Gransnet forums


I want to leave after 40 years

(155 Posts)
NonnaS Fri 14-Feb-20 13:46:13

I feel it is the end of the road for our marriage and has been for some time.

We cannot talk without arguing. I have been the on the end of his verbal and emotional abuse (only recently discovered this is what I have been subject too) for decades.

I still work and he is retired but does not help much around the house. Will only do what he decides he will do.

Our children have lovely partners and are happy so I do not have to worry about them.

I have no respect for him. He has ignored me, berated me, verbally abused me to the most hideous level and one occasion was violent which incurred a visit to A&E. He has never been that violent since but I am a little frightened.

I dread going home after work and weekends are horrible.

Several times I have tried to leave and a couple of times almost have but then I start to feel guilty for leaving him alone.

I view properties for my escape but have never gone through with it and I so desperately want to. It's all I dream of.

He threatens all sorts if I leave, even to upsetting future family occasions which have been planned which would hurt the children.

I am trying to give you the story without being to elaborate so forgive me.

I have discussed with my immediate family members who think I should have left years ago.

I have a very small inheritance which will help me set myself up on my own.

There is nothing to stop me really except my feeling of guilt. But I do not want to spend the next 20 years being so miserable and the thought of retiring from work and being with him all day fills me with horror. I would rather work until I drop.

We have talked about this but every time ends in a row with him shouting.

I am looking for advice especially if you have been through a similar situation.

travelsafar Fri 14-Feb-20 13:52:01

Get out now if you have the means to set yourself up in your own place. Also while still working you can learn to adjust to being alone evenings and weekends knowing you will be busy all week. Your family sound as though they would support you as well which is a big help. He is not going to change now after all those years is he?? Hope you come to the right decision for you and for him. He must be unhappy too.

Yennifer Fri 14-Feb-20 13:54:05

Nonna it sounds like you have been through a lot and you have achieved happy children despite it. Its time to leave and recognise that your happiness is important too. It sounds like his happiness is tied up with treating you badly to feel better and that's not your problem! If he makes himself look bad after you leave that's not your responsibility! Go for it, Im so happy you have what you need to make this dream a reality x

NannyJan53 Fri 14-Feb-20 13:59:11

Yes leave as soon as possible. As travelsafar says, he is not going to change now, in fact once you retire he will probably be worse.

It seems that your immediate family are right behind you, so what do you have to lose?

Do not feel guilty, this is what he is banking on.

Hithere Fri 14-Feb-20 14:00:44

Physical violence is a deal breaker.


Greymar Fri 14-Feb-20 14:02:02

People here will have their own back stories and feelings, maybe a neutral person would be a good start?

tickingbird Fri 14-Feb-20 14:03:58

Nonna please take the plunge and leave. Your husband will never change now and why is his happiness more important than yours? Don’t feel guilty and don’t allow yourself to be abused by this man any longer. I did it several years ago and only wish I’d done it sooner. You deserve to be happy and I wish you well.

NfkDumpling Fri 14-Feb-20 14:08:15

Imagine what your lives will be like when you’re both really old and infirm, stuck in the house together on a cold winters night.


ganmaj Fri 14-Feb-20 14:15:45

Oh go! I’ve just extricated myself from a 20 year relationship for nearly all the same reasons- except he wasn’t violent.
WHY feel guilty about leaving a man who has shown you no care, consideration respect or affection? I have just learned to put myself back in the centre of my life, not the thankless selfish man who is probably terrified of getting older. I ask myself why did I put up with it for so long? (I never lived with him only visited- and have always kept my own home.)
A too developed ( misplaced) sense of responsibility ? I felt I owed him for being there for me after my brain injury ? Never made me a meal- a cup of tea was the maximum.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll heal in your own space with the freedom to do what pleases you. You’ll find out who you are again without being continually demoralised. Your self confidence will come back, you can make a life of your choosing.
I have not regretted my decision for a second- sure- I get occasional flashes of all the wasted effort love care I put into it- but regrets are a waste of time. You have a new life grab it now release yourself from this awful prison - he’ll make trouble with the family? Let him. If they’re halfway decent they know what you’ve been putting up with and will support you. Those who don’t? Tough. Cut them out of your life.
I wish you so well. Take heart, go for it- I did it secretly so there was no final ‘showdown or shouting match. Not cowardly - just protecting yourself. Go while you still have some life left to live.
Leave the frightened bully to stew in his own juice. You owe him nothing.
But you do owe yourself the right to live in peace .
All good wishes

ganmaj Fri 14-Feb-20 14:19:28

PS must just add /somewhere in situations like this there may be a grain of us not thinking ourselves worth any better treatment? Is there a side of you that feels you served to be treated badly ?

endlessstrife Fri 14-Feb-20 14:53:16

Just go! It’s sounds like you have nothing to lose. Don’t waste any more time. Hopefully, you’ll find love with someone else. I wish you all the very best❤️

Barmeyoldbat Fri 14-Feb-20 14:59:58

OK. Do not discuss it with him any more, just take all the steps ready for leaving. Financial, bank accounts, and somewhere to live. See a solicitor or go to CAB. Once everything is in place just go. You could even move some of your clothes out bit by ib but do it quickly

Lastly do not feel guilty, he is the one responsible for you leaving. Just block him from your mind an think of yourself and your safety. Good luck

M0nica Fri 14-Feb-20 15:11:14

I am constantly amazed by some women's capacity for guilt.

He has abused you for years and you feel guilty about leaving because he will be all alone???????

Ignore all his threats, it is all part of the way he has abused you. If he does kick off at a family party that will be entirely his fault and nothing to do with you. All it will do is make clear to people why you left him and what you must have endured first.

Sort out some housing, see a solicitor, make sure you have copied every last financial document and got them in the car. Wait until he is out of the house, pack a bag and go, leaving a note on the kitchen table without a forwarding address or any contact details

Your children are on your side. What is stopping you?

wicklowwinnie Fri 14-Feb-20 15:22:06

Please, please just go. No more discussion with him. Quietly make all your plans and set up a new life for yourself. We are only here once and you have done your share with this man. Retirement with him would be an absolute nightmare. There is so much going on now for older people and you will not be lonely. Instead there will be a freedom that you cannot begin to imagine at the moment. Let us know what happens please? We are all right behind you on this site. Good luck.

Poppyred Fri 14-Feb-20 15:26:21

Don’t waste another minute! GO!

SparklyGrandma Fri 14-Feb-20 15:27:25

Set up your escape before you do it, and when you leave, be careful not to tell him alone. Be safe.

Tangerine Fri 14-Feb-20 16:05:42

I agree with other posters who say you should leave but realise these things are never easy.

You say he "threatens all sorts" - quite often (not always, I admit), people who threaten to do something dramatic do not do it in the end.

I know someone who threatened suicide on and off for years but, in the end, she never did it. I know someone else who said nothing about suicide but she took a fatal overdose.

I wish you the best of luck.

rosecarmel Fri 14-Feb-20 16:24:53

NonnaS, I understand- And it's very possible that beneath the feelings of guilt are feelings of fear- Fear of the unknown, fear of living alone- Which would only stand to reason after being in any lengthy relationship such as your own-

Leaving is the most compassionate move for you both- After you leave, the guilt will subside- You will no longer be subjected to his abuse and as a result he will not be able to carry on with his abusive behavior without you- It won't stop him from being abusive completely, but it will restrict or lessen his opportunities to do so when at home-

Your conflicted feelings, and your husband, will become a thing of the past soon after you leave- Good luck to you!

Missfoodlove Fri 14-Feb-20 16:36:45

You have had your confidence knocked out of you through years of abuse so I totally understand your feelings of fear and guilt.
The thinking about it will be worse than the actual act.
Please find the strength to leave and rediscover the strong woman you once were.

SueDonim Fri 14-Feb-20 16:42:38

Leave as soon as you can and start living the rest of your life! You can contact Women’s Aid who will help you through the process. I know a couple of women who’ve used them and they’ve been a fantastic support.

Chestnut Fri 14-Feb-20 16:45:28

You have nothing to feel guilty about.
I don't think there is a single Gran who would advise you to stay with him, so just leave while you can. It will get much harder when you get older. He may panic when he knows you're serious so try and get it over with as quickly as possible and without his knowledge for as long as possible. Plan your escape before saying anything to him because it will be a nightmare once he knows. Then be strong, be calm, avoid fights.

Esspee Fri 14-Feb-20 16:50:54

As you are the working breadwinner I would expect him to have a meal ready for your return in the evening and the house tidy, laundry done.
From what you have told us I assume this is not the case. Are you his servant? What exactly does he contribute to the marriage? Is there even one positive thing?
Where is the joy, the companionship, the loving care that you have the right to expect in your marriage?
Please get together all the documentation you need regarding family assets, pensions, savings, shares, etc. List everything you want to take with you, arrange accommodation and move out things he won’t notice then choose a time when he is not home to get everything you want out of the place.
Just think how wonderful it will be to come home to your own place without having the lifeblood drained out of you.
I hope you come back and let us know how you are getting on.
Very best wishes to you flowers

Smileless2012 Fri 14-Feb-20 16:55:53

I can only reiterate what has already been said. Start making your preparations, get some legal advice and when you've found somewhere to go, leave.

You have a right to be happy and you wont be happy if you stay with this abusive man.

Do it now and look forward to the rest of your life.

eazybee Fri 14-Feb-20 17:35:01

This is exactly the right time to leave: your children are settled, you have a job and you are able to be financially independent. You have also tried very hard to make the relationship work; you should not be frightened to go home.

No need for guilt; you have tried.

Luckygirl Fri 14-Feb-20 17:40:25

Oh please abandon the guilt - it really is wholly inappropriate in this situation.

You are in the second half of your life and it will not last forever. If you have the means to leave then do so - you can then enjoy this second stage of your life.

You will not be able to have a rational discussion with him and must not put yourself at any risk - just make your [plans and go.

Break free and live!