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    Venting - not a pity party...
    gd9900 posted:
    I'm so torn up inside...I wish my husband (well, the guy I am still married to) could see how his actions and lack of actions are affecting me...and yet I'm doing my best to be strong and non-dramatic throughout this separation/whatever you call it. I'm in a great deal of pain and its killing me. I go between anger and compassion over my situation but there is no happiness to be found. I find myself crying almost every day - I'm paralyzed in my life. He tells me he doesn't want to be married. We've been living separately almost a year now, and he makes no move toward filing for a divorce. I'm caught in a place I truly do NOT want to be. I know, I should file and get on with it...not that easy.

    He hasn't done his part so we can file income tax returns for the last two years...I'm tired of asking him about it, hearing the same answer of "I'll get to it this week" and a month later nothing has been done. He'll make up an excuse about how expensive it is to file, but I've suggested working out a deal with our accountant. He says ok. He said he needed to order copies of his bank statements from the bank and that's gonna cost money - I handed him all the paper statements, in order by month/year for the last three years! Still no forward movement. I'd love to take the reins on this but I don't do his bookeeping - his responsibility. He admits it would take maybe a day to do and I've offered several times to sit down with him and help. I've got letters from the IRS about not filing and I don't want to go down that road...he understands. Still, not getting anywhere. Then there's other money issues. Last winter he agreed to be responsible for the mortgage and fuel for the house...just as he had been all along. We got behind, went to the bank and worked out a short term solution. Great. Mortgage has been late every month for the past three credit is ruined because of that. I pay my bills on time! Since this spring, I've taken over the fuel portion, and a few times he's asked me for money for the mortgage. Money is tight for me too. I pay all the household bills, food and any extra emergencies that come up (i.e. health, car, repairs, etc) for me and my daughter. If I am lucky enough to have an extra $100 for the mortgage so be it. Its no fun knowing I don't have an extra $150 here to go camping (like him), or $100 there to take a "friend" out to dinner. He cries money's tight...he lives with his sister - I'm pretty sure he's paying very little rent if any or any of their household bills. I've been working my a$$ off getting wood ready to burn to help cut the cost of fuel this winter. He got the wood splitter back to the house so I could use it...didn't offer to help me get wood ready. I'm not going to ask, I have friends who are helping me. I've told him I plan to get a second job to help pay for fuel this winter cause I'm pretty sure my hours are gonna get cut. So I get a text from him last week that he can't stand the thought of me being cold (weather forecast) do I have enough fuel for the chilly night? sweet! He's thinking of me and wants to help. Damnit!!! My cold heart kicks in. I let him know I already got fuel for the house that week and didn't need any...and I already had a fire going to keep warm. Which is the truth but I so wanted him to just come over and put fuel in the house on his own. To reinforce he says call me if you need anything. Just like when hurricane Irene was passing through...That last part is the person I used to know - the rest is someone I don't recognize. It frustrates me!

    I don't want to sell my house and move but I might have to. Even if things move forward and I decide to keep it we refinanced 1/2 as much as we owed on it three years ago to bail his business out. Why should I pay for that? Then there is the issue that the house is a constant reminder of our life together.

    I'm trying to be strong, to let go, to find myself again. I'm unmotivated and broken...that's just not me!
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    I'm so sorry. And I know this isn't what you want to hear--but filing for the divorce might be the best thing for you emotionally AND financially. The courts can make it very clear what you are and are not responsible for paying back. Then there's also the issue of spousal support, and child support (I don't know how old your daughter is).

    I strongly suggest that you file for divorce and lay out all your financial stuff to your attorney soon. You might be surprised at how things will work out if you just take that step.

    gd9900 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    Thanks Stephs - I know its what would be for the best, and I can't bring myself to do it! (SIGH). Even as I was typing up this post I realize I can't keep going on this way.

    My kids aren't his, and they are both legal adults. But I get what you are's probably half the reason why he hasn't taken that step yet.

    As it is, I'm tired of randomly getting a text asking how I'm doing...I'm not a liar but for the sake of drama I say I'm ok when I want to scream and hollar how I really feel! When we are together, it feels so akward to me - like I don't even know how to "be" around him. I'm tense, anxious, sometimes withdrawn, sometimes compassionate - but I am completely in an unnatural state of mind. Thinking this is my husband, and at the same time thinking who is this guy??? Its actually pretty surreal and I don't like it one bit. It a really odd feeling of wanting him to be there, but also not wanting him to be there. It F***s with my head. Thanks for the kind words and huggs.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to gd9900's response:
    I can see you are in awful bind-- and I can practically feel how terrible it is for you. From your description, it sounds like you are really getting run into the ground. So, what is it that keeps you from filing even though you know it would be for the best?
    tmlmtlrl replied to gd9900's response:
    At the very least you NEED to tell him how you feel! STOP playing hero in this situation. Regardless of your compassion for him or what he needs or how he feels -- HE IS AN ADULT. You are not responsible for him.

    You can only hold things in for so long. I think you've reached your point. Enough is enough. You need to allow yourself to break down and cry and scream and yell all of your feelings right at him!! I am completely serious.

    He probably wonders if you're some sort of machine. How can you always be fine? It is okay to feel the emotions you feel right now.

    You're right -- you are paralyzed right now. You have stuffed so much/ too much down inside, I'm surprised you can even walk. It's no wonder you can't file for divorce, you haven't allowed yourself to do anything for you for so long.

    You need to explode and I suggest you allow yourself to do it before it just happens by surprise one day. And then I would suggest going and signing up for some yoga classes. Then the rest should fall into place.

    Serious, you need to do this. He needs to hear this. It is time.
    gd9900 replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    Leslie, I am very stubborn...the worst kind of stubborn imaginable - so much so to my own detriment. It will break me, and I will end up doing his dirty work. My feeling about all this is that not being married is what he wants. Not me. One life lesson he needs to learn is to stand up for what he wants - if he wants out, running away and threatening doesn't cut it. He needs to be accountable. He needs to file and he needs to pay for it. He needs to put on his big boy pants and do what needs to be done.

    And you know what? Even as I write this $h*t I see what an idiot I am. I totally get that if its going to be done I'm gonna have to take care of it. I'm sorry, but it just burns my a$$!!!
    gd9900 replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    tmlmtlrl - I understand I am not responsible for him. That's my point! I have expressed my frustrations with him not doing his part in all of this! Is it up to me to hold him accountable? Am I supposed to somehow make him take care of his responsibilities?? What's the alternative...for me to just do it? I'm running into brick walls and I am at a loss what to do. So yes, it makes sense for me to file as a push to get him moving on things instead of dragging his feet at my expense.

    Me being "fine" or "ok" is what is conveyed through texting every so often when he feels like contacting me. When we are face to face it's a different story. Its hard to smile, but I do try and lighten things up if I can. He knows me well, and he knows when I hold back from crying - that's why he only visits when he is doing ok and then leaves when our emotions get too much for him to handle.

    Please don't get me wrong I see where you are coming from...I haven't just not expressed myself with him throughout all of this. I have. I've lost control of my emotions in front of him, I've stated what I want and how I feel many times. I don't feel that screaming or yelling at him will accomplish anything - i do that when I am alone. I get it out so I won't explode in front of him.

    Thank you for what you've said/suggested. Especially the yoga classes!
    tmlmtlrl replied to gd9900's response:
    Sorry, I was with the assumption that you have held back and not expressed yourself. The yelling at him recommendation wasn't about hurting him or really anything to do with him per se, it was more about you releasing that energy.

    And yes, I don't know if you've tried yoga or not but it is really great for stress release. Really worth your time to do.

    "Is it up to me to hold him accountable? Am I supposed to somehow make him take care of his responsibilities?? What's the alternative...for me to just do it?" No. No. And yes, just do it. Because all you can control is you. You really need to focus on you. You cannot hold him accountable and you cannot make him do anything. What you can do is take control of your life.

    Do you know the serenity prayer? Regardless of if you're religious or not just listen to the words, repeat them, and really take it in:

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    and the Wisdom to know the difference.

    Good luck to you. I hope this time will pass quicker than not for you.
    gd9900 replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    No need to apologize...I know you meant well and I appreciate that!!

    I've practiced yoga on and off over the last 10 or so years...more off than on lol! When he first left last fall, I took to morning yoga in the comfort of my own home...then I fell on my a$$ in depression and stopped. Later, I joined a gym and did that for a while but finding that oomph of drive to keep with any of it falls by the wayside. I am well aware of the benefits, I seem to be the only pitfall.

    I do know the serenity prayer! Thank you for mentioning, its worth revisiting.
    3point14 replied to gd9900's response:
    I don't mean this to sound as harsh as it might, but who gives a damn whether or not he learns from this? "Accountability" isn't important here anymore, you both know your marriage is dead. I guess I don't see why you care about what kind of life lesson he gets from this. It almost seems like at this point you'd take his filing for divorce as proof that he could change and be responsible, and in a weird way I think that would make it even harder for you.

    Look, at the end of a divorce, you have two people who used to be married to each other. Besides rules of society in terms of civility, and in terms of making it amicable when kids are involved, you don't owe him anything, and he doesn't owe you anything. You don't have to help him learn this lesson about responsibility because he's not really your husband anymore. As great as it is that you're empathetic, you're just making excuses for him.

    I don't know why he gives you such mixed messages, and to be honest I don't see how it matters. You know that he's a damaged person from a complicated childhood, and that could be a lot of why he is the way he is. But at a certain point, you need to hold him responsible for his behavior. If you want to ponder accountablity, hold him accountable for not being with you and file on your own.

    Like I said, sorry for the harshness. But it's not your job to help him put on his big boy pants. As an adult, you can only be beholden to yourself. This situation is making you miserable. I'm not saying that filing for divorce would make you less miserable, but it would be a start to a healing journey, and I think you'd be empowered by taking control of the situation.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to gd9900's response:
    A couple of things that might be helpful for you are coming to mind.

    First, it sounds like you are more invested in making him think or do something than you are in your own happiness. Think about how this has been a theme in your life (if it has been). How far back does it go? Does it in any way relate to your relationships in your family as a child? If any of this connects with you, you might try to understand what made it so important back then. Often, when we learn things as children, these lessons or ways of being stay with us even when they become detrimental. I do need to say, though, that if this line of thinking seems to fit for you, you might find therapy helpful in understanding yourself better and then letting go of this self-destructive pattern.

    Second, try thinking about how seeing him do what he's doing upsets you. Choose to connect with how it makes you feel and be compassionate toward yourself (This is the hard part. But it often helps to imagine how you would talk to a friend and then apply it to yourself). Then think about how you are suffering by not letting go and moving on. You will probably be inclined to get angry with yourself for this, but instead, redirect your attention to your pain-- and have compassion for that pain. Really stick with this perspective. Do it over and over again. Think about how you would like to be free of that pain. Then work on making a decision to free yourself from it by moving on. You might find it helpful to read about writing I've done on compassionate self-awareness (a good place to start is with Getting Advice ).

    If all else fails, again, I suggest therapy to help you change your pattern, let go, move on, and find contentment.
    gd9900 replied to 3point14's response:
    Pi - as always, thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate the thoughts and advice from everyone here. There are a few who really get thru to are one of them.

    I've been hung up on all this change that just happened. There is no dealbreaker issue. The issue is he's not committed to the marriage anymore. I know he loves me - but not in the same way he used to. I don't entirely understand why that changed. But I get that it has...accepting it is what I struggle with, and it does get better as time goes on. Still, anytime I am at the house and alone, when a car drives by I check to see if its him coming "home"...and its sinking in that he is not.

    Pi, you said hold him accountable for not being with you and file on your own. That is the cold, hard, truth, staring me square in the face. You're right, the reasons do not matter - the facts are this...he left me almost a year ago threatening divorce, he's strung me along with his waffling, and now he says he doesn't want to be married. Its time for me to serve those papers and let go so I can go on with my life and let him figure out how to deal with his reality.
    3point14 replied to gd9900's response:
    If you were near me right now, I'd hug you so hard it would hurt.

    Your last sentence filled me with so much hope. It'll suck and hurt for a while, but you CAN do this. You have a whole life to lead, don't let this eat up any more time than it absolutely has to. Time to live YOUR life!

    gd9900 replied to 3point14's response:
    I'd hug you harder!!

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