I don't want to hurt him....but....
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I don't want to hurt him....but....

Hi... first post. Where to start? Well, I have been married to my husband for almost 30 years... we have two daughters who are grown and off on their own. I haven't been happy for a really long time - since the girls were maybe 3 and 5... and there have been many, many times over the years when I wanted to leave... and I should have... but I always stayed for the kids. The early years were filled with his drinking, cheating a few times, arguing about his parents (old country German and he is an only child) and staying out all weekend. On top of this he was away week at a time long distance truck driving - so even though it was bad, at least I had the weekdays to myself. I came from a home with parents who eventually divorced, and I was determined that my marriage would last.

Over the years there have been many drinking binges on his part. He drinks beer constantly, and now he hides it in the garage. Since the girls have been gone and there is just the two of us, he is no longer away all week, but home every night. He is miserable to live with. Always complaining, always grouching, has temper tantrums, brings up old arguments, and has become controlling and angry with me. I am sure he is not any happier than I am. He has no hobbies or interests, so he is over top of me all the time... always yipping, never shuts up. I have withdrawn a lot - finally learned how to tune him out.

I have had enough. I can't take any more. I am unhappy, on anti-depressants, and tired. We have no sex life whatsoever - it has been 3 or 4 years of sleeping in the same bed with nothing - not that I mind these days because I am so done with that.

In hindsight, I realize that I should have left when the girls were small, and saved myself a lot of grief, just to end up where we are today.

So here's the hard part. The truth part. The part where it gets complicated. Years ago an old boyfriend called me out of the blue. He was and is the love of my life. Fortunately, he lives way across the country, but whenever he would come to town we would go for lunch or hang out together. He was always very respectful of my marriage and my family, and even though he made it very obvious how he felt about us, for years nothing happened between us. Until last year. I can't help it. He is what I have always wanted and could never have... In any case, my situation at home has escalated, and even my girls have said to me that it is time for me to go.

I know that my leaving will hurt my husband a lot. He doesn't understand that his behaviour over so many years has chipped away at the love I had for him when we were first together, and I am no longer hopeful that he can or will change. I don't want to spend the rest of my life walking around on eggshells for fear of another outburst.

I am not sure what to do - whether to leave suddenly and spare myself the tantrums and the arguing, or to try to make this an amicable separation (LOL). In any case, I know that if I go where my heart tells me to go that it will hurt my husband even more when he realizes that there is someone else.

Has anyone else ever been in this situation? I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving at all except for my destination....the heart wants what the heart wants. Help?
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Is it possible for you to move out and get a month to month lease? If you have an apt by yourself, in your town, you could move out to get away from your husband and family would adjust and even eventually agree with a new relationship. But they dont keep tabs on you 24/7. When you think enough time has passed, then slowly bring him up and around. He'll be more accepted especially by your kids. You obviously worry about their reaction, or you wouldnt have posted. But you spent most of your life living for everyone else and unhappy, its time to live to make YOU happy. Im kindve excited for you. :0)
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Thanks why...that's actually a really good idea, and one I never even thought of... my friend, however is a few thousand miles away. I think both girls will be fine with my moving and they will certainly be happy for me if I have someone I love - it's actually hubby I am worried about - I think that he will be aggravated beyond belief and make my life hell if I am still here in town. At least if I am far away I won't need to worry about him stalking me or sitting outside my apartment with a case of beer and three packs of smokes! I wonder if I just do it all in one fell swoop if it will just all be over and behind me. I am trying not to get too excited about going -it would be a whole new life with someone I have known my whole life. I wish it was January and Christmas was behind me already... I would love to go now and have it over with.

Something tells me that hubby will be better off without me. He can do what he wants when he wants - maybe he will meet someone that will enjoy his company. Maybe his relationship with his parents will be better with me as the common enemy - and they will change their will in his favour... I hope so.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Your situation is textbook trial separation.

No children, nobody to worry about except yourselves.

Your question is simple, do I want the certainty of what I have (not much), or gamble to maybe get more?

Only one way to know. Spend 6 months apart. If you really need each other, you will know. If not, there was nothing there to begin with.

Good luck.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

I think you have made your move in your heart already, if you are sure your girls are okay with this then I say do something for you for a change, 30 years of being unhappy with no signs of anything ever changing is reason enough. I think your hubby sounds unhappy as well and maybe you are right, maybe he will be happier without you. He surely doesn't want to continue like it is either.
Good Luck and I hope it all works out for you, I think you have tried more than your fair share......
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Have you actually ready your words as though someone else has written them? Your answer is right there...at this point who cares if he's a little bruised in the ego, he's been bashing yours in his own ways for years. He neednt know about the someone else either keep that to yourself that isnt why you are unhappy with him! Carry that burden on your own and just get out before the sadness eats you up, with or without your little friend on the side! Be strong! Hugs, Shaye The Angelic Vixen

Last edited by lil_titch; 01-29-2010 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Thank you so much ladies.. I am actually crying when I read your words. I thought for sure I would be the Scarlett Letter and not Katie Scarlett... one always wonders though whether we are pining for the ****** in our lives - whether he is what we think or hope he is...

Last night I literally wanted to burst out of this house and never come back. It was everything I could do to sit tight like nothing was wrong... Someone asked me this week whether I thought I would mourn the loss of my marriage - but somehow I don't think it is the marriage I will miss, but that once I am gone it becomes the past... I will not cry over my husband. He has caused me more tears over the years than he will ever cry over losing me.

Men should mark my words - just because you think you are getting away with something because your wife stays with you doesn't mean that you are winning - all you are doing is chipping away at her heart, and pretty soon all the love she had for you will be depleted and she honestly won't care anymore what you do... she'll leave and won't come back.

Anyways, at this point I am willing to leave with the clothes on my back, but I know that I have to plan ahead so that I don't end up with absolutely nothing. Patience.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Katie, my mom is going thru this exact same thing. If your own daughters have told you to leave its because they want you to be happy. They know you deserve that much. They see whats happening and now realize everything you have sacraficed for them. From one daughter to a mother, thank you for being YOU. Us daughters are so blessed for having mothers like you!! I hope you're feeing better. Just take it one day at a time
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

From one "first time poster to another" (although I've lurked here quite a while)

You say that you've basically endured your marriage for several years and now you're fed up and ready to leave but are RIGHTFULLY concerned about how your husband may respond/feel?!? I think it's an unwise and selfish decision TBO. During those years when your husband was acting a fool, you sat passive(by your own admission) because of your children and allowed your marriage and your own personal satisfaction from/for your partner to falter. His behavior should have been confronted and your marriage given the chance to be restored. Or he should have been told, THEN, to get his act together or you would seperate from him until such time.

Now, you're ready to leave having been quiet all these years?? His behavior may have gotten worse or he could be the same person that you've put up with but to abandon him now, with little effort to work on the marriage and/or allow him the opportunity to decide if he's going to get his act together before he loses his wife is incredibly unfair to you both.

If you do decide to pursue a relationship with this old flame know that the things that excite you about your being together are more likely an illusion. You'll be bringing YOU into the relationship and you need to see that you need time to deal with some things about yourself for a relationship with ANYONE to be successful.

I say this with all due respect!
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

I would bet my bottom dollar that the OP has told her husband that he needs to stop drinking and stop berating her, etc. No one sits by passively to that degree unless they are too frightened to do anything about it, and that level of fear says something in itself. No, she has probably tried and tried to bring about change, has probably even changed her approach to things, and never got the simple respect of a decent, caring response from her husband.

I do not think it is always necessary or even right to threaten divorce in the hopes of bringing about change. If a person has honestly tried in all the ways she can, and has been decent about the marriage and tried to be a good partner, etc., then it may feel just "wrong" to "give him one last chance." He KNOWS that he's been a jerk and selfish; he knows something is wrong b/c of the decline in their sex life--and it's ok with him, obviously, if he's not taking any action to fix it. Furthermore, f he does not value her enough without the threat of divorce, how much does he really care about her? I thought about this a lot for myself and decided I didn't want to be with someone who didn't value me enough to make changes because I needed them and asked for them--in a respectful, adult way.

OP, I strongly urge you not to leave and make a new commitment to another person right away. For one thing, going through the divorce on your own will be better--this really is something you need to do alone, no matter how hard it is. And you need some time to see if you like being on your own. There is a real risk that you will never feel good about yourself or enjoy being on your own-which is where you might end up if things do work out with the other guy. Taking the time to yourself now would be a good idea. It's hard to cut yourself away from the OM in these circumstances, but I honestly think you'll be happier in the long run if you end up with him later (or someone else) KNOWING you are choosing it and not just running for comfort. We make bad decisions if we are afraid to be alone, I think. Best of luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

Thank you all for your posts. Seeing all points of view laid out before me certainly helps. Sisters is right - I have not sat passively by over the years. I am a fiesty gal - and there have been some knock-em down arguments, pleadings, discussions and interventions from friends. There have been many "last chances", but it never takes long for the same situations to come up again. I really cannot get over the last two tantrums - nor do I want to.

I have always been the one to raise the kids (remember, he was always away a week at a time), pay the bills, manage the house, service the car... and work full time besides. I have been "on my own" literally and figuratively until almost 2 years ago. I am very independent, and I was wrong not to leave years ago.

I don't know what the future will hold for me... but I do not feel one bit guilty about not giving my marriage enough chances - in my heart I know that I have given it my all and then some.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

He doesn't understand that his behaviour over so many years has chipped away at the love I had for him when we were first together

Katie, from this statement and the fact that you title the thread "I don't want to hurt him...." I gathered that he might not have been aware all these years that his behavior was growing and festering to the point of losing you. But certainly you know better than I the condition of your marriage and I hope you the best. I hope there's still a chance of restoration but at best I hope you think long and hard about any relationship with your old boyfriend. Many times what we chase/desire is the feeling of love and the "picture" of romance but not only is the grass not always greener on the other side........you've got to mow that lawn as well. God bless
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

I do not think it is always necessary or even right to threaten divorce in the hopes of bringing about change

I agree! Especially if it's with a motive of calling a spouses' bluff! However, men are so goal and achievement oriented. It's a big deal to a man(referring to one who really does want to be married) to loose his wife/family. Sometimes, knowing that what he's doing may cost him everything, is motivation to reflect.

So, I don't think ultimatums should be tossed about foolishly but certainly if a wife is sincerely fed up and wanting to leave, the spouse should be given a final chance to understand that and adjust or...... not adjust their behavior. Divorce shouldn't be an option. Sometimes seperation is what's needed.

Last edited by uncovered; 12-12-2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

I always thinks its an interesting point of view to hear people discuss how bad their marriages are--but usually its with someone else in th picture. You need to cut off all ties to your romantic interest and focus on keeping your marriage together and then and only then should you be divorcing him or asking to divorce him.

I am pretty close to this because I recently went through a similar thing with my now ex wife. I refer to it--and I am not saying this on your part only my own-- as revisionist history. To hear my wife describe her unhappiness in the marriage was an absolute shock to me an I frankly don't believe she was unhappy--she may not have been ecstatically happy but not unhappy just as I was not bouncing off the walls happy. Our marriage breaking down was a shot heard around the community in which we live and everyone was utterly shocked. My ex started telling people she had been unhappy for a long time and this was a long time coming etc...Total garbage. What she did was screwed up, got drunk, and messed around with a close friend of hers and they became closer and kindred souls. He was in a "dead end marriage" too conveniently enough.

I am sorry but you are having an affair and "my marriage made me do it" is a cop out. I am in no way saying that you shouldn't get a divorce only that you need to do so the right way and that means without the distraction and focus your old boyfriend brings to the mix. Just a guy's opinion. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't want to hurt him....but....

I missed that the kids where grown when I wrote earlier - disregard that if you read it

The only thing about moving out there is this - you only know the romanticized view of this new relationship. You haven't lived through the day to day stuff (like picking up his underwear off the floor for the 5,000 time). I think you should get out on your own for a while and learn to be happy by yourself. Then maybe go out for extended visits and see what living with him everyday might be like.

I just don't recommend jumping from one relationship directly into another.

Last edited by TNgirl232; 02-02-2010 at 12:25 PM.
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