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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love my wife dearly and love my family. I want her to be happy and I want to save our marriage, but it has deteriorated to a low point.

I'll start from the beginning. We were friends for several years, she was with a guy several years and they had broken up and she and I started dating right after. Several weeks into dating, we moved in together and subsequently decided to get married and two weeks later we were married, May 1, 2007. A month later, she was pregnant and 2 months after that we bought a house. Needless to say life progressed quickly, but we were blissfully in love. I absolutely adored her.

We had planned a natural home birth and were very excited about it. She went into labor Feb 22nd and labor progressed throughout the day, but overnight, completely stalled. About 5am next morning, our son's heart rate began to drop and my wife was rushed to the ER. Labor never progressed from there and that afternoon, our son was born via cesarean birth.

I think this took an emotional toll on me. It was a huge disappointment, probably for us both. I remember feeling terrible about it, wondering if I had not done well encouraging her and feeling awful it went wrong. Never the less, we had a healthy baby boy and 4 days later he was home.

My wife and I were adoring parents and I think emotionally, we poured ourselves into him and not into eachother. My wife took long to recover her libido and no longer would have sex. I think this took a further toll on me, right or wrong. I felt inadequate and maybe I withdrew from her somewhat, but I never stopped loving her, maybe just forgot how to connect with her and satisfy her emotionally. She, I think withdrew from me as well.

In the second half of 2010, she began to get very ill and doctors could not figure out why, they kept incorrectly diagnosing her with bronchitis, but her condition continued to worsen. After the New Year, she began to rapidly lose weight and her health was in rapid decline. Finally, doctors felt her lymph nodes and realized they were enlarged and did a chest xray and discovered a large mass. 2 weeks later she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Her health still in decline, she was hospitalized in ICU with fluid on her lung and heart and a rapid heartbeat of 140-150 and was there for about 5 days while they stabilized her.

This was terribly stressful for me. I worried every day for her survival. Soon after she was released from the hospital, she started chemo and her cancer quickly diminished. The chemo lasted more than 6 months and in itself was devastating.

After chemo she went through 5 weeks of radiation, but that was nothing compared to chemo.

I went to every treatment I could with her, I was at the hospital with her as much as possible and I was devoted to her getting healthy again. I probably could have done more work around the house, but I wanted to wait on her nonstop. I also handled the insurance companies and dealt with the medical providers. I had to fight with them at times to get her through the door for treatment. I felt even more inadequate after this and of course our sex lives which already at this point was maybe once a month, was now nonexistent. 2011 was devoted to her health.

In 2012 we never rebounded. As the year progressed we became more and more distant. Hardly talked except for logistical stuff or about our son and hardly did anything together. We had sex but a few times this year and she really did not want to.

I also need to add that I did not do much around the house since our son was born. I had my few chores, trash and lawn mowing and did those, but I never did anything else. I would leave dirty laundry around the house and was generally a slob. She said this is not the issue though.
We would sit on separate sides of the couch, each on our respective laptop and not pay any attention to her. I also gained weight and let myself go and stopped caring for myself. At times she would talk to me and it would go in one side and out the other, but those things were mostly logistical things anyway, what to feed our son, scheduling and stuff like that. She would not talk about her feelings. I would ask her if anything was wrong and she would always say, nothing and if there was, she would tell me. All this time, something was completely wrong.

Around Thanksgiving, I could tell she had reached the point where she had completely withdrawn from our marriage and as Christmas approached, things began to get unbearable between us. I could also tell that she was trying to make herself more and more sexy, posting photos flirty photos on facebook and flirting with guys at a Christmas party we attended together. She had purchased new bras and underwear that were much more sexy than ones she purchased in the past.

After the Christmas party I said to her, "Our marriage has really hit a rough patch" to which she agreed. She told me she did not feel attracted to me anymore and said she did not know why, but that she was otherwise happy. I did not understand this, asked her if there was anyone else and she said no. She also expressed little interest in trying to improve things. I still could not comprehend this, so I felt completely frustrated with the situation and went for a 2 hour walk. When I came home, we talked some more, she admitted she was sexually frustrated and that her libido was back, but could not feel sexually attracted to me, did not want to have sex with me.

A few days later she told me she wanted to separate and sell our house and get apartments. I did not want this, my intentions to work this out. She said she needs to be separated to know what to do.

Our house was bought at height of the boom, and currently is appraised for 50,000 less than what we paid for it. We currently owe more than 30,000 than what it is appraised for and 35,000 than what it shows on Zillow. It also needs a lot of work in order to be able to put it on the market and we have had issues with sink holes. There are several foreclosures nearby as well. Bottom line is, our house is not sellable in my opinion and short sale or foreclosure will ruin us both financially.

I begged her to give me another chance and try to work through this, but she had no interest. Said she needs to separate. We were going to go together to her parents in Virginia for Christmas, but I stayed home so as to give her space and figured her parents would talk to her. I did not feel she was being rational. While gone, I took a deep look at myself and began to exercise, clean the house from top to bottom and try to be a better person, husband and father. I started seeing a counselor who felt I have adult ADHD.

My wife stayed away through the New Year and one of our mutual friends talked to her while she was away and got her to slow down on wanting to sell the house and give it a little more time and try marriage counseling. Catch was, I could not try to romance her. I could not hug, kiss, touch her or tell her she is beautiful, compliment her or tell her I love her. This was very difficult for me because I wanted to do this more than ever. I was reading things online that said I need to be doing this, but this is opposite from what she wants.

We had our first session a week ago and the counselor said that basically, we had withdrawn emotionally from eachother. We were giving our emotion all to our son and not eachother. We were not spending time together, doing things together, creating memories together and having fun together. We were not connecting emotionally. The improvement things I was doing would not hurt, but the core issue is that we lost our emotional connection and that would need to come back in order to save our marriage.

My wife said basically, she has no intention of working on this. She is willing to do some things with me, but her feelings, for her need to come back naturally, not be forced and she is not going to try to bring them back. Since the session, we went out for dinner at a nice restaurant and played cards one night. The conversation at dinner was awkward at best. I was trying to force it I guess. I said stupid stuff like, I'd like to get to know her again and asked her what her interests are. I asked those awkward questions because I felt like she had a wall in front of her and it was tough to get through. I just wanted to get through. I also feel like I know her pretty well, so it is hard to talk to her. The card game was fun. She laughed a lot, but we really didn't talk much.

I try to smile at her every day and talk to her about her day, but she doesn't really respond to it. I also have been doing a lot of house work and cleaning. I continue to exercise and have lost 25 pounds since December 20th. I was at 215 and now I am down to around 190, sometimes less than that. I would like to get under 180.

Last night I was trying to get her to talk, just talk, connect. We were sitting on the couch, half watching TV and I thought having a nice time. I was sitting towards her, trying to be open. She went to another room and got out a book about separating, called "Mom's House, Dad's House" and casually stated she would like me to read it. Naturally, I took this badly, felt like salt in the wound. I said I was going to bed, but I was too upset to go to bed. I came back down and asked her if she felt differently since counseling and she said she had drifted more towards separation than working through it. This upset me so much. I said basically, fine, lets get it over with, divorce me. I felt like she made up her mind.

I told her, I was going to get my own attorney, that I would never leave the house and we had planned to put our son into Montessori school next year and that this was now out of the question and he would have to go to public school. If we separate, I cannot afford it. This morning, my anger continued. I told her that when our son is with me, she has no say in how I raise him. All of the things I said to her, hurt her feelings, I know she didn't sleep last night. I think I was angry and trying to hurt her. I also felt like her mind is made up and I don't want to be strung along anymore, so get on with it. Also, maybe she needed a dose of reality, that separation and divorce is going to change everything.

I was upstairs getting ready for the day and she came to me and said I hurt her feelings and that she was just trying to communicate with me when she handed me the book. She was just trying to say that is how she feels right now and she wants me to read it. She was not trying to hurt my feelings. She also said she needs to separate in order to know what she wants and has not ruled out reconciling, she just can't do that right now. We both cried. I said that not a single cell in my body wants to separate and it is my intention to save our marriage.

I took the day off and we went to breakfast. She said she is going to see an attorney just for advise and wants to talk to a realtor. I said I am not going to sign anything with a realtor at this time. I will likely see an attorney myself.

I want to save this marriage. I just don't know what to do. I want to connect with her, but how do you connect when you cannot romance or compliment and the person you are trying to connect with does not want to reconnect? I asked her if she would be hurt if I were to see someone else, not that I intend to, but just to get an idea where she is emotionally. She said she is not sure, but it would probably hurt her feelings. She said she still loves me and there is some of her that does not want to separate, but her heart says she needs to separate.

I am so tired of feeling the hurt and stress that goes along with being in limbo. I just don't know what to do. My heart tells me we will work this out, somewhere we will have a breakthrough and reconnect and it will be better than before, but I have no actual indication of this. Everything seems to be going in the opposite direction. More than that, divorce will financially devastate us and put us both in deep debt.

I am sorry this is so long. Any bit of help I can get is very much appreciated.
Thanks
Rob
 

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Rob, get the book Divorce Remedy and start working on yourself pronto. Do not pursue her, tell her you love her, try to convince her to work on the marriage or go to MC. Just be friendly and give her the space she craves and she may not bolt. Do not pressure her.

Your marriage can recover but it will take time. Take care of yourself and your child.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I will look for that book tonight.

We have been to one session of MC so far and have another scheduled next week. I am not sure she considers it MC or just counseling. She wants me to read the book "mom's house, dad's house". I told her I would. I have been trying to give her the space she needs.

I appreciate your advice.
 

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You're right about needing to reconnect in order to recover your relationship, but you need to understand that if she isn't receptive, nothing you do will make any difference. Whether she comes around or not will depend a LOT on whether she thinks she'll find fun and joy with you.

You *can* give her compliments if they're sincere and you aren't expecting a response. Just go be the fun guy she once knew, the one who isn't moping around for her. Take classes, go work out at the gym, maybe even flirt a bit with other women in a lighthearted way. Get your SELF on track if you want your relationship to stand a chance.

As far as your house...

There are a couple of things a Realtor will tell your wife. You can get a bridge loan that lets you pay off most of your mortgage with a sale, and a new loan for the amount you are left owing.

You may be able to talk to your bank about a short sale, too, but you should also seek the advice of a tax advisor before agreeing to a short sale.

In court, a judge could order the house sold and require each of you to pay off half the remaining debt, or could place the entire remaining debt on one of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right now, nothing I do is working. She said that even me trying to be a better person is making her feel uncomfortable.
 

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Right now, nothing I do is working. She said that even me trying to be a better person is making her feel uncomfortable.
Then you're doing it as an attempt to manipulate what SHE does.

Seriously, focus on making a good life for yourself that will be rewarding even if she leaves. Do not be concerned with how it affects her. She has made it clear that she doesn't want to let herself be affected by you, so that's under HER control.
 

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Quietly work on yourself. Say nothing about it. Actions speak louder than words. It will take some time before she believes in any changes. She'll think you are only doing it to win her back, and honestly, at least for now, she is right.

Not mentioned yet: Do not initiate relationship talks! It will only reinforce her present feeling that the marriage is doomed, and she will re-bomb you. If she brings it up you just listen and validate her. Do not try to convince her back! She has made up her mind. (for now)

You can do this but you have to be strong. And patient. Only show a positive attitude. I found Michele's book DR to be one of the best guides for how to navigate from where you are right now.
 

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Also.... tell her that if she really wants space, really wants to separate.... then she should just GO. You don't have to bargain with her....she is free to go.

The only thing up for discussion is child custody/visitation. You don't have to discuss anything else with her. You can even say, "I don't want to discuss this right now. You want space, go have it." PERIOD.
 

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You could have written this about me 6 years ago. Nothing you say will matter. I agree with the previous poster. Work on you and give her space. She wants to leave because she is cheating. I'd bet a lot of money on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone. Very good stuff.

I do not believe she is cheating. We discussed this. I am pretty sure she is not cheating.

Did your situation of 6 years ago workout?
 

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I am very sorry for your pain.

It's time for you to stop acting needy. That is a turn-off. Stop letting her call all of the shots. If you don't want to separate and/or divorce, then tell her no to reading "her" books about separate houses.

You stay in your home. If she wants out, she goes. She is no longer attracted to you. She may have found someone else. Investigate.

Continue to work on yourself. It may bring back her attraction to you but if it doesn't, you will be in a better place to meet new women someday.
 

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It doesn't even matter if she is cheating. The point is, she is NOT contributing to the marriage at all. She is leaving... she wants to make you an equal partner to the leaving. You do not have to be a partner to it, you don't have to help her thru it, you don't have to be pleasant, you don't have to grovel....

You can't save the marriage by yourself. You can't make her happy...whatever she is missing, she will have to figure out. You can't fix this. You can't even change you to make her stay... it doesn't work that way.

What YOU have to do.... is pull yourself up by the bootstraps and make sure that YOU are ok. THEN you have to be the sane parent and make sure the kid is ok....and keep it that way.

Find your support group.... best friend, family, whomever....
See an attorney.... doesn't mean divorce, but you have GOT to know what you are looking at financially and child custody. Knowledge is power. She doesn't get to call all the shots. SHE is the one breaking the deal.... you get to figure out your part!!

You can do this. YOU make it work.... despite whatever she throws at you.
 

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She sounds either terribly depressed or...I hate to say it because it tends to be too quickly assumed here on TAM many times...she's cheating on you. She wants to separate, she wants you to read a book about separating, she acknowledges she's not attracted to you but doesn't have any interest in trying to regain it, she buys sexy panties and posts flirty things on Facebook. The most incriminating thing, IMO, is her saying she has regained her libido but just doesn't want to have sex with you. That doesn't mean she doesn't want to have sex. She does...just not with you. I wager she's going outside the marriage to get her needs met, despite the fact you are more than able and willing to provide them.
 

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Rob. Unfortunately and fortunately it did not for many many reasons. We have kids together and still have to have some sort of relationship for them but looking back, I see now so many reasons it didn't work. It's truly amazing we made it as long as we did. We just don't view life the same at all.
 

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SunnyT, you sound like my kind of person. I agree with you 100%.

Personally, I don't want a man to "stay" with me out of obligation or because he fears what might happen to him financially; I only want him to stay because that is -- in his heart, in his mind -- what he truly WANTS to do. Nor will I ever "beg" a man to stay when he has clearly showed me that has little to no interest in doing so.

To the original poster, as hurtful as it is to lose the one you love and have built a life with, I believe that the constant rejection by that person is more hurtful and damaging to your spirit and self esteem in the long run. As others have said, continue to work on you...
 

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SunnyT, you sound like my kind of person. I agree with you 100%.

Personally, I don't want a man to "stay" with me out of obligation or because he fears what might happen to him financially; I only want him to stay because that is -- in his heart, in his mind -- what he truly WANTS to do. Nor will I ever "beg" a man to stay when he has clearly showed me that has little to no interest in doing so.

To the original poster, as hurtful as it is to lose the one you love and have built a life with, I believe that the constant rejection by that person is more hurtful and damaging to your spirit and self esteem in the long run. As others have said, continue to work on you...
OP,

Every once and a while I will read a thread here and it will hurt my soul. This is one of those times. I am not sure I can point to any one reason other than I feel your sincerity and recognize it being ignored.

You have been given some solid advice by some good people here who know the ropes. Sometimes it can get cynical but very often the cynicism turns out to be the truth.

As has been stated get an attorney in order to understand your rights and to protect yourself as a father and as a provider. If things do go sideways I would encourage you both to find one attorney that will work in the interests of your family instead of against one another.

The red flags of an affair are there. It could just be her spreading her wings to see what is out there but do some investigation. There are plenty here who will show you how to be entirely thorough.

I am wishing you well and I am hopeful for you both.

Oh and do not read that crap your wife wants you to read. If my wife wanted me to read a book about separation I would burn it.
 

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Don't allow "her" book to become another contention between the two of you by denouncing it out right. Sure, you don't want to split up and hand the kids back and forth, but give it a very quick look so when she brings it up you can validate her present feelings. The last thing you want to do is refuse to read it or throw it back at her. Doing that will NOT help you reach your goal of reconciliation.

Validating her feelings doesn't mean you have to agree with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the response. I still don't think a physical affair has occurred st this time not ruled out an emotional one yet. She says no, but spends an awful lot of time on facebook and is no longer friends with me or lists herself as married.

I'm reading divorce remedy now and it is helping. I have an appointment with an attorney on monday. She is seeing one too.

I want to work it out with her because I love her and our son.the financial situation is secondary. I don't want to stay married if it means being the way it was.

I know she is totally checked out for now. I'm no longer trying to convince her to try, or profess my love for her.
I looked at the book and read some pages paged through the rest, it's not for me at this time.I don't plan to reject it to her.

Just going to do the best for me and my son.

how do I approach mc? We have an appointment on tuesday. Not sure she considers it mc even.

Thanks again.
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