Married for 33 years, I gave everything. I loved him, his family, his easy-going attitude, simple ways and style.
I was ambitious, driven, a hard-worker. I made many sacrifices to put a roof over our heads and a comfortable life. I kept thinking he’ll change. He’s very religious. We haven’t had a weekend to ourselves in all this time.
Today, we don’t have a relationship, don't even talk. He has never tried to improve himself, earns a below-par salary. I now dislike everything about him.
He sits on the couch, talking on the phone that I pay for, giving advice, but unable to achieve anything. He’s absent from our children emotionally and mentally, and doesn’t have a conversation with them.
I’ve asked for a divorce, he’s said "Well, half of what you have is mine." He has no interest in seeking counselling help though I beg him.
He insist that we go to church together for a good show. He boasts to his sibling that he has everything that he needs, secretly sent money, gifts. They think he’s the breadwinner in my home. I’ve grown to dislike them.
I’m so disappointed with me, I have no happiness in my life. I often feel deep sadness; I’m accused of having someone else in my life. He cannot accept that I’m successful, yet he has full access to my bank accounts. I’ve even topped up his RRSP during the years.
I’m full of regret, while my husband enjoys the finer things of life. He has no desire to help out with the kids or anything around the house or get a full-time job.
I’ve messed up my life. How can I start to get some self-help?
Disappointed in Me
You’ve already started by writing your feelings, and acknowledging your own part in what’s gone wrong. Fortunately, there’s still time for change.
You’re likely in your mid-to late-50s now and that means years ahead for you to make changes for yourself and your children.
Yes, if you divorce, you’ll end up having to share financial assets with him. But you’ll be free of all this anger and disappointment in yourself.
You’ll be able to connect more freely with your children without the background of everyone’s awareness that their father has no time for, nor any interest, in them.
With the likelihood of good health lasting years ahead, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for socializing, pursuing new interests, and dating when you’re ready.
So, start “self-help” activity right away. Find and hire a lawyer you trust, and a psychotherapist with whom you connect, to start understanding the past, forgiving yourself for perceived “mistakes,” and moving forward. You can do this.
FEEDBACK Regarding the husband who left his wife/marriage during a barbeque (July 14):
Reader – “It’s so often without warning. It happened to me 40 years ago! I was devastated, feeling suicidal. I had two small children to raise. Somewhere deep in my psyche, I started wondering what I could do with my life.
“It spurred me on to considerable success! The road is rocky, but worth the drive!”
Reader #2 – “We’re left in limbo as to what happened. We can’t make sense out of it, so file it away.
“We do move on, to new lives that are sometimes more rewarding than our old roles within the marriage. But for some of us, that file never quite closes and we long for what was, though it cannot be.”
Reader’s Commentary Regarding what the pandemic taught us about helping others (July 12):
“This pandemic brought to light much pain in all areas of life.
“Some days it feels overwhelming, depressing. On others, it's enough to share a smile or kind word.
“With friends having difficulties, all I share what I'm seeing and ask if there’s anything they need from me. Or tell my own story if I've experienced that issue.
“There’s no point in judging another because we haven't walked in their shoes. No one does something without thinking it’s "okay," maybe believing that they have no other choice.
“The writer says his life is on a level of "same-same every day." It’s the pandemic that’s cut people off from people, laughter, support, and inspiration from good conversations.
“If a next pandemic ever happens, there must be a much-improved way of dealing with mental health.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t give up on yourself due to a loveless marriage without partnership. Get legal advice and personal therapy.