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Folks, I’ve been divorced before. I know that feeling when you can’t imagine ever feeling good again with this person. But it doesn’t make it easier, I’m just still get perplexed about the first step.

I’ve been with my husband for eight years. Only the first two were really good. After that it seems like I was making excuses for his behavior, he would apologize for poor behavior, a month will go by and the same stuff that happened again, and the cycle began.

I’ve gone through his stage of alcoholism. During this time frame he threw my adult son out of the house after one month because he had just gotten out of a drug rehab and he felt like he should jump right back into the workforce. My son was afraid to go back out and chance running into the same people. I thought that was understandable considering only a month has gone by.

I should mention that in eight years of my marriage my husband has not held a steady job for more than a year, until now. Several times he was unemployed and I supported him. Once I even took out my 401(k) to open a business for him which he ultimately lost.
About four years ago he began having chronic pain issues and that started to be his interruption in employment excuse. Everything from gout to arthritis to chest pain and 2 work related injuries. Guys, I’m a nurse, and I’ve really taken good care of him but you can only do so much.

After working a 12 hour shift at night I would come home to him moaning in pain that an elbow or hand or knee hurt, and I would ask “what have you taken” and his response was always “nothing yet, I was waiting for you to get home”! This is a 42-year-old man, I am 55, I’ve raised my children!!’

Three years ago his mom died and that was a game changer. I am not an unsympathetic person, frankly sometimes I go overboard on feelings.

However, his mothers death plunged him into a dark place and he has never returned. He refuses counseling, he hasn’t gone back to church in three years, and he’s become an ogre in my life. He’s obviously clinically depressed, and the only form of therapy is making my life a living hell.

Most recently he’s become the biggest hoarder you could ever imagine. A year ago I had to remove him from my bedroom because I couldn’t stand coming home at night and trying to crawl into bed with a pile of clothes on it and him underneath them.

He now sleeps on the twin bed in the spare bedroom under a pile of clothes and blankets and anything else that he had in his pockets. He won’t help me with any repairs in the house and I asked him to fix something it’s always a song and a dance. Or sometimes he will outright tell me hire somebody. But of course that means I’m paying that somebody.
I purchased a shed that cost me about $1500, for him to put all his garbage in because I couldn’t stand seeing it. That’s shed now is bursting at the seams, literally. You should see my YouTube video. There’s garbage all around it in front of it behind it and inside of it. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

I guess I know what to do, it’s just such a hard thing to do. This was once a kind person who I loved, and now is the person that I most detest. I never wanted to have these kinds of feelings, and I feel guilty, and it really makes me sick both mentally and physically.
Another big problem I have is that I am 55, and live in the state of Texas, divorce means 50/50. Not to mention the fact that I would have to pay for any attorney, because he would prefer to stay exactly where he is in the spare room. When I mention divorce he tells me that he’s gonna force the sale of my house. He owns a house in Mexico, where he’s from. It’s just not fair because I’ve supported him all these years practically, and I have a lot to lose, being 55 and having given him $25,000 of my 401(k) for his business that failed. Why don’t people have a conscience anymore?

I know for my own health I can’t go on like this anymore. I was always known for the person with the biggest smile in my family and amongst my friends. I’ve always been happy go lucky without a care in the world. I guess I’m answering my own question, I just need the motivation to go through with it. I miserable, just miserable, yet I still feel bad.
 

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I'm sorry you are going through this. It's similar to what I went through when I was married to my step-kids' father. He last his job at IBM a year after 9/11. He did a lot of traveling teaching web development to corporations and developing their training material. Once he lost his job we just gave up. He never really looked for another job. He ignored his 2 kids who were in middle school. I ended up support us all and raising his kids and my son.

Near the end of our marriage I took him to a psychiatrist. I was at the first appointment. At the end of it, the doc said that he can understand why my husband was married to me. But he had no clue of why I was married to him. So the doc gave him meds for his AD/HD and OCD. All the meds did was to help him concentrate even more on his computer gaming. I did end up divorcing him in 2012.

I did help him start a business right before we divorced that did not cost me much. He worked that business until COVID hit last year. He's retired now and on SS. We are still friends. But I'm not his mommy/caretaker anymore.

What I learned from that experience is that it's very sad when a person falls apart and suffers a mental health break down. But coddling them does them no good. We cannot make another person do what they need to do. We cannot make another person care for themselves, or care for anyone else. It's up to the person. Also, the best thing you could do for him at this point is to divorce him so he will have to deal with his own issues.

The only person you have control over is yourself. I know you know this, just a reminder. So do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

On that note, what are you doing for yourself these days? How are you taking care of yourself?
 
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