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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI. I apologize for this long story but the details are important. I have been married for 4 years; together w/ spouse for 9. I am 40 and he is 42. We have always had a tumultuous relationship, with bad fights, and many times in the past he has said he wasn't sure about the relationship. This stopped for a while once we got engaged, and for the first year-year and a half, and we were happy/calm/content with one another. I know he loves, me, but at this point I really think we are together out of attachment and fear of the unknown.
Latest fight: about 2 & 1/2 months ago, I came home from a family gathering (which my husband never wants to go to); he had obviously had a few too many drinks in him (seriously buzzed, not falling over drunk)...he started a fight with me about having kids. He wants kids, I don't. Whenever we touched on this topic (before and after marriage), we were always kind of indifferent to the idea, saying it "might be nice", or "I don't know...I don't want them right now..maybe some day." We got married in our mid-later thirties so obviously we weren't that much in a rush to have kids. He gave me an ultimatum, and said that I have 2 months to decide on whether or not I'm going to "give him a family"...that I should want to "pop one or two out"...he brought up all the people we know and that they have kids, and "what's wrong with me" that I don't want to have them...he said i have to decide within 2 months otherwise he'll have to find someone else. Well needless to say we fought about this, as I tried to reason with him about how unreasonable he was being, and how offensive he was being, and if he wanted to have a conversation about the possibility of having a family that this was not the way to go about it. He became enraged and screamed, "I married the wrong woman"...not once but twice. I was, and still am, appalled at his behavior and I am totally turned off/put up a wall and feel no respect or attraction towards him now (I had respect and some attraction prior, though that was fading).
Since this episode, others have occurred in the following weeks: he has gotten drunk repeatedly (not a new thing, but more frequent now as he is hurting)...in another drunken state he told me i've given him nothing in the past 9&1/2 years...that he needs to find someone else who he is compatible with, who wants a family and a house -- we have a house that I hate, I did not want to buy it but agreed to it (and put up half the money) for him cause I knew he wanted it...I hate where we live and Im not happy with the house, and i've always resented him for it; now he resents me as we have put it on the market. My husband has a history of anger issues, binge drinking, and doesn't communicate until he explodes. He has punched walls and made holes in doors in the past (where he's hurt his hand)...once I tried to grab him to prevent him from leaving the house during an argument (which he does often)...he told me to let go of him or else he'd hurt me.. I was really shocked, so I backed off.
Well, I said we needed to separate as I can't seem to get over the awful things he's said to me. Now, he's being calm and quite and caring, and has begged and cried that he'd be devastated if I left him, and that he wants me to forgive him. I have looked at apartments but can't seem to follow through with actually leaving. PS: I have felt that we are not connected--romantically, sexually, and lack overall compatibility before these latest episodes (i'd say for the past year, at least). However, he can also be a good man--I know it sounds contradictory--but he is hard-working in his career and at home. When we do get along (not lately), we don't have a whole lot to talk about or a whole lot in common, but he can be pleasant and kind, and even caring. He cooks meals for us (although he has at times thrown in my face how I don't really cook, and has said, "What the hell do you do around here anyway?! -- This was hurtful because not only do I have a full-time career (I'm a teacher) and a part-time job, but I do plenty--I think--around the house.
I have been in individual therapy for years, and we have both gone together for marriage counseling for several sessions, but it has always resulted in me blowing up at him, as my anger towards him has been off the charts lately... I am having such a hard time being civil to him, and deciding whether I should work on my marriage or just leave. I often fantasize on meeting someone new, who I am compatible with and with whom there always isn't fights and hurting. Then I say to myself, he is my husband and wants forgiveness, maybe he will indeed make some changes like he says he wants to...what kind of woman am I if I leave him and bail on my marriage?? He lost his job [that he hated] earlier this year (he is now working in his field part/time), and with selling the house he loves, he is already losing so much...I feel like a real heel to leave him now. Please any advice is so welcome! Thank You!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks ankh,
Good question to think about. It's so strange, because I consider myself a very "strong" woman, yet when you bring up that he sounds dangerous, I wonder... Those times that he raged and punched walls, etc, etc. I threatened to call the police and told him he was scaring me (and indeed found his actions scary)...then he changes back to his calm, caring self, and I think, am I overreacting? It also hasn't happened in a while, so i'm thinking, maybe he's got a handle on it.. But it is indeed a lot of drama and I am super tired of it and just want some peace.
I know he's going to be crushed if i really do leave and i feel guilty still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The thing is, I've already been told "its ok to leave" ... my therapist, my friends... I imagine the life i could have without him and get fired up to leave; then I think of the "good" times we've had, and how much i'll hurt him, and being alone, etc.
I'm not trying to be difficult; I am just soo stuck! :-(
 

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Okay, stella, gonna put my two cents in.

You husband DID marry the wrong woman. And you married the WRONG man. So what! That doesn't make you terrible people. It doesn't make you 'losers'. It makes you human; fallible people who tried to make this situation work, but it doesn't.

You can both look at it as "wasting 9.5 years" or you can choose to look at it as growth. You know MORE about yourself than you did 9.5 years ago. You know MORE about what you want, what you NEED in your life to be the best stella that is IN YOU.

You know having a baby to satisfy him is a BIG mistake that you, he and the baby will pay for ENDLESSLY. If you decide in the future to have a child, you can (had mine at 40yo, girlfriend had HERS at 40yo, another girlfriend had hers at 41yo...it's do-able.)

You KNOW that there is a better life out there for you. You know there is a better life out there for him. By hanging onto this marriage out of guilt, shame, embarrassment, gutlessness, paralysis, WHATEVER, you are depriving YOURSELF of the life YOU OUGHT TO BE LEADING. You are depriving HIM of the life HE OUGHT TO BE LEADING.

Is this unfortunate timing given his other life stressors? Yes. Is there EVER going to be a good time to pull the plug on a marriage? No. Get going so you two can start moving on in the new year to a new life that EACH OF YOU finds much more fulfilling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Slowly Getting Wiser,
Thank you, wow. All that you have so clearly articulated is EXACTLY how I truly know I feel deep deep down inside, and know in my heart what is inevitable. I've been through ALOT in my life, but I guess this is just so huge and so hard to do, but I KNOW what must be done.
I guess sometimes you need to hear someone else articulate it so clearly.
We had dinner tonite together...we keep trying and forcing, though we both know...it was tense and depressing. I know what i have to do for our/my overall happiness.
Many thanks.
 

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The thing is, I've already been told "its ok to leave" ... my therapist, my friends... I imagine the life i could have without him and get fired up to leave; then I think of the "good" times we've had, and how much i'll hurt him, and being alone, etc.
I'm not trying to be difficult; I am just soo stuck! :-(
That's understanding (and nice to hear, because my wife will say there were no good times in 14 years, which is a hurtful lie to both me and her). And you will wrestle with the decision for a while and people do go either way... I feel that my wife's therapists and friends spit back what my wife wanted to hear, that her life would be so much better, that they'll support her through her change, that she'll be happy.

And maybe she will be. My friends and family hearing it from a different slant and knowing I wanted to change tried to help me keep my marriage together. In the end, it was too late, and after finding out more about her wandering heart (and possibly more) it's the right thing to do (and I hear the same from them)- and yes, I am upset about the 14 years 'wasted'.

But over time I believe I'll understand it wasn't wasted, it just 'was'. I believed like most of us want to believe it would last forever, and the reality is very few do, and the cynical part of me think a lot of the one that do last for the wrong reasons (some of the co-workers I talk to who've been married longer.. I think they really, really hate their wives and stay for the kids, or money, or other reasons). I guess to get back on point, that time is the past, and you do have good memories that you should always cherish. Just because its time for a change doesn't mean you got to throw them all away.
 

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Thanks ankh,
Good question to think about. It's so strange, because I consider myself a very "strong" woman, yet when you bring up that he sounds dangerous, I wonder... Those times that he raged and punched walls, etc, etc. I threatened to call the police and told him he was scaring me (and indeed found his actions scary)...then he changes back to his calm, caring self, and I think, am I overreacting? It also hasn't happened in a while, so i'm thinking, maybe he's got a handle on it.. But it is indeed a lot of drama and I am super tired of it and just want some peace.
I know he's going to be crushed if i really do leave and i feel guilty still.
What if he volunteers to go to rehab will you give him that then when you are separated for a month you'll atleast have time to decide.
 

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Co-dependence? I keep thinking of COPS episodes where the cops are called out, hubby's hammered with the sauce, he's busted up the place and his 'wife's' face, and there she is DEFENDING the POS. Why? Why do women do this? I know it can't be easy to leave but I am thinking, Fight Back, get a bigger stick or pan than he used and Bop him. When he wakes up, remind him there is more to come unless he decides to respect you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
tom67: I've asked him to go to an anger management group, or for individual counseling. He says no to both. He'll only agree to go to marital counseling (w/ my therapist)...though when we have gone he really doesn't express/verbalize/communicate much feelings; I end up getting angrier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I never thought it would get this bad! My H. drank excessively a few days ago, with friends, came home, opened another beer out if the fridg, sat down in front of me, and to my horror washes down
several pills (an Rx he never bothered taking from a dental visit. I called 911 and went to ER. He's been there since as he is having heart complications that are treatable. He is stable. He is very remorseful, crying, saying he is sad for putting me thru all this and for being horrible to me (leading up to incident he told me to shut up, go away, run along before his "angry side comes out". In his drunken rage (aftr he took pills he screamed "i am god and you are ****". I know how awful this sounds, now he's hit rock bottom and he is sad and remorseful and i have been by him at the hospital all day and night. I feel awful for him. I hope this is a wake up call for him; now my feelings are more confused than ever: I feel so sorry for him, I want to support him and be there for him, I am so sooo angry with him, and still feel like we should eventually separate - so he can wok on himself (and I can take care of myself)...but i am also
flooded with feelings of love for the man that didnt always behave this way. When he took the pills he was going to lie down to go to sleep, and he said that it would be all my fault if he didnt wake up! I know that is not true at all, but part of me feels like i put too much stress on him, knowing well that he dint have the coping skills to handle it. I am so distraught! Any words of support would so help right now (I do have a great support system of family n friends, and his family is coming into town in a couple of days, but often it is the objective words/views of strangers that can put things into perspective)!
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That sounds awful! I am hoping that the hospital will make him speak to a psychiatrist once he is recovered physically, which will be a good thing. Its hard to know what to do or say during this time. I havent experienced this so I am not sure of any advise. I hope you just take one hour at a time and be good to yourself.
 

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What tends to happen when we are in a marriage that is painful is that we have an internal battle between our head and our heart. We often justify why we are where we are - and it all comes from a fear of what may happen if we end things.
For you to be truly happy you need to:
1) accept that finding happiness is the only game in town (and that's not being selfish as you can't really love anyone else until you learn to love yourself first)
2) listen to your heart, not your head
3) go with what you know is right and accept that fear of the unknown is natural.
When you have the courage to go with your heart and stop justifying your situation to yourself logically, you will be amazed at how the true you will emerge. You will not only be a lot happier, but you will wonder where the real you has been hiding all these years!
You deserve to be loved. Love yourself first by following your heart.
All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Complexities and Liam...
Thank u for your support and advice...Comforting and wise words... I know deep down that is the truth, and I can feel my true self inside telling me what I really want/need to do for myself (I just wish the guilty voice inside me would quiet)...its not only guilt, i do love and care for him...however, I really strongly feel i need time to myself for a bit. His family is coming into town for a few weeks, and I'm thinking of telling my H. that I want to take this time for myself and stay somewhere else (sublet for a few wks, hotel, or a friends)...I figure since he won't be alone, it would be a good time for me to do so...but...I feel so guilty to do that right after he gets out of the hospital. I still feel like as his wife I should be there for him. I will support him during structured times, but I don't want to stay with him in house. I am so torn.
 
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