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is an Advice Column for Humans by One Human. We want to hear what you’re struggling with these days. Relationships? Breakups? Family? Friends? Jobs? Mental health? Anything.
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My marriage is fractured to the point that I really do not have the motivation to even attempt a reconciliation. I have been miserable for 40 years and am trapped. My husband is mean and self-serving. I told him that I do not like the person that he has become and his response was “I really don’t care”. What are your thoughts on this comment.
Dear Human with the Mean Husband,
It sounds like you didn’t write in for advice. It sounds like you wrote in to get someone anonymous to validate how you feel. As you described it, you are 100% right to feel how you feel.
I think you know what to do here. You say you don’t have motivation for reconciliation. And he says he really doesn’t care. It seems that the marriage has gotten unhealthy to a point of breaking. I encourage you NOT to fix it. It sounds like you may have made attempts in the past to improve the relationship, but haven’t got much help from your partner. If he is self-serving like you say, he’s unlikely to ever put effort in. It seems like you know you’d be happiest without him. The best idea is to seek support of those close to you and make a plan to leave the marriage.
Although relationships can be difficult and fall apart, it’s never appropriate for your husband to be mean to you. Because you describe him this way and say you feel trapped, I wonder if there’s forms of emotional abuse happening. If this is the case, you may want to make a safety plan for leaving.
I can’t pretend to be able to relate to 40 years of marriage. That’s a long time and it’s a lot to hand over. What I can relate to though is the feeling of being helpless to the point of wanting to run yet not ever really wanting to leave the cage. Even though the person could be mean to me, I thought there was still a lot of good there. I hoped that if I waited longer for them to change, I might not need to throw away our time together. I wished that the problems we were having were all my fault—because then I could try to actually fix them. But I can’t fix something that’s on the other person’s shoulders. I can’t fix them for them.
We also deserve more than someone who’s mean to us and who doesn’t care about how we feel. That’s not normal in any type of healthy relationship. You deserve to be happy.
It may hurt a lot to leave, even if it hurts to stay. Or it may be past the point of hurting where you feel more numb. Whichever the case, you know what to do.
Hope this helps.