I think I decided to actually leave my family.  It sounds so heartless but I need different things than they are able to give.  I want peace, tranquility, simplicity, and social stimulation.  They want to stay at home and watch TV.   I can no longer allow myself to be manipulated now that I understand I have not been living my own life, only the life my husband imagined “for us.”

It’s been percolating back there for months.  I’m definitely dissatisfied with my life.  While I am excited and happy to be taking Tai Chi and Zumba, and now volunteering at the animal shelter, it’s not what I want to do.  I sound like a 1960s wife, don’t I?

 - , I’ve been looking at Seattle.  It’s cheaper than an artsy town in California.  I’ve been there once, and liked the look and feel of the place.  I could see myself living there in a sparsely furnished studio.  Husband didn’t really care for it.  One city’s pretty much like another to him, and he wants no part of any of them.  Rural is the way he wants it, and part of me wants that too.  But I think it’s the part that husband controls.  That’s the voice in my head telling me I can’t.

When I say I’ve been manipulated and under husband’s control, he hasn’t done it consciously or maliciously, it’s just sort of the way he’s made.  Still, it is not something I care to have in my life anymore.  Does that sound cruel?  Heartless?  It feels that way, but I really think above everything else, I want a simpler, more interactive life.  I don’t want all of my friendships to be online!

As long as I am able to keep getting unemployment until I find a job, I could make it on my own in Seattle.  I want to be somewhere where people are living their lives, not watching them go by on the television.  I need more out of life than what I’m getting.

I’ve thought many times about leaving husband in the past 10 years, and god, now I really think I will do it.  I deserve to be happy, right?  But do I deserve to be happy at the expense of someone else’s happiness? 

What do I do about health insurance?  Disability?  Wouldn’t I be abandoning them all?  They need me.  But that’s it, they need me, that’s different than loving me.  What about paying for a shrink and a therapist?  Hah, but if I’m living the life I want would I need the antidepressants and therapist? 

Of course, I can’t do anything without talking to my therapist first.  Spit it out to her, though maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’ve got to get my finances in order, by filing for bankruptcy.  (And, no, I do not feel bad about not paying my debt.  I’ve been paying them at percentages that would see me in debt until about 2045, they’ve made their money.)  I will let Tim do what he wants about the house, file BK and try to keep it that way, but I don’t want the responsibility for it any more.

I can’t believe I am seriously considering leaving?!

23 thoughts on “Decided?

  1. Oh Linda… Like you I am of two minds about this… I want you to be happy. You DO deserve more in life than what you presently have. You DO deserve friends outside of blogging. Your family has not been pulling their weight.

    Are you abandoning them… NO… If they are unable to keep things up as you have been striving to do, then they must file… and if necessary get assistance. I do not think other than financially that they have even been giving to you…like emotionally. They just are content to let you do it.

    The only thing is that you must be sure this is what you really and truly want to do I hate to see any marriage break up but if a woman was being physically abused there would be no question of her leaving. In your case it has been emotional abuse…and as you said H does not intend or believe that is what is happening.. It’s not intentional.. it just IS…. Just be sure and I think you will…that this is what you want..Diane

    1. Thank you Diane for sharing your thoughts. I trust your advice, since you have been married even longer than me. I hate to admit to my life having been such an utter failure, though I try hard not to look at it that way, sometimes that is how I feel.

      Yesterday I was certain I wanted to leave. Today I am not as certain. Does my family deserve the chance to change? I suppose they do. Will they? I think not. Meanwhile I try to maintain a non-judgmental attitude toward them and continue to see that the house continues to run efficiently.

      With more therapy under my belt, and presenting an opportunity to the family to enter therapy with me, I’m sure I will do what I need/want to do.

      Ten years ago when husband had his affair, I told him I was going to change and he was welcome to change with me. He said he didn’t want to change, that he liked who he was. It’s taken me a long time to find myself again and I don’t intend to submit to whatever he wants any more, and we will see how that goes.

      Again, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me on this. You opinion is valuable to me.

      Thoughts of peace and acceptance to you today.


  2. seattle is amazing and we would love to live there if i weren’t dying. i was stationed at fort lewis near tacoma so i visited seattle a lot. husband and i have been a couple of times and we just love it there.

    of course you deserve to be happy and that has nothing to do with someone elses happiness. we must all take responsibility for our joy in life, no one else can give it to you or take it away, unless you let them. what’s worse than being unhappily married 10 yrs? to stay for 10 yrs and one day. this does not make him a bad guy just the wrong guy.

    1. I appreciate your support here, though, of course, I am still uncertain what my decision will be. I fluctuate from being sure, to being afraid to hurt my family. The wrong guy, after 34 years? Geez I’m slow, but I know it happens more than we realize.

      Meanwhile I am here trying to make sense of my confused life, with the help of my online friends, I will be able to make an intelligent and well-thought out decision.


      1. it isn’t about him being the wrong guy for 34 yrs. he may be the right guy or he was 34 yrs ago. as we pass milestones it becomes harder to change. taking your time is your way and no one can tell us what our time line needs to be.

        sending hugs to you my friend

  3. You have to do what your heart tells you, and follow it.. I am man in a similar position, but cannot find the ingredients to do as you wish.. good luck with whatever you choose to do.. 😉

    1. I know what you mean by the right ingredients. Is this a temporary feeling? Can it change? Can family therapy change it? Do I want to spend the time finding out the family is incapable of change?

      I wish you luck in your journey. Perhaps we can each help the other look at all the possibilities.

      Thanks for your comment and support. I need it right now.

  4. Linda, I simply don’t know what to say. Hopefully, your therapist can put things into sharper perspective. Some of your post smacks of escapism, but if there was ever a life situation that needed escaping from, surely it is yours. Whatever you decide, know that you are, in my eyes, a beautiful human being deserving of joy and happiness. Please keep in touch. In so many ways, online friends can be “real friends,” too.

    Warmest Affection,


    1. I know I’m kinda bouncing back and forth. And I am not certain today again, so I know I still need to work some things out and figure out if this is really something I can do in good conscience. As much as I want to leave, I can’t just take off right now. Maybe Husband is willing to change, if I gave him a chance. Some family therapy is badly needed. Man, I didn’t know I was this screwed up 10 years ago! I’m trying hard to look at this situation with a Buddhist eye.

      I appreciate your comment, and your friendship deeply. You are a truly special person.


  5. Dearest L.,
    I know things sometimes seem tough. Even terrible; But I wouldn’t want to see you put yourself in a vulnerable position. At least not right now. I sometimes think of new beginnings, but then I remember I’m me- and as imperfect as this life may be, it’s the one that fits me. I’m not trying to dissuade you from anything, just asking you to consider the consequences of alternatives.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your comment greatly.

      I am giving this the most serious consideration. I will offer family therapy and see where that goes. (My fear being it won’t go anywhere, but that may make my decision for me.) I know I can’t leave right now, I am still too unsure and fear it would be the wrong thing to do. It will still take a lot of soul searching before I commit.

  6. Hey Linda,
    what do you think about just applying for some jobs in Seattle and see how this works its way out? Once you get a job in Seattle (or in another city), you can get a place to live there and then see if your family wants to follow your way or not. But you will see that change becomes a lot easier if you “outsource” it by working on something (applying for a job in another city) that requires you to change.
    Hope this can help,
    P.S.: Once again, I tell you that life is a highway. And I want you to drive into the sunset with a smile on your lips coming from deep out of your heart, my friend…

    1. Yes, the idea has occurred to me, and I am trying to figure out if that is the best route. I am also looking at local communes to see if I can rent a room cheaply, allowing me to stretch my unemployment further, yet stay fairly close to home, or at least closer than Seattle. Thank you for your suggestion. My highway has been pretty bumpy lately, and I hope it smooths out soon.

      Your friend, Linda

  7. I spent 20 years with my first husband, I finally divorced him in 2006 for emotional abuse. It had taken me years to realise how much of me I had lost. At first I had thought he was caring, later I realised he had been controlling me. He didn’t love me but he needed me. He tried to make me think I needed him but I know now that I am stronger than him. It was very very hard breaking up my marriage. If I could have done so I would have left him but my children were still at school and my husband could never look after them so I had to stay and make him leave. In the years since then my family and friends have watched me grow in confidence and become the person I should have been for all those lost years.

    It wasn’t easy starting out on my own as a single mother of 4 but I clawed my way out of debt eventually. Even when I was deep in debt I was so much happier than I had been throughout my marriage. I am not trying to tell you what to do just that I have a fair idea how you feel.

    huge hugs from me to you 🙂

    1. Thank you for your words of confidence. I lost myself many years ago. I know my husband loves me, but I fear he needs me more. I know how ending this marriage would devastate him. I’m not sure I am willing to inflict that kind of pain, though I know it would be best for me.

      I have talked with my therapist about bringing husband in for a few sessions to discuss how I feel and give him a chance to reply, see if he is willing to change.

      Fingers crossed.

      The universe’s blessings on you. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I think sometimes we need to choose life. When I left my husband, he was upset, but he lived a fuller life afterwards, and so did I. Kids are a different matter, I guess- I feel one is responsible for them and that one can’t leave (I say ‘one’ because I don’t mean ‘you’ specifically). Maybe a bit of distance would give your hubby a chance to really re-think things, too.

    1. At least I don’t have to worry about kids (ours is 32). I wish I just didn’t feel so guilty. I feel guilty if husband asks me to go along with him to run errands (like groceries) and I say no. I used to always go with him on all the errands. Now I almost never do. He never says anything about it, so I guess he’s ok with it, so why should I feel guilty? Why do I feel guilty when anything happens?

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