Too little too late

by Tara

Years ago, we lost a very good friend to suicide and my husband never recovered from the loss. He slowly slipped into drinking, anger and eventually inconsolable depression. Our love life dwindled into nothing along with the rest of our life.

At first, I was very understanding as I too was extremely sad over the loss of our friend; however as I recovered I watched him stay stuck in the same spot and instead of turning to me for support he got lost in work and the bottle. I tried to encourage him to go to counseling, and after years of arguments about it, he finally agreed, only to stop going after the first session because he thought the counselor was too young. Ultimately, he was lost in depression and I stopped trying.

I found myself losing touch with him ever so slowly. He became increasingly apathetic and refused to participate in, not only our life, but his own as well, which led to many fights and me eventually just starting to live my life on my own; until one day I was at a dance with my sister and her boyfriend and was watching all the couples dance and realized I was alone, and that I had been for a long time.

About a year and a half ago my husband and I agreed that we'd stopped being a couple and were just
really great roommates, so decided to seek counseling together. Unfortunately, my husband's original ideas about counseling had not changed, so I found myself again doing the majority of the work with an apathetic partner. Eventually, I decided to seek out an apartment on my own.

When I moved, he helped me and was sad but supportive. At first we tried separation as a 'test' to introduce shock into the marriage and try harder together, but I was too far gone. I didn't trust him when he said he was interested and didn't respond well to his attempts; it was 'too little too late" for me. I still feel guilty for not 'sticking it out', but trying with no response from him all this time has worn me out. I say to people, "You can only yell at a brick wall for so long; eventually you get a sore throat."

There were things we both did that contributed to the breakdown of our marriage; lots of factors, apathy, loss of trust, passiveness, breakdown in communication etc. - all these contributed to a marriage that was unfulfilling and made both of us feel unworthy and unloved. In the end, I am thankful that we didn't drag it out War Of The Roses style for years and years; I hope to forgive myself for not continuing to try; and I hope to heal and learn more about myself.

Comments for Too little too late

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In response to Katie and all
by: Suzanne

I left my husband six years ago. The love of my life came back into my life literally the day before I left. We reinitiated in person the next year in Germany where he had been living for nearly 20 years after his ex had kidnapped their children. He came home with his boys, now grown in April of the same year. And he and I were married the following June.

There is a stark contrast between what I had been living and what I am living now. Where I was in a chronic state of fight, flight, or freeze and self-defense, I am now completely aware of triggering events and I have a kind and loving man who helps me through them. Where I was completely numb and nearly dead inside before, I feel everything now. Sometimes it's overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like my head is screwed on backwards. But it gets better every day. And I am grateful I got away when I did. My daughter is now flourishing and healing as well. There is a light on the other side of this. There is hope.

Too little, Too late
by: Michele

I think mine is finally understanding that I am over it all. He is being kind and keeping his temper in check. However, I keep trying to make myself care and I just don't. I cared and tried for so long, begged for changes, begged him to not yell and scream at me and the kids for hours on end. Why now? It actually makes me angry at him, that NOW that I have given up he wants to give it a go. I am weeks away from ending it, but I feel guilty because now he is being nice.

Same here
by: Katie

In response to Suzanne, as well as anyone else, I suffered almost 26 years of emotional and verbal abuse. When I had finally had enough, I told him I wanted a divorce. I finally realized that all this time I had been believing a lie. The lie that someday it would be better. The lie that he would change. He did a complete about face and wanted a chance to show he could be different. What about all the many, many times that I cried for him to change? That I begged him to be kind, or smile at me sometimes, or any number of other little things that would have made a big difference. It was the very definition of "Too little too late".

I don't feel guilty for not wanting to try when I remember the misery I was in. I think trying for 25 years is a pretty good effort. Too bad it took him that long to decide to start trying! I decided I deserve someone who knows I'm great from the beginning... not someone who figures it out because I said goodbye!

I mourned us a long time ago
by: Suzanne

24 years here and most of which I spent chasing someone that rejected me, ignored me and really created the reality of us just being roommates with benefits. I know I've been emotionally abused by him for years. He and I had probably the biggest come to terms conversation where I told him I was so beyond over it that he got the message loud and clear.

I'm on week three of his latest new leaf and I'm hearing things from him I've never heard before - concern, support, empathy, sincerely expressed feelings. And instead of being happy about it, I'm numb to it and just super uncomfortable because I mourned him and our marriage at least five years ago. Now I feel like a complete jerk for not wanting to try. I really don't want to try. I'm just waiting for him to move through the stages of grief so he can get to acceptance and let me go, peacefully.

He never came to terms with our child's death
by: Joy

After our daughter died my ex-husband had trouble coming to terms with this. He was depressed and our relationship broke down.

by: Janice

This reads so similar to how my marriage ended, I could feel the moments like it was yesterday, but it’s actually been 7 years. My husband used dope and some beer. I always said I needed a can opener to get him to talk. We have stayed friends, which yes it has at times been difficult because I kept hoping we could fix things, now I just accept. I do feel I will always love him… We just couldn't stay together. Thanks for sharing.

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