You are here

Divorce after 30 years

sandye21's picture

I have not written in avery long time but want you all to know that I am finally divorcing my husband of 30 years.  And I am SO glad that I finally found the courage to do it.

If you are not cherished, if you do not get the affection and caring that you deserve, ask yourself if this relationship is right for you - no matter how long you've been in it.  You are worthy of being loved and cared about.  If you constantly having to adjust your expectations so you avoid divorcing someone who does not appreciate your worth, you are playing a very dangerous game with yourself. I did for 30 years and went through hell.  Finally, with therapy, I have learned to love myself.

Several times I have read that children are a responsibility, but the marraige is top priority.  If this is not the case, don't waste one more minute of your time on someone who does not believe this.

First and foremost be kind to yourself.  Looking forward to a happier life.  Love you all, Sandye

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Sandye, while I'm both happy and sad for you. Sad to read you're divorcing and the reason why, but happy to feel your strength and determination to have what you deserve. Prayers and love for you. *give_rose*

Kes's picture

Sometimes you need to leave, for your own wellbeing and sanity, no matter how long the marriage - I left my first husband after 24 yrs. So pleased to hear your therapy was helpful and I wish you peace and happiness in your new life. 

tog redux's picture

I'm so sorry, but good for you for putting yourself first. I hope others on here will get courage from you. 

hereiam's picture

I'm so sorry that it has come to this, Sandye, but so glad that you now love yourself and are no longer willing to just accept less than you deserve.

I would wish you luck, but you don't need it, you have you.

TheAccidentalSM's picture

I'm sorry for the end of the relationship but glad you are focusing on yourself.  No one can say you didn't give it your all.  Best wishes for the next stage of your life.  I'm sure it will be fabulous.  *give_rose*

Gimlet's picture


I am sorry that you're going through this, but also admiring your resolve in doing such a difficult thing.  So glad you've been able to focus on what's best for you and I am sure you're going to move forward into a happier life.

2Tired4Drama's picture

The sadness and difficulties you may be experiencing now are only temporary.

Eventually you will be able to firmly, quietly close the door on the past, and then "Embrace your freedom and see what wonderful things come of it."

stepmomnorth's picture

You deserve to be with someone who sees your worth and truly loves you. Hugs 

Ohsoconfused's picture


I left my DH of 29 years back in 2009.  Similar sentiments, just not valued or cherished any more, despite raising two wonderful successful sons.  He was making our elder son into a carbon copy - both of them regularly disrespecting me.  Although my ex is a very clever, and I would have said, fair minded man, it turned out that money was everything to him.

After I left and moved far away, he took me for all he could in the divorce, then started gifting large amounts to our sons so that they live far better than I ever will.  He started dating an old GF within a couple of months of my departure, even before the divorce was final.  She has no kids, but now ten years later has installed herself as the grandma to my grandchildren.  They love me too, of course, but being far away, I rarely see them.

The last 10 years' adventures have been interesting enough that I'd do it all again. If I had any advice for you, it would be write down your thoughts and feelings as they are NOW.  Distance makes the heart grow fond, and it is wise to always have that reminder of why you left so time doesn't make regrets grow in your imagination.  
Good things will come to you, don't go looking for love, just be yourself and be social.  I am most plain and not an exciting  gal, but I met a lovely guy with whom I now share a home.

Gimlet's picture

Whoever called women the weaker sex had no idea what they were talking about.

You're a strong woman, ohsoconfused.  I'm sorry you've had to go through this, but happy you made it to the other side and that you're here supporting others on their journey.

Ohsoconfused's picture

Gimlet, thanks

It's not a straightforward path.  I've made all the 'newly single' dating mistakes, probably put myself at risk, both physical and emotional, at times.  However, the overriding principle for all of us who leave is...take care of yourself, keep hold of your core values, and most of all, your money!  I had a series of fairly short relationships in the first five years but held my ground   so that emotion never stopped me from walking away from losers/users.  Not every one of us is set that way, and it's remarkably easy to get sucked in by charming narcissists.  When I finally admitted I may stay single forever, it was then that mr right came along.  He is a regular guy, but with a deep sense of decency and fairness which matters to me.  I ache for my family that might have been, but my life is good.  Just keep a diary so you can look back to your reasoning at any given time.  I look back and feel that I didn't love myself enough during my married years, was overpowered by my husband's family and their control, and I didn't have any way to escape until the boys were grown.

Newimprvmodel's picture

But here's to new beginnings and focusing on yourself. Only you can make you happy and my thoughts are get out there and have new experiences. Life is too short. All the best to you!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I admire you for being so brave and clear-eyed, Sandye. You have a beautiful artistic soul, and deserve all the best.

sandye21's picture

Thank you for the wonderful support and wishes.  Ohsoconfused, I am not moving.  He is.  Last year I got a post nup from a lawyer.  DH had no choice but to sign it as I had kept separate savings accounts in my name.  I also bought a house and had him sign off on it so I have sole ownership.  As with you, he will be able to take advantage of money that I had invested in our former house but it is well worth it to get him out.  There is no price on happiness. 

I have been journaling all along but have not been reading them from years ago until recently, and was just amazed how long I put up with his crap without taking action.  I was his financial security blanket, surrogate mother, and many times whipping post, making sure to take care of all of his comforts, but if I needed anything he was not there or resentful that that it was an imposition for him.  I guess we sometimes get 'comfortable' in our misery.  Anyway, I will be glad to move on with my life and looking forward to it.

What I want to say to those who are unhappy in their marriage is to ask yourself if the person you are married to is as committed to the relationship as you are.  If not don't waste time.  It isn't going to get any better.  Sure, there will be love bombing when they think you might be contemplating an end to the marriage or you complain that you aren't getting affection and support.  But the love bombing ends and you are back to where you started.  And it can turn out to be the same merry-go-round for decades.  If you can't find the courage to end it get help.  Life is too short.


Aniki-Moderator's picture

You're a strong lady, sandye21. Happy days ahead! {{hugs}}

Ohsoconfused's picture


You have made the right moves to protect your security.  That's essential.

I would say the hardest part since slamming the door on my marriage has been periods of loneliness, enhanced by distance and by being in a foreign country.  However, with that has come the freedom to be myself.  I've done work and travel (I was 52 when divorced) since the split which I never imagined in all my comfortable married years.  Only a few true friends have kept tabs or visited, but the rest, I only occasionally think about, and see that those friendships weren't built to last.  I have made some new friends from around the globe since expats wherever one goes tend to be the independent type.  Just make sure you don't compromise based on loneliness or social pressure.  I'd be willing to bet you have a great future ahead.  Go for the adventures!

sandye21's picture

Ohsoconfused,  Thank you so much for your tips and suggestions.  One of the hardest things right now is waiting for the lawyer to get the paperwork together so DH can sign (uncontested), and I can get on with my life.  DH is still living here in the guest bedroom - I am afraid he will disappear without signing.  He seems to be going on with his life as if I never said anything about filing for divorce, planting trees and tending to his garden, although he seems noticeably relieved that nothing else is expected of him.  I called the lawyer and they said the process takes less than 2 months.  I filed Ocober 1st.  So I am in limbo.  UGH!!!  Any advice is very welcome.

Missingme's picture

Ugh, can't imagine not leaving that house right away to get away from the loneliness of living apart in the same place-how depressing. Did your attorney advise you to stay until the divorce is over? 

sandye21's picture

Missingme, I'm not leaving.  He is.  I own the house as sole owner (he signed the papers).  But living in this limbo until he signs the papers is hard.  I have been his surrogate 'Mommy' for 30 years.  This week was no exceeption.  The other day he needed a new car and I had to do all of the 'footwork' required to purchase it.  Even getting him to the dealership.  SOOO loooking forward to getting on with my life.

Ohsoconfused's picture


I assume you won't have any trouble getting DH to move out once you have the papers signed.  Your description suggests he may be in denial, or hopefully has just accepted the situation.  The only time I ever had to cattle-prod a guy to move was when I took in a charming live-in BF when I was newly single.  I became aware he was cheating and when confronted and asked to move out, he refused, saying it was his home too!  I had to,change the locks while he was out at work, and leave his clothes at the reception desk at his office!  He was mad as hops but he ended up freeloading off the next woman.  This is the kind of experience I wouldn't want to repeat...but it can be hard to balance the need for company with one's own safety.

Rags's picture

It is with excited sorrow that I wish you joy in your new life adventure.  I am happy that you have been able to protect yourself and are moving on from him and his baggage with security in your future.

Air kiss

SacrificialLamb's picture

Sandye21 your posts have always been very helpful to me. I wish you all the peace and happiness in your future life.

CLove's picture

Thank you for this update!

Im so glad that you are moving towards joy in your life.

Keep us posted (if appropriate) and let us follow along on your journey.

MissTexas's picture

I know this has been on your mind for a long while.

I'm so happy that with the help of therapy, you've concluded  you must do what's right FOR YOU! 

You've been so helpful to so many of us here on this board, and I will always be grateful for that. Even while you were walking through the hell, you gave me excellent information and advice. Thank you so very much for that.

Here's to a NEW YOU!

Please message me!

jam's picture

Hey Sandy21,

30 years is a long time. Sorry it didn't work out. I am glad you are taking care of yourself. You are a strong lady and you will get through this! You will shine !!!! You have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with others. For now, continue to take care of yourself and allow yourself time to heal.

You have always given such great advise. I always looked forward to what you had to say. In fact I had not even been on the site in a long, long time. About a month ago I did post. I had hoped to hear from you. When I didn't I became worried about you. I was concerned something had happened to you. I even went looking into older posts to see if you had responded. I was actually relieved when you did post. I am sure many are, although concerned, are very thankful you are back. 

Take care


sandye21's picture

Yesterday I dropped in at the lawyer's office to see how the divorce is progressing.  She said there was a slight delay due to other pressing cases but assured me they were getting right on it.  About a month ago, during the consultation the lawyer said I probably would not have to pay alimony.  The possibility of paying alimony was what stopped me from divorcing him in 2004 when he was emotionally abusive and refused to even touch me.  I owned the house at that time so even though he signed a quit claim deed, he benefitted from it.  Recently he signed a post nup agreement so I think I am going to be OK.  But yesterday I received an email where they asked for our financial information - and they DID ask if I would be willing to pay alimony.  I replied that in our last home that we both owned for 10 years, we had paid equal amounts to puschase it, then I had paid for $55,000 worth of home improvements, which meant he made about $75,000 more than me when we sold it.  I also mentioned that he has lived a good life on a $410 per month contribution to household expenses for the last 30 years, and I considered THAT 'alimony'.

I have been journaling since I was in high school.  Yesterday for the hell of it, I went back and read my diary from 2004.  I couldn't believe what I read, and that I allowed him to stay.  He was extremely emotionally abusive, demanding that I sit on the couch next to him while he silently watched what HE wanted on TV, and getting angry if I wanted to do something else, even sewing while sitting next to him.  Refusing to touch me or give any sort of affection.  Threatening to leave continually.  Leaving me to take care of myself after surgery and to drive myself to the doctor with a broken leg which he insisted was just a sprain,  Treating SD as if she were a princess.  I could go on and on, but the thing is -- I SHOULD have done something in 2004 or even before.  Here I am, so angry I don't know what to do.  I have wasted 30 years standing on my head, trying to get this excuse for a man to love me while he was using me to fund his own comforts and treating me like a piece of crap.  And here we are, facing the possibility of giving this ass alimony!  I feel extremely stupid right now.

PLEASE!!!  If you are in a relationship like this don't waste time and hope everything is going to get better.  If your DH is not treating you with love and respect now, it isn't going to change.  Take my word for it!! 

CLove's picture

For your words of wisdome. That sucks! Fingers and toes crossed that you do NOT pay alimony. Better to get rid of that horrible person and give an extra chuck of $$ if you can.

Im sorry you are going through this.

jam's picture

I just can not imagine having to pay alimony to someone who abused me and allowed his daughter to abuse me.  Hopefully you will NOT have to pay alimony.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Take heart, Sandye. The sad truth is men like this don't do well on their own, so even if you are ordered to pay alimony, it may not be for long. Often, they don't know how to take care of themselves or how to create networks of support the way we women do.

Look at what happened to Shesdrivingmecrazyinmyretirement's H. He passed soon after she divorced him. My own father died six months after my mother divorced him. I'm not trying to be morbid, but the fact is that women are constitutionally stronger than men. We're typically more practical, with more flexibility of spirit and that makes us better equipped to deal with change.

You've done a lot of very hard work on yourself to overcome unhealthy patterns going as far back as childhood. Please don't beat yourself up. You've learned, changed, and evolved. You're ready NOW. You're one of the bravest women I've encountered on ST, so take that anger and use it as fuel. Be angry with the man who let you down. He's in one who deserves it, not you.

sandye21's picture

Exjulie, you are so right!  He will not do well on his own.  He cannot do anything for himself.  I have not only been his financial security blanket, I've been a 'surrogate Mommy'.  And he is so entitled - even though he never reciprocates.  The funny thing is I think he will have to depend on SD to be his 'new Mommy'.  LOL LOL

He needed a newer car and has been putting it off for years.  Now he knows he has no choice.  He's been looking for cars locally but they are so much more expensive than they were when he should have bought one.  So I found a few good deals on Carmax and Carguru for him (he refuses to learn how to use a computer or cell phone) in the nearest large town.  By coincidence I was taking my friend in to get eye surgery so he tagged along.  We dropped her off for her surgery and continued on to the dealership where he became extremely confused when using my cell phone to transfer funds from his bank.  I asked the salesman to look up the nearest location of the bank, took DH over to get a cashier's check, dropped him off at the dealers' and drove back to the surgical center to pick up my friend.  My friend came out of surgery, no DH.  We put her in the car, no DH.  We waited about 20 minutes for DH before he arrived.  No apology to my friend for being late, no thank you to me for finding the car on the computer or taking him.

One good thing:  A friend mentioned that DH was fully capable of working and refuses to get a part-time job (there are all kinds of openings here) so I doubt I will have to pay alimony after all.

Catmom024's picture

Alimony??!! Good divorce attorney told me it didn't exist anymore!! My friend has a husband of approximately 23 years.  He's never worked the entire marriage.   He's threatened to pursue alimony if she divorces him.  I told her it would be worth paying him the alimony to get away from him!!  These "men" should be ashamed. 

Catmom024's picture

I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Congratulations!!!  Ive been on this forum for a LONG TIME with you...I was originally Mustang01 but deleted my account for privacy issues.   I've always appreciated your input and your kindness.  

Things rarely situations like mine and yours they never change.   You will be so much happier.   I'm so proud of you. 

Unsureofthis's picture

You are an inspiration to all of us. I just wanted to say that. Thank you for sharing your journey. Alimony or not, you are doing the right thing. It is never too late.