Divorce after 45 years of marriage.....am I crazy?
Ok, I was only 18 when I got married, and my whole adult life has been spent with a woman who is increasingly difficult to get along with. Now that retirement is staring me in the face, I feel like I just don't want to spend any more time and effort with her. My children will be shocked, and I do hate hurting them, but I feel I have the right to live my life as I wish. Can anyone help me with this no-win situation?
Well jcg55, it is a win-win situation, in the long run. Your wife probably has the same feelings, since a happy marriage cannot exist if one partner is as unhappy as you say you are. I was nineteen when I was married, and after thirty-five years, could not take his increasing need to control everything, and everyone. I believe when there are small children involved, it is more difficult to break up the family. Mine were grown, as you say yours are. You and your wife are probably not the most fun people to be around. Believe me, your children know. Our children were not surprised, and we made it through. I'm much happier dating, and my children are happy not being around the stress. And by the way, my ex-husband has already remarried. Good luck, second wife!
Hello jcg55. I know your problems may seem impossible to sort out at this time. My husband and I were married at a young age too, and after thirty-eight years, our marriage began to suffer. I think it's really a matter of looking at our own mortality, as we near retirement. If we change something (like our mates?), things will improve. We decided on marriage counseling, and I can say, ten years later, we enjoy our marriage. Of course there are rough spots, but this may not be your marriage depressing you. It may just be the fact of adjusting to retirement, and a different life. Change is scary. Please try counseling before doing something as extreme as divorce.
It is a strange time of life we find ourselves in. Chapters of our life are ending and we are thinking of the road not taken. You can not reclaim the lost years or erase the feelings of "Is this all there is to life?" Those feelings are justified and experienced by all of us. At least by those of us who have lived life, not merely existed.
Before you make a move that will disrupt your life and that of your family, think it through. Consider what will happen to your wife if she should become ill and need care. Will you feel guilty? Can you financially recover at this age? It takes some money to get out of a marriage and more money to start over. Freedom ain't cheap! Your children have their own lives and would not consider your feelings if they wanted a divorce. But, if you leave their mother after 45 years they will probably give her the emotional support and you the cold shoulder. Can you deal with that? That breech might never heal.
Before I divorced my husband I reached the point of not wanting to see him or hear his voice. All I could see was a deep hole I could never get out of and he had the shovel. No amount of counseling could change the situation. When I divorced him it was the happiest day of my life. I never looked back or had the slightest twinge of remorse. After choosing to remain single for several years I met and married the man of my dreams. Now I have regrets.... regrets that I wasted all those years of my life when I could have found a kindred spirit and been truly happy.
If you have truly exhausted every avenue to reconcilation and there is no love whatsoever for your wife, your marriage is already over. It is just a formality.
I wish you the best and I hope you have the courage to make the best decision.
Well, Carolina, thank you for your response. Your posting helped me to realize that our marriage is indeed over in any meaningful way. I do feel that any further attempts to save our marriage will be doomed to fail...it has just gone too far over the edge. Oddly enough, though, I feel better about my soon-to-be divorced partner. I no longer blame her for the death of our relationship, and in forgiving her, I can forgive myself. And our adult children can visit each of us and not be subjected to the tense relationship that we have lived in for years.
It takes a lot of courage to make such a life altering decision. I think the stronger person is the one who wants out, not the one left behind. When you talk with your wife I hope she will be of the same accord and see that the two of you can be happy, but not happy together. I hope this is a situation where she has longed for a new start as well. I hate to think of anyone being hurt or devasted by divorce. Since your situation does not involve a third party, things will be much easier to accept and move ahead.
Keep us abreast of your situation as I am certain wiser minds than mine can help you along the way.
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