I don't want a divorce, but I need someone new

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SmileandLaughaboutit
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2008 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone.
Here goes: I was really really unsure about marrying the woman I married and I've regreted it almost every day that we've been married, which is over 10 years. I didn't know when we got married but she had severe depression and doesn't believe that she should have to take medicine for it. Since the first week of marriage, she has been verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive. She's only 5'3 and I'm 6'0 and 215 pounds, but I obviously won't hit her back and she likes scraping and hitting me. I never raise my voice, I refuse to argue in front of the kids, and I've apologized (to end arguments) several times a week for years, when the problem is that she has extensive psychiatric issues that are beyond her control and she won't treat them. I've asked her about a divorce many times, but she really doesn't want one and I don't want to because we have children and because I went through two divorces as a child and I don't want that to happen to my kids.

I don't believe she is actually capable of caring about someone else, she says that she is, she just isn't capable of being kind to me because she needs me to get angry at so that she can be happy the rest of the time. She is always willing to have sex, but without some intimacy, or emotional bond, it is rather empty for me and I don't enjoy it. I'm told quite often that I'm cute (I look like I'm much younger than I am) and I've had a few chances to have one night stands with other women at conferences or when I'm traveling or something, but that, again, would just be physical with no emotional joy and it would be pointless to me. I'm neither weak nor passive, but I won't get into a physical fight with her which is how she treats me.

What I want is to meet a woman who likes being happy, who likes to laugh, who likes to talk and share thoughts about herself with me. My wife really isn't capable of doing that, and her physician is happy if her medication prevents her from screaming and hitting me, so the goal of joy is not realistic (sorry, that sounded rude).

Anyway, am I being selfish or should I NOT want to meet and talk to another woman? I don't know. I've asked a psychotherapist about it and he encouraged me to since it was important to me. But I don't know. Any advice?

Joseph

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/3/2008 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Joesph,

I am sorry for your problems with your wife.  You stated: I was really really unsure about marrying the woman I married . I am wondering if you had red flags before you married her what convinced you to go ahead?

Have you seen a therapist for yourself as that may help you some.

After reading your post it seems to me you want out of the marriage and really want to find a new companion. I am sure you will get some good advice from other members.

Take care and keep posting.

Kitt


 
Co-Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
Co-Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
*Wife of a Crohnie*
******www.healingwell.com/donate***
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


SmileandLaughaboutit
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2008 7:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kitt,

I did see numerous red flags before we got married, but I thought it was cold feet, self doubt, and all that. I thought i was second guessing myself and thought that things would improve after some time together. I did think it was me, so I saw a therapist for about 10 months, up until early this summer, he said that I had very low self esteem after the years of marriage, and that there wasn't anything to do with my spouse unless she continued her meds and counseling, which she hasn't done for 5 years.

I'm still trying, and i won't give up on it. But there has to be more out there

Joseph

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 1/3/2008 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Cheating on your wife is not the right thing to do because eventually someone will get hurt. Cheating on your wife will only create more drama and problems in your life.

Your counselor shouldn't be encouraging you to seek company of another woman, you should focus that energy into yourself, your kids, new hobbies, spending time with good friends and other family members.
Having a female friend is fine, but if you are looking for intimacy, sex and connection with someone else, well, have you thought about what if you fall in love or the other woman falls in love with you? Are you prepared to divorce your wife at some point? Because that is what it will come down to, or you will have someone on the side to satistfy your needs while still staying married. That's selfish and unfair of you to do to your wife and your 3 kids.

You and your wife need to go to counselling together to make the marriage better. She needs to continue counseling on her own too. This is a must so it's time to really open up and talk to your wife.

If you felt so uneasy about marriage in the first place, why did you continue to have 3 kids? I am not meaning to sound rude, but I don't understand unless you thought each child would help the marriage get better?


Does she treat the kids the same way she treats you? Maybe it would be better to divorce and have the kids living without all the stress around them. What kids learn about relationships starts in the family home, so if you are unhappy and your wife is displaying bad behaviour infront of them, they will learn it and accept it as a normal thing, which it is not.

Sorry that I may have come off harshly, it's just finding another woman on the side is not the answer here.


SmileandLaughaboutit
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/3/2008 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
It didn't come out too harsh at all. It was just how you were feeling, and I'm glad you said it. yeah, having the children was an attempt to try to create some bonds between us. And they certainly did and we love them dearly. They AREN'T aware of this because we don't let anything happen in front of them, and home life is very stable for them. We make sure that it is. I pay for extra help at home to make sure there is no stress or anything at all like that, and the kids are happy, healthy, and just haven't noticed that her and I interact in an impersonal manner around them. We shower them with love (not gifts, love) and they are always hugged, talked with, listened to, read to, and everything that one would want a perfect little boy or girl to have. But, again, it doesn't extend to me. She has given up on the idea of her getting better and when we've been to counseling she was asked why she wouldn't take care of herself, but we all know how psychiatric illness can be: Those who have it often don't have the ability to recognize it. Her problems manifest themselves between her and I because in any relationship between two people, the other person knows all sides of you, and that can be quite frightening if you aren't psychologically able to deal with it. She isn't. I know this and accept it. I want it to change for her, I want her to be happy (part of why I won't leave her), but the question remains, at the end of the day... is there someone for me.

Joseph

Red09
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 1/3/2008 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Maybe if you really laid it out on the line with your wife in a sense that she HAS to go to therapy again, even if you have to take her there yourself, do it. She needs help with the depression, not only for her own sake and yours, but for the kids sake. Though I'm sure you've tried...Just keep trying and don't give up.

Good that you keep the other stuff away from the kids, though I assume they all are aware that she has depression, right?

I'm not sure if entertaining thoughts of 'is there someone else out there for me' is going to help you in your marriage. If anything, it's an escape and a dangerous one too because feelings can develop and get out of control.


ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 1/4/2008 5:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Smile

I just wanted to jump in here and say welcome to the forum. And I agree with the advice that you have been given. If you do have an affair it is just going to cause many problems,and make her depression worse.

Here are some very helpful sites that I have found:

www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5014_qa.html
www.rd.com/content/how-to-cope-with-a-depressed-spouse/
Shy


Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Lexapro,Zyban,Buspar,Clonazepam

Have been med free for 2 years now.

I will scream with you,Cry with you and hopefully laugh with you.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/4/2008 8:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Joesph,

This is Kitt again and I have been down the road on this topic.......I cheated, but in the end I recognized that what I should have done and finally did  get a divorce, took my 3 children and moved on. I met my wonderful husband and we married and had another child so we raised 4 children. We have been married for 36 years and I have never had the urge or been tempted to cheat again.

So my first marriage was obviously in big trouble, I was way to young and I did not deal with the problems as neither did my ex.

You cannot have your cake and eat it too...................I am living prove of that. Also you may think your children are not aware of the tension etc but if your wife is physically mean toward you, the children will sense as well as see more than you suspect.

IMHO, you are hoping to be able to keep your family life and still have a significant other to meet your self esteem needs.  You can live with the sick wife if you can just have a healthy companion.

With that kind of thinking I don't feel your wife has a chance, and why should she be subjected to your having a "good" friend.

It would be kinder to lay the cards on the table and see how they fall with your wife.  If you cannot work it out, then living apart may be the better choice.

I am not judging you..........as I know first hand how it felt to be judged, and judge people did.  They were coming out of the wood work to judge.

Take care

Kitt


 
Co-Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
Co-Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression, GERD, Osteoarthritis
*Wife of a Crohnie*
******www.healingwell.com/donate***
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


Gillcom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 272
   Posted 1/4/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Joseph,

Welcome to the forum, i'm so sorry for your troubles and your wife's illness.

I just wanted to say i think Kitt is so right, you should have a good talk with your wife and you both should have the chance to say your piece, maybe even have some councelling. It obviously can't go on like it is and maybe you both would be better living apart, but please don't give up too easily, on the other hand the fighting and arguing is very hurtful and kids do sense there is something going on even if they don't see it.

Take care, Gillian x
Ileostomy - Feb 05, Hernia on site.
Fluoxetine - 20mg March 05 - july 06
Citalipram - 20mg July 06 - upped to 40mg now.


Honey Bee
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 1/4/2008 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Joseph

Very sorry to hear about your troubles. I may sound harsh as well but there is only so long you can live like this. I appreciate your wife is ill and know how hard it is to live with someone who is severely depressed (I have been doing this for 20 years). It can often mean that you end up being the person who's self esteem and confidence are shot as you spend your time walking on eggshells and apologizing for everything when only some of the problems are your fault. You end up being as 'broken' as the other person. It is truly devastating to live like this. Mental illness is hard enough to deal with as a couple even when your significant other acknowledges there is a problem and does everything in their power to get help (meds, therapy etc) but the fact that your wife is not willing to do any of these things makes me think you are fighting a losing battle and nothing is going to change for you if things remain as they are.

I also (like some other comments below) feel very strongly (and based on my hubbie's family experience) that it is no good just 'staying together for the kids'. However hard you try they do pick things up and can sense quite small emotional issues. My hubbies mum and dad should never have got married and stayed together for 30 years which ended up in both them and the 3 kids being brought up in a totally dysfunctional and abusive family environment (partly again due to mental illness). None of them talk to each other now and I don't they will ever lead 'normal' lives or have decent relationships with their partners because of the environment and lessons learnt from their parents. Whereas, I have seen other examples of friends who have kids and got divorced, been much happier and the kids have grown up to be totally fine.

Of course you deserve happiness and your love and affection returned, but as others have said it would surely be better for you to decide whether to part from your wife than complicate things whilst you are still 'together'. I am surprised also that your therapist made the suggestion they did. Things can very quickly turn from being a friendship to something else which would make things complicated and probably your wife's behaviour even worse. Maybe laying it on the line as to how you feel and what you think is the best route for you in the future if she is unwilling to get help may give her the wake up call she needs. If she does nothing/is not willing to try then maybe this is the impetus you need to get some closure and move on in your life.

In the meantime one thing which I am trying to develop (which is advice from my own therapist) is 'distancing' myself from my hubbies own emotional stuff in order to try and stop me getting on his daily emotional rollercoaster and feeling like c**p. It is hard to do but sometimes you really have to keep repeating to yourself that not everything is your fault and not to let your partners mood take over your mood and bring down the whole household. Hard to do I know especially if you have low self-esteem to start with.

Also I think that mental illness can make people seem very selfish, cold and manipulative. For example my hubbie can sometimes have a knack of picking up on the one out of 20 things that I have done well and pick the 1 that I have missed/forgotten about/not even considered etc. and play on that to often convince himself in the moment that his inappropriate behaviour and treatment of me is a natural reaction to something I have done wrong when in fact it is his own chemical mood swing happening by itself and is totally unrelated to anything I have said or done. I am slowly beginning to see this more clearly in things that have happened and overreactions he has had during our time together. None of us are perfect but surely you cannot be wrong all the time. Again, this is my experience only and not saying your wife is like this with you but depression is truly a horrible illness to suffer from and can make people act very differently than they would when they are well

Anyway, try to keep smiling.

Honey Bee :-)

Post Edited (Honey Bee) : 1/4/2008 9:23:45 AM (GMT-7)


Floppington
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 1/5/2008 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   
People have given some excellent advice already.
It sounds to me like you need to make a definitive decision about what you want to do. I don't think that cheating or finding someone to make you emotionally happy outside of your marriage is a good thing to do because as other people have mentioned it will only cause more problems. And I do not think that a therapist should be encouraging you to do that. Coming from a home that was broken up due to an affair I feel very strongly about this. If you are committed to your marriage and family then BE committed to that, and continue to seek out ways to get your wife and yourself the help that you need in order to be happy together.
But if you feel that this is never going to happen for you and her together, then it is better to leave the marriage. As much as you try to protect your kids they will figure out that something isn't right, if they haven't already. I'm not saying that leaving would be the "right" thing to do, but if it comes down to that or cheating, then I believe that leaving is better. Honey Bee said it well - it's not good to "stay together for the kids".

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13476
   Posted 1/8/2008 12:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I am quite sure my post may raise a few eyebrows but here goes. This is speaking from personal experience. First off I do not know the ages of your children, age is irrelevant.
 
You, yourself Joseph may not like what I post. I would take my children and get as far away from this woman as possible. I would certainly file for a divorce. Your children's well being should be your first priority. Living in a home as you have described is not healthy for the children. Left as it is, they run the risk of growing up as screwed up as both you and your wife. Yes, it does effect the children immensly. You say because of growing up in a home with 2 divorces, this is not something you are interested in. If a child has one good, strong, stable parent, that is much better than the environment you are raising them in. Having the two parent scenario is great if its possible, but thats not always the case. At this point all the counseling in the world is not going to help either of you. You are both pulling in different directions, there is no neutral ground for either of you to work from. Get yourself and your children out of that mess and get help for you and the kids. They don't deserve this kind of life, no did they ask for it. You do have a duty to your children to protect them. Mental abuse is just as bad as physical.
 
Who knows your wife may truly get the help she needs and work on it, if she does not have you around to enable her. You are a human being, not a whipping post, wife or no wife.
 
One night stands will only eat you up with guilt. Two wrongs don't make a right. Get out out of the mess you are in and start a new life for you and your chidren. The mess you are in now has affected you terribly which you already know. Life is way too short to live like that. If its been like this for 10 yrs, you can expect another 10yrs and it will only get worse.
 
Good luck, Susie
 


manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 1/8/2008 10:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Joseph,

So sorry things have turned out as they have for you. I think if you have tried to make things work, but your wife is unwilling to get help, then she has basically made her choice. In my opinion, ongoing physical/mental abuse as you describer is a deal breaker. I dont' believe anyone shoudl stay in an abusive situation. There is no way to justify it. If you stay, it is possible, as Susie suggested, that you are simply enablling your wife to continue her abusive behavior. If you leave - as in separate - or lay down a firm boundary as in "Either get help, or I'm leaving" - then she will be forced to make a decision for or against. You really can't go on as you are now indefinitely. I think you realize that which is why you posted here.

You deserve better than this.

As others have said, kids are super sensitive to things - and even if they don't 'see' you fight - they do sense the tension etc. It does affect them.

You need to do what is best for you and your children. If the only reason you are staying is because you don't want your kids to have to go through the pain of a divorce, I think you need to ask yourself if that is reasonable, considering these particular circumstances.

Having an affair is not something you should be thinking about. Dreaming of a future with happiness in it isn't wrong, but trying to achieve it through female companionship while still married is not okay. Someone said it will just add to you having guilt and furhter hurt for your wife - not to mention your kids.

There comes a time when change is necessary. It is not worth staying in a marriage at the expense of your own person. There are times we need to weather the storms and put up with some unpleasant stuff from our spouses, but there comes a time when choices need to be made. And it sounds like you two are there. Again, if she is willing to get help, then there is hope. If not, then you are staying in a sinking ship which isn't a wise thing to do because the waters can get in through the leaks.

I wish you all the best. It sure isn't an easy time for you. But if you can think things through, and look at where you want your life to be 10 or 20 years from now...

The main thing is, and sorry for being repetitive, if your wife is willing to get help. If not, then I think it's up to you to make some positive choices/changes for your sake and the kids. And I agree with what someone said, laying things on the table and separating if needs be, would be kinder and more loving than having an affair.

all the best, manyembers
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