Home > life > After 42 Years, Love Isn’t Enough Anymore

After 42 Years, Love Isn’t Enough Anymore

They always had a tumultuous marriage.  Their fights often ended with him packing his bags and leaving, but always returning hours later because of his daughters.  He never wanted to leave his girls.  And he did love her, or so he thought.

She was always bitter and unhappy.   Spitting out venomous words like “loser” and “I should have listened to my parents, they warned me.”  Or “failure”.   Hurtful names that, brick by brick, cemented a wall over his heart.

He always worked hard.  As hard as he could.  A competent lawyer but a god awful businessman, he often lost more money than he made, making her angrier and him disappointed.  Both in himself and his choice of a spouse.  He would stick it out.  He didn’t want to leave his daughters to be raised in a house with her alone.  He always tried to bite his tongue but he wanted to lash out and whip her with his words.  Instead, he sought solace with other woman here and there, to put out the fire that threatened to rage out of control.  What she didn’t ever know would never hurt her.  It would be hell for everyone when she found out.

He should have left after his daughters did.  The same old wasn’t necessarily good and comfortable, it just…was what it was.  Besides, he loved her, or so he thought.

She became sick.  Her body first and then her mind.  Although, her mind was always threatening to shatter but she used really good tape for a long time.  As her physical illness became worse, so did her mental illness and it unleashed her worse nightmare.  She lost the fight and became like her mother.   While many of her physical problems were real, some were exaggerated and made up for attention from the doctors, her children and most of all, her husband who started emotionally separating from her.

He wasn’t sure if he loved her anymore.

She got angrier and meaner.  He started drinking more when he got home from work.

42 years.

There were good times.  Early on, they loved dancing, antiquing and traveling.  Most of all, they adored their children.  They were a family that people were envious of.

It was enough to keep them together.  For 42 years.

Now, at 71, he has had enough.  She has become intolerable and impossible.  He has become defeated and miserable and he wants out.

Despite the fact that she has been so ill for the last 4 months.

Despite the fact that he is placing a heavy burden on his children who are now grown with families of their own.  He is giving his daughters their mother to take care of because he can’t…he won’t…do it anymore.

In sickness and in health means nothing to him anymore.  He is making us, his daughters, take that vow.  Because if we don’t take care of her now, no one will.

He wants to live now.  He wants to be able to enjoy the few years he has left.  He feels that if he stays in his situation with her one second longer then he will die.  And he doesn’t want to die without feeling like he really had a chance to live.

But we, his daughters…THEIR daughters…are reeling.

42 years of marriage.

We grew up with the security of a two parent family.

We grew up knowing that just because parents fight it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.

We grew up with so many rules and regulations regarding relationships being instilled in us.

And now?

Our parents are hypocrites.  Everything they every taught us became a lie.

His girls are now in their 40’s.  And he is leaving them their mother.

It would have been so much better for everyone if they had done this 20 years ago.  Our hands so full with our family and responsibility.

But, he doesn’t care.

He loves us.

He loves her.

He just isn’t “in love” with her anymore.

He wants to put her in assisted living.

He wants to sell their house that they’ve been in for 33 years.

He wants out.

He wants to clean out the memories made.

She is overwhelmed and wonders who will take care of her and demands her daughters to give her emotional support.

His daughters aren’t sure what to make of all this.


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  1. June 14, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I can’t even imagine how you feel but I get it. I stayed for 14 years, 14 YEARS and it was 10 years too long. I just wanted a chance to be happy even though I knew it wasn’t going to be easy on other ppl. Your dad deserves some happiness. He’s made mistakes, clearly but it sounds like out of love for his kids. As I said, I get it. Big hugs to you.

    • June 14, 2010 at 4:30 am

      i get it too. i do! i left my ex after 5 awful years of marriage because i didn’t want how my dad must feel. but still. my parents are getting divorced and even though i’m 41, have 3 children, 2 step children…it really hurts. and i’m really, really sad. i get it though. i just wish this wasn’t happening.

      -melissa visit my blog: http://www.rockanddrool.com follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/rockdrool

  2. June 14, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Most times we stay in unhappy, unfulfilling relationships out of loyalty to those we love. I stayed with my ex-boyfriend for 2 years after consciously knowing that I wasn’t inlove with him anymore. I was just loyal to the man who loved me more than he loved anyone else. Its even worse I guess, when people are married and have kids, its not easy to just hurt other people for your own happiness. I can’t imagine the burden that your father must have had to deal with. Matters of the heart are never easy. This is sad and time does heal. A year from now, everything will fall into place. Stay strong and be there for both your parents.

  3. June 14, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Divorce is never easy – especially after so many years. Everyone just expects things to keep on going and are shocked when someone finally says, “enough” and changes the pattern. I know this is a difficult time – I’m thinking of you.

  4. June 14, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Wow. There is nothing easy about that situation. I’m not even sure what to say.

  5. June 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I am so sorry, for everyone involved. No matter when divorce happens, or why, it is still sad a marriage is ending.

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