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Messages By: blueonblue

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July 24, 2005, 9:09 am CDT

Husband's Mid-life Crisis

Five years ago my husband's attitude and behavior changed dramatically after a lengthy business trip requiring several weeks away from me and our children.  No, he did not have an affair (his sex drive decreased gradually over these years), he simply had a taste of freedom and loved it.  He rarely ever travelled on business before this.  We recently separated after he refused to seek counseling either as a couple or on his own.  During our 23 year marriage, we rarely argued and never fought.  He says he no longer loves me and feels he's missing out on something by being tied to me, yet still tries to "share" his travels, social schedule, etc. with me.  I discourage this lately.  He is still a sloppy dresser and looks unkempt so he obviously isn't trying to impress another woman.  He has grown a mustache and goatee thing.  After 10 weeks apart, my life is finally coming together and I doubt I would take him back, but I haven't shut the door on that option just yet.  A part of me still loves him.  There is no other woman involved - he just wants the freedom to do whatever he wants (golf, roller skating, partying, skiing, etc.) whenever he wants.  (He did all these things before but not with my approval.) He no longer has to feel guilty about leaving me at home while he pursues his interests and has to answer to no one now.  He still supports us financially and sees our daughter (13) fairly often.  Our son (he's 19) could care less about his dad.  I have lost a lot of respect for my husband, but over time I am making a new life for myself.  I recently got a part-time job I really like and enjoy the company of some wonderful friends.  My husband has no friends he can talk to, only 3 meddling sisters who encouraged him to leave me if he was unhappy.  His two other siblings absolutely disapprove of his behavior and have told him so.  Is there anyone else who has experienced this with their hubby?  Is there any hope he might come to his senses?  I don't intend to grow old alone, but don't want to give up on a 28 year relationship and then regret it.  Apparently many men do not feel THEY have to honour their wedding vows these days.  I never imagined my husband could be so selfish as to sacrifice everyone else's happiness for his own.  People we know simply cannot believe we have separated because we had such a wonderful marriage.  They also can't believe that he could ever do such a thing to us.  I'd love to hear from other wives who've survived this ordeal. 
 
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July 24, 2005, 9:51 am CDT

Husband's Mid-life Crisis

I tried to post on this board and it ended up in the Divorce section somehow...  So here goes - again!  Relationship Myth:  Good marriages last... Five years ago my husband's attitude and behavior changed dramatically after a lengthy business trip requiring several weeks away from me and our children.  No, he did not have an affair (his sex drive decreased gradually over these years), he simply had a taste of freedom and loved it.  He rarely ever travelled on business before this.  We recently separated after he refused to seek counseling either as a couple or on his own.  During our 23 year marriage, we rarely argued and never fought.  He says he no longer loves me and feels he's missing out on something by being tied to me, yet still tries to "share" his travels, social schedule, etc. with me.  I discourage this lately.  He is still a sloppy dresser and looks unkempt so he obviously isn't trying to impress another woman.  He has grown a mustache and goatee thing.  After 10 weeks apart, my life is finally coming together and I doubt I would take him back, but I haven't shut the door on that option just yet.  A part of me still loves him.  There is no other woman involved - he just wants the freedom to do whatever he wants (golf, roller skating, partying, skiing, etc.) whenever he wants.  (He did all these things before but not with my approval.) He no longer has to feel guilty about leaving me at home while he pursues his interests and has to answer to no one now.  He still supports us financially and sees our daughter (13) fairly often.  Our son (he's 19) could care less about his dad.  I have lost a lot of respect for my husband, but over time I am making a new life for myself.  I recently got a part-time job I really like and enjoy the company of some wonderful friends.  My husband has no friends he can talk to, only 3 meddling sisters who encouraged him to leave me if he was unhappy.  His two other siblings absolutely disapprove of his behavior and have told him so.  Is there anyone else who has experienced this with their hubby?  Is there any hope he might come to his senses?  I don't intend to grow old alone, but don't want to give up on a 28 year relationship and then regret it.  Apparently many men do not feel THEY have to honour their wedding vows these days.  I never imagined my husband could be so selfish as to sacrifice everyone else's happiness for his own.  I thought he was a better person than that.  People we know simply cannot believe we have separated because we had such a wonderful marriage.  They also can't believe that he could ever do such a thing to us.  I'd love to hear from other wives who've survived this ordeal. 
 
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August 7, 2005, 8:48 am CDT

To Boomers from Blue

Quote From: boommers

 

Dear Blue,

    I know a few couples who have gone through a similar change. I think there is something to the mid-life crisis theory. I think some couples have it and work through it. I think some couples don't even realize thier marriage is over until someone moves out, and other couples stay together and are like older brothers and sisters. Your husband could have had this change of heart and waited until he found someone else, kind of the way some people change jobs. They don't want to quit the job they have until they find a better or at least different one. I think your husband was at least honest and up front about it. I see a lot of couples divorce in a way that is as harmful as possible on their children, friends and family. You should let him work through this in a way that doesn't cost either of you your children. I had a relationship where my girlfriend moved away. She said it was so that she could find out who she was. I think it was because she knew who she wasn't. She wasn't someone who wanted to spend her life with me. Initially I fantasized about her coming to her senses, her tearful begging, her realization of how wonderful I really was and her dismay at hurting me. Later I transitioned into a sort of vodoo stage where I made little dolls that looked like her and then I poked them with needles or lit them on fire. That lasted about a week. Noone likes to be left but over time the feelings fade. There is no really good way for someone to tell you they don't love you anymore, or they don't love you enough anymore. It is possible that you will find out that you can be happy or happier. Don't let the hurt ruin the rest of your life and your childrens lives.

Thank you for some male insight.  I am coming to terms with the fact my husband no longer loves me.  Unfortunately, I've also discovered he isn't the caring, supportive father to our children I thought he was and that is just as devastating. He still spends some quality time with our 13 yr. old daughter, but he practically ignores our son who's 19.  I have lost a great deal of respect for my husband and can't believe he is the same man I married.  It's as if he's had a personality transplant.  His attitude towards our son is reprehensible.   

  

I am getting my life together and now have a part-time job and two casual, on-call jobs.  Due to medical reasons, I am unable to work full time and quite honestly, don't intend to even try.  I devoted 28 years of my life to my husband and then the children.  I don't intend to make myself sick so that HE can have extra money to go off and travel, do things HE enjoys and have a great time while I'm at home raising our children, working hard at three jobs and carrying most of the responsibility.  I feel he owes me that much.  It's almost 3 months since he left and it still hurts when I see him, knowing he isn't coming home to me.  A part of me will always love him, but my feelings for him have changed forever.  Right now he seems more pathetic than anything, trying to relive his youth, grasping at every opportunity to reassure himself he's still vibrant and interesting to be with. 

  

At least I have my good friends to turn to for support as well as a sympathetic ear.  My husband has virtually no one.  He has NO close friends, only a few acquaintances.  I see him as a hanger-on when he's with people he'd like to be friends with.  I've seen many who are only being polite and it pains me.  He seems to be desperate for acceptance and will do nearly anything to be part of their crowd, including imposing himself on others.  That makes me very sad and I feel sorry for him.   

  

My husband has three meddling sisters who encouraged him to leave, but are now too busy with their own lives to be bothered with him, except on the rare occasion.  Ironic, huh?  Something which has been very hard for me to accept is that some members of my husband's family who do not condone his behavior and actions, have cut off contact with him.  I shouldn't care perhaps, but I never wanted that to happen and did not encourage them at all.  I pleaded with them not to feel they had to take sides, esp. mine.  I often coax them to speak to him and try to understand his point of view, but they don't approve and have told him so.  In time, hopefully, they will reconcile but I refuse to feel guilty for something he has brought on himself.  

  

I guess everything does happen for a reason, just as people say.  Perhaps I will be better off without him.  I know I am happier without having to watch every word I say around him, for fear of upsetting him or getting the silent treatment.  I don't miss his harsh words or unnecessary criticism of every thing I do.  His bitterness is so obvious to me now.  I think his unhappiness manifested itself into making everyone around him unhappy too.  I am very lonely some times, but at least I do have friends and family I can turn to.  My children and jobs keep me busy and I finally am happy with myself and my accomplishments.  I have lost weight and feel more confident in my own skin.  I'm a much stronger person that I imagined and with each passing day, my future looks brighter.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. 

 
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August 7, 2005, 9:02 am CDT

To Michellenz

Quote From: michellenz

I think that your family & you will come through this. I know that it is hard letting the man that you love more than anything in the world go. It would have been one of the hardest things in your life to have to do.

I am so pleased that you are slowly putting your life back together, as well as your children's.

I know that starting out on your own would have been hard as well.

You are doing all the right things, especially for your children. Even if they don't show it, having a bit of a normal life, even if it is a strange new life without their father in their home, is going to help them in a BIG way.

As for your husband, all I can say is keep the doors open for him. Carry on being your true self, a woman that is loving & kind. He will slowly see the woman that he did leave behind & want her back.

Don't allow anyone to bad mouth him around the kids or you, as it is not healthy for them, and if you should both get back together, having that kind of stuff will just "add to it".

Try new things, this is a hard time yes, but you can make the most of it, like it is a time of finding yourself again. Maybe start a new hobbie, or meet new friends. This way you will have things to take you mind off the current problems, and inside it helps heal the hurt as well.

You are a beautiful woman that should have the best in life. It is OK to treat yourself.

By doing all these things, by your actions, you are teaching your children how to handle all your feelings in a healthy manner. It also shows them that you are a strong woman.

Take one day as it comes, if you can get out of bed with even a weak smile on your face, then in my book...you have passed that day with flying colours.

 

God Bless,

Michelle,

In New Zealand.

Thank you for your encouragement and kind words.  I am leaving the door open to a possible reconciliation with my husband but am not counting on it.  I am moving on and am a happier, more confident person these days.  I have made it clear to everyone that I will not permit them to bad-mouth my husband, esp. in front of the children.  It is his right to be happy and although I have been hurt beyond words, I try not to judge him too harshly if he's really been that unhappy sharing his life with me... 

  

I'm disappointed lately in how he's chosen to parent our kids (13 & 19), but he is the one who will suffer in the long run.  He has taken to single life like a duck to water, but I remain steadfast in my decision to give him his space.  Yes, I am a strong woman and with the support of my close friends and family, discovered I can tackle anything life throws my way.  Some days are difficult and I get angry for the situation he's put me in, but then other days I see his view clearer.  Do I have any right to deprive him of his happiness?  No.  But then, does he have any right to make everyone around him unhappy too?  Who knows! 

 

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