Wanting to end a 35 year marriage

I’ve been married for over 35 years. I am so tired of all the ups and downs, walking on eggshells, never ever getting what I want, always being the one who did wrong, and I’m not going to take it much longer. This will be my 2nd attempt at filing for a divorce.

The first time was 3 years ago. He talked me out of it. Said all the right things and I fell for it. I am so nervous because this time I am jobless. I am on unemployement and having a hard time finding anything worth applying for. I already talked to an attorney and he said he could probably get spousal support for me for up to 3 years. Our 3 children are all grown and moved out. Thank God.

Also the last time I filed my husband wouldn’t leave. He lived in our storage shed for a couple of months till he sweet talked me into letting him back in. I had caught him looking at porn on the internet and checking out single ads online. He broke the computer so I wouldn’t have any evidence. He has even gone as far as pulling a gun on me. I told him to go ahead and shoot me (at least I would be in heaven). He has threatened to kill me and himself a couple of times. He has never hit me. He has purchased himself toys over the years like a boat, motorcycle, 20+ rods and reels, 15+guns and rifles. Whatever he wants, he buys. We are not rich, he buys used stuff most of the time. But he never buys anything I want.

Most of the time I just want new stuff for our home, like a new sink and faucett. I’m so tired of always making excuses when anyone asks us to come out. We rarely talk to each other and he has slept in the livingroom for over a year now, so there is no intimacy. I did tell him last week, that I am going to file for divorce because I cant live like this anymore. He said I would be sorry that I would realize I made a mistake once it was over.

I am scared, but we haven’t been happy for years and I just want some peace and no more walking on eggshells. We have seen several counselors and the last one told me, You need to leave him. My problem is I always chicken out. I’m scared. I’ve been miserable with him for over 35 years. I’m 54 and feel like I deserve to be happy, but too scared to make a change.

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Deb- I was very depressed and scared to death to leave. But, that was the best thing I could have done. The first night I was gone I had the first full night of sleep in over a year. I began to eat again (I had gone from a size 16 to size 4 in less than 6 months- and was on my way to malnutrition). My panic attacks disappeared. It’s not going to be easy. You will second guess (and third guess and fourth guess…) your decisions for awhile now. But, rest assured you have a whole community of people who have been there. And, we can all say that we’ve come out on the other side stronger for it all. Although he hasn’t actually pulled a trigger- there is that potential. He’s showing his true colors. Please, for your own safety, go the assessment and get out of that situation…

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Deb, when I filed I was working a part-time seasonal job that I knew would end before the divorce was final. I had another seasonal job to fall back on (doing taxes), but again that was seasonal with no benefits and a definite end date. I was facing divorce with no reliable income and no health insurance. But I had to get out of there. And you do too. It’s not a question of his toys. It’s a question of YOUR LIFE. The guy is highly unstable and has multiple firearms at his disposal. Not a good combination.Please follow Julie’s advice and seek help from a domestic violence hotline. You need a plan, and a damn good one.

Deb, call a hotline in your area for battered women - God knows that having a gun pulled on you qualifies, and the threats he’s making may be a real threat to your safety.If you don’t believe it, google MOSAIC - it’s a threat assessment tool by Gavin DeBecker that Oprah did a show on. Go to the public library and use a computer there if you think he’s snooping into your computer. Give that information to the hotline folks.They can help you find an attorney and give you some pointers on keeping yourself safe, like getting a restraing order.Also, when you file, you can ask for sole use of the marital home, if you can afford to stay there by yourself.It sounds to me like he’s a millstone around your neck, and you’re better off without him. I’m around your age, and moving out was one of the hardest and easiest things I did - I did it to save whatever’s left of my life.We’re here for you.

Deb75,
Making threats on your life, and threatening with a gun is serious and scary. It’s no way to live, and I get it, Im living it right now and making an exit plan. Contact your safe shelter or the domestic violence advocate in your area. They connect you to resources to help you and safety is their concern as well. A counselor or group to bounce your thoughts off on is a good thing too. The shelters usually have one at no cost. Im utilizing the counselors and you can call them also especially when your doubting yourself. This has helped me, I hope it helps you too. I’ve been with my husband 34 years, I’m 54 and it hasnt gotten better. My kids are grown too. The emotional abuse and control has gotten unbearable, its hard to leave my home of 34 years, but, something has to change, he won’t. And I cannot change him, he has to acknowledge he has a problem. Be safe