Posted by: Scorpio | 2004/03/08

Is it possible to start all over again after 19 years of marriage

Dear Doc,
Please help. My husband of 19 years made very important decisions on his own without discussing it. This changed our lives (3 kids) forever. He gave up his job of 20yrs, he attempted to start his own business, etc. and the stress of all of this got to our relationship. We drifted apart 2 yrs ago but still lived together in the same house - this was an extremely difficult time for all of us. There was no communication, no more fights, no more "happy" times. The innocence of my marriage was gone. I tried to get help - meeting with the priest and our parents and this ended worse than what was intended. He did not need help and will work it out on his own. Oct 2002 he filed for legal divorce which went through and married someone in Aug 2003. Before he got married he made up with me & still married her. 3 days later he came home, wanting his family back but still being married to someone else (customary marriage) and I accepted all of this; maybe for the wrong reasons (sacredness of a marriage, for my childrens sake but scaringly I think I still love him). I asked him to move out & to make sure it is what he wants - he continued with this pattern. 1 day home with us and 1 day with new wife... I did not realize that it was going to be this difficult. I tried to tell myself if I continue to pray, be patient all of this will blow over. My priest also gave me this advice. Well, it took him 6 months to end it with her (so he says) He came home on Sunday 7 March with all his belongings. Do I wait for him to tell me that its over, do I ask for a divorce certificate, What should I do? I feel that he is not my husband any longer - this I also told him.

Is it possible to completely start all over again with the same person? I am trying so hard not to think about the past 2 yrs years.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Scorpio,
As the saying goes, he wants to have his cake and eat it too. Why not consider entering marriage counselling with him, to sort out this confuson he has created ? Congratulations on how well you have managd to learn and grow through this experience.

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Our users say:
Posted by: scorpio | 2004/03/11

Dear Doc,
Thanks for your advice about marriage counselling - I'm afraid he is not interested as he will sort it out by himself (this has always been his attitude). As I said, he came home with all his belongings the past weekend. He has not said a word since then, all he does is greet when he arrives home but do not even look at me. Last night he was sleeping in the lounge again at at 5am this morning left without saying a word. He did tell the kids that he has a few days off. This is all so familiar - whenever he cannot speak to me this is the pattern - silence for days, sleeping in the lounge and suddenly once a week he tells the kids that they must go sleep early because he needs "comfort". I know from experience that he does not communicate easily with me - I was told that I should not question him but that I should sacrifice and be patient. His words for the past few months are "My heart is home with you and the kids. I have asked to my mother & uncle for advise; I am dealing with this process as best I can; I need to be kind because it is not so easy ending it'.

I really think he needs help. Is it my place to again "take care of a 44 yr old". I am tired of this. I need someone who wants to spend time with me and be my companion...
One horrible thing that is happening whenever he has been home is that I explode at my kids - this I find extremely worrying. Besides getting upset, shaking with anger at whatever he did - my explosions with my kids are unacceptable. They really love their dad and I think maybe he is only hanging around for their sake. This however is not helping me. I have asked him to move out for a while but he refuses. 1 day there 1 day home with the kids. I am so tired of this.
I want to tell him that he must move out. I want to tell him that I forgive him, I also want to tell him to leave me alone and that I do not ever want to see him.. am I the one that needs help?
Am I that stupid, can't I read all the signs - ITS OVER. But why am I then still hoping things will change?

My employer/our Co. will be restructuring - I am honestly worried about that too. I have the responsibility of medical aid, bond, insurance, school fees & 3 kids. He does contribute R250 per month per kid in maintenance (since Dec 2002) and this year is thankfully covering our eldest son's university fees. Thats about it. I have the responsibiilty of it all and thank God I have a good job - but how long will I be able to hold out with all these pressures. I keep on saying to myself that if he leaves, we will be sad but we will learn to depend on each other and I will be stronger to take care of my children and to find time for bonding again. I really think he should move?
Plse help. I need some real advise for this pathetic situation he placed me in.

Reply to scorpio
Posted by: scorpio | 2004/03/08

Dear Nina,
Thanks so much for your reply... You are right, I have learned from it. I actually have learned to appreciate life more, I love my kids, but for the first time in my married /adult life I am doing simple things for me like going to a movie on my own, my first facial, long walks & exercising. I am also learning to ignore his remarks for whatever reason (your jacket is too short, don't go exercising/go anywhere without his permission, etc.) - crazy as it seems - it honestly still upsets me when he does it!

The saddest part of my marriage is that I am enjoying being on my own.

Reply to scorpio
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/03/08

hi thre

i'm sooo sorry to hear about your pain - this guy has really messed up big time

my personal belief is that once there is no respect and trust it's OVER - it not worth working on - only you know how you feel about this guy

one thing ive learned the hard way is that troubles come our way because we have to learn something from it - the lesson i had to learn from my abusive marriage was self respect - i had to love myself enough to say NO MORE ! it took me 14 years to figure it out but i know that the pain was not in vain ! it made me a better and stronger person

figure out what you have to learn from all this and be teachable - then move on! start fresh with integrity and a feeling of self worth

you deserve better girl


Reply to lady nina

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