Medical Questions > Relationships > Ending a Relationship Forum

Leaving After 20 Years of Marriage

I''m on the verge of just walking out the door... we''ve been married just shy of 20 years & have 3 teenagers, but for the past 2-3 years I''ve lost my role as mother & my trust in my husband to work with me on things, esp raising the kids. I''m tired of trying to explain my feelings to him... he doesn''t see any of this as important. I have a long history of depression. He was a great husband & dad up until the last 2-3 years, when he just seemed to stop listening to me & undercutting me with the kids. It''s to the point where once when he was driving on a snowy hill, I said, "Slow down! This is making me nervous." & he just ignored me. He thinks things like this are trivial, but it adds up to the point where I can''t trust him, since he doesn''t seem to take my wants & needs into consideration. I continue living with him, I have to just be defeated, like I am wrong about all of this. I don''t see how we can reconcile. I encouraged him for 2 years to do the "Birds & Bees" talk with our son, & he never acknowledged me. I asked him not to associate quite so friendly with the parents of a teammate that had been ridiculing our daughter in the locker room, but he didn''t agree. Meanwhile, when he mentioned that someone was a womanizer, I made it a point to keep my distance, respecting his opinion. I didn''t want the kids using cruise control right away after getting their driver''s licenses... I''m not trying to be controlling, just trying to nurture my family the way I have since the first child was born 17 years ago. If I give up my role now, it negates my life''s work. Please advise.
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First Helper allbetter
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replied April 16th, 2010
Experienced User
What you are dealing with seems frustrating. Each individual issue doesn't seem like that big of a deal but when it is happening so frequently that you are feeling disrespected or ignored it can be a huge strain on the relationship. Have you discussed this with him? He is probably seeing each thing individually as well and not realizing that there is a pattern. Have you two done any counseling? Throwing a marriage of 20 years is a very drastic thing to do. Has anything happened in the last 2-3 years that could have prompted him to act like this toward you. Is he under excess pressure at work? What are you two doing to nuture the relationship? I think there is a lot that could be done before giving up.
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replied May 18th, 2010
leaving 20 year marraige
Sometimes giving up is the only option, especially after therapy. Now that the'pressure' of seeing a therapist and having to report to him what we've been working on is done (the therapist moved away)...hubby back to same old disrepecting of me....i had hope, but no more....very little
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replied October 22nd, 2010
sorry...

but what a selfish post. And moonannas reply is also selfish. This post rings of someone who wants to be validated and respected, but does not seem to validate or respect her husband. Trust me when I say this, but if you leave, you will later look back in a depressed state and realize what an irreparable mistake that has been made.

Marriage and love are about patience, communication, and perseverance. Those who forget this often end up depressed later in life.
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replied October 4th, 2012
I dont agree - everyone is different. A relationship is about communication and mutual respect. If one partner is unhappy then this should be discussed and worked out. When you love someone you should care about what makes them happy however big or small the issue seems. If issues in a relationship are not resolved people end up in an unhappy relationship that is worse than if they go it alone. I know! Im with someone who is disrespectful, abusive and controlling. I am looking at these forums to get advice as I have a five year old daughter and want to get good, sound advice of how to be strong enough to leave and build a happier life for us. Thats my issue though. I will not judge anyone else as each person's happiness is different. No one knows how people will feel 'later in life'. Ive always thought maybe things will be different in time or maybe he will change! the main thing is how you feel now; and if a person is unhappy then they should change it.
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replied March 12th, 2011
very abusive husbands who wont get help!
LEAVE HIM!!!!!! BEFORE IT"S TOO LATE!!! I WAITED TOO LONG AND NOW I:M TO SICK TO WORK AND nOW i'M SCREWED i'M GONNA DIE (CANCER) HE IS LITERALLY KILLING ME!!!!!!!! iF he WONT GET HELP and you did everything you could wuthin your ability Than please!!!! leave HIM MIne is literally KILLING ME in every sense!!!!! I HAVE NO WHERE TO GO NO MONEY NO NOTHING bAD HEALTH ALL THE WAY AROUND hE WOUNT EVEN PAY FOR MY MEDS OR LET ME GO TO THE DOCTOR hE S DEAFETED AND BEAT ME DOWN FOR 20 PLUS YRS DON;T WAIT If there is any advice anyone has PLEASE!!! HELP ME!!!
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replied April 29th, 2011
Experienced User
I don't know what to say to all of you.I'm just the kind of you. With the same problems...I need advice and help too. But nothing and noone is helping.I'm so depressed:(
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replied May 28th, 2012
There are many things you can do to save your marriage. And throwing away a 20 years seems drastic. I would definitely suggest relationship counseling. It will hopefully teach you how to talk to each other again. Communication is the key, but it is how you communicate with each other that is important, it requires patience and respect. Counseling will also delve deep down into your true feelings. Men need there space. Having a wife who is constantly telling them what to do and how to do it can make him feel inferior, this will just make him go further into himself. All that happens then is that you feel unloved and uncared for. I wish you all the best.
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replied March 17th, 2012
Someone may just take that advice. Be careful what you suggest
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replied April 10th, 2012
20 years of Marriage
Becareful....after twenty years of Marriage I left my wife and felt lost. every woman i dated after that were more burden than beneficial. I left behind a home a daughter and twenty years of memories and accumulations...I always had to ask myself could i have worked this out...could i have made some adjustments or changes....I could have but i did not...now every woman that i get involved with is my cling toy. I am quick to ask them or expect commitment over building the relationship...I don't want to be alone and sometimes seem out of sync with the runnings of my social life...I have not dated in twenty years...I went from 2600 feet of living space to 650...i park on the street instead of a garage...think about it...HARD
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replied June 4th, 2012
why did you not go back to your family after you realised that you had made a mistake, why did you not want to try & make the changes??
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replied May 22nd, 2012
There comes a time when u gotta do whats right for YOU. I invested 12 yrs in a man who just doesnt treat me well. I have put everything i could into our home, our kids, our 'marriage' (never got married officially). I put all their needs first and now im 37 and not getting any younger. Its hard after such a long time but i understand how u feel. When is it my turn?
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replied May 28th, 2012
LisaB71 wrote:
There are many things you can do to save your marriage. And throwing away a 20 years seems drastic. I would definitely suggest relationship counseling. It will hopefully teach you how to talk to each other again. Communication is the key, but it is how you communicate with each other that is important, it requires patience and respect. Counseling will also delve deep down into your true feelings. Men need their space. Having a wife who is constantly telling them what to do and how to do it can make him feel inferior, this will just make him go further into himself. All that happens then is that you feel unloved and uncared for. I wish you all the best.
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replied June 3rd, 2012
my husband walked out on me & my family after 30 years, he had been down for 18 months before he left, he is now living with another woman & we are getting divorced, he was always a controling person & only did what he wanted to do, as my eldest son is now 25 & his brother 17 we eventually stoped jumping to his every whim, that was when he started to withdraw from us. he is now going to the Doctors for depression, if he starts to get better, might he want to return to his family home, as we were devastated when he walked out & still love him
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replied June 3rd, 2012
my husband walked out on me & my family after 30 years, he had been down for 18 months before he left, he is now living with another woman & we are getting divorced, he was always a controling person & only did what he wanted to do, as my eldest son is now 25 & his brother 17 we eventually stoped jumping to his every whim, that was when he started to withdraw from us. he is now going to the Doctors for depression, if he starts to get better, might he want to return to his family home, as we were devastated when he walked out & still love him
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replied June 21st, 2012
I don't have children and maybe I shouldn't be trying to give any advice,but I think what I would do first is get some serious marriage counseling-and if he doesn't want to do it then there's another sign that this might be the end. Start doing some research on how to legally handle a divorce,lawyers can charge a lot of money. You have a right to be happy and to be treated with respect.
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replied June 26th, 2014
Hi, My marriage is suffering from infidelity on my husband's part. We have been together for 16 years. i have always been in love with him. I really dont know what went wrong, apart from we have been in separate countries for nine years. We visit each other. now he is not sure if he wants our marriage.We have three beautiful daughters together and its taking a toll on the family.

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replied July 13th, 2014
Community Volunteer
Hi Nardlove: Find one country that both of you will be happy in..The way is not good for you or your children...Until this happens you will not be a complete family...Take care...

Caroline...
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