It's Really, Truly Over After 15 Years

About three years ago, I wrote about my relationship ending. It turns out that it wasn’t a breakup at the time, because she finally got what she wanted. A chance to move out of New York and to New Mexico. But tonight, it’s finally over once and for all. And I ended it.

So, we moved to Albuquerque, rented an apartment for a while, and finally bought a house together, with her putting down basically all of the down payment. I thought everything was finally going to be happy. I was wrong.

My parents and others (including some here at the SDMB) warned me that it was a bad relationship. An emotionally abusive relationship. A toxic relationship. I didn’t want to admit it, but clearly they were right. A good relationship doesn’t have one partner yelling at the other about how the other doesn’t care about how miserable they are at their job, yet refuses to take any initiative in finding a new one. Refuses to believe when told it’s okay if they quit straight out. Gets angry when it’s suggested that a new job is found before the old one is quit. A good relationship doesn’t devolve into yelling when mistakes are made attempting something new for the first time or when accidents happen. There are a lot of others, both emotional and physical, but a good relationship definitely doesn’t involve sending threats of suicide to your partner, forcing your partner to come home because of legitimate worry to find you sitting there at home working like nothing happened.

There’s a lot of other things that seem obvious now about how this relationship has been. I won’t bore you with all of them. But it seems clear that it’s never been about “us”, but about “you” and “me”, and what I could do for her. So I’m done. I’m done trying to take care of her, I’m done walking on eggshells trying to keep her happy, and I’m done with letting her make me miserable.

I just wish I had figured this out earlier. Without, probably subconsciously, having to cause a crisis that made it all crash down at once. Without slipping into compulsive gambling (and I’ve started going to meetings, but it’s only been a week) as some sort of response to my unhappiness that’s racked up a debt that’s going to take me two or three unpleasant austere years to climb out of. But when the chips were down, when I had no more money to gamble away, when I had no choice but to stop the lies and come clean and own up to everything I’ve done, there was no “us” in her response. It’s not that she was angry and upset initially, or that she attacked me personally in the first day or so. It’s that after a week there was no interest in a reason or possible understanding for why I did it. No real understanding there was still plenty of money coming in each month between the two of us (even with a plan to pay off debt as fast as possible) that while I, personally, wouldn’t have any money for myself there was plenty for living expenses based on our original arrangement and of course she’d have her pay. Her response was only about the money and how quickly I could get back the spent money. How we didn’t have any money while she was sitting on enough cash to run the household for an entire year. But that wasn’t “our” money (not that I wanted her to bail me out of my mistake with it), it was “her” money. And how unfair it would be for her to have to spend any of her money.

So I’m done. One way or another I’ll get off the mortgage. I’ll move out and find an apartment. I’ll keep going to meetings and work on myself that way. I might start going to counseling as well and work on myself that way. I’ll start eating better and exercising more and work on myself that way as well. I’ll start doing the things–and I don’t really know what those are yet–that I could never do because I felt that I was never free to do things by myself. I won’t be petty about breaking up, I won’t be vindictive, I won’t let myself hate her, and I won’t consider ever going back.

And when I’m finally ready to start dating again, I’ll find someone who is worthy of being with me.

I’m going to come over a bit harsh here, but if I’m reading this right, your wife put up the deposit on a house, you were spending all your dosh on gambling, you claimed her wages (from a job she hated) were enough to see you all through, and you wonder why the marriage failed?

Hmmm…yeah, right. :rolleyes:

Sorry about the divorce. It’s not fun but it’s not the end of the world, either.

That said, you should probably contemplate this sentence, some:

Oh my! You sound like you are blaming her for your gambling problem. That’s all on you and I’m not surprised she wasn’t happy with it. Luckily, you have self righteous blame in your heart so you will be able to make this all her fault. That may be the very fire that will pull you through. Good luck, and stick with the meetings.

I think the OP told her she could quit her job if she hated it.

Op, I am sorry that this happened, and that it happened the way it did.

Previous posters have some valid points. I will say, however, that just because you were wrong to gamble and lie does not mean the relationship was otherwise good. You are doing the right thing by starting over on your own and working on abstinence and therapy. Try not to make any permanent decisions in your first year. Rent don’t buy, date don’t marry, that sort of thing. Do things, just don’t irrevocably commit to them if you can help it.

You’ve hit the ctrl-alt-del, and it sounds like you are heading the right way. Best of luck in your re-boot!

Good luck, gambling is hard one. I have personal experience with it. That high from winning is so hard to forget. But, forget it you must! Stay clean and get that counseling.

What is your current gambling debt at this very date? I’m not asking for the number you’ll soon have, not the number once the next payment is in, not the number you intend to have, not the number you’d have if it were for some unfortunate bad luck or wrong, the number you have right now, on the day you read these word.

Did you ever borrow or in some way take money from her to pay your debts?

In his OP he says he has “racked up debt” so he has borrowed money. For gambling. But notice the preamble…it is her fault for not being who he wanted her be so he was FORCED into this.
From her point of view it seems like she was working and saving and he dropped a bomb of irrational and idiotic debt that she didn’t want to share. Let’s also remember that they are not married.
In all sincerity Astorion, I hope you get this addiction kicked. Get on with your life and do well.

I’m sorry, asterion. I hope both of you find peace.

Yes, but luckily she realized that real life doesn’t work like that. He’s gambling away all their money, and she has the only income. He can say it all he wants, but that doesn’t make it true. She cannot just quit if she hates her job.

Stop Walking On Eggshells is the title of a book that may not apply exactly to your situation, it concerns living with someone with BPD, but it details the state of insecurity and instability pretty well. It’s no way to live. Best of luck to you.

First, I am not blaming her for the gambling. I chose to do so as a result of being unhappy. The actions were still mine and mine alone.

Second, I kept telling her for over a year before the gambling ever happened that she could quit and we would be fine even if she didn’t work for a while. That was true then. If it was possible to work together on a plan going forward, it could still be true, as there is still plenty of money coming in from my salary. I can’t run the entire house like I could have previously, but by no means is she the only income. I’ve screwed up, but it could have been worked out.

Third, I still think I am correct in saying she’s been emotionally abusive. Blaming me for years about her working a job without making any effort on her part to find a new one is not healthy. Claiming that i am not a man, or not a real man, is not healthy. I could probably think of several more. But I know sending me an email at work while she’s working at home that she is going to kill herself and that it’ll be too late when I get there is definitely not healthy. I rushed home that afternoon to find her sitting at her computer working. I spent a fair bit of time on the suicide hotline that afternoon talking about it and what to do going forward.

So yes. I’ve screwed up. My actions forced a crisis in our relationship. She was willing to continue, but I am not.

I didn’t do a great job writing the OP. I can’t really make it clear why I’m leaving in a neat and tidy way for this message board. It’s ten years of backstory, of agreements made, and of personal interaction good and bad. I knew some, or many, might disagree with how I see things, and that’s fine. That’s the risk of putting it out there.

I think you will have better results by trying to be worthy of the person that you find.

Sorry to hear about it Ast. I know that you worked damn hard on the relationship. Here’s to better things in your future.

Thanks, Dag. I’m slowly packing up and realizing just how little space was mine. It’s all her things, arranged the way she wants them. Even my books were never set up to be used, just to act as background decor items. Once the books and other media is packed up, it’s mostly just some electronics, clothes, dishes, and cooking equipment. We lived in this house for 18 months and there is still no couch, no dining room table. The pictures still aren’t on the wall.

I’m sorry, ast.

I can’t say that I know you. So I’ve spent the last hour+ reading your posts trying to find out who you are.

And I find myself throwing my hands up and saying, “This person is unrelatable to me.”

But that’s not true. I understand pain and effort and loss. I’m sorry for your loss—the loss of what you thought was----the loss of what you thought could be.

So here’s my tale:

Health problems make me not enjoy the world. My partner says he can’t live without me. Internally, I’m like, “Really? You’re going to put that on me?”

I’ve known for a long time that I wouldn’t live forever. I thought my partner and I had discussed this. I thought we had an understanding that all things die----that our 22 year relationship will end----not in a bad way—not even by choice----Cruel life will kill it. Death doesn’t taunt/daunt me. Pain does. All of that time that my partner was agreeing with me was for show. He wants to live more than anything else.

Well, good. I’m glad he wants to live.

So here we are 22 years into a relationship and my back flakes out on me. Without going into detail, my back has fused into a single bone. It’s noone’s fault. I know many people have it worse. I don’t want this. I want to be done. But I love my partner; so I have to suffer. Only the infirmed can understand that. People who have had an acute injury understand that the pain will come to an end. They choose to block out the horror or deny the reality of what living in constant pain must be.

----and then I realize I’ve made this about me and not you.

I’m sorry that your wife made you feel less a man. I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for the both of you. I hope there is something that you can hold on to about the relationship that makes you feel that it was worthwhile. And if there isn’t anything about your failing relationship that makes you smile; remember that you aren’t dead yet. The brief flash of a firework is still awesome. There’s life in you yet.

Should be both. I spent 30 years trying to please someone who had no interest in me as a human being. Knotting yourself into pretzels to be worthy of someone who doesn’t even want the pretzels isn’t really worth it.

Sorry to hear about this, ast. I remember discussing happier times during the poker games; hard to believe it’s been 15 years.