Silent Divorce

I have come to accept that dh has not been really talking to me for decades.  He has given me "yups" and "nopes" and one word answers to my questions.  He lies 50% of the time just to get me to stop trying to "pry" into his secret world. He walks away from discussions. The only communication he wants from me is sex or play. I have been very lonely in my marriage.  It used to lead me to believe he must be doing SOMETHING with his emotions SOMEWHERE and with SOMEONE because who lives like that?  Totally unconcerned or not wanting ANY connection?  

But then, I have a sister who I believe may have some ADD.  She totally does not need her husband and tells me so.  He is just an annoyance to her. She is very independent. Maybe this is why I have put up with dh's emotional absence for so long....it is somewhat normalizing when others around you are the same way.  But I am lonely!  I need/want to connect and to be loved. I want to partner in life.  I am always doing things alone.  I yearn for community and belonging.  There is a thing, I Googled it, called silent divorce.  When couples stay living together but don't do things together. I realize dh has been treating me like we are in a silent divorce for decades and I have been trying, crying, working to make a relationship around him.  So he has been getting my attention (even though it is not always good attention). But I have not been getting any attention at all.  I feel like an annoyance to him.  

I used to engage him in conversations and call him when he left yet again without saying goodbye or where he was going.  He does not work at a job...he has two sheds where he warehouses junk and services and sells it.  He has not called me other than to respond to my calls for decades.

So a few weeks ago, I started to treat him the way he has been treating me.  We don't talk.  We don't say hello or goodbye or where we are going (like he has been doing for decades...one of my requests he ignored all these years). I sleep alone. I eat alone. I go to church alone. I work alone. I pay the bills alone. I do the taxes alone. I realize that this is incredibly self centered way to live.  All alone among other people.  He seem VERY gregarious to OTHER people. but with other people, he does not have to "partner", just joke and LOOK like a great guy.

I am realizing that I have needs that have not been filled for a LONG time.  He must not have the need other than sex from me.  I am just a thing to him (a thing that was paying the bills).  Even that, he is not aware that I pay the bills....he thinks he does beacuse he pays for the health insurance.

I am now joining everything I can think of for community.  So staved and frustrated by not getting it here.  This winter will be filled with activity and people and a LIFE.  He will be sitting in the garage smoking and drinking by himself.....where he likes to be.....no responsibility, no expectations of himself, no effort. 

 

 

carathrace's picture

Moving On

"I am now joining everything I can think of for community."  That sounds terrific.  This winter will be a bountiful season for you, rather than a cold frozen one!  You are Moving On.  My best friend's husband is an alcoholic, and she has made a similar decision.  She has found that giving of yourself to people who can appreciate it is so rewarding and fulfilling.  She can't divorce him because of financial reasons and he has chosen to withdraw into his world, so she's decided to stop being angry all the time and letting him live rent free in her head -- and to Move On.  I applaud you both.

Have you sought professional help?

I worry a little bit about your response.  What I'm hoping is that you'll find the kind of close connections you seek as you join everything you can.  What I fear is that you'll be doing more stuff but that you'll still be lonely inside.  Please do go ahead with your plans.  And if you find satisfaction, then that will be wonderful.  But if your life feels busier, but still lonely, then I urge you to talk with a counselor about what would work best for you.