Talk About Marriage banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I am going to be very blunt. The issue is not following her ex, but the apparent lack of respect you show for each other. If you asked her to accept your explanations for the various incidents you outline, she is asking you to do the same. I gather from your post that the ex still lives in another country and but for the "following" there has been no other contact. If those points are correct then the tone and exchange between you and your wife really are about the state of your relationship.

Over and over I read about putative adult men and their gaming habits destroying their marriage - the breakdown of the relationship or her cheating. Playing a game now and then if fine, but the very nature of gaming triggers addictive behavior's which interferes with real life. Over the course of my 42 year marriage when my wife says something I am doing is bothering her I listen, we discuss it and I change my behavior to the extent possible to improve the situation. She does the same thing for me. If you need an escape go for a walk for 30 minutes and take her with you if you can. You present an interesting situation, many wives don't give their husbands such an explicit warning of the consequence of their husband's behavior. They just silently seethe and than act out. Wrongly or rightly your wife feels disrespected and I can tell from the tone of your post, so do you. What are you going to do about that? Doing the 180 is not the answer. Honest communication is.

You posted in an infidelity forum, so you are going to get a lot of advice about infidelity. I suggest reposting in the Success in Long Term Relationship forum and get some advice. What you have posted thus far is two immature people acting out tit-for-tat. I looked at your earlier threads and this one echoes the same issues you brought up about heart emoji's. Do you really want to divorce your wife? Are you looking for an excuse, based on this an earlier your threads it sure sounds like it? If so stop manufacturing justifications to make her look like the bad guy for your desire to divorce, tell her the truth and do it. You said you have four beautiful children, when they ask why you got divorced are you going to tell them it was because their mother followed an ex on LinkedIn in another country she hadn't seen years? Really??? Forget the 180 and get some marital counseling, learn how to communicate. Heck, start with Love Languages, do anything, something to improve the relationship. You owe it to your children, if doesn't help then be honest with your wife about what you really want.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I am glad you found my post helpful and are not thinking of divorce as your main objective. Your wife adding her ex to LinkedIn is a red herring. As I mentioned before, from your posts there is resentment and frustration on both sides of this marriage. Your wife consciously or unconsciously added her ex to LinkedIn to get your attention, frankly to poke at you. Let's change the situation up a bit. Instead of communicating with her ex being a red line for you (the ex who is in another country, with whom she hasn't communicated with in years (decades?)), what if you had expressed, a clear boundary in conversations about her spending, particularly on frivolous luxury goods; goods that you can afford but you don't approve of. She goes ahead and buys the luxury items. Honestly, wouldn't you be just as angry and feel as disrespected only her actions wouldn't be colored with infidelity. I raise this hypothetical because there is so little to point to infidelity but huge arrows pointing at the dysfunction in your relationship.

My wife and I have been married a long time. When our youngest went off to college about 14 years ago I looked at my wife and realized we were disconnected. We generally got along and had strong shared values, but the connection, the intimacy was not nearly as strong as it should be. We each had our own well polished, honed list of grievances with well thought out justifications. None of our justifications included any personal ownership of why we were at odds, not communicating each other, not working together. Frankly, the reality was there was merit to my list and her list, but that is beside the point. We should have been communicating to eliminate grievances, not cement them. This is where you and your wife seem to be; again, we are on an internet forum and don't have all of the facts and circumstances. That said, what I just outlined is so common that it is present in nearly any marriage of ten years or more with some kids added for flavoring.

At dinner out not long after these thoughts, I expressed to her what I wrote above. She was defensive, but I remained calm. I told her what I wanted this marriage to look like for the next 30 years or so. We kept talking about it. Slowly she opened up about what was on her heart and why she put up walls. Your wife has already given you some really clear guidance about what is bugging her. Listening to my wife was really uncomfortable because I thought I was doing a great job as husband and father. If you can have open conversations with her, I guarantee that you will be uncomfortable too. For me it was worth it. I understood and took ownership, we learned (are still learning) how to communicate. I stopped trying to be right and be a victim when I didn't get my way or she disagreed with me. I changed my orientation from proving I was right to asking how can I make your life better? What can I do to help? As time passed she started doing the same thing. I am not saying Happy Wife Happy Life, that is trite and simplistic.

I mentioned the 5 Love Languages in my earlier post. I never really looked at it until we were in the midst of these discussions. I discovered that there are truths and valuable concepts in the book. You mentioned that you are in IT, have a Ph.D. and without saying it, that you are a smart guy used to solving complex problems. Before I retired I led several enterprise software companies and my colleagues and friends have your skills and likely temperament. Guess what, those skills and expertise are extremely valuable but not very helpful at home with our wives. I would venture you are an analytical problem solver. That is precisely not what your wife needs. She needs a companion to listen to her, value her, put her first and not judge her. She told you this directly, that is why she goes on line to chat with strangers. Apparently, from her perspective knowing this you are sill not connecting with her and providing the connection she seems to really need. I will use a technical analogy. In the connection between wives and husbands there is often an "impedance" miss match. You communicate but the connection is flawed and information is corrupted. This is where the 5 Love Languages comes in. As a doer, I express and show my love by getting things done. I thought being a good provider and dutiful father was enough. Wrong calibration. I need to do those things because I took on those responsibilities voluntarily. Wife wants new lights in the back yard for her flowers. Boom! Done! my code for "I love you". Problem is that I discovered that she wants to be touched and have me sit with her while we watch TV or read. She wants a connection, doing those things makes her feel loved. To her my acts of service are great but not received as love. So I got frustrated and felt unappreciated and she feels unloved. Once we figured out the correct "impedance" now when I do acts of service she understands I am trying to love her and she "feels" the love and lets me know the message was received. I sit with her because that is what she wants. You and your wife have to figure this out. She seems to have told you her language what is yours? Her knowing yours is equally important to you knowing hers. You will be amazed how much your relationship will improve if you both prioritize the other's happiness. You are not giving up control or wimping out because the goal is a happy, sustainable marriage for your kids and your life. Yes, you will have to change how you spend some of your time. You will do things that aren't your first priority.

You asked in a post what to do. I think a really easy nonconfrontational first step to begin a real dialogue with your wife, is to get the 5 Love Languages by Chapman from Amazon (I gave it to both of my grown sons as they began committed relationships). Make a plan for each of you to read it and agree that you will work through the exercises. You will set aside time just to talk about it and your marriage and whether or not is useful. Use this as a point of departure to improve the relationship. Use the conversation as a diagnostic to see how bad the problems are. Don't hide it, tell her exactly this, what the end goal is, what you are doing and why. She may not trust you at first, but it is an easy first step. She may be blown away that you are making the effort (I don't know either of you she might not like it). Then consider some marriage counseling with the goal to improve the marriage by learning relationship skills, not referee grievances. Just a suggestion.

I learned a long time ago that if we are intentional about making a change or accomplishing a goal we achieve it. Your marriage is exactly the same. My user name is TooOld because I have seen too much - the death of three family members in less than a year, almost lost a child to suicide, managing businesses through the dot.com meltdown, 2008 financial crises, you get the idea. But what all of that has given me is perspective. When you are in the midst of your career, raising kids, it seems like your very identity is being pulled apart fiber by fiber by your career, kids, marriage, life. But at some point those will be past and if you are intentional, not lucky, you will be sitting with your wife one day and marvel at all that you did together as a team, not adversaries.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Dear blackclover3,

What a wonderful update. I commend you and your wife for taking these steps. I don't post very often, but your posts spoke to me and I am glad you found them helpful.

Remember, these steps are not a point solution, but a continuous process.

Obviously on a forum like this we read what is on your mind, did your wife's view of the marriage and its issues match anything posted?

Keep up the good work and come back for encouragement anytime.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top