this coz like the growing of a family society talks big but it does not teach, and relationships are a major part of life, but again here society seems patently quiet. Help.

I know my tag is long but you have no idea how disciplined I was so it could be only as long as it was. Please forgive me if I seem absorbed, but I am so completely engulfed by my present situation I forget it is changeable, temporary and under my control to some extent. again please forgive the rant. Thanks.