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614508 tn?1265285322
Why no emotional reaction when I asked for divorce?

I have been married for 27 years and dated my husband for 5 years before that. If you met him in the bar he frequents , you would find him charming, witty and would say he is a gentleman. He is intelligent, a "man's man" but can talk up a lady as well. He is a kind man but knowingly can be hurtful. He is a selfish man. But his passion is sports. Playing them, drinking after playing them, watching them, drinking after watching, them, talking and drinking while talking about them and never at home. He would 2 or 3 times a year, not come at all overnight having passed out at a friends place. There were many times that I would take him to get his car in the morning. There were many times that he shouldn't have been driving as he would have gotten an impaired driving charge. I do not think that he ever had an affair. He would think that would be dishonorable.
I, too when younger danced ballet & played sports. We were both jocks. We were both independent but enjoyed many of the same activities. We both loved music. I too, loved to go out and party and drink after a round of golf or a ball game. I, too had gotten falling down drunk.
After we married, we had 3 children. They are now 19, and twins 16.I had severe post partum depression after the birth of our twins. I was subsequently diagnosed as bipolar. We were blessed to have a nanny for a number of years. Our 16 year old boy, was diagnosed with Autism when he was 7. I don't really know if this in fact played an impact in it the downturn of our marriage or not. I don't know if many father's of children on the spectrum detach as they don't know what to do when the diagnosis is made. My husband left all of the "new language" and speech language pathology, play groups & IPP's to me. He got involved in driving or only if the situation was very serious at school. (We had a bullying situation)
I'm the artistic extrovert. I play & sing in a band. Teach dance. All of the kids are involved in music, dance theatre.
None of the kids are into any sports at all.
My diagnosis of bipolar have been an issue and I'm sure have contributed to the difficulties in communication as when I get depressed, I will get very quiet or sleep excessively. I am under the care of a psychiatrist and am med compliant. My husband's behaviour however is a stress and anxiety trigger for me. I've grown to be much more self reflective and grounded in dealing with my bipolar disorder.

My husband withdrew from not only me but also our family, I would say. He continued in his sports as if "we" had never happened. He continued to play sports 3-4 nights a week and a least one day on the weekend. Hockey, rugby, golf, skiing, curling etc. Days that he wasn't involved in sports, he stayed at the office until 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. to get caught up. Once home, he would be asleep on the couch downstairs within an hour.
We have not taken a vacation together in 9 years, a family vacation in 6 but he will take 5 day weekend golf or fishing junkets a few times a year for his holiday time.
Sexually, he has always wanted me, has always been satisfied. I however, have had difficulty getting aroused. My Dr. advises it may be a side effect of the medications but I find it difficult to be aroused with no emotional attachment.
We went to counselling 3 years ago as he won't open up, share intimacy, leaves me guessing at what's going on, what's wrong or is passive aggressive and leaves me with the majority of responsibility. He has difficulty with my mood swings and how I'm going to react. We work on skills to improve it Yes, he did contribute to household chores but as he was not there all of the parenting was done by me. For a short while, there were changes, then we slipped back into the same pattern. And yes, I let it happen.
This summer, my husband came home after golfing, very drunk. My autistic son, was very confused & scared at his dad's behavior and asked him..."Were bitten by a snake, or a bug or did you get hit on your head today, Dad?
And his dad answered "No, I have sunstroke", He stayed out another full night &  missed coming home to stay with our son when I was booked to play a charity gig.
I did not want my children to learn that this was the way a marriage or a family was supposed to function. I did not want to spend the last part of my life being a "sports widow" to an absent alcoholic.
When I told him I wanted a divorce & told him why, he didn't say anything about our marriage except to say "This is what you want". He has not said anything else on an emotional level at all.
Is this normal?
Has anyone else experienced this? Since then, all three kids have decided to live with me. (Which may have an impact)
Thanks
fender


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2 Answers
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973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there.  First, I must compliment you on your well written, highly articulate story.  It paints a picture very well.  I think you married someone that abused alcohol.  He was abusing it when you married and continues to do so.  You call him an alcoholic.  May be.  That very well may be.  I have on another forum a list of 'deal breakers'.  Everyone has one of their deal breakers as addiction.  

What is normal and not normal is not something anyone can really say in this matter.  You're dealing with a man that has an alcohol problem, has been distant emotionally and using his leisure activities to keep a distance between his family and himself.   I don't know if this is abnormal for this situation.

Hopefully you weren't doing this for a reaction.  

Anyway, if you are moving on, it is important to go through the mourning steps of the end of your marriage.  Also, it would be helpful to do some solo therapy.  You did marry a man that had drinking issues and a detached attitude that allowed sports to dominate his life.  You married him expecting that to change but that was a risk if you had not negotiated that prior to the marriage.  NOT blaming you but understand that sometimes we overlook red flags and you need to acknowledge and address that so that in the future, you will never do that again.

I'm sure this is painful. Mother to mother, I get it.  It's hard on kids and that hurts a mother's heart.  I have a son with sensory integration disorder and I also understand the innocence of these kid's hearts and you hate to have that destroyed.  Try not to talk to them about things other than basics of logistics.

We're here for you any time you need to talk or vent.  peace and hugs
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614508 tn?1265285322
Bless your kind soul.  I am so taken back and grateful for your response.
You are quite right. During our partying days, I too, would binge drink for a night or get really messed up. I never got into drugs. Tried pot 2x in high school. He imbibed on pot, chemicals etc. before he met me. Occasionally pot afterwards.
My father died of emphysema & was an alcoholic to the day he died. I was estranged from him from the time I was in my late teens. I had tired of the  circuitous: hope, fear, disappointment, anger continuum. But I felt I tried, that I had done everything to mend, heal, & help our relationship.
The parallels between the two relationships have been well established in my mind.
And just like when I was a child, I have tried for reactions. I've pouted, screamed, silenced, left for a few days, insisted on counselling, I can honestly say, in good conscience that I have done everything that I could have done to keep this marriage intact.
And I truly feel again, I am at the end of the continuum.
I guess I did expect change (from both of us) as most 18-30 yr old's go thru changes in life and maturity. Especially once you are blessed with children. Yes, I did expect change, fully expected change, because being a mom or dad does change you to the core of your being. You are no longer the center of your own life for a short period of time and that you wouldn't want it any other way. That's why I expected changed and yes, damn mad, and more rejected when he remained distant still.  
And you are right, alcoholism is my deal breaker.
Mom to Mom, thank you. The sad part is when we told the kids we were separating/divorcing. My youngest son (with autism) said "Well, maybe I should go live with Dad, because I really don't him well, and perhaps my teen years would be a good time to do that". That is heartbreaking to me.
I feel horribly guilty about coming not getting to this point before and I do know that there is a equality of both of us in that.
I just want to get to a new normal.
Luckily, so far we have been able to keep adult matters at the adult level so all of the kids have been shielded by that. My 19 yr old however, who is a little more aware of relationships, has empathized with me on an emotional level, say to me that it's okay to be sad and saying I'm making the right decision.
I mentioned I have been diagnosed as bipolar. I see my psychiatrist every 2 weeks and am med compliant. Reasonably stable although stress is a trigger (isn't it for all?)
Now, about those steps of grief?
Thanks~



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