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Am I being unreasonable?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife of 17 years, I am in my early 50s, she in her late 40s and a an early teen at home. Older kids from my previous marriage are on their own.
Working all the time, I am guilty of neglecting our relationship, my commitment to my job. Not good. Obvious now.
Wife became disconnected, her life had no meaning with daughter older, no use, all this transpiring early this year (2009).
Lost my job and the result has been some financial difficulty now the elephant in the room of marital problems.
A while back she decided she needed to do some things on her own...I have always supported any effort to build, make, whatever. We have build and remodeled houses with the lion's share of work my responsibility (either doing or getting contractors). Takes time but puts within our reach.
One interest is larger then the rest...gardening, so she is taking classes. Interesting and might be helpful for the large property we have.
Coinciding with this she has said she needs to go "out". I am usually okay with this but out has become every weekend with a cousin (the cousin has lots of issues, certified mental issues, relationship issues, ex husband in jail, boyfriends with restraining orders, drug issues, etc.). Going to bars and typically closing the bar down. Gets home at 4 and 5a in the morning. I don't know where they are and leaves me uncomfortable.
I initiate discussions to express my discomfort with the weekly all night events and she becomes very angry, accusing me of being controlling and that's not like me, etc. Says it wouldn't bother her if I were staying out all night every week, etc.
My challenge here is I love her and can't believe where this has gone. We are rarely initimate and never even kiss or hug. Her explanation being all the financial issues just make it too difficult to be "intimate".
Bottom line: She is determined to go anyway regardless of how I feel because she can't believe how I am responding.
She has always been focused on her appearance, takes two hours to get ready to go anywhere, has a multitude of wants ranging from stuff to clothes to body enhancements like botox, breast enhancement, etc. and is sometimes hyper focused on dong these things. None have really transpired as we can't afford it but if we get the money, will become a priority. I guess I would say she is narcisistic and can be self focused. It is difficult for me to point and say (and I haven't to her) about someone you love.
I am pretty easy going and my biggest fault is not being able to say no. If there is any way to accomplish something, I will do it. It is how I work. I know, not good.
I am very hurt and flow between angry, depressed, etc.
During the week we seem to be pretty good, conversation, etc. I am not working and do all the cooking, lots of cleaning, laundry, and house stuff. She works on things she is interested in. In the past she has done more, me less, sometimes a more even share. That isn't the problem.
The problem is our relationship feels like walking around on eggshells and phoney since the weekends are stressful and build hostility. She says we always talk about the same thing and that is because the discussion is one sided.
Sometimes feel like I want to leave...but I love my wife, we have had some great times and great successes. The current situation is not conducive to a happy marriage.
BTW, I don't think there is any infidelity...I think she just needs to get away from me!
 

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Hey there,

this is a good place to come when you feel alone so well done...

sounds like your W is a bit disconnected from the relationship right now?

and is also exhibiting some behaviours that you find upsetting....

is this totally out of character?

and what about all the 'self-improvement stuff is this familiar (i.e has she always had a keen interest inher appearance?)

have you any close friends who would have a perspective on the two of you...

what does yur child think? has s/he noticed any changes?

what do you want?

are you feeling a little neglected and used and as though you are living with a stranger?

sorry don't understand the poll - unreasonable about what? your feelings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Help. I am so alone here.

sounds like your W is a bit disconnected from the relationship right now? Absolutely we are disconnected.

and is also exhibiting some behaviours that you find upsetting....

is this totally out of character? We have had ups and downs in the marriage but seems like we were always considerate of the other persons feelings, at least trying to talk through issues for understanding. Now it doesn't seem like interest exists to do that.

and what about all the 'self-improvement stuff is this familiar (i.e has she always had a keen interest inher appearance?) She has always been someone taking a while to get "ready". I knew that when I married her. There are times when I wished we could get going faster but was a known.

have you any close friends who would have a perspective on the two of you...I sometimes think one of the issues is we don't have mutual friends. She is a bit initimidated by my friends (and that is liimited pool)as she thinks they are super smart, etc. and she doesn't speak when around them so not good link up.

what does yur child think? has s/he noticed any changes? Yes, last night, for example, she was going out and we bantered a bit as I said I thought weekly overnight outings were a bit much. I was sure our daughter heard us so I engaged her in conversation and she cried because of the conflict. One thing she mentioned is "Mo" doesn't have time to talk to her anymore.

what do you want? I would like us to genuinely like each other, to have some mutual interest and sharing, I long for initmacy and time together.

are you feeling a little neglected and used and as though you are living with a stranger? I told her last week I felt like I was living with a roommate and we were each doing our own things. She has admitted she is unable to always speak about these things as she will say the wrong thing or not what she meant so it is easier to say nothing. So, we end up not talking or she expresses anger.

I want to be clear I have expected part of the responsibility here...my working long hours resulted in some of the hostility but I had reasons, valid or not, to try to earn as much money as we needed to satisfy needs. I guess epic fail here.

sorry don't understand the poll - unreasonable about what? your feelings? I was sort of joking...am I being unreasonable in even complaining about the "problems" we are having. I hate complaining just for the sake of doing so.

Thanks
 

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This sounds like a toughy. I'm kinda on the other side of this type of relationship.

My H had a job for the first 5 years of our relationship that got increasingly more intrusive on our relationship & time together. Whenever we did have any time together he was tired, grumpy and just wanted to chill at home. Not much fun or 'togetherness' there!

His job took him away a lot, and very often I wouldn't know from day to the next whether he would be home that night or whether he would be away for a week or so. It led for a very unstable home life, and it had a severely detrimental effect on our relationship.

I won't give all the details here as they are elsewhere in this forum (or at least will be).

As a wife in this situation I felt neglected and very far down the priority scale when it came to things that were important to him. I nearly believed that this was because I wasn't good enough... but then I pulled myself together and started creating a life for myself, going out with others having my own interests etc.

It was easier (and it saved me much pain and heartache) to create my own life and to be my own priority than wait around for my H to realise I should be his priority, the important thing in his life.

To make myself feel better, I would spend time making myself up, wearing nice things etc. Admittedly I would use my own money for this, and would not resort to plastic surgery. I wanted to depend on myself more because I couldn't depend on him.

I just wonder if your wife still harbours some resentment towards you for the time you spent together when, as you say, you neglected your relationship. Your commitment to your job, your relationship to your job may have felt like it was more important to you than her. As someone who has experienced this, I know how hard this is to deal with. It actually feels like your husband is having an affair, although it's not with another woman it's with a job.

I might be wrong about her and how she feels, but thought this insight from the other side might help. I'm not sure what the solution is. Things are still very tough between me and my H. I don't feel like I know him any more. We've been living such separate lives for such a long time that I don't think we know how to live together.

As the wife, I don't know what a husband in this situation could do to help. I think great efforts are needed on your behalf. You need to help her feel wanted by you (not in a needy possessive way) but in a 'I love your company' kind of way. Make dates with her, dress to impress when you go out with her. Re-remind her why she married you. Romance is the key... picnics by rivers, fun days out (do something different and exhilarating), walks over mountains...

Try surprising her and she'll start to re-evaluate you... and maybe, just maybe, she'll see the good in you again. I think that she is walking all over you at the moment but you can't force her to do what you want. Just invite her to do things with you. If she shows no interest after several attempts, then I think you need to start asking yourself some serious questions.

Counselling would be a great help to you both... if she won't go with you, then you can actually go by yourself. It's not ideal I know, but you're not happy and that's not good. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, you have nailed it and the issue of the job is apparent. I was trying to improve things and instead got owned by the "company".

Trying to improve things is a challenge with our financial situation being sort of a wreck and getting her to spend time together is tougher...I am working on it.

I have already set counseling for this week...for me, she doesn't want to go.
 

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I agree with Birdsong. I have a husband who works alot of hours and sometimes out of town. It can be really rough. I am not a "high maintenance" gal. I would prefer time with my hubby over money.

We have talked about this and I have come to understand that one of the ways he shows he loves me and the kids is by working hard to support us. I try to remember this when I am missing his comany.

I wonder if maybe your wife is going through a little bit of empty nest syndrome. Even though the one teen is still home, they have their own life and tend to take their parents for granted. I mean, they figure mom is there if I want her.

I think your wife is lonely. You were always working, she focused on the kids. Now the kids don't really need much attention. She got used to you not being around. Now, with you around more, it has kind of screwed up her routine, and she's trying to adjust.

Now, please don't think that I'm trying to beat you up here. I think it is wonderful that you are wanting to make things better. You can't undo the past no matter how much you regret choices you made.

I think the "date" thing is a good idea. Take her to dinner, movie, etc... Make her a romantic dinner at home, complete with tablecloth and cloth napkins.

It sounds to me like she's got a wall up there that you need to break through. Maybe you could also get your teen to take mom out to lunch (slip her a few bucks if need be), so they can get their relationship back on track.

What I'm trying to say is: I think your wife is trying to find herself, her place, in things.

As for your poll....you are not complaining, you are asking for advice/opinions...that's what this forum is here for. I wish you all the best!
 

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Well, you have nailed it and the issue of the job is apparent. I was trying to improve things and instead got owned by the "company".

Trying to improve things is a challenge with our financial situation being sort of a wreck and getting her to spend time together is tougher...I am working on it.

I have already set counseling for this week...for me, she doesn't want to go.
As far as working hard was concerned, you did nothing wrong as such, and I know that men do sometimes feel that it is their responsibility to be the 'bread winner'... especially if there are kids involved and the wife is busy being a Mum as well as everything else (Superwoman!).

I don't have children and so cannot comment on what it may feel like to be a mother and then watch the kids grow up and leave home. Maybe this is a part of her issue, as scarletblue suggests. It certainly does seem like she is trying to find herself again.

I think it is wonderful that you care so much about your wife that you are making such efforts to get your marriage back on track. Counselling is a really positive step (one I'm considering too), and it doesn't matter if your wife doesn't come with you at first... maybe in time she will see changes in you and think that she'd like to get involved too. Hope so.

Forgive yourself for the past, live for today and make tomorrow happen...
 

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ok, thanks for explaining that all -
no I don't think you are being unreasonable at all...
you are just concerned for your marriage and that is fine...
I am glad that you have gone for counselling it is obviously the next step
birdsong and scarlettblue have given you some great advice
it does sound like you wife feels in need of some serious 'me' time -
difficult to know what to do aside from give her some space -
and if she won't go to counselling nothing you can do either...
sure you have some regrets about your role in marriage but we all do -
my advice would be to try not to blame yourself too much -
in fact blame isn't the most useful thing at all....
everyone will say this in a mutitude of ways and it can be frustrating advice but start by concentrating on yourself
give your wife some room to sort herself or dig herself deeper into a mess...
be there for your daughter
keep venting
keep breathing and try to keep eating....

why would she think your friends are super smart and why would she be intimidated by this?

is she intimidated by you as well?
 

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I agree with what has been said. Some very good advice. I'll add that a lot has changed for you both over the past few years... cut you and her some slack for the transitions and don't blame yourself so much, it takes two to tango. If you want things to be different, you want more of her attention, then ask for it in good, kind, but persistant ways and be patient while it comes around. And then when it does come around, you have to reinforce it, cherish it, be grateful and keep up your attentions, rather than diving into your new job (assuming you will get one) in the same way as the old one. Her habits may be long standing and she may indeed be very used to having her own space, so patience.

That said, I think the closing down the bars with her cousin thing every weekend is not very healthy for your relationship, for her health, or as an example to your teen. On that point, I see your concern very much and I would ask your counselor for help in how to address it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the input here...I am starting counseling today by myself. Hope my wife will do the same soon...right now she doesn't see the point. I feel a bit miffed as she told me she wasn't going out anymore, not because she sees the negative impact to us but because I have made her feel guilty and becuase it is stressing our daughter who is picking up on my emotions. Really feel put off by these comments.
 

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As the wife, I don't know what a husband in this situation could do to help. I think great efforts are needed on your behalf. You need to help her feel wanted by you (not in a needy possessive way) but in a 'I love your company' kind of way. Make dates with her, dress to impress when you go out with her. Re-remind her why she married you. Romance is the key... picnics by rivers, fun days out (do something different and exhilarating), walks over mountains...


im really new in the house and i really appreciate the contribution of many on this thread.l

et me quickly say this whatever you are going through just know that you wont be the first to have passed though such .

but the fact remains those that weathered the storm had a reason and the reason is that they wanted what they lost or about to lose.

if you reaaly love her and want her back then i suggest you put on your thinking cap and rewind your life to the time you first knew her.what are those thing she love you to do to her.

yes read the post on picnic,good dress habit to impress,dates etc before i forget be more romantic.....good luck!!!
 
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