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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am married, mostly happy, for almost 7 years now. We've had our problems, some of them certainly my fault, but I've admitted to my issues and sought help where necessary. At this point in our relationship, we've had some candid discussions and we want to make it work and last, but I don't feel she is being completely honest with me all the time. A recent example is that she mentioned that her ex contacted her on facebook asking for old photos (she was already friends with him, though I commented that I upset she never mentioned she added him as I didn't know offhand as it was a secondary account, though not a secret account). What she didn't tell me was that she found the photos and contacted him first and he sent her his phone number to text them to him. I can't help but wonder why she would not tell me the whole story. I also feel guilty that I looked through this account to see the messages. Should I not have done this? Or should she not be exchanging numbers with her ex? Am I justified in my actions, or am I completely wrong in doing what I did and completely wrong in worrying?

Now, it isn't that I don't trust her. I do, and I don't think she will do anything with him. It is just that this is the only other guy she has had a sustained sexual relationship with and the only other guy she has ever loved. She has also admitted to still loving him and always will because he was her first. What bothers me is that she might be missing something from him that I am not providing. I feel that she might be going outside our marriage for something that if she were just honest with me, I could do for her. Is this justified, or am I just crazy?

She rarely wants to have sex, usually it involves an amount of coaxing, she never initiates. She claims it is due to a rape that happened before we were married that she is just remembering now, saying it is PTSD, and I have no reason to doubt that is the case. What bothers me is that she is not willing to seek counseling for it. I feel this could seriously harm our relationship in the future and that it is already having an effect now.

She has also taken up smoking, something that she used to do, but quit when we started having kids. This all started when friends of hers started living with us. They needed a place to stay for a few weeks, but stayed several months. Now another friend of hers has moved in, one who will be staying with us indefinitely as far as I can tell, her best friend from when she was little, who also smokes. I am not a smoker and the smell really bothers me and I also worry about the kids. She keeps telling me she'll stop, that she'll get the gum or something, but she never does anything.

She spends almost all her time, when she is at home, outside smoking alone or with her friend. She also spends most of the weekends out with her friend and then sleeps in late every day. I work during the week and she does not, and when I get home I am in charge of laundry, dishes, dinner, watching the kids and putting them to bed and taking out the trash. She usually has done little to nothing all day. I know our kids our a handful, so I want to give her the benefit of the doubt that she is busy with them during the day, but I am still able to do dishes and laundry when I am alone with them on the weekends. Her friend is also a slob and I have to clean up after her as well.

At this point I am feeling like she wants me around mostly just because I bring in the money and I am capable of handling the kids. I feel that she wants to love me, but that she really doesn't. She claims she does, and she provides that fact that she is still around as proof, and that may be so, but I'm not so sure that it is love enough, but more dependency. Maybe she isn't lying, but doesn't really realize the truth? Maybe she does love me and I'm just paranoid? Maybe is it just depression and she is just not able to overcome whatever it is that put her in this state?

Some other background. In the 7 years we've been married, she's lost her grandmother, grandfather, father and her aunt who was like a mother to her as well as all 3 childhood dogs. She has also had 3 major surgeries (one with each kid) and another major surgery to remove her gall bladder. In other words, she has been through a lot. She doesn't have a very supportive family and mine has not been supportive of her either. Maybe she feels that I am not being completely honest? that I feel what my family does and not what I truly say?

It is a complicated situation, and I'd be happy to fill in more details if I can, but the main point I am really getting at is how do I get my wife to a happy state again? How do I get her back to the active, uppity, outgoing fun person she was and out of this depressive, sluggish state without making her angry at me? How do I get her the help she needs? Does she even need help? Is the problem with me and the marriage? I am not even sure where to start....
 

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"she mentioned that her ex contacted her on facebook asking for old photos (she was already friends with him, though I commented that I upset she never mentioned she added him as I didn't know offhand as it was a secondary account, though not a secret account)" Also "What she didn't tell me was that she found the photos and contacted him first and he sent her his phone number to text them to him"

This should be a warning sign for you. Also, why does she need 2 FB accounts???? How far away does the other man (OM) live from you guys?

Do not feel guilty about checking up on her. The only real privacy imn marriage should be in the bathroom!

Actually, I'd take this a bit further if I were you.

" She also spends most of the weekends out with her friend and then sleeps in late every day" - RED FLAG!

"She has also admitted to still loving him" - RED FLAG!

"She rarely wants to have sex," - RED FLAG! - Is this recent development?

I would definitely start looking deeper at her activities. What is she doing all day when you aren't home?

Here's what you need to do:

Get on line and look at here cell phone usage. Are there a lot of texts/calls to 1 or 2 numbers that you don't recognize? Do the texts/calls happen while you're gone or late at night?

Get a keylogger and put it on the PC NOW!

Get 2 voice activared recorders and leave one under the front seat of her car (attach it with heavy duty velcro) and keep the other one to switch it out with

How old are the kids? Could she be leaving them with your housemates to watch without you knowing???
 

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Facebook/social media is the devil in a vulnerable relationship. This is a HUGE warning flag.

Your statements show that you aren't respected. You haven't set boundaries.

She may need counseling but there is nothing that you can do about that...she refuses. How about you instead?
 

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Dude I think your getting played. Your attraction level is most likely way down in your wifes eyes. So you may want to rethink your role in this marriage.
Its time to alpha up and start getting control of your house hold. You are slowly losing your wife by the beta actions you are doing in the house.

I suggest you sit your wife down and start to discuss some of the new boundries you have and the consequences for when they are crossed.
 

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The biggest red flag to be is here admitting to love somebody else. Just because somebody is your first doesn't mean that you'll love them forever, but I think she may be using that as an excuse for still being in love with him. I think there are a lot of red flags, but I would insist on her friend(s) moving out because it's going to keep distancing the 2 of you. Also, why does she need 2 facebook accounts?
 

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Start by getting that "friend" out of the house. You need to get back to yourselves as a couple in order to work through your issues. We had somebody stay with us for a couple months, and they did not contribute at all to the household. All we asked was that he do the dishes. It just made for less time for us alone. We'll NEVER do that again.
 

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Also, I've got a friend who swears by the e-cig. She struggled with smoking (plus other addictions) and refuses to go back to cigarettes bc chocolate-infused nicotene fumes are just so much tastier!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your input - it has helped me see a few things I have missed in my analysis of the situation. Here are some answers and further details to what was discussed above:

The kids are 2.5,4,6. I don't think there is a chance that she would leave the kids with her friend for a hookup at all - it is not something that her friend would put up with. Her friend is not a toxic friend, but she has some serious issues and she is relying on us very heavily for emotional support (she just got through a really bad divorce with an abusive husband and her family turned their backs on her).

The statement about still loving him was given in the context of "He was my first, part of me will always love him, but it in no way comes close to how much I love you" and that was a statement made before we were married.

The frequency of sex has multiple factors. It started after she started seeing a therapist, one whom she did not like, that helped her remember an event that occurred right after we had met were one of my acquaintances (definitely not a friend) had driven her home after a party. She is fairly certain she was raped now. Since that realization, and this was about a year ago, it has been difficult for her to get started sexually - though once she gets started, it is obvious that there is trust and chemistry in our relationship. I did some reading on rape and PTSD and a lot of her behavior fits perfectly. It is something that she has expressed interest in returning to therapy for, but hasn't done it yet.

I've looked through her phone frequently and I have not ever found random number or texts - she pretty much only talks to her friend and her mom regularly, and sometimes to one other friend (female) and a few other family members. I've also looked through her browsing history as she isn't prone to using private modes or deleting anything, and I've never found anything there either - just flash games, netflix, hulu and facebook (I can follow her entire facebook history and it is never anything bad). Mostly what she does is play various facebook games, which is where the two accounts come in. They both have friends and family, but the one where her ex is on is one that she uses only for games, and she has stopped playing the games that require massive amounts of people to do well at anyway, so she actually doesn't log onto that account often, maybe once a month at most (I check it once in a while). She just didn't want random people having access to our family pictures. I have also read through her journal, and since our frank discussions and me getting help, there have been no negative mentions of me, but many entries about how depressed she is and how her family is not supportive.

As far as going out on weekends, this is something that has been going on for a while, and it is not every weekend, sometimes it doesn't happen for months and then a few weeks in a row it does again (usually coincides with her brother going on leave). We married fairly young - I was 25, she was 19 - and she was pregnant. For the first several years of our marriage, we lived near my family, and she did not have friends there, so she didn't ever do anything. Since then, we moved states and now live near her home town. I've discussed this behavior with her and the feel I get is that she just feels that she didn't have a chance to be young and it seems she is trying to make up for it. When she goes out, it isn't far, it is usually with her friend and her brother and one or two of his friends, and most of the time it is to her mom's house - sometimes they go to a club. Another reason that she goes has to do with her brother. He just got back from Afghanistan for good a few months back and when he goes out and drinks, he tends to get into trouble, she keeps him out of trouble. Most of the time when she gets home, she's not very happy because something went wrong with her brother. It was worse when he was on leave than it is now. She often calls me while she is out, though her estimates on being home are usually way off.

And her ex, lives about 1hr 30 minutes from us, which is apparently new, as he used to live about 3000 miles from us. Either way, I'm less worried about him specifically. I'm more interested in why she didn't tell me the whole truth - the fact that she mentioned they were in contact, because she knew I'd want to know (we'd discussed exes earlier on and all that) - so it shows that it was important to her that I knew - if she wanted to keep it a secret for the purposes of an affair or anything else, she would have not mentioned it at all. That is what perplexes me. I am not sure I should ask her about it, because I don't even know if it is important enough.

I honestly do not think that there are problems with infidelity on her side. I do feel that comments about her not respecting me may be partially true, but I don't think that is the whole story either. I did some things that really hurt her in the past and I have come completely clean to her about everything (nothing physical, but emotional) and have sought the help/counseling that I needed and I have cut certain things out of my life and have refocused myself on my family. I'm sure there is still some damage and she may just need some time to heal there, but we have had many frank discussions about where we stand, where we want to go, and our commitment to each other. We have the same goals. If she wanted to leave me, I gave her multiple chances, very valid ones, and she chose to stick it through and support me through my problems - she wouldn't do this if she was into someone else.

I am looking for a way to reach her and to motivate her to do what she has admitted she wants to do, but can't get herself to go through with, without being forceful about it. She is the type of person that does not do well with people telling her what to do - she is very independent in her attitude. With all the bad things that have happened and what I've put her through, she is just really depressed and unmotivated. I have tried not to step in, as previous attempts are just met with hostility (though it fades quickly) and no actual progress, but doing nothing is not working either. I just don't know what the right thing for me to do is.
 

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At this point I am feeling like she wants me around mostly just because I bring in the money and I am capable of handling the kids. I feel that she wants to love me, but that she really doesn't.
Yeah I was thinking the same thing. You're a breadwinner and a housekeeper, nothing more.

No reason to think anything will change, at least not for the better.
 

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I always feel a bit awkward lending advice when it's not my life... But, so many ideas come up... Just take what you like and leave the rest, k? :)

1. IMO, you 3 adults should set clear expectations for roles in the house. Everyone has responsibilities. Lay them out, expect everyone to keep their word. Do a star chart for everyone in the house - kids, too! It could be that your wife is doing stuff all day you didn't realize - it might be nice for her to share. Or, if it's about keeping everyone alive until you're home, that will become clear, too. But, you shouldn't be the only one that feels like they are working 2 jobs.

2. I don't think you can fix your wife's PTSD stuff. She has to do it. She needs to know she's responsible for herself, and you can support her. But, the truth is that the only one that can make her happy is her.

3. The other friend - same deal. Your wife can't make her happy, and should avoid trying to take responsibility for her friend (or her brother, really). If she spends all her energy trying to fix all those other people, and not taking care of herself, she's going to ruin her marriage.
 

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My wife got in contact with an ex almost 3 years ago after her sister re-connected them. I found out about it fairly quickly. I blew a head gasket and put an immediate end to it, by Facebook blocking him and putting and e-mail kill filter in. Then I had a talk with my wife about not contacting him ever. It was either that or divorce. I know you might consider that an over reaction but if you spend a little time around these boards you will see that many renewed contacts with EX's lead to physical affairs. Don't discount this, be vigilant and take precautions.
 

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As far as going out on weekends...I've discussed this behavior with her and the feel I get is that she just feels that she didn't have a chance to be young and it seems she is trying to make up for it. When she goes out, it isn't far, it is usually with her friend and her brother and one or two of his friends, and most of the time it is to her mom's house - sometimes they go to a club.
So your brother is hooking her up with friends, but this seems to be a small part of your post. Interesting.

:scratchhead:

Why don't you go out with them?
 

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Sorry M but you're here for a reason. The reason is your gut is trying to tell you something but your last response was your brain trying to rationalize away the behaviors of your wife.

VBe very careful here with this approach! Many others have done this and have gotten burned.

"Her friend is not a toxic friend, but she has some serious issues and she is relying on us very heavily for emotional support (she just got through a really bad divorce with an abusive husband and her family turned their backs on her)"

This statement is a little worrisome. If the friend's husband was such an AH, why did HER family turn ther back on her? Where are you getting your information on the divorce from? Your wife and her friend?

"The statement about still loving him was given in the context of "He was my first, part of me will always love him, but it in no way comes close to how much I love you" and that was a statement made before we were married."

Tis statement is now over 7 years old now. Things change.

"I've discussed this behavior with her and the feel I get is that she just feels that she didn't have a chance to be young and it seems she is trying to make up for it"

This is a commone feeling that cheaters have. They feel they missed out on life and dating different people. This is a Red Flag and you shouldn't ignore it.

"When she goes out, it isn't far, it is usually with her friend and her brother and one or two of his friends"

I think this is troubling too. So your wife, a single friend and her brother go out with 2 or so OTHER guys. Can you say double date? Red Flag that she's out with single guys and NOT here husband, I don't care how many or how few weekends she does it!

"And her ex, lives about 1hr 30 minutes from us, which is apparently new, as he used to live about 3000 miles from us"

Did she tell you this or did it just come out? Either way, you should see Red Flags and hear bells clanging like crazy! I know when I was younger I would have driven HOURS for a piece of skirt!

Look, she may not be cheating at all or doing anything inappropriate at this time but at the least, she seems to be moving towards the edge of a slippery slope.

She has lost respect for you. Yes, you've done things in the past that probably contributed to this and you own that and it sounds as if you've already taken steps to address those issues. Now it's her turn. She needs to get help for her depression and PTSD. That's her tasks.

You sir need to take control of this situation. You need to find out what she's up to (if anything) more definitely. That means to take your investigation to the next level which means:

Get a keylogger and put it on the PC NOW!

Get 2 voice activared recorders and leave one under the front seat of her car (attach it with heavy duty velcro) and keep the other one to switch it out with

Go by the saying that is used often here:

TRUST BUT VERIFY

Good Luck!
 

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SOME people are emotionally stunted...or stupid. You may need to spell out exactly what YOU need to feel securely loved. For example, more sex (stating how much), more chores (saying that her taking care of the house and saving you from having to do it after you go out to provide for the family would show her love and care for you), etc...TELL her what you need. Ask her what she needs.
 
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