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First off, I'd like to say how thankful I feel for the existence of this site and to how many supportive members it seems to have. Our marriage troubles go deeper than what is contained in this message, however I feel this issue is a good place to start.

Both my wife and I are in college full-time and we have one 5 year old child. My wife constantly seems stressed out about having to do her homework. I can barely get her to help me with the housework or share quality time with me because she often gives me the reason that she is too busy with her homework. I get this same excuse when I ask her to do things like exercise at the YMCA with me.

The thing is that when she is sitting down doing her homework she also has her phone by her side and spends much of her "homework" time texting...or being on facebook, reddit, or some other social/purely-for-entertainment website. I feel we so rarely have quality time together because she's us stressed over the homework she hasn't finished.

Our current financial situation puts paying for a counselor/therapist out of the question. My being honest to her about my feelings that she'd get so much more done more quickly if she'd eliminate the distractions has done no good...she becomes defensive or claims that what she was texting about was of prime importance. She also finds time to go out with friends and stay out late from one to three nights a week and if I make any hint that I would appreciate her prioritizing homework and helping me around the house (with cleaning, bills, yard work, etc.) she claims I'm trying to control her and prevent her from having friends.

I try my best to communicate in "I feel ... when ..." and "I see that ... however I would appreciate ..." statements however she generally reacts by telling me she is feeling personally attacked by what I am saying. How else can I approach presenting my feelings of frustration of her being so stressed out whenever we have time alone together and that I am feeling like her texting, personal entertainment, and social life it taking priority over the two of us being able to have quality time together?
 

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Do you know who she spends so much time in contact with, and what she's saying to them?

C
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I do my best not to pry, however sometimes I cannot help myself from asking. Most are to/from a few select friends. One is her current best friend, a gay guy that is often bored at work and considers her his only friend. Another is a straight guy that she has no romantic interest in that is often complaining and looking for advice. All in all, I believe there are mostly jokes and general conversation going on. I know sometimes she is complaining about her life, me, or the frustrations of being a mom. Then there are other male and female friends.

Some are with a guy that she does have romantic interest in, and in the past that relationship went farther than I was comfortable with, but there have been promises that they physically behave like they are just friends...however I know sometimes their texts go a bit beyond that but I don't know to what extent because I don't want to pry and I feel like I can be okay (for now) with them fantasizing a bit as long as it doesn't go beyond fantasy and become physical reality. What has happened with this guy and their continued friendship is a whole other can of worms. I can put it aside in my mind for now as long as it exists within the terms of the agreement the two of us have about that relationship.

Anyway, that last guy has a limited text message plan so he's not part of the almost continual barrage of text message conversations my wife is having.

One thing that bothers me about the texting is the degree of priority she has to reading and responding to them. Someone will text while we are having a conversation and she will feel a need to take the time to respond just to say that she is busy right now...it is still an interruption to the conversation we were having. To me it is no different than the answering the phone in the middle of a conversation...something that is generally considered inconsiderate.

There are rare time, like when going out to eat, or on a car ride that I'll ask her to turn off her phone. As long as I ask her on rare occasion she will oblige, but most often she will exhibit some feeling of spite over my request.
 

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I almost feel like I went through some kind of Star-Trek like dimensional shift while sleeping last night and woke up to a world where this doesn't seem as bad as it is to everyone.

Her pals that she texts with instead of having a life with you are all guys. She goes out until late 1-3 nights per WEEK. Let me guess that these nights are NOT dinner and a movie with her best gal pals, or coffee after mani-pedi's. Let me dig deep, go out on a limb and say she's, oh, I don't know...

...partying at meat markets with strange men all night?

Sorry man. Your problem has nothing to do with her being stressed out at school and not helping you with your chores. She is big time having fun with the boys while you take care of her. Financial problems and she's out partying at clubs all night?

Here's what you do: You get someone who doesn't know her tail her at the clubs. Have him/her docuent some of her most outrageous behavior while there. The boys she parties with, dances with, touches, flirts with all night. Have him get cell phone video if possible. Have him video her leaving club A to go party at club B with a pack of strange men, or maybe even someone's house you don't know. Approach her with that evidence and tell her to unlock her phone IMMEDIATELY and show you all of her texts. (How did I know her phone is password protected?). No time to erase the "compromising" ones.

How many strange men has she had inappropriate contact with and you don't know about a SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Just out of curiosity, what does she TELL you she does while out? (Nobody can EVER answer that one for some reason).

She may not even KNOW she's cheating on you. You may have to prove it to her. She's living single while you stress out and do all of the work.

Good luck. You need it more than you know.
 

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I do my best not to pry, however sometimes I cannot help myself from asking. Most are to/from a few select friends. One is her current best friend, a gay guy that is often bored at work and considers her his only friend. Another is a straight guy that she has no romantic interest in that is often complaining and looking for advice. All in all, I believe there are mostly jokes and general conversation going on. I know sometimes she is complaining about her life, me, or the frustrations of being a mom. Then there are other male and female friends.

Some are with a guy that she does have romantic interest in, and in the past that relationship went farther than I was comfortable with, but there have been promises that they physically behave like they are just friends...however I know sometimes their texts go a bit beyond that but I don't know to what extent because I don't want to pry and I feel like I can be okay (for now) with them fantasizing a bit as long as it doesn't go beyond fantasy and become physical reality. What has happened with this guy and their continued friendship is a whole other can of worms. I can put it aside in my mind for now as long as it exists within the terms of the agreement the two of us have about that relationship.

Anyway, that last guy has a limited text message plan so he's not part of the almost continual barrage of text message conversations my wife is having.

One thing that bothers me about the texting is the degree of priority she has to reading and responding to them. Someone will text while we are having a conversation and she will feel a need to take the time to respond just to say that she is busy right now...it is still an interruption to the conversation we were having. To me it is no different than the answering the phone in the middle of a conversation...something that is generally considered inconsiderate.

There are rare time, like when going out to eat, or on a car ride that I'll ask her to turn off her phone. As long as I ask her on rare occasion she will oblige, but most often she will exhibit some feeling of spite over my request.
So you already know the answer but have put your head in the sand. The homework isn't the problem, she is putting her emotional eggs in other men's baskets and is probably craving (ongoing) physical affection from them. Wake up man, this is your wife she is acting completely inappropriately, she has no right to her secret affairs, you are allowed to demand transparency. At this point you are holding onto your own fantasy and it is not doing you any good, even if your wife is not being physical with other men. Marriage is between two, and if neither of you can respect that then its time to stop pretending and end it or fix it. You need to get your head out of the sand and find out exactly what she has been up to and don't let her know what you are doing or else she will just start covering up her tracks - this is one time you are allowed to snoop around because she has made decisions that threaten your covenant, when you have the evidence before you and have had a chance to process it then you decide if there is still something worth fixing or not. you are in a tough spot but failure to act right now is the nail in your marriage's coffin.
 

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Amuk,

Your wife is not fulfilled. She probably feels trapped in her life. Raising a child, homework, study time. She probably views you as holding her down, holding her back from having any kind of excitement, fun, emotional connection to her or uderstanding what she needs. She is getting that fulfillment where she can, however she can. She is connecting with people that don't make her feel tied down, you want to change that, you have stop being the guy that makes her feel trapped, controlled, and stuck.
Quit being her husband, her father, and the guy that does not give her the excitement she needs. Start being her friend, start showing her a better time than she can get by going out on her own.
Create and intersting, fun, exciting, romantic lifestyle with the two of you. Be the one that fulfills her in the ways she needs.
 

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You need to pry more and you need to check up on these late nights. Frankly, I think she is likely cheating .
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My hubby has the same complaint. I our case, I'm on twitter most of the time. With me, its not an affair or that I don't love my husband...its that I'm thoroughly enjoying what I'm doing & I don't want to stop or be interrupted. Its nothing personal, its just the way it is.

It is very selfish & 'hermit' behavior on my part, but its certainly nothing against my hubby-at least I don't mean it to be.
 

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She also finds time to go out with friends and stay out late from one to three nights a week and if I make any hint that I would appreciate her prioritizing homework and helping me around the house (with cleaning, bills, yard work, etc.) she claims I'm trying to control her and prevent her from having friends.
She is acting single and not even letting you be one of her dates.

Some are with a guy that she does have romantic interest in, and in the past that relationship went farther than I was comfortable with, but there have been promises that they physically behave like they are just friends...however I know sometimes their texts go a bit beyond that but I don't know to what extent because I don't want to pry and I feel like I can be okay (for now) with them fantasizing a bit as long as it doesn't go beyond fantasy and become physical reality. What has happened with this guy and their continued friendship is a whole other can of worms. I can put it aside in my mind for now as long as it exists within the terms of the agreement the two of us have about that relationship.
You need to tell her that she needs to no longer communicate with the man ever again. There cannot be 3 in a marriage. You have your head in the sand to be ignoring this for later. If it is not already too late, later will be too late. The fact that you let her get away with this relationship is why she does not respect you or your marriage. You need to tell her that if she ever communicates with him again you will file for divorce. If she picks divorce by her actions then your marriage was over anyways, the only thing is now you know.

When you say “however I know sometimes their texts go a bit beyond that but I don't know to what extent because I don't want to pry” you show just how weak you are. Why the hell do you not want to pry? You have every right to pry when your wife and another man have romantic interest in each other. When she tells you the cheaters favorite phrase “you are trying to control me”, tell her that yes you are. Tell her that marriage is all about boundaries and fidelity and thus control. Tell her that if she does not want to be controlled by the boundaries of marriage, that she should not be married to you.

You need to man up if you are to have any chance at saving your marriage. She cannot love someone that she does not respect.
 

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She is acting single and not even letting you be one of her dates.

You need to tell her that she needs to no longer communicate with the man ever again. There cannot be 3 in a marriage. You have your head in the sand to be ignoring this for later. If it is not already too late, later will be too late. The fact that you let her get away with this relationship is why she does not respect you or your marriage. You need to tell her that if she ever communicates with him again you will file for divorce. If she picks divorce by her actions then your marriage was over anyways, the only thing is now you know.

When you say “however I know sometimes their texts go a bit beyond that but I don't know to what extent because I don't want to pry” you show just how weak you are. Why the hell do you not want to pry? You have every right to pry when your wife and another man have romantic interest in each other. When she tells you the cheaters favorite phrase “you are trying to control me”, tell her that yes you are. Tell her that marriage is all about boundaries and fidelity and thus control. Tell her that if she does not want to be controlled by the boundaries of marriage, that she should not be married to you.

You need to man up if you are to have any chance at saving your marriage. She cannot love someone that she does not respect.
:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Discussion Starter #14
Amuk,

Your wife is not fulfilled. She probably feels trapped in her life. Raising a child, homework, study time. She probably views you as holding her down, holding her back from having any kind of excitement, fun, emotional connection to her or uderstanding what she needs. She is getting that fulfillment where she can, however she can. She is connecting with people that don't make her feel tied down, you want to change that, you have stop being the guy that makes her feel trapped, controlled, and stuck.
Quit being her husband, her father, and the guy that does not give her the excitement she needs. Start being her friend, start showing her a better time than she can get by going out on her own.
Create and intersting, fun, exciting, romantic lifestyle with the two of you. Be the one that fulfills her in the ways she needs.
Thank you for your post. I think you are right on the money with most of the things you have said. I do what I can to not act as a controlling husband and/or father figure. However, I do try to do my best to let her know how I feel...and slowly yet progressivly positive changes are happening. I have been making effort to go out with her and her friends. Her initial reaction often is that I am violating the sanctity of her independence. And that several (particularly her gay male friend) of her friends think I'm controlling, have no sense of humor, am emotionally insecure, and am just no fun to be around. Those assumptions are not from personal experience with me, but have come about from my wife expressing some of her frustrations about me to her gay male friend and then his blowing what was said to him out of proportion and perpetuating his exaggerations whenever she and he (and even when I) am out with them and others. Even if my wife and I make mutual agreements he tries to convince her that I acted as a controlling spouse that forced her to concede to the agreement so she could go out and then he pushes her to push the boundaries of the agreement. He fulfills something in her (for her) that I just can't replace. I'm not offended by what he says to me for I know the negative things he says to me are just a projection of who he is.

All that aside I have a hard time coming up with things that bring her excitement that somehow involve me. He own stress blocks her from wanting to go out and do things that she isn't fully confident will be so exciting to distract her from her stress.

Well, I'd like to write more, but I must manage my own stress and get back to studying for my nursing midterm. Once again thanks for being here.
 

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You need to pry more and you need to check up on these late nights. Frankly, I think she is likely cheating .
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I've confident she's not physically cheating on me. Though I do have my concerns that she may be what I consider to be emotionally cheating which she considers to be a non-isssue.

As far as the late nights go, her friends are the geeky/nerdy type that rather hang out at a late-night diner over greasy food and coffee than go out to a club to bump and grind on the dance floor. Her only friend that wants to get her out into the club and get a bit drunk together is her gay male friend so they can be loud together and ***** about life and all the various ugly things people wear out at the club.
 

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Thank you for your post. I think you are right on the money with most of the things you have said. I do what I can to not act as a controlling husband and/or father figure. However, I do try to do my best to let her know how I feel...and slowly yet progressivly positive changes are happening. I have been making effort to go out with her and her friends. Her initial reaction often is that I am violating the sanctity of her independence. And that several (particularly her gay male friend) of her friends think I'm controlling, have no sense of humor, am emotionally insecure, and am just no fun to be around. Those assumptions are not from personal experience with me, but have come about from my wife expressing some of her frustrations about me to her gay male friend and then his blowing what was said to him out of proportion and perpetuating his exaggerations whenever she and he (and even when I) am out with them and others. Even if my wife and I make mutual agreements he tries to convince her that I acted as a controlling spouse that forced her to concede to the agreement so she could go out and then he pushes her to push the boundaries of the agreement. He fulfills something in her (for her) that I just can't replace. I'm not offended by what he says to me for I know the negative things he says to me are just a projection of who he is.

All that aside I have a hard time coming up with things that bring her excitement that somehow involve me. He own stress blocks her from wanting to go out and do things that she isn't fully confident will be so exciting to distract her from her stress.

Well, I'd like to write more, but I must manage my own stress and get back to studying for my nursing midterm. Once again thanks for being here.
In short, she tells people what she see's in you, she see's in you what you project!

You want her to see something different that this?

"her friends think I'm controlling, have no sense of humor, am emotionally insecure, and am just no fun to be around."

Then YOU take charge of it!

Controlling: Always give her choices and accept her decisions.

Humor: Read some books, listen to when she laugh's, to what people say to make her laugh. Study, practice, build some charisma. it's not that hard too do. If you did'nt have it, she would not have been drawn to you to start with.

Emotionally insecure: Again, if you project it, don't blame her for not responding to it in a possitive way. Pick one of her friends that she finds strong and attractive, or an actor if you must. See what traits he has, then learn, practice, experiment.

Fun and exciting: Come on! It's not that hard to take the time to find something exciting to do. Experiment, try anything, if she does not respond, dont quit and get your feelings hurt. Keep trying, keep finding more, did you think this was going to be easy? WORK AT IT!

In other words, do what the he!! you have to do. Your know what does not work, why in the he!! would you continue to do more of the same??
 

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Discussion Starter #17
She's acting like she's in her teen age. I guess she just miss those days when she's still single and can do everything she want.
In some ways she still is a teenager. She was severely emotionally and sexually abused as a child and early teenager. From that she went through meth and alcohol addiction. She made it through all of that to now be in an amazingly well adjusted state. Last meth use was over 7 years ago and after a long break from alcohol she now can handle occasional self-moderated drinking with no desire to ever reach a drunken stupor or blackout state.

So yes sometimes she does miss the days of being "uncommitted"...I don't think she was ever really "single". However I do indeed love her for who she is, who she is growing up to be. I'm glad I continue to give her and our step-daughter a safe environment free of the ****ed up things my wife had to grow up through.
 

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I have been making effort to go out with her and her friends. Her initial reaction often is that I am violating the sanctity of her independence.
You should remind her that she is married and not independent anymore and remind her about of the sanctity of marriage.
And that several (particularly her gay male friend) of her friends think I'm controlling, have no sense of humor, am emotionally insecure, and am just no fun to be around.
This guy and these friends are not friends to your marriage and are in fact toxic to it. The fact that your wife has such people as her friends is disloyal to you. The fact that they get much of this from your wife only confirms the disloyalty.

You have your head in the sand. The current toxic situation if allowed to persist will not end well for you. Stop making excuses for her and looking the other way. It will not get easier to deal with later.
 

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In short, she tells people what she see's in you, she see's in you what you project!

You want her to see something different that this?

"her friends think I'm controlling, have no sense of humor, am emotionally insecure, and am just no fun to be around."
I'm not going to deny what you said above, however some friendly relationships between two people are almost entirely based on negativity. Her gay friend doesn't want to hear about the good stuff going on between my wife and I, he wants the dirty gossip and my wife takes advantage of him as an outlet for her emotions in time of stress, anger, and discontentment. The times she says something nice about me to him, he finds some possible negative side about it. She feels at peace talking to him because she feels he is completely nonjudgmental of her and she can speak feel safe in openly talking to him about sexual things without them being thought as any kind of invitation.

He feels very insecure around me because he wants her constant attention..."oh, she's my only true friend...the only one I can talk to"...and shows his insecurity by trying to offend or make me feel ashamed or demeaned...which I don't let him do to me, which frustrates him more.

Her friends that truly get to know me see me for the wonderful, caring person that I am. However those friends aren't the ones that are nearly as available and needy as her "best friend" so she don't see them anywhere as often as this one. Truth be told I have a feeling she's going to eventually get tired of him.
 

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Then YOU take charge of it!

Controlling: Always give her choices and accept her decisions.
He already does that now. That is the problem. Her choice thus far is to walk all over him.

As for the other things that you suggest he change, that would be buying into the BS. That would be him making the effort to try to be someone that he is not without his wife making any effort at all. It is a game that he cannot win. You can never be as good at being someone else as they are.

The real issue here is that she has lost respect for him and he needs to get that back. The change that he can make is to be the person that he wants to be. To be a strong man that she can respect. Right now he is becoming just a meal ticket and babysitter for her and her daughter (his step daughter). She feels trapped by having a child while she was not ready, so she has dumped the blame on him even though the child is not even his.
 
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