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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've been married for almost 2 years, and we rushed in to a relationship and then marriage very quickly. Things were great for a while, and then we started having really serious problems.

For one thing, I've always had a problem with drinking. At times I managed to keep it relatively under control, but I'm an alcoholic. She sort of just excused that for a while, but eventually it got on her nerves.

I would ask her to do things like help out around the house. I do all the cooking, grocery shopping, manage all the finances and I usually end up doing a majority of the housework as well in addition to having a full time job. She would really resist helping, do things terribly slowly, say she was too tired... pretty much do anything she could to get out of helping. She became resistive to doing anything I asked for basically. If I said "Help me with the laundry" she wouldn't just say NO, she'd find something else that would prevent her from doing it or she would fold 1 small basket of laundry in an hour so I would end up doing all of it myself.

I hate messy spaces, I feel really anxious when my house is dirty, I get highly agitated, it's just really bad for me. So I started constantly nagging her about housework she had agreed on doing, really getting overly pushy about it and rather mean. I threatened divorce repeatedly and said that I shouldn't have to be responsible for all of the work, that we needed to each do our part. This would cause huge fights where lots of other issue would get brought up and eventually... I became abusive. Not punching or beating sort of thing (I'm not attempting to minimize, just clarify), but I grabbed her inappropriately or shoved her on multiple occasions. This would happen, then I would apologize and she would say that it was fine and it would all be ok. Time would pass and it wouldn't happen for a while, but then again it would.

Finally about a month or so ago she put her foot down. We argued and I finally said that she was right and I really needed to get help. We went to a couples counselling and we didn't mention the abuse. Just sort of talked about some other problems. I think we were both scared to make the jump.

I've started AA (I really do want to quit drinking), I'm going to see the therapist (same one as the couples counselling) on my own, and we have more counselling appointments coming up. I'm willing to do just about anything to save the marriage.
Suddenly she's started saying she thinks that maybe our personalities are just incompatible and that we bring out the worst in each other. I don't think that's true. I think I have a terribly destructive anger problem and I need help. She says "You're also bipolar and what if you can never get it under control". I'm willing to go to whatever length I need to. I know I may need a change in medication,or even to go to a program of some sort to help people who are abusive and want to stop.

Sometimes she says she's willing to save it, then sometimes she says she's not sure.

Separation is impossible for us for financial reasons, and also because her family is very conservative religious and would badger her about it and she would have to tell them why. Once that happens I will be outcast from her family and never permitted to be be involved again, and she's very involved with her family. It would be a deal breaker for both of us.

To add another element she began talking to an ex of hers online that she hadn't spoken to in a few years. The conversations became inappropriate, I found out about it and asked for her to stop talking to him because she obviously still had some feelings for him and that wasn't healthy for us.
She flatly says no, that she'll just keep the conversation from being inappropriate in the future and that her feelings for him are just flirtation and residual because he contacted her. He lives overseas and never has intentions to come back to the US and her career is tied to her family so it's stationary in this city. She says that means she can't cheat. The conversations made it clear that he was interested in camera sex and other types of online sex stuff. She says she wouldn't do that (but used to do it with them because they had a long term relationship). She also says that that was my fault because I pushed her away.

I'm really uncomfortable with her continuing contact since she already broke trust and initiated the inappropriate conversations. She says that he used to be one of her best friends and he's helped her through things and she needs support, and that my wanting her to not contact him is me attempting to control her. She has lots of guy friends online and in real life, and none of that bothers me or has ever bothered me.

I don't know what to do. I want to save this, but I know I really was the one who caused it to be broken.

She says it doesn't matter what she's done because I was abusive. I tell her that I know how awful that was and that I will never do it again and am actively getting help specifically for that issue, but that when something comes up and I say "This is bad, come on don't do that" it isn't good to say "You did bad things, I get to do my bad things now".

She says she's willing to try most of the time. It's just whenever I bring up something negative on her end she immediately switches to "Maybe this is just too broken".
We both admit that we really love each other, that we're very attracted to each other, we still even have sex regularly throughout this.

Is a marriage ever just too broken to fix if both parties are willing to try?

I'm so confused and scared. I really want to not only get help and get better, but save this at the same time.

I know this is long and sort of disjointed, I just wanted to try to get all these thoughts down.
 

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Yes, a marriage can be too broken to fix.

Your wife is having an emotional affiar (EM). Your marriage cannot be fixed unitil the affiar ends and she has no conact with the OM (Other man).

Yes you were wrong with your anger and in pushing her. I"m glad to hear that you are getting help so that you stop doing hits.

HOwever, your wife's refusal to do her fair share of household chores is abusive.

I know how this feels because my husband did the same thing. When her worked and when he was out of work he refused to lift a finger. Leaving me to work a demanding job and take care of everything in the house and yard.

IT's abusive because it adds many hours of work that you have to do a week... thus it's a physical and mental drain.

What makes her thing that she does not have to take responsibility half of the household chores?

Before the two of you can repair anyting this has to be addressed as well.

She is an abusive person ... pushes all household chores on you and openly has an EA and rubs it in your face.

You are abusive.. with anger and pushing her around.


the two of you need marriage counseling (MC) and individual counseling (IC).

You say that you are bi-polar. What's her excuse for her bad behavior?

Don't take all the blame for this. Only take the blame for what you have done. The rest is on her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She has recently made some effort to begin doing her share. I refused to do any cleaning for almost 2 months, which I think is part of what brought this to a head because I became so angry and insistent that she clean that I completely lost my temper and lost control of my anger. I should have just done it on my own rather than placing myself in a situation where I KNOW I have a terrible problem with self control.

I was also unemployed for nearly 8 months up until mid october. During that time she would just tell me that since I wasn't working I should do all the chores. I agreed that I would do a majority of them, but that I still wanted help in some areas.

She was unemployed for 6 months near the end of our marriage. She was very depressed. I asked her to try and keep the house in order and apply for jobs while unemployed, she mostly refused to do housework, though she did some. I really do believe she was severely depressed because we had just moved for a new career opportunity for me. She hated the city we moved to, she'd moved away from her family and friends, and it was a huge change for someone who has lived in the same place all her life and been very close to her family and friends there.

We also have 2 dogs that shed quite a bit, so that exacerbates the house issues. The dogs are hers.

She does have ADHD predominantly inattentive which has a severe element of lethargy and fatigue. I understand that this makes it somewhat more difficult for her. She says that after working she is simply unable to do anything for the house, even 20 minutes, because she needs to veg to recover. I believe this is an excuse, she says that I can't understand because I don't have her disorder and perceives this as being insensitive to her condition. I agree that it might be very hurtful when I say that. I have a very hard time understanding how it could be that severe and yet she seems to have infinite energy when it comes to her job.

She also has frequent headaches and migranes that can be rather debilitating for her. I admit that I have frequently been unsympathetic and even openly annoyed by this because they often seem to coincide with things that I know she isn't fond of doing. I think it's likely that that is simply coincidence, but at times I have been pretty insistent that she was faking or somehow her body created a response to things she didn't want to do and generated a headache, which is pretty mean.

Also, she is a complete workaholic. We recently moved from one state to another for her to take a salaried position with her family business. She will often work really long hours, and be totally exhausted when she comes home. I was not very understanding at the beginning because she was working nearly 60 hours a week plus a 30 minute commute each way and a 30 minute lunch. She feels that her career is the most important thing and accuses me of wanting some domestic housewife. I most specifically do not want that. I like that she's career oriented and have encouraged it, but think that there has to be a balance and that home life is also very important. We have different schedules now as that I work in the evenings and she works in the morning, it means the only time we have for us is from about 10:30pm to midnight and all day on Sunday. She says she prefers to only do cleaning once a week on sunday, I say that we should clean throughout the week and spend sunday together.

We have never had any intention of having children, so that's not an issue at least.

I also did not mention the incident where I slapped her once and I don't want to misrepresent the level of abuse on my end. Sorry I forgot that, just looking to fully disclose.

She didn't openly have the EA, I became suspicious and read her facebook messages. We have always been very open, and I expressed concern about this when suddenly I noticed she was logging out of FB and being secretive. She says I was wrong to snoop. I don't know what to think about that, I think it's an invasion of privacy, but I think that being secretive and acting suspiciously is wrong. I'm willing to let her check on me as much as she wants, always have been. The biggest concern would be why she would be suspicious, because I believe in a no secrets policy, something we talked about early on while dating and something we agreed to. She says she's changed her mind on that and that I simply have to trust her. I want to trust her, but I have a hard time with that. I have had women who cheated on me in the past, specifically where it started as an online thing and turned into either cybersex cheating or a full on physical affair.

I also seem to have a really bad problem that when something doesn't make sense to me like "Why didn't you do this thing that needed done?" I badger her about it. I don't know how to turn off that need to understand because to me if she's doing something illogical I want to try to understand why so badly it's maddening to me. I can get really insistent and frustrated and sometimes end up going into prolonged rants where I just can't seem to turn off the thoughts and stop talking. I did this tonight about the ex and the stuff on facebook. I kept begging her to just cut off contact because continuing something with someone you have feelings for when you're saying you love me and want to save the marriage is not useful. She says "I need him, I just got him back, I can't lose him again" (they had a falling out leading to the breakup before she and I met). I say "See this proves my point! The way you're talking is unhealthy. This is bad. Please stop."She just kept saying how it was fine and so long as there was no talk about sex it would just be a friendship and she should be allowed to continue. I just kept repeating the same things over and over again. She says that's me bullying her and trying to control her. In this particular case I don't think that is what I was doing. I just wanted her to do what I think any normal person would want after something like that. Cut off contact and stop.

I have done this (the repetitive arguing and insistence that she do something) about a number of things (usually the same few things) pretty frequently since we started to have problems. I know this is something I have to talk to the therapist about because I don't think that is probably normal behaviour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any further advice and help?

I discussed the abuse with the therapist, and she and I are working on getting to the core of why I was abusive related to abuses in my childhood. She said she is pretty certain that we can work on this and with assistance I can recover fully and learn how to control the anger and abusive actions and resolve these issues through therapy.

I also talked to the therapist in an individual session about the EA and she said that I needed to tell my wife that it needed to stop immediately. I did that tonight after the session and my wife simply reverted from her "let's work on this" attitude to the "I will not give him up. Maybe this is too broken to fix. I can't lose a friend over a marriage too broken to fix." attitude.

I'm pretty desperate here. Anything from anyone who has dealt with this, I'll listen.
 

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About the housework. The two of you work. Can you afford to have someone come in and do some of the housework.. say one day a week?

That way no cleaning needs to be done on Sunday and the two of you can spend time together.

Further it takes the pressure off. My feeling about housework is that it's better to work a little bit more at your job and take the extra income (is you get paid over time) and pay someone to clean your house. People who clean house probably make a lot less than you do.. so you essentially get more housework done for the bang.

This also takes away a lot of the disagreements on the cleaning topic.

Her EA.. oh yea you had every right to snoop. Your wife is cheating and she thinks you had no right to protect yourself based on some silly privacy idea..nope. She needs to be open with you. Go to the infidelity board and read the newbie's thread. It will give you lots of info.

Some reading that might help a lot is "Surviving An Affair" By Dr. Harley. After that I suggest that you two of you read the books linked to in my signature block below for building a possionate marriage. Then do the work the books suggest. They will help you structure your marriage to be much healthier then it is now and to affair proof it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
About the housework. The two of you work. Can you afford to have someone come in and do some of the housework.. say one day a week?

That way no cleaning needs to be done on Sunday and the two of you can spend time together.

Further it takes the pressure off. My feeling about housework is that it's better to work a little bit more at your job and take the extra income (is you get paid over time) and pay someone to clean your house. People who clean house probably make a lot less than you do.. so you essentially get more housework done for the bang.

This also takes away a lot of the disagreements on the cleaning topic.
We've discussed this. Finances are tight, but I suppose we could pay for someone to come once a week. I'm willing to do that.

Her EA.. oh yea you had every right to snoop. Your wife is cheating and she thinks you had no right to protect yourself based on some silly privacy idea..nope. She needs to be open with you. Go to the infidelity board and read the newbie's thread. It will give you lots of info.
This is what I'm mostly worrying about right now. Each time I attempt to approach the affair she draws back more. Effectively tonight when I tried saying that it needed to end or else I was going to leave she said she'd rather get divorced than give up the EA. Then she said it's not an EA. I'll start reading the other board...

Some reading that might help a lot is "Surviving An Affair" By Dr. Harley. After that I suggest that you two of you read the books linked to in my signature block below for building a possionate marriage. Then do the work the books suggest. They will help you structure your marriage to be much healthier then it is now and to affair proof it.
I will look into these. Unfortunately she denies that it is an affair despite the fact that it's practically a textbook EA from everything I've read. I doubt she'll be willing to go through any book step by step with me at all.
 

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This is what I'm mostly worrying about right now. Each time I attempt to approach the affair she draws back more. Effectively tonight when I tried saying that it needed to end or else I was going to leave she said she'd rather get divorced than give up the EA. Then she said it's not an EA. I'll start reading the other board...
I will look into these. Unfortunately she denies that it is an affair despite the fact that it's practically a textbook EA from everything I've read. I doubt she'll be willing to go through any book step by step with me at all.
Of course she denies it. That’s what cheaters do.

You should post on the infidelity board as you will need a lot of help to get through this and to turn things around if you want to save your marriage. When you post there I suggest that you link to this thread so that people can see this part of your situation as well.

You will get good support there.
 

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She says "I need him, I just got him back, I can't lose him again" (they had a falling out leading to the breakup before she and I met)

She said she'd rather get divorced than give up the EA.

Oh dear. I wish you the very best in this one, but.... oh dear.
 
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