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Hey there, obviously new here. Me: 39 year old husband, married to 43/f. Each on our second marriages, she has teenage children and mine are just a little younger than that. We have been together for just over 3 years, married for almost a year and a half. We have always, what I would consider, to be a high conflict couple. I understand completely that every marriage has it's amount of disagreement and arguments. What we do is far different than what I feel the "normal" is...like major blow ups at least once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Lately feeling like I cannot do a single thing right in her eyes and she has to call me out for every single perceived discretion she can. I am at the end of my rope and now have it stuck in my head how much happier I would be without her on my back nearly as often as she is. Lately, I cannot go a day without one more thing being piled on top of the heap of things I cannot do right. Even when I feel like I'm doing something right, she's in my face showing me that that can't be true. I own up to my shortcomings and I take responsibility when she's hurt or has hurt feelings about something said, done, etc.

I don't know what to do. We haven't been married long. We own a house together but have no children in common.
 

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Hey there, obviously new here. Me: 39 year old husband, married to 43/f. Each on our second marriages, she has teenage children and mine are just a little younger than that. We have been together for just over 3 years, married for almost a year and a half. We have always, what I would consider, to be a high conflict couple. I understand completely that every marriage has it's amount of disagreement and arguments. What we do is far different than what I feel the "normal" is...like major blow ups at least once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. Lately feeling like I cannot do a single thing right in her eyes and she has to call me out for every single perceived discretion she can. I am at the end of my rope and now have it stuck in my head how much happier I would be without her on my back nearly as often as she is. Lately, I cannot go a day without one more thing being piled on top of the heap of things I cannot do right. Even when I feel like I'm doing something right, she's in my face showing me that that can't be true. I own up to my shortcomings and I take responsibility when she's hurt or has hurt feelings about something said, done, etc.

I don't know what to do. We haven't been married long. We own a house together but have no children in common.
Well, at the very least, if you guys do actually love each other and care about the marriage, then you guys have to get into some type of Marriage Counseling.

Obviously you need to work on communication. But that is going to take work on both sides.

But try to find a good therapist and see if you guys can make some head way...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, at the very least, if you guys do actually love each other and care about the marriage, then you guys have to get into some type of Marriage Counseling.

Obviously you need to work on communication. But that is going to take work on both sides.

But try to find a good therapist and see if you guys can make some head way...
We've been to 2 separate MC's with little to show for it. The first suggested we separate which I was all for, but my wife would not. She said it was stay together no matter what or divorce automatically so that was a no-go. My personal opinion was that we just needed time and space apart from each other for a bit, and she did not agree.
 

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We've been to 2 separate MC's with little to show for it. The first suggested we separate which I was all for, but my wife would not. She said it was stay together no matter what or divorce automatically so that was a no-go. My personal opinion was that we just needed time and space apart from each other for a bit, and she did not agree.
Is it possible she knew you weren't ready to divorce so that wasn't a worry for her? If you mention it again that you are starting to think that's a possibility if you can't get your differences worked out she may feel differently. Of course, don't bring up divorce if that's not something you're prepared to do.
 

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We've been to 2 separate MC's with little to show for it. The first suggested we separate which I was all for, but my wife would not. She said it was stay together no matter what or divorce automatically so that was a no-go. My personal opinion was that we just needed time and space apart from each other for a bit, and she did not agree.
You have to take the lead here and make some changes because what you’re doing isn’t working.
You are also giving your children some terrible lessons in what a marriage is supposed to be like.
Do you want them to believe that all a marriage is is a war of attrition ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Is it possible she knew you weren't ready to divorce so that wasn't a worry for her? If you mention it again that you are starting to think that's a possibility if you can't get your differences worked out she may feel differently. Of course, don't bring up divorce if that's not something you're prepared to do.
I need to be very careful before using the D word again in this situation. It's kind of why I'm here. I need clarity that I can't seem to grasp on my own or in conversation with her anymore. Right now I feel like that is exactly what is needed...cut my losses, move on with my children and be done. But I need to be sure. I need to see it much more clearly than I can right now.
 

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I need to be very careful before using the D word again in this situation. It's kind of why I'm here. I need clarity that I can't seem to grasp on my own or in conversation with her anymore. Right now I feel like that is exactly what is needed...cut my losses, move on with my children and be done. But I need to be sure. I need to see it much more clearly than I can right now.
I think some individual therapy might help you in that regard. A good therapist can help you see things more clearly.

Have you sat down with your wife and asked what she's feeling about all the bickering? Is she one of those people that bickering and nitpicking is just a normal part of a relationship? There are lots of people who think it's just fine oddly enough.

At the very least you need to let her know you're unhappy with the situation as it is right now. Ask how she feels about it and ask if she has any ideas on fixing things between you. That might be a good starting place. You would know better than me of course but I'd start there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think some individual therapy might help you in that regard. A good therapist can help you see things more clearly.

Have you sat down with your wife and asked what she's feeling about all the bickering? Is she one of those people that bickering and nitpicking is just a normal part of a relationship? There are lots of people who think it's just fine oddly enough.

At the very least you need to let her know you're unhappy with the situation as it is right now. Ask how she feels about it and ask if she has any ideas on fixing things between you. That might be a good starting place. You would know better than me of course but I'd start there.
I've seen a couple of IC's as well. Perhaps not the right ones, but the one that knew the most told me that he saw little chance of this working out long term and he couldn't understand how I hadn't run...and she hadn't run, for that matter, already.

We talk about the bickering and nitpicking almost constantly. It's a major problem in my life, and not in hers. Her first marriage was full of it also. There were so many red flags when we first got together, this included, that I just ignored because of those love blinders.

She knows how deeply unhappy I am, and all she does is put the walls up and defend herself and tell me it's up to me to change my own narrative.
 

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I've seen a couple of IC's as well. Perhaps not the right ones, but the one that knew the most told me that he saw little chance of this working out long term and he couldn't understand how I hadn't run...and she hadn't run, for that matter, already.

We talk about the bickering and nitpicking almost constantly. It's a major problem in my life, and not in hers. Her first marriage was full of it also. There were so many red flags when we first got together, this included, that I just ignored because of those love blinders.

She knows how deeply unhappy I am, and all she does is put the walls up and defend herself and tell me it's up to me to change my own narrative.
Well, if she's aware of how you feel and doesn't want to change to better the relationship I guess that says it all. Think long and hard: What will you feel if 10 years from now you're still dealing with all this same stuff?

You have ONE life to live. It's up to you to make it a happy one or a miserable one. I finally chose happy after 14 years of miserable...wish I'd done it long ago.
 

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Well, if she's aware of how you feel and doesn't want to change to better the relationship I guess that says it all. Think long and hard: What will you feel if 10 years from now you're still dealing with all this same stuff?

You have ONE life to live. It's up to you to make it a happy one or a miserable one. I finally chose happy after 14 years of miserable...wish I'd done it long ago.
I'll tell you, if you couldn't tell already, that I am leaning towards leaving. I am more unhappy in this relationship in general than I was in my first marriage. That speaks volumes to me.
 

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She knows how deeply unhappy I am, and all she does is put the walls up and defend herself and tell me it's up to me to change my own narrative.
Any problem in marriage can be solved if both people are committed to fixing it. But if her attitude is "There's nothing wrong with me. The problem is you can't handle me. You figure out how you can deal with me.", then it's going to be essentially impossible to make things better.

I can't imagine this environment is good for the kids. It's probably emotionally destructive to them to see the parents fighting all the time. If your kids are pre-teen, then they likely have their own personal emotional toil going on like is common at that age. Forget about you and your wife--do what's best for your kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Any problem in marriage can be solved if both people are committed to fixing it. But if her attitude is "There's nothing wrong with me. The problem is you can't handle me. You figure out how you can deal with me.", then it's going to be essentially impossible to make things better.

I can't imagine this environment is good for the kids. It's probably emotionally destructive to them to see the parents fighting all the time. If your kids are pre-teen, then they likely have their own personal emotional toil going on like is common at that age. Forget about you and your wife--do what's best for your kids.
They absolutely do and I feel immensely guilty about the few arguments we've had while they've been home. It had gotten so bad at one point that my 11 year old daughter texted her grandmother to come pick her up because she was scared. That makes me so sad to think about that I, and we, let it get that out of control. I don't want that life for them. That has figured very heavily into this whole thing. That is not their mother and they are not all that bonded to her to begin with.
 

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I am sorry you're going through this.

I'd be curious to know.... how were each of your first marriages? Any chance she found reason to criticize her 1st husband like she does to you? Is there a commonality here between either your or her marriage to what you're seeing now?

I'll say this.... weekly arguments like you describe aren't normal. Marriage does take work but weekly blowups aren't expected. I had a girlfriend like this once and she always found a way to make the most mundane situation a 5 alarm fire. It was exhausting. Worst relationship ever. I finally decided I'm a nice enough guy and shouldn't have to put up with this in a girlfriend.

I realize the marriage is another level of commitment. But this almost sounds unhealthy for both of you.
 

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I am sorry you're going through this.

I'd be curious to know.... how were each of your first marriages? Any chance she found reason to criticize her 1st husband like she does to you? Is there a commonality here between either your or her marriage to what you're seeing now?

I'll say this.... weekly arguments like you describe aren't normal. Marriage does take work but weekly blowups aren't expected. I had a girlfriend like this once and she always found a way to make the most mundane situation a 5 alarm fire. It was exhausting. Worst relationship ever. I finally decided I'm a nice enough guy and shouldn't have to put up with this in a girlfriend.

I realize the marriage is another level of commitment. But this almost sounds unhealthy for both of you.
I appreciate your concern, thank you.

Her first marriage was very full of conflict, much like ours currently is. He used to say things like "I feel bad for the next man who ends up with you" and things similar to that. That alone should have been a little bit of a red flag, but I saw it as him just being mean to her at the time. My first marriage was NOTHING like this...it was actually the very opposite. We rarely fought and should have fought about the important things more.

Our fights have NEVER seemed normal to me, but they do to her. She just says, all couples fight, conflict is normal. Nothing about ours feel that way to me and never have. I feel like I would know "normal". Like I said, there were so many red flags I missed in the name of love, passion, etc etc etc that made me push right past any of this. I am exhausted, extremely exhausted. That is the perfect word to describe where I am right now.
 

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We've been to 2 separate MC's with little to show for it. The first suggested we separate which I was all for, but my wife would not. She said it was stay together no matter what or divorce automatically so that was a no-go. My personal opinion was that we just needed time and space apart from each other for a bit, and she did not agree.
To be honest, I kind of agree with your wife on that. I believe that if you want to work on the marriage, then separating in not a good thing. Some people feel differently, but I think if you can't work it out or be working on the marriage, then you need to just pull the band aid off and get a D.

How did the MC go? Was any progress made? Can you guys communicate about anything?

Frankly, it sounds like both of you have some issues, and I get some of yours and feeling beat up by your partner.

But can she articulate what her actual problems are?

With my last ex, literally she as just nuts. She had a NEW big, ever moving problems, every time we went to the MC.

The problem was she was just nuts...

And don't think that I am saying that your a perfect or she is a monster, because I am not. We only have your side of the story.

Without more details it is really hard to say what is going on.

But, keep looking to MC's... the are SOME good ones out there, but there are a lot of super crappy ones...
 

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To be honest, I kind of agree with your wife on that. I believe that if you want to work on the marriage, then separating in not a good thing. Some people feel differently, but I think if you can't work it out or be working on the marriage, then you need to just pull the band aid off and get a D.

How did the MC go? Was any progress made? Can you guys communicate about anything?

Frankly, it sounds like both of you have some issues, and I get some of yours and feeling beat up by your partner.

But can she articulate what her actual problems are?

With my last ex, literally she as just nuts. She had a NEW big, ever moving problems, every time we went to the MC.

The problem was she was just nuts...

And don't think that I am saying that your a perfect or she is a monster, because I am not. We only have your side of the story.

Without more details it is really hard to say what is going on.

But, keep looking to MC's... the are SOME good ones out there, but there are a lot of super crappy ones...
Perhaps I knew deep down even then that I really didn't want to separate but really wanted the divorce.
 

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I rarely know when she's happy or content. I ALWAYS know when she is angry, frustrated, upset, *fill in negative feeling here*. That is exhausting by itself. I have no problem listening and apologizing when I'm wrong or when I'm the reason for the negative feelings, but when they are almost constant, it makes me want to just stop.
 

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I rarely know when she's happy or content. I ALWAYS know when she is angry, frustrated, upset, *fill in negative feeling here*. That is exhausting by itself. I have no problem listening and apologizing when I'm wrong or when I'm the reason for the negative feelings, but when they are almost constant, it makes me want to just stop.
Constant nagging and butt hurt feelings over every little thing taken out of context really kills marriages. Some people are just not hardwired to handle stress or anger appropriately. Sometimes you can predict them by counting the days of the month, though.
 

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Constant nagging and butt hurt feelings over every little thing taken out of context really kills marriages. Some people are just not hardwired to handle stress or anger appropriately. Sometimes you can predict them by counting the days of the month, though.
That might be a part of the problem, but I don't want to lay anything completely on that.

A huge problem is that the more often we started fighting, the more severe we started fighting, I started finding myself more angry than I've ever been. Saying things I wouldn't say to my worst enemy in the face of receiving the same treatment. Basically in a way, I found me lowering myself to a level that I've never been and I feel extremely guilty that I let myself get to that point.

It's gotten to the point where police have been called because I had felt we had lost control of the situation. I try to leave to cool off, and she has blocked the car in and caused damage to the vehicle to keep me from leaving. Things have been thrown, damage to the house has been caused, by both of us. She continues to shame me for feeling like the police needed to be called but I stand by the decision to do so. I've never dealt with anything like this in my life.
 
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