Just Filed and Feeling Overwhelmed by Guilt and Uncertainty

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
Just Filed and Feeling Overwhelmed by Guilt and Uncertainty
22
Mon, 03-24-2014 - 8:16pm

I am extremely sad and feeling unsure of my actions in divorcing - almost looking for some last minute validation which is sad as I should be 100% sure by now, but I am drowning in "what ifs" and rewinding the past and am spinning.....even though I filed and was the initiator who left husband of 10 years (no children).  We've been separated for 3 years but still talk every week and are still amicable and friendly.  We always got along well, he had a great job, etc., we traveled, had a lot of fun and great times.   We never fought and had an easy going life - maybe too easy going (I was the "cool" wife).  In a nut shell, problems that led to me leaving were as follows:

1. I am more reserved and I married the life of the party type of man who became successful.  He's fun loving and would do anything for me - almost anyways. ....but he's incredibly selfish and admits this 100%.  He stayed out partying until 3-5am at least once per month and some months, multiple times - a pattern that went on for 10 years, including the 4 years we dated before marriage. It wasn't frequent enough for me to explode, but frequent enough for me to notice and feel disrespected and became worried and up all night wondering "Where is my husband".  I put foot down over the years - but he chalked it up to blowing off steam after a stressful week at work or having a good time - he was the life of the party type.  After so many years of it, I became numb to it and fell out of love with him - he came home wreaking of alcohol.  He only binge drank on nights out, but never on a day to day basis, so it was hard to nail down alcoholism. Offered counseling and had serious talk with  him that this could hurt our marriage, but the pattern slowly and randomly continued over time.

2. Things were good for first half of marriage until we moved and then grew apart, developing separate hobbies, friends, etc. - part of this was due to #1 above.  It was a domino effect.  He stayed out late, hung over next day - I got up early, spend mornings along while he slept.  I made new friends while leaving him  to hang out with his party friends.

3. I started feeling neglected and lonely and as cliche as it sounds, I met someone just before I got separated and fell in love.  It wasn't good timing, but felt like I met someone who shared same values and was mature - almost refreshing.  I've been with this same new person for 3 years now and they are now hurt because I haven't divorced.  They want to have a life with me and don't get why I am hanging onto my marriage.  I am at a critical juncture which is why I am bringing closure to this by filing.

I have gone to therapy over feeling guilty for ending my marriage, but I feel like I was a wonderful wife who respected my husband, gave it all I had, and now he says he went through a mid life crisis and wants to work things out, but he didn't try that hard the last few years and certainly didn't fight for me as hard as he should have before I left.

I am in a loving relationship now with my BF, but am scared of the future and thinking will my current relationship end in 10 years too, but for different reasons and will I look back at regret that I didn't turn around and go back to my husband to try yet again? Should I just continue down the path I'm on and look back and just smile that I had a good marriage for the most part, but it has ended?

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

You say that you are in a better relationship now with your new BF who shares the same values as you.  Your DH had 7 yrs of marriage to "work things out."  You asked him not to go out & drink but he didn't stop.  The time to make the effort was before you left.  Or even when you first separated, was that enough of a kick in the head for him to say that this is terrible, I don't want to get divorced, let's try to work things out--or is it only now that you filed that he wants another chance?  If it's that, I think it's too late.  If his basically personality is an extroverted party animal type of guy and you are more of the homebody who doesn't like parties, you still aren't going to be compatible.  If you think you really tried to make the marriage work, then you shouldn't be feeling guilty now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007

Thanks for your response. There was definitely no effort made on his part before I walked out the door. We separated in the house before I physically moved and instead of him locking it down and acting mature, he went off the deep end and went out 10x more than he used to and just pouted about it and drank and stayed away from the house as much as possible. When I left, he would text or call frequently in the beginning to say how sad he was, but he never pulled out all the stops in my opinion. If he left me, I'd be showing up on his doorstep or deliver a hand written letter or hang on the side of the moving truck. Instead he just threw his arms up in the air so to speak and went into denial. Part of this is because he knew I started seeing someone too, so I think he was also afraid of rejection. Then things died down and I'd get the occasional plea to have me back and try again - but usually this was a 2am text after several drinks...then he'd apologize in the morning. What's sad is we are getting along almost better than we ever have in terms of sharing what we've learned and how we could be better, and he told me the offer is still on the table to get back together and I'm his one true love no matter what, etc. and that he'd even give up his job and move out of state fresh to try again.....it's just heart breaking that he is saying he is done with his mid life crisis and now I'm far down another path. I know I shouldn't feel like I abandoned him because in a sense he never considered my feelings about us growing part - I warned him even when we were dating that I did no appreciate him staying out late and yet he did it until the time I moved out. In my heart I know I tried, but I beat myself up for wondering if I tried enough or should I have let more time pass.....it's all just so hard. WE have 15 years of bonding and knowing each other....been through lots together from a young age.

And of course this is all highlighting the not so good issues, but for the most part, we had a good marriage up until it went sour the last couple of years and now it's been 3 years separated, so all in all the last 5 years we've just been friends and not in a marriage.  He was such an easy going fun loving person and very thoughtful and caring with many things and I'm really going to miss that, but his party side got the best of him in the end.  Some friends think we were the best couple and to give it time as he is getting older and is toning it down, but other people say he'll never change.  My family adored him and think he's the best thing going, but respect and understand that he should been more considerate with my feelings on things.  I just need the self torturing over this to end.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

You have no reason to feel guilty.  You put up with his shenanigans for 14 years.  He knew you didn't like it, but he did nothing to change it, either.  He says he'll change, he offers many changes, but why didn't he do that years ago?  Men don' like to "lose"!  He had the best of two worlds.  A loving wife at home, and fun, fun, fun outside his home.  He wanted both.  You changed the game on him.  I filed for divorce from my ex.  He stayed out at night, he cheated, he ignored his sons......but when I filed, he begged me not to do it.  He loved me, he loved our sons, he promised to change.  I gave him a chance.......he lasted 4 days, and then it started all over again.  Then I told him it was over for good.  The day before we went to court, he begged again.  When he couldn't change my mind, he said "ok, if you go to court, I am getting married"!  He did, too, within one month.  That's how much he loved me and his sons.  Guess what?  She divorced him too.  He's not going to change.  Like my ex, he likes the "respectability" of a wife, but he also likes to stay out and party.......and the partying won!  You have no reason to feel guilty.

Just don't jump too fast with this new b/f.  ANYONE would seem better than your husband, and it's very different when you're just in a relationshop than when you actually are married.  Do not jump from the frying pan into the fire.  Take some time to be alone and decide what you want in life.  Stop feeling guilty.  You have been ignored and disrespected too long.  Now it's time for you to have a happy life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
Thanks "Fissatore"....it's hard that I've seen him change now that we're not together. Although it appears he has, he may not have as we don't live together so I can't see what's really going on. All I see is him spending a lot of quality time with his girlfriend and traveling a lot with her. It makes me sad that I always tried to have more couple time w/him and date nights and it was like I had to initiate it. Now I see him wisking her off to all these places - it's like on the surface he has become what I was trying to get him to be. And everytime I see him (i.e. dropping by to pick up papers, tax stuff, etc.) he says he's calmed down and not as crazy anymore.....just wants to grow old and live a calm life. He said he wasn't ready to try hard when I left but he said he thinks we'll both regret this when we look back. It's just awful to be the one who left....
Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003

Yes, it is sad, but he had the first years of your marriage to make it work, and he did not.  While you have been separated, he had the opportunity to make it work and he did not.  It seems that he knows exactly what to say to make you "stay," but he exhibits none of the behavior to make it work.  Even if you gave him another chance, I am willing to bet that he would just slide back into his old behavior. 

You made another life with someone else.  It think you are second guessing that life.  It sounds like your bf exhibits the behavior you want in a relationship.  Try to make a go of it.  And try not to punich your bf for the fautls of your husband.  It's hard, I know.  I am remarried to the "nice guy," and in the beginning, it was hard to "love like you have never been hurt."  But it's not the new guy's fault that the ex was a jerk.  :P  Good luck.  Stop feeling guilty.  Make your life happy.  YOu deserve it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Don't you find it strange that he has a GF yet he's asking to get back with you?  I would bet he's not telling his GF that so he's really still being dishonest.  I think no one really wants to get divorced, esp. when they have kids--it's a sign of failure.  Even when I was married to 2nd DH who made my life miserable it took 5 yrs for me to decide to divorce him, when I should have done it the 1st year.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007

He says she's just a companion who he will never be serious about. He says he has been honest with her about that. She has 3 children and he said there's no way he'll ever take that on (and I know he won't).  She only has the kids half the time and just really enjoys being with him.  I don't blame him as he should have someone in his life if I'm not in it. I think they are both good for each other for the time being.  He sadly says he is in this position because I am not there.  That's true.....I can't expect him to be alone for 3 years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007

Thank you "Freshstart"....Your words really resonated with me and I agree w/everything you stated.  I definitely am in a relationship now where it's very stable, he's very mature, very thoughtful, handsome and we enjoy many of the same hobbies. It is still hard to move on because I do have some dark thoughts here and there that this too will fall apart. It's hard to have trust in something else when you were once innocent and full of hope and gave everything you had just to see it still fall apart. I will admit I have not given myself 100% and he is ready for me to. I am on the verge of losing him if I don't divorce. I am also lucky to have found this person who is also my age with no kids. I do need to let the past go, but my god it's been so hard. I find comfort in my ex because he knows me and has since I was a young young woman....I think the memories and family and everything over 15 years really still connect us and present false hope. It's also confusing when you get along great with your ex but just grew apart. It would almost be easier if he were abusive or there was a larger in your face issue.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

DO NOT fall for his "blame game"!  He says he's where he is because of YOU???  That is such a LOAD of baloney.  You can't expect him to be alone for three years?  He hasn't BEEN alone......he's had this woman, or other women ever since you've been with him!  You're just hiding your head in the sand if you think that he didn't "have" other women when you were still his wife!  He expected YOU to be alone all thru your marriage!  It was great for him.  He lived the iife of a single man, and always knew you were sitting at home waiting for him.  And now it's all your fault that you got sick of his behavior and put him in "this position"?  What position is that?  The one you should really feel bad for is this new woman, who probably thinks she found the man of her dreams, and as soon as his horrible wife divorces him, she'll "get" him for herself!  You need to stop worrying or thinking about him.  He didn't worry about you all those years, did he?  You did nothing wrong......except waste too many years of your life on him.  It's your turn now to enjoy your life in any way you want to.  Take care of YOU........and let him take care of himself.  You owe him nothing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
You are right Fissatore. Although a nice fun loving guy who provided well for me, he did act single while he was married to me because I was the "cool" wife who didn't nag him and was very laid back. I should have put my foot down more before we even got married. Two weeks before we got married, he stayed out until 5:30am drinking with one of his womanizer co-workers. I should have seen that he wouldn't change even back then.....

Pages