Why Have I Lived Like This

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“I have been married 35 years. My husband was married once before and had a child, and insisted we keep our finances separate. He made a lot more money than I and has always seemed to live ‘high on the hog’ while I scrimped to get by…

We split household expenses. He cooked and shopped because I worked far from home and was going to college. All other household and family responsibilities and supplies were on me. He went to work early and got out early, spending many lunch hours at the bar and driving home drunk with our children. He worked every weekend and holiday.

He was forced into early retirement ten years ago. He yelled at me to sign a document giving up my right to his pension if he dies so that he can collect a little more each month. These past ten years I have come to realize that he’s been unfaithful, that he has quite a nasty disposition, and he’s very focused on himself.

I paid off my debts with my earnings and saved for retirement. I have pensions through two jobs. I have always provided health insurance for my husband and children through my job. My parents are gone now and when their house sold I used the money I received to buy a small cabin on a lake.

The day after we closed on the cabin he returned from a doctor’s appointment and announced he had cancer. We both quit smoking when he had open heart surgery shortly after I retired. My retirement has been all about his health care. He began smoking again shortly after his surgery.

He’s being tested for more cancers and I wonder if he has some dementia. I’m afraid he’s going to die and I will be responsible for his debts and a ton of needed home repairs. I’m feeling very resentful that I see things in this way.

Why have I allowed myself to live like this? I realize part of this is how my mother lived, keeping her mouth shut and putting up with my father and my brother because she was a housewife with no resources to herself. I grew up not knowing that my father was solely responsible for many of the decisions made and my mom just tried to not make waves. I also deferred to my husband for so long, no questions. Now I just want to make the best of what I have left, knowing that I may have to give it all up to pay for my husband’s debt and care.” –Anonymous

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43 thoughts on “Why Have I Lived Like This”

  1. I hate to say this but he does not care about you or he would not have kept his money and watched you struggle. Since he does not care about you you owe him nothing. Get your prized possessions and papers out of the house some way. Hide your money, and get an excellent lawyer. Then get the hell out. His girlfriends can take care of him. You owe him nothing. Strangers have been better to you. God gave you your life to enjoy and to be happy. Please do not spend anymore of that life with someone who does not care, cheated, did not help you with money. Give it to the person that stuck by you…you. Get to your cabin and enjoy your life.

  2. Please get a lawyer and leave…you are worthy of your own peace of mind…God bless and give you the strength of the Holy Spirit to set you free, like he did me…

    1. Yes! Get a lawyer and leave. But don’t threaten your husband. Don’t tell anybody. He could turn into a total maniac and you could end up in danger. I would not tell him that you’re leaving until after you’re gone Hide anything that you dearly love or put it someplace in storage. If your husband asks, tell him you’ve been donating to thrift stores, that you don’t want to leave a bunch of stuff behind. I would not file for divorce until you are in your new place. DO NOT TELL ANYONE WHERE YOU ARE!! Unless it is someone you can trust. I’m sorry you have gone through all these years of abuse. I was telling my cousin today that I’m the happiest I have been in a very long time, living in a cottage with my cats. I’m poor, but somehow I make it. I can eat what I want, when I want to, I can buy what I want, when I want to. I can watch TV any time I want to, when I want to, and LIFE IS GOOD!!! It is going to be difficult at the beginning because you’re used to living with this person and dealing with him. You will feel lonely and lost. But as time goes by, you will recover and be VERY happy! He’ll probably find a new caretaker to care for him. Let him!

  3. My children, friends & family make fun of me because for 47 years I’ve always told my husband no matter what with our money, his is mine, mine is mine & ours is mine. I’ve worked just as hard as he has. I was raised that a marriage is 50/50. At home there are no man vs woman jobs. And I’ve taught this to my children.
    You are a very strong woman who has worked hard her whole life. Do not feel guilty. Your husband has to be a narcissist for the way he has treated you. You deserve better. I agree 100% find yourself an attorney & make sure you will not be responsible for his debts. Pack up & move to your cabin. Enjoy life to its fullest. You deserve it. Praying for you.

  4. Go see a lawyer and get out. Plus see if you can get some of his too. After years of being married everything is spilt 50/50. You might end up better than you think. Maybe he will succumb to cancer before this is all over and you will not need a divorce.

    1. Yes, get a good lawyer and run. This man is a narcissist and is setting himself up at your expense. If you have a confidante, make sure you tell them about your duress so that you have a witness.

  5. Sort out what needs sorting to deal with his demise so you have peace of mind for you.for now if you staying take care of you.do what’s necessary for him and may you be blessed with what you need to get through.🙋‍♀️💐

  6. Consider my motto “Don’t let yourself be a victim” It has really served me well over the years…..see a lawyer

    1. If your finances were all separate, was your name on his credit cards? If not, perhaps you will not be responsible for his debts. There is a form that you can sign at the bank re debts on death. Talk with your friendly banker.

  7. I agree, seeing a lawyer and getting your affairs ready in order to leave is the right route. I have been there. It seems overwhelming, but take it one day at a time. You can do this. There is one other thing I strongly suggest, go to Al-Anon. It’s free, just google meetings in your area. You and your children have been affected by your husband’s drinking. Alcoholism is a family disease. Al-Anon helps us take the focus OFF the alcoholic in our lives and back on ourselves. You CAN change your life. Good luck.

    1. Get out now, see a lawyer or you will make your own life miserable with resentment and it will turn to hate. Speaking from experience.

  8. I also lived in this arrangement with an ex. you deserve better. If you were surviving on your own money before- you can do it without him. You can have a joyful life without his negative influence. Get a lawyer!

  9. Having an affair outside if marriage is grounds for a divorce. You are not your mother and have your own resources. Talk to an attorney and change your situation asap!

    1. Make him put you back on his pension or leave him!!! That’s outrageous !! Go to attorney and tell him the story how you were forced to sign. I thought it was law that all spouses stayed on that spouse could not remove off.

  10. I think it is a sad thing when women (or men) put everything into a partner who shows they never really cared for them. Been there. Like everyone above has said, get out while you can. Your’s is the soul and personality of a caregiver and you deserve to care for yourself now. We all deserve to be happy. You deserve to be happy.

  11. Protect yourself divorce him and find your happiness,that’s what I did after 40 yrs of abuse he doesn’t deserve you,let him deal with his problems he made them not you…🌸

  12. First get a lawyer, second protect all your accounts, including your pensions. If your name is not on his debit, you can just walk away from it. Protect your cabin, your lawyer can help you. But first get a lawyer. Then when the lawyer says so get out, you’ve served your time.

    1. Is he the beneficiary of your pension or 401K? If you don’t have children to leave it too you might have nieces or nephews who can use college help. Maybe some causes you feel strongly about? No way am I leaving him my hard earned money to spend with another woman after I’m gone. He wanted accounts separate that’s what he will get.

  13. All of the advice to leave and put yourself first is spot on in my book. You have done your time, my friend. Now it’s all about you and what will give you peace in your golden years. Only you know what will make you truly happy, but make sure you act before the window of opportunity is permanently sealed shut. God bless you and give you strength.

  14. Please leave him, divorce him and move to the cabin, love what is left of your life happy and stress free, everyone deserves to be happy. You owe him nothing! Don’t be laying in your bed in your final moments regretting that you gave your life to someone who didn’t give you anything in return.

  15. First, a counselor. Next a lawyer, you need to find out marital law in your state. Life is too short to be miserable. It is time to take your life back. Is your name on any of the accounts of his. Watch the mail for accounts. Be sure he cannot get into your money and take it if he thinks you are leaving.

    1. Take your money and hide it quickly! Get a good lawyer and file for separation legally. Let him have his own bills. Maybe his girlfriends can nurse him in his final days. Run honey!

      1. This is the best answer. I would add changing your mailing address to the cabin, asap, and as long as you don’t sign for any medical care for him, you are not responsible. You have been living a separate life already, just tolerating him. Blessings.

        1. Or perhaps a Post Office Box rather than the cabin. I find a P.O Box very good for a single woman since you can put that address down when an address is needed instead of your physical address.

  16. Move to the cabin at the lake, get an attorney and file for divorce. He won’t be taking advantage of you any longer and you can have some peace. Most important, NO GUILT he made this bed now he must lie in it…

    1. So sorry you are here at this point in your life. My best friend just left her alcoholic husband after 30 yrs of marriage, big home, showy lifestyle. He was getting more abusive, his health was failing too. She went to lawyer and left.. I went to visit her at her little apt Recently In subsidized housing. She was smiling ear to ear and said… ive never been more happier and so peaceful, its wonderful! I wish you well. You deserve to be happy. 💜

      1. My Mom did something similar for almost 30 years. Her advice to me was when divorce is the only answer, don’t get just any lawyer. Get a tough lawyer, one who will fight for you- not just file the papers.
        You need someone who puts your security and happiness first !

    1. Take your money and hide it quickly! Get a good lawyer and file for separation legally. Let him have his own bills. Maybe his girlfriends can nurse him in his final days. Run honey!

  17. Get a lawyer NOW! Do not tell him. What you have been doing all these years has taken strength. Focus that same strength on YOU now. You can do this! Prayers for you. ❤️

  18. I think you need a lawyer and a counseling. Talk about this and see what YOUR rights really are!! Then take one day at a time with a plan. Don’t waste anymore time!! Praying for you!!

  19. Love him but put it all in Gods handstand put God first and let the spirit speak to you, you are #1when it comes to mental abuse.

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