22 years of unhappy marriage
This may be long, but I don't have anyone to talk to, and could really use some help and advice.
I have been married for 22 years, and it has been a loveless marriage for the past ten, at least. We have three children, ages, one in college, one in high school, one in middle school.
I had trouble with all relationships throughout highschool, college and my 20's, meeting men who were never kind to me, never treated me with respect, etc. I was always lonely, trying to meet people (and not succeeding) and feeling depressed and like a loser. In my late 20's, I tried dating services and personal ads, because I wasn't meeting any men on my own. I went on dozens of dates, of mostly men who weren't as educated as I was, didn't want the same things in life, etc.
I met my husband through a personal ad, and although there was no initial chemistry, I went out with him again because he drove a nice car and was very nice to me. We continued to date, although we did not have a lot of interests in common and had different religions, and very little sexual chemistry. He bought me a lot of nice gifts and was attentive, which no one had ever been before. Two years into the relationship (which wasn't exclusive, until the last 8 or so months) we kind of decided to get married (but no romantic proposal, or anything like that).
Throughout the engagement and wedding planning, I kept thinking of breaking it off, but didn't. Up to the day I married him, I wondered if it were a mistake. But I got caught up in wedding planning, and I went through with it, and then got involved in house buying and fixing up, new marriage etc. Then I got pregnant, and those early years were actually the happiest we ever had, even though they were not "happy" by marriage standards.
Fast forward---another kid, then another, very intertwined finances (extremely difficult to extricate), a house, two busy professional lives, but no emotional connection, no physical connection (no sex in ten years, or maybe twice at the most---even in the early days we never had a "normal" sex life), very very invasive and impossible in-laws who almost broke us up in the early years and were the initial source of most conflict. We have nothing in common (aside from a home, three kids, 25 years together LOL!). We can't even have a normal conversation. I criticize almost everything he does (because everything he does bugs me), and I don't enjoy being with him. Even a dinner is a long time for us to be together. We operate as roommates most of the time, which suits him just fine, it seems.
I have given up trying to change him. Don't even bother, since I know it isn't going to happen. We went to counseling, years ago. At this point, living like roommates (and kind of bickering ones), I think about leaving all the time. But the reality of trying to make it on my own, at my age (54), without health insurance (I have none through my work), trying to do all the maintenance, parenting, etc. alone, is what has kept me in this loveless marriage for two decades. If I had no children, I would be gone in a heartbeat, even if I was concerned about money. It isn't that he is a drunk, an addict, that he beats me or abuses me, runs around or spends money. He annoys me though, with his constant talking, pontificating, correcting me and others, opinionated, know-it-all attitude, and he does this with EVERYONE. It is so embarrassing. But for what reasons does one just leave a marriage?
This is a longer post than I expected!! Thanks for hanging in there! I know some people don't agree with "staying together for the children" and my children are not babies. But my youngest always says, "Please don't get divorced" and I know that the thought of being alone and doing everything by myself is very frightening. But being in a loveless marriage is terrible too. It's trading what you know for what you don't.
Is the grass greener? Is it brown when you get there? What is the breaking point, or do some people continue like this forever? Do some leave and wish they hadn't, because "life on the other side" is actually harder? Trading one set of problems for another?
Thanks for the input.
Last edited by Timeforchange?; 09-08-2009 at 08:41 AM.