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How many hours a week to you and your wife spend together, just the two of you, doing things together?
We spend approximately 2 hours a day together where we are either taking our dogs for a walk, or reading in the same room. We do not have TV. Some weekends we go on hikes together.

This is much less time together than earlier in or marriage. We used to ski together, go out to dinner, go see shows. Now our time together is pretty dull.



When you do things together, what do you do?
We do not have much conversation together like we used to.

I have a lot of resentment built up, and I am sure my wife does too. I find it hard to be affectionate with her since I am very upset at her lack of partnership and taking on some responsibility in our partnership (financial, keeping track of things, planning together). This is an old pattern of mine I have with her and although I know it is not healthy, I seem to revert back to it when she reneges on agreements made.

Instead of discussing things when boundaries are crossed, we both seem to become passive aggressive, or "guilt trip". I tend not to bring up problems or concerns since she has a tendency to get extremely defensive (in a verbally abusive manner). We have tried to work on this together with marriage counselor's and that helped for a while, however this dynamic is still present.

I have so much resentment built up inside me, and I do not talk about it with her, so it builds, and then I shut down affection and attention (immature on my part....). My resentment is mostly due to her not respecting agreements on partnership that we worked out in the past.

For example, our marriage counselor had to strongly recommend to my wife that she contribute some financial support to our monthly expenses, and that I should not have to ask for that. The pattern has been that my wife will start to do automatic bank transfers, then stop them, without telling me. I find out months later (since I am not on top of the finances as much as I should be). Now that I am not working, this is a more important issue.

Her frequent and extended trips back home to see her sisters and father were also an issue that we worked out so that she would balance these trips with some vacation time together. Each year though she ends up spending more time away from home, with her sisters, and less time doing vacations together with me. The first 7 years of our 15 year marriage we would go on trips together at least once a month (usually weekend camping trips). Now we never go together.

Earlier this year she spent 2 months continuously away, helping her father organize his estate and house, as he is aging. During that time I noticed on our phone bill that she had been calling old boyfriends. This concerned me since I had no idea what was really going on, and she was away from home and around them. I called her out on this and she did not have much to say, although she was mad I brought it up and seemed to be acting guilty. Her phone calls with them ended for 5 months or so. Now I notice them again. It is pretty obvious for me to see these since I get the monthly bills of phone and text messages.

I took your advice and I am about 1/2 through the book "His Needs, Her Needs". Thank you for recommending this book. It makes a lot of sense and helps explain how marriages can go awry.

I notice that she is frequently texting an ex boyfriend of her sister, who is unmarried father of my wife's nephew (and the unmarried father of two other sons with two other women). Reading "His Needs, Her Needs", makes me really question if now she is having an affair with him, or about to. Should I ask her directly about this now? ( I will hopefully finish this book today).

These problems have been going on for a long time now. I see that my needs are not being met { lack of partnership (family commitment), lack of openness and honesty, financial support, sexual fulfillment (she sleeps in the other room), physical attractiveness, recreational companionship.}. Gee, looks like the "train is already wrecked".

This past few weeks things really hit me hard when she announced that (1) she needed to spend time with her sister while her nephew was having surgery, (2) telling, versus discussing together, that she was going to go be with her sister during the time of the surgery and come back home on Dec 24 for Christmas -- (fine with me), however, then changing this to be that she needed to be away with her sister (??) over Christmas, (3) resisting my attempts to try and come be with her and her sisters during this time. ( I was told that it would complicate things too much by me being there while all the chaos of the surgery and recovery was going on).

My wife and I talked about it and I told her how much it hurt me that my wife chose not to be with her husband over Christmas and that it upset me. After that she started to really "back pedal", she bought a little Christmas tree for me to have at home, offered that we celebrate before she left. She apologized for the way that she handled this, and it seemed somewhat genuine, albeit reactive. I told her I was hurt about how things were done and how I felt not included. I think she was feeling very guilty. I am very confused though.

My gut instinct is usually right and I tend to act on it. It tells me that she has withdrawn, her needs were not being met (by my poor way of handling the resentment and lack of progress I needed to see). I am now wondering if it is really worthwhile going on with her, or just moving on.

My "quick reply" has turned into a dissertation, my apologies for the diatribe. I appreciate everyone's comments and perspectives.
 

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Her frequent and extended trips back home to see her sisters and father were also an issue that we worked out so that she would balance these trips with some vacation time together. Each year though she ends up spending more time away from home, with her sisters, and less time doing vacations together with me. The first 7 years of our 15 year marriage we would go on trips together at least once a month (usually weekend camping trips). Now we never go together.

Earlier this year she spent 2 months continuously away, helping her father organize his estate and house, as he is aging. During that time I noticed on our phone bill that she had been calling old boyfriends. This concerned me since I had no idea what was really going on, and she was away from home and around them. I called her out on this and she did not have much to say, although she was mad I brought it up and seemed to be acting guilty. Her phone calls with them ended for 5 months or so. Now I notice them again. It is pretty obvious for me to see these since I get the monthly bills of phone and text messages.

I notice that she is frequently texting an ex boyfriend of her sister, who is unmarried father of my wife's nephew (and the unmarried father of two other sons with two other women). Reading "His Needs, Her Needs", makes me really question if now she is having an affair with him, or about to. Should I ask her directly about this now? ( I will hopefully finish this book today).

These problems have been going on for a long time now. I see that my needs are not being met { lack of partnership (family commitment), lack of openness and honesty, financial support, sexual fulfillment (she sleeps in the other room), physical attractiveness, recreational companionship.}. Gee, looks like the "train is already wrecked".

This past few weeks things really hit me hard when she announced that (1) she needed to spend time with her sister while her nephew was having surgery, (2) telling, versus discussing together, that she was going to go be with her sister during the time of the surgery and come back home on Dec 24 for Christmas -- (fine with me), however, then changing this to be that she needed to be away with her sister (??) over Christmas, (3) resisting my attempts to try and come be with her and her sisters during this time. ( I was told that it would complicate things too much by me being there while all the chaos of the surgery and recovery was going on).

My wife and I talked about it and I told her how much it hurt me that my wife chose not to be with her husband over Christmas and that it upset me. After that she started to really "back pedal", she bought a little Christmas tree for me to have at home, offered that we celebrate before she left. She apologized for the way that she handled this, and it seemed somewhat genuine, albeit reactive. I told her I was hurt about how things were done and how I felt not included. I think she was feeling very guilty. I am very confused though.

My gut instinct is usually right and I tend to act on it. It tells me that she has withdrawn, her needs were not being met (by my poor way of handling the resentment and lack of progress I needed to see). I am now wondering if it is really worthwhile going on with her, or just moving on.

My "quick reply" has turned into a dissertation, my apologies for the diatribe. I appreciate everyone's comments and perspectives.
Read the sections of your post I highlighted. You have major red flags here. At this point, from what you posted, I would bet big money on some form of infidelity while at her sisters.

Your presence with her over Christmas would have complicated things with her lover, not her sister and nephew.
 

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We spend approximately 2 hours a day together where we are either taking our dogs for a walk, or reading in the same room. We do not have TV. Some weekends we go on hikes together.

This is much less time together than earlier in or marriage. We used to ski together, go out to dinner, go see shows. Now our time together is pretty dull.





We do not have much conversation together like we used to.

I have a lot of resentment built up, and I am sure my wife does too. I find it hard to be affectionate with her since I am very upset at her lack of partnership and taking on some responsibility in our partnership (financial, keeping track of things, planning together). This is an old pattern of mine I have with her and although I know it is not healthy, I seem to revert back to it when she reneges on agreements made.

Instead of discussing things when boundaries are crossed, we both seem to become passive aggressive, or "guilt trip". I tend not to bring up problems or concerns since she has a tendency to get extremely defensive (in a verbally abusive manner). We have tried to work on this together with marriage counselor's and that helped for a while, however this dynamic is still present.

I have so much resentment built up inside me, and I do not talk about it with her, so it builds, and then I shut down affection and attention (immature on my part....). My resentment is mostly due to her not respecting agreements on partnership that we worked out in the past.

For example, our marriage counselor had to strongly recommend to my wife that she contribute some financial support to our monthly expenses, and that I should not have to ask for that. The pattern has been that my wife will start to do automatic bank transfers, then stop them, without telling me. I find out months later (since I am not on top of the finances as much as I should be). Now that I am not working, this is a more important issue.

Her frequent and extended trips back home to see her sisters and father were also an issue that we worked out so that she would balance these trips with some vacation time together. Each year though she ends up spending more time away from home, with her sisters, and less time doing vacations together with me. The first 7 years of our 15 year marriage we would go on trips together at least once a month (usually weekend camping trips). Now we never go together.

Earlier this year she spent 2 months continuously away, helping her father organize his estate and house, as he is aging. During that time I noticed on our phone bill that she had been calling old boyfriends. This concerned me since I had no idea what was really going on, and she was away from home and around them. I called her out on this and she did not have much to say, although she was mad I brought it up and seemed to be acting guilty. Her phone calls with them ended for 5 months or so. Now I notice them again. It is pretty obvious for me to see these since I get the monthly bills of phone and text messages.

I took your advice and I am about 1/2 through the book "His Needs, Her Needs". Thank you for recommending this book. It makes a lot of sense and helps explain how marriages can go awry.

I notice that she is frequently texting an ex boyfriend of her sister, who is unmarried father of my wife's nephew (and the unmarried father of two other sons with two other women). Reading "His Needs, Her Needs", makes me really question if now she is having an affair with him, or about to. Should I ask her directly about this now? ( I will hopefully finish this book today).

These problems have been going on for a long time now. I see that my needs are not being met { lack of partnership (family commitment), lack of openness and honesty, financial support, sexual fulfillment (she sleeps in the other room), physical attractiveness, recreational companionship.}. Gee, looks like the "train is already wrecked".

This past few weeks things really hit me hard when she announced that (1) she needed to spend time with her sister while her nephew was having surgery, (2) telling, versus discussing together, that she was going to go be with her sister during the time of the surgery and come back home on Dec 24 for Christmas -- (fine with me), however, then changing this to be that she needed to be away with her sister (??) over Christmas, (3) resisting my attempts to try and come be with her and her sisters during this time. ( I was told that it would complicate things too much by me being there while all the chaos of the surgery and recovery was going on).

My wife and I talked about it and I told her how much it hurt me that my wife chose not to be with her husband over Christmas and that it upset me. After that she started to really "back pedal", she bought a little Christmas tree for me to have at home, offered that we celebrate before she left. She apologized for the way that she handled this, and it seemed somewhat genuine, albeit reactive. I told her I was hurt about how things were done and how I felt not included. I think she was feeling very guilty. I am very confused though.

My gut instinct is usually right and I tend to act on it. It tells me that she has withdrawn, her needs were not being met (by my poor way of handling the resentment and lack of progress I needed to see). I am now wondering if it is really worthwhile going on with her, or just moving on.

My "quick reply" has turned into a dissertation, my apologies for the diatribe. I appreciate everyone's comments and perspectives.
This latest update is more ominous than your previous posts.

In any case, only you can make a decision as to what is best for YOU, so make sure that whatever you decide, it will be something that you can live with for the rest of your life.

You may also be interested in reading What I've Learned in the Past Year - A good news story
 
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Thank you, the post "What I've Learned in the Past Year-- A good news story" is spot on. Great story.
 

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Thank you, the post "What I've Learned in the Past Year-- A good news story" is spot on. Great story.
You're welcome. It is not only inspirational but very empowering as well.

You may also want to check out Just Let Them Go.

Of course it is not Marriage Builders approved :rolleyes:
 
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When I read the first post I was going to say that I feel similarly lonely with the fact that my husband seems to enjoys his family's company more than mine. I can't have holidays with just him and my daughter, I have to stay with his family (who is horrible btw). I don't even see him when we're there, he's running around stores with his brothers or playing video games. So sit awkwardly in the guest bedroom for a few days... I hate it. It's been this way for 7 years. Any time I try to change things it's an excessive amount of drama to the point of absurdity.

I just read your lately update though, and it seems this is way more than a weird family attachment. She's cheating. It's that simple. Please don't let her drag you around!
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Later today I am meeting alone with our marriage counselor. I am at the point where I think it is time to end my marriage, or at least separate.

I am not sure if I should reveal at this point, to our counselor if I think my wife is having an affair?

I do not have any "smoking gun" evidence yet. I am contemplating using some of the methods suggested on this forum to find out more.

One thing I know is that my wife's complaints about me are legit. I have withdrawn affection to her and retreated. This has been my response to her continued (over the past 10 years) breaking of agreements (financial and responsibility) and boundaries. The biggest issue for me is that she seems to be more engaged in her sisters lives back at home in another state than here. She would rather spend time away from me, than with me. I am sure my withdrawing has helped this, although this has been a continued sore point in our marriage. I am upset because she is not engaged in planning and partnership here. She sleeps in the other bedroom most of the time. We have terrible communication skills and I am afraid to initiate discussion on important topics with her, because she gets extremely defensive and verbally abusive to me.

My wife suffers from severe depression. She does not want to talk about it, and she refuses to take medication for it. Our counselor suggested medication because her depression is serious.

I know I have done many things wrong, or not in a smart way by withdrawing. For me, it seemed like my only way to communicate that I was unhappy. If I tried to talk about things with her it became unsafe -- she would get verbally abusive.

Without going over a decade of examples.. the latest one was when I gently told her that it hurt me to learn that my wife had made plans to be away from me over Christmas for a week, and that when I offered a way to come along her, that she and her sisters (and probably a unverified lover) found excuses for me not to come -- my wife's response was "Why don't you be a big boy and learn how to spend Christmas alone this year?". Wow. She later said that was a mean thing to say and she was sorry.

My gut feeling tells me she is already gone. Having an affair, and is feeling guilty and not wanting to hurt me. She says she loves me, however I doubt she is in love with me.

My gut feeling tells me that I should probably move on. However, this is a big step. Should I suggest a separation, or a divorce, or learn more of what exactly is going on. For example, will she admit she is having an affair, if that is indeed the case. Or should I be sneaky and gather more evidence?

I really liked some of the earlier advice given about just letting go. http://talkaboutmarriage.com/mens-c...ned-past-year-good-news-story.html#post356548

Friends tell me to just chill out for a bit, do not make any big moves yet, try to find out more evidence regarding her having an affair. If we got divorced now it would be financially painful for me since I am in between a career change and starting up a new business (i.e. living off savings). To me, who I am, it does not feel right to hold off a divorce until the financial timing is right. Although I consider myself a "naive idealist".

What to do... ? I hope I can be strong and do what is right for me....
 

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If I still remember my maths, there are 52 weeks in a year and your wife spends only 2 of those with her family, how is that such a big problem? I am travelling to see my family for 2 weeks in another country, should I then be concerned about marriage? Should I not be excited about seeing my family?
I think you need to find some hobbies for yourself and people you are excited to see that way you won't feel cheated when your wife travels. Your wife cannot be your everything.
As for the Chritsmas, it's unfortunate she couldn't come home to spend the day with you, but my first thought was why couldn't you drive down for the Christmas?
Just my 2 cents

Ok. Just read the las update, maybe there other things going on. goodluck figuring them out:)
 

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Edit: Whoa posted in the wrong thread entirely. Sorry! :( Too many tabs open. :eek:

Edit 2: Okay I just read your latest post. So, so sad. I'm sorry this is happening. :( You need to tell her all of the things you have told us. Write it in a letter if you have to. You can't fix things if you don't communicate. Also, I really would encourage the meds, depression is horrible. Why does she not want to take it?
 

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Later today I am meeting alone with our marriage counselor. I am at the point where I think it is time to end my marriage, or at least separate.

I am not sure if I should reveal at this point, to our counselor if I think my wife is having an affair?

I do not have any "smoking gun" evidence yet. I am contemplating using some of the methods suggested on this forum to find out more.

One thing I know is that my wife's complaints about me are legit. I have withdrawn affection to her and retreated. This has been my response to her continued (over the past 10 years) breaking of agreements (financial and responsibility) and boundaries. The biggest issue for me is that she seems to be more engaged in her sisters lives back at home in another state than here. She would rather spend time away from me, than with me. I am sure my withdrawing has helped this, although this has been a continued sore point in our marriage. I am upset because she is not engaged in planning and partnership here. She sleeps in the other bedroom most of the time. We have terrible communication skills and I am afraid to initiate discussion on important topics with her, because she gets extremely defensive and verbally abusive to me.

My wife suffers from severe depression. She does not want to talk about it, and she refuses to take medication for it. Our counselor suggested medication because her depression is serious.

I know I have done many things wrong, or not in a smart way by withdrawing. For me, it seemed like my only way to communicate that I was unhappy. If I tried to talk about things with her it became unsafe -- she would get verbally abusive.

Without going over a decade of examples.. the latest one was when I gently told her that it hurt me to learn that my wife had made plans to be away from me over Christmas for a week, and that when I offered a way to come along her, that she and her sisters (and probably a unverified lover) found excuses for me not to come -- my wife's response was "Why don't you be a big boy and learn how to spend Christmas alone this year?". Wow. She later said that was a mean thing to say and she was sorry.

My gut feeling tells me she is already gone. Having an affair, and is feeling guilty and not wanting to hurt me. She says she loves me, however I doubt she is in love with me.

My gut feeling tells me that I should probably move on. However, this is a big step. Should I suggest a separation, or a divorce, or learn more of what exactly is going on. For example, will she admit she is having an affair, if that is indeed the case. Or should I be sneaky and gather more evidence?

I really liked some of the earlier advice given about just letting go. http://talkaboutmarriage.com/mens-c...ned-past-year-good-news-story.html#post356548

Friends tell me to just chill out for a bit, do not make any big moves yet, try to find out more evidence regarding her having an affair. If we got divorced now it would be financially painful for me since I am in between a career change and starting up a new business (i.e. living off savings). To me, who I am, it does not feel right to hold off a divorce until the financial timing is right. Although I consider myself a "naive idealist".

What to do... ? I hope I can be strong and do what is right for me....

Glad you're moving forward. Sorry bout what you're going trough. Been there. This will get better just takes some time
 

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Last year my wife went to go help clean up her father's home for 2 months! This caused a lot of grief in our marriage.
I don't blame you for being upset about that. Your wife works, her sisters don't. And they live in their father's house for free. They are the ones who should get off their obese asses and clean their father's house. Not your wife!!

The little bit of vacation time my wife gets off from work she uses to run back home to be with her family out in California.
Since you are retired, have you considered moving to California? Then she can spend time with her family without burning her vacation time. That's assuming, of course, that you have satisfied yourself that she is not having an affair.
 

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If she's unwilling to do her part in rebuilding the marriage, you only have 2 options, stay or leave. Whatever option you choose, you must begin the emotional detachment from your wife. One excellent way is to start with the 180 degrees. It is tough and it may take many tries before you do it seamlessly. But once you master it, you will no longer be afraid of the outcome of your marriage.
 

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If she's unwilling to do her part in rebuilding the marriage, you only have 2 options, stay or leave. Whatever option you choose, you must begin the emotional detachment from your wife. One excellent way is to start with the 180 degrees. It is tough and it may take many tries before you do it seamlessly. But once you master it, you will no longer be afraid of the outcome of your marriage.
Thank you Talk About Marriage - View Profile: chaos for the pointer to The Healing Heart: The 180 This makes a lot of sense, and is inline with the link you sent me about being strong and letting go. Today at the counselor it was interesting. The counselor did not know a lot about what had been going on and was so surprised they bet me that I am not accurate in my assessment. That was a surprise for me too. Following something like the 180 is good. My earlier plan was to hand out some of the exercises from His Needs, Her Needs, and work them through together. This however seems clingy, needy, and sends the message that what you just did is OK. I think that now, tonight when she gets home, I will begin the 180. (I have been doing a lot of that for a while, except it has come across as me shunning her and ignoring her too much). Wish me luck and strength.
 

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Thank you Talk About Marriage - View Profile: chaos for the pointer to The Healing Heart: The 180 This makes a lot of sense, and is inline with the link you sent me about being strong and letting go. Today at the counselor it was interesting. The counselor did not know a lot about what had been going on and was so surprised they bet me that I am not accurate in my assessment. That was a surprise for me too. Following something like the 180 is good. My earlier plan was to hand out some of the exercises from His Needs, Her Needs, and work them through together. This however seems clingy, needy, and sends the message that what you just did is OK. I think that now, tonight when she gets home, I will begin the 180. (I have been doing a lot of that for a while, except it has come across as me shunning her and ignoring her too much). Wish me luck and strength.
Dr Willard Harley's book "His Needs, Her Needs" is a great book for couples who are committed to restoring their marriages. Sadly your wife seems to be light years away from committing to do her part in restoring the marriage and until that happens, "His Needs, Her Needs" must be put back on the book shelf.

In the meantime, consider developing outside interests that will take you away from your wife. How she reacts to this may help you cement your decision on whether to stay or leave.

Good luck
 
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Edit: Whoa posted in the wrong thread entirely. Sorry! :( Too many tabs open. :eek:

Edit 2: Okay I just read your latest post. So, so sad. I'm sorry this is happening. :( You need to tell her all of the things you have told us. Write it in a letter if you have to. You can't fix things if you don't communicate. Also, I really would encourage the meds, depression is horrible. Why does she not want to take it?
Thank you Vanille. My wife does not even acknowledge, or refuses to acknowledge that she has depression. Even when the counselor strongly recommends medication, she ignores it. It is like a big white elephant. Her sisters are extreme "new age hippies", and they refuse / argue anything that is western medicine. I am open to both, and not a huge fan of taking prescribed drugs, however, there are tradeoffs and a balance is needed here. Tonight she comes home. I am going to be nice, however, not roll over and try to follow the "180 degree" method posted below. Ready to be strong and aware.
 

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Marriage is either a priority it's not.

There is no middle ground here IMO.

Personally, I would not stay married to anyone that didn't make our marriage a priority and dedicated more time to <insert anything or anyone> than the marriage.

I would recommend that OP start tracking exact # of hours she spends with sisters and him. For about a month, then present it to wife....see what she says.

If she doesn't recognize/realize the issue, it's time for more drastic measures.....

Another issue I see is financial negligence (her dependance on you). It seems like what she is doing to you is a smaller version of what her sisters are doing to their dad.

Why doesn't she have a full time job? Does she pay for 1/2 of ALL expenses? She should! Also, just because you own the house and paid it off, doesn't mean she should not be contributing towards the house. She should probably have the responsibility to pay for all maintenance and taxes since you paid off the house (something along the line, but that sounds fair to me).

This should leave her with very little money or TIME for vacations/trips to her family and working to make money to sustain.

Especially since you are not working.

Any action towards above will go a long way to make you feel more comfortable in your marriage and her being your life partner.
 
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