Susie in Baltimore writes:
I am currently in a marriage that I no longer want. We’ve grown apart, and we no longer feel what we used to feel. I would like to move on, and I have taken steps to do that. My husband really has not – and he is convinced that he is in love and wants to remain with me.
It’s very difficult, in that he does whatever he chooses without regard for my feelings, even when it comes to my children, whom I’ve spent the last 24 years raising and devoting my life to. He makes decisions about them without talking anything over with me. He recently made a decision to ask my son to leave our home. It has torn our family apart, and it was very hurtful for me.
I do love him as a person, but I do not see myself spending the rest of my life with him. It’s very difficult for me to make the changes, but I feel that if I could just “get out of my own way” good things would happen. The one good thing I see about this is that I get to fall in love again. I also have goals that I’ve set in terms of my career and other things that I want in life. Your thoughts, please?
The ending of your marriage isn’t exactly a newsflash. You know you’ve stayed too long. Even though you do have love for your husband as a person, he no longer is a person you love as a life partner. It’s sad, but it happens.
There are many things causing disruption in your home and within your family, but your husband’s decision to ask your son to leave is just a catalyst – another incident that forces you to look at your life and think things through. While this event certainly hasn’t created any waves of family bonding, the undercurrents of distress have been present for quite a while.
You are in the midst of a transition – and in a transitional period – that is going to be both exciting and emotional. Even though you are being honest with yourself, and trying to be honest with your family, things aren’t always going to unfold smoothly – but it will all work out in the end. Keep your sights on creating the future, not reliving or justifying the past.
Your husband is a bit oblivious to the truth and seriousness of your marital situation, because he doesn’t think he is really doing anything wrong. Your marriage has existed in a state of tolerance for such a long time that things don’t seem to be all that different to him. The man does love you, but he forgot to grow with you. Truthfully, he doesn’t really know who you are any more – he just sees you as who he believes you to be. Your words have a tendency to fall on deaf ears.
You understand that your situation is far from simple, and that you need to gather your energy and focus on your educational and career pursuits, as well as building your nest egg. You’ll know when the time is right to tackle the bigger aspects of separation and divorce. Until then, do the best you can to peaceably coexist. Your husband isn’t going to change – and even if he did, you’d still want out.
You are right. When you decide to get out of your own way, things will start happening. Not only can you look forward to falling in love again, but you can also look forward to everyday living.