Why do women hate their husbands in perimenopause? A wife’s perspective…..

by Magnolia on July 8, 2012

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I thought I might do something a little different in this post series, by featuring a couple of comments from a woman (with her permission) who identified herself as SAH.

SAH is in her late thirties, is married with two young children, and beginning to enter perimenopause.  Her comments are a  perfect illustration of the inner-workings of a woman’s mind, and provides a road map as to how exactly many of women arrive at the decision to leave a marriage.

I am in no way suggesting that SAH’s circumstances are the blueprint for every failed marriage. I realize every marriage is unique, and the relationship dynamics are as well.  My intention is to present to you an excellent example of what happens in the mind of a woman during a marriage, and why, once she reaches perimenopause, she may no longer want to be in the marriage.

I found SAH to be a very intelligent and insightful woman who, in my opinion, expressed herself quite well.  I hope you will be able to glean something from this.

As always, gentlemen, take the meat and spit out the bones!

SAH

I’m 35, married have been with my husband for 10 years, we have children ages 4 & 6. I absolutely hate my husband. I’ve already hated him for 7 years, and it is too much to go into detail here – but to sum up:

1. he was not a loving and supportive partner to me through pregnancy/postpartum, he was a completely narcissistic immature prick.

2. He’s a complete passive-aggressive who has been very hurtful, but always does everything in a subversive manner, while absolutely maintaining denial 100%. He will never have eye contact and listen to me or have a mature conversation. He will roll his eyes, walk away from me mid-sentence, he REFUSES to deal with our issues.

For years I’ve been hurt and put so much effort into swallowing my pain, hopes, dreams, and to put in the extra work to keep the marriage and household running……….

He likes to find ways to ‘punish me’ if I bug him or express any displeasure – ranging from selective deafness, lies, flirting with other women in front of me, ‘forgetting things’ to be deliberately hurtful, etc etc.

He fights very dirty, but refuses to openly discuss, confront issues openly, etc.

3. As part of this, he has deliberately switched jobs 8 times in 7 years because he knows it causes me a tremendous amount of stress. He’s never been fired, or switched jobs for higher pay. It’s always just his choice.

4. He is anti-social and ruins every holiday, birthday party, vacation, family reunion, etc with his infantile narcissism.

For years I’ve been hurt and put so much effort into swallowing my pain, hopes, dreams, and to put in the extra work to keep the marriage and household running. I’ve been hating him, but now I feel it is intensifying so much.

I think I may be in the earliest phase of perimenopause, but I feel less of a rage/fighting/passionate/hurt hate (as well as no longer having any periods of feeling ‘love’) and now it is more constant complete disgust and indifference. I am just restless and I don’t care anymore.

I’m tired of having to hate him, and I no longer even want him to ‘fix’ himself (even if it were possible) I just never want to have to see him again. I wake up every morning and do my best, but when I see him laying there I just want to puke, I’m just… Disgusted.

In our 20s he acted worse, but I had much more patience to try honest communication and drive to make things work in our 20s. Even though he has marginally improved in our 30s, for the past 2 years I now have 0 desire to make things work and only enough patience left to fake civility.

I hold it together for the kids…. But I feel like a ticking clock… And I don’t know how much longer I can do it. The built up years of frustration

Magnolia

Hello SAH,

I find your comment incredibly fascinating for a number of reasons. But, before I say anything else, let me first offer my compassion and empathy. I know what it’s like to live with a passive-aggressive. Everything you have said rings very true to me personally. Because of that, you have my UTMOST empathy. I REALLY know what you’re feeling. Oh, trust me. I do.

That said, I would strongly suggest you find a REALLY good counselor. Some place where you can blow steam without the fear of hurting someone around you – like your children. And I’m sure you know this…… but they probably pick up on the stress and tension more than you realize.

I would say that the chances of you feeling more compassionate or loving to your husband during perimenopause are slim to none. Which is why I would strongly recommend that you find a counselor and find them fast.

I would recommend that you pick up a good book to read on the subject of menopause and how it affects your outlook. Dr. Christiane Northup’s book “The Wisdom of Menopause” is great. But, she only has one chapter devoted to marriage, and it’s an expensive book to buy for just one chapter. Maybe you can find a copy at the library?

I would also recommend “The Female Brain” by Dr. Louann Brizendine if you want to understand how hormones cause shifts in our brain at different times of your life which directly impact how well or well we don’t handle our life stressers…..i.e., a bad marriage.

Again, I’m sorry for all of your frustration. I do understand it more than you know. I wish I could offer more, but I am a professional blogger and healthcare advocate, and unfortunately, not a marriage counselor.

Magnolia

 

To Be Continued……..

 

Magnolia Miller is a Certified Healthcare Consumer Advocate in women’s health and a women’s freelance health writer.   She writes here and at other sites around the web including Healthline.com where she has a weekly menopause column.  

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

MamaBear July 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm

SAH,
Your hubby sounds like a jerk. It’s heartening that you mention he’s improving, while saddening that your heart toward him is not. I, myself am divorced & remarried (as is my husband) and we have a blended family.

What I can say for sure is that divorce, when you have children, will NOT rid you of your husband. As difficult as your relationship may be, it will be worse after your divorce. Worse for you, worse for your children who will be subjected to his personality without your protection or oversight, and worse for your anger.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t leave, just don’t be fooled into believing it would provide you an escape. I agree with Magnolia. Find a great counselor to help you process all those feelings you’ve been forced to stuff for so many years.

Perhaps a clear heart, mind, and concience can help you regain your sense of balance. That would be a much better jumping off point for whatever direction you decide to take in your marriage.

If you’ve hung in there this long, maybe you can hang in there long enough now to get yourself healthy. After the divorce you may find that you don’t have the time or energy (or money) to put yourself first.

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Niel January 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm

First, women are required to go through a body change as part life’s internal body change…….My wife of 24 years has lost faith, and she now lies, no sex, hides things from me and our boys, and any little things set her off on tantrums and being disrespectful…..My doctors diagnose my situation as, “nothing you can do.” Another doctor said, you better shut your mouth and stay out of her way….This is the medical personnel answer….What a joke….Not only do women in general protect and pretend menopause is about the relationship other then the women’s health during the change…..My wife assaulted me about five times to this point…My boys and I are praying for help from God….Her family have their own problems, her mother is no help…..My question,,,how many domestic violence incident were caused by women during menopause…. I know men also go through a similar change too….

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Magnolia January 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Niel,

I know of no statistics which say that women cause domestic violence during menopause. However, I would certainly be interested in reading any information that you might have.

Magnolia

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pjay July 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Given the hormonal and psychological instability women face in early mid-life and late middle age, and their legal and social privileges they have in the eyes of the family court, it’s shocking that men still propose to women, let alone go through with the wedding and get married.

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Magnolia July 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I find it rather unfortunate in 2012 that men are still making comments such as yours, Pjay.

One only has to look at countries like Afghanistan to see what some men become when given absolute control and unmitigated power over women.

I for one, am very thankful that our court systems stick up for women. God knows there are far too many men like you who would not.

“Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.” — Abigail Adams

Magnolia

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Kat July 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Unfortunately it appears that perimenopause enables women to make smarter decisions! Yeah! We are the smarter sex. Decisions are easily made now as opposed to prevously, when things you did not think mattered matter,now. It appears women have more courage?

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Jaydee August 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Why did you marry this man in the first place? Why are you still married to him if the sight of him makes you want to puke? I am all for staying the distance, weathering the storms of life and all, but if you’ve felt nothing but hate for this man for seven years, then, for everyone’s sake, bust a move. At 35 you are probably a LONG way from actual menopause. Maybe 15 years or more. Are you waiting for a miracle? Things are unlikely to get better any time soon, and your kids are going to be suffering from the toxic atmosphere at home.

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SAH August 13, 2012 at 11:36 am

@Pjay — Given the compulsive womanizing, refusal to communicate honestly, and chronic narcissism men exhibit in adolesence and midlife — and the vast economic and social privileges they enjoy in society — it’s shocking that women still marry men, let alone go through pregnancy, childbirth, and decades of emotional and psychological abuse to be married to them.

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Don November 7, 2014 at 6:50 am

It is funny you should say that about men considering my wife called me pathetic for hurting my back and being laid up on the couch! Before I hurt my back I would clean the house bring her coffee and a morning snack in bed for her almost every morning and run to the store for her if she needed something. I was always faithful and committed to her in every aspect of our marriage! How did she repay me she got in to a romance scam and called a strange man on my birthday and spent over an hour with him on the phone almost resulting myself and him getting in to a fight! So see not all men are bad as you say there are women that are exactly as you described!

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Magnolia November 7, 2014 at 7:06 am

Sorry to hear that you had a tough time in your marriage. Everyone has their own story, that is for sure.

I would suggest that you read more than one post to get a better perspective on how I have viewed and communicated to men here.

I have never called “all” men bad. Not once.

I’ve made some generalizations which, you know, as generalizations go, always have exceptions. However, this particular post was an effort to give a different perspective than what I had been doing for quite some time here……..that is, I was continually giving an ear and audience to “men.”

This post was an effort (albeit probably a failed one, truthfully) for men to hear straight from women exactly why we sometimes feel the way we do and do the things we do. However, it soon became apparent to me that what I had previously observed, still very definitely held true: people see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear.

I rarely answer the comments from men these days. Primarily because what invariably happens is that the discussions here at a women’s health blog, begin to be primarily about THEM. Which is a common theme with most men I’ve learned.

Most men that come here have an astonishing capacity to see only how a woman’s hormone imbalance affects them. Rarely are they interested in truly understanding how it affects women.

So, because of that, I’m not interested in engaging the average male reader any longer. In fact, most of their comments never make it past the moderation process.

I made an exception for yours because it is another shining example of a typical male response at this blog……”what about me?”

Have a good day.

Magnolia

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SAH August 13, 2012 at 11:42 am

@JayDee… My problem with my husband started 6 months after our wedding when
I was pregnant with our first child. I had terrible morning sickness etc, and he decided to embark on a 14 month affair. I don’t know what kind of emotional strength or outside support you have, but for me being a young newly married woman, pregnant for the first time, then caring for newborn, along with the economic cost of a baby — that was not a time I could deal with a divorce. Although it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it was more practical at that time to handle having my heart shattered into million pieces to keep the peace. But thanks so much for judging me, and posing it as a question. You have a lot of empathy, are you by any chance a man?

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David January 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

SAH, read and re-read JayDee’s post several times … the writer did not come across as judging you … you seem to be very, very sensitive … and yes I am a man

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Jaydee August 20, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Sorry that you took my comments as judgement. Sometimes I come across as harsher than I intend. And no, I am not a man. I am not asking why you didn’t divorce him in the beginning, but I am wondering why you are still with this loser at this point in your life. I guess, what I am trying to say is that you are too young (IMO) to be looking to perimenopause as the reason for your misery. You are in a rotten marriage!

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David January 29, 2014 at 10:43 am

Hello Magnolia … based on your above blog, “I would say that the chances of you feeling more compassionate or loving to your husband during perimenopause are slim to none. ” I should just go along with my wife wishing to leave (divorce) as seems (again based on your comments) quite hopeless … so despite me seeing the error of my ways and that I love her much … I should give up hope myself and kids should just move on? Slim to none do not seem to be good odds. Thanks.

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Magnolia January 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Hello David,

I would hope that you would not rely on a women’s health blogger who not only does not know you personally, or the details of your life’s circumstances, as to whether you should remain married or get a divorce.

I am not a marriage expert. I am not even a marriage counselor. I am a woman who happens to have a wee bit more knowledge about what perimenopause is and how it affects women than the average person. But, I am certainly not all knowing, and nothing I say here should be taken as iron-clad direction for you or anyone’s life.

I am a pretty insightful person, and I can generally offer some sound advice or information generally speaking, but I would never, I repeat, I would never presume to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do.

And you should also be aware that what I might say to one person is not necessarily what I would say to another. And given that I’ve recently been through a very acrimonious and painful divorce myself, you can also be certain that my “advice” as it were, or responses to people have most certainly been colored by my own experiences, which at times, has not been the most sensitive, all things considered.

So, my “advice” to you, David, would be to take what I say here with a certain grain of salt, weigh it against your life’s circumstances and make your own decision about what you should or shouldn’t do about your marital situation. To do otherwise is nothing short of imprudent to say the very least.

Magnolia

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David January 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Thanks Magnolia

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Marsha Villegas February 20, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Women can start perimenopause at 35. It also could be a mid life crisis. I am currently in the same situation except my children are older. You have to get counseling. If you can not afford to speak to someone you can find books to help you and you have to make time for yourself. Make decisions that are not based on emotions. Good luck.

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LESS April 13, 2014 at 10:36 am

I am sorry to hear of your problems, but not unfamiliar with the same issues myself. I am 42 yrs old and my husband and I just got separated a week ago for almost the same reasons, He has always set goals for himself to please his parents, like your husband Sah he went back to school 3 times and quit and change jobs 5 times in 13 years of marriage because he needed to be better for his parents. Putting extreme stress on me because every time i am the one responsible for everything at home. I still wanted to work on our relationship but i just found out that he has been in contact with another woman sending pictures and text msg and emails, found 23 pictures of her in his phone and a picture of an engagement ring too,i had seen her picture on his Facebook he told me it was a cousin but it turn out to be a wife in waiting, so when i confronted him about it he blamed me for opening his phone and because I am the cause of the rip between us. He can not accept blame or take responsibility for any of his choices its all on me. And now he is trying to put the guilt trip on me because I asked him to move out of our home. His plans were to move on into a new life with a new job, new wife and better future on my back, but since i found out about his other woman now his plans changed.

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Peter April 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

I had until recently been convinced that the woman I have loved and cherished for the last seven years had been replaced with a lunatic ogress by body-snatchers. It now turns out that at age 40 she may be entering perimenopause, seemly, a condition that may compared to back to front puberty. Our sex has gone from four times a day to zero. She says that she is disgusted by me and I cannot help but feel she would be happier living without me. This she denies but I feel highly at risk of being blindsided if I take her response at face value. She suffers from chronic pain, earache, palpitations, dizziness, anxiety and insomnia and with all that going on how could anyone expect her to be in a good mood. I understand that low libido in women may be an evolutionary response to pain in women. So lets forget about the sex. Please can someone suggest what she can do to get on an even keel. We live in Madagascar and public health is a bad joke here so am desperate for any good advice. My research suggests that ultra – low dose contraception with vitamins B complex & C and iron might be a good starting point.

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Kelly Snith August 21, 2014 at 6:47 am

After reading the letter from the understandably distraught wife of a fucktard, I hardly think that she needs book recommendations or a counselor. She sounds like she knows exactly what she needs and she’s finally done with dealing with bullshit. She needs a companion, support, and love. I understand the body changes during peri-menopause but I’m sick of blaming hormones, reading “self help” books and trying to help women “save” marriage. Simply put, some husbands and marriages are not worth saving. I hope she finds love.

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Gershun December 5, 2014 at 1:49 am

I have been struggling with menopause issues myself for about a year now. I can so relate. My husband is controlling, narcissistic to the nth degree, self-centered, loves to hear himself talk, tunes me out completely and pouts and whines worst than a two year old when he doesn’t get what he wants or when he is bored.

I have put up with this behavior by just ignoring it and going to that happy place inside my own head. But since going through menopause I find his behavior even more intolerable to the point where I find it hard to be in the same room with him. I am scared of spending the rest of my life with him but also afraid of leaving him because I don’t know what the future would hold as I have been with him for 20 years.

Is this just a feeling that will past after menopause? I’ve heard some women can go through menopause and its joys for ten years. I don’t want to do something rash and then end up regretting it one day.

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Magnolia December 5, 2014 at 7:00 am

Gershun,

I would never suppose to tell someone what they should do in their marriage. Divorce is a HUGE step that should not be taken lightly or done rashly. I spent several years contemplating my own future and the consequences of my actions should I decide to file for divorce from my own narcissistic, pouting, controlling, self-absorbed husband.

I had been thinking of divorce for YEARS before I finally got the nerve to follow through. And it was, believe it or not, after reading Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book The Wisdom of Menopause that finally gave me the last push of courage I needed to make the decision.

That said, it is not easy. I’m 57 years old. I will be 58 in March of 2015. I was out of the workforce for 15 years. How was I going to care for myself? What will my future be? Is this something I’m going to regret? These were all questions I had and had to give consideration to as well.

For me, the choice was the right one. I had to choose between self-respect and having less financially for a time, while I built up my life and began a new career path, or staying in a very well funded marriage with financial comforts provided by someone else. For women, that is a hard choice to make and I understand why so many choose to stay once they get older. It’s a purely financial decision.

But, for me, it was about my self-esteem, my self-respect, and needing to love and honor myself more than I needed to someone to take care of me. I could no longer bear feeling like a useless, unloved person with lots of financial comforts.

And to answer your question, is it just a feeling and does it pass after menopause? To be truthful, I don’t think it does. I am FAR less willing to put up with crap from people (men especially) and certainly my ex-husband. For me, it was the right choice. I’ve seen who he is with clearer eyes now that I have two years post-divorce distance between us.

It was a very painful pill to swallow when I realized that everything I had feared about my ex-husband and his lack of caring for me was true. It was devastating and the grief and sorrow was overwhelming. However, as hard as my decision was, like I said, I believe it was the right one – for me.

You will have to decide what it is that you are willing to accept and live with. Maybe you can find a way to co-exist and stay married. I do not know. That is simply a question you will have to answer for yourself. I would take all the time I needed to reflect, however, and give deep consideration to whatever decision you make.

Just be sure and make the decision knowing full well that you are willing to accept complete responsibility for the outcome.

Magnolia

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Gershun December 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Magnolia

Thank you for your response. What you had to say is worth considering for sure.

I forgot to say in my e-mail that I have also been dealing with putting my 91 yr. old mother into a nursing home recently. The last year has been extra stressful due to that as well. My mother has always been my best friend and until recently my sounding board. Since her decline in health I have suddenly lost that person who listened and always seemed to understand which has made my relationship with my husband that much harder.To leave my husband now on top of that would I believe be too much to handle.

I wish I could say that I am strong enough to leave the relationship and strike out on my own but I can’t honestly say that right now. I went to the doctor on Friday and discussed hormone replacement therapy and he prescribed an antidepressant. But I’ve read the horror stories on line about the side effects of those so I don’t know if I should start them or not. I’ve always thought that we should feel our emotions, good or bad, not mask them with something that makes us feel like robots.

So these are choices I must make I guess. I appreciate your comments though and I will try to utilize some of what you said.

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Magnolia December 11, 2014 at 10:51 am

Gershun,

I sincerely understand what a difficult decision it is to decide to leave a marriage or to stay. My decision was an agonizing one that took me years to come to terms with.

And I also understand how hard it is to struggle with that decision with an aging and dying parent. At the beginning of my divorce process my father died quickly (within a month) after he was diagnosed with end stage lung cancer which he refused to see a physician for for years. It took my legs out from under me to grieve his death while I was beginning a divorce process.

My divorce lasted approximately a year and a half, and it was NASTY and acrimonious to a degree that I just can’t articulate. To say it was devastating to me does not even begin to do it justice. I’m certain that much of my grief was also tied into the simple change of life as we pass through to menopause and must begin to come to terms with our own mortality and end of life.

But, there I was: grieving the loss of my father (a very complicated relationship) and the loss of my marriage at the same time.

After my divorce was final, a few months after that, my mother died VERY unexpectedly. She had not been ill or showed any signs that death was imminent. In fact, she had called me the day before she died so we could “catch upa” and chat. That was the last conversation we had. She died the next day from an abdominal aneurysm which burst.

She died instantly.

So, after the death of my father, came the death of my marriage. After that, came the death of my mother. So, I truly understand how profound and life changing the grief can be. Which is why I would advise you to be very deliberate in your thinking. Do not make a decision to end your marriage from an emotional place or a place of despair.

Try to make the decision to leave (or to stay) with as clear a head as you can. And as I stated in my last comment to you……make the decision with clear eyes and a willingness to accept whatever the consequences of that decision might be.

If you make it with that type of a perspective, at least you will know it was the right decision. Though it will surely not come without pain, no matter what you decide.

Make it and accept it.

Wishing you the best,
Magnolia

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Gershun December 12, 2014 at 1:52 am

Magnolia,

I sympathize with all that you have had to contend with in your life. Losing both your parents and your marriage within such a short time frame must of been devastating for you. The fact that you have come so far and are using your own experiences to counsel others is commendable.

At night when I am agonizing about the decisions I must make and how to do them and contemplating my Mom now in a nursing home I wake up very resolute and sure of what I must do. Then as the day progresses I waver and go back and forth etc.

Funny thing is my husband has no idea that I have been contemplating leaving him. Thats how in his own little world he is and thats probably the source of the problem. He doesn’t see me or feel me and I’m basically another appendage to him.

You are right when you say I should make these decisions with as clear a head as possible. Possibly after Christmas. I don’t know.

Thank-you for your good advice.

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Magnolia December 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

Yes, I understand that feeling of being resolute, then going back and forth as well. I think that is a signal that you are not ready to make the decision. I believe in allowing ourselves the time to go through the different stages of feeling and being. It’s part of the process.

When it is time to make the decision you will know. That does not mean that it will be emotion free. Mine certainly wasn’t. And truth be told, I wondered for a very, very long time if I did the right thing when I was in the middle of all of the sadness, sorrow, and grief from the loss of everything.

But, deep down, I do believe I ultimately did the right thing for me.

And as I’ve said already several times, it was not a decision without hardship and difficulty. Being in your late 50s and getting divorced has its own special challenges and I’m certainly facing them. But, I knew several years ago I would go through these things……..so it was what I was prepared for.

Take your time. It is your life and no one has to live with the decision but you, no matter what you decide.

Magnolia

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Amy December 17, 2014 at 5:19 pm

We’ve been married 47 years and I’ve hated my husband since the day after our wedding night.
We had sex once and the day after our wedding night things just fell apart. He decided he hated sex, intimacy or anything that involved touching each other. I was told he is moving to our basement and that he was going to start working midnights. We haven’t slept, had a date, had sex nothing for all these years. He never explained himself and never will. He lives like a hermit, I know he’s a hermit.
Now I have no idea why I stayed with this creep, maybe I’m a coward or scared to be out by myself. I actually have no where to go no family, I have alot of friends but I can’t barge in on them. I kick myself every day maybe twice a day for staying this long.
I hate all men and want nothing to do with them.

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