Separated and miserable

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2004
Separated and miserable
Fri, 07-05-2013 - 10:47pm

My husband of 17 years (known for 23 years) decided earlier this year that he needed some space.  Said that well, he was 40 and not happy with the marriage.  Apparently wasn't happy for 12 years(as long as we have had kids).  We went to counselling 2 times and I thought the counselor sounded optimistic.  Said that our problems were no different than most and were repairable.  I was inspired.  My husband talked the talk, but then when we got home was cold and sounded more like he was trying to convince me separation was a good idea.  I couldn't bear waiting each day to hear that he was actually going to leave because I knew he had decided to do it.  Finally I told him that he needed to make the choice to either leave (like I knew he would) or work on the marriage.  He chose to leave, but still sounded like he really just needed time.  Kept saying "when or if I come back...  I'll buy this for my new place and if or when I come back, we can put it here"  etc.  I cried so hard and feel so bad for the kids (we have 2).  The kids seem to be doing OK, but I am not.  I feel that he has completely wounded me.  Why would he do this to me? I cry all the time.  Whenever I see him (a few times a week when he comes over for the kids or to the kids' games, I just cry.  I love him and miss him, but what he has done makes me so mad too that he could have hurt me like this. I know that the crying drives him even farther away, but I can't stop it.  He just seems so cold.  My family is mad at him, his family is mad at him.  It is just not a good situation.  I try to invite him to things with the kids etc, but it seems that he does anything to avoid me with the kids.  Maybe it's his new found freedom or maybe it's just me.  He has a divorced friend that he hangs with, he lives with a separated  guy.. I just don't think that it's a very supportive environment for making a marriage work.  I just wait each day for the day that he serves me divorce papers....  I just want someone to tell me that I am loveable and I am loved by choice...

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 10:31am

I'm really sorry this has happened to you. If he was unhappy 12 years ago, he should have communicated it at the time and nipped it in the bud. You should be crying and miserable right now. It's normal and part of the grieving process. You did the right thing by going to counseling. At least you tried, but he was unwilling to make any effort because he has obviously checked out of the relationship.

You have no control over what he does. You only have control over what you do to make sure you and your children are provided for. If he's still paying the bills for your house, it's okay for now, but what if this starts dwindling. Instead of letting him make all the decisions like when to actually divorce, you need to come up with a good timeline of when you should file. Make sure the divorce papers include that he provides life insurance for the children and alimony for you if it's feasible. Since you've been married over 10 years, in most states you are entitled to half of his retirement savings and pension, if he has one. Also know that even when divorced, when you retire, if his social security is higher than yours, you are entitled to claim his higher amount, without it affecting him.

In the meantime, get some books from the library on surviving separation and divorce. Google articles on the internet for the same info. You will have a second chance at love much later, when you're finished grieving and have spent at least a good year alone, to learn what and who you really want in life. Use this time to pamper yourself and love yourself. Take care.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 11:29am

Yes, it sucks, there is no way around it.  I remember being so surprised when I found out my exH wanted a divorce--we went back & forth, he was out, he was in, we had another kid, then he was out again--our kids were 7 & 1 at the time.  I was kind of like a zombie for a while at work.  It's very understandable that you are crying a lot--but the thing is that I think it's better in one way for you if you decide he's not coming back.  I remember my aunt saying something to me like "well if he comes back this time, then you tell him it's the last time."  I told her that he was definitely not coming back cause I couldn't take the uncertainty.  You crying & begging him is not going to help if he's already decided he wants out.  I think a lot of people will say they want a separation just to ease you into the fact that they really want a divorce but don't want to tell you.

I also think that you need to give him a taste of what divorced life is going to be like.  My ex was a responsible guy so even before we did any paperwork (which was like a year later) he paid child support.  If you know your DH is like that, then you might not need a court order, but if you have any doubt, go to court and get a child support order.  I never got alimony even though we were married 13 yrs because my ex didn't make that much money and things were difficult for me financially, so make sure you know what is going on with your finances.  It's good that he sees the kids frequently but I think you need to start doing things for yourself.  If you can go to the gym, take a class or go out with friends, start telling him that he needs to spend time with the kids a couple of days a week w/o you cause that's the way it's going to be--it will be better for you not to be hanging around with him too and you need to start finding things to do for yourself.  When my ex & I first separated, he was sharing a house w/ 2 men so that wasn't the greatest place to be with kids, so he'd spend time with the kids at my house before he went to work (at night) and I'd go out even if I had to walk around the mall.  I really didn't want to be spending time with him because I was pretty mad at him then.  But it's been 16 yrs now, he remarried 11 yrs ago, I remarried & then got divorced and now I can spend time w/ my ex & even w/ his DW and I don't really care--I mean we are friendly but even if his wife died and he wanted to come back, there is no way.  I've just moved on and have a good life w/o him.  It seems hard to believe that would ever happen for you right now, but it will.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 1:33pm

  I can't add much more to what the others have said, but just know that everything you are feeling is perfectly normal.  I agree that you should just move on and accept that he's not coming back, get good legal advice and start the legal AND emotional process.  For me, after a 25 year marriage...the divorce itself took almost 2 years and the emotional took almost that.  My ex announced the year of our silver anniversary (as I was trying to plan our anniversary trip) that he wanted a divorce and had been unhappy for many years.  I, like you, cried alot and wondered how this man whom I had loved for 28 years could do this to me.  I went to my doctor, got put on Zoloft which helped the crying subside, I leaned on my family and saw a wonderful counselor.  I also leaned on God who was my ROCK.  What you are going through is the grieving process and it definitely takes time, but you also need to look out for yourself financially, so get a good lawyer. 

At any rate, you WILL be ok...I know it doesn't seem that way now, but, if it helps, know that there are others who have survived this trauma before you and we're all still standing and stronger than ever before. I personally, met a wonderful man online in 2008 and married in 2011.  I was 51 and had thought I'd be alone forever.  Noone was more shocked than me to meet someone and experience that heady "falling in love" experience again. I felt like a teenager.  I consider myself a lucky woman, but I also know if I was still single, I'd be happy.  I found MYSELF during my time alone and was ok with that. 

Take care and keep us updated.  We're here for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 11:58pm

Why are you waiting.  You've known for years that he wasn't happy, and it took him all this time to do something about it.  He wanted out, and now he is out, and it's time for you to take charge of your life......instead of letting him call the shots.  Get a lawyer, and file for divorce, and start builiding a good life for you and your children.  Children these days are so used to divorce, probably half their friends parents are divorced.  What they're NOT used to is a mother who cries all the time!  You have to stop it, and accept it is what it is, and now you have to protect yourself and your kids financially.  Find a good lawyer, stop crying, and set a good example for your children.  As long as they feel secure about BOTH parent's loving them, they'll be fine.  They won't be fine if they see you sad and miserable.  Also, another poster mentioned something about his social security....and it was wrong.  Been there and done that!  If when you retire, you can get up to HALF of his if it's more than my case, half of his was $100 less than mine.  However, if and when he dies, THEN you can get the full amount he was getting.  When my ex passed away my Social Security almost doubled!  Best case scenario.........if you file for divorce, when he gets served, it MIGHT just wake him up and he'll come back.  MIGHT!!!  If not, then there will be a divorce, and that is NOT the end of the world.  Good Luck......get busy and take care of business.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 6:11am

What's her name? 

Your husband isn't leaving just because of the responsibilities of fatherhood. He's 40 and trying to be 18 again. So, what's her name?

I've seen it way too many times. A man "suddenly" decides he hasn't been "happy" for x years, and wants "time out." Well, he's either finally got the guts to leave you for the other woman, or the other woman has finally told him "your wife or me." 

Like most philanders he's hegding his bets. He keeps both you and her guessing just in case the OW bails.

Get an attorney. Get on top of your financials. Protect your kids. If he can't make up his mind: make it up for him. Don't wait for him to serve papers on you; turn the tables and serve them on him. You'll surprise the heck out of him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2012
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 4:36pm

I could have written this! I'm going through the same thing right now. He told me  18 months ago that things have changed between us. Apparently, they started to change about 3 years ago but he didn't tell me until things were irrepairable. We've been to counseling and he talked the talk, too, but I know he never had any real intention of trying to save our marriage. 

I also believe he's having an affair. He's been talking to and texting two different women for the past several months. We've been together for 21 years and married for 19. 

Our kids will be destroyed when we tell them that we're divorcing but he doesn't care. He just wants out. 

Honestly, he's not the man I married anymore. He's cold and calculating and just plain cruel. My only concerns at this point are getting what my kids and I are entitled to in the divorce. He makes twice as much as me and he's keeping the house and everything in it. I don't want the house because we built it together and I don't want to live in it without him, besides i can't afford it or the maintenance. 

I have no doubt that he'll bring his new (affair) relationship out into the public within a few months of the divorce and pretend that they just started dating. 

I'm devastated and so concerned that I won't be able to make it financially ... I'm worried for the life my kids will have when their with me. So, i feel your pain

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-09-2013 - 11:02am

I hope that when you say he's keeping the house, that he is paying you for your 50% share of the equity and you're not just giving it to him.  If you are worried about finances, make sure you get a lawyer to get you sufficient child support and maybe alimony too.  Plus if he has a pension or 401(k) you are entitled to get some of that too.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-11-2013 - 7:40pm

Hugs to you.  I know this is hard.

All I can really add to what has already been said is, even though you really don't want to get divorced, is start ACTING like you are actually separated and getting D. 

Even though my M was short, I was like you and for quite a while let my DH come and go as he pleased, etc. etc.  Eventually I had to stop the "family" outings, he need to either take our DD for a visit, or not.  No more just coming over to hang out and playing with DD.  I might let him stay at the house with her if I left, but no more just hanging out and pretending we were a family any more.  He had to start calling first and knocking on the door.  Stuff like that.

I am not saying you need to run out and file for D tomorrow, but the other posters do make a valid point that you need to prepare as if you are getting D. 

Good luck and You Are Loved!!

Serenity CL Making a Second Marriage Work


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2014
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 12:32am

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