Need serious help

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2008
Need serious help
Tue, 10-08-2013 - 8:24pm

Please help me to see my situation clearly and to find a path that will lead me to feeling better.  If it weren't for the connection I have with my children, I would feel nearly desperate with loneliness, even though by most outside measures I am a capable woman.

 I have been married 30 years and at times my husband and I have had great differences and difficulties as a result.  Up until about 2001, we had nasty skirmishes over his substance abuse and partying.  Then at about that time, I put my foot down and told him that I would leave with our precious two little girls if he didn't stop the partying.  Thank God, he stopped those troubling behaviors and kept our children out of the associated risks.  Regardless, our difficulties did not end there. 

My husband seemed to resent me being the paryt-pooper, at times acted openly hostile about it all and also made apparent a level of indifference towards me.  I had inklings I should end things with him, but not only would it have been complicated, I feared my husband would return to the habits that could harm our daughters.  I stayed, we re-connected somewhat.  But then I became re-acquainted with my first love of 28 years earlier.  I considered a romantic affair with this man, but despite some heady emotions I declined. Out of a sense of honesty and fairness, I told my husband about this other man.  Right or worng, my husband blew his top and then proceeded to publicly shame me by accusing me of all sorts of vile things with this other man. My husband later apologized and once again we stuck it out as a couple and a family. We are a good family, but certainly things could be better.  My husband and I are codial with one another so there's little dissension that the children have to deal with.

But here is the crux of the matter... From about the time I re-connected with that other man (now out of the picture long, long ago), my husband's pride seems wounded (I'm guessing that is what is going on, but I can't be sure because he won't talk to me--believe you me, I have tried many, many times) and my eyes have been opened to another sort of man. For the past almost seven years, there's been no warmth, no intimacy, no sex in my marriage.  We tried counseling.  It helped on the day to day task level, but not on the emotional level. 

I am and have for a long time been away from my home and children weekdays from 6:30 in the morning until 6 or so in the evening due to work, exercise and errands. In the evening I have taken care of the children. My husband is home usually a little after 8 p.m. from his job and workout (he goes to work at about 11:30 a.m.--yes, his days are considerably shorter than mine). Due to our schedule, I've lost contact with any friends or other social outlets.  I AM ALONE, LONELY, AND SAD IN MY MARRIAGE AND ELSEWHERE.

Now, with the youngest daughter graduating from high school in a year and a half, my husband is planning a retirement -- I don't know if it's his or ours.  He inherited some money and wants to sell our home and use the equity to purchase a less expensive home several hours away and fully fund this retirement.  He's searching for this new home without my input.  He can't answer what the financial plan -- let alone health care plan-- is for me.  I am four years younger and now age 55.  I do earn about double his income.

Should I follow my husband on this retirement path?  Should I stick it out alone?

What is the path to companionship, happiness, and security?


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 10-08-2013 - 10:56pm

First of all it doesn't seem like your DH even has a plan or if he does he hasn't let you in on it--so how can you decide whether or not to follow a plan if you don't know what it is?  So he plans to move away & live off the equity from your home--how long do you think that will last since it appears that neither one of you is old enough to collect Social Security or go on Medicare.  Is the inheritance enough to live on for a while?  And about health insurance--don't you both have a responsibility to keep your kids insured?  Under the new health ins. law, kids can stay on their parents' plan until age 26 now--but the parents have to have a plan.  Are you willing to just sit around & do nothing with him--considering it doesn't seem like you have much interaction, that doesn't really sound pleasant.  Would you be able to get a job in the new place?  There are a lot of questions that have to be answered.

By the way, your kids are almost grown and your DH doesn't pay attention to you.  There is no reason for you not to have friends.  I don't understand why you don't have female friends just because your DH gets home from work later than you do.  I think you need to put some effort into finding your own activities & friendships.  I don't think it's a good plan to have lonely retirement years w/ a DH who doesn't seem to care if you are there or not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 10-08-2013 - 11:06pm

Your question of whether or not to "follow" him on HIS path is a question you should't even be asking.  Your marriage was over long ago, your children are grown, you earn enough money to take cae of yourself, so WHY would you want to follow him anywhere?  For most of the thirty years you put up with his drug abuse and partying.  Then of course you were the bad guy when you insisted that he stop.  Out of a sense of "honesty and fairness" you told him about this other man...a man you had known years before, and happened to "reconnect" with?  Why?  If you're honest with yourself, there was nothing to tell him, but you were hoping it would shake him up.  It did, but not the way you expected.  More mental and verbal abuse!  And you honestly think none of this has affected your children?  They have grown up watching dysfunctional parents, and that's what they think marriage is. 

Before very long, you will be an empty nester......and you have nothing in your life but working and living with a snarky man who is verbally and mentally cruel to you.  And you wonder if you should follow him?  Before he sells your house out from under you for his retirement plan, you'd better see a lawyer about your financial interest in the house you helped pay for, and you're invested more than 50% if you earn more than he does!  He can't just sell it without your consent, and what you should probably do is sell it, and split the proceeds.  He can do what he wants with his half, and you find yourself a home in an area where you'll be happy and close to your job.......and where you can get out and have a social life.  You're still a young woman, and you owe it to yourself to make some happiness for yourself.......the man you're married to isn't concerned with your wishes or your happiness.  Your marriage was really over a long time ago, you just didn't move out, or take legal action.  Now is the time to start taking care of yourself!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 12:29am

If you followed your H in his retirement relocation, what would you do? The place he wants to move is too far away for you to commute---would you quit your present job and hope to find a new one there? Or will there be so much money that you can retire too, and both of you will be set for another 30 years? Would you want to move to that area? Do you have family or friends there? Do you care about moving away from your present area? Your description of your life with your H sounds like a couple of roommates who rarely do things together. Can you really see yourself living like that for the rest of your life? And how will he spend his time? If he reverts to partying, will you be happy being around that?

What about your daughter? Where will she go, what will she do if her parents move away? Go along with you, or be on her own? Does she expect financial help for college?

For your H to make these plans without consulting you or having any idea of how you fit in the scheme sounds like he's not planning on you joining him. Maybe he doesn't care if you choose to go along but if he wanted you there he would want your input, and the plans would be made jointly. You wouldn't have to wonder where or if you fit in. The man checked out of the marriage a long time ago, and now he's planning how to create a physical distance too. It sounds like he is trying to divorce you from his life without going through a legal proceeding...or maybe he is planning on filing for divorce when your younger child graduates.

I think you should consult a divorce lawyer to discuss the various aspects of a divorce including the financials. If you make twice as much as your H he might ask for spousal support and if he's already retired he may get more than if he is still working. There may be other issues regarding timing. If your name is on the house title then he cannot sell it without your signature. There may be other things that you need to look into. You don't have to divorce your H but the more facts you have the better you can make an informed choice, and be prepared if he files.

What was your reference to health care? Are you currently covered under his employment plan?

From everything you wrote I cannot see why you would want to stay with this man who does not seem to care much about you. He is providing an opportunity for you each to go your separate ways, married or not. You are still young, you have time to rebuild your life into one that is satisfying for you. That doesn't guarantee "companionship, happiness, and security" but you will probably get closer to them than you are in your present situation.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 5:41am

There are several problems here.  First you have to take responsibility for your isolation.  You are a culmination of your choices.   What do you mean by partying?  That word covers a lot of ground.  I take it that he was enjoying his pursuits. 

   Of course he resents you.  Did that not enter into the calculations?   It reads that neither partner had the will to end what was a dead relationship.  Now he is probably looking to enjoy his retirement.   It sounds the a divorce would have been the better choice but that was then this is now.

  So what do you want to do?  Have you ever lived alone?  Money you have.  Job you have.  First thing is for you to center with yourself. 

  I strongly suggest you prepare several escape plans.  It sounds like it has been miserable for both in this marriage.  Not a matter of right and wrong but of personalities.  But right now you have some time to become you.  Start by doing things you enjoy.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2008
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 7:22pm

@MusicLover12 - You are right.  It does ***sound*** like my husband does not have a plan, but I think what he says is as much as a plan as he's likely to ever come up with.  I think to you--and to me-- it doesn't sound like a plan because, simply, he's not really Isaying much, if anything, about how I might fit in.

I am 55 and my husband is 59.  In 1 1/2 years (when the youngest finishes high school), I won't yet be 57 and my husband will be a little over 60.  Fortunately, given our individual savings and equity in the house, we could live without yet collecting Social Security benefits.  Health insurance would be another matter.  I carry the family's heatlh insurance through my job.  My husband owns his own small company carries an additional individual health insurance plan for himself (high dedcutible, if that makes much difference).

Yes, I would like to continue to help my children with heatlh insurance.  It's what I call a "legacy benefit."  My belief is that this health insurance makes an employer more readily hire my child, knowing s/he doesn't have to provide health insurance, say, for a part-time worker.  In fact, that is the case with my eldest daughter.  She's well ensconced in a part-time job, the employer pays her relatively well, but then s/he doesn't have to pick up costs for my daughter's health insurance.

No, I am not willing just sit around and do nothing if my huband/we retire, especially given the current state of our relationship. In fact, the "do nothing" part has me a bit too -- I feel too vital to truly retire, so in my mind it's becoming a question of what I wouild do if I did not have the job I currently have.

Yes, I agree somewhat -- It is my 'fault' to some extent that I do not have a strong social network.  However, in my defense I will say that I love my children dearly and have always felt that I should come home to them after the workday and most especially since both parents worked long days.  Also, there have been times when I asked my husband to help me out. That is, come home early one evening so that I could have a life and it just didn't work out.  His work is a bit unpredictable and he was just too unreliable for me.

Yes -- That's just it. Without my husband revealing much to me, I really can't tell if he wants me around or not.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2008
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 7:34pm

@Fissatore - I don't know if my marriage was over long ago.  Maybe it hasn't been a great marriage and maybe marriages have an ebb and flow--but I agree that what I am dealing with is really too much.  The only reason for having put up with so much is the children.

WRT the other man.  I didn't want to shake up my husband.  I just wanted to be fair and honest. At all times, I was on the up and up. 

Agreed.  My children have witnessed dysfunction.  I'm not proud nor happy about it.  I will tell you  that I have tried to counter and fix the situation, but I'd say my husband is not repsonding helpfully.  However, I judged separation and divorce to be a worse situation for my children, given our circumstance (namely I feared my husband would return to the partying/high life). 

I am thinking that since the house is in both our names, my husband will not be able to sell it "out form under me."


I like that you say I am a "young" woman because that is something that concerns me.  I don't see myself as young.  Maybe I should consider more the perspectives of other like yourself...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2008
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 7:59pm

@Remdamma - As I said in another reply post, I don't know what I'd do if I went to this retirement location with my husband.  I am not ready to retire -- but I certainly could use a change from my current job.  That said, I am also not readly to let go of the kind of salary and health benefits I currently earn.

I don't know yet about this retirement area.  Frankly, I feel that I need to spend more time there to make a decision about moving there.  Also, I think my job prospects would be greatly diminished in this area.  What's odd is how almost set on this that my husband is.  He's generally not given to making changes--and this he seems to be pursuing.  It just seems a little unsual.

If we were to move to this retirement area, both my youngest and oldest daughters could certainly spend time with us.  The oldest is finishing college and is living on her own now.  The youngest could decide what she wants -- go to a local college or go away to school.  But home for her would be wherever my husband and I would be.

You are right -- if my husband wanted me there in the retirement location, he'd be consulting me.  I realize this.  Don't you think he'd say, "I love you.  I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Or, given how things are between us, maybe he'd at least say, "What do you want in a retirement house?"  Again, I think it's just an oddly cool approach he has to this all.

I currently cover the family's health insurance through a plan on my job.  Funny, but for years my husband has carried an additional individual health plan for himself (he owns his own small company). So since my company does not cover health insurance for retirees, I'd have to risk getting my own plan (I'm assuming something would be possible, but I do worry over what the costs might be.)

About a year ago, I talked with a divorce lawyer.  I was so tired of lving in this lack-of-intimacy situation.  In any case, I've got to take my risks with finances.  I am somewhat more exposed than my husband.  His inheritance wouldn't really be touchable in a divorce.  Unfortunately, my retirement (a 401K account) and other savings are exposed.  Maybe I am wrong, but in these savings I have a lttle less than my husband's combined inheritance and other savings, so I am thinking that since he has more and if I were to offer to take nothing other than my share of the equity in the house then he might not go after my 401K etc.  I am also hoping that male pride would take over and he would not want to be "the man who depended on his wife..."

We have spent a long time together.  The past several years have truly been a pity.  I think I have already explained in my original post and reply posts why I stayed.  But due to our time together, that is a strong reason to consider continuing to stay together.  Not sure what else I can say.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2008
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 8:16pm

@Xxxs - I am taking responsibilty for my isolation.  I've been trying for the past year or so to reach out.  I am seeing that even my youngest child can can/should accept that I need time away that is other than my job.  In some of my other replies, I explained that it was only out of love for my kids that I chose to just work and come home to them.

As far as my husband resenting me.... No, I did not predict that at the time.  Frankly, I saw myself as giving him good advice.  And it certainly was.  I see him as wrapping himself around a tree one day if he had kept up like he was going.

I am not thrilled about living alone.  In fact, I have never lived alone.  It sounds lonely to me.  However, that said, if my husband buys a house in the retiremnet location without involving me, I am afraid I will not be able to go along with him.  That would be just too strange.   Also, oddly, no one has thought as I have.... Why would I go to a retiremnent location with a man with whom I no longer have an intimaterelationship with.  That, too, is just too strange.

I am thinking of escape plans... A) Buy my husband's share of our current house (a little steep, but do-able); B) Stay in current location, but rent another place until I know where my children settle and move closer to them later on...

Last thought... Does anyone think my husband might be covering up a sexual dysfunction?  I mean, I am wondering given his age.  Do things like that happen at this age?  Also, I will mention that he's in excellent health and comes from a long-lived family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 8:44pm

It's possible for a 59 yr old man to have difficulty w/ sex but maybe he just doesn't care about it any more.  You haven't said anything that would indicate that he's having an affair, so I won't go there.  The thing about your kids is that they need to realize that it's ok for parents to have their own life & interests so that the world doesn't revolve around them.  Of course when my kids were little and I had worked all day, first of all I was tired and then you feel bad that they are in school or daycare all day & want to spend time with them when they are home.  Not to mention that I was divorced when they were little--normally I went out when they were with their dad.  My youngest (son) is 18 now & a high school senior.  Believe me, he doesn't care if I go out cause he has his own things to do.  Besides school, he works part time and he's involved in school activities and of course he has friends that he wants to spend time with.  Before he could drive, if I wanted to go out on the weekend, I'd check with him and find out where he was going & make sure he had rides, etc.  Now that he drives & has his own car, I just go out with my friends whenever I want.  He told me himself that he didn't want me not having fun because of him (and feeling like a martyr about it).  Your DD is surely old enough to be home alone and on school nights she's probably doing her homework anyway.  I think you need to start getting out of the house on your own--find something fun to do that will help you make friends.  When my son goes to college I will be living alone too but I definitely won't be lonely cause I have too many friends and I'm always doing something.

As far as health insurance, if you buy a family plan on your own, it will probably cost you $1000/month.  I really can't see quitting your job if you don't have another job lined up that has benefits.  People who retire early usually do it because they have some fun plan lined up (if there are no health reasons).  I really can't see any reason right now for you to go with your DH.  I mean has he even asked if you want to go?  Maybe he really hopes you won't go and that's why he's moving away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-09-2013 - 8:46pm

Oh and by the way, I'm 56.  I know I"m not "young" but I sure don't consider myself "old" either--and I plan on working for at least another 10 yrs for financial reasons.