After reading other posts, I finally decided to submit my own story. I see what others are going through and what they've written, and I think, "Yeah, you should definitely get out of that marriage." It seems so obvious that the marriage has serious issues that can’t be resolved.
I just wish it had been so cut and dry with my marriage.
In the depths of my depression, I blame myself for not pushing harder to fix our sex life, for not pushing him into counseling, and for not continuing to try to reconcile with him. But while I still hold some responsibility, a very large part falls onto him for not addressing his own problems and not getting the help he needed. He abdicated responsibility for everything to me, leaving me to hold up our marriage largely on my own, even from the start.
It’s not as if he was completely absent from the marriage - he wasn’t. Our sex life, while not as active as I would have liked, was still present until at least 4-5 years ago. After that it declined steadily into non-existence.
What makes it hard is that there’s always this little glimmer over the horizon that maybe tomorrow things will look up or the thought that if we just work a little harder at it, it will turn out okay. He’s in counseling now, maybe I should just give him another chance... Always a little niggle that if I just stick it out, things will turn around and get better.
It would be so much easier if the problem in our marriage was something blatantly toxic like abuse or adultery. Then it’s cut and dry - get out, not only for you but for the kids.
He’s a great father, even during the times when he believed he was a failure (I held him up through that). He’s a good guy in general. I still like him and he’s well-liked among friends. He’s a good businessman, even if I did have to step out of the business completely in order to get him to take responsibility for his own decisions.
He was just a lousy husband. Yes, he has low testosterone, but he didn’t try to address that problem until I asked for a divorce. Yes, he has a particular hang up about sex, which he hid from me for our entire marriage until he began getting counseling for it. He sat back and didn’t participate in major household decisions, even when I went digging for them. Because of the depression and anxiety that went with the low testosterone, talking about the problems wasn’t possible.
Wasn’t possible…really? I write it and realize there’s no other way of characterizing it. There’s a ton of history behind that statement, but in my heart we reached a point years ago where I couldn’t talk to my husband about anything of consequence.
The fact that communication was a problem in our marriage from the start is something I only came to realize during counseling. At first, I was the only one really communicating. Any real discussions didn’t happen unless I started them and, after a while, I got tired of starting them. After his depression started to set in, I couldn’t start them because I didn’t believe he could handle it.
It’s so hard to talk about with my friends because to truly understand how unhappy I was requires a lot more disclosure than I’m willing to give. Everyone was surprised that I was asking for a divorce because the problems in our marriage were things you don’t really talk about in polite conversation. Publicly, we didn’t argue, and my ex-husband’s depression wasn’t out there for all to see. To others, we looked like the perfect couple with two beautiful daughters, living the dream.
Our friends were shocked. Quite frankly, I think they still are. One of my girlfriends still talks about wanting to invite ‘us’ over for dinner. She hasn’t yet internalized that there isn’t an ‘us’ anymore.
I just wish it were clear and easy. Without that, in my heart, it’s all my fault for ripping apart our family.
I failed, and I can’t fix it.10 Comments