Talk About Marriage banner

21 - 40 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
Why are you keeping the fact that you don't love her a secret?

It sounds like the two of you need a catalyst to change things. Being honest and telling her (in the counselor's office) that you don't love her, miss her etc. and that began when she took your inheritance might be that catalyst. She may decide she doesn't want to live with a man who doesn't love her, and she may ask for a separation or divorce, since you aren't inclined to do it.

Also, for the life of me, I can't wrap my head around your not knowing what med she has been taking for years. It sounds like calling it her "happy pill" is a method of dancing around what the real issue was and what the medication is. That sounds very "rug sweepingish" to me.

She was an angry, loud woman and you were a conflict avoidant man. It could be that she would have backed down years ago had you confronted the issues, as they happened. You say she has always been controlling, yet you allowed her to be that way by not speaking up when things mattered to you, because of your fear of conflict. Conflict happens in life. If the problems are faced head on and discussed, many times they don't happen again. You experienced that yourself when you left the house and went to the movies and later told her you were not going to tolerate her abuse anymore.

What is needed is for you to tell her the truth about not loving or missing her. That is if you plan to stay married to her.

Are you here to find a solution to your lack of love, or to just vent and remain in the same state?

Is there a woman in your life who you would rather be with?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,038 Posts
I support @Adelais view of your situation. Your partner used many excuses for her horrid, mean, abusive behavior. PMS does not cause this. Mental health issues may contribute. But, she learned the way to always be in control was to throw a temper tantrum. A habitual norm was established. She probably loves her choices and boasts that without her y'all would have next to nothing.

IMO: you've not really had a marriage for a while, but more of a boss/underling relationship. She has you trained. Would you even know how to function otherwise?

Decide now if you have the energy--leave or stay. When you say things are bearable now, do you mean you no longer are suicidal or you are resigned to her driving the relationship? You have to occasionally worry if things will regress.

Have you 'let things go' so long that you feel emasculated or are you comfortable that she is a good caregiver? Are you a young, healthy almost seventy or older than your age? What do you want for the rest of your life? Some of my relatives lived to be well over a hundred. Are you allowing for this possibility?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
Why are you keeping the fact that you don't love her a secret?

It sounds like the two of you need a catalyst to change things. Being honest and telling her (in the counselor's office) that you don't love her, miss her etc. and that began when she took your inheritance might be that catalyst. She may decide she doesn't want to live with a man who doesn't love her, and she may ask for a separation or divorce, since you aren't inclined to do it.

Also, for the life of me, I can't wrap my head around your not knowing what med she has been taking for years. It sounds like calling it her "happy pill" is a method of dancing around what the real issue was and what the medication is. That sounds very "rug sweepingish" to me.


Are you here to find a solution to your lack of love, or to just vent and remain in the same state?

Is there a woman in your life who you would rather be with?
Yes, I am keeping my lack of love for her a secret. If she knew I fell out of love with her, I'm afraid living with her would become much more difficult. Perhap erroneously I'm using love as a shield from her potential ire. Also I'm not telling her because that would only hurt her feelings and I don't see how my admission could help in anyway as there's no solution.

A few months ago I was tired of her chronic negativity and pessimism. It brought me down so much I made active plans to leave her. The morning I was going to put my plan in place she caught on something was up and asked "Are you leaving me?" I have no idea what made her ask that, but she was totally correct. I replied that yes I was planning on it. This was the first time in our marriage I made that statement. She was completely shocked and her first words were "I can't live here alone." with a slight panic tone to her voice. Her next statement was that this was a complete eye opener and the tone of her voice indicated she was on the verge of a panic attack or was going to burst into tears. So I highly doubt she'll ever leave me or file for divorce, though if she did, I'd help her obtain that goal anyway I could. I didn't leave her as she promised to be less negative and try to be more positive. She's kept her promise and asks me often if she's being too negative or critical. So to give her credit, she is trying very hard to be better and I appreciate that. She's been far less negative but not more positive. I honestly don't think she's capable of it. As I told my therapist, she's not negative or positive but neutral. I can live with that.

As far as meds go, I'm on high blood pressure and cholesterol meds and I have no idea what those are, so not knowing what meds she's on makes me consistant. She is an excellent care giver and takes care of all that stuff for me, I just take two pills from my pill dispenser every night. All I know is if she runs out (happened a couple times) her mood takes a dramatic turn for the worse therefore I know her happy pills work incredibly well. Which was another issue, she is definitely an excellent caregiver and takes care of all my needs but we fell into a mother/child relationship where she was the adult and I the child. But that was her comfort zone as she likes being in control of everything.

I am seeing a therapist on a weekly basis and not loving my wife is a recurring topic. She doesn't have a magic solution so I don't expect one here. I'm here basically to share my experiences so I guess venting would be correct, but sharing and discussing it with people in similar situations makes me feel less isolated. My wife is a complete pessimist and it's just not part of her makeup to provide positive reinforcement, so I try to find some wherever I can.

There is no other woman in my life, but I do have a reoccurring dream about one. In the dream I instinctively know she'll never hurt me and I'm safe with her. It's such a wonderful feeling that doesn't exist anywhere else in my life. I wish I could have that dream every night. I know there must be couples out there that experience that feeling everyday, I hope they realize how lucky they are and I hope they don't take it for granted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
I support @Adelais view of your situation. Your partner used many excuses for her horrid, mean, abusive behavior. PMS does not cause this. Mental health issues may contribute. But, she learned the way to always be in control was to throw a temper tantrum. A habitual norm was established. She probably loves her choices and boasts that without her y'all would have next to nothing.

IMO: you've not really had a marriage for a while, but more of a boss/underling relationship. She has you trained. Would you even know how to function otherwise?

Decide now if you have the energy--leave or stay. When you say things are bearable now, do you mean you no longer are suicidal or you are resigned to her driving the relationship? You have to occasionally worry if things will regress.

Have you 'let things go' so long that you feel emasculated or are you comfortable that she is a good caregiver? Are you a young, healthy almost seventy or older than your age? What do you want for the rest of your life? Some of my relatives lived to be well over a hundred. Are you allowing for this possibility?
The breaking point was what I call my bad summer which was twenty years ago. I was suicidal then, but not since. Though every time I get upset, she worries I'm going to do something to myself. From that point on, it's been a very slow uphill battle to get where we are today via therapy. We wouldn't go constantly but for a few months every couple of years. Each time baby steps were made. But because she hated hearing me talk about the way she treated me I am now in solo therapy where I can be completely open and honest without worrying about retribution.

She tries to include me much more in decision making and is always asking if I'm okay with doing such and such or going some place.

If the me from 20-30 years ago could see the type of relationship we have today, he'd wonder why I was complaining. Though she's still difficult to live with, she is trying very hard to be better and I respect that.

I think your opening paragraph is spot on and thanks for your viewpoint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,829 Posts
What do you think your options are at this point, and what would it take for you to choose something that is different from what you've always done before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
What do you think your options are at this point, and what would it take for you to choose something that is different from what you've always done before?
As I mentioned in previous threads, I'm seeing a therapist weekly.
I am here mainly to share my situation with others that can perhaps relate.

As most people, I have lots of options, but I plan on staying with my wife (as long as her behavior remains appropriate).
The real change in the past year or so is that I've become much more assertive. What she got away with years ago would not be tolerated today. About a year ago I went into a deep depression. After talking things over with my wife many times, she knew the solution as when I asked her what I should do, she said I should be more assertive. A wise person once said, you should be careful what you wish for as she stated in one minor argument that she hated me being more assertive. So being more assertive the past year is newish and different.

Whereas leaving/divorcing her has been one of my recurring fantasies, her greatest fear is that I'll leave her. We may not yet have a 50/50 relationship but it's pretty close and much better than the 99/1 I did have.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,035 Posts
Fear of divorce can make people change but most of the time they’re only doing it so their spouse won’t leave them and not because they want to or deep down feel they should. They see it as the high price required to remain married. A forced change they usually resent on some level. I think that’s what you are seeing. But at least she’s making an effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
(positive and supportive) I honestly don't think she's capable of it.
Horsefeathers.

she was the adult and I the child. But that was her comfort zone as she likes being in control of everything.
There it is. There's the reason your wife is negative, disrespectful, abusive, and unsupportive. You recognize passive-aggressive in yourself. However, your wife has become a master of it, too. She has replaced her straight-out aggression control methodology with another which is societally acceptable.

In the dream I instinctively know she'll never hurt me and I'm safe with her.
Dreams can tell us things. Your dream tells me something. "Safety" is what you are seeking.

I don't know if you've ever been to an orchard..... but there are three basic technique choices....

choice #1 is to pick up the apples which have already fallen off the trees. Safest. Rotten, mellow apples.

choice #2 is to stay on the trunk of the tree when you climb. Not quite as safe as #1. But, no apples.

choice #3 is to go out upon the limbs. Risky. But, that's where the good apples are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
We may not yet have a 50/50 relationship but it's pretty close and much better than the 99/1 I did have.
Yes, and your own assertiveness has been the key element which moved you from 99/1 (which, I would call 100/0) toward a more balanced marriage.

You can leave your wife and find another woman if you choose. But, just be careful that you don't wind up with another woman who is just as fearful and anxious (thereby, controlling) as the one you have.

Another woman will not relieve you of the need to crawl out that tree limb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,869 Posts
Fear of divorce can make people change but most of the time they’re only doing it so their spouse won’t leave them and not because they want to or deep down feel they should. They see it as the high price required to remain married. A forced change they usually resent on some level. I think that’s what you are seeing. But at least she’s making an effort.
That is very true. People don't change that much at their core - especially when they're 69 years old. Let's be real, here.

And OP, what if she DOES revert back to form (which she eventually will) and you go back to that 99-1 imbalance? Are you going to run off to the movie theater again for another 4 hour double feature just to show her who's boss? :rolleyes:

Sadly, just as your wife will always be who she's been, you will also always be who you've been. You've spent your life being too weak to stand up for yourself - to the point where you let someone TELL you she was going to steal your own inheritance and you STILL didn't stand up for yourself. Not even then.

So if you're looking for encouragement to continue the charade you've been putting on for the last 20+ years because you're too afraid of your own shadow to demand the respect you deserve and seek a better life, then I guess I'll just say good luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,840 Posts
Your wife was/is a typical bully. When you stand up to her, she backs down.

You are not without some semblance of love for her, though, as you still care about not hurting her feelings. If you want a new type of marriage, you can tell her that after all the years of being terrorized in your own home you've lost that loving feeling and she needs to woo you. Decide what that means to you and lay it out for her.

Let it be known that from now on you'll be wearing the pants in the family.

Please acquaint yourself with your medications and hers, too. You never know when the information will come in handy. Write it down and keep it in your wallet. Because, you're an adult - so act like it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,980 Posts
Why is it that the door handle is always just out of your reach?
It is because you purposely do not extend your arm, far out, enough.

You are where you are at....today, because that is where you want to be.

You want to be married to her, minus the harassment.

You are now stuck in that old birds nest of yours' and hers.
You have long ago, forgotten how to fly.

On those common medications you take for HBP and cholesterol, read the side effects.

They weaken you, make you dizzy, zap your energy, interfere with your sleep, cause memory loss. Can make any present ED worse.

I am not suggesting that you stop taking them, I am letting you know why many older men and women cannot escape easily solvable daily problems.
Anything one wishes to do in this life requires willpower and a reason to do it. Many medications interfere with will power.

Yes, as someone else has mentioned, she needs her meds to stabilize her moods. Your lackadaisical attitude to your problems and hers are typical for old folks.
You are drugged to some 'less' powerful state.

You are this older man already starting to dodder and have let others manage you. The pattern is set.

...........................................................................................................

The thing is...

Maybe, this is where you should be.
Any woman married to you will have to be your nurse (pill lady) and cook and clothes washer.
I suggest staying with her and keeping her on her meds. I also suggest finding out more about her health.

You both, at this point, need each other.

Become this aware man, not just a person in the room.
She bossed you around because she saw you as weak. And she is/was right.

Now, she is weak (weakening). She is becoming that fearful person, also.
And with good reason. Reason is slowly leaving her.
It leaves all of us...at some time.

Insecure people can be snippy, bossy, nasty. She could have been this, all her life.



Some people get old at 80, some at 60. It depends.
If this sounds like a dig, and unwarranted criticism.
It's not.

Nope.

I know better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Why is it that the door handle is always just out of your reach?
It is because you purposely do not extend your arm, far out, enough.

You are where you are at....today, because that is where you want to be.

You want to be married to her, minus the harassment.

You are now stuck in that old birds nest of yours' and hers.
You have long ago, forgotten how to fly.

On those common medications you take for HBP and cholesterol, read the side effects.

They weaken you, make you dizzy, zap your energy, interfere with your sleep, cause memory loss. Can make any present ED worse.

I am not suggesting that you stop taking them, I am letting you know why many older men and women cannot escape easily solvable daily problems.
Anything one wishes to do in this life requires willpower and a reason to do it. Many medications interfere with will power.

Yes, as someone else has mentioned, she needs her meds to stabilize her moods. Your lackadaisical attitude to your problems and hers are typical for old folks.
You are drugged to some 'less' powerful state.

You are this older man already starting to dodder and have let others manage you. The pattern is set.

...........................................................................................................

The thing is...

Maybe, this is where you should be.
Any woman married to you will have to be your nurse (pill lady) and cook and clothes washer.
I suggest staying with her and keeping her on her meds. I also suggest finding out more about her health.

You both, at this point, need each other.

Become this aware man, not just a person in the room.
She bossed you around because she saw you as weak. And she is/was right.

Now, she is weak (weakening). She is becoming that fearful person, also.
And with good reason. Reason is slowly leaving her.
It leaves all of us...at some time.

Insecure people can be snippy, bossy, nasty. She could have been this, all her life.

Some people get old at 80, some at 60. It depends.
If this sounds like a dig, and unwarranted criticism.
It's not.

Nope.

I know better.
I think this is good advice. And I pretty much never believe staying in a loveless marriage is a good thing.

I read your original post again. If at 50, the prospect of moving out was too much for you because you'd have to move your home office and it's inventory (unless you live in a castle, how big can that home office really be?) then I think at 70, *20 years later*, you don't have the oomph (as SunCMars said) to divorce and separate your life from hers. Plus, it sounds like you have really never lived on your own.

Keep going with the therapy and speaking up for yourself in this marriage and abandon thoughts of leaving. Focus on improving things in your current situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
I think this is good advice. And I pretty much never believe staying in a loveless marriage is a good thing.

I read your original post again. If at 50, the prospect of moving out was too much for you because you'd have to move your home office and it's inventory (unless you live in a castle, how big can that home office really be?) then I think at 70, *20 years later*, you don't have the oomph (as SunCMars said) to divorce and separate your life from hers. Plus, it sounds like you have really never lived on your own.

Keep going with the therapy and speaking up for yourself in this marriage and abandon thoughts of leaving. Focus on improving things in your current situation.
Moving at the time seemed like a huge hurdle as I was in a deep depression. I lost customers that summer as even going to work was a chore. I'd prefer to just sit at my desk and focus on my current situation in an endless loop.

You are correct, I've never been on my own. My parents had four children and then seven years later I was born. An unexpected surprise to them. As the "baby" of the family, my sisters fussed over me as much as my mother. When 18, I joined the national guards (to avoid going to Viet Nam) where they took care of me while in training for almost 9 months. From there I stayed in my future wife's apartment where she took care of me. I regret not getting my own place for a year or two to experience the freedom and independence phase most people have.

At this point leaving her is my goto fantasy when things get rough. I find it comforting to know I have options if I really need to. I did seriously plan on leaving her for a month or so a while back. At that point I just needed a break from her negativity and doom and gloom outlook. When she realized this, it came to light that me leaving her was her greatest fear and she's tried to be on her best behavior since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Well then... Do you think, when you fantasize about it, that divorcing is feasible? If you split assets, would you have enough to make a go of it? What are your thoughts on running a household yourself, shopping, cooking, cleaning?

ETA unfortunately you never know to what age anyone is going to live. Even older couples can have one person being widowed, for the last 10 years or however long. A long term marriage is no guarantee you'll not end up living on your own, anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,419 Posts
At this point leaving her is my goto fantasy when things get rough. I find it comforting to know I have options if I really need to. I did seriously plan on leaving her for a month or so a while back. At that point I just needed a break from her negativity and doom and gloom outlook. When she realized this, it came to light that me leaving her was her greatest fear and she's tried to be on her best behavior since.
If your fantasy a better relationship with your wife, or finally having the opportunity to live on your own? These are two different things in extreme conflict with each other, but you've expressed the desire for both in this thread. If your wife isn't aware, it's not really fair to her that she isn't clued in on this. If I'm correct, that you have these two conflicting fantasies, you're putting her into an impossible situation. You need to sort this out before seeing her as the thing that needs to change to make you happier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,728 Posts
The only good things you say about your wife are things that a nurse and housekeeper could do. Does she know that she is merely a free housekeeper and nurse?

Do the two of you ever go on vacations or have fun together? That might improve your bond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Does she know that she is merely a free housekeeper and nurse?
Free? I'm not a gambler, nor the son of a gambler, but if I were, I'd be quite willing to bet that she costs him far more than simply paying someone for them would. Those are the only benefits she delivers to him, in the current state of affairs. I think he'd save a fortune by using employees.

Do the two of you ever go on vacations or have fun together? That might improve your bond.
I agree that having fun together and vacationing together are good ideas. However, I also see that "fun" would be quite impossible under either the abuser/abused, parent/child, or nurse/patient dynamics which have supplanted a "normal" marriage for them.

A married couple who has allowed their relationship to degrade into these kinds of role-play aberrations would have to first correct the prevailing dynamic, before these kinds of activities would seem pleasurable to either of them.
 
21 - 40 of 71 Posts
Top