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Old 01-01-2017, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
1,428 posts, read 2,572,909 times
Reputation: 2536

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As the wife, I'm finding this really challenging. And I don't really know anyone who has been through the same thing. In most cases it's the wife who has either retired early or never worked, and she's waiting for the husband to wind down. In our case, DH has been retired from full-time work for almost a year. He does still manage a business we have in another state, but his son is the day-to-day manager there, so this isn't a daily endeavor. He does travel there for about a week every other month.

In the last year DH has made some poor choices regarding both the business and some personal behaviors (infidelity) that I have yet determined how to work through. There is no medical issue -- just idle hands and poor impulse control. But, honestly, I don't know that I can handle 10+ more years of wondering if he's doing something productive with his time, or something destructive.

We're looking at counseling, etc., but it comes down to this: I've got a career, and a challenging one. I've just received a promotion that will require a lot of focus from me. I like what I do and I want to keep doing it. It's also important to our financial retirement plans that I continue working. He's not in a position to go back to full-time or even part-time work (please trust me on this and don't give me a bunch of options -- it's a simple case of a background check making him virtually unemployable in most cases).

The infidelity bit is still raw and unresolved, so I know that's what's driving much of this. But I honestly just kind of wish he would "go away" for about ten years. Then I'd not be worrying about what he's doing or not doing, or feeling bad about not taking tons of time off to do things with him. Then when I'm ready to retire we can look at each other and decide if we want to start anew as a retired couple.

Has anyone else dealt with something similar? Any advice to offer about how to navigate this?
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
No, I have not dealt with this.

As an outsider hearing only one side, my best guess is that you are a mature successful woman who is playing a mommy role. You are afraid of leaving hubby home alone, he may play with matches again.

Are you only staying with him for financial reasons? How old are you?
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
Navigate by first getting personal counseling. Results can take months, so don't expect any changes in yourself overnight. Meantime, look into what kinds of legal financial protections you have should "junior" go off on another adventure. Actually, do that first.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,988,950 times
Reputation: 15649
"Background check" is a huge red flag.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:48 AM
 
2,446 posts, read 2,075,019 times
Reputation: 5701
I think I would cut my losses and move on. Once the trust is gone, it is over.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:52 AM
 
6,323 posts, read 5,067,075 times
Reputation: 12848
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverBird View Post
No, I have not dealt with this.

As an outsider hearing only one side, my best guess is that you are a mature successful woman who is playing a mommy role. You are afraid of leaving hubby home alone, he may play with matches again.

Are you only staying with him for financial reasons? How old are you?
seems like she can take care of herself.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:57 AM
 
6,323 posts, read 5,067,075 times
Reputation: 12848
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakabedy View Post
As the wife, I'm finding this really challenging. And I don't really know anyone who has been through the same thing. In most cases it's the wife who has either retired early or never worked, and she's waiting for the husband to wind down. In our case, DH has been retired from full-time work for almost a year. He does still manage a business we have in another state, but his son is the day-to-day manager there, so this isn't a daily endeavor. He does travel there for about a week every other month.

In the last year DH has made some poor choices regarding both the business and some personal behaviors (infidelity) that I have yet determined how to work through. There is no medical issue -- just idle hands and poor impulse control. But, honestly, I don't know that I can handle 10+ more years of wondering if he's doing something productive with his time, or something destructive.

We're looking at counseling, etc., but it comes down to this: I've got a career, and a challenging one. I've just received a promotion that will require a lot of focus from me. I like what I do and I want to keep doing it. It's also important to our financial retirement plans that I continue working. He's not in a position to go back to full-time or even part-time work (please trust me on this and don't give me a bunch of options -- it's a simple case of a background check making him virtually unemployable in most cases).

The infidelity bit is still raw and unresolved, so I know that's what's driving much of this. But I honestly just kind of wish he would "go away" for about ten years. Then I'd not be worrying about what he's doing or not doing, or feeling bad about not taking tons of time off to do things with him. Then when I'm ready to retire we can look at each other and decide if we want to start anew as a retired couple.

Has anyone else dealt with something similar? Any advice to offer about how to navigate this?
I sort of have. I had to move away because of work - military. And like you, I liked to focus on my job and not be bothered by outside forces. I figured this time apart would bring about a final solution of us being apart for good. Which I acknowledge is passive aggressive. He ended up visiting and never leaving. I finally retired and moved home. Its been over ten years and we have been living like roommates. Its okay but not what I want. At least he has a good retirement and so do I. Who knows what will happen this year.

Don't be passive aggressive. Do what you have to do.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:10 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,260 posts, read 6,351,451 times
Reputation: 9873
This is one reason why my brother is not retired yet. His wife is a lot younger and doesn't want him to stay home while she is working. Too much idle time could potentially cause problem. But he has a strong marriage, no infidelity so far. I think 10 years is a long time, do you want to stay married to your husband is the key question.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,143 posts, read 45,675,592 times
Reputation: 61846
It sounds like you are the victim of fear of the unknown. Are you getting anything good from your marriage? From the outside, it seems to me that you are getting nothing but worry and heartache.
If I were you I would see a lawyer, and gets my ducks in a row for my exit strategy. You have all the tools to make a nice life for yourself that is free from stress. Like I always say, I'd rather live in a tiny apartment by myself and be free from conflict, than spend 5 minutes in a mansion with a man I don't like.

We have a couple in our neighborhood. They bought a house here last year. The husband had just retired, but the wife still worked. She stayed at their old house, and the hubby stayed at the new one. A few months ago, we found out that the wife told him she didn't want to be married to him anymore and she was never moving here. I guess she is like OP. She found out she liked being by herself.
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:02 PM
 
Location: West of Louisiana, East of New Mexico
2,536 posts, read 2,030,242 times
Reputation: 5830
It sounds like you already know what needs to be done. Your husband cheated on you and he (apparently) is unemployable. If someone has done something so bad that they can't pass a background check, that may be grounds for divorce more than simple infidelity.

Divorce is expensive but must be on the table. Counseling is an option. You can also just agree to an open marriage or, find a responsible single man to take care of your needs on the side...and not inform your husband. None of these is ideal. Your husband's actions suggest that working was a major part of his identity and that he's lost without it.
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