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Trapped at 61

Community Member

I’m 61 and have been married 32 years. Though my husband and I live very amicably together, the marriage has been over for years and we live as house mates. We’ve both agreed it’s ok for each of us to see other people and he’s had a 28 year old girlfriend for 2 years who comes to our house, which I’m fine with, because I have no feelings for him at all. I’ve seen other men too off and on. My husband has cheated twice and lied throughout our earlier marriage and I should have left years ago, but fear kept me where I am. I got by. It was fine. But I want more. I want love. I want to be with a partner I can trust and love again. But I no longer work and I’m financially trapped in my marriage. My husband has poorly managed our finances ( yes I foolishly let him take control because I trusted that he would always do the best for ‘us’) but I’m now realising that he’s made no investment in our retirement and all we have in assets is our marital home and  MY superannuation ( which isn’t much). I desperately want a new life, but can’t see a way out of what has become a functional but very unhappy marriage (for me). We don’t have enough assets to split and maintain a nice retirement lifestyle separately. Staying together provides security, but I’m miserable. Is there someone I can talk to and get advice from? Some days I just feel so hopeless. I wish I’d left years ago, but there’s no point in regrets at this stage.

2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi E_V,


Thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear about the uncertain situation you find yourself in. It sounds like you are financially trapped in a situation and relationship that it is not ideal for you. I know you mentioned that you are amicable with your husband and that you get on but it still worth looking at information online about financial abuse. It could shed some light on resources and support that could be available to you. There is some great information available on 1800respect here: https://www.1800respect.org.au/violence-and-abuse/financial-abuse/toolkit 


I hope this helps and keep us updated.



Community Member

Thanks Bob. I’m not sure if what I’ve experienced is financial abuse. On some levels yes, because my husband has a controlling personality and controlling our finances has always been his domain. I allowed it as a young, trusting woman ‘in love’ but my more recent attempts to regain some financial control have been met with some gaslighting and I always feel scared to ask … so perhaps this is indeed some form of financial abuse, albeit low key. I am currently trying to gather all the information (that he’ll give me) regarding our finances. He’s outwardly at least, trying to allay my fears by offering to set up accounts so that I have visibility. Nevertheless I will make use of the link you sent. Thank you