Is my marriage worth the fight?

Sarah has been married for 35 years and wonders why she bothers sticking at it.

Is my marriage worth the fight?

Q. Sarah
I’ve been married for 35 years and quite honestly, often wonder why I bother sticking at it. When I met my husband he was handsome, funny, one of the lads, enjoyed going out and was flirty with other girls; I fell head over heels in love with him.

For the first ten years everything was great, we had two beautiful children and my husband worked hard and we enjoyed a good life, often socialising with friends. Then he started going out more, not caring about work and taking me and the children for granted. I stuck at it for the sake of the children hoping that he would change, but now the kids are gone I feel very alone and disappointed about how my life has turned out.

Every time I think I should cut my losses and leave, I’m reminded of the gregarious, loving man I married and am so desperate to have back. He’s still very attractive and fun to be with when he decides to be, but this is usually only when I nag him to make the effort. I’m also frightened of life on my own. Should I simply accept my husband and I have grown apart or should I fight to get back the man with whom I fell in love?

A. Sarah, you find yourself in the same situation many women, and some men, do as they get on in life and the children leave home. While only you can decide if your marriage is worth the fight, I think there are some other things you need to clarify before you make this decision.

From what you say your husband was a real catch back in his day and you probably felt lucky to have married the local heartthrob. But what about you? What has happened in your life over the last 35 years? You have two beautiful children but you don’t say whether you have a career or if you devoted your life to looking after your family. If your family has been your sole purpose in life, it’s not surprising you’re feeling lost and lonely.

Your husband may have started to take you for granted because you allowed him to and perhaps never understood your own worth. I appreciate that marriage is for better or worse, but it’s still important to work at yourself and your relationship. You need to take a good look at yourself, your life and what you want to achieve. Firstly, take some time to pamper yourself; perhaps a new haircut, a few new items for your wardrobe and consider taking a little more time on your beauty regime. I know this will sound superficial but by doing a few things that are just for you, you will start to think more about who you are and what you want. If you need some tips, have a look at the following YOURLifeChoices articles:

Timeless beauty tips
Flattering faces
Putting on a good face

Next, you’re obviously not happy with your relationship but is this simply because your husband has changed? Women can be guilty of devoting all their time to their children once they come along and not only lose the person they are, but ostracise their partner along the way. By concentrating on being the best mother you could, you may have made your husband feel as though he was superfluous. This is not to say what you have done is wrong, it’s only natural and very common.  You can’t improve your relationship until you are happy with who you are. Consider a new career, some courses which interest you, or some volunteering options. A life coach or career counsellor can talk through the options which interest you and help you draft a plan to achieve your goals. The Career Development Association of Australia can help with useful information and to find a counsellor in your area. You may also wish to read the following YOURLifeChoices articles:

Should I return to study?
What study options are available?
Kick start your return to study

Now you have a better understanding of who you are and what you want, you can start to consider if your marriage is worth saving. You and your husband will need to talk about the things which you see as faults in each other and your relationship. But while it’s easy to get bogged down in the negatives, you should also consider the things you still enjoy about each other. To do this you may want to consider a relationship counsellor to help you work through your issues and process the things you may find out along the way. Your GP can help with a referral to a suitable counsellor. Relationships Australia also offers information and support which you may find useful.

I hope that you have found the information above helpful and you and your husband make the right decision for you both.


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    26th Apr 2012
    Sarah, there is always purpose in life even in marriage. My purpose now is my 4 grandchildren 7 years and under. Whatever it is you can fnd it. One day your husband will come to himself.
    Nan Norma
    26th Apr 2012
    Men and woman change as they get older. Perhaps only now that the children have left are you realizing that your husband has changed, as you probably have too.. As, has been suggested, maybe you should try finding what you want out of life now. Find new interests etc. See where that takes you. Don't rush out thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Its a hard world out there on your own. Is it really that bad at home?
    26th Apr 2012
    We all change as we grow, how have you changed,are you the same as when first married.?
    If you can save your marriage maybe that is the way to go, There is a lot of wives and husbands out there who thought they would be better off and wish they had realised what they were losing. You would not only be punishing your husband but also yourself and your children, instead of looking for a reason to leave, look for a reason to make the best out of staying. If your husband is violent to you, then that is a different story. 'Leave"
    26th Apr 2012
    I think Debbie has made some good points (though I'm unsure about the beauty part - boring!) :D And I think Acushla also has good advice. I think having something new come into your life is important. Something you can talk about with your husband. Grandkids are a mutual interest, we have ours here a lot and we both enjoy it. A course or two can also be of interest to him as much as you. Choose something you have always wanted to do. I started up a business online from home (with my daughter's help) and it keeps me busy and there's always something about it that I can discuss with my husband. He likes to have some input. It doesn't make a lot of money, but certainly gives me pocket money of my own and I've been able to make some improvements around the home with my own money. One more point worth mentioning. Do you have any close female friends? I have a couple (2 is enough, you don't need a lot) and they are a very important and enjoyable part of my life. I take time out every week to have coffee and catch up with them. We chat and laugh in a way my husband and I never have and they are a great support.

    If none of these things seem worth doing, then I would suggest you might be better off alone. That will give you time and space to focus on yourself. As a mother, you (we) have probably not had much opportunity to do as we please, making our family the focus of our lives. Good luck!
    26th Apr 2012
    I think that you still care for and want to be with your man. Have you told your husband how unhappy you are? Like many men, he may be selfishly focused only on his own life and it may not have occurred to him that you need more from him. Sit down at a time when you are relatively unstressed and discuss what you want from your relationship. You might find that he is unhappy with some aspects of his life too, but you'll never be able to sort out your issues without communication, preferably followed by a weekend away to rekindle earlier, more romantic times.
    26th Apr 2012
    Totally agree with brandydog.
    Communication is key.
    Find out what he thinks. It is likely that he is not happy either.
    As a male I would suggest that having an agenda to change him is counter productive.
    Getting yourselves to a marriage counsellor who can listen and give impartial input is a real benefit.
    Also divorce is not easy, it is a difficult, painful and costly journey embark on its much easier to take the time and effort to rebuild the relationship if you can.
    26th Apr 2012
    I cant believe how Debbie has cast all the blame on Sarah and made assumptions about her life. eg has she let herself go, has she been a stay at home mum etc. He sounds to me like a selfish pig and Sarah could be well rid of him.
    26th Apr 2012
    I decided to leave my marriage after 30 years which was was 9 years ago. I believe that even after a long marriage that we never really knew who we were. I decided to end the marriage and it was the best thing I did for the both of us. Sarah you need to decide for yourself what is right for you. I have learned that I was half of the problem and we can't blame the other person for all our unhappiness. I chose to take long hard look at myself and found a lot of the answers to why our marriage failed. There is always a choice. Good Luck
    26th Apr 2012
    My dear , i left my husband because of psycical violence after nirley 25 years, im now 66yrs old , the biggest problem is , two of my sons now believe thay can treat me like there father only there abuse is verbal , I know they wouldnt do that if I was still with there father. so think carefuly , if it is only loneyless , as that is fixable ,good luck .
    27th Apr 2012
    Hi fpbsix So sorry you had years of violence from your hubby. Why women stay I don't know but I am glad you finally left . Don't allow your sons to abuse you in any form. You are their mum and whether its physical or verbal or emotional abuse it's still abuse. Take a strong stand and if they continue to disrespect you their mum forbid them the right to come into your home. All the best
    29th Apr 2012
    fpbsix - they pronanly would treat you badly even if you were still in the marriage - children learn from their role models and they learned from their father that women were to be treated badly. Do not put up with it! You are worth far more than that.
    30th Apr 2012
    Are your sons married ?? in case in particular when pushed to the limit by their partners in self-defense - she threw a boiling hot bowl of spaghetti bolognese at him then tried to kick him you know where- and she BRAGGED about it to her mother-in-law,--- all because he asked what she had spent the money on-----she was giving her almost his full wage and only taking out cash for petrol, replacement tools and a few dollars in case she wanted other bits and pieces picked up on the way home from work. It was nothing unusual for her to ring him just before he finished work for the day for him to pick up milk or bread, even when she had been to the shops more than once that day. She admitted what the argument. She decided he would move out as a trial separation for 3 - 6 months and live with his parents so she could claim Govt. benefits and he could catch with home payments which were way behind and also bankcard in joint names that he hadn't seen the account for, which he only found out about because the Bank said they had been trying to contact him when he went in to make house payment. In those days Direct Debits were not available. She certainly wasn't spending the money on clothes for the children. Their Grandma and other relatives were sewing, knitting and buying clothes for them. During their time apart on one occasion the 4 year old complained to her Grandparents that there was more grog in the fridge than food. Aparently she had been hiding at the back of the only cupboard he rarely went to. She had eaten plenty of garlic that masked the smell of alcohol so he hadn't realised she was drinking. On more than one occasion he was sick and she called the Dr. but never collected the medication - the family found out a week later when she said about it - when asked why not her reply was no money, that she had bought her cigarettes so there was no money left., then grizzled when his sick leave pay ran out......I am sure in some cases the violence goes down through the family. In know of one case when it was Dad, son, then his son. The youngest one had vowed he would never follow in his father's footsteps - but had to once in self-defense or he would probably been murdered by her. She has a more violent temper than he has. She knows his family history as by sheer coincidence, her one of her parents knew his grandparents and had witnessed his grandfather's rages- against the children too. Thankfully he never had a son but his youngest daughter went out with a badtempered guy who bashed her on more than one occasion - and he told everybody about it and made her show her bruises to those he told. She moved out for a week until he begged her to go back and a few months later it happened again. He refused to take medication he should have been taking or go to temper management courses. I lost contact but I have heard that they are still together. I am glad you are strong enough to move out. As for your sons, you can start by telling them if they can't respect you, don't come back until they are prepared to do so. If there is a another instance tell them they know where the footpath is and don't come back without a written apology. Sure you may miss them, but you will be better off than being abused. It could turn to physical violence otherwise. Do you have a good neighbour who can keep watch and eavesdrop when they see them arrive in case it does become physical ???
    26th Apr 2012
    Hi Sarah, Two things I would not advise - accept things as they are, and the other is, "cut your losses" presumably assuming that you are going to be happier. You can dream and/or plan as much as you like. Things rarely turn out the way we think.
    Why dont you put some serious effort into regaining closeness with your husband. You have put in 35 years. Would one other year be too much? Only you can tell.
    It wont be much good if you stay another year and keep doing what you are doing. You have to work at regaining the bond, the closeness. Go to a counsellor and get some ideas, talk to him, go to learn something new that keeps you on your toes, do anything adn everything you can to regain what you lost. It is worth it. I know. I am on my own and there is nothing that I envy more than when I see a loving couple walking hand in hand. There are many men out there, but does not mean you will find a better one. Go for it Sarah. Determine to win. I wish you all the luck you need, and when you do win, do let us know. It would be great to hear.
    26th Apr 2012
    Sarah, I do understand your feelings of disappointment and frustration. But before you decide on divorce as the only option, do think carefully and weigh up the options. You have a great deal to lose as far as material benefits are concerned, and what will you gain apart from freedom? As things stand at present, freedom is something you already have if your husband doesn't need you with him most of the time. You don't say whether he has retired yet; if not, retirement often is the time when a situation like this can crystallize. You will either get on each others nerves so much that you will be compelled to leave in order to save your sanity; or it will be the time when retirement activities could bring you back together again.
    In the meantime, why not try making an interesting life for yourself? If you are fit and active, why not join a walking club, or a sport group like bowls, tennis, or any physical activity you enjoy. There are garden clubs, scrabble groups, volunteer organisations - all activities which can expand your social circle and bring new friends. Something many of us need to learn is that we cannot depend on any other person to make our lives worthwhile - it is up to us ourselves.
    It could be worth sitting down with your husband and talking with him about how you are feeling, without trying to put the onus on him - that would probably just put him on the defensive. You could perhaps ask him what his thoughts are; whether he would prefer divorce, considering the extent to which you appear to have grown apart. That may suffice to bring his attention to the problem, and give you some indication as to whether you do have a future together. If he denies that there is any problem, or makes it clear he has no interest in improving the relationship, then you will have his permission to leave. Married life requires mutual consideration and compromise - without these we can't hope to succeed, and probably are better off apart. Try counselling if he is agreeable, but in reality many men resist exposing their domestic issues to "outsiders".
    Whichever direction you choose, please remember that you don't have to be alone. You can choose to go to counselling on your own if necessary, this may be of help in making up your mind, or there could be other options for action you hadn't thought of. And believe me, there are many , many men and women who face what you are considering now.
    26th Apr 2012
    hi sarah i feel for you for suffering for soooo long, it sounds to me like you should have left after the 10th year. I left mine after the 20th yr. and that was way too long as it was.
    but i do like some of JJ's options. put it to him, would he like a divorce? I also found if you did find a counsellor, the situation sometimes just get worse, so perhaps don't even waste your money there. but i would go and make a life for yourself, don't wait for the divorce, or to leave. DO it now, and if its going to happen it will. but take care don't be left with nothing financely, make sure you take whats you deserve, and whats owing. thats the fair thing to do. I think if he cared he wouldn't be doing what he's doing. Perhaps when u ask him straight forward that will bring him backinto the land of the living? instead of the land of nod!! good luck
    21st Sep 2012
    I totally agree buby. My husband lives in his own world doing only what suits him and with very little conversation .They say it is worse living with someone who does not speak than it is living on your own. At 59 he refuses to work full time and our retirement money is fast disappearing. After 38 years I feell very much like Sarah. The hard thing is building up the courage to confront life on your own.
    27th Apr 2012
    Sarah....everyone's comments are based only on their personal experiences so you can't really pay too much attention to many of them. If 'Debbie' is a psychologist....she should be sacked.
    I also acknowledge that my comments will be based on my own personal experiences....but I will do my best to keep it factual - difficult when this is such a personal issue.....I fell in married...for many reasons...(even though he was a very gentle and kind man) I decided that we were not connecting in a way that made me feel whole. When I knew this....I decided that it would not be good to bring a child into the relationship (to make it better???? Go figure?). Once I'd made the decision - (which still hurt), my life only became better and better...I created some amazing opportunities in my life and met my Sweetie. I was 37 or 38 when I met him....we had a son when I was 39. We've now been together for 19 years...I would never have met him and had this amazing life if I didn't have the courage to make the decision when I did in a climate when it was NOT the right thing to do (Ireland). So. Be brave. 'Fight' for your marriage? Absolutely not. Marriage (or a life together) should be so easy (as I have discovered) and NOT hard work. You won't know that unless you make a change (in whichever form you decide). Hope this helps.
    27th Apr 2012
    It is always a mistake to expect another person to make you happy and fulfilled. People change, go away, get ill, or even die. You need to be a confident, capable, interesting person in your own right so that you can successfully handle life changes. Women who are like this are very attractive to other people and will be given many opportunities to meet and share different experiences. Your husband (and others) will respect and pay more attention to you if you do not come across as "needy" and demanding. There are always two sides to every story, and as others have said, communication is vital. Divorce is a huge move and must only be done after you have worked on yourself to prepare yourself for the future - whatever that may be. If you do decide that divorce is inevitable, you will find that there are a new set of challenges, some of which may be totally unexpected. Contact "Relationships Australia" for advice and counselling (alone and/or as a couple).
    29th Jan 2013
    Funny thing I know a lady like this..not happy unless tagging along expecting others to entertain her........usually me...I have since discussed this but I don;t think it was worth it.....absoluitely agree with Pardelope comment.....the future could be grim and nothing like your present......think well about all facets of this situation...also maybe he feels the same.....single women of all ages will never fit into society as well as a married....thats my experience....and oft at the butt of many a joke about men and promiscuity.....I`ve literally had that most of the 27 years alone......hang in there it cannot be that bad....
    27th Apr 2012
    You have been married for 35 years, things naturally get stale--just remember that you don't have to be joined at the hip--you are TWO separate people--communication is the key--talk to your Husband and don't do what many Women do and just walk out--and leave the MAN in a stunned state--as most Men have NO idea that there is a problem.

    If you think that the grass is greener on the other side of the paddock it is mostly because it is fed with BS.

    You can still have a good relationship and do things apart sometimes.

    After a long relationship--and at a mature age you both become set in your ways--and it can be very difficult to find another person that is not also set in their ways--

    IMO 35 years of marriage needs a lot of thought and the decent thing is communication. You also need to find out how he feels and come to some sort of agreement . It is not all about you this is a contract between TWO people.
    27th Apr 2012
    BTW I am Female
    27th Apr 2012
    Hi Sarah

    Most of the other comments have taken a female perspective, some dismissive of your husband as a man. Most/all men are NOT the same - men are as different from one another as are women.

    The points made about communication are good ones and I won't repeat them.

    It is often not understood that men and women are not only biologically different but also psychologically. Their perceptions of things and situations can be miles apart without one or both of them knowing it until a crunch comes - as it has for you.

    I dislike seeing expressions like 'fight for him'. Fighting will get you nowhere positive. Likewise 'nagging' him is likely to be counter-productive.

    Asking him to share his feelings fully and honestly with you is a getter way to go. And why not use your feminine skills to set the scene - invite him out to a nice, quiet restaurant or place which you know he likes, and share a meal before you before you engage in your earnest, heartfelt conversation about the future for the two of you? Dress up in clothing which you know he finds you attractive in. This is not being conniving, but showing him you still care enough about him and your relationship that you are making an effort to set the scene for a serious conversation. If you do this and he doesn't, it's a pretty powerful indicator of where the relationship stands.

    Men who have difficulties in their relationships are much less likely to talk about them than women. Relationships Australia could be a good source of help, as Debbie suggests.

    Another one is an organisation called 'Dads in Distress Support Services', which also provides advice and support to women like you who really want to keep their relationships with their husbands but are stuck on how to go about it. They can, of course, also talk with your husband, as sometimes a man-to-man talk can be more effective. Here is the website and phone number 1300 863 b437.

    If the relationship does end, there are two great little booklets produced by BeyondBlue, called 'Women and Separation' and 'Men and Separation'. You can get free copies by phoning BeyondBlue at 1300 224 636. The information is positive and realistic, and couched in gender-related language and perspectives.

    I hope this adds a few more options for you. Best wishes.

    Eagleman. (who is a Men's Health Educator)
    27th Apr 2012
    My husband was a lot like yours by the sound of things until I became completely sick and tired of his ways and so I planned a trip to Canada without his knowledge & left him to look after himself. What a difference that made I cannot put it all here but believe me I am glad that is all i=I did we have now been married 50 plus years with no more troubles.
    27th Apr 2012
    Hi Sarah
    You have got a lot of good advice here, go through it carefully, divorce as they say is painful and you don't know what is down the road, even 12 months hence. If you are working I'd consider doing courses to upgrade your skills, & if not working then this puts another obstacle in your way as you have to live.
    You can live within the marriage, do your own thing, go out and learn things like golf or other things which you wished you could do when the kids were younger.
    Update your looks and wardrobe as well and if your husband is willing then go to councelling as this may save the marriage and your sanity.
    You don't have to be a slave to your husband, if you can plan a trip away with friends, even if it is only a weekend. This may make him sit up, and say to himself - what's going on, where's she going, just tell him it's a trip away, but don't say where and with whom.
    Good luck with your choice, but plan it well in advance, I took 2yrs before I left, I was glad in a way but sad in another, but was lucky to find a man who loved me and we had a good 13 yrs before he died. And I have found that I like being on my own, but I have income from pension and his super, but look at what you will be living on if on your own, it's not much being on the basic pension.
    27th Apr 2012
    Gerberry I totally agree with what you have said.
    I left my marraige with regrets,it was very difficult. with a 14 yold in tow.
    But I had to make that decision for my soul and self respect.
    Times were difficult,financially,but I pulled through,I am very happy on my own and I have learnt a lot about my self.If there is no communication between 2 people there is NO hope,dont stay for the "sake of the granchildren",
    I read the feed back from grumpy and negative people on this forum and they sound very unhappy and dont seem to have a life.Be brave!!
    27th Apr 2012
    Hi fpbsix, if you are getting verbal abuse from your sons, then consider taking out a AVO, this is Elder Abuse and if it is not reported, then statistics are low on this type of abuse.
    Consider getting another phone number and make it a 'Private" number, you can ring them but they cannot ring you. If they start abusing you, you just hang up, they don't have your phone number to ring back. If they come to your house and abuse you then take out another AVO covering this situation.
    You don't have to put up with this.
    27th Apr 2012
    Yes going away for awhile --after communication might be a good idea--might make him sit up and take notice--
    27th Apr 2012
    Hi fpbsix, see reply I posted.
    27th Apr 2012
    Do not rely on Relationship Australia to help you out. You will be wasting your time. Only you know in your heart and gut whether it is worth fighting for. I also wasted 35 years and at the age of 78 and husband 90years, we are splitting. I should have done it 30 years ago.
    27th Apr 2012
    I left my wife some years back for supposedly greener pastures & am now a very lonely fellow. Big mistake.
    The mother or father of your children will always be your best companion....short of abuse or addictions.
    You both need to move heaven & earth to move into a new life for yourselves. If you are Christians, pray about, preferably together but whatever you do, don't give up. Your man may need help but it may have to be indirect, at least at first; we are diddicult buggers with this stuff; another man is the key. And you will need support for yourself, girlfriends?? Can you join with another couple to take a trip somewhere??
    Good luck
    27th Apr 2012
    Just an addit to what I said earlier, Sarah. You don't mention abuse of any kind in your your letter, but if it is happening whether physical, verbal, or financial, then those are what is termed "deal-breakers" i.e. reasons to leave without a backward glance. No person has the right to abuse another, especially their life partner. It is a betrayal of trust.
    30th Apr 2012
    Wholeheartedly agree with this, Life is not suddenly easy - extremely difficult financially - but the weight lifted from the degradation of any form of abuse is remarkable & well worth the hardship. Total neglect & isolation can be a tool used by some "non-violent" partners as a form of abuse as well. Only you know if the relationship can be salvaged but be honest with yourself.
    27th Apr 2012
    I would say that unless your husband is violent, agressive, belittles and has psychologically damaged you then you're better off staying..... There is no point in nagging someone to do things, honeyed words are much better to swallow that ones of vinegar...... What interests do you share? Could you join an interest group or two together? Bowls, gardening groups, bushwalking come to mind for me.
    I did leave after 35 years of marriage but only because of domestic vilence in the last couple of years and psychological abuse after I took out a DVO and refused to resind it. It was the psychological abuse that killed my deep love for my now ex. When I realised that I was no longer in love with him and he had killed that love, I cried nearly non-stop for a week...... Life is very difficult for me financially but I have never ever regretted my decision.
    27th Apr 2012
    Ever wonder what a mid life crisis is? Doesn't only happen to men or other people. Not everybody buys a flash red car or a motor bike. Most of us just get to a point where we start to question ourselves and the life we have. We look back and wonder if we've made the right choices. Could there be more? Should I have stayed in my marriage? Where is my future going? etc etc etc... Once the kids leave home we all have time to think and ask questions. Something we haven't done for years because we haven't had time. The easiest thing to blame is the thing you know best and that's your marriage. The next thing is isually your spouse. It makes sense because you have alot of experience with both. Is your life really that uncomplicated? Haven't you got any other issues that could be making you feel sad? I've had a couple of friends die young and I know that really shook me. I felt so sad and didn't think anyone could possibly understand my grief. I thought my husband was insensitive because he didn't grieve like me. Of course he was grieving but he deals with his emotions differently and I was so upset that I didn't want to see that. Maybe you're blaming your husband when it's got nothing to do with him. He probably thinks your marriage is great. Most men are completely shocked when their wives walk out. They really are wired differently so before you open that can of worms see if there could be something else making you feel the way you do. Maybe you've got other things going on, is it something at work? or perhaps illness in the family? something to do with the children? all sorts of things can cause stress, anxiety or depression. Perhaps a chat with your doctor could help. Once you realise why you feel the way you do, then you can decide on the best way to deal with things. Don't end your marriage unless you're absolutely sure it's the problem. You could find yourself living in a one bedroom flat in an area you don't particularly like, without a husband, without your creature comforts, without the friends you thought were yours, without the financial freedom you previously enjoyed AND still be lonely, unloved and questioning life !!
    27th Apr 2012
    I agree with Barny38 about mid-life crises. Relationships (including marriages) do not remain the same. They change as we get older and as other things change the priorities. It is not uncommon for couples who started out with a hot romance to gradually and imperceptibly move into another stage. Children and work must naturally change the romance and excitement - hopefully to a supportive and comfortable state. If you feel neglected or bored it is probably because your stage in life has altered and you are just waking up to this fact. If you now find that you appear to have little in common - and you have more time on your hands - you both must put effort and time into re-capturing the past romance and excitement - at a more mature and understanding level. You need to talk with your husband about the changes that have taken place - and work out a plan for your future (together or apart). Take your time - it is unlikely that (unless he is already feeling the same) that he will immediatly see the need for change.
    27th Apr 2012
    Many older couples agree to live under the same roof for financial and other support. They agree to have separate interests, friends, holidays etc whilst still being able to enjoy family or other activities together when they wish. If there is a large age or health gap, this is often a good option - rather than one or both being forced into solitary living or a nursing home. If there is new and uncharacteristic abuse involved, there could be medical or mental problems involved. There are many, many possibilities.
    Crazy Horse
    27th Apr 2012
    Plan B is right on the money. Men and women are different psychologically and just because you think there is a problem it does not followcthat he does. Before you do anything rash sit down and talk to him. Let him know howcyou are feeliing. If you can't say it face to face then put it in writing or get a mediator / counsellor. Also please, please, please remember that there are always two sides to every story. As has been said, many men find that their once loving wife virtually ignores his wants and needs once she becomes a mother. Are you sure that you have not relegated you husband to the role of economic production unit. Someone whose only function is to bring home the money that the rest of the family then spends?
    28th Apr 2012
    I you enjoy his company and he enjoys being with you, great. If you trust him and he trusts you, great. If you hug him and he hugs you back, great. If you don't like the smell, literally, of him anymore then go.
    29th Apr 2012
    After 38yrs of marriage & 2 children my husband wanted to separate - we had counselling at my request but he still said it wasn't working. I then found out he had a girlfriend for the previous year so - we are now permanently separated & I have my own place. With great family & friends support I have survived - I enjoy my new life. It is not easy but I believe we can do anything we put our mind to with help & loving support. Only you know what goes on behind closed doors & trust your instinct - you will know what is right for you. Companionship in later years is valuable but so is peace of mind, trust yourself to know what is best for you. Good Luck
    29th Apr 2012
    That is the hardest finding out your wife or Husband has been cheating. Glad you have got on with you life juju
    1st May 2012
    Thanks for that planb
    2nd May 2012
    I'm a bit late offering some advice, but whatever happens, DO educate yourself! I am a disabled widow (they tell me I am aged 60-something) and I am doing my BA degree in Humanities and Communication (with a double major in Philosophy and Theology) and love it!! I'm doing it through OpenLearning ... the world's your oyster, girl. Go for it! Time waits for no man (or woman) invent a new you and when hubby sees the difference, THEN decide if you want to stay or not.

    Go for it Girl!!!!
    15th Aug 2012
    Sarah,having been married for 52years and experienced over those years the problems you speak of ,although he didnt want to go out anywhere at all ,which was a problem for me ,I accepted it ,and after he retired we became best friends over time ,I used to think to myself ,how would I feel if he died tomorrow ,and always I knew it would break my heart ,so I stayed ,sadly I lost my Darling quiet man 2years ago to stomach cancer ,and the sadness and loneliness is unbearable ,so I think better the devil you know than the devil you dont ,and lets face it men do take us for granted ,but when they retire they tend to notice more all we do and with a bit of prompting are quite happy to help out so we ca n spend more time with them catching up on favourite recorded Tv programs ,please dont be too hasty to leave ,as long as he is basically a nice man ,good luck ,loneliness is worse than death ,that is my experience if its any help ,God guide you Kushka

    18th Sep 2012
    Have you seen the movie 'Hope Springs'.. good idea to do so, maybe with you husband!
    And I do agree with Kushka, and hope that she has a loving family to somewhat fill the gap following the passing of her husband.
    21st Sep 2012
    Hello Kushka. I am so sorry that you have lost your life partner. Give yourself time to grieve - and do not allow people to tell you that "you should be over that by now". A psychologist once told me that a rough time for grieving for most people is about one year for every five that you were together. When I lost my husband of 15 years, it took me three years to get past the "autopilot" raw wound stage, and another two to really start to "live" without forcing myself. Everyone is different, and as you say, sometimes "better the devil you know..."
    21st Sep 2012
    Sarah the most important thing I've learned in 40 years of marriage, is that there are always choices to be made. I've found I can't necessarily change someone else, but I can change the wayI think, the wayI feel, the way I look, the way I live, the things that I do. That's a lot of power in my own hands.
    I hope you will find yourself able to pick up some of the good ideas in these posts, and be the happiest, busiest, most loving and attractive woman you can be- for your own sake. You will know then how you really feel about your marriage and be better able to talk it through with him, if that's what's needed. As Kushka says, if he is basically a nice man, don't be too hasty to leave.
    22nd Sep 2012
    thank you Pip and pardelope for your kind good wishes ,yes I still feel very raw and so sad ,my son thinks I should have moved on after two and a half years which made me feel even worse ,he has his own problems .I am happy for you Pardelope that you have managed to find some peace after 5 years at least I know I'm not abnormal now ,which made me feel guilty a well ,I dread the daylight and the silence and the void losing my life partner has left ,it seems life has no meaning for me any more ,he was my life Kushka xx
    29th Dec 2012
    The saddest words in all this world are those regarding or even thinking of a marriage split......for whatever reasons there are two in the story and mid life crisis...

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