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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Asking for a Separation

    I apologize for the length of my post. This is from a spouse on the other end of the separation…I am asking for one. Every marriage has its ups and downs where it can derail and then come back on track. We have been together for 19 years, married for 17 and have 3 children. We moved to a new city 3 years ago, and although I am happy with the move, our marriage has been going downhill. He retired from the military and took a job here, so it was big changes all around. I went from having a spouse who deployed fairly often to having him around all the time.

    Just over a year ago, I was diagnosed with depression. I spent a long time prior to that unable to cope with my life and with my emotions and not really knowing why. Crying at the drop of a hat…retreating and disengaging from my family and from my friends. I went to work and came home and rarely did anything. When I made plans, I would find reasons not to go. It took me 2 weeks to even tell my husband that I was depressed because I was fearful of his reaction. I didn’t think he would support me or understand…or want to. The conversation was simply a short confession on my part and he simply said that it was my emotions and that was that.

    We went on a southern holiday in April for 2 weeks without kids. It was supposed to be a time where we regained intimacy and to get everything back on track. We were both really looking forward to it. I was hugely disappointed in how it turned out. I initiated for the first few days and then told him I would like him to take the reins, so to speak. He never did. I wanted to stay up and go dancing. He did not. I felt like we were the old couple in the resort amongst a bunch of young people.

    In the summer, we managed to have all of the kids gone for summer camps and visits with family for 3 weeks. With the help of my therapist, I planned an evening to discuss our marital issues. I had been in counselling for about 2-3 months at that point. He avoided it for as long as he could…he tried tidying in the kitchen, and busying himself with things, while I just sat and waited for him in the living room. Finally, he came in and we talked. It wasn’t easy…I was scared to really divulge my true feelings for fear of hurting him or making him upset or angry. I told him that the past 3 years of our marriage were the absolute worse. We talked about our issues, my depression, the trip, and finances. At the end of the conversation, he said that “I’m not that unhappy”. I was floored. How could he be in such denial or just dismiss my feelings like that?

    Nothing changed. In August, I went home for a week to visit with family. During that time, our house sold…which had been on the market since May with no offers. And, he bought himself a new vehicle without discussing it with me…and after he had told me he was going to just fix his truck instead of taking on another bill. He went on a rampage looking for a new house and told me I needed to cut my trip short and go back. This was only on Tuesday…I’d driven 14 hours and was home for 3 days. I decided not to cut my trip short because I didn’t see the point….and everything to do with the sale of our home could be done remotely. He bullied me into buying another house. He made an offer on a home with the condition of a home inspection and said that I could say no after seeing it. In the end, the new house was nice and I felt like I couldn’t say no because we had nothing else to compare it to. It’s not like he had a few houses for me to look at….just that one.

    In any event, I feel like I’ve been taking baby steps away from my marriage for quite some time now, and with the events in the summer…I just can’t seem to get past it. He had a 3 week business trip at the end of November and I was really looking forward to it. I encouraged him to stay even longer so he could visit with family and friends….but secretly, I just wanted him gone.

    And, then I thought, what kind of a wife rejoices when her husband is gone? I used those 3 weeks to do some soul-searching and made my decision. I wanted to separate. When he came back from his trip, he knew something was wrong. But, I didn’t want to discuss it right then because of the holidays. I kept telling him I wanted to get through the holidays and then we would talk about it. Finally, on the evening of Christmas Day, he came to me again wanting to talk (he would continually try to talk to me about our marriage) and I told him. I felt relieved in the end, but since then, I’ve been doing a lot more thinking about it.

    Is this the right decision? Am I being selfish for wanting to be happy? I know that our life financially is going to suffer greatly. Having just bought a home, having a fairly large debt load, and our 3 kids….and now, he’s trying to change. Instead of being on the computer all of the time, he’s just not. He wants to do things with me and the kids. He never wanted to do anything active…when I joined a gym and asked him to join, he refused. I wanted to join a bowling league or do something to meet other couples, he would just say that he hates people and didn’t want to do anything. Now, he wants to do all of the things that I’ve been begging him to do all along.

    I am angry that he’s willing now. After banging my head against a wall for all of these years, why should I be expected to just rejoice and accept it and give it all one last chance? I truly feel like it’s too little too late. We have planned a trip to Florida next month and after that, I just want to tell the kids and start the dissolution of our marriage. It hurts so much to say it’s over. But, I don’t love him anymore. I’ve tried and tried and have settled for what he was willing to give, but I don’t want to settle anymore. I just want to be happy. But, at the same time, it’s hard to say this with finality. And, not that I truly want us to stay together, but it’s so hard to close the door. I’ve never truly gone after my happiness…I know that there are negative consequences to this decision and that’s what makes me take pause. It’s life-altering and affects EVERYONE in my life. But, for the first time in my life, I need to have the courage to stand up for myself, no matter what my husband feels or who I disappoint in admitting defeat.

    Thank you for reading this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    The Cloud of Unknowing

    Re: Asking for a Separation


    Welcome to the forums. Sounds like you have been through a lot, and you are still very much conflicted about the upcoming changes in your life. That is natural, it is not exactly like you are changing the brand of washing powder you use, but a truly life-altering decision. Expect this ambivalence to last for quite some time.

    Also accept that a divorce will come with a ton of consequences - emotionally and financially, for everyone involved, and thus that there will be many changes to your life and lifestyle you can afford. This would be even more true if the divorce turns out to be nasty and protracted, but even in the best case scenario, things will change.

    That means you will have good days, and you will have bad days. And depending on the age and emotional maturity of your children, they may also have a hard time. Don't expect it to be a cakewalk, and in all likelihood it will take some time before you are truly ready to move on. Give yourself that time.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Asking for a Separation

    Welcome to LS izzie, thanks for sharing with us.

    You have quite alot to think about there. One thing that stands out to me is maybe the change of him retiring, and your situation really has a play in this. Your lifestyle changed. This seem's to be the start so it is where my mind is focused when reading your story. I'm sure it must of been very different from having a part time husband to a full time one! Sounds like the change became uncomfortable, and difficult for you.

    Ah, lovely depression.... i battle it too, how not fun it is! Hugs!

    Maybe your husband was having a hard time understanding the situation, and partially denying it. I do think when he retired it would have been very good for you both to re get to know each other. People change over years, thing's change over years. You have to update them, nobody want's to live in a house from the 70's. Also some people don't know what they have until it is gone or almost gone....

    Some decisions in life can be so difficult. You have to think them all over from every direction. Have you tried to go to marriage counseling with him? From what i read i don't see anything hateful or anything ultimate line breaking with your marriage. From what i read i see some misunderstanding, miscommunication, and some uncertainty.

    Only you know what you really want, it's just a matter of figuring it out and finding your way. I hope you do! I understand your want for happiness, for spreading your wings and flying! We all want that. You can do it alone or fly with a flock.
    " To thy own self be true..."

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