Kind of a long background story- my husband and I have been married for 22 years. We have one daughter, a pre-teen. Both of our interests are to do the best things for our daughter. We have differences in our personalities but very similar perspectives about life and value, but we often argue about so many things and lately I feel lost. After living in the US, I feel like I should have a close friend who I can talk to, but living in the small town makes it difficult to meet people whom I can spill my guts out without backfiring myself, and I can’t afford to pay for a therapist.., so here it goes.
We met in the dorm of a university where I was studying in the ESL program and he was majoring Japanese. We fell in love and decided to live together in Japan while he was there as an exchange student and came back to the US and have been here since. We live in a small town in NY where he grew up. I work from home in health care, and he switched his career last September. He has worked in a police dept. for 15 years but the tremendous stress from the job was effecting his health, so he finally left the very toxic environment and started working in a school district, which he loves very much.
He really never left the place, though… He still gets calls and texts from the people at his previous job as they are very unhappy with the situation there now. One officer in particular was treated so poorly by the superiors that she came to see him in tears. My husband, of course feels responsible and tries to console and give advices whenever asked for, sometimes legal advices with a phone call lasting for two hours…. I have been trying to be a supportive wife and listen to him and tell him that I care about his own emotional well-being as he says that listening to them drains and takes him back to those dark years. He defends that they need my help and can’t turn them away, so we try to be their friends and invite this officer for dinners or just to hang out. I know he would help any one of them equally if they needed, but he had a special interest and saw so much potential in her when he hired her, so he naturally shows great sympathy towards this officer. I’m just there making foods for them, sitting and not say much as they often end up talking about the difficult situations she’s in and general complains about her work. He encourages her to find another job as she would excel in any other field, but since it was her childhood dream, she doesn’t want to give up, and he realizes his limitation on helping her, as he characterizes her as self-righteous and yet naive. But, as most cops are, they are addicted to adrenaline. As much as it takes a toll on them, they get high from the rush and by talking about how crappy it is, they are re-living the drama and gives them the excitement. That’s my observation on why he keeps talking to her about all the problems although I may be way off with that assumption.
Anyways, my daughter worships this officer and talks about wanting see her all the time, and my husband highly speaks of her all the time. He told me that someone from the church he goes to asked if she was his wife - I’m not a Christian and do not go to church service, and he jokingly said he should have said he wished, this 7 foot-tall with double major Goddess was my wife! I’m not jealous of this officer, I don’t think he’s attracted to her romantically at all, he thinks I’m crazy when I tease him about it. But it is true that he’s paying more attention to her and shows quite a bit more respect to her than me, and that hurts.
We used to do more things together as a family, but things are starting to fall apart. We do have good conversations sometimes, enjoy watching shows on tv, spend time with his parents, sister & her partner, but those are pretty much the only things we do together at this point. We have not had an intimacy for months, he’s interested in playing his saxophone, smoking his pipe and going to church, while I’m interested in rock music, skateboarding, photography and playing electronic music. He supports my hobbies but does not take over chores so I have time to do what I like to which I’ve been resentful for a while, but the routines have not changed even after he changed his job and have more time. I lack my vocabulary and articulation when we have an argument, and he loves to argue. All these 20 plus years, I’ve said things I regret and acted the way he did not deserve, and I’m not sure if there are any feelings left for each other.
He says I need a friend, and it’d be nice if I had a friend. All my close friends are in Japan. I am friendly, but I don’t go around and ask people if they want to hung out. It’s not easy to make friends as an adult in a small town when you look like a foreigner, and most people your age have established circle of friends already. I like talking to people I work with, but I don’t have any contact with them outside the work. It’s not my nature to talk about my personal problems with my co-workers either.
I apologize for randomness of this post, and I’m not sure if I’m looking for any advices, but I needed a place to share these feelings without paying $300/week. Thanks for reading!