A 37 year troubled marriage is hard to leave

A 37 year troubled marriage is hard to leave

I have been with my husband for 37 years and married for 36 of that.  We have three grown kids and 3 grandchildren.  I fell in love with my husband 37 years ago and have never stopped loving him or being sexually attracted to him, but things have changed.  Trying to figure out if these changes mean I should divorce him or just tough it out until one of us dies is a hard decision at age 60.  Plus, knowing that it has been this way for a long time and I have bent to his promises to change for so long makes me feel like if I have been so powerless for so long, what makes me things I can divorce him.

I can't remember when it started but it was sometime when we were in our 40s, though the problem has arisen sporadically throughout our whole marriage.  When my husband has to let go of something because he is overwhelmed by life, he lets go of his relationship with me.  I always come in second to his violin, boat, pot smoking and general anxt with life.  His letting go of me has numerous forms from not talking to me to refusing to have sex with me.  When he first exhibited this behavior when we were married only two years, I didn't know what to do.  He was non-communicative, distant and seemed angry with me, though I knew he wasn't angry with me, just angry with life in general.  I had an affair.  That snapped him out of it and with two young children, we got back together.  Off and on during our marriage he'd crawl into his shell and have varying degrees of non-contact with me.  We have split several times.  I get fed up and leave.  He stays away for a while.  Then he profusely apologizes, points out how I am at fault as well, I go back and the pattern starts over again. Romance, distance, break, back again. I feel like a pathetic fool most of the time when it comes to our relationship.  Other times, I am more understanding with myself.  I care about him very much.  He is a smart, funny and very productive person.  Over the years I have let myself become dependant on him financially and have lost confidence in my ability to support myself.  But, now I find myself having an added concern.  Do I really want to watch this person who I care about continue to make very bad personal choices- smoking cigarettes, no exercise. poor food choices.  He seems now to be creating his own demise.  Counseling, we've been there several times and it has not helped one bit.  He's not changing.  I have to believe that and take the only step available to me, and this time, don't turn back no matter how scary it gets because the thought of being in this place at 70 years old is even scarier.

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