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Old 02-24-2011, 09:25 AM
enough enough is offline
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Default How to begin the ending???

Hello friends. I have decided to end the marriage with my wife of 20 years. There are many contributing reasons but the main reason is that I am not in love with her. This isn't a recent decision or revelation. I've been unhappy in the marriage for many years but "held in" in hopes of happier times. I know that she believes she is still in love with me. I unfortunately do not feel the same way. Her controlling personality is overwhelming and I can't continue to live this way. I've been struggling with depression for the last couple years since returning from Afghanistan. Medications have had limited success. I have started counselling and this has helped. My therapist is concerned that my wife is BPD (borderline personality disorder) and to expect a rocky break-up. I've had enough and need to move on with life. We have two sons 19 and 17 both living at home. We both work, have considerable debt and little equity built in our home. Our income should reflect a healthier bottom line. She earns about 25% more than me. I have left the majority of our finances to her over the years and I'm unsure of the details. I have begun looking into our investments, loans and household budget to better prepare myself.. She is entitled to half my military pension (23 years) and I am entitled to half of her's (10 years) I've made many changes in my life over the recent years in hopes of finding happiness and reasons to stay together. What I have discovered is that I believe I'd be happier on my own, I don't love her. I am very concerned about how she will handle the news. I hope in time to have a healthy relationship with her as we continue to raise our boys. I have read many introductions on the board as well as other threads. I suppose I am seeking some advice on how to responsibly proceed, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Thanks for reading. J
Old 02-24-2011, 10:20 AM
happy_dad happy_dad is offline
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Of course, there is no answer to your question of how to leave your wife. You already know it will be hard between you but it will be even harder on your children. Since you've hung in there this long, why not wait another year or two until your kids are out of the house at least.
Old 02-24-2011, 11:21 AM
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Epona Epona is offline
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"My therapist is concerned that my wife is BPD (borderline personality disorder) and to expect a rocky break-up." Hmmm...has your therapist met your wife or is the therapist basing his/her concerns on what you've said about her to your therapist? My ex claimed therapists said things about me that weren't true -- I was there and know the therapists didn't say what he claimed. Is this a similar situation ... I wonder.
Anyway, it's not going to be pretty.
At 19 and 17, your sons are pretty much raised. The break-up will NOT go over well with them. You're depressed, not "in love" anymore (no relationship stays on that high level when first married), she's controlling too much and you want to bail on your family. What happened to your vows? This would be the "for worse" part. Have you tried just plainly talking with your wife about your issues? Have you tried marriage counselling with your wife?
If you think things are bad now, it gets a LOT worse during a separation and divorce proceedings.
Guaranteed, she will NOT handle the news well. She may seem to at first (in shock, then denial), then she'll get mad. Over the years she will accept (course, she has no choice). She'll feel like s***, discarded like a piece of trash. This you will do to a woman you once loved enough to bring two children into the planet with.
I realize you may be experiencing some post-trauma disorder, having been in Afghanistan, but do your sons and your wife really deserve to be treated so shoddily? Sure you don't love her as you once did, but you feel nothing for her? Perhaps she had to take on a more controlling role due to your depression and while you in Afghanistan she became less dependent upon you. She did what she had to do to get by. You returned changed by your experiences, but deep down, you're still the same person.
Please, rethink the separation and divorce -- people give up too easily nowadays.
Old 02-24-2011, 12:39 PM
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billm billm is offline
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Originally Posted by enough View Post
...My therapist is concerned that my wife is BPD (borderline personality disorder)...
Your post was thoughtful and well written. I don't have advice for you regarding what to do next (other than to read this forum, it is full of answers to you and there are definitely things you should do and things you should not do).

That being said, I actually laughed when I read this part of your post. Everyone thinks their ex has personality disorder - seriously, it's like a sick joke that you learn after going around the divorce carousel.

My ex started with her own therapist (whom I have never met). This was after dumping our therapist because that therapist wanted to not just focus on me. She started to say things about me that her therapist concluded about me (that I don't repeat to anyone because that is not fair to me). I was completely floored by what she said! All without meeting me - that is crazy!

In dating and talking to other separated people, I have yet to meet anyone who thought their ex had a 'normal' personality (myself and my ex included ). Therapists, and friends often tell you what you want to hear - that nothing was your fault and it was the others issues - don't fall in to that safe zone - its not fair to your or your spouse.
Old 02-24-2011, 03:29 PM
enough enough is offline
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Yeah, after reading my post I regretted mentioning the BPD. This diagnosis on someone the Therapist has never met is sceptical. I have been committed to the marriage, counselling was tried in the past with little results. I am not imagining her difficult, manipulating personality. I have adapted to it. My family sees this first hand and is amazed we have stayed together as long as we have. Only after I mentioned my intentions to end my marriage to my sister did she reveal my other siblings concerns over the years. I was NOT affected by events in Afghanistan, in fact it was the most important, relevant and rewarding time of my career. I believe I became depressed as a result of returning to a marriage and relationship that I feel trapped and controlled.

"do your sons and your wife really deserve to be treated so shoddily?"

Of course not, I should remain in a disfunctional relationship because I made a vow.

"people give up too easily nowadays."

I agree.
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