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My husband of 18 years

by Patty
(Mission Viejo Ca)

He told me that he has been thinking about leaving for the past 3 years. He said he is not happy anymore. he loves me but is not in love with me. He has stayed for the boys and because he would not be able to rent a place and pay the mortgage and does not want the boys to have to move out of our house. He swears there is no one else and he comes home every day. we have sex about twice a week. Help.

Noel's response

I am not sure what kind of help you are looking for. Marriage counseling may help.
You also have some choices in this situation. You are living with a man who says he is not in love with you, and would leave if it were not for the boys, and the rent, yet you continue to have sex with him a couple times a week. You do have a right to say what you will and will not put up with in a relationship.

Comments for My husband of 18 years

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Mar 19, 2012
To Dave--on topic of husband of 18 years
by: NWF

Dave, Thank you so much for your posting here. I wish more men would post of their experience thru this time of life. You are a better man now, after this progression. You did not run out the door with another woman already there for you, to support you thru this time--in every way. I congratulate on this.
My H spoke of the D after only 4 wks of tele conv. After a few months of our relationship getting much better due to working on myself (breaking my walls down for him and dumping all the trash)and the return of intimacy in our relationship, he left anyway. I think the return of those feelings was too much for him to FEEL so he made the decison to go-thru his internal confusion. He wanted the fantasy OW more than his wife of 16 years, at that time. Which left my son and I very confused!
Our D has been going on for almost 2 years (April 2010) with no end in sight. He filed for an Appeal to the NH Supreme Court (Jan. 2012) because he doesn't like the lower courts' orders. I do. I sometimes wonder if he did this to gain more time for himself to get thru the Tunnel. At the start of this mess he told me that he saw much anger coming and knew I could not be there emotionally for him, therefore, I feel that he thought the OW would be there for him and she has been for more than 2 years now. They do not live together-she lives an hours drive away now (not 1600 miles anymore). What kind of person does this to a marriage and waits forever for her man to get the Divorce overwith??
I feel that if you went to your ex-wife with a HUGE apology for what has transpired and an explanation of it that, with time, she might be willing to Accept what has happened but may not be able to Forgive--this is OK for her to do right now. Accept that point of view and be patient with her. You have done an enormous amount of damage to her heart. You did not have affair and that makes a huge difference here. Are you willing to accept that you had a MLC and take responsibility for it and admit it?? You must have courage going forward at this time. It is not a shameful life event, it is a life learning event so we grow internally. It sounds as though you have. I commend you for this. Be humble, be patient, take responsibility for your actions and see what happens. I wish my H could do this--but I don't think he will be able to.
Explain more of how you felt thru this if you are able to. It will help others.How old are you, how long did this process take, and how long have you been gone for?? My H is 53 yo and I am 55 yo. He has been gone for 20months now and has talked my 16 yo son to going back with him thru guilt about Child Support money he'd have to pay me-I believe. He is crying poor to a 16 yo,he was 15 at that time,and he is not poor,not rich either but doing OK. I lost both of them and my house! How ironic, he left for his freedom and anger issues towards me and I got my freedom.
Hugs for you, NWF

Mar 19, 2012
mid life crisis divorce
by: Dave

I am a man who went through a mid life crisis and divorced my wife of 17 years. I felt I was no longer in love with her and needed to find myself. I felt there was someone better for me out there somewhere and I would never find her if I was married.

I'm getting older and time is running out. We did not have children. I regret my decision, as I have come to realise how much of my life was what she and I had built together. I never cheated and have not met anyone I would prefer to have a serious relationship with since leaving her.

When I was in this condition, I felt there was nothing that would ever change the way I felt. So I left her and filed for divorce.

Please realise your husband may feel differently in the future. If you can delay a divorce and just be seperated for an extended period of time, you may find he will realise his head has not been right and will work with you to save your marriage.

I wish I could go back, but my ex experienced so much pain and hurt that she is still angry with me and will not speak to me. I often wonder if she is better off now or if she, too, wishes we could be together again. But I'm afraid to approach her because I'm still confused about my feelings and fear my dissatisfaction in our marriage may return.

I also doubt she would take me back. After all, I did divorce her. Of course, I wasn't happy in the marriage, but I didn't even try to save it with counsling. My mind was made up to divorce. Please understand that a mid-life crisis is like a sickness. A temporary mental state in which a man feels no doubt about his feelings, although they may be very mixed up. At least, that's what I experienced.

Feb 28, 2012
Stay the course
by: NWF

Hi, He knows that you and the kids love him. He loves you also but it is burried right now under his entitlement issues and his confusion. Don't push this as his emotions are a mess. Don't worry about the porn, it is only part of his fantasy. You may tell him kindly that it bothers you but it really is not a worry--better than an affair.

You are going to counseling--great. Does he partake in it or just try to run the show and give excuses for his behavior like mine did?? I hope you have PhD counselor, they are much better with MLC knowledge. If your H is the type of guy that is able to look inside himself and "deal to heal" fairly easily, this will be much shorter of a transition for him and you. My H cannot accept responsibility for anything and hasn't for 19 years (he is 53 yo now). This has been going on for 2 years now and still not divorced yet, but, I believe the confusion started 8 or 9 years ago. He filed for the D after only 6 weeks of tele conversation with his GF from high school that dumped him back then--34 years ago. He was acting very weird and child-like at that time-anxious. He actively made the decision to cheat! She moved here from Fla. 2 months after he left the house-they do not live together, possibly at my advice (an indication that he did listem to me back then, a little bit anyway).

Don't leave your house! If he wants out--he goes, not you and the kids. Go to a lawyer as soon as it seems it is getting worse and get a separation agreement for the finances and GO to your bank and get the money out so he can't take it--if it gets to that. Open your own checking account to pay the bills with. You do know how to pay the bill right and what they are? If you are not the financial person-get someone you know who is to help you thru that part. It is not hard, don't be frightened to do it--you can do it by yourself. I didn't do this as told to and he took the money to move out with--I screwed up. But, I am not sure if it would have been harder with him at home or with him gone. It is still very hard with him gone--20 months now. But, I am not on the daily roller coaster ride with him any longer--only thru email as he won't speak with me or help in any way. Like I said earlier, it may get much much worse for you. I pray that it doesn't. It is the hardest thing ever in life to go thru.

More hugs for you!

Feb 28, 2012
To NWF for your awesome post
by: from Patty

Thank you so much for your advice. I cried as I read it and realized that what you said is exactly what I need to do. Other friends of mine that have gone thru similiar problems end up moving out and back to their parents house.I don't want to go that route.I feel that I have to set a better example to my children by staying strong and be the better person.I thank God everyday that he is still home with us and that he still shows up to our marriage couseling meetings. I have HOPE and I trust in GOD to shine his light into his soul and that he will realize soon that his boys and I love him very much and want to help him with this trial in his life. I pray for him every day. My faith is still strong
and I have already forgave him for every hurtful word or thing he has done to me. I want my family to always be together and love each other for ever.All my closest friends are praying for us too and I hope this mid-life crisis does not end up taking the best of him. He is a good father and a good person. His mind is just playing tricks on him with the what if's. I know he was into the porn sites and movies and that was very hurtful to me. I don't want to know anymore if he is still looking at that stuff because it kills me slowly.I pray to God that he is not but I don't want to get him angry by asking or looking thru his stuff. I sometomes think that his fantacies seem so real to him. I will stop here with this because I have no right to judge him and it is his struggle to deal with,not mine. I just want to submit to him as his wife the way the bible says and honor him as my husband.

Feb 28, 2012
Hold Your course
by: NWF

I think he is in the very early stages of his midlife transition and is starting to get very confused by it. At least he told you this much, which is more info than I got. My husband couldn't perform for 6 years prior to his announcement of leaving which was 4 days before he left but I alrady knew he was having a telephone affair at that point and I was devastated already.

Give him as much space as he needs. When you sense he wants to be alone-let him. Don't argue or beg for anything, it won't help, nothing will at the later stages of this. Tell him you understand when you sense he wants understanding--this will happen often, look for it. Don't cater to him--he will notice this change in you and possibly come to you. Try not to cry around him as his emotions can't handle this right now. Don't DO everything for him--let him make decisions and help if he asks for help with this. Be positive but not noticeably so. He is looking for validation from you--be there. Try to be extremely patient with him-he may start to argue and place blame on you. Just walk away and hold your head up. Don't try to CONVINCE him of anything--just don't go there. Be silent, be strong, don't be a rug for him to walk on, and be yourself but better. Make him feel sexy and wanted and be sexy yourself. Bring the fun back into your relationship like when you first started to date. If you feel hurt by something he does, tell him so but use "I feel hurt that you..." as kindly as you can without saying "you did..." or "you should have...". "should haves" don't work because he won't care. It will become all about him. Take care of yourself thru all of this and hold onto your hat--it may get much worse for a very long time, years, until he can look inward as to the causes of HIS turmoil. This is not about you and it is NOT YOUR FAULT. It is happening to him because of him and what he did or did not do when he was a very early adult!

Hugs for you!

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