Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-05-16


I am not the only woman I know who is now 60 and has stayed married for 40 years because it is "  the right thing to do- keep the family together- keep the children secure- you made your bed now lie in it" ..etc. It doesn' t make me happy though. My husband has always had a selfish streak combined with generosity in material things. I previously allowed him to belittle me and direspect me a great deal but with menopause came a backbone and I don' t allow this much any more, although I let it slip sometimes because I just can' t be bothered. He is however even more self-centered, disrespectful of his fellow humans and ill-mannered to those whom he thinks love him. Not a nice person at all. Sometimes my armour slips and I break down and let him have it. Mostly I try to avoid him. I thought I' d leave him about now, but here are two sweet little grandchildren, whose parents have said outright to me that they don' t want their babies'  grandparents to be separated. On the one hand, I have put up with the pig for so long I can probably do it till I die, besides which he gives me a materially comfortable life. On the other hand I probably have 20 years left in which I could be free of him, true to myslef, living my own life. What to do?

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Our expert says:
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The rules you describe probably suited a lot of people, though not usually the woman at the centre of such situations. A husband who has been allowed to be self-centred for so long, comes to see it as just how the world works, and to be rather indignant at suggestions that it aint necessarily so ! He thinks love and fondness are his due, without ever needing to deserve it. I really don't think a divorce between grandparents has the remotest ill effect on the grandchildren --- it's more likely that your own children would prefer you to avoid this. Why not consider, if divorce might threaten the material comforts you absolutely deserve, using those comforts as a base on which to live your own life true to yourself --- is that really incompatible ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sam | 2009-05-17

Dear Anon
Perhaps speak to your children about how you feel at this moment in time. Explain to them the reasons you have put up with his nonsense all these yrs. Don' t be afraid of losing the material luxuries in your life if you intend to divorce, coz they are due to you, especially after having to put up with a " pig"  as you say. If you are married COP you have no need to worry as most good attorneys are able to split all the assets equally. And if you cannot afford an attorney go to the North East Divorce Courts, (based at your local Magistrate' s Court) who will grant you a divorce for R+-60,00. Anyway with the Psychological abuse you had to go through a sharp attorney may even get you far more. I would rather live the remainder of my 20yrs in happiness and in less of a luxury, than in material heaven with no love and respect.

All the best

Reply to Sam
Posted by: Phil | 2009-05-16

It is really sad to read your story, one would have expected to be happy at your age. I wish I could give you constructive advice, but untfortunately I can' t. Maybe you could remain in the marriage and just start living, doing the things you would like to do? If he doesn' t like it, hten so be it? That way you please everyone? Who knows, your husband might even become friendlier.

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