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Feels unfair

When me and my husband started going out he was obsessed with me and made me front and centre of his world. He always puts other people before himself, which is very sweet, but with me he did it to his own detriment at times (willingly and without me asking for that). I used to be someone who is both selfless and selfish - I used to be a balanced individual. But in this relationship I became someone who subconsciously started putting myself first because I got used to my husband always putting me first. I believe this was partly my fault for allowing myself to become that way and partly him for behaving in a way (despite very sweet intentions) that subconsciously shifted my psychology to think of myself first.

A few months ago, as a massive shock to me, he told me he is not happy because he believes he’s always put second in our relationship, he’s an accessory and doesn’t feel cared for in the same way that he cares for me. He didn’t communicate to me in our entire marriage how he was feeling, and about half the examples of my behaviour he listed that day I had never heard a complaint about in the last few years. The other half he probably did communicate over the years but not seriously enough for me to realise there’s an actual issue - I thought they’re the standard ups and downs of marriage. He had clung onto examples from years ago and if he had spoke to me about them clearly then we could’ve worked through them.

He wanted time to think. I was broken but left our home to give him space and a few weeks later he asked for divorce. I apologised profusely and told him I’d change. After me pleading with him, he agreed to couples therapy whilst we were separated the last few months. When he told me wants a divorce but will agree to couples therapy, he hurt me a lot by telling me to move out of our flat (my father in law owns it), separating our finances and cancelling my credit cards. He said even though we’ll try couples therapy he needs complete separation from me because he can’t otherwise focus on himself. He said as long as I’m in his life he’ll always put me first which isn’t what he needs right now.

I worked really hard on myself to change with the assistance of my own individual therapy and did everything to show him I can the last few months. Having given couples therapy a feeble attempt, he’s told me his decision about divorce is now final. He says even if I change he might not be able to change in that he’ll always put me first, and he can’t get over the pain I’ve caused him over the last few years by making him an accessory to this relationship.

I admit it was wrong that I was behaving in ways where I’d think about myself over him. But I also think this is so unfair because it was in this relationship that I changed massively as a person to become that selfish - he massively contributed to that change. He also didn’t communicate to me at times how he felt about my behaviour otherwise I definitely would’ve snapped out of it. Also, some of his complaints about my behaviour are very valid and I’m so sorry about them, but he also criticised some of my behaviour over the last few years, which on speaking to friends and family, many people have told me was not unreasonable.

I feel I’ve been really hard done by and I wasn’t given a proper chance. Whilst I admit at times my behaviour was not good, it was all very unintentional and as soon as I realised the way he was feeling I snapped out of it and tried to prove in some many ways I’d change. He also made mistakes but can’t seem to see that properly.

I don’t know how to get over the feeling that this is so unfair and I don’t deserve this. We were together for 7 years (married for 4) and didn’t have kids. I never thought I’d be divorced by 30 and never did I think he’d treat me this way. Anyone got any advice on how to deal with this feeling of feeling hard done by?

Re: Feels unfair

I totally understand this. It all boils down to lack of clear communication by your husband. This creates bottled up resentment and eventually it explodes. Exactly the same has happened to me but the resentment was channelled into an affair. I feel devastated that he says the affair was because of me and my behaviour in our marriage.

I feel it’s a man thing. They don’t want to talk about stuff and so they just hold onto it all. We just carry on thinking all us fine and behaving the same as normal. Then suddenly the rug is pulled out from under us. The problem is with your husband and mine is that during this bottling up they were also checking out of the marriage. They had already decided it was over so changing their mind is never going to happen. You will see in time that he wasnt the right person for you.

Re: Feels unfair

Thank you for your kind words. I’m sorry you had to go something similar! I hope you’ve managed to get some closure since. I hope with time my anger at the unfairness of the situation will die down and I’ll be able to let go and be at peace

Re: Feels unfair

I totally hear you both. Here’s another victim of being in a marriage with poor communication where my husband’s frustrations were never discussed or very rarely discussed and definitely not at the intensity of it ever leading to a divorce. But 7 years later, the rug was pulled off from beneath my feet and I was in shock. After reading your stories, i feel a little less alone and im kinda convinced - it’s not us. It’s them.

Re: Feels unfair

I agree with everything you said. My marriage suffered from lack of communication, he went from being distant to not leaving me alone. I eventually brought up divorce as I saw that after so many years of trying, nothing was going to change. My only regret is now all the wasted years of trying and hoping for change. I can walk away knowing I did all I could. He won’t be able to do the same.