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Feeling trapped in a web of my own making


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I am a 63 y/o man who has lived with but not married to the same woman for the past 15 years. We get along well in most respects I can't think of a major argument in all these years.  We have not been intimate in many years for a variety of reasons. We sleep in separate bedrooms. She is a very religious woman while I am not. We do not share a lot of common interest and spend most of our times in separate rooms because we have different interests in TV shows. We retired and moved out of state a few years ago and our kids and grandkids are scattered across the country. We have not see any of them in several years because of COVID and financial considerations. Because of health and other factors she has not been employed in several years and we now live on my pension and savings. She gets a small S.S check which covers her basic expenses This is rapidly dwindling due to increased costs of living and a few unexpected major expenses. Part of our reason for moving was the prospect of good job opportunities for her. She had many successful jobs in her past but since living here none of those has panned out. We are basically room mates  for all intents and purposes. After a close brush with death a few years ago I gained a new out look on life and became more interested in becoming active. She however due to some health issues of her own is not able to lead a very active lifestyle so we stay home most of the time. Due to COVID this has pretty much been mandatory but as things return to normal I have a desire to travel. I have become very unhappy in the last few years and am tired of this lifestyle. We are talking about moving back to our home state to be somewhat closer to our kids but also for a cheaper cost of living. Moving here has not turned out to be what we hoped. I would like to use this as an opportunity to part ways but do not want to hurt her. While I love her it is no longer in a romantic sense.  She is a very good woman that has had a lot of pain in her past and I do not wish to add to it. She is also not financially able to support herself and I don't see her kids taking her in or being much help. I worry that if we part that she will spend the rest of her life alone.  I feel trapped and feel like I must sacrifice my future happiness for the sake of hers. I find myself in deep stages of depression at times and have had thoughts of suicide but know I would never act on it because I know first hand the effects it has on others. I deeply care for this woman and know that she loves me unconditionally which is what makes this so hard for me. My last marriage was filled with conflict which made leaving that one easy but there is none of that here.   Is it wrong for me to want some happiness in my last remaining years, however long that may be, if it means depriving someone else of their future happiness? I would like to meet someone that shares in my interests and that is active and have some fun again. I would like to be in love again and not be just two people that share a home together. I know there's no real answer to this. Either way someone is going to suffer tremendously. Just curious if anyone has experienced anything similar and how did they handle it? Thanks for your time.

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Are you sure she wouldn't be relieved?

I'm sure the relationship isn't what she hoped it would be either.

Perhaps when you two relocate closer to both of your kids she would be happier and could arrange to stay with one of them, at least temporarily. 

Yes, you both deserve to find happiness even if it's not with each other.

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So basically you are roommates with a past.  Before doing anything drastic, imagine your life without her, like really try to imagine it.  If you decide you won’t regret your decision to leave, have a plan and break up.  Life is way too short to live like this. At 63 you still have time to meet someone who will give you a little more kick in your step, have more in common and a sexual relationship.

Methods of meeting people have totally changed since your last bout of singledom At your age it is much harder to meet people than at 20 or 30, as not as many folks in your age range are looking.  Just be aware.  Good luck!

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5 hours ago, Scooby said:

While I love her it is no longer in a romantic sense.  She is a very good woman that has had a lot of pain in her past and I do not wish to add to it. She is also not financially able to support herself and I don't see her kids taking her in or being much help. I worry that if we part that she will spend the rest of her life alone.  I feel trapped and feel like I must sacrifice my future happiness for the sake of hers.

Noo, you do not live your life just to please others.

You may love her but not 'in love' with her- that happens.

If she is on assistance, I think it would rise a bit if she is on her own, either way, is not your problem- do not stay out of guilt.

I suggest you have a heart to heart with her and explain, this relationship has sadly, died.  And you feel no other way to deal, but to move along.

So, maybe consider this when/if you guys move back home ways?

Give her time to find a place - either rent a room or stay with a friend back that way for a while?

 

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11 hours ago, Scooby said:

 . I find myself in deep stages of depression at times and have had thoughts of suicide 

Sorry this is happening. Start here. Go to your physician for an evaluation and referral to a therapist.

You sound homesick and bored and missing your friends and family. 

It's important to note that this is not all her fault. You're not a victim.

She is a homebody and you're not. So? Make friends, get out of the house. Do things for yourself.

Are you two savings money living together or offer each other companionship? 

You'll have to reflect on what the real problems are. 15 years together and you're both getting a bit older. 

Are you retired? It sounds like you need more of a life outside of this situation. 

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You owe her the truth. I would rather be alone than be with a man whose only reason for staying is pity. Yes, probably best that at least she move back by family for support. She's an adult and will have to figure out how and where to live without your income.

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19 hours ago, Scooby said:

I find myself in deep stages of depression at times and have had thoughts of suicide

She is a grown arse woman with kids and grandkids.  She will be fine.  You, however, will not be if you stay.  You aren't getting younger, and you are no where near having a foot in the grave.

She knows this is coming.  Someone just needs to rip off the bandaid.

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It sounds like you've lost some respect for her and that's would be enough to cause some serious cracks in any relationship. She failed to support herself or find adequate employment when she should have and she isn't as fit as you are as far as physical fitness or nutrition. These are dealbreakers for a lot of people so I'm not surprised if you've lost interest in seeing this as an overall equal partnership. 

There are a lot of partnerships anyway that are not equal and both partners support each other in different ways.

I don't think there's any one way of going about this but I would second Wiseman's suggestion about seeing a doctor about your moods or depression or any suicidal thoughts. I can't help but note the extreme despair in your tone/voice and that is worrying. Without adequate support, break up may just be a scapegoat for deeper or underlying issues with depression. 

If both of you choose to go your separate ways, you can go about it mindfully and without so much projection of despair and hopelessness (on the other person). You're basically heaping weight upon weight on yourself and that is not great.

Acknowledge the both of you as human beings and treat each other with respect. It doesn't go beyond that when you are breaking up with someone or ending a long term relationship. Be kind to yourself most of all.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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