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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m new to this forum and looking through it can see that it’s largely a US based discussion group, so please excuse the intrusion of an English guy! What’s amazing in reading the threads are how many are in the same or similar situations although the advice varies widely. This may go on for a bit so my apologies; I will really respect you if you make it to the end of my piece, and fully understand if you don’t!

So the basics of where I’m at….

I met my wife about 22-23 years ago and coming at the end of a rather haphazard dating period decided I “needed to settle down” (ducks first thrown stone – yes, I know, not the right reason for long term relationship).After a while we talked about kids and I went along with it thinking it would be some time before anything happened. No. Wrong. 6 weeks later she was pregnant. So I did what I considered “the decent thing” and married her (I’m English remember!). Now here’s the thing; when the registrar said “do you take her for ever” (or whatever they say) every fibre in my body was shouting NOOOOOOOO! Now don’t get me wrong. I loved her but it has never been the full-on OMG I love this person SOOOO much. Anyway, my son was born very premature and having survived a less than 30% chance of survival he was left a healthy kid but suffering from mild Special Needs wrapped around Dyspraxia. Because of his condition he has needed a phenomenal amount of support and now we’re getting to the rub of my situation.

Without being detrimental to my wife, she doesn’t have the wherewithal to manage many of the issues he has had and as she’s not academically gifted was unable to help him with school either. So whilst trying to build a successful career and all the pressure that goes with that I also had to be the stronger support, councillor and teacher for my son. And yes, if I’m honest I resented how much more I had to put in.

My wife’s mother died some 15 years ago and that shook her to the core; she has never truly got over it and refused counselling. Instead she used food as a comfort and became seriously overweight. Her moods, never her strong point, became increasingly crabby and not to put too finer a point on it, she became bloody hard work. But my son needed the emotional connection of a ‘solid family’ along with the additional practical/educational support.

What’s that? How’s the physical/emotional side of the marriage like? Well we haven’t kissed for over 6 years now (seriously!), there’s been no sex for 8 years and for 4 years before that it was a couple of times a year when we were drunk. Emotion? None. I’m a very emotional / romantic / passionate guy who loves the physical side too. My wife isn’t any of those things (she would admit as much herself).

We barely talk now, have absolutely NOTHING in common and hence never go out. A typical day is get up, go to work, come home, I cook, we all have 15 minutes together eating then she goes to the bedroom to watch TV, my son goes to his and I stay downstairs. It was her 50th last year so how did we celebrate? She went to Vegas with her sister. But we never argue, there’s little bad tension, we just tolerate each other.

I have long talked of leaving my wife and yes, have had affairs (I crave love, emotion and sex so when it came long I’m afraid I weakened and grabbed at it), but I’ve always said I will hold out until my son can stand on his own two feet. Well here’s the thing; he’s reached that point. He’s got a job, a car and a girlfriend – I can do no more for him (will always “be there for him” but you understand what I mean).

So I’ve now booked to see a solicitor for initial discussions about divorce. There’s no love in the marriage. I have no feelings for my wife and physically, if she offered me sex on a plate I couldn’t bear the thought and would reject it. We live separate lives. So why is this moving on SO scary?!

I’ve seen two great quotes: “if you knew you had 3 months left to live, would you live it as you are now?” (no) and “what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” (leave).

Does this resonate with anyone else – a clear knowledge that the sensible thing FOR BOTH is to move on and find a true soul-mate but making that move is bloody scary?

Thank you if you’ve made it this far, award yourself a drink and congratulatory slap on the back!
 

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Yes, when my husband left I realised pretty early on that it was certainly the best thing for me (it's actually not for him as he's already finding out but frankly that's tough).

It didn't stop it being painful and frightening for a while, but I got over it as will you. I suspect what is actually worrying you is how your wife might react. She doesn't sound happy - does she know you feel like this? Does she know that her life as she's known it for two decades is about to disappear? Have you tried to make things better between you?

It does sound like you've never really been that into her - I feel quite sorry for her actually. It's pretty depressing to think that she's been with someone for all that time who wasn't fully invested in the relationship. So I suspect the guilt is the root cause of your fear. That and the fact that you have a life to split - friends, family, etc. Telling people and going through the conversation over and over is exhausting

Pip pip old chap, best of British luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dolly - we've been good friends (still are) but you're right, I was never "head over heals" so perhaps I have been unfair. We split up briefly once before but tried again for the sake of our son. And yes, I do worry about the affect on her as she's battled depression in the past. But it's the right thing to do for both of us - just so damn scarey!
 

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Now that your son is grown I would definitely dump the wife and find someone you truly enjoy. You provided a stable environment for your son and you stuck it out for him. If I were in your situation, I would leave in a heart beat.
 

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I know you come looking to this forums for some advice and support. Aside from the comments you can get on your post I would advice you to read up on other people's experiences. They may shed some lights on subjects you hadn't even thought about.

In regards to your situation I have to say you are coming off as somewhat of a monstrous person.

I'm not sure if that is the case but based on what you have shared:

" at the end of a rather haphazard dating period decided I “needed to settle down” (ducks first thrown stone – yes, I know, not the right reason for long term relationship "

- I don't know how long you've thought of this, but in my experience, there is no RIGHT reason for a long term relationship. It is just something you and your partner ultimately choose to embark on. But if have been blaming yourself all these years for something you think was wrong from the start, then you have been unfairly viewing your marriage in a bad light.

"6 weeks later she was pregnant. So I did what I considered “the decent thing” and married her"

- Yes it is a decent thing. Yes it was honorable of you, but also your responsibility. Nothing to brag about. You did what you were brought up to do, which is take responsibility for your actions. I could be wrong, but it seems you feel as if she owes you something for your "sacrifice" when the real burden was on her. See this through her eyes too my friend.

" I loved her but it has never been the full-on OMG I love this person SOOOO much"

- Trust me. She knows this. She's known it all along. And it has probably been hell for her too. As it has been for you. I feel sorry for both of you.

"Without being detrimental to my wife, she doesn’t have the wherewithal to manage many of the issues he has had and as she’s not academically gifted was unable to help him with school either. So whilst trying to build a successful career and all the pressure that goes with that I also had to be the stronger support, councillor and teacher for my son. And yes, if I’m honest I resented how much more I had to put in. "

- You've been detrimental to your wife since you married her with the kind of attitude you speak about her. Granted she may not be God's gift to men, but the way you speak about her, since the beginning of your post, makes it seem like you married a worthless human being. Are you sure it wasn't your attitude towards your marriage and towards her that pushed her into this lack of cooperation?

"My wife’s mother died some 15 years ago and that shook her to the core; she has never truly got over it and refused counselling"

- I'm not surprised. Her mother was probably her pillar of support for dealing with the hell she was going through with her marriage. No amount of counseling is going to bring her back. Granted she needs it to help her cope with the situation, but her best medicine is for both of you to take some time apart and re-evaluate your lives.

I won't even touch the sex subject. It's plainly obvious that there's no love or respect between the two of you. So it's no wonder there's no sexual activity.

I respect what you've done. Sticking up for your son all this time and being a father figure and providing for him. But you could've done things so much differently years ago by being honest to yourself and to her instead of adopting a "aw great, you're pregnant, now I guess I'm screwed" attitude.

I apologize if I interpreted that incorrectly, but that is what it seems like at first glance. I would advise you to take into account your own faults in this, and really think things through. You've been put through a lot, but she has been put through so much more if you really think about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Greg - I guess posting on here I have to take all that's thrown at me and accept it for what they are. I'm not a monsterous person, I assure you of that but without writing War & Peace size posts it's difficult to portray the full ins & outs of why my wife and I have arrived at this point.

However. I do accept the gist of what you say - I guess I'm a bastard in some respects. My only defence is, without going nto details as it's not fair to my wife, it's not all one-sided.

Nonetheless, I thank you for taking time to respond and I promise, I will take your comments into consideration.
 
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