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Divorcing my husband of 21 years

(78 Posts)
SuzyLee Sun 03-May-20 17:41:38

Hi, please help me as I need some advice.
I’ve been married for 21 years, it has been a bumpy 21 years. My husband withheld affection from me and didn’t want to hold me, kiss me or have sex with me. He at times has been very detached from me and I have felt very lonely in this marriage. I have managed to cope with this as three years ago I made a decision to stay and live together as brother and sister. I have begged my husband to go to counselling on several occasions but he has always refused.
Then he suddenly decided he want to have a physical relationship and said that he did not want to live as we have been, but he wasn’t giving me a choice I had to comply with his choice. I said I couldn’t do that as I said I’ve shut down my physical feelings for him. We then agreed to go to counselling but a few days before he came up to me wide eyed and looking like he’d gone mad, he said that he believed that I was possessed by an evil spirit and that I needed to go through the bible with him. I was very scared and ran away from him.
We still went to counselling and he said that there were two reasons for his behaviour this is because he kept three things against me, first I 17 years ago I had a lump in my breast and went on my own to hospital. Second 20 years ago I shut my finger in a door and wouldn’t let him put his arms around me. Thirdly he said that 19 years ago I told him that my late husband had adored me. Then he said 15 years ago he said that I went to see his mum and called him a wimp she then called a meeting with him, and his dad - they wanted him to divorce him or they would disinherit him, he begged them on his knees not to they agreed if he would take a vow of silence. I was devastated to hear all this but it explained why he had been distant from me. I feel betrayed and as though our marriage was a sham. Our divorce is now with the court but I am missing my husband and am very tempted to agree to try again with our relationship. I feel very confused and upset.

MissAdventure Sun 03-May-20 17:54:47

Your husband sounds like a manipulator, particularly the part about others not liking you, but because of him, tolerating you.
As for the other stuff? Well, he's talking out of his hat, isn't he?

You can't see it, because you've been trained over the years to put his wellbeing first and foremost.

Coolgran65 Sun 03-May-20 18:11:38

Suzy..... Please think very carefully.
My first husband was mentally ill. (Psychotic) and some of what you are saying sounds very strange and very familiar. If your husband is not I'll then he is very cruel in what he says.
I hope I haven't offended you.

You may be missing what you hoped your marriage might have been. of course you are confused and upset. He had many years in which to make a go of it. No love, no sex. Your feelings are now dead. What do you think will change.

Coolgran65 Sun 03-May-20 18:12:12

I'll = ill

SuzyLee Sun 03-May-20 18:26:48

Thank you,
He had been really harsh and accusing me of hiding money throughout our marriage (which just isn’t true). But last week he started speaking softly and kindly to me, it reminded me of how nice he can be. I haven’t seen him since January as I said I was too frightened of him and our counsellor felt that he has mental health problems and could be dangerous to me. But still I miss him and cry for him. I know this sounds silly and weak but I love him and worry I should have tried harder.

Daisymae Sun 03-May-20 18:54:21

You have had a warning from the counsellor that he could be a danger to you. I think that I would give that careful consideration.

Sparklefizz Sun 03-May-20 19:05:16

SuzyLee I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through for years. You are traumatised and frightened about the future. I have been there, and it's tempting to keep on with what you know, even if it's dreadful ..... but having got to this stage, and with even the counsellor stating that he could be a danger to you, (which you have realised), be strong and keep going.

Write down all the negative things that he has said and done over the years and read this list whenever you feel lost and lonely. In this situation, because of our fear of the unknown future, we can wear rosy coloured glasses and delude ourselves. We can easily dismiss the terrible things that have happened and concentrate only on the few good things.

You deserve much better than this man. You have deserved better for years and now is the time for you. Find some support from your counsellor or the Samaritans. You deserve a better life without coldness and fear.

Coolgran65 Sun 03-May-20 19:44:11

He's lulling you...... Do you really believe that it will last? He's manipulating you.

SuzyLee Sun 03-May-20 19:47:08

Thank you, I know that everything you are saying is true. I will write down all the things that he has said and done in the past I think that will help.

It’s just so hard, some of the time he is so nice and we do have happy memories together.

sodapop Sun 03-May-20 19:51:50

Sounds like your husband is a very troubled man SuzyLee you have spent years trying to work through things with him so you have done your best. Don't go back, its time to move on and have a happier life of your own. Good luck.

welbeck Sun 03-May-20 20:29:39

well it's a pity he went on his knees to his parents.
they were right. you should have divorced years ago.
there is not enough of a relationship to hang on to.
i can understand, esp if you had a loving relationship with your first husband, that you feel adrift. but you are better alone. try to distract, use your intellect, learn something, a language/skill, listen to radio/tv.
and keep a journal. write exactly how you are feeling.
maybe he is trying to get round you now that he's realised he will lose out financially. money seems a motivating factor.
and he does sound slightly unhinged. dont be alone with him. good luck.

SuzyLee Sun 03-May-20 20:43:05

Thank you all so much, I have been feeling so low and unsure what to do, I feel so much better now. I will keep reading through your advice as well as making my own notes it may help to write it all down


Missfoodlove Sun 03-May-20 20:47:21

I think all the problems stem from his childhood.
His parents sound most bizarre.
If you could get to the root of this then there may be some hope.

welbeck Sun 03-May-20 22:10:41

no, shake the dust from your feet, and keep going forwards.
don't look back. you are not his therapist, he's had long enough to sort himself out. look out for your own interests now. you can do it.

Jaycee5 Sun 03-May-20 22:25:18

It sounds like coercive control. That involves being nice enough to draw you back in and then being unpleasant again. Do you miss him or do you miss what you could have had? It is difficult being on your own after being in a relationship especially such a long one. You miss a physical presence in the room and it is going to be difficult especially as you need to find a way to get your confidence back.
You were scared of him once. You can't risk being stuck with someone who is becoming unhinged. If he needs help and you want to give it, safety has to be your first concern.
You got the courage to get as far as the court. Is he really capable of the level of change needed?
You also have to consider how difficult it will be when you are older.

Luckygirl Sun 03-May-20 22:28:50

Oh dear - he does sound as if he might have mental health problems and you must ensure you safety as a priority.

My poor OH had paranoid delusions about me as a result of his medication, and the first thing I was told was that above all else I must keep myself safe.

Grandmafrench Sun 03-May-20 22:47:58

You have had experience of a good and happy marriage. You say that your late husband adored you.

So why now do you feel that you are not worth very much. This second marriage has been "bumpy" from the get-go and it would appear that it has got steadily worse. You keep dragging your feet and thinking you might stay with him but for no good reason other than some sentimental idea of what might have been. But it wasn't and it won't be with this man who is clearly a threat to your safety (and possibly his own as well). How much longer do you want to stay in this twilight life with someone who clearly hasn't the capacity to love or care for you?
Take the action that you started via counselling and listen to the advice of your counsellor. Be honest with yourself. You deserve some life, you deserve better and this will not happen unless you make a clean break from a large part of your life that has brought you nothing but anxiety, disappointment and distress. You need to do this for your own self and your own safety now. No ifs or buts, or negotiations. Any more listening to him won't work and it sounds as if you are putting yourself at risk. Please be determined to keep safe and take responsibility for yourself now. Good luck in a new life! You deserve it.

GabriellaG54 Sun 03-May-20 23:24:32

I think he sounds mad.

GabriellaG54 Sun 03-May-20 23:29:40

If anyone acted like that around me or came out with those stupid reasons for withholding affection...I'd need to get him sectioned.
No normal person acts like that. Got in his knees to parents?
Chatting about ridiculous events that happened decades ago...?
The guy's unbalanced.
Walk...and don't look back.

GabriellaG54 Sun 03-May-20 23:30:15

in on

mumofmadboys Sun 03-May-20 23:56:54

Do you have any children? What is their view? Will they support you in the future?

jeanie99 Mon 04-May-20 00:37:58

You need to divorce this very strange man and make a future for yourself.
After many years married it will be frightening to move on alone but for your own sanity you need to take this step.
A new future is there waiting for you.
Do get good advice on a settlement and pensions rights.

grandmaz Mon 04-May-20 09:54:19

SuzyLee I am so sorry to read your post and I agree with Jaycee5, this is coercive control. Thankfully now that is a criminal offence and you need to bear that in mind when you are considering your future options. Do you really want to live with the sort of man who treats you this way? Supposing one of your dearest friends came to you and told you exactly what you have told us...what would you say to to her (or him)? You must be your own dearest friend here and put your safety, health and future happiness first. Your husband is either very mentally unwell or a cold and calculating manipulator. Or maybe some of both. Either way, please look to your own future. He will not change. I started my life again at 54 and have never regretted it for one moment. The only regret is that I didn't leave him years before. Please get some good advice and make a new, safe and hopeful future for yourself. flowers

jaylucy Mon 04-May-20 09:58:07

So sorry that you are having these problems but quite honestly I am not sure just why you have put up with it for so long!
He obviously has some mental health problems that are nothing to do with you. What grown man goes on his knees to his parents? It's like he's living out some strange fantasy!
I hope that your divorce goes through - make sure you get what is due to you and then move on and build a new life for yourself and sever all contact with him. Best of luck.

biddycatt Mon 04-May-20 09:58:44

have been in a similar situation, keep going, he has pulled down your confidence to control you, you will get it back, go no contact , stay away from him and his nutty parents. It is tempting to keep thinking of the beginning, it was also manipulation, sorry. Please read up on narcissism, sounds like it to me. Don't believe his lies about people not liking you, its all part of his control. Very best wishes to you, please stay strong and keep going, these men can get dangerous but also very clever at manipulation, you have tried your best over the years, you can;t cure him, again he is dangerous, no contact, he is being charming to get you back, if you do go back the cruelty will get even worse, you deserve so much more than this,