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she thought I am trying to test full separation before making the final decision. I was tired of my living situation and wanted a break, but she was kind of right too. If I would have been more comfortable on my own maybe I wouldn't have come back again.
BOOM!!
 

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It does feel I'm the leader and yes it was out of necessity. Someone had to take care of things. My therapist said my desire to have this leadership role and satisfaction I receive from doing it and her desire to have someone to rely on and take care of her is one of the things that attracted us to each other. But I don't feel happy about this and I do like to have a partner who would take responsibility and we can build a life together.
Many relationships do thrive on one member being the more dominant and leader such as the captain of the ship and the other being the first officer.

But what you are describing in your marriage is more like a parent and a child.

Almost all relationships have a more active partner who has more get-up-and-go. But the problem here is she doesn't sound good at simple adulting.

If you were the captain of a ship, would you want her as your first officer? Would you want her at the helm when you were asleep or in sick bay or off of the bridge for whatever reason?
 

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You don't have kids, so cut your losses and leave. You have a basic difference in lifestyles. There's nothing wrong with either of you being the way you are. I am probably more like your wife. I like to sleep in, wake up naturally when I can. I wouldn't like anyone trying to wake me up like my mom used to do and then one roommate just because they were bored. So you need to find someone who has more interests, not just your interests though, and isn't as much of a homebody. But just know that she may not want to do everything you want to do either, but hopefully you'll have some common interests. You should be able to tell just by dating someone if they really like doing things or not.
 

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But what you are describing in your marriage is more like a parent and a child.
Interesting you bring that up. My sister told me almost the same thing; that you didn't marry someone, you adopted someone.
Would she be able to carry us if something happens to me? No, I don't think so. Looking at it from that perspective and comparing costs and benefits, even though I have to pay spousal support if we get separated it would be better for me in the long run. But at an emotional level, I don't know what will happen and if I would regret my decision down the road. I also know it would devastate her and the idea of hurting her this much really upsets me.
 

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Yes, it’s going to hurt her. That‘s unfortunately what happens when one person wants a divorce and the other one doesn’t. Plenty of people can’t get past that so they stay. You’ll have to decide whether her feelings are more important than your feelings.
 

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Interesting you bring that up. My sister told me almost the same thing; that you didn't marry someone, you adopted someone.
Would she be able to carry us if something happens to me? No, I don't think so. Looking at it from that perspective and comparing costs and benefits, even though I have to pay spousal support if we get separated it would be better for me in the long run. But at an emotional level, I don't know what will happen and if I would regret my decision down the road. I also know it would devastate her and the idea of hurting her this much really upsets me.

It is like ripping off a plaster, it will sting for a while but with time the pain will fade. Honesty hurts sometimes. There is no point in either of you living a half life.
 

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Interesting you bring that up. My sister told me almost the same thing; that you didn't marry someone, you adopted someone.
Would she be able to carry us if something happens to me? No, I don't think so. Looking at it from that perspective and comparing costs and benefits, even though I have to pay spousal support if we get separated it would be better for me in the long run. But at an emotional level, I don't know what will happen and if I would regret my decision down the road. I also know it would devastate her and the idea of hurting her this much really upsets me.
Did you grow up in the US? Did your wife? Is she working? I think culture has a lot to do with this. The roles of husbands and wives in the USA are very equal (well supposed to be) but if you come from (say) and Asian country not so. It is easier for someone to adapt to a different cultural environment is they are out working full time and meeting people. It is much more difficult to come from a different culture and then be stuck at home fulfilling the traditional roles expected by the culture. You have expectations, she has expectations but it seems neither have sat down and discussed what those are.
Is this a love marriage or an arranged marriage?
 

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I think you need to communicate all of this to your wife. Tell her exactly how your feeling. Also, if you do want to stay married figure out exactly what is it you want.

On the other hand, walking away may not be the worst thing in this scenario. Whatever you do, don't cheat -- take a look at the other forums around here to see how much pain that causes the other person.
 

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IMO, once the love is truly gone, there is little you can do to get it back. Having said that, I know God hates divorce and anyone considering it should exhaust all efforts to try to work things out. At least then you can say you did all you could and walk away with a somewhat clear conscious. So I would start with joint MC. If she doesn't want to go, you've done all you can and need to pray for an amicable divorce.
 

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"opposites attract"

In reality, research has shown this is rarely the case. Most people actually prefer familiar traits in their partner, especially in times of stress or as they get older. Those novelties wear off very quickly and you want to have someone that understands you, has equal values, gives equally, and has the same intelligence and basic skills so they are able to share the stress with you or take over when you are unable to. As others have pointed out, you have a parent-child dynamic that is very unhealthy and will only become more toxic over time.
 

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Hmmm I was going to ask from reading through the thread, especially with the parents, is this a cultural clash? Sometimes coming the states changes the roles a responsibilities that may the social norm in other countries and this can cause friction.

This friction can get worse if the expectations aren't spelt out between the partners in the marriage. The weight of seeing a new perspective from those around you changes your requirements for partner.

A good example:Some cultures the wife defers to the husband to make a final decision, other cultures it's a hive mind collective including extended families, some cultures the roles of the sexes are rigid l, still more cultures the woman makes most of the decisions. When introduced to a new culture where more is expected from the wife or husband this can cuase feelings of discontent. Makes the grass look real green from the outside without context.

I guess my point is, instead of jumping to quick conclusions you might want to explore why you are going through these feelings. You might be trying to interpret things through the wrong lens.

I could be wholly wrong, I just throw it out there because divorce, to me, is a big deal. Big deals need lots of thought. It might be wise to take things steps by step. Identify your steps, define your expectations and explanations to each other, then give it a try. Then if it doesn't work out take more drastic measures.
 

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But having different hobbies, different goals and approaches in life and not enjoying the same circle of friends distanced me from her
Is that a bad thing?!
Why do you need your wife to be the same copy of you?!

My therapist said my desire to have this leadership role and satisfaction I receive from doing it and her desire to have someone to rely on and take care of her is one of the things that attracted us to each other. But I don't feel happy about this and I do like to have a partner who would take responsibility and we can build a life together.
Is it, a build life together or build a business together?
You want a wife a mother for you future kids or a business partner?
There are differences in what you are seeking.
You taking the leadership role is the right thing to do, it's the natural thing to do, this is how you can sustain a relationship, having a partner that competes with your role will crack that natural biological balance and you will be in for a world of hurt and pain in your future relationships!

what if I end this relationship and find myself in the same mess again a few years down the road.
No, the mess you will see down the road will be something different, it will be worse, really bad, trust me, you have a wife that many men would love to have, someone who wants you to lead and submits to your authority!
However you did mess up big time on the authority part when you didn't put your foot down when needed, and thus, you built a huge resentment because you didn't take actions and exercised your role in the relationship!

You have problems, and you can easily fix it!

Buddy, don't take my ward for it, you can do a little bit of research and find out yourself.
Go to any relationship forums/websites, here at TAM and others, and read people relationship and marriage problems, see the mess that's happening when the leadership role is off balance in favor for the female spouse! It's a s**t storm out there! You don't wanna join in!
Go and see for yourself!

I wish you luck!
 

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Interesting you bring that up. My sister told me almost the same thing; that you didn't marry someone, you adopted someone.
Would she be able to carry us if something happens to me? No, I don't think so. Looking at it from that perspective and comparing costs and benefits, even though I have to pay spousal support if we get separated it would be better for me in the long run. But at an emotional level, I don't know what will happen and if I would regret my decision down the road. I also know it would devastate her and the idea of hurting her this much really upsets me.
i had something similar said to me. some of the conflicts in our marriage were referred to as "parenting"

i too have struggled with the same fears (hurting others). you have to do what's best for you in my opinion. just have to get the courage to accept that would be right for you.
 

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I would also add that yes, it might (likely) hurt her. But it also might give her a kick up the ass to stop being so dependent on other people. She needs to grow up at some point. Or she will just find someone that enjoys taking on a parent role. Some people enjoy that type of arrangement, so they would be a perfect fit. You clearly don't and that's fine. Let her find someone that does.
 

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I'm not cut out for domesticity because anyone who is prodding me to keep the same schedule they do will be out in a hurry. Especially about when to wake up. I mean, sure, if they don't work and lay in bed all day, but if they're carrying on and keeping up their end, none ya business.
 

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From the sounds of this I think you would have benefitted a lot from boundaries.

My wife’s mom had been in bad health for many many many years. I think at some point she tested the waters about her coming to stay with us for some amount of time and my answer was, “Sure, but if she lives here I won’t be here.” Financial support was a thing I was willing to deal with in ignorance, she does it and never tells me and we’re good. So I had my boundary and compromise and she had a choice.

In your case where you come home one day and the MIL is living there I would have addressed it right then and presented the same options. In fact I probably would have gone to stay at a hotel until she was out or I’m talking to a divorce attorney.

At this point what are you trying to salvage with her? Or are you just trying to avoid the discomfort? In that case just rip the band aid off!
 
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