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Forgive me for this long posting...

I've been married almost 30 years. My wife is a recovering alcoholic with a little over a year's sobriety. She's been working her steps and the difference has been tremendous. We're getting along better and she's grown as a person. We both have.

One of the things that I've come to realize is how codependent I've become and how one side our relationship has been. Me giving - her taking. Her being angry - me making excuses. Thanks to all the changes, we've finally gotten to a point where we could discuss our feelings without arguing and being defensive. So I finally told her how I felt. I told her that physically and emotionally I didn't feel like my needs were being met. That I didn't feel desired and I didn't feel loved.

I guess I was looking for reassurance, but instead she told me she understood and that she couldn't help me. She said she's been a selfish person her whole life and that wasn't likely to change after just a year's sobrity. And she wasn't a "doting" person prone to expressing her emotions. That her priorities were #1 staying sober and #2 taking care of her own needs. And that I needed to start doing the same.

I thought about what she said and after a few days went back and talked to her again. I told her the things that I needed were things that came from a healthy relationship; they were things you could do for yourself. And I asked her how she felt about our relationship... were needs being met?

Then she told me that she felt that our marriage was sick and parasitic. That it had never been healthy and, now that she was doing better, she didn't know whether she wanted to be married any more.

I told her I was at the point of going outside of our marriage and asked her if she would come to therapy with me. She said no. That I should do what I needed to do to take care of myself but she wasn't at a point where she was ready to work on her relationship. And when she did get to that point, it would be to take care of her own needs, not to make our marriage work.

None of this was said in anger or even sadness... just indifference.

So here I am. Through all of her past insanity, I stuck with her in the belief that we could make it work. Now I know I need to wake up and prepare myself for the fact that we probably aren't going to be together... divorce, alimony, the impact on our 12 year old son...

I'm trying to put my physical and emotional intimacy needs aside and at the same time come to grips with this new reality, but I feel so overwhelmed and ill equipped.

No real question here. Just a self-pitying rant from a foolish man. I'm going to Alanon and seeing a counsellor. I just don't know what else to do or where to go from here. How does one get started making a new life when their whole life has been dedicated to building the one they have?

D Rivers
 
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