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Separating After 15 Years Of Marriage

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So my marriage is headed south. What kind of person talks about such things to the whole world? Well I've decided to. Why not? With all I've written over the years, if I was going to get all upset over what someone says about me I wouldn't have been able to stick with this website for so long.

I was originally going to be cute with the title of this and name it "Marriage, Rocks - (No Not 'Marriage Rocks!')", but it felt a little dopey, so I changed it.

Why is our marriage of 15+ years falling apart? It's sufficient enough to say that we just don't mesh anymore, neither in our goals or general outlook on life. So after being generally miserable and dwelling on this for quite a while I've decided to make a change. It really comes down to me because she's not the type to seek change and would rather stay in a miserable marriage for 60 more years than face the stigma or changes to daily life that divorce brings.

There's a lot of complexities involved. We have two kids, a shared history, intertwining finances etc etc... So how can you handle it all?

What are some of our differences? Well without trying to say that she's wrong on anything, it's just differences in our personalities, here's a few.

  • I want exploration, adventure, spontaneity and doing different and new things and she likes sticking with the same old thing.

  • I want to go to the opera at least once, she'd just complain about the weird singing.

  • I want to go hiking on a nice spring day, she doesn't like to walk an extra spot in a parking lot.

  • I find intellectual discussions about history intriguing, she would probably tell you that Napoleon is that ice cream with chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.

  • I find beauty in a sunset, she sees that it's getting dark and chilly.

  • I say "what if...?" it works, she says "what if..." it fails (and in her opinion it probably will).

  • She finds shopping as an enjoyable exercise... even window shopping, I find it a waste of time and a reminder of things I can't have - unless I have earmarked a specific amount of money to blow ahead of time. And on this point don't get me wrong. I don't mind window shopping occasionally, but every weekend?

  • I'm a saver, she's a spender, though I don't mind spending when it has been thought of ahead of time. There's nothing worse than to spend money you hadn't planned on spending and when you're going to bed that night thinking to yourself "what have I done?"

  • The Lying... OK I said I wouldn't make attack, but I can only take so much deception.
  • Reading through my bio should give you a clue of the type of guy I am. A dream chaser and risk taker and I'm never going to change. It's just the way I am.

    Well, last night I finally sat down and just told her that I'm separating and going to file for divorce. I also mentioned that we can either get "pissy" at each other or we can sit and work it out so that we're both on the same page as far as what is going to occur so nobody is in the dark. I had thought things out for quite a few weeks though and had most of it worked out - splitting property, custody, etc - from my perspective. So I laid that on the table and asked her what she thought of it.

    It didn't take long for things to go into that "who's fault is it?" mode though and I caught myself a few times. It doesn't really matter who's fault it is at this point. Is it really worth arguing about? I don't think so.

    In reality this has been coming for years. It's basically been like living with a roommate and I need more than that from a relationship.

    There's lots of things I'm worried about, the kids being the main one. How will they take daddy not being home? Will they turn into some delinquents or be able to cope? Will they hate me?

    Then there's my worries...

    There's the worry about making it on your own after so many years with someone. Will I turn into a miserable lonely wreck? I'm sure some would already say I've reached that point a long time ago, but being "lonely" in a house with other people is different from being lonely in an apartment all alone. Will I turn into that guy like in Taxi Driver, going insane and delusional? Silly thought, but that's the type of thing that I think of when I think of loner.

    Will I be able to actually date someone? Will I find another woman some day or will I be some crotchety old man who's 70 and all alone? These are the things that pull on my mind when I think of it all and probably why I've stayed so long.

    Will my wife be able to make it on her own? Hell, we don't mesh, but that doesn't mean I wish her ill.

    I'm exhausted, that's all I know (this entry alone took me an hour and a half to write with all the thinking). I went to bed last night after our talk and woke up this morning and I haven't stopped yawning all morning. It's like I'm emotionally drained with it all. The kicker is that Thanksgiving is a few days away and the Christmas season and this is exactly the time I'm leaving. Not very much of a Christmas present for the kids...

    I'll be moving out next month.

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    Posted by Digger on November 20, 2006 11:49 AM (Permalink)

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    I'm sorry your marriage is ending bro, but I wish you all the best in whatever god has planned for you.

    Posted by: Jake Jacobsen on November 20, 2006 03:16 PM

    Well, all I can say is that it sounds like you are starting from a healthy, reasonable place here. Way too many of these things start with nothing but bile and hate. I suspect that will go far toward helping your kids handle it.

    Keep thinking about the positives, and be willing to give in on at least one thing you absolutely don't want to give in on. A financial thing, a property division...something. Everyone I know that did this felt better about it and it helped lower the acrimony between parties.

    Good luck, and hey...blogging this stuff can be amazingly cathartic. We're here. :)

    Posted by: JimK on November 20, 2006 06:54 PM


    I don't think there's ever a good time to divorce.

    I was married for 16 years and separated from my husband not long after the holidays. At the time the older two kids said "what took you so long" while the two younger ones were a little shell-shocked.

    Keep civility as your number one priority with your ex, and keep your kids as YOUR number one priority.

    Get a lawyer. No matter how "friendly" you two are. Even if its one lawyer to look over stipulations between you and her. You wouldn't buy a house or business without expert legal advice, don't end a marriage without one.

    Is there life after divorce?

    Hell, yes.

    I was a 42 y/o woman with 4 daughters under 16 who had spent the whole of 16 years of marriage as a fulltime wife, mom and community volunteer.

    Now, ten years later, I've completed a college degree, successfully launched kidlets out of the house (youngest current sophmore in college) and remarried to a wonderful man I DO want to grow old with.

    Hang in there, digger. All my best and warmest wishes to you.

    Posted by: Darleen on November 21, 2006 01:16 AM

    Sorry your going through this mess GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide to do.

    The one thing that worries me is the holidays, depending on how old your kids are if young I'd wait till after the holidays. My parents splip right before Christmas, not something you want them to remember.

    Hope all goes well.

    Posted by: Maria on November 22, 2006 12:00 AM

    I'm 100% behind Darlene, however I'd push for 2 seperate lawyers.

    I was divorced in 2001, and it was, quite frankly, hell for a while. But it gets better. Life goes on. Adjustments are made. Don't listen to the genie's in the bottle's of Jim Beam. He'll just lie to you.

    We'll be here so if you ever need advice or what have ya, just zap us a note. Sorry for the mess on the Holidays

    Posted by: BloodSpite on November 23, 2006 11:52 AM

    Thanks alot digger. I,m going through a divorce right now. Sometimes I think I'm the only one going through this. 20 years for me and it is good to see I'm not the only one getting a divorce for the same reasons.WOW!! We will make it.

    Posted by: Bryan on December 2, 2006 11:47 AM

    after 8 years of marriage,---2 months ago, my husband told me he met his "soulmate". we have 2 young children and now the year just started and he wants to separate. (possibly file a divorce) i was and am shattered but i try to live everyday to the fullest.

    i worry for my children. our daughter fears that we, her parents, will separate and that thought of her sadness kills me everytime. i still want to save the marriage despite what he has done, but he said that his decision is unchangeable. pride is a dangerous partner in life.

    the worst part isn't his affair itself, but rather the woman is 8 yrs. older, IS married still and has 3 kids of her own. it is also hard to accept that he goes for her because she is a woman in power (a successful career woman) and that he is running after his ambitions before he turns 40 in a year.

    sorry, but i'm still fresh in the pail with this situation and needed to breath out.

    Posted by: betrayed on January 6, 2007 02:24 PM

    I just wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear about your separation and while it is difficult I believe that you will overcome.

    I'm still in a relationship like that and have come to the conclusion that I have to move on with my life as well. I just recently told my husband and while we are at the blame level, we are trying to take whatever senses we have and put them toward good decisions.

    I just wanted to say do all you say that you want to do because you only live once. While it's better to do it with someone, it could be nice to just full fill your dreams alone.

    Best wishes and I hope that all your dreams come true with no regrets.

    Posted by: Lisa on March 8, 2008 07:15 AM


    I am separated for almost 13 years..heared that my husband was already married since after 5 years separation..i want to get married again.is it possible? my husband says that were out of the family code since were 13 years apart and we can get married again for someone we want to marry..hope u could help me..please.im confused..thank you and more power!!

    Posted by: anonymous73 on August 18, 2008 10:47 PM

    Hey, you've inspired me. I'm on the other side, I'd love to go to the opera, just once, but he'd say why bother, he'd rather stay home. We have 3 fantastic children but as far as I am concerned they are mine, he just pays for me to look after them. There are no shared interests, nothing in common, just bullying and emotional blackmail. No sex. He used to be my best friend, but I'd rather go out with anyone else than him nowadays.
    Have been stay at home mum for a while, confidence is totally eroded (by him) and lifestyle hasn't been bad. not sure if I have the guts and of course, I should be the martyr and stay for the children - but it is my life as well isn't it and I will bust my guts to make sure they are fine.
    We're 15 years as well - is this a common feeling for that period or am I just flogging a dead horse by thinking it might get better?
    Go forth and make your self happy again.

    Posted by: Gladys on October 3, 2008 06:22 AM

    Wow, this is the first time I've been on any kind of site like this and I just plain feel alone. I'm sitting here sobbing because my husband and I have just agreed, a few hours ago, that there is no love left, after 11 years, and are miserable together. I've known for quite some time that he's just not into me anymore, and as far as sex goes, there is none. I think in the entire year of 2008 we had sex a total of 2 times. Really sad, considering we're both still in our thirties. We've talked about the big "D" for a long time, fight constantly in front of our 9 and 10 year old children, don't talk, don't hold hands, you name it, we don't do it. I'm scared to death. He's a fabulous man, always put me on this pedestal, but the past few years have been agonizing. He's been distant, uncaring and unloving. I guess I can't blame him, for years I pushed him away and now I feel I do all the initiating of any kind of physical activity. I would be devestated to find out he was cheating, he denies it right and left, but I just don't know. We can't afford to live alone, I'm TERRIFIED of hurting our kids any further, I'm just at the end of my rope. Last week I also lost my job, things just keep getting better and better. He's always been this horrible communicator, but the past two years or so he's been totally not there. He's great to the kids, always the dad playing in the front yard, really involved. He just doesn't love me anymore and that's a hard pill to swallow. I can't sleep, I feel miserable. What do I do to take my mind off it and get some sleep? I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach! Any advice would sure be nice, I could use some friends right now.

    Posted by: Jenny T on March 25, 2009 12:18 AM

    WOW! I just separated from my husband two weeks ago. We have an 8 year old daughter that doesn't miss him much! I understand the worries - I am so there with ya! I believe time stops for know one and so, this too shall pass. It's not about how fast we get to where we think we are going, but rather HOW we do it. Everything happens for a reason and honestly, since he has left - he has been over more than he was when he lived here! Let go and be amazed at what may happen!

    Posted by: heidi on April 12, 2009 01:54 PM

    Wow I wasn't expecting to find all these similar stories...I found out the end of June that my husband had cheated on me back in Dec 08...I asked him to leave which he did (I didn't give him much of a choice) and after I wouldn't forgive him and reconcile in a few weeks he moved on with a girl (fellow co-worker) he had been "getting to know" via Myspace and texting for the past few months...she is also 10 years younger than him...that's not really what upsets me because I know we are done it's just his sneakniness and shadiness these past few months and the fact that he won't be a man and own up to the fact that he is in a relationship with this girl...he moved on so quickly yet was still telling me he hoped we could work things out and telling our children (we have 3-9 yr old twins and an almost 8 yr old) that this was all his fault and that he hopes we could get back together as he was driving them to his girlfriends house to spend the day! It's clear to me that he doesn't want his children to think of him the way he feels of his Dad who he doesn't really have a relationship at all with. It sucks because the way I was raised once you were married that was it...there may be bumps in the road or mountains to cross but if you were committed to each other you could make it thru anything...and obviously my whole upbringing has been destroyed...my thots on marriage is destroyed and will I ever be able to love again?

    Posted by: Josie on September 20, 2009 09:22 PM


    Posted by: CHARLES on June 18, 2010 10:33 PM

    Well hello,
    Seems like you and I may be in the same boat. I to have been married for fifteen years, I love my husband dearly we have three children who range from 5 to 12 years of age.
    Hes a wonderful provider and an excellent father, but when it comes to me he sometimes make me feel as though he isn't physically attracted to me anymore, hes constantly reminding me of how beautiful some women are, their demeanor,their shape, he notices when they have gotten a new hair color or style or even a new outfit.
    Of course I am not that 5'9 165 lb women whose curve would make any man especially a man of color look twice!
    I have gained weight I still maintain my dressing decent, however, whenever i get a new hair cut, buy a new outfit, look good he just looks and never says anything!
    Once I lost almost 65 lbs both men and women commented i felt on top of the world when this happened then he decided to get jealous! ( not surprised).
    When it comes to our sex life i believe in not telling my spouse no! I love to make our intimate life full of excitement, etc however, sometime he just lay up there and let me do all the work! he rarely touches me in certain places. This is how I have come to the conclusion he is physically not attracted to me, therefore, I refuse to live my life feeling like I am the ugly duckling, whose disgusting looking to the opposite sex, I have decided to divorce this person, but not without making him see that he has lost a faithful, hardworking, caring, loving, wife.

    Posted by: Lisa on August 19, 2010 01:14 PM

    Your brave, and so many people stay in there relationships even though there miserable. I'm a 35 year old female and I will be dame if I'm staying in a relationahip that every day I'm told off for not doing something right or how ugly etc. I hope life turned out well for you and your ex.

    Posted by: Heather on January 29, 2012 07:59 PM

    Some interesting reading and thoughts here.

    I'm also caught in the same situation with my wife as many of you are.

    Married for 15 years with one 12 year old.

    We do not get along and have absolutely nothing in common.

    I'm just trying to hold on for the sake of my kid as I love him so so much and cannot stand the thought of not seeing him daily.

    Yet here I am, confused and wanting to leave.

    any advice?

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