I have been married for almost 10 years. We married late in life, I am 48 now, my husband is 50. We have 2 young children, 7 and 5.
We married out of convenience, not because of love. This has never been verbalized between us, but we both know it. At the time we both felt lonely and needed each other.
The marriage has been horrible from the beginning. There has been very little fun, but a lot of fights, belittling and not speaking to each other. The marriage has been mostly sexless and it is a wonder we have 2 children.
Although I have a masters degree and I am not stupid, my husband talks down to me most of the time. He is from a family that is not successful, neither is he, my family members are all successful. I think my husband has always felt socially inferior to other people.
I would have left him long ago as nothing except the children keep us together, but I am from another country and I have no education, nor skills from the US. Add to that my age and I feel like I am in prison and don't know how to get out. I have done therapy, but that hasn't helped me gain insight what to do. My husband doesn't seem to care that we are barely speaking to each other. He is gone most of the day, working in a business that he started much thanks to me (long story). When I married him he was 40, unemployed and lived in a rental. He basically had nothing and no friends at all although he was born and raised in the city where we live.
Any input will be appreciated.
Well, if he was umemployed when you got married, what did the two of you do for money if you have no job skills? Were you working at something? If you have a master's degree you must have some skills or abilities. Surely you can find work doing something.
I'm certainly not going to tell you to leave your husband, I don't think anyone can tell you whether or not to do that, but I do think life is way too short to be so unhappy. Research your options. Check the paper, check with local employment agencies. Work with a professional job hunting assistant who can help you brush up on your job interviewing skills and help you create a great resume. See what kind of day care facilities are in your area so you can have somewhere to put the kids while you look for a job or go back to school or what have you. You can do it if you want to badly enough. I don't think "I can't work, I can't go back to school, I can't look for a job, I have kids" is a valid excuse. I tend to think that's just fear talking. You can find a way if you really want to.
But this is your life, and 48 is too young to throw in the towel, but too old to waste time. No one can go out and live it for you, and if you're unhappy, no one can change that but you. Like they say, only you know what you need to be happy, and only you will be unhappy if you don't get it. Well, I have to add, that you AND your kids will be unhappy, because I don't think a miserable mom is a very good mom. How can anyone be fully present for her kids when she's so miserable and preoccupied with her own unhappiness and pain?
Have a long talk with yourself and figure out what you really, truly want out of life, what do you see yourself doing, what do you want to be doing, and then formulate a plan and put that plan into action. Ask friends, neighbors, school chums, and other sources for help if you have to.
If you married only out of convenience, then the situation you are going through now was quite predictable, wasn't it? It could have happened that over these years you have been together you had both developed a kind of friendship or affection between yourselves, but apparently that was not the case.
How often do you fight? And after a fight, do any of you apologize or just sweep it under the rug? Do the fights ever lead to the resolution of a conflict, or are they simply pointless?
My impression is that you think you have married someone below you, as you seem to stress that you have a degree and your family is all successful, whereas his family is a failure (my words). In a couple, when there is love and respect, these differences are often negligible, and both partners try to find a compensation for them: if one has a better education than the other, the other will be more diligent. And so on.
I really don't like your husband belittling you, but I wonder if you have ever used the sign of your better education to show him you have reached farther
than him. This is particularly painful for a man. Perhaps he says that, despite your degree, you are not a practical person, lacking real experience, as it is often the case with academically qualified. I presume that although you have a degree, you don't have a job currently, do you?
Now back to your question: should you divorce him or not? Have you ever brought up the issue with him? From you side, what could you have done to make your marriage a happier, more successful one? How often did you do things together? Doing things together is even more important than talking to each other. Yet, I think your decision about what to do must be taken only after you talk to him tête-à-tête. Talking and listening and reaching a compromise. It is clear that he is running away from you, postponing a confrontation, so this seems to be your task. Call him for a conversation. You don't need to fight during this conversation, although you'll probably be washing some dirty linen, too. It is important not to tell lies and to listen to each other.
If you choose to divorce, you might consider coming back to your homeland, if that is feasible, but no, there are the children. You can't take them away from him, can you? What prevents you from getting a job in the USA? Can't your degree be recognized there? Perhaps it's only a question of sitting for an examination.
Divorce is not the end of the world. It may be hard in the beginning, but it is better than a marriage beyond repair.
Repairing a marriage is not impossible, but it takes time and hard work and both parties must have a motivation.
Thanks for your replies. I rally appreciate any input since I feel stuck and almost in a panic. It is a panic about how to survive in a very expensive city.
When my husband and I got married I had a job, but quit because it caused me physical problems. My masters degree is worthless in the US, it can only be used in the country I am from. I can't sit for an exam, I can't do anything with it.
Yes, this situation was predictable, but I have been digging my head in the sand. Well, not completely because we did file for divorce a little more than a year ago, but changed our minds because of the kids. I am so unhappy though that I really think my kids would feel better in the long run if we would divorce.
Yes, I do feel I married below me and I don't only mean as far as education goes. My husband's family are like robots, extremely cold and incredibly cheap. I have not seen this level of cheapness until I met them. It is very hard to feel respect for them.
My husband has a habit of belittling me. Fortunately he rarely does it in front of others, but when we are alone. He tells me I am stupid, he rolls his eyes at me and if I talk, he reads the paper or has no patience to hear me, but he is very polite to others, especially his family. He never "loses it" with them although his sister is openly jealous of him and tries to bring him down. He also says things like that I need psychiatric help or to be on medication because I am not well mentally. I feel that I need to get away from him, but have no real support and feel terrified.
My husband and I rarely fight nowadays. We used to fight a lot, but now we are even past that. We have not much to say to each other except about our kids and he talks a lot about his job. I don't say much to him unless I have to.
The truth is I am afraid to divorce because I feel like I can't make it out there in the world. When we were about to divorce last year and both of us had divorce lawyers, I backed off as I was going to sign a lease on an apartment. But, I really want out of this marriage, it is suffocating me. My husband is very nice to everybody so people think that he is a great husband.
What is your reaction when he belittles you? I really don't think that it is fortunate that he only does it when you are alone. Actually, he has built a façade on your marriage, and what is perhaps worse, you have allowed him to build it.
Fear is natural. But don't let fear paralyze you. I have the impression that you are very lonely. Can't you have the support from friends and relatives if you decide to divorce? What is so frightening in the world for you that makes you think you won't be able to survive? If your degree is really useless in this country (although you could be misinformed here), then perhaps you could do something else.