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Empty Nester And Thinking Of Divorce

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by lavi2016, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. lavi2016

    lavi2016 New IL'ite

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    We are recent empty nesters. From last few years our marriage was going through lot of issues, mainly started when I started cutting off from his relatives. His take is you either get everyone or none including him. Currently living almost like housemates, each one have our own bedroom and work in there, sleep and spend all day there. We eat too whenever we feel alone. All these years, being busy with kids I guess the glaring differences were not as visible. I tried to renew relationship after dropping off kids as I felt it is a new phase in our lives, but he still holds the same stand. I guess he wants me to apologize, surrender myself to his relatives, give free hand to them on all our investments in India, open our house to slew of his guests and serve them here in US. I am ready to work on our relationship but not all this. He has always been financially irresponsible too, for him it doesn't matter if we lose all our savings as long as he can please his relatives.
    At this junction my options are 1) continue like housemates and hope one day he will realize the importance of wife 2)divorce and live single life 3) take an apartment in India for myself, quit work or find remote work and split time between US and India.
    With the 2nd option I feel my problem is having guts. I am financially secure and kids doing well by themselves. May need couple more years for them to settle and have solid careers so probably won't rock the boat till then. Though I feel kids marriages might be a problem if we divorce. I am also not sure of single life, atleast now even though we don't have any bonding we share responsibilities and atleast there physically when I am sick.
    With the third option I can give some excuse, not a big deal. Only thing I may have to stop working. Financially not a problem even if I stop. But I am not sure I want to do this early as in next two years. If I take this option, better to go when I can spend some time with parents and they are around, so no point delaying after kids settle in their lives.
    Any empty nesters facing similar situation?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
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  2. ProudIndian

    ProudIndian Gold IL'ite

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    Op

    I am sure many women are is similar situation. I feel third option is better. Little distance may give more clarity to both of you. Try that for sometime and see how you feel. Good luck.
     
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  3. Benadryl

    Benadryl Silver IL'ite

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    Even though you asked for empty nesters opinion, allow me to reply as life is funny. We are almost on the opposite end of the spectrum to you - young kids - and I have been having similar thoughts.
    From the options you have listed :
    1) I can almost guarantee you he will never realize the importance of wife. If it hasn't happened till now - why will it happen with even more time? This is a behavioral change he has been expecting from you (caring for relatives and all) - and you haven't been able to give that to him for a long time. This kind of emotional void keeps getting hard to fill.
    2) To me the divorce seems to be the best option. But you will have to give it more thought of what happens after the divorce. As you can also opt for option 3 after the divorce. If you are never going to be able to give him what he wants and he isn't able to give you what you want, going separate ways might be the best for all involved. There is also a possibility that may be both of you can find love after separation. You can rest assured that if mostly everything is normal kids will settle irrespective of your marital status.
    3) Is the safest to do while you gather up the courage to action a divorce
     
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  4. lavi2016

    lavi2016 New IL'ite

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    The reason for me for hoping for (1) is we were fine and happy for several years until things started going downhill. Initially for several years I was doing all that, sent lot of money to his family, his parents came over few times to US and went all over US and his big family of relatives were frequent guests and some of them stayed for even a month or so when they came first to US. The problem started when kids started growing, careers started getting busier, and energy levels going down. Plus added expenses meant not able to send money, and the demands with inflation in India also steadily raised in value. I am trying to make him realize whatever we did for more than a decade, he should be happy. Most of the dils in his family didn't even do that, now I am feeling maybe I should have been like that from the beginning. Everyone who created all these fights are happy and enjoy as couples, it feels so stupid and as my family blames I didn't handle things properly from beginning, didn't set the expectations right.
    I feel he is emotionally blackmailing now and I am trying to stay unaffected by it. I was trying to be a superwoman back then, feels unfair to expect that now in my 40's.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  5. DDream

    DDream Platinum IL'ite

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    OP, I don't have much experience like you, but sharing my loud thoughts.

    Before taking any decision, make sure your finance and other legal matters are in order and in your name. So that you have easy access to it. Once you are ready , then think about the rest.

    1) continue like housemates and hope one day he will realize the importance of wife

    Sorry to say, he is not going to realize your importance like you are dreaming or he don't care about your feeling. If he really loves you he will listen and try to understand your thoughts. I imagine its very tough to live like roommates for long. Only option is to completely detach, be busy and live your life to the fullest and use him as an emergency vehicle. Will he help if you need him ? Can you imagine living like this for another 40 or more years ? If you are ready, can you talk to him about separation. If that also not move him there is no chance. Ask him to move out. What about your savings is it separate? If so, you can tell him, he can do whatever he want with his money or relatives, but don't ask you to do anything for them, in return you can continue an amicable relation with them, but not too much involvement. He can do what he wants but he should not control you in any way. His family or relatives are his problem. Try to find a middle way. Its very sad to see how in-laws and relatives kill a marriage.

    Have you ever discussed with him and warned him that you may walk out of this relationship if he keep on forcing you to things in his way. I can see you both spoiled relatives by contributing so much, they don't value it and expect to give them more. Blood is thicker than water. He is now taking you for granted and believe that you will never walk out. you have to break that belief and show him that you mean business this time. If he is unwilling, you know the next step.

    One plus point is you don't have to face the issues following divorce. Any decision is not easy, I guess.

    2)divorce and live single life
    Living alone is better than being alone in a marriage, I believe. If you like to have a peaceful life this is a good option. But are you ready to live alone and be independent in all aspects. Are you confident. What is your future plans. What's your purpose in your life? What do you want to do?

    I remember an old post here (Opinion On Reason For Divorce (someone My Mom Told Me About)) discussing about grey divorce. May be useful as that marriage failed mainly due to in-laws issues

    Also, I know a lady who has gone through divorce after 25 years of room mate like marriage. Her kids supported her decision to divorce. But after five years of divorce she met another person and married again. She is so happy. She was ready to live alone. Never imagined re-marriage. In that case her ex-husband moved out to another city, she stayed there with her youngest kid. It was mutual divorce. She started divorce process when her elder kids reached high school. Also was going for therapy/counselling to prepare herself for it. She said it was very useful.

    Will your husband agree for that. Will you end up giving him more money if he don't agree for mutual divorce? What about your kids, Do they know anything. Have you discussed with them? I think you should hint them about your plans and learn their thoughts. Tell them you are so unhappy and nothing will change after divorce except that both of you will be living in different houses. Also consult and attorney. Free consultations are there. It may give you an idea on how to handle things. Going for counselling (find someone who can understand Indian background) may help, as they can also suggest good divorce attorneys in that area, I guess.

    Think about all pros and cons and then take a decision

    3) take an apartment in India for myself, quit work or find remote work and split time between US and India.

    But can you lead a happy life in India, away from kids. Will these so called relatives and in-laws create issues?
    I think you can think about it, not now, but later. Don't leave your job. Its very useful to be busy. Otherwise you will be alone and can lead to depressing thoughts. But try trail physical separation in US itself. You can change your job or find a new one in another city, or move near to where kids are studying/living, use that as an excuse. May be that will give you confidence on how to live alone in USA after divorce.

    Of these three options, I think trial separation is the first step, to gain clarity and confidence. When to inform your husband that you are separating? May be once you are confident that you can live alone. If he needs you or love you, he will take some effort. This can give both of you a clear idea on how to proceed.

    As you are going through a very stressful situation, love yourself. Make sure you are healthy, have enough nutrients in the body to counteract the impact of chemicals that release due to stress/ trauma. If we don't, it can lead to health issues. Make sure you are taking care of yourself well and have the energy to face this tough situation. Don't take any decision when you are so sad or happy or angry. Develop a detached mindset and look at everything with a neutral mind. It may help.

    Take care.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
  6. Anbhu

    Anbhu Silver IL'ite

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    There is an another option to consider.

    Find a job new city or state in US, meet him once in a month or three months. See if both of understand each other's importance. Some distance will give an idea where we are and want in life.
     
  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Every woman should have a friend in real life who can advise like above.
    Nicely put. This is easier to remember than the more complicated oft-quoted version.
     
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  8. lavani

    lavani Finest Post Winner

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    do not leave job. Just my opinion. It is not the money that matters, it is more of a purpose that would keep you going for something to look for daily.

    also i would prefer to stay in us if you do not have any immigration issues, than India. India has changed a lot before you plan anything longer, may be plan shorter trips like 3 months and see how it goes.

    Even if it not job, have something else. Even if it is free teaching.

    Another self introspection thought, you cannot be only one in your relationship thinking about your relationship. It is exhausting. if that is the case, it is better to be alone.
     
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  9. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    option 3, to spend time with parents, you can work remotely and try for 3 months or 6 months in a year and see how it goes.
    Option 3 is not a good idea to think as a solution to your current issue.
     
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  10. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    OP,
    You seem quite young, still in your 40's and even your parents are still alive. How will your parents react to your decision to divorce? How have they reacted to your marriage travails so far? You have not addressed this at all. That's one aspect you appear to have neglected in your calculus. You need to think through that carefully.

    You appear to be married off at a young age and also had your kids quite early judging from your current age. Some parents can be quite patriarchal - they marry off daughter at preset young age as a matter of duty, and dont interfere after that if they feel they have handed off their daughters to capable hands. So they may have not interfered in your life all these years, causing you to overlook them. But they will most assuredly have an opinion if you suddenly announce this decision. I'm not saying this is so in your case but even the most indulgent of parents may suddenly express strong opinions if their married daughter announces such a thing. So think through that aspect also before you make a decision. You can easily tell your husband and your kids 'It's my life and my decision!' but at some level no matter how old we get, we all still remain accountable to our parents, isn't it?
     
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