I've been in my marriage for over 16 years and have known him for well over 20. It's getting really tough because for many years we had used a dog as a crutch to be together. Things started to spiral over a year ago. His emotions, my emotions, weight loss (intentional), plus much more.
My job is okay. He does not work a traditional job (helps at home mostly). Finances are not great because of that and because we own a condo that we've had to do an assessment.
I just feel trapped. I'm now working with a therapist and I know that I have to work on me. But, I still feel guilty about him. Why? Because he's also cut off from a lot of friends and family. I don't know what he would do.
I want to ask, what do couples do when one does not have much? We have no kids.
We've lost our drive to do much together, yet I feel like I need to depend on him.
My biggest concerns are finances and what would happen to him.
Talk to your counselor about what might happen if you leave, and whether overall you would feel better with him or without him, I guess. You have said he is cut off from others, but do not say he is disabled or mentally incapable of handling day-to-day life. It is not written in stone that one partner has to hang around out of pity for the other's limited life. It's nice that you care, but it's futile to ruin your life over someone who won't change (as opposed to can't change). You two should have some counseling together, as well as you going alone. At least you might get to some adult conversations about the situation.
We do survive in the worst of circumstances and your husband will as well. You don't say why he is cut off from friends and family, but in a situation like divorce, his family and friends would support him emotionally. You have to do what is best for you and also ask the question "why" you feel you need to depend on him? Some women don't feel complete without a man in their life and this is not healthy. It may be that you do still love him very much but everything is wearing you down and you're blaming him. I feel you need to sit down together and find out if you're both even on the same page with your marriage. He may have checked out of it a long time ago. You've "cared" for him for so long and now feel responsible for his well being which is not your problem. Decide if you truly want to be away from him and if so.....make that happen. If not, address each reason why and start communicating to each other about all of this. I wish you all the best and hope things go the way you want them to.
Ya know, this happened to my brother in law who was like your husband and his wife. She decided to leave him. They live on the other side of the Earth from us, literally as he spent his entire adult life living on another continent. It is a year and a half later-------- he still doesn't work and may soon lose his housing. This stinks----- be he did have some choice in how he lived his life. He's possibly going to slip off into the abyss, I don't know. But it was important to remember that he was already there and you were just propping him up.
But . . . I will say this and mean it. I do believe marriage is something that is more than this. I stay at home now and most likely will never go back to a full time career and my husband supports me financially. If one is the primary bread winner------ this is not uncommon in relationships. That you've lost the connection to him is the issue I see. Could you regain that? What about counseling for the TWO of you to see if you can get closer again??
Specialmom brings up a good point. Today there are many women who are the bread winners of the family while the husband takes care of the house and/or kids. This works wonderfully for many couples. If he is bringing in some money and doing all the chores around the house, he is contributing quite a bit. If you still love him it's worth discussing and getting help with it all.
To all who've posted so far: Thank you. I have not jumped to any decisions yet. I'm still working on what to discuss with my therapist. You are all correct that this is not something easy nor something to be done in haste. I just heard a great story on the radio as I was driving revolving around respect. That is something not done much anymore and I think that is part of what needs to be renewed.
Specialmom, thanks for reminding me that he does help out. Not only does he do most of day to day chores, but he does a lot of research that I don't have to worry about.
I still feel like I need to straighten out my head. I have talked to a lot of people and the common thread is to take care of myself.
I can do that! I'm still doing my daily things: work, workout, cook. I'm not buried in the bed crying! I know that I need to stay on this course for me and maybe good things will turn out.
Thanks for reading my rambles. Not great at this, but somehow it feels liberating just typing it out and someone will see it.
I'll keep checking back. The roller-coaster ride is not over.
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