- Gender and Relationships
The End of a Marriage
I've been thinking of writing about the end of a marriage - mine really, but it is not a blow by blow description of the decline in a relationship that spanned over 43 years. I was interested in another hub about getting out of a bad marriage and the advice given, but much of it did not relate to my experience.
I fought hard to make it work - but now I have moved on, I can see that I should have done it a long time ago. It is not an easy thing to do - and everyone's circumstances are different. My sister, who left her husband over ten years ago, has been very critical of me, and the fact that I had hung on for so many years. I guess the definition of insanity "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result" I can relate to.
I remember in the first year of my marriage - when my husband left to go on business and left me and our daughter with no money, and a cheque that bounced. We had no food and only the begging to the bank manager resulted in me getting some money. The bank manager gave him a lecture on his return. I should have seen the red flashing lights then and walked.
Once when I wrote on a blogsite about my failing marriage - quite some years ago - I received many messages from the readers who urged me not to give up. How I tried and tried not to "give up" but in the end it was all making me physically and mentally sick.
All our assets (such as they were) were tied up together, and complicated. Our children did not want us to part (though when they were little they knew little more than their mother hated the antics of their drunken dad - he was not violent, Just drunk)
As well, I lived over 2000 kms from any family members.
But the past is past. I didn't leave. I went to psychologists, marriage guidance (he didn't go as there was nothing wrong with his marriage!), but I knew all along that I would not get peace until I did.
I learned that with my qualifications I could teach English overseas, so I did. I learned that I could by independent. I didn't NEED a husband. I also learned that I could house sit - so reducing the cost of living for myself alone.
And so it was, after I last returned from a teaching contract in China, that I walked out.
One thing that does confuse our children is that we are still friendly. We don't fight and argue. Certainly we have issues, but we do not get terribly vocal! I just don't want to live with him any more. I don't enjoy the things he enjoys.
And so it was that some months ago - I packed up and left, and took on a house sitting job.
There are many things that annoy me - one is that promises to me are broken. He's also a procrastinator and doesn't like change. I laugh sometimes at women that are labelled nagger. I hope I wasn't one but it is hard not to 'nag' if he promises to do something and it never gets done. Like the old car in the driveway that was supposed to be disposed of (sell, dump I don't care - but it hasn't been driven for a year and sits in the drive way - get rid of it!) It is still there.
Mow the lawn - I'm getting 'aroundtoit' and the grass grows. Repairs around the house that are beyond me (I'm no carpenter or handywoman with a hammer etc), are going to be done. I have to remind. Daily. Hourly. I just can't do it any more. It is such a time waster, and so annoying.
The drinking problem? After open heart surgery and a diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver when he was told to stop drinking - he continued. I could no longer watch it.
I enjoy my own company now - and the freedom to do what I want when I want. I've gone back to university and studying for my Masters, and I have new friends, and new interests. I feel free to be creative.
Not that it is all worry free. I have some financial challenges. And it is a challenge house sitting and not having anywhere permanent to live - although I have plans to overcome that. Selling 'our' house is an issue. I'm still waiting for him to get do something about it.
In the next couple of weeks before Christmas I will have removed all MY things. He will get a solicitors letter of demand, so that I can have access to some of the assets that are due to me - and then I can move on.
Christmas will be hard. Both of our children and their families have made their own arrangements and for the second time (I was overseas teaching one Christmas) we will not see them on Christmas Day. (Daughter and family will be cruising on the high seas, and son and his family will be with his in-laws, and even if I was invited I would not go!)
I may indeed spend some time on Christmas Day with him. That's life.
It will be sometime before I will be totally FREE - but I'm working at it. I know I can do i ton my own.
But it is hard to cope with after so many years. More than a third of my life has been with him. Our friends don't know how to treat us - thankfully my friends are good with it. I'm constantly surprised about the women who come to me and tell me their stories - about how they wish they had 'the guts' to do what I did. They find living with their spouse difficult.
Women sleep in separate rooms (snoring etc is a problem), and women do not like being controlled by their spouse (so many are sick of negotiating everything on a daily basis, meals, choice of tv programs, outings etc), and so many are challenged when husband decides that it is more economical to be a one car family and he controls the car. (This happened to me - I had to almost beg to use the car as it was never convenient and I spent money on cabs!)
I found it suprising how many women are living somewhat unhappily, but fear being alone.
On the other side, I have women friends who have been so much in love with their partner, that cannot cope being alone.
Still, I have moved on, and despite the challenges, I am very happy I did what I did.