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Thread: Don't know what to do, where to turn

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbgeek View Post
    There are also other things you could do to be out of the house besides work, like concerts, or getting together with friends, or a museum, or classes. Sounds like you might want some balance in your life, and something that adds to your enjoyment instead of just tiring you out.

    My husband is on the negative side but not anywhere the level you are dealing with. When I've had enough, I say "enough negativity, let's talk about something else" and if that doesn't work I go into another room and do something different. Not saying that will work for you, but maybe you could try it as an experiment. If you've been putting up with this for 20 years, he may have no idea how he sounds.
    Yes, I do some of these things. He gets very resentful if I spend time with other people because my free time is so limited. He is of the opinion that I should be spending it with him. But I do sometimes treat myself to a fun day at the movies or a museum. Of course, he is very critical of any friends that I have so I try not to talk about them if I can help it.

  2. #12
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    I agree with Zoe Girl... when I read enota's post I wondered if she and hub had been evaluated for depression.

    There is a Depression Fallout discussion group, which was begun by the late Anne Sheffield, author of Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond

    Actually baby boomers are increasingly choosing the option of "gray divorce" rather than preserving the bond. ...especially those who had previous marriages that ended in divorce.

    I would not minimize the financial and self-esteem issues that can arise from a gray divorce. Heading into retirement, the assets and incomes which supported one household would have to s-t-r-e-t-c-h to support two households.

    There is a database (you have to pay a membership to get into it) of people who are looking to buddy-up on housing... either as a room-mate/companion or as a landlord. Typically these folks are 50 to 70 years young... many have gone through a gray divorce to arrive at their present need. http://goldengirlsnetwork.com

    May I suggest an affirmation?
    You are worthy to live a good life in a relationship that is fulfilling. Take license to enjoy creating intimacy, connection and companionship that feels good to you.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    I agree with Zoe Girl... when I read enota's post I wondered if she and hub had been evaluated for depression.

    There is a Depression Fallout discussion group, which was begun by the late Anne Sheffield, author of Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond

    Actually baby boomers are increasingly choosing the option of "gray divorce" rather than preserving the bond. ...especially those who had previous marriages that ended in divorce.

    I would not minimize the financial and self-esteem issues that can arise from a gray divorce. Heading into retirement, the assets and incomes which supported one household would have to s-t-r-e-t-c-h to support two households.

    There is a database (you have to pay a membership to get into it) of people who are looking to buddy-up on housing... either as a room-mate/companion or as a landlord. Typically these folks are 50 to 70 years young... many have gone through a gray divorce to arrive at their present need. http://goldengirlsnetwork.com

    May I suggest an affirmation?
    You are worthy to live a good life in a relationship that is fulfilling. Take license to enjoy creating intimacy, connection and companionship that feels good to you.
    Thank you for the input and the affirmation. It is really difficult to translate the complexity of this situation. I'm sure that I have bouts of depression from time to time. I deal with it and eventually it passes. I strive every day to do things that will make me happy and try to keep my spirits up. I am dead-set against any kind of anti-depressant meds so pursuing that is moot in my mind.

    I'm really hoping that we can get to a place where he lives his life and I live mine with as little interaction as possible. That would be the ideal solution and least traumatic for the pets involved. To be honest, I really don't identify well with people my own age and find them tedious and boring. I am nowhere near slowing down and have a LOT of things I want to achieve in my life. I'd really love to fall in with a group in their mid 30s to hang out and have fun with. I'm very interested in Cosplay and hoping that being more involved with that will help me meet some people and make friends. I think if I can develop a full and meaningful life that it will make a huge difference. At least that is what I am hoping for.

  4. #14
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    I will be blunt. Leave. He will never change. I made the mistake of staying with someone I couldn't stand for way too long. I am leaving now.

  5. #15
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Enota, as has been mentioned, can you find a space or time just to catch your breath and evaluate the options. It is very difficult to do the evaluation when spinning in the situation.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #16
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Your first responsibility is you and your health.
    My husband is a bit negative naturally and I've drawn the line about how much I'll listen to before I say "enough" and remove myself from the room.
    I have an uncle that is high and mighty and negative. My aunt once left a tape recorder recording his entire day of rants, raves, comments. In a counseling session she finally got him to go to she started to play it. He only listened about 5 minutes and started ranting again. She filed divorce papers that same day.
    Last edited by Float On; 2-6-18 at 12:54pm.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  7. #17
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I agree with the others that a little space (even if it's a couple of days playing hooky from work) will help you gain some perspective.

    Quote Originally Posted by enota
    I think if I can develop a full and meaningful life that it will make a huge difference.
    I am not a fan of remaining in abusive relationships of any kind. What you describe here, in my non-psychologist-trained view, is (at least borderline) emotional abuse. It may be borne by depression (or codependency or other emotional issues) or it may be the result of years of viewing glasses half-empty. But it seems to exist here.

    I know some may have religious reasons or reasons of economic or physical dependency to continue such a relationship; those reasons may apply to you. But, absent those, and absent effort by both parties to reach a more equitable relationship, I think Ann Landers (or Dear Abby) put it best: "Are you better off with him [her] or without him [her]?"

    (My experience in this area; feel free to skip)
    My ex and I married in our late 20s. We did not have a good marriage. My parents had a great marriage; her mother, not so much (first husband was an alcoholic; second [her father] was emotionally remote). Her brothers [first marriage] had been through several marriages between them before we even met.

    Ex and I had some good times and some common interests; we were both busy with our careers; we were in a religious environment that strongly encouraged being (and staying) paired; and neither one of us was abusing substances or gambling away our retirement or beating each other up. I think both of us knew deep down our marriage could have been better. We just could not get there by ourselves but previous bad experiences with therapy led ex to refuse marriage counseling. I had consigned myself to that "place where [s]he lives [her] life and I live mine with as little interaction as possible". There were no kids and no pets but there were religious and economic considerations to divorcing. It could have been worse.

    In my early 40s a friendship of mine with a single co-worker became an emotional affair. It should not have happened (for lots of reasons) but it did. I was struck with the realization that, even without any physical component, this relationship was much healthier than my marriage. I also was struck with the realization that, in my early 40s, I still likely had many years left on Earth and it probably was too early to just "give up". Ex and I needed external help. (Long story) it took my threatening to just leave the relationship to get ex to counseling. Counseling did not go well. But at least I know I tried. Postscript: (another long story) co-worker and I never seriously explored a romantic relationship.


    Divorce was a wrenching experience that challenged pretty much everything I thought I knew about myself. It cost dearly financially and emotionally and I lost several "friends" (and some would say my faith) as a result. But my second wife and I married at 50 and have been very happy together for almost eight years now and both of us love the lives we live now. I half-joke that if my first marriage had been as good as this one I would not have wanted a second marriage. DW (correctly, I think) comments that we both needed our first marriages to make this one work.

    enota, only you can decide how to prioritize what you value in life. If financial stability holds a higher value than the "
    full and meaningful life" you beiieve you can build alone, you have made some choices. If the vow of "till death do you part" supercedes the levels of emotional distress this relationship brings you, you have made some choices.

    By all means, do what you can to improve your marriage. But if your marriage cannot be the relationship you want/need it to be, you have a long time left on Earth to live with what it is. Not that you can't choose differently later. But you may lose your ability to choose at any time. Regret is a powerful thing.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #18
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Enota......I'm afraid I may have been a bit coarse with my comment about "just leave him". I think some of my own frustrations with my relationship came out too strong. I, too, feel unfulfilled, but to start all over again at my age.......well, it would do me in.
    I try to think in terms of my having a relationship with the world that doesn't go through anyone else....including our husbands. Thinking that, makes me realize that I have to look elsewhere for certain needs to be met, and I have to be motivated to figure out how to do that.
    So I agree with many of the others that you can build a life fairly separate from your husband, and get some of your needs met elsewhere and find a bit of happiness and fulfillment too.

    I'm a pretty negative person. I think it comes from depression and a feeling of hopelessness that I've had pretty much my whole life. So if you can convince your husband to get some counseling, that would be a good start for him. Also, he should have a full medical work-up, in case there's other medical issues going on (thyroid, blood sugar, etc.). I know you refuse to consider anti-depressants. I usually do too......but in your husband's case, it could make a world of difference for him. I think you are situationally depressed, because of him. So if he could get his mood lifted, yours would automatically get lifted. But.....I know it might be too hard to get him to do anything about anything.

    So.......try to find happiness in other ways and through other people, while not having to give up your home or your pets, etc. Sit down and think about all the things you want to do that make you happy. Get back in touch with yourself and what gives you some happiness. Sometimes it's not easy, and we have to force ourselves to find time for those things......but it's worth it.
    ((((hugs))))

  9. #19
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    My partner of 40 years and I had some troubles, related to and intertwined with clinical depression, and we found *real* couples counseling quite helpful. We are fortunate enough to live an easy walk from the Gottmans - I would recommend their approach, especially if one partner is suspicious of traditional-style marriage counseling and is data-and-results-oriented.

    https://www.gottman.com

  10. #20
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    You could easily live 30 more years and is this the way you want to spend it? I doubt he is going to live in the same house and just let you live an independent life. I left a emotionally abusive 22 year marriage in my 40's and it was hard. I went to therapy to get the strength to do it. Pets are not a valid reason to stay in a marriage. Hugs)

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