Wife of 18 years suddenly wants to separate/divorce

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willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/15/2011 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
This has been such a long, exhausting couple of months, I don't really know where to start.  Not even sure if the "depression" forum is the right one here.  Maybe you all can help.
 
Been married 18 years.  I was 21, she was 20.  Were totally in love when we dated for only six mos. before marrying.  She had 3 year old son (had him when she was 16).  I've raised him like my own, and he calls me dad and loves me like a dad (rarely sees his bio father).  We also have two others - son 16 and daughter 12.
 
Have had our ups and downs over the years.  She'll tell you it's all been downs, but it has been a mix.  Daughter is a serious competitive swimmer, so that adds a lot of stress in our lives.  Were at a three-day meet the weekend of our 18th anniversary.  I was in bad mood most of weekend.  Our 22 year old son was moving out within a few weeks, our 16 year old son had just gotten his driver's license and was starting to move on, and our 12 year old daughter was starting to show signs of being a teenager (not daddy's little girl any more).  Wife and I got into a little argument Sat. nite over something really small and stupid, but it ended up blowing up into not speaking for a couple days.  Problem is, next morning (Sun.) was our 18th anniversary!  I had a gift and a card with "I love you" on it waiting for her the next morning; hers just read, "Happy 18th."
 
Couple days went by and I broke the ice w an email from work and ended w/, "I love you."  She emailed something terse back with nothing else.  (Up until that point, we had always ended all phone conversations, emails, personal goodbyes, etc. w/ "I love you.")  I asked if she couldn't say it in the email, and she responded, "I don't believe in love."
 
That's where it all started back on June 27.  It has spiraled down hill since.  She moved out of my bedroom a couple weeks later.  I attempted to start counseling (which is something she's tried to get me to do for years).  She attended a few sessions half-heartedly and quit.  Tells me she needs her space.  Tells me she needs to find out who she is.  Tells me she has "lost her comfortable mode around me" (won't let me touch her in any way, hates me to tell her I love her, etc.)  Emailed two weeks ago saying she wants to start her own bank account so she can have a leg to stand on when she moves out.  Told her we'd have to sell the house.  She doesn't want me to sell it and has said so many times since she says it is my "dream house".  I asked her what her plans are to live, she says she doesn't know yet.  She works full time for a lawyer and says she spoke to an atty many weeks ago who looked at my finances and that I can afford house on my own.  I don't want to be house poor though.
 
She says the only thing she is struggling with right now is she's worried I'll turn the kids against her.  Don't know why she thinks that.  Would never do something like that.  Says she doesn't want any money and would rather just split our posessions up amicably and be done without any fuss.  Her parents are very wealthy, so that's probably why she isn't worried about finances.  Dunno.
 
Something else interesting.  She has always been strongly opposed to Facebook.  She has heard lots of stories about how it has broken up marriages.  Therefore, neither of us have ever gotten a FB account.  I never have cared much about it.  Don't have the time for it.  The night she moved out of my bedroom, however, she informed me that she had our kids set her up a FB account so she could get in touch with all her old friends from high school.  Says she feels that since we've been married, we've shut out all our old friends.
 
Here are the issues she says are at the heart of our marital problems and have been for years:  1.  I have always been "distant", and I let little things bother me often.  I get irritated when I'm driving (to the point where she doesn't like to go out with me on dates).  I get upset and have these little, mini-melt downs at things like the dogs crapping on our carpet in the house.  Says she has had a "knot" in the pit of her stomach for 18 years worried about what I'm going to get upset about when I come home from work each day (even though it doesn't happen that often).  2.  She feels uncomfortable with me in social situations - thinks she always needs to check up on me to make sure I'm having a good time.  She's the outgoing one, and I'm more quiet.  3.  Our sex life hasn't been great in a few years.  She will be ready to go at 10 PM almost every night.  I'm exhausted, but will wake up in the middle of the night wanting to be all over her.  She thinks I'm dreaming about someone else and that's why.  Maybe having sex once or twice a week though.  (I found out the other day that my testosterone was super low.  Doc says that's the reason for low libido.  She didn't seem to care when I told her.)
 
Some other factors you all should know:  1.  She just turned 39 last week and has been complaining about getting older for awhile.  2.  Our 22 year old son finally got his life together about six months ago, got engaged, and has recently bought a house and moved out.  It's been two weeks, and wife still won't go in his old bedroom.  She cries at the drop of a hat any time anyone talks about him.  3.  She got this way (withdrawn, uncomfortable, etc.) right around her 30th birthday years ago, and it lasted for about six months.  I remember it distinctly, but it was never this extreme (didn't move out of bedroom, didn't plan on divorce).  All of a sudden around November, she snapped back to her old self again.
 
ALL of her friends and family (with the exception of her mom) are telling her not to do this, not to get a divorce.  Her mom just tells her to do what makes her happy.  Wife says she wanted to divorce me a few other times in the past during our marriage, and her mom told her to bear with it.  Once was about five years into the marriage.  I never knew this.
 
Also, we've lived here most of our lives (she was born and raised here and is very close to her parents).  My company had been asking me years ago to transfer out of state for a promotion.  I kept telling them no since wife was so scared to do it.  Eventually got to a point back in 2005 with our relationship where I felt it was strong enough to withstand it.  She agreed, and we moved to St. Louis.  She was miserable the entire time we were there, and after three and a half years, I took a demotion to move back home in an effort to save our family.  I had never seen her so depressed for so long.  A couple of weeks ago, she informed me she had been on antidepressants for the entire time we were out there.  I never even knew.  I asked why she never told me.  She said she was afraid I'd be upset she was taking them.
 
I have been a wreck over this for almost two months now.  I don't eat, don't sleep.  I've lost 20 lbs.  She has been the love of my life for so long.  My world has been centered around her almost half of my life.  I know we've had our issues over time, but we've always worked through them.  Had been arguing more lately, but around mother's day, I started planning a trip for just the two of us.  She was unbelievably excited about it and even took it over herself to plan.  Lasted up until our little spat on our anniversary, and she changed like flipping off a light switch.
 
I'm lost, and I feel hopeless.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 8/15/2011 9:18 AM (GMT -7)   
I really think you should go to counseling. Your wife was right to suggest it. If she is going, that means she is trying. I think she is trying to find herself. She got married (and pregnant) young. She has probably lost herself in the shuffle of raising kids and being a housewife. I think that maybe deep down she loves you, but it sounds like she isn't "in love" with you atm. It really sounds like she is struggling to find herself and see what she wants to make of the rest of her life. I am sorry she isn't involving you though. But through counseling and possibly medication, I think you will feel better. You said she has been walking on egg shells for many years. It must be due to your moods. It sounds like you let little things trip you up and put you in a bad mood. With counseling, you can learn to control this. Possible CBT therapy would help.

It really sounds like she has her mind made up. I would give her some space and work on you as she has suggested. I am sorry that this isn't a pleasant time for you. But working on you can change that.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/15/2011 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
She went to a few counseling sessions with me but has stopped.  She told me from the get-go that she wasn't promising anything.  I reminded her that the pastor that married us years ago made us both promise to go to counseling if the situation should ever arise where we thought we would be splitting up.
 
She asked in an email again today that we sit down and look at our finances again so she can start saving some money.  I make about $120K/yr while she only makes $50K/yr.  She says she just wants to have a leg to stand on when she moves out.  Won't give me a timeline on when it will happen or anything.  I don't think she knows.  Doesn't have a place to go either.  Don't know if she's even been looking.
 
She's an unbelievably attractive woman, especially for 39.  We both are, actually.  Everyone calls us "Ken and Barbie" and has always thought we've had an ideal relationship.  I told her she would probably be snapped up immediately by any wealthy, successful guy she would meet, so she wouldn't have to worry about money very long.  I told her I would help her with alimony and everything, but she doesn't want it.  Her response, "I have no desire to be snapped up. I want to find myself and to be myself without trying to make someone else happy.  I know this is not what you want but I know in my heart even if I was to try again, I’d be right back in this place soon."
 
I'm not an expert on depression, but this seems like it for her.  I don't know.

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/15/2011 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I'm definitely depressed since all this has happened.  I'm just wondering if she has suffered from it periodically over our 18 years together.  Like I said, lots of ups and downs over that time, but St. Louis was a really rough patch.  She really did try to make it work, and I could tell she wasn't getting any better which is why I ultimately sacrificed my career to move us back.  I was actually going to take a completely different job with a large pay cut to move us back, but my company liked me enough to keep me and just demote me.
 
I moved back for her and for the family.  I've always placed the family first in our relationship.  I knew she was struggling in St. Louis.  I just tried to give it time to get better and really thought it would.
 
I'm trying to figure out if her complete 180 in behavior over the past couple of months is a result of depression on her end, though.  She told me something snapped in her that weekend of our anniversary when all this started.  She has been completely different ever since.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 8/15/2011 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
It truly does sound like she has been depressed and has tried to help herself. From what you have said, she has been on medication and you didn't realize it, so you probably didn't realize other times. She may be depressed, or may have just decided that she wants to try to make it on her own. And she can financially with the amount of money she makes. She might have to down size a little bit. But 50K is good money actually.

I feel you need to give her the space that she needs so she can grow emotionally. She may come back, she may not. But if it is meant to be, she will. I am sorry that you are going through this. I am thinking that there probably was a gradual change going on that you maybe weren't aware of. If you have been distant, you probably wouldn't notice subtle changes such as that. And finally it built up to the point of where she had to do something with her life for herself.

I hope that it works out for the best. I would encourage counseling for yourself to help you through this. It really does help.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/16/2011 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your posts.  I am still in counseling - by myself.  She stopped going a couple weeks ago.
 
I guess I've realized over the years (the past few especially since we've been back from St. Louis) that I've been a tough person to live with at times.  Not always, though.  Like I said, there have been a lot of ups and downs.  The one things I've always noticed - and she will say this, too - is that any time we've ever gone and done anything involving just the two of us together, it has always been a blissful time.  No stress, no kids in the way, things just seem to click.  One of the problems over the past three years has been that we got our daughter involved in a year-round swim team which takes up almost ALL of our free time in the evenings and on weekends.  The practices have been almost every week night for about 2 1/2 hours each night.  For awhile, we would take her together, and my wife and I would go work out at a gym together or run together or shop.  After a couple years of that, though, it got to be too much, because our son joined and swam at a different time.  So, for about the last year, it has been one of us going and the other staying home to cook, clean, etc.  Then I would try to help our son with his homework late at night after swim (he always struggled with math in high school), and it was a very hectic situation.
 
Weekends were kind of the same.  Lots of swim meets - although she and I both attended together religiously unlike the practices.  On top of all that, we live in a large house that requires a lot of outside upkeep, so on the weekends when we aren't at swim, we are constantly working in the yard.
 
Ok, you get the picture.  No free time with one another for the past few years.  This past Mother's Day, we had a bunch of relatives up to the house for a get together.  She and I got in a little argument that morning because I was having to clean up all the dog crap in the yard (again, me sweating the small stuff like I do a lot when I'm stressed out).  After the party, my wife, our three kids, my son's fiancee and I all sat out on the deck and talked.  I suggested we all play a game where each of us would look at each other person on the deck and tell them one thing we liked about them and one thing we didn't like about them.
 
It was very cathartic, and we were having a pretty good time with it.  When it came to each person's turn to talk about my wife and I, everyone said the same thing, however.  "You two have been arguing too much lately, and you need to go do something with just one another."  To a person, that's what they all said.
 
Then, my son's fiancee asked my wife and I to rate our marriage on a scale of 1-10.  I gave it a 6 but added that I thought we could easily make it an 8 or higher.  She, however, rated it a 4 (and recently told me she would've rated it a 2 but didn't want to hurt my feelings).
 
This was back on Mother's Day.  I was then coming to the realization that we had let things go way too far with us.  The VERY NEXT MORNING, I got online and began looking for some kind of vacation destination I could book a trip to for just the two of us.  I looked at Vegas, The Keys, Lake Tahoe, The Caribbean; lots of places.  I told her later that day what I was doing, and she was absolutely ecstatic over it!  I hadn't seen her that excited in a long time.  As a matter of fact, she insisted on helping out with booking the trip and almost took it over - calling me, texting me, emailing me almost hourly with all the stuff she had found and trying to get the right place for us.
 
Anyway, this went on for the entire months of May and June up until our little spat the night before our anniversary (June 25).  That's when the light switch flipped off, and she has been withdrawn, subdued, mean, ever since.
 
That's why I mentioned the abruptness in her change in behavior in my earlier post.  I know things hadn't been the greatest for a couple years, but she just seemed so excited and determined to go on this trip.  Now the trip is off, she's trying to start her own bank account, and talking about separating.

Crackles23
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 8/17/2011 12:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I do apologize for my last original post, there was no anger when I posted it however the context didn't come to what I was really trying to say.
I re-read the post and decided that it was maybe a touch out of line and I apologize, I had no intention to belittle anyones emotions and it just came across wrong.

When I said I have anger problems, it was related to the poo on the carpet and not how I was feeling at the time of posting.

I'm not angry with your post, however I feel that I don't see eye to eye with some of your posts. I will revise what I was trying to say.

However I still agree that her depression is playing a role in this relationship and the original posters depression could also be playing a role in their relationship (this is not a wild assumption, as read further back that he states she was taking anti-depressants in which indicates to me that this is playing a role.)

However, I still think that he needs to worry about himself as he's getting depressed now, I'm not saying he shouldn't worry about her and he most defenitely should. Support what decision she makes and go with it and then see what happens.
I doubt a holiday at this stage would be applicable, although if she was to agree with it then I don't see why not. As for her being upset about your son moving out, how far away has he moved exactly and how often does he come to visit?
I think you should 100% support the fact that she wants to contact her old school friends or anything else that she is looking for. I don't think you need to bend over backwards for this to work, maybe it needs alittle bit of time to work it self out.
She asks for space then I think you should give that to her and let her find what she needs to find, this will give you time to help yourself over the depression you are going through.
You mention that you get into arguements over small things, sometimes grinning and baring pays off in the long run.
As for your name Willalwaysloveher71 gives me the impression you will go to long lengths to make it work and think that you should without sacrificing your own personal emotions.

I hope it all works out for you and your wife, give her the time she needs and surely things will turn around for the best.
Its hard to analyze what she is trying to say but, it seems she has got to the stage in her life where she is looking for something and doesn't know exactly what it is. I hope you both find what you are looking for and cope with the depression at hand.

Post Edited (Crackles23) : 8/17/2011 1:53:10 AM (GMT-6)


willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/17/2011 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
SueTho, I guess I didn't get a chance to read Crackles' original post, so I don't know what to make of it either way.  It doesn't appear in the thread for some reason.
 
Crackles is correct about the vacation.  When the "light switch" shut off on our anniversary, we both stopped talking about it.  A week or so later, I gingerly brought it up, but she told me that she had a lot of stuff to think about right now and that with our son's imminent wedding (Sept. 24), she didn't think it was a good idea (we had planned on going in August).  It is definitely out of the question now with her having made her intentions to split clear.  I even asked her to go see a movie with me a couple weeks ago, and she told me she wasn't up for a date night with me.
 
As for me, I will willingly admit that I haven't been the greatest husband over the years, particularly early on in the marriage, but I've gotten much better from the anger/negativity standpoint.  It erupts every once in a while, but it's nothing like it was.  I have worked on it over 18 years and gotten a lot better.  Since the real problems surfaced back in June, I have done a complete 180, and she will tell you that.  She's told me many times over the past month how much she appreciates me trying to change (I've been talking to her tons, doing almost all the housework, never saying anything negative about anything including work, etc.)  We haven't argued in over a month and a half which is quite an accomplishment and probably a testament to how much I was the source of most of the arguments in the past.  Truthfully, despite all the anguish this has been putting me through, I feel a lot better about myself just from the standpoint of not being negative and contributing around the house.  I've put myself in her shoes for real and am realizing what all she has been doing for our family over the years.
 
The counselor told her during our last joint session, that whatever a-hole I've been in the past, he can see that I have a firm resolve to change myself and that kind of change is real and permanent.  She responded angrily that he is not the only one to have told her that.  ALL of our friends and most of our family are strongly opposed to our splitting up and have told her that they see significant ownership and effort in me.  Her response to all of that each time is, "Yes, but why did he wait until NOW?  Until I'm done.  Until my heart is stone."  She tells me this, too.
 
I do realize that this is her way of telling me that it's been building over the years, and I guess there just comes a time when a line is drawn within a woman's emotional realm - when she's just "done".  I regret that it took me so long to realize that she was so close to that line.  I'm a typical man in that respect, I guess.  Always waiting until the last minute, and often until it's too late.  It's just that I'm trying to figure out if women can cross back over that line.  I guess they're all different, and I have no control over it other than for myself and how I behave.  Her behavior changed SO abruptly when the light switch went off.  It was like the week before, we were still holding each other, calling/emailing/texting each other frequently throughout the day just to check in like we always have, telling each other we love one another, and making love, and then the week after that - NOTHING!  None of that.  It was all gone and has been ever since.  Just very surreal.
 
I am continuing to support her in every way possible.  She has asked twice to set up her own account to start saving some money.  She wants to put all of her paychecks into that account and just cut me an expense check every month since we do count on her income considerably at this point.  I told her that we would need to sell the house.  She said she had an attorney look at our finances and that I make enough to keep the house and everything with it, but I've told her I don't want to be house poor.  She has told me repeatedly that she doesn't want me to sell the house "because it's my dream house".  Frankly (and I've told her this) I don't want to live there without her.  Too big and too many memories of us.  It would be like a tomb.  I've asked her when she wants to move out, and she doesn't know.  She hinted that maybe after the wedding in Sept. would be a good time but that if I wanted her out before then she would go.  I found that strange.  As a matter of fact, I find the whole concept of her not having a general plan financially or of having a place to live strange.  Maybe she just isn't articulating it to me because she's afraid I might try to manipulate the situation to my advantage.  I just don't know.  I continue to be positive and supportive to her.  No arguments.  No negativity.  Bearing the burden internally for as long as possible.
 
She still hasn't gone in our son's room (the one that moved out).  It's been 2 1/2 weeks now.

Miracleshappen
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/17/2011 10:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi....I just registered on this site so I could respond to you. I feel compelled to give my input. I was married 17 years, and my husband and I ended up divorced. Abuse was on-going in my marriage. My husband was degrading in the way he communicated to me, verbally. He was sexually abusive.....using me, and disrespecting me, etc. He had a severe ****ography addiction. When we were married 14 years, he hit me, physically. When that occurred, I actually had a "vision" in my head, where I saw a white cord connecting us.....that severed, in that instant. I felt at a very deep level that "it was over." In spite of that, I continued trying to re-connect my heart, for three more years before we separated, because I believe strongly in marriage and actually don't believe in divorce, in spite of his ill-treatment of me.

Why am I telling you all this? Only to give background to what I have to say. We have been divorced now for 15 years. I have raised 2 children (both on swim team, so I know how demanding that is). I am currently residing with my new partner of 9 years, and he has 3 children as well. Mine are 20 and 25, his are 17, 19, and 21. He ended up divorced because his wife said the same thing, "She didn't love him anymore and had to find herself." I think it's BS!! You can find yourself inside marriage, as well as outside marriage. For her, it was that she wanted a license to be selfish. She has since gotten breast implants, pierced nose, belly button, tattoo, etc......She has become less and less of a mother, and more and more self-indulgent. Really, IT ALL CENTERS AROUND SELF-ESTEEM.

I have my master's degree in counseling, surprisingly, with my background. From my perspective, I think there are several layers to what's going on for you, and you have hinted at them. For one, turning every "10" year is a big deal. It is even a bigger deal for attractive women, because they have learned to base their worth on their looks and growing older sparks the insecurity of "losing" looks. I have gone through that.....I am now 56 years old. Every transition also sparks those kinds of feelings. It sounds like your son just moved out, now he is getting married?! That is 2 major transitions right there. It re-enforces her getting older. (and who knows....she may be thinking soon she'll also be a grandmother!!) When you were doing the game of "what you like and dislike about each other" you answered first with a "6," correct? That could have hurt her, and caused her retort of a "4".....or "lower." She may be feeling overwhelmed with so much emotion about not only your relationship, but the other things going on, that she doesn't know what else to do.

My counsel:

LISTEN....LISTEN.....LISTEN.....LISTEN.....LISTEN
AFFIRM.....AFFIRM......AFFIRM.....AFFIRM....AFFIRM

If she is closed to you, not engaging in conversations, not wanting to make dates, etc., you at least can KEEP LOVING HER, in your actions. I believe that is what she is really saying. You will have to open your heart, pour it in her direction, show her in your continued actions that you mean business and that you highly value her. I understand you saying you have been angry over the years.....but have your outbursts been attacking her personally, etc.? If it has to do with being more responsible for your actions and you can work on that, I think there is great hope. If you have been belittling her....your battle is going to be much tougher.

I'm sorry, I just don't believe divorce is a good thing for merely "finding yourself." It is NOT EASY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE!! Sure, maybe there would be other guys for her and other girls for you, but it GETS MUCH MORE COMPLICATED!! And difficulties for the kids?!!!! I won't even go there!! Trust me!! I would not be divorced if the problems in my marriage could have been resolved.....but he would not acknowledge his need to change the addictive behavior, etc. Problems for my children have been significant. I wish I could take away the pain for them. Your kids are at the age that a lot is demanded of parents to meet their needs. Just listen to her.....make her feel really heard......it IS BIG!!!!! She wants someone to really understand her world.....You have to get outside yourself to do that......Make tentative statements about "guessing" how she might be feeling and then let her agree or correct you. It will let her know you really care about her feelings.

and PRAY......this is such a crucial turning point. It will change EVERYTHING should you end up divorced. If there has not been significant abuse involved, I think you have a chance, but you have to continuously prove your loving presence to her and show you are listening and really affirm and hear her.

I will be praying for you as well. Best to you.

MiraclesHappen

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/18/2011 12:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Miracle, for your post.  It confirms a lot of things I have been thinking.  I have never cheated on her, never hit her, never laid a hand on her, don't have a drug or alcohol problem.  My anger issues have occurred throughout and are usually signs of frustration with something other than with her.  Usually work-related or something else.  Either way, she says she has lived with a knot in her stomach for all 18 years, and I believe her even though she has only showed it when I have my little melt-downs or pouting spells.
 
Two years ago on New Year's Eve, we were at a party with friends.  There was a man and his wife there who were really obnoxious.  Somehow the conversation migrated toward the fact that my youngest brother had recently been ordained into the priesthood (I'm the oldest of five boys and the only one who is not Catholic anymore).  This couple made a couple of really insensitive remarks about priests and my brother (they didn't even know him), and it immediately put me into a bad mood.  For some reason, I couldn't let it go for the rest of the night.  I didn't get vocal or anything, just sat on the couch and watched football.  It really made my wife upset that I was being so stand-offish the rest of the night, though and not enjoying the evening, and she was right.  I was stupid to be like that.  Somehow that evolved into an argument with her on the way home, and I recall her sitting at the foot of the bed that night telling me that if it continued on like this, she didn't know how much more she could take.
 
Again, these little episodes of mine have come and gone over the years.  They're almost always over something stupid, and about 5 seconds into them, I realize I'm wrong, but I just won't admit I'm wrong (usually).  On New Year's Day, we made up, and I took her to Home Depot and bought her a washer and dryer that she had been wanting for a long time.  She now tells me that I've always done that - always tried to buy her forgiveness after the fact in those situations, and the more I look back on it, I think she's right.  I've admitted wrongdoing many times, but I should have never let myself get so upset in the first place.
 
It's usually something like that, or when we go out together, I'll get irritated at the way someone is driving, or something silly.  It either turns into silence or an argument.  I've noticed over the past couple of years that I've done a better job of controlling these outbursts through conscious effort.
 
She, on the other hand, seems to have been assuming my role over these same past couple of years.  She has starting working more and with the swimming becoming more time consuming, she seems to have been really stressed out a LOT.  It's gotten to the point of where it's almost been a role reversal in that respect.  I seem to have calmed down a lot, whereas she has gotten to where every little thing sets her off.  The kids have had a really hard time with it, too, and have mentioned it to me (and to her) on many occasions.  I guess the main difference in this role reversal has been how each one of us has handled the other's emotional outbursts.  Whereas she had usually been patient with me in the past during my little episodes, I haven't had that same kind of patience with hers.  I'll get upset that she's being that way, and I end up saying things without thinking.  I have told her a time or two that the kids can't stand to be around her.  I realize immediately afterwards that this is a terrible thing to have said, but I've said it, and it can't be undone.  I haven't realized how much she just needed support rather than me just verbally retaliating like that.
 
Through much self-appraisal and introspection over the past couple of months, I believe we're at where we are right now largely in part due to the above.  I think she feels that I've sided with the kids in many cases, and maybe subconsciously I have.
 
Now, about our oldest.  Up until about four months ago, his life was going nowhere.  Now, he's my stepson, but I've raised him since he was three.  He has always called me Dad and has told me on many occasions that he views me as being his real dad.  That night out on the deck that I mentioned before, he cried about a paper he wrote in highschool on who his hero was.  He told us all that he had written it about his biological father and that he has felt guilty about it ever since.  That's the kind of relationship we've had, though.  I've always been very close to him.  The thing is, my wife and I have also always been tough on him.  Probably tougher than on our two children we've had together.  Before a few months ago, like I said, his life was going nowhere.  He was working a dead-end job, living at home, sleeping until all hours of the afternoon, never doing any chores we asked him to do, etc.  We were really riding him hard - BOTH OF US.  He was engaged, and he and his fiancee would always manage to be around only at meal time.  I would make little, negative comments in my wife's presence about it, and despite the fact that she was equally frustrated with him, I think she took exception to it.
 
Then, he got a job with the Fire Dept., and everything started fall into place for him.  He did a complete 180, and neither of us had to say anything else to him because he had obviously grown up all of a sudden.  We were both very pleased, but I think it began to dawn on my wife that he was headed out the door.  During one of our discussions a couple weeks ago, my wife angrily insinuated that I had been the reason he moved out.  She mentioned that he came home from work one day with a bag of groceries to make his lunch, and she told him that while he still lived under our roof it was ok for him to eat our food.  I felt this was unfair to say this about me since she had actually been tougher on him in the months leading up to it than I had been.  She told me that she felt caught in the middle, and that's why she had been that way towards him.  Now she won't go in his room, and when I texted him today and asked that he stop by to see her a couple times since she missed him so much lately, he responded that she hasn't been taking his phone calls!  I don't understand that.
 
I sat down with her on the bed last week and begged her to sit down with me and talk about how she was feeling about him, and surprisingly she did.  She sobbed the whole time, but I just listened.  She talked about how she's always been such a tough mother but not a loving one.  I assured her over and over that she had been the most wonderful mother any of our kids could ever have.  I told her she has always had the right balance of toughness and tenderness and that we were all very lucky to have had her.  It seemed to help her a little.  It helped me, too.
 
I have been doing almost all the housework for the past month or so as she has pretty much just let it all go.  I do most of the laundry, some of the cooking, make her coffee every morning (I don't drink coffee), vacuum, dust, water flowers, etc.   You have to understand that these are things I've never really done much of over the years.  She told me a few weeks ago that it made her feel uncomfortable and weird that I was doing all that, but I do it anyway.  It has been nice to put myself in her shoes for once to see what all she's done for us over the years.
 
Her birthday was last Tuesday.  I left work around noon, went to the grocery store, came home and cooked her dinner.  She has been on this slow carb diet, so I went to the website and picked out a recipe from it to cook.  I even bought her favorite cake and bought her an iPad.  (Buying forgiveness again, LOL).  When she got home, she looked at me without smiling and said, "What are you doing home so early?"  I told her, and she responded, "Aren't they going to be mad at you for missing all this work?"  Not a thank you, not a smile from her, nothing.  But that's the way it has been since June.  I don't let it bother me, though, and I continue.  She did thank me later that night and emailed me the next day to thank me for it again.
 
I'm still improving myself throughout this process.  No matter what happens between the two of us, I know I will come out of this a better person.  I'm controlling my emotions and making lots of sacrifices, and honestly I feel a lot better as a person.  I only wish I had done this years ago, and I just hope it's not too late.
 
Unfortunately, her resolve still seems to be as firm as it has been since June.  I'm not giving up hope while at the same time trying to move forward.

Crackles23
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 8/18/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
To be honest mate, you sound like a completely amazing person and you must be head over heels for your wife to put so much effort into this. I truly hope from the bottom of my heart things will work out for you 2 and there is nothing else I can say that will substitute.
I really enjoy reading your posts and have to say you have top notch spelling and grammar which makes it even more a pleasure to read.
I'm not going to say "I'm sure" but I "hope" it really works out for you mate, keep working hard at it and I hope it all pays off in the end with all the effort your putting into repairing and even the improving of yourself sounds completely incredible and inspiring to me.

Thank you for sharing and please keep us posted.
Diagnosis - Ankylosing Spondilitis and (still to come, ill find something :P)
Meds - Celebrex 200mg Once daily - Contains Celecoxib.

Melbourne, Australia

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 8/18/2011 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
It sounds like you are trying really hard, and it sounds like your head and heart are in the right place. I too hope that this works out for you.

Hugs Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/19/2011 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all  for the compliments.  I probably present myself well on here.  Everyone has their dark sides.  I'm working on mine, and I guess I'm getting better.  When a woman stops loving you, though, I don't know if it can ever come back for her.
 
There was one time in the past when I didn't think I loved her anymore, but it came back.  I thought it was over when we moved back from St. Louis.  I moved back and lived here for a month away from her while she stayed there and set up the house for sale and all.  She had been so miserable and depressed about being out there, that I didn't think I could take it anymore.  The entire month I lived here by myself without her and the kids, I might have spoken with her five times on the phone.  She begged and pleaded with me to reconcile.  She swore she couldn't go on without me in her life.
 
For some reason, though, when she returned, those feelings of being in love again overwhelmed me, and I knew I just couldn't live without her.  I remember pulling up in the driveway at her parents' house and her running to me and me grabbing her in my arms and kissing her like it was the first time!  And then we made love, and it was amazing.  And we were in love again.  That was just three, short years ago.
 
Since then, we've allowed the hectic pace of life to interfere again.  Work, swim, extra stuff.  In addition to work, I was asked to sit on the board of the swim team and to be president of our HOA.  I accepted both, and they have contributed to the decline of our marriage.  I have since resigned from both boards (did so last month) so I can just focus on work and home.  She was actually upset that I had done so.  She told me that I was backing off of my commitments.
 
Still not giving up on her - or me.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 8/19/2011 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I have heard it said, that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it doesn't seem so in this case. It sounds like both of you have strattled the fence on this relationship. Maybe she will change as you said you did. It does sound strange that she would say that you are backing off of your commitments, but does she know the reason that you resigned from the boards?

It does kind of sound like you get stuck on the little things. Look at the overall picture if you can. Is it worth getting tripped up with little events? To let something ruin your whole day if it is insignificant to the big picture. I can't remember if you are going to any counseling. Either of you... But I highly recommend it. I think it would be worth trying to save a marriage. Counseling together.

I really do hope that this all works out for the best for the both of you. Keep posting and let us know how things are going.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 8/21/2011 7:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Crackles,

Don't leave the forum. You can ignore this member by clicking on the thumbs down on the top of her post and you wont see anymore of her posts. Try that first. See if that works for you.

Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

awty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 8/21/2011 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes Crackles, I agree,

You are a good, safe, supportive member around here, I would hate to loose another person that never causes anyone any extra stress on top of what they are already carrying.

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/22/2011 9:37 AM (GMT -7)   
The question was asked by one of you earlier as to why my wife is unable to open a separate bank account.  I have always handled the finances for us both.  Since we moved back from St. Louis and into this large house with all that comes with it, I have determined that BOTH of our incomes are necessary to make ends meet.  I make around $120K with benefits.  She makes $50K with NO benefits.  When she first told me a few weeks ago that she was going to open an account, she told me that she would be depositing all of her income into this account and would be cutting me monthly "expense checks" if I needed.  I told her this would not be a good idea due to the way all our billing cycles were set up to pay automatically.  I told her that she and I would need to sit down, look at a budget, and figure out how to make it work.  I said that if we didn't do that, we would likely get into a financial mess that would affect both of us as we are joint owners on everything - house, cars, credit cards, etc.
 
A week went by, and she emailed me again (she won't talk to me in person about this for some reason) to say she really would like to start saving some money.  I responded by telling her that I was available any night to sit down with her and go over the logistics of it so we could get it going.  I reminded her that I still wasn't in favor of us splitting up, that I really thought if both of us wanted to save the marriage, we could, but I would do whatever I had to do with her help to support her in this.
 
She immediately responded back by going back through our past and rehashing the old ground that we had been covering with one another for about the past month - telling me how we've been "broken" for too long, how we always thought that eventually we would work things out and eventually came and went and we're still broken, etc.  I didn't argue with her on any of this.  I've completely given up on arguing with her about it.  My only difference with her from this point forward continues to be that I feel we can save the marriage and that it is worth saving, and she doesn't.
 
She did not give the counseling a chance.  She went a total of four times, but the counselor and I could both see that she was simply going through the motions.  She opted out after that.  I, however, am continuing to attend once a week.  She does continue to ask me how it's going each week when I go.  I'm not sure why she cares enough to ask.
 
I don't know if I mentioned sex in our relationship yet throughout this thread.  I feel that has lately been the other major contributor to our recent situation.  In the past, sex had always been one of the strongest parts of our relationship, and she would agree with me on this.  For about the first year after we moved back from St. Louis, it continued to be very strong.  Once the swim team obligations began to take more and more of our time coupled with the fact that my wife was working more hours, and I was spending most of the spare time in the evenings helping my children with their homework, our sex life began to wane.  This has been going this way for the last two years.  I would either come in the room after she had gone to bed (after I finished up hw with the kids), or she would be really "ready to go", and I would be so exhausted that I just couldn't muster up the strength or willingness.  The latter was usually the case, and I would tell her, "let's do it in the morning".  Usually, however, morning would roll around and I wouldn't wake up in time.  I would say we averaged about once a week.  I couldn't understand why my drive was so low, though.  I just attributed it to stress (work has been terrible for a couple of years since we were bought out) for me and with the kids, and I never did anything about it.  The weird thing is that even though I would turn her down right before bed, I would usually end up waking up around 3 am with this unbelievable urge to make love, and I would start rubbing all over her and holding her, but she was sleeping and would push me away.  Then the next morning she would be upset with me and ask if I was dreaming about another person that was making me want to have sex.  I don't know why she thought this, but I would just laugh.  That wasn't the case at all, by the way.  I was wide awake and recently told her this, but I don't think she cares any more and just thinks I'm making excuses.  She had told me a few times within the past couple of years that my not wanting to have sex with her every time she did made her feel horrible about herself.  I always tried to explain that it wasn't her, and that I thought I was just getting older.  In the few months leading to our big split (back in June) I had even started running and working out again (something I hadn't done in a couple years) to try and trigger my libido again.  It actually seemed to be working a little, too.  Like I said, we were doing it about once a week, maybe more, but it didn't seem to be enough for her.
 
I actually went to the doctor two weeks ago to ask him about it, they took some blood, and they determined that my testosterone is really low.  He mentioned all the symptoms which were all consistent with my low sex drive, lethargy, and waking up in the middle of the night.  He recommended testosterone therapy for awhile, and I've been considering it.  I have a good friend who is doing it who says he and his wife had been having problems and that now he can go at least twice a day.
 
I told my wife about the doctor visit, but all she said was, "I'm sorry about your issue."  She is so obviously through with this relationship, and I'm miserable because I really feel there is so much we can do to fix it.  I'm just realizing it so late in the game.  Today has officially been two months since we had sex, and I'm dying for it.  I see her walking around the house in her little pj shorts or out in the pool in her bathing suit, and it just KILLS me!  I told her out by the pool the other day that I had really been thinking about it a lot lately, and I asked her if she had been.  She said, "no, and it really makes me uncomfortable talking about it with you."
 
She has told me over and over that she is in "her shut-down mode right now".  She says she doesn't think she can get her feelings back, but has also said that maybe we should separate for awhile to see if they come back.
 
I'm still trying to figure out how you can be intimate with someone for 18 years and all of a sudden not want to be intimate any more.  She doesn't want to touch me at all.  I can't even give her a hug.  I just don't understand that.  It's as it she is doing everything possible to distance herself from my emotionally and physically to make this easier on herself.
 
Can a woman get her feelings back if she just tries?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41844
   Posted 8/22/2011 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Can a person get their feelings back? I think that is a question for the individual. I don't know if it can be answered. And I don't know how long that would take. Shee might not want to try. As hard as this is to say, it kind of sounds like her mind is made up. It sounds like she has gotten cold.

I think you are right about the distancing. It kind of stands to reason though. It would make it easier for her to cope with what the two of you are going through. To be honest, it doesn't sound real promissing to me. But that is just my opinion by what you have written and I don't know her. I don't want to give you any false hopes, but the more that you write, the farther away she sounds. And I am really sorry about that. I feel that continueing your counseling is good. I hope that your counselor can help you to move forward and to lead a happy life. Have you thought about that? Where you are going to go from here?

I understand about the bills. Especially if they come right out of your account at a certain time. But you might have to make some changes as she wants to keep her own money and seperate herself from the home situation. You might have to let her have her money and pay the bills yourself. Especially if she isn't living there anymore. I really am sorry that this is happening to you. But we can't control what others think and do.

I hope that you can find a way to happiness in spite of what has happened. Again, I am truly sorry.

Take care, keep posting for support. Know that we are here for you.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Crackles23
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 8/23/2011 2:32 AM (GMT -7)   
That's understandable Willalways, you seem to have a steady head on your shoulders and making a darn good effort. I admire your determination, no matter what protest comes of it.
From what you have posted already, you sound to be quite the reasonable, down to earth type of person that anyone would dream to be with. Not just that but you really are making an effort for success and you should be prous of yourself for that.
I understand that my words my seem small talk, but I really feel that is all that is necessary at this stage, you are making good decisions and your morals are in the right place.

Keep it up mate and please keep us posted.

PS: I aint going no where, people need me and I intend to stick to my morals also <3
Diagnosis - Ankylosing Spondilitis and (still to come, ill find something :P)
Meds - Celebrex 200mg Once daily - Contains Celecoxib.

Melbourne, Australia

It's Genetic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 8/23/2011 3:17 AM (GMT -7)   
It's mania or paranoia, Crackles.

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 8/23/2011 11:04:52 AM (GMT-6)


awty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 790
   Posted 8/23/2011 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh IG, great to see you,

Will, I am sorry your thread has been so badly derailed. The other issues going on in this thread, should have been dealt with in a seperate thread. (No-ones fault, these things happen)

It's Genetic
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 8/23/2011 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Awty, great to see you, too!

Yes, I know, Awty, how things can get derailed. Take care of yourself
and keep up the good work for the forum.

I.G.

willalwaysloveher71
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/24/2011 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Went to counseling by myself again last night.  I keep telling both sides of the story, but the more I talk, the more he scratches his head.  He tells me to keep doing what I'm doing, and that the more he hears, the more he feels the problem is not with me but with her.
 
She finally went into our son's room last night.  It's been almost a month since he moved out.  She was vacuuming while I was in the basement working out.  She came down crying.  I asked her if everything was ok and tried to talk to her about it, but she was not interested in talking much.  I continued to affirm that she had done the right thing by going in there.
 
This morning I got a text from her with a picture of him in his full gear at the fire academy.  He's been going through what they call "BA Week" which is essentially where they weed out the weaklings.  There was no comment with the picture on the text, so I replied the following, "How could you not be proud of that boy?"  I then added, "I'm proud of you for what you made him into."  She responded, "I'm very proud of him.  I had nothing to do with it.  I was a hard *** his entire childhood and I should be ashamed of myself."  I replied, "Sorry you feel that way.  You're the only one who does.  He loves you more than anything in the world for the mother you have been.  We ALL do."  She replied curtly, "I know he loves me."

Jill.
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/13/2017 11:00 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd like to know how your relationship turned out...

Are you two still together?

ILoveHer23
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 11/4/2017 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi

Much of what’s been described is in line with what I am going through. My wife is wanting to end our marriage so that she can find herself and see who she truly is. When asked what is it she is looking for, she does no know. In fact she does not know if she will even be happy or if she is making the right decision.

We have been married for 21 years and have been together for 25. We have 4 kids together and have had a happy marriage for the most part. Of course there have been ups and downs but through it all we have always been loving and caring towards each other

She says that it’s not me that it’s her who is wanting to do this. She knows that I am firmly against it but at this point I have no choice but to show her I truly love her and to give her the separation.

I am dying inside and have not slept more than 3 hours each night for almost two months. I don’t eat and I feel like I am literally being squeezed by a vice

I love and respect my wife with all that I have and although this isn’t what I want for us, I know that I have to let her go if there is anychance of us reconciling

We plan to tell the kids tomorrow night which will be devastating for them. We have two in college who will be coming home for Thanksgiving and two in High School.

We have always been the unique couple who are married and. It divorced compared to our kids friends parents.

My heart is broken and I feel all alone and depressed. We went to one counseling session as that’s what she agreed to and no more. I have since gone to one other on my own. I am typically not one who cries but I have been crying almost daily for over a month now. It’s as if my emotions are on a faucet that has been left on and I cannot turn it off.

I need help!
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