Gransnet forums


unhappy marriage

(75 Posts)
graninthemist Sat 24-Dec-11 18:49:07

Can anyone who is in the totally wrong relationship, after many years, please help! Chatting to someone in the same situation would be so good.

crimson Sat 24-Dec-11 19:00:15

Quite a few of us on here have been in that situation, graninthemist. I'm sure that there will be a lot of help, advice and support for you. Take care.

em Sat 24-Dec-11 19:18:31

Graninthemist - have a browse through the Relationships topic and that should give you food for thought. You'll find lots of us have been in the same. or similar situation. You may also find it reassuring to see that most of us have come through it very well!

glammanana Sat 24-Dec-11 20:12:00

Graninthemist you will find many on this site who have had experience in what you are going through either themselve's or close family member's and you are sure to get some much needed support.Christmas wishes to you.

Greatnan Sat 24-Dec-11 21:14:36

I stayed with the wrong man for 20 years because I did not have the moral courage to tell him I wanted to separate. I thought he would fall apart, which he did for a while, but he soon remarried so I stopped feeling guilty.
I have lived alone for about 30 years, and I am very happy.
I did have a good career so I was able to support my daughters, then teenagers, without any maintenance from him, but even if it means a big reduction in income and lifestyle, I think it is better to be alone than tied to someone who does not make you happy.

tanith Sat 24-Dec-11 21:54:37

I am not in your situation anymore but have certainly been where you are Graninthemist, also for 20yrs I think only my 3 children got me through it and the breakup . You will find lots of support and friendship hereabouts my wishes for a peaceful Christmas

Carol Sat 24-Dec-11 22:55:52

Only you will know whether you are going to make that leap and end the marriage graninthemist. I left with 4 children after 15 years, 23 years ago and it was tough, but staying would have been tougher. I am hapilly single now and only tonight I saw my ex when he visited my son's house, and I was reminded just why I was right to go.

shysal Sun 25-Dec-11 10:44:06

I spent most of my 30-odd year marriage knowing it was not working. When the daughters were settled and, with retirement looming, I found the courage to visit a solicitor to find out where I would stand financially if we divorced. I was encouraged to find that there would be a 50/50 split and also, as I had much less in my pension pot, having stayed at home when the children were young, pension splitting would be calculated. We discovered that if we sold our house we could just afford a tiny one each.
Making the break is something I should have done many years earlier, I have been living alone contentedly for 12 years now.
However, be warned - any amicable arrangements you make may not be honoured if your ex forms a new relationship! Please get everything on a legal footing. I thought he was a man of honour but no!
If you find the courage to make the split graninthemist I wish you well.thanks

Carol Sun 25-Dec-11 11:12:37

Wise words shysal. Surprising how people turn awkward when you think they are going to behave as honourably as you. Have a wonderful Christmas! smile

bikergran Sun 25-Dec-11 11:56:26

graninthemist what ever route you decide to choose, I hope there will be a light at the end the long tunnel, as with others at least you can pop on here to unload your feelings...I myself should have moved on many yrs ago but just couldn't (always finding excuses) then Hubby became ill and I just couldn't leave, then it got that I thought why rock the boat at this late stage, as his illness will and has got worse (not terminal as such) heart/c.o.p.d etc etc .and he is not a bad man! but each family relationship is different and yet the same as we can all be unhappy in a marriage/relationship.Take care and like O/P do seek financial and legal advice. good luck smilethanks

nanachrissy Sun 25-Dec-11 12:44:29

Graninthemist I left after 25 years and it was the hardest and best thing I've ever done.
I would say, make sure you are safe and as secure financially as you can, and don't trust anything unless it's in writing.
You only get one life, make the most of it, and Gransnetters will help you in many,many ways.

gettingonabit Mon 26-Dec-11 18:08:30

I'm in an unhappy relationship too, but lack the guts to do much about it. I have quite a lot at stake financially and I am not married, which is how I justify staying!

I've had counselling to deal with my anger, and things have improved. However, I am still looking for ways out.
graninthemist - you don't elaborate much on your story, but please take proper advice and make sure everything agreement you make is in writing. Then please go for whatever makes you happy!

Good luck to you.

crimson Mon 26-Dec-11 18:47:10

However unhappy a relationship it not much fun heading towards old age with no money. Much as I had the energy to survive a divorce and it's repercussionss when I was 50. I'm not sure that I could have done so at 60 [which is where I am now]. Think long and hard about any decisions. Having said that, we only live once and it's not right to spend that time being unhappy.

sunflowersuffolk Thu 29-Dec-11 09:15:42

I'm also not sure whether to leave, after 26 years. We "get along" ie live in same house ok but no intimacy, and seem to want different things now, tho he is very confused about what he wants in life generally, I think he's depressed and he livers a very narrow unsociable life, which I don't like. I'm 61, he is 8 years younger. We are both scared to move on I think.

I feel like Crimson, I am ashamed to admit it, but lack of money and companionship have a big bearing on if I leave. I still work part time but low pay, and high travel costs, and no pension apart from state, so I'm worried how I would manage financially alone, no doubt I would be very poor. I can only think I could maybe buy a house and let out a room for some more income, which doesn't appeal too much.

Also we get along, few arguments etc, so being totally alone would be hard. I am not very good at making friends. I have a few who would see be more I know. I have also got quite overweight and unattractive, which doesnt help my morale. I have no family close by.

Has anyone else "jumped ship" in this situation and do you have regrets? Sorry for the depressing post.

Annobel Thu 29-Dec-11 09:49:43

sunflower, this is a depressing time of year (and I should know), more so if you are already depressed as I can see you are. I would say you need to make yourself a balance sheet, as it were, of the pros and cons of going or staying. Actually what you seem to be, more than anything, is lonely. You say you are not good at making friends, but what have you tried? There are plenty of opportunities out there to get to know like-minded people. I personally find the U3A very stimulating and friendly.
Many couples I have come across live under the same roof while effectively living separate lives. You don't like your OH's 'narrow, unsociable life', but you don;t indicate whether or not he expects you to share it. You 'think' you are both scared to move on. Have you had - or are you in a position to have - a good talk about it together? You may be able to work out a solution that allows you to share some aspects of your lives but not others.
Moreover, your self-esteem doesn't sound too good at the moment. Please remember, 'overweight' doesn't equal 'unattractive'. Think Jo Brand or Dawn French! Not that I expect you to burst forth in a sitcom or stand-up show!

Carol Thu 29-Dec-11 10:28:55

Sunflower when working out the pros and cons of this relationship, you could also do a balance sheet on your finances. Your job has high travel costs and my guess is you use convenience foods and may be spending more on food than you need to. Your expenditure could be cut by moving nearer to your job if you leave, and grow lots of fruit and veg to cut down on shopping costs and eat healthier. Also, if you work part-time, what's to stop you having another part-time job that you can use to provide a small pension pot? You do sound depressed and in a rut, but other women have lifted themselves out of worse situations and not regretted it.

To stay may be hard on you, and only you know whether you can endure that for the rest of your life. Would it be less hard to leave? Money isn't everything, and many people pare down their expenditure to a minimum by using charity shops for clothes, making their own clothes, growing their own food, selling unwanted belongings, walking and using a travel pass, making use of free public services like the library and swimming baths, and shopping wisely at markets and by looking for last minute reductions in the shops. You would be eligible for housing benefit, reduced council tax and perhaps tax credits, so your disposable income could be more than you expect.

shysal Thu 29-Dec-11 10:48:19

I found joining a walking group has helped me to meet new people, and there is no pressure to force conversation if you are shy like me. I too have gained weight, following a thyroid condition, and am trying to improve my self esteem. We have to see our own good points.
I have never regretted my decision to end my marriage ( see earlier post). Living separate lives in the same house I was far more lonely.
I wish you well sunflower whatever you decide. thanks

sunflowersuffolk Thu 29-Dec-11 12:55:16

Thankyou all for your kind replies x I've been off work for 3 months with a badly broken wrist, and couldn't get out much as I live in the sticks and couldn't drive, so I think that hasn't helped. I'm going back in a week or so, which I hope will help me get out of this depressed feeling a bit

You're all correct about my self esteem being at rock bottom, and I eat junk food, and don't look after myself.

All my friends seem to do stuff with their husbands like just going for a stroll at seaside, etc, but he doesn't want to. I keep him company when he wants to do something with HIS interests, ie landrover show! His only close friend emigrated several years ago, we were friends as a family, and we both miss them. He is a selfish person, but good in many ways. We have talked about going our own way in the past, but never seem to do anything. we just drift on. He has said he thinks we drifted into the relationship and wonders if we ever reallyloved each other. It was our Silver Wedding in October and we didn't celebrate, just got one card from my sister. Very sad.

I know I need people in my life, which he doesn't seem to. My oldest son is married and living in Australia, the youngest is in the Forces so I don't see him much.

I do go out and see my friends sometimes, he is invited but doesnt go, so I'm like a single person at many times.

I did try starting a walking group a couple of years ago, but the people drifted off only three to start with. I could try ramblers but don't think I'm fit enough at moment.

I have already looked at U3a but the things I liked wer on the days I work. May try looking again thanks for the suggestion.

I don't want to move nearer by job, as its more in a big town and expensive, and I have more friends round here, and I like the country side and coast. If. we split, i would move to a local small town, near people I know and with public transport. Its so remote here - he loves it, we moved at his wish about 15 years ago, as I thought it would make him happier.

My younger sister and husband come and stay about twice a year for a day or so, but my husband can be a bit difficult, ie doesn't like to stay up too late and they do, etc, and doesn't exactly welcome them with open arms, so I'm always bit worried he'll be rude to them. he says it's just his way, but he does come across a bit rude and grumpy!! I make him sound so wonderful don't I!

Sorry for going on, it's good to get some others opinions, and I will try the pros and cons list.

May be my NY resolution will be to join something, ie line dancing near by, which will help me lose a bit of weight. Thanks again

glammanana Thu 29-Dec-11 13:21:08

sunflower so sorry to hear you are going through this and you sound so sad in yourself,when you go back to work get yourself a nice new set of outfits,maybe floaty/baggy tops and leggings/boots in all the same colour and some massive big chunky jewellery in bright colours this will brighten up your life,as said before overweight does not mean unattractive and you will receive lovely compliments and you self esteem will rise no end,maybe even give your partner something to think about as it seems like you are both in a bit of a rut at the moment,and the fact that you are off work does not help you with the social side of your life.So hit the sales and revamp the wardrobe and the jewellery box.thanks

sunflowersuffolk Thu 29-Dec-11 14:39:59

thanks glammanana for the idea - however I am very overweight, 15 + and 5.6" and a pear shape, with big legs/thighs/knees/bum/hips so I never wear leggings, tho would love to, they would look awful on me. I usually wear straight leg trousers to work with a three quarter sleeve top and cardi (air con unpredictible)

Every time I get my hair cut in recent years I hate it, its wavy/kinky/frizzy, so I've had it short, but feel it would be more flattering and feminine a little longer, so I'm trying to grow it, and will then try and find a really good hairdresser.

I don't feel comfortable to wear bright chunky jewellery, it would draw attention to me, maybe I need to force myself out of my comfort zone.

I've never been one for being depressed in the past, I always get on with things, and put depressing things out of my mind, but lately I've thought I may be, I keep crying. I lost my lovely Dad last year, and since then Christmas hasn't been the same.

I know exercise is good if you feel down. I haven't been able to do much because of my wrist, but will try and start walking at least, to see if that helps.

Mishap Thu 29-Dec-11 14:56:47

There really are no perfect relationships and unless you are with someone who is actively cruel or evil (when you should research the finances etc in detail and find a way to get out) there is a lot to be said for staying put at our ages.

Relationships change immensely over the years - it is very important not to make comparisons with other people's relationships - it gets you nowhere.
I would love it if my OH and I could go out and about and do jolly things together, but he is not an outgoing gregarious person and I have learned to get out and about by myself and not to resent that. I do the things that I enjoy and he stays put, which is what he enjoys. Sometimes I feel sad that this is so, as I would love to share these things, but we cannot have everything in life.

He is honest and caring in his own way, and dearly loves our children and they love him. By this stage of life, there is so much shared history and not all of it is going to be bad and is to be treasured.

Settling for less than perfection is what relationships are all about, and financial security and a degree of companionship are precious things at our stage of life.

Sunflower - maybe a trip to the doc to talk all this over and see if there is some help to be had? You do sound very low. Also, I would recommend finding a natural health centre and booking in for a massage. I know you will feel embarrassed about being larger than you would choose to be, but believe me they will have seen it all before and they will help to make you feel good about yourself.

nanachrissy Thu 29-Dec-11 15:05:18

Sunflower, I feel for you. We all get down sometimes and I've felt like that many times in the past year. What about joining a slimming club to meet other women and to help you lose some weight? I also found that brisk walking for an hour really lifted my spirits too, and it is so beneficial to your all round health.
Also, how about joining a choir, belting out a good song always cheers me up too.
At the very least you can come on here and have a good old moan, and we'll do our best to make you laugh grin ((hugs)) xx

JessM Thu 29-Dec-11 15:13:40

And sunflower if you have been lurking for a while, welcome to the light of day.
It is corrosive to the spirits living with someone who is depressed, even if the depression is only mild. My Dh is a love, but he has been a bit down for a long time - it is only recently that his work life has become more interesting with less worry involved and he has, despite having to work longer hours, cheered up. And guess what, I am feeling more perky myself. It is a subtle effect, but depression is an infectious condition.

Annobel Thu 29-Dec-11 15:53:14

sunflower, when did you last have a holiday? Lots of couples have separate holidays and it doesn't sound as if your OH would care too much if you took off for a couple of weeks - he needn't starve, I assume! I can recommend Ramblers' Holidays. You don't need to be fighting fit to cope with their lowest grade tours which combine sightseeing with easy walks. You don't need to know anyone in the group beforehand because everyone is very friendly, or so I've found.

shysal Thu 29-Dec-11 18:01:45

I have been on HF holidays alone, whilst married and since divorce, which are great. Each day there is a choice of 3 walks, the easiest being suitable for anyone of average fitness. I have found that at least half of the people are single travellers. They also do some breaks for singles only, or there are hobby-based stays like painting. You would find the majority are women of 'a certain age' with similar circumstances to ourselves.Why not try one of the 3- day stays in the UK to start with?You may find one of their Country Houses is fairly near to you. A bit pricey but you need spend nothing while you are there - the food is amazing, especially the packed lunches!
This sounds a bit like an advert, but I assure you that I am nothing but a satisfied customer.