Time to separate - how do I say the words?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2011
Time to separate - how do I say the words?
Thu, 08-08-2013 - 4:22pm

Hello everyone,

I have posted in these forums a couple of times before in the past about the problems my husband and I have been having over the past couple of years. First off was some financial infidelity when he ran up around $4,000 in credit card debt behind my back (after I had previously paid these cards off him). I considered divorce then but decided to stick with it. However ever since I have been battling with depression, a complete lack of interest in intimacy versus his extemely high drive, and the sinking feeling that this is just not right, and I think I have finally come to the conclusion that the time has come to separate.

I'm not angry with him, I don't hate him (I think things would be easier if I did!), I think I still love him in my own way. But we feel completely incompatible these days. I am ambitious (ambitions which have been massively curtailed since my move to the States for my marriage), but he makes no efforts to further his own career believing it should just come to him. He still deliberately keeps financial information from me; nothing huge, but just little things that are definitely information I should know. He constantly wants to be intimate and I am completely uninterested, resulting in both our self-esteems getting a kicking every time he initiates and I just "lie back and think of England", to use a local expression. I am outgoing and want to have an active social life; he would be quite happy having me as his only source of entertainment. When he drinks he gets extremely passive-aggressive and tells me all the little things I do wrong; then spends the rest of the time telling me how perfect I am.

We have spoken about the possibility of separation; specifically I said a couple of months ago that if things on the sexual side did not improve then I would leave, as my mental health couldn't take it any more. He seemed to understand the seriousness of it but has made no mention of it since and if anything seems to be in complete denial.

I just got back from a week's vacation in my homeland which was also an opportunity to have a serious heart-to-heart with my mum and best friend about what I was thinking. All week he was posting soppy messages and photos on Facebook about how much he missed me and couldn't wait to have me back, for all to see, which pretty much made me feel like the worst human being on earth. I am there figuring out how best to tell him I want to leave and he's there telling the world how much he loves me.

We have been to marriage counselling a couple of times in the past few years but it never gets far. He gets upset afterwards when I say things in counselling that I haven't told him in private, thereby missing half the point. I am in consistent therapy individually and have been for 18 months. I asked my husband to see someone for his drinking and self-esteem issues; he went once, then cancelled his follow-up and never went back.

The point I am getting to, very long-windedly, is that I feel I have finally come to the decision that I must do this to save myself and my mental health. Saying the words terrifies me, but staying is equally unthinkable.

And so I wanted to ask if anyone had any advice on how to broach this subject with someone that they still care about very much, but with whom it just isn't working out. The thought of breaking his heart and him crying gives me anxiety attacks, and yet I know I must do this soon because having the decision swirling around in my head is starting to make me physically ill. Any advice would be appreciated.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 08-08-2013 - 5:05pm

It seems that "the pain of remaining the same has become worse than the pain of change." 

It would appear that your DH is using you to get his "good enough."  I mean really, a week away from your spouse should be tollerable, at a minimum.  And hopefully a bit relaxing getting to spend some alone time.  Gives you a change to miss eachother and look forward to seeing eachother when your spouse gets home.  

If you dreaded coming home, versus being excited to come home, then I would say that your decision has been made.

As painful as it will be, if you are 100% clear and without reservation, you will be able to do this.  Remember that he also deserves to be with someone that he is compatiable with.  Be careful, because as you describe the differences, he may either promise to change, promise that you don't have to change, or what have you. 

It sounds like that you are not necessarily ready to run out and file for D tomorrow.  And you mentioned his drinking, along with other not so desireable traits.  If you are not ready to file for D, some space may help you find clarity on that issue.  If he were find recovery, who knows how things may go.

I have to add though, you may still want to consult with a D lawyer.  The person that moves out can sometimes have difficulty around the home and the stuff in it if you do get D.  Of course, there is no price on sanity, so the decision is yours.  But something to consider.  It may, or may not, make a difference in your situation.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2011
Fri, 08-09-2013 - 9:32am

Thank you for the advice. I think you are right that I am not ready to say the D word just yet. But I would be lying to myself and to him if I told him that I thought reconciliation was likely following separation.

We had a brief conversation today where he asked me about how I was feeling about "things" (things being the possibility of splitting up) and I told him not good, but that I was thinking things through. After sleeping on it, the conversation doesn't feel quite so imminent, but I know it's coming, and probably soon. It just makes me so sad, for me and for him.

Avatar for purp2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2010
Sat, 08-10-2013 - 12:57pm

Sounds like you had the opening for expressing your thoughts about separating and just let it go.

Why would you keep dragging this out. It seems he won't be surprised or caught off guard as he did bring it up.

Bite the bullet and have the talk, then start figuring out who moves out and take the steps.

Lingering is not helping either of you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2014
Sat, 03-15-2014 - 11:55pm

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