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Discussion Starter #1
Today I left my wife. We've been married only a year but together for seven years. It was my longest relationship to date (early 30's). It breaks my heart to feel so empty when surrounded by our loving pictures and trinkets and customized books and pictures and shirts and calendars, etc. All with expressions of what we mean to each other. I know toward the end these were somewhat desperate attempts to get through to me. Toward the end for me, these became forced. I've hated myself for a very long time.

Truth is, I haven't felt the "in love" feeling in ages. Years maybe. I felt a day or so of passion here and there. I loved her. I still do. I care deeply about her. I probably always will. She's my best friend. But the thought of spending my life with her made me feel like I wanted to die.

We're both flawed. But our flaws are almost exactly the same. We have trouble communicating and expressing positive emotions and feelings. Only she has additional anxiety issues and self esteem issues. I don't really wish to share all of our business, but it was difficult creating a life outside the relationship while efforts to build our passion, our relationship as a whole was unsuccessful. In short, I basically sacrificed a lot to try and keep her happy while never truly getting the positive affirmation. After a while of feeling just "okay" and treading water, assuming this is just what an adult relationship is, I woke up and realized that I'm not happy.

I tried to leave before. Then came the guilt. Man there was guilt. I love this girl. She has meant so much to me over the years. We'd built a life together and i was just throwing it away. Plus, while I was away (for only about a month) our relationship blossomed. My thoughts were clear, I also missed her. I was able to enjoy conversations with her. I knew I had the habit of focusing on negatives with her. But perhaps, I thought, I turned the corner. We decided to move back in.

A month later and I'm back out again. This time feeling worse. There were small improvements, sure. But not the fundamental shift needed. Relationships are hard work I'm told over an over, but for once, I just wanted something easy. After 7 years of fighting to just make it work, I was tired. I couldn't fathom doing this the rest of my life. The thoughts of leaving were so painful, I began fantasizing of my own death, as an easy way to escape without hurting anyone (at least not by my doing). Even the "okay" moments, I just had a constant monologue of misery in the back of my head. But it only came out during the bad. The end wasn't even that bad. We weren't arguing significantly more. I just knew I couldn't be around anymore.

But I hate this. I wish it wasn't like this. I love this person and wish I didn't drag her through the dirt so much toward the end. I hated what I had become. But I just wasn't in love anymore. She fought so hard to keep us together. God knows why, but it broke my heart to see it. I felt like the worst human being alive for hurting her like this. She deserves better.

I have to avoid contacting her for some time. I know I'll fall back in as soon as I cave to the feelings of loneliness. This is gonna be very painful and it's gonna hurt her too which is gonna make it worse for me. I wish I could be there, but I just can't BE THERE anymore.

I guess that's all I got. Just looking to feel like I'm not alone. Yes, we tried therapy. But only toward the end and it was pretty much a bandage over a much deeper wound at that point. I also am deathly afraid of stirring the pot when things are okay, she also gets defensive quickly, so I wasn't always as forward as I should have been. I guess this is on me. Sorry if there's any typos. Written from my phone.
 

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I’m so sorry to hear of the sadness and suffering you both are enduring. The loneliness must get overwhelming.

Do you have any kids?
Was there ever infidelity in the relationship?

I do understand that the issues you listed are extremely trying. Feel free to talk to us as much as you want, we will try to help you through this journey. Welcome to TAM, I’m glad you found us.
 

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Have you folks tried Marriage Counseling? They can help you open up avenues of communication. You both could perhaps get Individual counseling also....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for replying. No we have no kids. Toward the end I made it clear I didn't want any until I stopped feeling this way.

No, there was never infidelity as far as I know. I couldn't fathom she'd ever cheat. I know I didn't. She was threatened throughout the years by several friends I've had of the opposite sex. Always leading to my distancing from them after being worn down. I'm in social work/social services and thus most of my friends will tend to be female. The last one stuck however. Mainly because I just got tired of it. It created significant problems for a while until she just kind of accepted it. I still didn't feel comfortable bringing her up most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you folks tried Marriage Counseling? They can help you open up avenues of communication. You both could perhaps get Individual counseling also....
We both see individual counseling and tried marriage counseling. I felt the marriage counselor was okay times, the last few sessions were at least useful. But she didn't like him after we had a full blown argument that he failed to redirect. She wanted to change and brought it up each time we had a fight. I don't think at that point it would've made a difference as in my head, I was checking out.
 

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It's one thing to have opposite sex coworkers with whom you are friendly and it's another to have opposite sex coworkers with whom you are friends. It's a slippery slope. You'll find that a great number of people with have objections to this type of friendship.

I suggest you make some same-sex friends who can be real friends and not work friends because work friends tend to only be friends until employment changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not sure that's a fair generalization. It's also a lot harder for me to simply make male friends. I've historically gotten along better with females, she knew this going into our relationship. My "best man" was a woman, my long time friend (which pre-dates the relationship). It's also really hard for me to connect with people in general, regardless of gender. There's also far fewer males in my profession than females.

It's a matter of trust more than anything. She didn't trust me and slowly egged me toward ending those relationships by asking pointed questions over and over and feeling her eyes popping out of her head whenever I'd pick up my phone (my phone is usually put away when I'm home. She on the other hand used to text friends throughout the night until I repeatedly expressed how angry this made me) until I felt isolated, controlled and manipulated. And resentful.

I think more than anything, this reminds me why I left.
 

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Man, you sound really depressed. Of course, I can sympathize since I went through something very similar with my wife and it depressed the hell out of me too. It sounds like she really loves you and wants to make it work...but you are past that point and have checked out mentally.

I am a little confused when you say..."I loved her. I still do. I care deeply about her. I probably always will. She's my best friend. But the thought of spending my life with her made me feel like I wanted to die.". Last sentence really contradicts the rest. If I had to guess, I would say you don't love her like a husband should love a wife. You CARE about her and her well-being. But you don't love her deep down or have any passionate feelings for her. If that's the case, it's best you go your separate ways so you can get on with your life AND she can get on with hers. Don't string her along. Make a clean break. And you definately should look into counseling for yourself. Not for your marriage, but for your mental well being going forward. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you Dadto2.

I guess I am pretty depressed and have been for a really long time. I never put a name to it, growing up I wasn't exactly encouraged to have emotions. I'd be immediately belittled /dismissed if I expressed a concern. even at times my wife would roll her eyes if I expressed that I was having a hard time with something - especially if it was tied to her. I just always felt I was being dramatic.

But toward the end, I began getting more and more comfortable with the idea of my life ending - not active suicide, just not living anymore. I wasn't comfortable in my skin around her anymore. I think mentally I was screaming at myself that I had to leave. I am seeing a therapist, thanks. I do plan on addressing my issues.
 

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Thank you Dadto2.

I guess I am pretty depressed and have been for a really long time. I never put a name to it, growing up I wasn't exactly encouraged to have emotions. I'd be immediately belittled /dismissed if I expressed a concern. even at times my wife would roll her eyes if I expressed that I was having a hard time with something - especially if it was tied to her. I just always felt I was being dramatic.

But toward the end, I began getting more and more comfortable with the idea of my life ending - not active suicide, just not living anymore. I wasn't comfortable in my skin around her anymore. I think mentally I was screaming at myself that I had to leave. I am seeing a therapist, thanks. I do plan on addressing my issues.
Well try to keep a positive attitude. Depression can hit us all. Mine started during my first marriage back in 2006. I'm still on meds for it that seem to work pretty well. But I could never tell my parents I had depression..it would freak them out. If you haven't talked to a doc about it, please do. There's no shame. Depression meds are the most prescribed in the country.

Perhaps your unhappiness stems from your relationship with your wife. You said you have been together 7 years, so maybe the timeline fits. If so, that should confirm you are doing the right thing by divorcing. Divorce sucks, but there are a ton of people on this site that will tell you the end result is worth it.
 

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Shoot, first thing, change your Username!

Hang in there. There are no quick words, but you can get through this. Recognize you are of worth and press on.
 

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This too shall pass. Give her distance, grieve and learn from the relationship and move on. You will eventually be ok and there will be a new normal.
 

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If the idea of being with her forever makes you want to die, it's a good thing you got out. Just make sure you don't rebound with each other and break up repeatedly, because that will tear her apart and hurt her self-esteem (and ruin the memory of what you used to have).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The very thought has entered my mind already several times. I do love her and at times miss her and wish we could be together, but just happy. But that's clearly not happening and I'm fooling myself for having those thoughts.

I need to take time to learn to love myself again. Her too. It would do a world of good, if anything for our respective mental health and whatever comes for us in the future. I can't guarantee we'll ever get back together. I won't ever commit to that either, because I just don't know I can ever get there again. I can't feel this way anymore and can't keep putting her through dealing with the worst version of me as a partner. It's just not fair to either of us. But I suppose anything is possible.
 

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Sometimes people can be great as individuals but terrible as partners. It sounds like your relationship fit that description. And those ones can be the hardest to leave, as there is no extreme behaviour that you can pinpoint as the cause. Just a mismatch in individual traits. I would also suggest there might be some codependency going on rather than love. Sometimes you can get two people who not only have mismatched traits but trigger attachment issues in each other. Then you end up in a volitile relationship that you both know isn't working but you feel compelled to stay in rather than just amicably parting ways. The way you described things fits this. I had a relationship very similar to this when I was younger. We both had attachment issues and the relationship wasn't good but neither of us wanted to leave. So we just stayed for years and the fighting got worse over time (along with the resultant depression, anxiety, stress and feelings of suicide). We were both in a very dark place by the end of it and brought out the worst in each other, but we were re-living abandonment/rejection issues from our own childhoods and got stuck repeating that over and over. It was incredibly painful when we finally ended things and both had to get therapy afterwards to address what the hell had happened. I remember thinking even two years into the relationship, I'm only staying here out of guilt and attachment rather than love or enjoyment. Yet it took another five for me to gather the courage to leave. What you are feeling is akin to abandoning a needy child. I can only see that now, a decade after the fact. If we had stayed together, we would have killed each other.

Wish her well and move on. You cannot fix her and staying there as a potential crutch will stop her ever seriously getting help. Find someone that is positive, driven, independent, and wants rather than needs you. And work on your codependency issues. You shouldn't rely on someone needing you to feel secure. You will never be happy basing a relationship on need rather than love.
 

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There are references to your woman friends, and her texting others. Was she texting men or women?

I think you underestimate the issues of it being "easier" for you to make woman friends than men. And her uneasiness with that, which you seem to shrug off because it's not an issue for you... that might be one of those knife cuts that never healed, because you never acknowledged her concern and that you were making a choice, your relationship or your friends.

Now, I don't know what's gone on with her texting, whether she had her own set of inappropriate friends or what. If she's texting woman friends, I don't see it as something other than her finding appropriate solace.

I could be reading this entirely wrong!!!! Just my gut feeling.
 
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