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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Altering this today, January 5, 2013. With time to reflect, as my marriage is now all but officially over, I attempted to fix a problem that was never mine to fix. A husband and wife can repair issues that happen within the "circle" of marriage. But if one person goes outside of that circle and gets involved with someone else, the problem is no longer both of the spouses to fix, the cheating spouse must take responsibility and make amends, with big time concessions and openness, if there is ever hope to rebuild trust. Thanks to bad counseling (a big thank you *sarcasm* to marriage counselors who never held her accountable for her actions), instead of standing up for myself, I was broken down, and not only did my wife never even try, she repeated the same action again, visiting the man nearly 2 years after the last visit. NEVER EVER try to fix a problem that wasn't your problem to fix in the first place.

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Cliff notes: Wife wasn't happy in marriage, never told me, went to see an ex, didn't sleep with him, but I found out and then found out about a lot of other dishonest stuff. My own behavior (immature anger issues) had stifled our communication. We were both to blame for a lot.

So now, trying to fix things, my wife isn't sure she is IN love with me but that she does love me. I believe we can save this relationship...

But I can't stop being clingy :( I am so hopelessly lost right now, add to that my job issues I am having, I make 60K a year in a good job and support her going to school, but I may not have that job soon. I have never been this scared in my entire life, I can't find joy in anything. I am currently taking Celexa for depression and Lorazapam as needed for anxiety.

Trying individual counseling but he seems to just want to repeat everything back to me that I've told him, then my wife always wants to know how counseling went but she gets very sad and upset when I tell her...

How does a man who loves his wife and kids so much, let go enough to give his wife the space and get back on his feet and back to the man she once loved? I'm tired of fretting about "she did this to me", I want to forgive and move on, I want to get my life back, only better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The people I especially want to hear from are those who have been in my shoes, and somehow got back to being okay again. I want to know tips to getting there. I really really don't want my family destroyed by my own inability to get past this My wife says "I feel like I've traded an angry man for a sad man".
 

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It sounds like it has similarities to my own situation. Let me offer something that's helped, and I posted this in another thread so I'm copying and pasting

I had been frustrated. I ran a Yahoo search on the search term "How do I stop my wife from being angry" and I read an article which said that when my wife is angry, look her in the eyes and listen. When she's done, say this:

"Thank you, sweetheart, for telling me what is in the depths of your heart. I relish and appreciate openness and emotional intimacy with you. I'm not very good at it, but I intend to get better. In the meantime, if I were in your shoes, I'd feel the same way you do. You have good reasons to be angry."

I printed this out and taped it to the ceiling over the couch where we usually sit.

Before the epiphany, I'd get defensive when she got angry or I'd react in ways that only inflamed her anger further. In a heightened emotional state, we as humans aren't going to be rationalized out of that state.

I've found that this approach has helped my wife react better to my own frustrations, and I can recognize when she reacts defensively to me and tell her "hold on, just listen and acknowledge my frustration."


As for your subject question. You get clingy because you're uncertain. It gets easier to not be as clingy if you can get rid of that uncertainty. When I had my epiphany, it difused a lot of nervous energy.

You're going to therapy - why not both of you together?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My wife reacts differently... she is very quiet and it is really really difficult to determine when she is angry. We have been together for 10 years (married for 7) and she now tries to say the entire time has been a living hell for her. This is not true, if it were, as I asked her, why would she have married me? Most of the trouble happened after my deployment, but I would ask her over and over when she was moody or depressed "What's wrong?" and she would insist over and over again that "It's not you sweety". She now says it was because she was afraid of how I would react if she told me that she's unhappy, or about other things.

In reality I feel this is only part of the issue, that she has trouble even being honest with herself. She has pinned her unhappiness on me, when in reality it seems that she isn't sure where she is at in life. Now she's in an expensive school that we can barely afford, well, basically CAN'T afford but I'm selling my soul to help her get through because I believe in US, not just her.

We did go to marriage counseling together but then our counselor found out he couldn't consult military couples outside of his regular practice as a contracted counselor with the Air Force (I'm Army, so that ruined that).
 

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Pol,

Read more here especially in the section of Coping With Infidelity forum.

Read about wives and the ILYBNILWY (I love you but not in love with you) effect. This is often a sign that a wife has checked out of a marriage.

There are a ton of posters here who can help you but please be careful whose advice you follow.

I wish you luck
 

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Take a step back and look at your response... You're rationalizing why the things your wife is telling you about your feelings aren't true.

They are feelings, not facts, and even if there is factual inaccuracy, she feels - right now - as if her memory of your entire marriage is that she was in living hell the whole time. You try to tell her otherwise, and that sends signals that her feelings are minimally important to you, you don't understand, you don't listen and you only validate the negative feelings she has.

She's closed her line of communication with you, she'd rather not communicate than experience the hurt that comes with communicating.

If she dislikes something you've done, she should be able to say so - let her.

She'll need to feel safe doing so, right now she doesn't.

I don't know the situation, but that's the kind of realization that helped me. Ponder it. Maybe I'm wrong and it's something different.
 

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Hello:)
Like Jellybean said, she needs to commit....
Where is your marriage commitment right now? If you ask yourself and her where do I situate myself on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being not committed and 10 truly committed, where are you? Ask yourself and ask your wife.
When both of you know exactly where you are situate on the scale, both of you need to take a decision. Do we want to commit more to or marriage together and work for it, or do we want to turn the page and see what's next?
It's important that both of you talk about this decision because the fact to hear both of you saying the 'YES' for that commitment will empower your relationship.
When you did take your decision, let's take action!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She needs to cut off all contact with her ex and either commit to the marriage or not. No half-a$$ing this thing.
She is trying, I know that I can't FORCE her to do it, I'm trying to support her through this as best I can, she is in that stage of "I don't want to lose my friend" and knows she needs to get to "I can't be friends with this person if I respect myself or my marriage".

You need to get help for you anger/immaturity issues. No woman wants to be with an angry man. No way, Jose.
I am getting help with my anger and immaturity problems. I am no longer treating the way I was. BUt like I said, it has gone from my being angry to my being sad all the time. I feel like I'm slowly getting better but it is very difficult, one day at a time. The realization that your perfect relationship was in fact a disaster is one that is so hard to take, even a year later.

Get into marriage counselling, both of you. Get some relationship books. Work on communicating. Tell eachother what you need from eachother and work on it together.
I have been working on communicating with her, we did go to marriage counseling for awhile, it seemed to work. She is having a lot of trouble admitting that she actually needs me, in the meantime she talks about how two people shouldn't have to NEED each other, but to me that is NOT what a marriage is all about. When I say that though, I know that if she is confused about her feelings, it is hard to admit that you need someone, I've been there before.
 

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You need to get help for you anger/immaturity issues. No woman wants to be with an angry man. No way, Jose.
This can have more impact on your marriage than you think. What have you done/are you doing to address your anger issues? An angry spouse can drive their spouse away. Anger can cause a spouse to shut down, to not trust the angry spouse, to not feel a bond with the angry spouse, to simply not want to communicate with an angry spouse. That's about where I am with my own angry spouse.

Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pol,

Read more here especially in the section of Coping With Infidelity forum.

Read about wives and the ILYBNILWY (I love you but not in love with you) effect. This is often a sign that a wife has checked out of a marriage.

There are a ton of posters here who can help you but please be careful whose advice you follow.

I wish you luck
I've been following that section, I really believe my key to getting things better is to back off for awhile, she's going to visit her mom in Wisconsin (8 hours away) for a couple of weeks next month.
 

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It sounds like you're taking the right first steps. Keep at it. Communicate. And remember that you both are aware of the need for change, and saying you're changing is good, but explaining that you realize why you need to change, how you need to change and what you're doing to make that change - that is much better. Actions speak louder than words. Good luck man.
 

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Is it at all possible that she met someone at school that she is involved with? She is searching for some out side male attention, maybe she found it.

I would put a temporary moratorium on school if you need to. The integrity of the marriage is in jeopardy and I think you should see if it will survive. You are investing money that you don't have towards a future that seem uncertain.

Come to her with a plan, work on the marriage and see if it will survive and then proceed with your plans for her school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Is it at all possible that she met someone at school that she is involved with? She is searching for some out side male attention, maybe she found it.

I would put a temporary moratorium on school if you need to. The integrity of the marriage is in jeopardy and I think you should see if it will survive. You are investing money that you don't have towards a future that seem uncertain.

Come to her with a plan, work on the marriage and see if it will survive and then proceed with your plans for her school.
She's not involved with anyone from school, at least not in the "affair" sense, she has a group of them she likes to hang out with, go to movies with, etc, because she never really got to enjoy college when she was their age (She is 33 years old).

As far as the rest, I understand what you are saying but her not going to college would very well likely ruin our marriage for sure, because this is the first time she's felt like she's contributing, that she believes in herself, and that she has hope for the future.

Honestly, though, I want to focus on MYSELF in all of this. All of these "She needs to do this or that" suggestions are not going to help much because I can't force her to do anything, and until I fix myself up right, it is not doing much good for me to try and dictate the course of my marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'd like to clarify something here, I am no longer angry with her all the time, I do not handle my anger immaturely, like I had said, my wife states that it is like she traded an angry man for a very sad man.

I do not discount her reasons, and I take responsibility for my hand in the problems with our relationship, however, when your spouse is sad and you repeatedly try to find out why and she further alienates you, then pines so hard over an ex boyfriend that she actually writes "I am not sure if my marriage is really that bad or if my love for (other man) is causing me all these problems?" then it becomes quite apparent that her reasoning is, at the very least, flawed.

Like I said though, I am letting it go, it is about fixing myself. I don't go to her and tell her that she's WRONG for what she believes, I am just trying hard to let her have space right now as best I can. We still live together, sleep in the same bed, have sex from time to time, I am doing my part to try and be a good husband, it is just sometimes hard because I feel very stressed.
 

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Echoing others, sorry to hear you're going through this situation. Speaking from experience...anger is rooted in feelings of low self-esteem. Once you feel better about yourself, calmer in yourself, and love yourself a little more....it will come across to her. Whether or not she feels "too little too late" is not your concern. You are the one who has to make the positive changes...for yourself...not for her and not to "save the marriage". There are two sides to love. You can only take care of your side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, she wants a divorce.

She came out today and stated that she has been unhappy this entire last year, for different reasons. She says she has "tried to make this work" but that now she is "unhappy and sad and only feels comfortable when it is just her and the kids", which I don't understand, I've been more supportive, doing dishes more, more meals, etc.

She said earlier today that she is done. She said that she tried this last year but that she never "got that feeling" back.

Now I'm devastated. I look at my kids and I get choked up, I wanted to fix this, I wanted to make things okay, I knew I wasn't the best husband but I was pretty dang good and a very good father to my children.

I just don't know now what I'm even going to do. Everything in my life is wrapped around my wife and my two children, 4 and 2 years old (girl and boy), now I'm utterly destroyed...

What do you do when you still love your spouse more than anything? What do you do when you've allowed yourself to be nearly dehumanized over the course of a year as you try and fix things? What do you do when they just tell you all the time that they are "unhappy" and now they say they only said "I love you because I didn't want to hurt you"... :(

I don't want to give up on us, should I? Should I just say to hell with this and give up? After a year of waiting for something to change, and now her talking about separating and a divorce all at once? I want to fight to save this but I don't know even what I'm fighting for anymore, I'm a man in tears right now...
 
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