Checking in after a long absence... Jan 17, 2022 1:40:21 GMT -5 ggold, southerngirl, and 4 more like this
Post by allworkandnoplay on Jan 17, 2022 1:40:21 GMT -5
I wrote this separately, and I had no idea it was getting this long until I pasted it in here. My apologies for the length. I appreciate all of you who take the time to read it. I am sure you can find my previous posts in my profile if you want to know more of my backstory.
We have been married over 25 years. We were both very young, still in college. I honestly have no idea how often we had sex in the beginning, but I do not recall having any problems early on. Issues really started after our second child was born (she is now 18). I distinctly remember having fights about how once every few weeks was not enough. Fights escalated from there, as did the interval between sessions. As of now, I think we have had sex once in around 4 years, and that was 2 1/2 years ago.
Several years ago I decided I was just going to disengage. It is not a silent treatment. We just don’t talk about anything. We work for the same company. Actually, we worked in the same building for over 10 years, but I have since moved to a different location across town. The only thing we ever talk about is work related, or something that I know we happen to have close enough of an agreement. For the longest time we have had parallel lives. When we get home from work, she goes straight upstairs to the bedroom. I stay downstairs in the living room. We don’t eat together, watch tv together, nothing. We do have an occasional date night, but that is just an excuse to just go get a nice steak dinner. Additionally, if we are talking about something and her phone rings or text message comes through, I am immediately cut off and she goes to that, even if we were in the middle of something. We still sleep in the same bed, ironically at her insistence; I just go up when I am ready each night. Weekends are the same. She never even comes down unless she is leaving to go somewhere, or to get food, etc. On the upside, I come and go and do whatever I please. I have never been good at making friends (our friends have always been mutual), but I finally have a small group now and we do things together and we have hobbies that we all work on together.
We still did occasionally have sex, maybe once or twice a year, although the interval between continued to grow. She ended up having to have a complete hysterectomy at age 44 (family history of cancer – no real physical dysfunction other than the beginnings of normal perimenopause). That was almost 2 ½ years ago she had the surgery. We had sex maybe one time in the 18 months before that, and nothing since the surgery. Knowing that loss of libido can be a side effect of a hysterectomy and sudden onset menopause (no HRT), this has been her final game-set-match. At about the one year anniversary of the surgery I mentioned to her, “You know, it has been over a year since we’ve had sex.” She looked up from her book and said, “I know,” and went back to reading. That was the last ever mention of anything sex related.
This is where we are now. There is one benefit, though. We almost never fight about anything anymore. Nothing.
Divorce has never been an option before because of our financial co-dependence. Neither of us could afford to maintain a separate household, and I certainly could not have afforded the child support that I would most certainly have been required to pay. I have been working for the past 4 years or more to get us into a better financial situation. We haven’t been too bad financially, comfortable at least, just not enough for two households. I think, though, that I am finally at a place where I can make it happen. We sold our house a few years ago (got a good deal) with the intention of renting for a few years until the kids were out of high school, paying off some debt, etc. Once they were both out, we would reevaluate what kind of housing we wanted for “just the two of us”. Actually, that situation was finally what gave me the opportunity to start making a real "Exit Plan". Early on, all of our finances were co-mingled, but I have managed to separate most of them. My state is a 50/50 state, so all debts and assets are equally responsible by both married partners regardless of whose name is on the loan, but it makes for a much easier division with a divorce decree without having to re-apply for new loans or terms just to remove one of us from the account. Except for the cars, we have virtually no real debt, just some very small credit card balances that I plan on getting rid of before this all goes down, if I can make it work. But also, no real assets either since we sold our house. Only assets are our individual retirement accounts.
I know how divorce works in my state, but I have stopped short of actually visiting a lawyer. Divorces can go quickly here, as little as 30-60 days, especially in our situation - No child support; no alimony (we make almost the same salary from our jobs); no assets to split and sell off; and I’ve mentioned the debt situation. Our current lease runs up in June, coinciding with our last high school graduation (hence no child support). We have to look for somewhere else to live anyway – might as well make it two places instead of one. I have even been working on a preemptive agreement with what I believe will be a more than fair division of debts and expenses, including new budgets for each of us with relative expenses in a new individual household relative to the agreement. We really have nothing else except for personal possessions, which she can have whatever she wants. I am not sentimental. I don’t anticipate her being able to cause a problem, because we just don’t have anything to argue about – literally, as we have nothing. She could still try to make it miserable for me, but it would be empty fussing because the only thing she could argue for is for me to take more of the debt so she ends up with more money per month in her individual budget, but she can’t do that in our state.
The one thing holding me back – FEAR. If I talk to a lawyer, this is real. I have not really had “the talk” officially with my W either. If I do, this is real. I need to talk to a lawyer before I talk to her, and I am getting dangerously close to ending timelines. I basically have about 6-8 weeks before I/we need to begin to locate new places to live and 5 months to move out. I have already been looking, getting budget ideas, but she has been looking for us to have one place to stay together. She will be blindsided, but I cannot accept that she will be surprised. She has to understand that this is not how a marriage relationship is supposed to be, even it is the way she wants it to be. We have had family friends divorce, and each time the leaving spouse has been vilified and ridiculed by herself and her family – very judgmental. I have no connection to my life before. My entire existence is tied to hers. I have no real family to speak of, and no ties back to my childhood. I know I will be the bad guy; I do not, and will not, disparage her in public, and I have no social media. In fact, until recently, no one had any inkling that there was anything amiss in our relationship. As far as anyone was concerned, we were perfect. I finally told my relatively new small circle of friends about our sexual (and other) issues and they are supportive. I am very introverted and have never made friends easily, and honestly it has become more difficult over the years. Will I even be able to function alone, my own friends, dating again?
Bottom line – I am scared. Terrified, even. I don’t know if I will be able to go through with it. I do all of this research and planning, then when it comes down to picking up the phone, or sending an email to a lawyer I always seem to find some excuse of why not to do it yet. I no longer have the luxury of postponing. I have set us up for the best possible scenario for a divorce in terms of finances, housing, job and moving timing, etc. If I wait too long and we get another house, even it is just renting, it will make it infinitely more difficult. I know it’s now or never, but I just can’t seem to make myself do it. I feel paralyzed, petrified. I’m only in my mid-40’s. I have never thought of myself as particularly attractive, and I have certainly gained weight over the years (although I have made progress recently). I may be lonely, but I am not technically alone. If I do this, I will be both, at least for a while. I am well-known at work and in the community and we still have many mutual friends and acquaintances, despite me working in a different location for 5 years. I know some will take sides, probably a few unfairly. What do I do? It should have no effect on my work or my standing at work, but what if it does? Except for literally 4 other people (none from my work), no one knows of my situation. I have no intention of gossip or any discussion apart from an acknowledgement of fact that it would be done. Would she also be as respectful, or would she tear me apart socially? Can I recover from something like that? Or am I just letting my fear and anxiety control me?
And here I stand...