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After 23 years of marriage my husband just walks out saying he doesn't want to be married anymore!

Tagged as: Breaking up, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (3 April 2009) 10 Answers - (Newest, 31 October 2009)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Hello

I would really appreciate some help. I've been married for 23 years to a man I really love. I had a couple of serious relationships before him but he is the love of my life and we got married when i was 22 and he was 23. We have two daughters age 21 and 17, both doing well at college and school. My husband has always been a bit difficult but overall a good provider financially. I have always worked part time but now work full time again. He can be verbally abusive but mostly we had a loving enough relationship and good sex life. Over the last 3 years he seemed more distant and irritable which I put down to a phase or something. I tried to talk to him about it and he just brushes it under the carpet.

Anyway he has recently walked out and left us (on 14 February this year, after having a nice evening out!) saying he wants to be on his own, he does not want to be married anymore. He seems cold and hard and barely wants to speak to me. I am devastated as I do really love him and I don't understand why he has left as he won't tell me. He says there is no other woman/women. My daughters are angry and upset and the older one refuses to speak to him at all. I know it sounds pathetic but I have been with this man for so long, really love him, and i feel like I am cracking up. I am crying all the time, not sleeping or eating. I don't know what to do. When I try to speak to him he says he does not want to meet me or talk to me. He just says 'have you not got the message? it's over!' and he told me to 'F**k off' and leave him alone.

I am just numb with shock and upset and I feel worse now than I did when he left. I think I hoped it was all temporary and he would come back so hope has kept me going. But he seems cold and angry and now I am losing hope.

Does anyone else have experience of this? I wanted to suggest marriage counselling but if I call him he hangs the phone up on me. He told my daughters he wants nothing more to do with me.

We have argued at times over the years and he has threatened to walk out before but overall things have been sorted out. Our main argument has been that he wanted me to lose weight. I am a size 14-16 and he likes a size 12. He told me I was a 'selfish bitch' a few months ago because I had not lost all of the weight. Mostly people tend to say I look ok, curvy rather than fat. I look after my skin, teeth and hair and am often told I'm very attractive with a nice personality.

Sorry if this post sounds disjointed but I can barely think straight. I have a knot of anxiety in my stomach the whole time, I feel sick and worried and I don't know what to do. Thank you for reading this.

View related questions: lose weight, sex life

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A female reader, h/broken Australia +, writes (31 October 2009):

hi sue, my husband also walked out on me after 21 years of marriage 4 weeks ago and i am trying to get on with my life , and i know it is still difficult as my emotions are all mixed, sometimes i am very sad and heartbroken and other times i am so angry at him. we have 3 children, 2girls 20 & 18 and a son who is 11 and has down syndrome. all my children are finding it difficult to cope with. My husband said there was no one else but the 1st day he moved out his new girlfriend was there helping him unpack and after the 1st week they are telling everyone they are a couple so the reason he left was for this other whore. i am overweight as well but am pretty this other woman is a giant, she has cankles, is taller than him and is not a nice person at all because my husband is a a weak man and he fell for her as she has manipulated him cause thats how she works. when he left he said to me i am not in love with you anymore but the hardest thing to accept is how do u stop loving someone after 21 years of marriage. i have been seeing a counsellor and she has profiled him as being a narcissist or has borderline personality disorder, and she is so right. i know it is difficult, trust me it is still very fresh for me and the other thing that is hard is that the my girls know y he left but y when you have a great wife and family here, as this woman has 2 children from 2 different fathers so her track record is not good. i hope he falls flat on his face as he has hurt me and the kids so much. we had a great social life, we owned businesses great family and friends and a good sex life so he wanted for nothing here as well. men r very different species and u never know what they r thinking, well good luck and i hope u find happiness in whatever happens as i am sure us women r survivors and we can get through anything....h/broken

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A reader, anonymous, writes (23 May 2009):

I know how you feel. I am going thur the same thing. I dont know what to say or do. Although I must say I am ready for my husbnd to leave. He dont do a dame thing around the house. I cut the yard , clean the house ,take care of the kids and cook , wash the cars and everything around the house and my of husand dont do nothing to help out. I tried.Every two months he tell me he is leaving me. I tried of hearing that. Fuck him. I know that it hard to find someone those days so what.I not over weight and i very pretty for my age. I dont look my age at all. I decide it will hurt for awhile and then I will get over it. I will never let him back in to my life. I want someone that going to be there for me and you should do the same . We can do must better then them . They are the losers not use . So lets keep our head up and look for someone that desired us and love us for us and not the things we can do

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 April 2009):

Thank you all for your answers - I still feel numb but I'm trying to act as normally as possible. I have tried to talk to him and he still refuses to meet & I have no idea why. I'm sorry to hear about the tough experiences that some of you have had too but it gives me hope so thank you. SUe x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 April 2009):

I'm scouring the internet looking for somewhere to release the anger I feel for my husband doing the same thing to me. I'm a little bit older (52) and heavier (size 18) but people say I'm the ray of sunshine whenever they see me. My narcissistic (and I'm sure I didn't spell that right)husband of 23 years, had the audacity to respond to my question..."why don't you reach for me anymore?" with "because I don't like to look at you. You're overweight, you don't exercize, and I don't want to be stuck with a hobbled old woman". Shock and disbelief, followed by "why me", followed by "what now", and now "how dare he?" - I finally realized that it is a process of grieving; and the stage after anger is acceptance. Only then can one begin to rebuild a life that seems shattered. Yes. I know what you're feeling. I empathize and I truly do share your pain. Finding this place in cyberspace made me cry. But at the same time, it's good to not feel so alone. Thank you to all of you for sharing.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 April 2009):

Sue, I know it's horrible for you and I cannot tell you sad I feel for you. Yes, a marriage breakup is devastating. My husband dumped me after 23 years too. God..it hurt like hell! But I moved on. And now I'm in a wonderful 5 year relationship with a man...a younger man, (by 3 years, but what the heck!) Here's the biggest irony, my ex husband has never been in a relationship since we splitup...no 'younger, pretty' things wanted an old goat with a beer belly, and receding hairline!!LOL

Your husband has to live with himself and the pain he has brought down on you and your family. So right now, my concern is 'you' and only you! Hun, when coping with a huge breakup, such as marriage many of us experience pain, it’s a natural part of the grieving process. I am sensing your thoughts and emotions are all over the place. And that is so understandable. I have been there...I know too well the feeling of loss and being soo distraught, one can't even remember their name! I got help, fast! So I want you to do something. Please contact your family doctor and get some help. I am in now way, saying you are batty or anything. But you need to priorize yourself and your health. Stress causes many, many illnesses in people amd your daughters love you so much and need you to remain healthy. You are distressed and you need to draw on the strength of someone who is not personally involved in your plight. When you feel like this is getting out of hand, adversely affecting areas of your life and how well you function, then it’s probably time to consider help. Call your doctor and ask them to refer you. Are you a church member, do you have a pastor who could help? You need to reach out in your community and ask for the guidance and grief counselling.

A counselor will help you learn coping techniques. The actions of your husband has taken your self-esteem and strength. These coping techniques you learn from a good counselor will help you to understand that grieving is a natural process, and help you to eventually move on from this marriage or enable you to face this husband of yours to find out if he wants to seek marriage counseling to save the marriage. If he doesn't and won't, you will come to the time where you will 'accept' this and be emotionally ready for a renewal of sorts, in your future. You will eventually get to the point, where the strength will help you to: Liking yourself/in fact loving yourself once more, start finding ways to change your life for the better, start taking action rather than planning action, treat yourself as your best friend. and to be patient with yourself. And please do not blame all this on your weight. I am a very curvy, womanly size 14, and my man loves every darn single inch of me! So I am finding it difficult that your husband blames this, for the cause of the split up. If a man truely loves a woman, that should not have mattered. Your husband just wants a 'skinny' woman on his arm, so he looks good. That to me, is the thinking of a selfish , arrogant, who doesn't view woman as 'beautiful humans' but rather just "things' to bolster his sagging ego. A cold, empty man like that, is one- us woman can do without. Take heart, Sue...you day to shine will come. When you recover from this, and you will---I know there will be some wonderful, loving man waiting to find you! Hold your daughters close, love them, you need them -they need you. Be the best Mom and role model you can be. Focus on that....right now and allow the healing to begin. My heart is with you...god bless

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 April 2009):

Hello Irish, this is Sue the poster again. Sorry I forgot to answer your question about my husband Im so scatty at the moment im all over the place you wouldnt believe i hold down a good job and have a good degree the way I am acting. I just am in shock. You asked me about his physical appearance and this is something that i have said to him in response to him talking about my weight. He had put on weight but he dieted and lost it. He has grey hair and he has a double chin which he says he was born with and he cant help it. Also, my daughter complains that he has bad breath and my friends say he is average looking and I am the more vibrant half of the couple. I dont look at looks I look at the person inside so ive never criticised his looks but yes It did occur to me to look at him clearly and take note of his faults. He is not physically perfect at all but yet he has felt able to be rude about my weight etc . Im in such a state of distress that I can barely think straight really to be honest with you and he says I am weak and being pathetic and 'need to get some backbone'. Its just a horrible situation. Thanks for your help. Sue x

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (3 April 2009):

eyeswideopen agony auntYou will have a lot of supporters here, Sue. We have Aunt Sarcy who has just gone through and survived a similar situation, hopefully she will chime in soon. The pain must be incredible but please come here to vent and to find solace.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 April 2009):

Hello Irish 49, thank you very much for your reply. It feels better to be able to talk to people about it outside the situation. Most of my friends & family are just too angry to be able to think clearly my daughter is upset the other one is angry and I have been in a bad state. Im really scared that i wont get over this I have even had to have time of work and been having anxiety and feeling sick all the time. There is definitely not another woman in fact his own sister is angry with him but he told her there is no other woman. He said he needs to get rid of me and find a better woman, someone slimmer who is better with money. I have not saved a lot but he earns well and I spend my money on the home and children and try to provide a nice life and a holiday each year. now the children are older I have started saving. At the moment Im not really myself and I am worried about my mental state but people keep saying time heals things like this. I miss him so much stupid as it may sound. I cant believe he won't even attend marriage counselling to talk bout it. He says I am weak and stupid and he even called me a ' bitch'. He does not really get on with his family and has no friends and sometimes I have wondered if he is jealous of my closeness with my family and friends. I will post again to give an update but I wanted to say thnk you for your support I appreciate it. Sue x

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 April 2009):

partners do not just up and leave a re/ship. your h/b must have thought about this a lot and then put it into action.

do not believe all he is saying, investigate for yourself that there isn't someone involved. he is cruel to you and has hurt you so much.

so what if you carry extra kilos, is he BRAD PITT? do not let him destroy your self esteem as well. you are not his doormat, so please do not allow him to trat you like one.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 April 2009):

You may not like what I have to say and please respond with a followup if you can. I am glad you stated there wasn't another woman. I was going to ask if you thought another woman was on the scene. That was my first thought. Because, sometimes when men act this way...they are having an affair and it's been going on for awhile. A classic sign. Some, but not all males, are experts at completely disengaging any feelings of love, caring or meaning for the long term wife, when a new honey comes on the scene. I have seen this happen over and over again with many wonderful women. So if you are certain that this is not the case...then we know for sure, his cold behaviors are saying, he wants out of this marriage, because he's not feeling the lovin' feelings for you, his wife. How upsetting for you and I am sorry for having to say this to you.

It appears your lovely, curvy size 14-16 body has given him, an excuse to bail on this marriage. How sad that this man is so shallow and uncaring, that he can just walk out on a 23 year marriage. I have just one question? Does he look the same as he did when you married him? Does he still have all his hair? Does he have a paunch? Has he got a few wrinkles? Listen, people change due to circumstances in their lives...but, this should not change the way he treats you. You've gained a few pounds and he has selfishly overlooked all that you built together, in this long term marriage. He's upset, he feels entitled to a 'beautiful, trophy wife' someone on his arm, who makes HIM look good. In other words, he likes to own a person rather than share a life with them. His actions tell me he is a man whose ego means more to him than his family and marriage.

Get your personal power back and, tell him either "see ya around" or "get off your butt, guy and please make a mature adult decision to come back to this marriage and work at it". My suggestion: Be strong..go on, minimize or totally cut off contact here, until he can get into counseling with you and he wants to make this marriage go. If he can't do that, or won't do that, then dump that sucker you call a husband, because if he treats you like that, then you don't need him. He should be there for you through the good times and bad. I want you to be happy but if he's not going say 'I love you, I care for you', and doesn't show it through loving actions and committment, then tell yourself that you do really deserve so much more than simply....waiting on nothing.

I wish you the best and my heart is with you. I wish you strength through this hard time and please write back for more insight from these wonderful advisors here. We are here for you.

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