Separated for 9 months and still undecided!

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Registered: 06-22-2011
Separated for 9 months and still undecided!
32
Thu, 07-05-2012 - 12:11pm

In a few weeks, I'll be married for 3 years.  No kids together, just a dog.  Since the beginning of our marriage, things were rocky and we had issues.  Many were about communication or lack of it really.  Things were said and done that are hard for me to just forget.  On top of that, I think a mirror was put in my face and I saw things about my H that were very hard (and still are) for me to accept...that he's very childish/immature, very needy, etc.  So it was a combination of things that led to our problems.  I decided to go back to my parents house for a separation in October 2011.  Now we're in July and I still can't push myself one way or the other to either divorce or go back to try again.  He claims that in the past few months of being on his own, he's made a turn around, has a new philosophy on marriage and life in general and knows what we did wrong and is confident we can fix it.  He's been waiting for me all this time when really, he could have just went to go meet other women or given up all together.  Part of me knows though too he's holding onto our marriage SO tightly bc of his insecurities, fear of being alone and of starting over.  He'd never say or admit to that but he doesn't get that deep into himself.  I know him better than he knows himself- if you know what I mean,

I've been going to therapy for the entire time we've been married too to try to work things out for myself.  Honestly, I started questioning my decision and trying to figure out what to do only about 2 months into our marriage when we got a puppy together and I was seeing things that would scare me about him being a parent.  Therapy has helped me in many ways but then in others, I'm still here in the same place...lol.  My mind is so tired of thinking...feel like that's all I've been doing for years.  

I was ready to throw in the towel but then hearing him say his newly found attitude has me wondering how different it would be.  My therapist says the only way I'll know is to move back IN with him...that'll get me unstuck bc I'll be able to see how things would be (if different at all) and see how I feel.  As of right now, I had agreed to move back in a few weeks.  But from that point of agreeing, I now find myself getting tense when he brings it up.  Like my stomach drops.  Could be the comforts of being "home" where I grew up I suppose...could be that the thought of going back scares me bc there are nothing but bad memories there and it's something I need to work through and push myself...OR it could just be ME and my voice inside saying that's not what I want but I'm not even listening to it.  I just don't know :smileysad: 

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 4:34pm
On a basic level, you have to "want" your partner. You have to be attracted to them, not just physically. You must desire them. Your example of running out of the house to avoid intimacy, that tells me you obviously do not want him. At least you did not at that time. You can talk about all this other stuff that resides on top of the basic level of a relationship, but if you don't want and desire him, then what do you really have? A good friendship? roommates?

So maybe you need to think about that. You can work on communication, etc, but at the end of the day do you really desire the guy?
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006
lb2011, I'm divorced. My marriage reminded me of that old song..."there ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy, there's only you and me and we just disagree".

My husband wasn't a bad person. Worked hard at a good job, faithful, honest, brought his entire paycheck home every week, didn't do drugs, seldom drank, a great father to our child, didn't go out with buddies 5 nights a week (or at all), he's even good-looking and is aging amazingly well...but we just plain didn't belong together. He was a homebody who didn't want friends (he said when you get married your family should be your ONLY focus) and I am very social with tons of friends. He wanted no socializing with other couples. He only wanted to spend time with extended family once or twice a year and I have a HUGE extended family who gets together as often as possible. He's paranoid about money to the extreme, and I like to save some and spend some (I'm an accounting clerk, so I'm good with money, but he didn't want to spend ANY). He was a workaholic who worked 10-14 hours a day, EVERY day, including weekends and holidays. He stopped being affectionate right after the wedding ("married people don't act that way") and I'm physically affectionate to those I love. Etc., etc. Not to mention, we both were raised Catholic and his family is VERY Catholic, and we had the big church wedding in front of our entire families, so it wasn't like a divorce would be no big deal to our families.

However, with all the differences, I could see that not only was I miserable, I was making him miserable, and neither of us is such an awful person that we deserve a lifetime of misery. And not to say I didn't try...I stayed home for an entire year, didn't see friends, didn't attend any events without him, cut down on time spent with extended family...and it didn't change a thing because we found out that we really didn't like each other very much and all the "together" time just exacerbated our dislike and our differences. At first he'd told me that he didn't want to lose me and would do anything to keep me, but eventually he ended up telling me that he wasn't going to do a thing anymore to try to fix our marriage because he just didn't care anymore and he didn't even like me very much. He said he would never divorce me because he'd promised to take care of me for the rest of his life, but he wasn't going to pretend to be happy or in love.

So, I started planning to leave him, and one night I told him I was divorcing him. He quietly accepted it. We did cry a bit because a divorce is sad, plus we were going to have to tell our child and that hurt, but bottom line, we didn't belong together. He wasn't going to change and neither was I, so why be miserable for the next 40 years? His mother took it pretty well, even wrote to me saying I'd be her daughter no matter what, and our child was sad, but adjusted well to having two peaceful, happy homes instead of having to live in the DMZ pretending everything was fine (and I can still remember how his voice would sound when he saw that Mommy and Daddy weren't getting along... his voice would sound stressed and high pitched...not good at all). We co-parented and were able to work out an amicable divorce and it's been 12 years and I still don't regret leaving him because I knew how unhappy I made him.

Sorry for the book-length post, but I wanted to let you know how it worked out for someone who's been there. Your husband might not even realize that he's unhappy in the marriage and that there's a possibility for happiness for him if it ends. But both of you would have to make so many changes.

I always say if someone has to change to be right for you, they're wrong for you. And unfortunately, sometimes we choose the wrong person, but it doesn't have to be a life sentence.
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Registered: 06-22-2011
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 8:56am
Thank you to those that replied. I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond. It's very helpful to get an objective point of view from women especially!

Stillstanding- I'm sorry you had to go through that. But it is comforting to hear that there was a marriage with nothing "wrong" (like the obvious drugs, cheating,etc) but yet just that you 2 weren't a good match. That's part of my thoughts-that my reasons aren't "good enough" to want to leave and then the guilt kicks in! I guess the difference between your situation and mine though is that it's really just me wanting out. My husband is fighting tooth and nail for us to work on things. I mean he won't give up. Just last night we were talking and he's asking me when I can move back in so we can try to work on things. I told him I'm not comfortable with the idea and not ready to. I told him I have a feeling of dread and anxiety when I think of it or we talk about it. I think he's in denial bc he keeps saying its normal and I'm going to feel that way bc I'm baseing my feelings on our past. All he kept saying was "it'd be a sin to not try to work on things fre all this time and now getting along better during the last 2 months we've been dating". I have a history of being ambivalent with this relationship and not being open about my feelings. I think he thinks if he tells me enough- he can convince me otherwise. But I'm different not....different person...and feel different. I've had this same anxious feeling when we were engaged and I pushed myself anyway. I'm not going to do it again. I told him this too.

ML u asked what's good about it...well kind of the opposite of what SS said- we ARE on the same page with a lot of things. We're very similar in many ways. We enjoy the same things and have similar beliefs etc.. I think the respect thing throws all that off though and I suppose holds more "weight". I know that's a core ingredient to a relationship and since it's not there, I'd assume that's why all else is out of line. For back to what Khatru was saying too about desire. Do I truly "desire" him? No. I did at one time but it's faded and now unfortunately disappeared. In the past, that feeling has come back (after we broke up then got back together) so I almost feel like that's why I'm waiting. I don't trust my feelings and think I'm going to wake up tomorrow and have it back. But it's been almost 10 months now. I guess that's telling, huh?

It's just all so very sad. Sad to be in this position and sad that 2 lives are going to basically be ripped apart- more so his. I AM his life. I am IT. He's not close with his family, doesn't have many friends, just kind of alone. That's another factor that keeps me hanging in there...hate the thought of hurting him and I hate myself for putting him through this AGAIN. I've been the one to initiate like 4 break ups when we dates (only to get back together) then calling off our engagement (only to get back together and set another date) and now 3 years later- I want out again!! There she comes again. Again- MORE guilt. This is all the s*** that's in my head!

I'm sorry for the long post! Kinda lost myself in the response. Thank you again for your time :smileyhappy:
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Registered: 12-27-2004
Sat, 08-04-2012 - 9:17am
From what you've posted, you've been trying to get away for a long, long time. Time to put on your Nikes and just do it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006
So in order for your marriage to work, you'd either have to stifle your unhappiness or you'd have to "change".

Do you honestly think either choice is a recipe for a happy, fulfilling marriage? Do you honestly think either option is the way you want to live for the next 40 years? Does your husband honestly expect that you should be willing to accomodate him just so he can be happy, and does he really believe that your wants/needs/desires/feelings are irrelevant?

Sometimes when someone breaks our hearts, we think the only way to feel better is to get that person back. It's only with the passage of time that we realize we are actually fortunate to no longer be tied to someone who's wrong for us. He can't realize how happy he could be either alone or with someone who's right for him as long as you two are tied together and he thinks there's hope you two will reconcile. In my case, I felt like I actually was doing him a favor by releasing my husband from a miserable marriage. He didn't see it that way at first (even though he'd said he was done trying, he didn't mean he wanted me to leave...he did try to get me to change my mind), but after some time passed he realized that both of us were finally free to pursue happiness. And we both have.
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Registered: 06-22-2011
Sun, 08-05-2012 - 5:20pm
Yeah I guess to anyone that hears that- they'd say it sounds like something wasn't right from the beginning. I think I always hoped things would change (and some did for the better over the time) and hoped I'd be happy then.

Stillstanding I think you're right in saying i don't think my husband realizes how unhappy he really is or that he'd be better off with someone else maybe. Over the past few weeks, ive been feeling more and more guilty to continue to put him through this. I know I need to make a move and tell him that it's time to move on. As scary and sad as that makes me, I know I need to. My next obstacle is figuring out how and when to tell him. I know there's not a "good" time ever but has to be right too. And HOW??? Ugh. He's going to fight, beg, cry and plead to give us a chance and to try- which makes it even harder!! I don't know how I'm going to do this...
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006
But wouldn't it be even meaner to allow things to continue as they have been for almost a year? Isn't it going to be even more crushing to him to keep him believing that your marriage has a chance when in all honesty you are relieved to be living apart from him?

I understand that you don't want to hurt him. I didn't either. But someone close to me told me that it would be completely unfair to my husband to pretend I was in love with him and wanted to stay married to him. It would have been dishonest. And I knew he was miserable even when he didn't say so, because I knew him so well. I just couldn't see that either of us deserved a lifetime of misery. And even with all of the things that drive you crazy about your husband and that cause you to have lost respect for him, I doubt you think he deserves a wife who doesn't truly love him with all her heart and who feels relief when she's apart from him. Set him free to find a wife who DOES truly want to be by his side. And you can have a chance for happiness as well.
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Registered: 06-22-2011
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 6:29pm

Yes, I agree 100% it would be mean to continue to have it be this way and put him through this and even have him continue hoping we'll get back together.  It's horrible.  Like I said, I know I need to do something now because of all those things.  I know it's unfair.  I know too that he does deserve someone that wants to be with him and will love him the way he should be loved.

I guess it's normal but just reading the part where you said "set him free to find a wife who will love him" just made my stomach drop.  The thought of him not being in my life anymore is so so sad and then the thought of him having a life with another woman is even worse.  Did you feel that way too?  My therapist said everyone does go through that.  So I can't confuse that feeling with meaning that I really want to stay with him.  It's just hard to imagine :smileysad:

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

I went through a divorce many years ago too.    And I know all too well about having to make the decision to leave the pretense of love behind.

However, I have to disagree with your therapist saying that everyone feels bad about the idea of their partner moving on.   I didn't at all feel bad about that idea at all.   I would have much preferred him to move on than stay sad and lonely without me.    I didn't feel much guilt in leaving him, but I would have felt even less guilt had he moved on easily. 

On the subject of having to face his begging and tears when you end it:  I did it with a minimum of fuss on my part.   Yes, he did go through those of begging and crying, but my response was to cooly tell him that it was too little too late.  I'd begged for counselling while we were still together and he refused, so I saw his pain as the natural consequence of him denying the problems in the marriage.  

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2011
Tue, 08-07-2012 - 8:58pm

Yeah- I could see the consequence part that he has to deal with because he chose to not go to counseling.  I could say the same for my husband because there was a period of about 8 months where he refused to go as well.  I kind of feel like saying something like that to him would just make him feel worse though.  My husband already knows and feels that he played a big role in this...as I did too.  

I would want him to find happiness and be able to move on from me.  It would still break my heart to find out he's "replaced" me with someone else...eventhough that someone else would be better for him.  I guess it's just me...

How long were you married for, True? How long did it take you to decide that divorce was the answer?