Hi. I have been married for 10 years, together for 17. I am 44 wife 39. 2 kids, 5 and 4. Great children, much loved. I feel my marriage is not going well, there have recently been discussions and one big argument about us splitting up, although neither one of us seems to want to follow through on that. My wife seems to put everything else before me. I totally expect that with the kids and to be honest I put my children before anything myself. However, we both have serious careers - lots of stress and for her fairly regular demands for evening work. In addition to that she has taken up with a sports club and does 2 evening sessions per week at that 6pm till 11pm. When she's not there she'll either be watching rubbish on telly like the X factor or texting people, face in phone. As for me I spend quite a few evenings on my own and am quite an insular person anyway, but evenings looking after the kids on my own are several per week.
No evidence of an affair on her part
Because we work in good jobs we have a reasonable level of financial well being thank goodness.
I don't drink, she drinks glasses of wine a few evenings per week on her own. I find myself irrationally resenting this, but I have a history of serious alcohol abuse in my immediate family and there have been a few incidents over the years where my wife has gone out for evenings and has come home in an awful state, sick and needing care all night.
Also our sex life is virtually non existent. I have kept in shape and I think at least some women still find me attractive. I have never been unfaithful or violent in the marriage, but I can be very awkward and a bit anti social with people when I cannot be bothered. That's a failing of mine.
When I try and discuss things with her it just gets immediately defensive, there is a wall of resistance and we get nowhere fast. She will become very angry and has on occasion acted very aggressively, but doesn't think her behaviour amounts to abuse. I'm not afraid of her physically.
I do some voluntary work for a few hours once a week and once a fortnight I go to a sports match for a few hours. I don't really have friends and regard my wife and family as my main focus, but I don't feel that the other half of the equation is present. I'm very lonely.
She accuses me of not doing as much as she does with the kids and it is true that she has more if the kids during the day and in the early evening before I get in from work, but I adore my children and I'm very participative as a dad. My children adore me.
I am not bone idle about the house, but we have a cleaner and we get the ironing done externally which I organise. I also deal with all the finances for the family. My wife talks in negatives about my contribution most times, and can be very nasty and unexpectedly confrontational / niggling with me.
So I feel very alone. I am worried that I am being unreasonable. I often express my dissatisfaction and that must be a pain for her, she has had very low self confidence since childhood.
I don't want to divorce as I love her, but my marriage really stinks just now. I know that if we parted I wouldn't be living with my children and that feels like something I could never opt to do.