• I've not started a topic for a long time & the website doesn't make it easy. Not a user friendly site, but I'll adapt.

    I can't find my purpose or value anymore no matter what inspiration I seek whether from within, meditation or advice from others. Not helping is the fact that my husband quit his job last week without consulting me & without a job to go to. I, nor he has been in this position before. In the past, problems seem to motivate me. I don't seem to care anymore & am afraid where this might lead. He has equated his job status to his self worth. I have assimulated to his beliefs (being a supportive wife) & did not think that I would be here at this point with him. I could embrace the situation and feel that it is a new beginning knowing that we will lose everything we have worked for but will have new beginning.

    He has not listened to me & nor have I been involved in the decision making within the past 10 years. I've felt my input or spirit slip away as a matter of being supportive. How far should a spouse continue to support the other? When do you know that there is no value there any longer?

  • Hi Littlelioness, I'm hoping that we can get things rolling here and get some attention to your question.

    What I'd like to know more about is what you mean by "how far should a spouse continue to support the other?" Are you to a point that you are feeling your life would have more value without your spouse in it? I am intrigued with you because while your statements say that you are a bit lost right now, I still get a sense that you are prepared to leap into action at the same time. Like waking up from a long sleep refreshed and ready to go. You just need the right trigger to bring you to you back to life.

    You've obviously given this some thought. What's on YOUR mind about what you would like your life to look like? Ignore the situation with your husband for the moment - what's going on deep inside littlelioness? What's she really looking for? Where is her heart? Start simply, tell me three really important things you would like to see happen in your life right now. Call it "three wishes", lol. If you could have anything you want, the way you want it right NOW what would that be?

  • Hi Jenever7,

    Thanks for responding. I'm sorry for the vague post. I was writing from my heart & attempting to search within me at the same time. I feel as though I've lost control and direction of my life. I've chosen to support & follow my husband's career but always felt my input & efforts contributed to his/our success. Somehow along the way & within the past 3 years he no longer takes my advice & makes decisions without consulting me. Now I'm doubting my ability to make any decision and what's worse is I can't remember who I was or what I wanted prior to having a family. My three wishes would be

    1. Have a career again (would need to go back to college & can't make a decision on that)

    2. Live near my grown children or have the freedom to see them more often

    3. Have an emotionally supportive partner again

    I consider myself to be a lucky person & have been blessed with a good life, children. Most people who know me would think that I would be crazy to leave a good man & after 30 years together. It may also sound like empty nest syndrome but I was fine with life until we moved 2 years ago to an area where I did not want to go. He said it was the only option he had at the time, but of course, it was the only option he would consider. Against my judgment then & since he has made many decisions that were either desperate & not thought out. I can't continue that pattern & I know we will have to separate. Further, I feel selfish & I'm guilted by wanting to leave when faced with problems that can be fixed. Most likely he will find a job within a couple months, our home will stay on the market, the monthly mortgage will be paid, he will be relocated and I will have the option to stay in the home until it sells or go somewhere else. I saw this scenario in my head two years ago when we made the first move & feel this time I will not go with him. What remain are future decisions.

    Thank you so much for listening. LL

  • Littlelioness - You were vague really. I could feel your message, I just wanted some of the details.

    Just so you know where I am coming from - I divorced three years ago feeling very much the same as you. There are certainly worse men than my husband out there. We had a lovely home, he's a very successful finance guy with a large corporation. I wanted for nothing. I left a very satisfying career to stay home and be with our three children. And somewhere in all of that things started to change. Same thing you've dealt with, my husband wanted to call all the shots, with my being distracted with caring for three kids it was easy not to notice, until years had passed and it turned out that he didn't really need a partner, he mostly just needed someone to take care of the things he didn't have time for (as he pursued his career goals). The other thing he needed was control. Then he did start to get emotionally abusive, finding fault in nearly everything I did. I eventually felt like one of his employees and not someone he loved and valued. Just one more person he needed to get things done for him. I felt smaller and smaller and smaller as time went on.

    So anyway, I had my three children when I was between the age of 36 and 40, so I had my hands full in their younger years and that kept me busy. They are now still fairly young - 14, 12 and 9. I wished that I could have held on longer, and I struggled for several years with the worries over what divorce would do to them, but then again...what for? I was doing no one any favors, not even my children because I was in such a personal void. Real depression was right around the corner I could feel it. I tried to convince my husband that I needed a part-time job, or to take some classes, just something in my life that brought me some sense of fulfillment besides mothering everyone in the family and hanging out with soccer moms. He didn't want anything to do with this idea. In fact, we eventually evolved to a place that I never even saw my family (I am from another state). The more I talked about needing more in my life, the more he boxed me in. Our lives revolved around him, his work, his family and his social plans.

    He was/is a drinker too. Not a mean guy, but suffice to say most of the time we spent together he had a can of beer in his hand. He wasn't fall-down drunk, but certainly he was mentally altered and this came to annoy me as much as anything. He was never fully there as a partner in my opinion. So, big surprise, we drifted further and further apart and eventually all that I really loved in my life were my children. I hated everything else. It was a very pretty picture of a beautiful family and the lie of it all made it all the uglier to live in.

    Long story short, he ended up filing for divorce (wasn't going to have his ego bruised by having me leave him first). I tried to go back to my old employer, no luck. The job climate here is dismal. I got lucky and was able to participate in a Michigan state-run program that paid for me to go to school to upgrade my computer skills which were completely behind from the 14 years I'd been at home with the kids. I chose a program that would allow me to work at my own pace instead of suffering through a couple of years of traditional coursework. (I was in a hurry, I needed a job, and I ramped through the program.) During that time I held a couple of part-time jobs as well to bring in money and more than anything to restore my self-esteem. A year ago I finally did land a full-time job, three months into it I nearly lost it, lol, but the executives saw something in me they liked (I am a determined little thing) and I am now being developed to take on a different role in the company. My future is as secure as anyone else's at this point and I love that I have been able to show my children that there are many paths one can choose in life. You don't have to stay in situations or relationships that hold you back from being your best possible self - opportunities and solutions are always there but sometimes you have to create them and work hard to make them grow. I am also incredibly happy that my kids have been able to know their mother as she always should have been. I got married late in life, I am no sissy about making my way and taking care of things. I believe if I had stayed in the marriage my kids would have seen me as weak and incompetent because that is how their father treated me. My awakening really came the day I simply said to myself - THIS is not who I am, I KNOW this very well, and I want my real self back! I had never allowed myself to sink so low in life when I was on my own and it was ridiculous to stay in a relationship that basically destroyed everything about me. That was the day it was over.

    So, with all that being said, if there is any way you can pick up even a part-time job right now I think that you would see immediate affects on your sense of self-worth. I started with just a retail job as Christmas help. It was all I could find at the time and being home with kids for 14 years was a real problem in getting employers to take me seriously. But I did a good job, and they asked me to stay on as a regular employee. I was the only one out of a ton of people who worked that seaon who got that offer. It wasn't a big job, or an important job, but to have people that I respected value me - well, that was what I needed. They always knew too that I needed to move on someday and find full-time work, and yet, because they valued me, they were supportive and scheduled me around my school-work and my custody time with my children. Again, when people show that kind of support and faith in you it is impossible not to feel good about yourself as well and recognize what you have to offer Life. Anyway, if you were to do the same - get some kind of job to get started - I believe that it would get your mind and your creativity stimulated again and from there you will start to feel the energy you need to figure out your next step. Or maybe the next step will find you! It was a pure twist of Fate that I learned of the government program that would pay for my schooling. This really accelerated my progress in life. It made all the difference.

    To achieve your number two wish, you will probably create more conflict with your husband. I can't imagine not being able to see my children. That is something worth fighting for. Just do it. Once you start that battle, your number three wish is probably getting much closer because it's doubtful this marriage will survive given what you are already feeling.

    If you do leave the marriage I can tell you that you will find many good days, as you will have all the opportunity in the world to make decisions that will allow you to flourish as an individual. At the same time there will be days when you feel the loss that comes from not having someone with you in life. Someone to share the days with. But...that doesn't mean it's forever. At those times I think back to how empty it was living in my marriage and it snaps me back into realizing that there are things worse than wishing you had someone special in your life. Worse is realizing that you are stuck with someone you don't like, and with no opportunity of having someone special come into your life. If you leave your marriage at least the door is always wide open for life and all it's possibilities.

    Since you are here on I will assume you have some belief in the messages that can be found in Tarot. I pulled two cards for you, one signifies "guidance" and the other is what I call the "shadow" card and it reflects the underlying issues. The card to guide you at this point in your life is the Chariot, it is number 7, it is about determination and the desire to reach a goal. The chariot moves quickly though and it could easily speed out of control. So the need to keep situations under control is at issue here. Victory lies ahead, but take your time, use your head and make solid decisions. Exercise the strength of your will without becoming overly aggressive and use self-discipline. You seem pretty calm right now, but I don't know many Leos who aren't full of fire when that's what's needed, so perhaps a little caution in there for you as well. Be assertive, but not too aggressive for your own peace of mind.

    The shadow card is the 7 of the suit of Cups. Again, the number 7 is very much about self-control. This shadow card has to do with emotions (that is the nature of the suit of cups). You will be faced with many options and many choices and you won't always know what to do or where to turn. This is where you must calm yourself and think things through again. Weigh out those options and seek good solutions for yourself. This is not a bad thing though. Options are what you are seeking and what you need!! You need to get out of this rut in life. The Chariot says you have all the energy available to you at this time to get things moving to a new place. I think this is a wonderful sign for you and very much affirms that the feelings you are having right now need to be addressed. You are ready for change and the universe is supporting you in that.

    Well, thank you for sharing your story with me and I hope somewhere in this I've been helpful, even if just by listening. Sometimes that makes all the difference, just being able to get something off your chest finally. 🐵

  • Oops, just read that first line of my post, I meant to say that you were NOT vague, sorry, I simply had to clarify that.

  • Jenever7,

    Wow, thank you for being so generous in sharing your inspirational story. It's funny how so many of us strike a common chord with each other on this forum.

    I do seem calm because I have come to a resolve to make some changes in my life. Like you, I know it's the right time. While I'm getting the house ready to put on the market I will continue to look for a job here knowing that once the house sells I will probably be leaving the area. I did work for 30 years as a paralegal, while raising a family, and up to Aug '08. That is when I moved here with my husband per his career move. The economy in this part of the state has since the 80's been on a down turn. I've not been unable to find a comparable job. So I've been doing volunteer work which has been satisfying. However, I expected to but have not made any real connections for jobs or friends at these associations. While I am so ready to make some changes, I feel that it probably won't be in the area in which I am currently residing.

    I see myself relocating to the state where my children live and getting a realtor's license there. The economy is better there and I feel I have the skills to make the transition easily. I'd also would like to continue my education to complete a bachelor's degree & perhaps continue further. I've always liked learning. I would do this, of course, for me alone as there are no guarantees that any degree will further a career for me at my age.

    I feel better already just talking about it and visualizing it makes it seem achievable. Thank you again for your kind words of encouragement, insight and good, practical advice. I wish the best for you, your children and your continued success in your journey in life. I feel fortunate to have this forum and caring people such as yourself to discuss our issues and to be sounding boards that we all need. These are tough subjects that are not always appropriate to discuss with your closest friend and you need other perspectives.

    Peace, Light and Blessings to you.


  • You are welcome littlelioness! Now having just reached 50 years myself I want to point out that there is no need to short-change yourself because of your age. I attended a monthly job net-working group for over a year during my job seach. I witnessed many people who were my age or older that put themselves down for their age. Having been in a hiring position myself in past jobs, I can tell you that nothing would turn me off faster than someone so preoccupied with their age that they couldn't focus on what they had to offer me as an employer. I wouldn't have hired any of those people either. I didn't care if you were 20 or 60 - did you have what it took to do a good job? Did you seem upbeat and enthusiastic? Just showing some genuine enthusiasm and confidence and optimism to take on challenges will take you far. I don't think that will be a problem for you. You seem to have an excellent head on your shoulders, still doesn't hurt to be reminded that you have things to offer that those "youngsters" don't. Working with 30-somethings and younger has definitely shown me the value of maturity in surviving times of stress in the workplace. Dang, sometimes I just want to put them in a time-out, lol. All caught up in power-struggles and nothing constructive getting done. Drives me nuts!

    Well good luck to you too and thank you for your words of encouragement as well. I'll hope for many great adventures ahead for you and loads of fun making up for all of that time you've been away from your children. As the saying goes, "once the decision becomes clear, the doing becomes effortless". Off you go!

  • Thanks for the shot in the arm Jenever7. I have so many influences that are throwing the age card in my face at this point, be it friends or a particular job interview that was a slap in the face. For a Leo, that's hard to take sometimes. My appearance does not give my age away but on paper I cannot lie. I graduated with only an associates degree in 1984 in legal assisting. However, perspective employers seem to overlook the fact that I am proficient microsoft office, trained more than 20 people in one office, and have done everything from payroll to research & writing of complex legal documents. I've always done what was asked of me to the standard expected or above. It's such a shock to me to not be appreciated anymore and I don't know what I've done to deserve it.

    That's just how competive the job market is and it's more brutal in the area in which I reside. I had one perspective employer (appeared to be similar in age to me) say: "you graduated in '84, that was before computers wasn't it? I just have so many resumes to go through and my last employee was a recent college grad & was just so sharp. Ahh, I just don't know."

    I had been used to more friendly interviews that had nothing to do with my confidence. I do feel I need to get into another field where I have more independence, to be my own boss, or perhaps a more liberal, corporate atmosphere. Thanks for the encouragement. Wish me luck.


  • Wow, that prospective employer you are talking about had better watch his step. I believe those kind of statements fall in the category of "disciminatory hiring practices". I don't know how old you or he are, but it is my observation that a lot of older men in particular are not "with the program" on this kind of thing. This is no joke anymore, the rules of the workplace are rigid about discimination in all it's forms. I think that if his company tolerates that kind of thing you didn't need to be there anyway.

    Okay, I need to give you a few more shots in the arm here.

    Do not say, "I only graduated with an associates degree". You only needed an associates degree to accomplish all of those many things you listed out here to me. You started with that and you moved on to accomplish much more. Certainly you have it all over some younger person just coming out with any kind of degree. Experience matters in this economy. Companies can't afford to have twits on board, they are strapped for cash and need results.

    Your issue is in how to best sell yourself. Here was my rude awakening - when I had someone half my age tell me my resume was awful. Let me tell you, I have a degree in Journalism, I know how to write! The head of the St. Louis branch of the International Assoc of Business Communicators told me I had one of the most polished resumes she had ever seen....back in 1985, lol. The style has changed and how you present the information had changed. When I learned what current resume styles were like, that girl was right - mine sucked, I was never going to get the right attention. Think "bullet points" and quick read. You must get right to what you have to offer. Answer the question for the employer: "what's in it for me if I hire you?"

    Look for books on job search and see what they say. Another thing you might try is calling a couple of the job placement services and ask if there are any services through the unemployment office or independent agencies or even adult ed, that offer classes on resume preparation and how to conduct a job search. I told you I actually got into a government program for "displaced homemakers" because I had been out of the workforce for so many years as a homemaker (it is part of Michigan's No Worker Left Behind Program). Most of us in that category are given high priority because in the majority of the cases you are looking at single moms with kids at risk if they can't provide for them. The State wants us to have jobs to keep all us moms with kids off of welfare.

    Also, because the state of Michigan taxpayers are making a financial investment in program participants like myself, the State wants to make sure we succeed. On that note we had mandatory classes on how to write resumes, how to interview well (including a mock interview with actual Human Resource Managers who graded us on our performance), how to look for jobs - very few jobs are listed in the paper these days, more are on the internet or exclusively on company websites (you have to know what company you want to apply with and check their listing, they don't list anywhere else - hospitals around here are a good example, they list jobs only on their sites unless they are looking for a medical specialist of some sort, such as a surgeon). Many jobs are still gotten just because of who you know. I lost out on more jobs because somebody's cousin got hired than because I wasn't qualified. Networking pays off.

    You should not have to reinvent yourself littlelioness, not from what you are saying here (unless you want to change fields, then obviously that's a different deal). You just need some work on how to sell it. With the right preparation you will KNOW what you have to offer and you would have had an answer instantly for that employer suggesting that you hadn't learned a thing since 1984. Maybe he was just pulling your chain as well, trying to see how you would react (although I still say he's treading on very thin ice).

    There are also Career Counselors out there. One I know here charges about $100 for a session where she will review everything you've got and help with the resume and guiding you on a smart job search. She is also well-networked herself and gets many job leads. That may sound expensive, but if you are serious, these people can do alot for you. They know what employers are looking for, they have to, or they wouldn't stay in business themselves.

    I could go on and on here but I don't want to overwhelm you. Look for some help on organizing your resume and getting solid within yourself on your personal and professional strengths. Don't expect for employers to just "see" what you have to offer, have the confidence to assure them of what you have to offer - that confidence comes out of some thoughtful preparation. Would it surprise you to learn that I was recognized at the State Capital this past fall as a Michigan Works Outstanding Alumni for 2010 "for perseverence and a determination to succeed". LOL! I couldn't have been more surprised myself because in my mind I was just doing everything I needed to, or could think of, to keep advancing myself. Failure was not an option. Needless to say, I'm very proud of that award! Yep, my personal relationships may be a trainwreck, but by God I know how to keep learning and how to find jobs. Haha.

    By the way, you are going to have to ignore the comments of your friends and family in all of this. It may sound harsh, but what do they know?? I don't care what they think they know, or what stories they have about other people, or how bad the economy is. Nobody KNOWS where you will go with this and you won't know either if you get that stuff in your head. They are being very selfish for not supporting you. Question their motives and why they would not want you to be your best possible self.

    I had my ex-husband trying to drag me down and convince me that I was never going to make it. He was just so sure I couldn't get along without him. (Seems to me I had done just fine before I met him.) Actually, all he did was make me angry and fire me up. I was going to make him wrong whatever it took. "Success is the best revenge". I have also found that rage is a very constructive emotion when channeled in a positive direction. Man did he ever have me raging.

    Okay, enough of my lecturing tonight. Now shape up littlelioness and start focusing on what you do have, not what you don't have. If you see something that needs "upgrading" that can be your next step, and even something positive that you can bring up in interviews. They always ask, "what do you think is a weakness of yours?" You could say, "well I think that I am weak in the area of such and such but I have already been looking into some classes at Community College that would bring me up to where I think I should be". Stay away from age, discussing family issues, or revealing any weakness of personality, keep everything focused on how you perform in a job. Period.




  • Just wanted to jump in here. I just turned 46 and am heading back to school to get that "Associates Degree." LOL. I'm very excited about it since I never completed school when I was younger because I wanted to get out and work and make money. So, when I got laid off this year, and it came to starting over in the job market, I decided to go for something that my age will help me. I'm going into Geriatrics. I had to chose a profession that my age wouldn't play against me. I wanted to do something like Xray tech but all I could think of was that I would be competing with 20 some year olds for jobs. My age was going to play against me when prospective employers were looking at longevity. In the geriatrics field, my age will work for me. When helping families deal with their elderly parents, I think my 46 years or 48 years will be beneficial in the trust factor because I will be someone old enough to know what it's like to deal with elderly parents and I think people will trust me to meet the needs of their relatives over a 20 some year old. So....don't look at your age as a factor. Work your age into something that gives you a boost up over the "young 'ens". :0)

    Starting over at any age is scary but if you keep your eye on the prize....that's all that matters. I'm a divorced single mom of two teenagers and all alone. No boyfriend, no support other than friends and family. Yes, it gets old not having someone else to lean on when it gets discouraging...but in the end...I will know that I did it and I did it by myself. Do I wish I had someone to lean on in my reality? Yes...but you know...until that person comes along...I have this place and everyone here allows me to lean on them for support and we all hold each other up when the road seems a little weary....and a little scary....and more than a little lonely. stay in a relationship and be alone is worse than actually being on your own. You will be drawn to the people that will support you. You will find the support that you need...hang in there. Life is journey. Treasure it.

    Love and blessings...

  • Greetings AuntBuck! What a very smart decision you made! I think you are absolutely right, life experience will give you understanding and empathy for geriatric patients that those younger than you simply can't posess because they haven't been through enough. Nurturing Cancer that you are is just icing on the cake!

    Which reminds me, belated happy birthday to you AuntBuck! I was just on the thread "First Love Returns!" and saw that you had your day on the 16th. Today is Angela's birthday by the way, and she is having troubles again. If you can spare a moment perhaps you'd like to check in on her at the "First Love Returns" thread. I'm going to do a little reading for her and see what comes up. My how these things start out full of excitement and then so quickly turn into a mess. I did tell her that the cards said to take it slow....

    Hi Littlelioness - hope you are enjoying a peaceful day!

  • AuntBuck and Jenever7,

    Thanks so much for your support and motivation. I really do appreciate it and it does help to share with others. I've been busy with getting the house ready to list with a realtor so I've not had time to get online lately. I will be checking your threads and will post back here when things are more settled and I know in which direction I might be going.

    Have a wonderful week ladies.


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