Blindsided and in freefall.

Yeah, we always love your stories.

We’ll be here waiting for the day you’ll feel like making jokes. And we’ll be here when you finally make jokes about what you’re going through now.

And above all that, we’ll be here if you need to vent or to talk and we’ll help as we can. You got this.

Same. None of that went away, Rich, blunted as it is given your situation. We love you here and consider you a friend. And it’s okay to be here even if you don’t feel like your, “funny,” is there anymore. The same with enjoying yourself doing something there. Do you still game at all? Do you have any ability to get out and enjoy something else? Do you have a separate space or TV to go enjoy a show or movie while there at the house?

Hang in there, man. I’d buy you a beer if you were any closer to me, I feel like you need some guy time to let go for a bit.

You are a smart man. An experienced one. I have always enjoyed your forum presence a lot, your stories and your wit. Your view of the world.

So you do you bud. I’ll love the sad mopey fucker as much as I love the wizened old roadie cracking wise.

So. Shopping. Tomorrow I go with her to Publix to essentially parallel shop. This is to teach me to be more independent. I will pick and buy my food. She will get hers. I am bewildered by this. I have been shopping for decades. This seems… wrong. Why not just ask me to shop with her? Sure, I got used to her doing all of the food shopping. But I did not demand or expect it. She just did it.

It feels like some weird punishment.

Meanwhile her friend Mark is over. They sit in the back and drink. I decided to see what this guy looks like. Went out and introduced myself. Shook his hand.

He is, not what I thought he would look like. He is fatter than me. And kind of a potato face. I am relieved. As sick and weird as that sounds.

Am I in a very twisted space or what?

It does. But you know what? Might as well take the opportunity to practice buying things for yourself. To no longer depend on her for anything. After all, you’ll have to do that.

It is a twisted situation. Things won’t make sense for a good while. Possibly, they never will. That’s just how it is, I’m afraid.

One thing I keep wondering about, Rich: is it really a coincidence that your wife was fired from her job in the same month that she suddenly had a 180-degree about face in regards to how she viewed your relationship? Because the sort of cruelty you’re describing sounds a LOT like the behavior of someone who is blaming their partner for something which is actually more about them. Like this:

So. Shopping. Tomorrow I go with her to Publix to essentially parallel shop. This is to teach me to be more independent. I will pick and buy my food. She will get hers. I am bewildered by this. I have been shopping for decades. This seems… wrong. Why not just ask me to shop with her? Sure, I got used to her doing all of the food shopping. But I did not demand or expect it. She just did it.

I mean, this to me very obviously has almost nothing to do with you. Because as you say, there’s all sorts of divisions of responsibility that just happen in a relationship, and when they do, both parties are responsible. The fact that she’s so eager to punish you by making you go through this humiliating exercise (instead of, say, just telling you 'Look, come do the shopping with me, okay?") proves this is more about her.

I’m just wondering if what is going on here is that your wife is having a mid-late-in-life crisis. If that’s the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if she self-sabotaged her job the same way she’s currently sabotaging your marriage.

You’re a stronger person than me, Rich. In a situation like that I’d just leave. I realize that’s the kind of thing the other party wants (i.e. your wife,) but that’s a bit like rubbing your face in it. Maybe she could, you know, go to Mark’s place and not be an ass about it? Are there no rules or boundaries at this point?

And the story of shopping at Publix, the way you phrased that, again, why is she trying to rub your nose in the fact you have to do things now?

Even when people separate, or live platonically together, there should be personal respect for each other. A modicum of rules is needed.

Ditto, well phrased, @DrCrypt .

I think that’s a very normal reaction, Rich. Don’t overthink things, as others have pointed out what your wife is doing is not very mature or respectful at all.

I’m almost certain of this. She recently turned 60 and it really bothered her.

Yeah, that checks out. The weirdly punitive cruelty at play here (coming out of seemingly nowhere after a long relationship) really does have a feeling of a person blaming someone else for their discontentment when who they are really angry at is themselves.

If I were in your shoes, I’d probably try to use this “we’re just roommates now” bullshit as an opportunity to try to get her through the back door into therapy. Maybe by saying something like: “Hey, I know as far as you’re concerned, we’re just roommates now, but we still have to live together for the time being. Maybe we could try an exploratory session with a group counselor to help us get over some of the short-term frictions that we’re dealing with.”

Anyway, hang in there. The truth is you really do seem to be acting quite well in this situation. Certainly better than I would be able to act. I especially thought your comments about keeping the peace and your decision to go and introduce yourself to Mark were very mature and far-sighted. Keep it up!

I can relate, I turn 60 in 18 months and was just telling my wife that I’m a bit freaked out about officially turning old and been spinning it around in my head this week at work despite the fact it’s still 1.5 years off. Not that I’d blow my life up over it, but it is a huge milestone for some of us.

Oh, I get it. I remember my 60th. And now I’m looking at 65 next year.

That’s a solid way to be, RichVR.

I’ve suffered grief that was partly caused by divorce once upon a time, so I can relate.

We didn’t live together after it ended, but there was a period of maybe six months where I wanted to fight for the relationship and she didn’t, so I just kinda had to burn myself out on that one before I gave up. I think that’s what you call “a process”.

I’m really, really glad I did not reciprocate on the negative things she said and did during that period. It would be so much more horrible to look back on now if I had.

Devil’s advocate, my mom was massively resentful of my dad when he had a heart attack at about 60… my mum was on the verge of all her retirement dreams, and instead became the full time caretaker of a mostly chair bound frail man. The few times she was able to escape to see us, she exuded seething anger and frustration, and since he passed away hasn’t been more at peace… and they had been mostly happily married for forty ish years.

Since I’ve been mostly working from home, I’ve been more involved in all aspects of the house, and since my wife took a job out of the house, has been much less hands on. Tons of jobs have just become more naturally mine. She has since vocalised how much she appreciates the help, and how resentful she used to be, sometimes subconsciously… and I tell her, previously I’d be loathe to even approach the tasks given her well versed routine and how she’d chew me out for little deviations on how she did it. Now that I’m handling things my way, she can stuff it if she doesn’t like how I fold the undies… and because she’s removed from the process, it’s all more smooth.

Guess what I’m saying is you don’t have to be on a road to self destruction to not like how things are going in your life. It does feel like she might not be the best communicator, or make the smartest efforts to correct, but I wouldn’t make too many broad judgements from afar.

You are under no obligation to be her emotional support punching bag. Not that I’m suggesting you be purposefully combative, but look after yourself too. You can play along, but stand up for yourself if she wants to get abusive.

This very much. My Ex had always thrown hints about how she thought older divorced women were somehow empowered, feministic, rebellious against society and “cool”. I absolutely saw the inference and told her on numerous occasions that if she ever felt that way, we should talk. It made no difference. She had her mind set, and that was it. Divorce was somehow the “cool” thing to do once the kids were grown and gone. My Ex is now encountering the consequences of her misguided assumptions via her family completely rejecting her. After multiple attempts to help, she refuses to acknowledge any responsibility whatsoever (ie - “Everyone else is wrong, I am right”). I guess all I’m saying is that I’m very sorry you’re going through this, but it sounds like your ex will eventually realize her mistake. Maybe not much comfort, sorry. What happens afterwards is anyone’s guess.

Just to make something clear. I do not feel that she is abusing me. At least not intentionally. It’s more like, on the way to what she wants, or what she believes that she wants, I am collateral damage.

Someone upthread asked if the fact that she considers us ‘room mates’, could I lead her to some kind of therapy?

No. Just no. The discussion was had and the answer was clear. Just no. She is as stubborn as the day is long. To push the issue would be detrimental to me.

She would have no issue with me seeing a therapist. Until she lost her job.

She is now employed again. At a job where she makes less than half of what she made before. Not surprising. But not a happy thing.

And if what is going on in congress works out, I still get my Social Security payments.

Sometimes I wake up at night and for a moment I don’t recall the shit show that I am in. Then I do. And I do not, can not, go back to sleep.

But I so want to. I want to be asleep. So as not to think.

The positive about turning 65 next year is you get Medicare, which helps. I’m rowing the same boat. I’m 11 months away from Medicare. It will free me up somewhat.

The negative is that hey, you’re turning 65. Another rock laid on the pile. How many more can we take? I don’t know but I enjoy reading, watching movies and TV shows, Qt3, and other things, so life still has its pleasures. There is stuff to look forward to. Look forward if you can. It makes a difference.

Good luck to you my friend. Most of the time the more days we can put between us and a traumatic, life-changing event, the better we feel about things. That’s my experience at least.

Being downgraded from a loved person to just a person to a speed bump in someone’s plans may not be abuse, but to me it sure feels like it.

I like the mind shift already. Keep going, Rich. You’re on the right path.