When You’re Married For Long, But Need To Take That Life Altering Decision [#ReachOutThursday]

Posted: April 28, 2016

Two women married for long, but with very different challenges in their marriages write in to us. Share your thoughts with them too!

Every Thursday, the Women’s Web expert panel with the support of Healtheminds, answers questions from readers facing relationships issues, emotional and mental challenges and other such issues. 

If you are feeling the need for support in a relationship, simply enter your details here to schedule a counselling session with Healtheminds.

You can also call up to speak to a counsellor at +91 95387 51113, or use this form below to have a counsellor reach out to you.

Suffered abuse for many years. Time to stop?

I am seeking support in addressing a serious problem in my marital life. I have been abused physically and verbally for 15 years by a well educated well-known academic husband.

I suffered silently since he had so much stress related to his work, and he was attributing his behaviour to that. He used to show great remorse as well. But as years passed the abuse escalated especially verbal ones. So I am feeling I should spend rest of my life in peace.

My sons 25 and 23 years old are in full support for my decision. I am living in an apartment and feeling some peace of mind

I want to know if I should get a divorce.

Hi, while I was reading through your story, I was looking at you as someone who has been submissively and passively undergoing a lot of trauma due to physical and verbal abuse in your marital life. And now, you are thinking about the decision to end it all.

Okay, to take a decision to go for or not for a Divorce is absolutely on you. But, you will have to plan ahead on your decision. Ending a marriage is never easy but, divorcing an abusive husband can make an already bad situation, dangerous. Remember I’m not frightening you, It’s just I’m trying to give you the other side of the story and the bigger picture. This is why it’s essential to think before you act.

It’s also good and helpful to have a supportive family and friends while taking this decision and while undergoing the process in the future. I’m not looking at your son’s support as of now, rather looking at you as an independent woman who can carry on and sustain your livelihood without external support, especially financially.

There are other things also to be kept in track if you have an exit plan like to get legal help from a person who is an expertise and also knows about the emotional repercussions and provides justice for you in the exit plan.

If you choose not to go for a Divorce, you will have to plan on other things like, how can you change your submissiveness into Assertiveness? Assertively dealing with the verbal and emotional abuse happening to you. If you are not able to make a decision by yourself, do get in touch with a Counsellor who can guide you through this process in depth.

-Aruna Arumugam, Counsellor, Healtheminds

Attracted now to a man I’ve known for 25 years

I am married for many years to a most handsome man. When a couple came to stay as our neighbours, the wife and me became very good friends.

Then due to work he got transferred to my home town. And as luck would have it her daughter and my bro’s son were in the same class. So again connected with her hubby and with her.

After a few years, her hubby came to meet us as he had a travelling job. We met as good friends again. Then no contact. After 3-4 years , my hubby changed his job and moved to another city. Now to my surprise my friend’s hubby too was in the same company and stayed in the same guest house. We ladies were left with kids back home, for the education. So they lived together in the guest house.

I went there for a vacation and I met like an old friend. Talked and laughed etc.

Then my hubby left the job and moved back with me… But sometimes me and her hubby used to say hello on whatsapp

Like this slowly time passed.

Now in the last 6 months we are again connected through whatsapp and started chatting slowly non stop. We talked on various issues. And I started opening up with him….He helped me in bringing so much positivity in my life, he improved me, which I couldn’t do before I met.

We chat like 2-3 hours everyday. Intermittently. Indirectly he had told he likes me a lot. And is attracted towards me. And I also feel the same attraction for him. Nowadays I cannot think of anything other than him and the same is with him.

We both are happily married with kids but attracted towards each other badly. We have met each other 4-5 times in last 6 months also, with and without spouses but that attraction which we have for each other is not going away.

Now he is 53 and I m 52 years old. We share our DOB. And we have so many similarities. We now know each other for last 25 years.

We both are physically fit. Now standing at a crossroads very dangerously.

I don’t know what to do. I am married happily with grown up kids but I think we both have started loving each other also. What should I do? Please help.

Do you still love your husband? If so, you’re going to have to talk with him about this.  Yes, this could lead to the end of your marriage. Not talking about it, and instead stuffing it down inside you, will lead to distance between you and your husband and will break your heart. I’m not usually that brisk and direct but I recognize the syndrome of self-delusion, both in myself and in other people, and I know that there is something seductive about it.

Who doesn’t enjoy being intoxicated? Intoxication, whether from drink, drugs or our own self-generated, hormonal chemistry, is not just seductive, it’s addictive. And if we don’t consume the toxins wisely, we risk surrendering to a turmoil of false hope, excitement, danger and fantasy.

It is possible to resist the onset of hopeless love. I watched a mature friend do it once. She was very attracted to an unsuitable man but she took a deep breath and walked away because, as she admirably said: “I didn’t want to feel like a teenager again.” But it can be thrilling to feel like a teenager. And it can be especially thrilling if you have been feeling like a sober, responsible adult for a very long time.

To get into this kind of mess, and to see any hope in it, we have to be vulnerable. Depressed emotional states, the ones that follow break-up, divorce, death, can make us vulnerable. Our morale has to be very low in order for us to build hope on such fragile foundations. Boredom can certainly lower our resistance to emotional infection. There was a spark obviously. And there was encouragement. I don’t blame you at all for responding to an excitement you hadn’t felt for a long, long time.

The trouble is, as you have discovered, once an infection like this has taken hold, it doesn’t disappear with a dose of antibiotics. It becomes a raging fever that is very difficult to shake off. I think that when these things happen to sensible, mature adults they can be much more devastating than when they happen to teenagers. We have forgotten what it feels like to be at the mercy of our hormones. The sense of wonder is more overwhelming. Me? At my age? When I thought I would never fall in love again?

The state of feeling in love can be replicated by other means without wrecking your marriage. People in tribal societies pursue a state of ecstasy via the Four Ds – dancing, drumming, dreaming and drugs. Obviously, I am not recommending drugs, but dancing and drumming or something that excites you, which can certainly elevate your mood without a hangover. These are the tried-and-tested techniques for dissolving boundaries and feeling at one with life, otherwise known, when another person is involved, as falling in love.

When we get too comfortable in life we get bored. When we get bored, we are vulnerable to recklessness. We take stupid risks. Given what’s at stake, it would be perfectly ok to sit with your feelings for awhile, and perhaps seek the help of a therapist (preferably one that isn’t judgmental about such things), to figure out if they’re real or passing.

-Aruna Arumugam, Counsellor, Healtheminds

If you are feeling the need for support in a relationship, simply enter your details here to schedule a counselling session with Healtheminds.

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