Wedding Woes

Leave him. Leave him now.

Dear Prudence,

I am a professional woman who has been married for 16 years. My job is stressful, and I often work 12 hours or more. We have no children. At first things were wonderful, and my husband always seemed like a sweet, mild-mannered, caring man. Three years in, he was laid off because his company ran into financial trouble. Because I am a high-earner, I told him he didn’t need to go back to work as long as he kept the house up and did basic repair projects. He never went back to work, but he never kept the house up, either. We also hired housecleaners to visit every two weeks, but in between nothing got done. I asked him to go back to work. He didn’t. I strongly suspected he was having affairs a few years later, but he always denied it. I have no concrete proof, but he did many suspicious things like hiding months of phone bills and having midnight texts. Years later he voluntarily took two polygraph tests to save the marriage (we stopped having intimate relations five years ago mostly because I no longer admired, respected, or trusted him, and because of my resentment toward him on several levels). He failed the tests.

Until lately, I generally ignored all my feelings and went about trying to have a good life. My husband will not discuss our issues because, he says, he clams up or needs time to think. I verbalize my needs and frustrations all the time. At one point he started snapping at me and rolling his eyes, but I firmly and strongly told him to stop, which he mostly has. I demanded that he get a job, and he finally works 25 hours a week making a small salary. He knows I no longer love him (in the least), but he won’t leave. We now live in separate bedrooms. We have been to two marriage counselors. I have told him I will go back if he is willing to discuss his unfaithfulness, which he still denies. He states the lie-detector tests are invalid. The house and everything we own are paid for by me alone. I need to divorce, but he will take everything I own, plus alimony. On the surface, he is a nice, charming, religious guy. None of our friends know about our marriage troubles, and they would be shocked to hear this. Advice, please.

—Trapped

Re: Leave him. Leave him now.

  • Find a good lawyer.  That's my advice.  Talk to that lawyer and see what the rules are in your state. 

    Also figure out what is worth it to you - writing a check or living with a gaslighting narcissist? 
    mrsconn23MissKittyDangerei34short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    In a lot of states, infidelity is a bar for alimony. So there's that. I'm still kind of stuck on the fact that he took a polygraph to save the marriage, but he failed the polygraph and the marriage has continued for years. 

    But, uh, if you're not going to hire a divorce lawyer, look into a hit man. 
    ei34OliveOilsMomshort+sassy
  • I'm interested to know how she thinks his small salary 25 hr/week job is going to win with the obviously high priced shark she can hire.

    She needs to find out her options.  It's going to suck, but LW....this doesn't have to be your life.  Even if you do have to pay him alimony (and I did have a woman friend who had to do this), at least you can go out, get laid, and have some happiness again.  LW is far too beaten down and needs to find her anger.
    ei34OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875short+sassy
  • This sounds like LW is so afraid of change that she's convinced herself why she should stay. 
    short+sassymrsconn23OliveOilsMom
  • In a lot of states, infidelity is a bar for alimony. So there's that. I'm still kind of stuck on the fact that he took a polygraph to save the marriage, but he failed the polygraph and the marriage has continued for years. 

    But, uh, if you're not going to hire a divorce lawyer, look into a hit man. 
    The true crime devotee in me loves this answer, lol.

    I think @banana468 hit the nail on the head.  When you have a stressful job with long hours, it can be hard to build up the emotional energy...or even find the time!...to do anything else.  But they are in a lose-lose place and need to start looking at their options.

    Their first call should be to a divorce attorney.  For a consultation fee, they can get the REAL skinny on what a divorce might look like financially.  They are envisioning the darkest picture, but that may not be the case.  For example, yes they might have to pay alimony, but it might only be for a set period of time.

    Money is an important subject and everyone has different feelings about it.  But you only live once and I think happiness is more important.  Spending years in a miserable and unhappy marriage isn't worth the cost.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    OliveOilsMomei34MyNameIsNot
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Call a divorce attorney and file to get this jerk out of your life. He lies and cheats all the time, and then gaslights you. Nothing you can say or do will make him change. You'll be better off without him.
    OliveOilsMomei34
  • If you get the right divorce lawyer, you won't have to worry about your husband getting everything. Don't settle for the first one you meet if you don't think they'll fight for you. And while I understand your worrying about this, it's not a reason to stay with someone who is clearly making you miserable. You need to get out of this marriage.


    image
    short+sassycharlotte989875
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