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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2020/07/15

Divorce

I have been married for 31 years, I am a 54 year old female 2 children, both married and I’m a grandmother We have grown apart. I love the freedom of empty nest he is pining for the old days. I have made friends, started hobbies and also my own business He doesn’t have any interests and has given up on his career I want to get divorced but feel so guilty to abandon him now He doesn’t have much, finances are poor, I don’t have the courage yet I Know staying to protect him is the worst thing ever as it’s not allowing either of us the new start I’m tired, depressed and we have an almost non existent relationship Way forward?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/07/17

Well, Anon, the short answer would be to see a counsellor offering proper CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ), to help first you to plan your own best responses to this, and then to involve your husband in the process, of getting out of his depressive giving-up slump, and getting back to living properly.
It's quite a common problem, perhaps especially among men, to so thoroughly dissolve their life into their primary work, that when they retire, or get retired by that work, they have nothing else, so they just give up, just when there are new opportunities to enrich their lives and start growing again.  One should start preparing for retirement when one starts one's first real job : to continue through life to develop hobbies and interests, and friends outside of the job, and continue looking out for further opportunities for side-jobs or other activities that can be extended when the primary job withers.
You don't mention whether he knows you are thinking of divorce, or whether, if he does, he views this as just another failure on his part and as another reason to give up.  You could motivate him by the way you kindly tell him that you wont indefinitely tolerate this particular pattern of the marriage, and will support him if he makes the effort to join you in developing his side of it,
The "old days" he pines for will of course never return. But if you both better understand what aspects of those days feel so good, you could build New Days which could kindle similar satisfactions

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