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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear All,

First, thanks in advance for reading my long post. I do not know where to start and where to end but I am going to give this a try. I will cut to the chase:

About Me and My Wife:
Both internationals in US (on the way to becoming citizens)
Graduate degree holders with good jobs and good financial status
Dated 3 years (first relationship for both)
Married 4 years
No kids
I am 34 and she is 28.

She is beautiful, very responsible, smart, and an awesome cook.

Our Childhood:
I had a difficult childhood (parents not getting along, no financial stability, etc.) But I did OK and am generally a positive person.
My wife is from a financially sound family but her parents also constantly fought. The worst part was she was abused by her brother for years. There was also some molestation involved and nothing was done to prevent it.

Our Social Lives:
She was never a social person to begin with. She has no friends now. No one to pick up the phone and talk to (not even family or other relatives except me). She is not in touch with any friends from her past. She feels she doesn't need any friends.

I am the opposite. I am social person and want to be one. I would really like to do things with her.

Issues:
While we were dating I missed the warning signs. This being my first relationship I made mistakes as well.

1. She hates the country we were come from. She hates everybody from that country (no exceptions). In her dictionary there are not good people from that country. She hates everything...even our language. Not exaggerating. Understandable to a certain extent because of what she went through in her childhood. But the problem is I am from that country, I have friends friends and family in that country. Just to be clear, as backward as that country may be it shaped who I am right now. But I am open-minded, believe in equality (I help out in everything from cooking to cleaning), and try to be roman while in Rome (improving myself and fitting in).

2. Related to the first point. She hates all my friends (even those not from our country). She hates my family/relatives. There were warning signs while we were dating but now it is worse and she is very strong about her opinion. She always finds something wrong in others to cut ties.

3. We have no social life. We have nobody visiting us or we don't visit anybody. I want these in life. Not every weekend but at least once or twice a year. Please enlighten me, is this too much ask?

4. She spends 99% of the time at home (except while shopping)...cleaning, watching tv, or browsing on her ipad. Does not want to do things outside. I try to get her to do something with me but she quits halfway.

5. My parents worked to tough times to provide for me and my brother. They have never outside their state or the neighboring states (and never been on a flight). I would really like to bring them to the US once (for a month or two) and take them around to a couple places. This "has become" a deal-breaker for my wife. She was Ok with it initially.

6. She doesn't even want to even say "hi" my brother or to my parents let alone be in the same room with them.

7. Some of my friends are good people at heart but to her they are not-americanized/westernized-enough and are bad people. She does not want to find anything common in a deeper level. And to clarify none of these friends live where we are. She is even against occasional (once every 1 or 2 years) meetup. I am slowly reducing talking to them...how long can I keep saying "this weekend is not a good time to meet".

8. May be I could have done a better job at communicating but she says I am making her thing that she is a bad person and she says that after marriage I have to let go of things I love to do. I agree on toning things down to be somebody whom I am not is not something I willing to do.

9. She gets uncomfortable around people. She is not herself around them. Sometimes says the wrong thing that makes me twitch (am I a bad person?). This turns people away or makes them uncomfortable. I am not sure what to do about this. Again could have been addressed if we were social enough during dating.

10. "She" decided to quit her job and move to where I was after our marriage. She couldn't find a job for 2 years (visa issues). She indirectly blames our marriage for this and also not being able to make friends. Contrarily I have always encouraged her to go out and do something by herself. I even offered her a 1-year pass to live by herself (which she has never done in her life) and do everything she wanted to do.

11. Now she does not want to have kids because it is too much work and we are already fighting and kids would make it worse. I want kids and I want to bring them up in a social environment. I do not think that is going to happen in this marriage because of her aversion to people. Sometimes I am not sure if her anger is towards people from that country or her inability to fit in a crowd (she sometimes blames her parents and our country for making her that way).

12. Our sex life has gone down the drain (no sex in the last 5 months). I am by no means a selfish person. In fact, I would say I am 99% "giver" and 1% "taker". Now among all the problems she says it is last thing on her mind and that she does not even think sex is very important in a relationship. I disagree.

13. We have been doing counseling for 3 months now. our therapist even subtly pointed out that she may be depressed and was exhibiting "victim mentality". She disagrees and thinks that her way is the right way. I am to blame as well, as I have been a "people pleaser" and enabled her attitude in our marriage. Now I am trying to stand my ground but she thinks that I am fighting and never support her.

15. She is in the process of cutting ties with her parents (who become close friends with my parents after our wedding) because of what did not do to stop her childhood abuse. She says I am not supportive enough and I should do more during these tough times. She may be right and I agree. But here is my challenge: I did not know about her abuse until 1 year back, which is when our marriage started falling apart. In the last year she has made it clear that that she does not want anything to do with the people from that country (my family and friends) and she may not want kids.

She is a pessimist, atheist (hates god and people who believe in god), thinks everybody else is happier, very controlling (her way or no way), is jealous (sometimes even about me), never forgives/forgets, hyper-vigilant, has sleep issues, blames others, not grateful for/about one thing. These have become stronger in the last one year. Based on my research a lot of these can be related to her childhood abuse.

I want to be clear that I am a responsible person and try to do equal amount of work in all household chores (from cooking, cleaning, finances, etc..)...even though sometimes I think she can been obsessive with unrealistic cleanliness standards. Sometimes i think we spend more time cleaning than enjoying things.

I constantly get the feeling that she does not think she has any problem to work on or that she exhibits victim mentality. It has been very tough for me to support. Sometimes I think that I am her husband and I should support her no matter what. But that would mean that I have to give up on a lot of things. She is firm not giving any of my friends/family from our country (but live in US) even a chance. She says that I am selfish to bring up marital issues and not supporting her while she is trying to cut ties with her parents. But she also says she cannot promise that she will be able to make compromises on the things i want in life (kids/friends, etc.). Even if she accepts that there are things that she needs to work on, I fear that (like in the past) she would quit half way saying this is too much work/pressure. She herself accepts (sometimes) that she has intimacy issues but later contradicts herself and refuses to work on it.

If this sounded like a write up on how bad my wife then I am sorry. That was not my intention.

I am torn. I feel like I am throwing this marriage away and I am being selfish. I feel that she needs to grow up emotionally. Again I did not know most of her history until 1 year back. I want to support support her but I do not know if she will do her part and work on improving/changing certain things. I suddenly feel like we have nothing in common to keep us going. I really do want a family. Even if we decide to split up I am not confident (may be due to my lack of dating experience or my insecurity) that being a 34-year old foreigner I would be able to find someone with similar outlook on life to settle down.

I am sure this did not provide the full picture but it is already very long. So if you have questions please let me know. Thanks again for taking the time to read this post.

PS: Sorry about any typos. Long posts are hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, the therapist knows about the abuse. She once metnioned that my wife might be depressed. And she challenges my wife to let go of the past (mentally) but my wife is adamant that physically separating herself from anything that relates her back to that country is the way to move on. Unfortunately I am from that country. So it does not give me a lot of confidence.

Her parents never took the time to sit and talk problems out. She constantly relates anything bad in her back to that country or its people. I always tell her we can learn from our parent's mistakes and be better parents. But she does not want to bring a kid into this world and make it suffer.

Again, I truly do not blame her. What happened to her was cruel. And yes, I should been more supportive. I want to be. The question is will I give up things that are important to me to save the marriage and still be unhappy after few years? I realize that nobody can answer this.

Frankly, I feel that she does not love me anymore because she hasn't appreciated me in months for anything. Last year I planned so hard and setup a 15-day tour of Europe....all by myself (including all tickets/visas). We knew going into it, it was going to be tough to cover 4 places (Barcelona, Paris, Rome, and Switzerland). I have heard nothing but complaints about how hectic the trip was. Not even one compliment. This negative energy drains me down. So I feel she cutting ties with her parents is not the end of our troubles.

I have wanted the same things in life since our marriage: family, friends, and kids. If she is unwilling to look deeper and take ownership of a few things, I do not know what to do. I feel bad to bring up these issues while she is dealing with her parents. But I strongly feel that the resentment and anger in her is not going to go away. One minute she thinks she needs to work on a few things, and the very next minute she fights back saying she has nothing to work. I even suggested that we read and discuss relationship books to improve our marriage. She thinks those are for losers.

I know I am not perfect. But I am getting tired of apologizing all the time. I do not blame her for anything. But I feel that we both are trying to look for something that is not there in each other.

I can keep going but I will stop here.
 

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I am so sorry for all the problems you are having in your relationship. It certainly takes two to tango, but no one should have to beg to be loved or wanted or desired. A marriage is a commitment to try and make each other happy. Every marriage has its ups and downs, but there seems very little that is keeping your marriage alive except proximity and your history of being in relationships where your needs don't get met. I am very concerned that your wife is educated and successful, yet seems to lack any ability to empathize with anyone's feelings, but her own. That is exceptionally immature, please forgive me for being so terse. We all have issues - no one escapes childhood unscathed. That does not give us permission to simply disengage in from a committed relationship which she made a conscious choice to enter. I wonder what you might advise a close friend who had a wife who was behaving as your own? It's amazing how clearly we can see things for other people, yet we often seem unable to uncover our own needs. You seem to have a clear number of concerns. If these are not being addressed in therapy, to what end are you investing your time and energy in such a process. If it is just to be sure you have done all you can before you pull the plug, then I would certainly understand. Unfortunately, from what I can see your wife does not have ambivalent feelings, she seems to be rather hostile and unloving. Do you have an end game in mind? What are the deal-breakers for you? I agree with you that your wife's behavior seems more than just introverted, perhaps she is depressed. The only thing that makes me unsure is that depressed people know they are depressed and usually report feeling sad ad unhappy. I did not see you report that in your comments. It also seems like when the therapist tried to suggest it, your wife was unreceptive to any interpretation other than her own. That is very unfortunate. I think the one thing your wife is absolutely right about is that you should not be considering having kids in such an unloving relationship. Perhaps that is one silver lining in this dark cloud. At least if you do have to make a break, perhaps it can be a clean break. Your wife is entitled to all of her feelings as you are entitled to yours. I also think you should not have to become someone else in order to be happy in any relationship. I am so glad that you are in therapy and I wish you the best going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tomson.

I am very concerned that your wife is educated and successful, yet seems to lack any ability to empathize with anyone's feelings, but her own.
That quote from you is spot on. I have rarely seen her empathize with any human. She does not hurt anybody but she also does not feel sorry for most people either...(except pet animals). She calls my friends names, she has a derogatory name for anybody she doesn't like (which is a a long list). My fault is, initially this was funny, and I let it go on even though it did not reflect the type of person I am.

If I wanted to send a gift to parents for their birthday its is a big no no because she does not want to do anything for her parents and so I cannot do anything. To be fair, I have supported them financially quite a bit. But last 2-3 years I have done nothing.

If I told her she made a conscious choice...she responds back saying...i am a changed person now. My awareness has increased and so my needs have changed. And to me these changes a big (cutting ties with my people and having children).

And yes she has said over the last few months that she is unhappy/depressed, that she see no purpose to life, and the life is hard. If the therapist challenged her to change something, she would fight back saying that type of behavior only exists in an ideal world and nobody is like that in real world.

And about kids, I have realized that I do not want to have kids with her unless she changes her outlook on life. I sometimes think even with good jobs, no financial stress, almost no commute time to work (10 min), and no kids it has been stressful. Being a parent is challenging, I want to get into it only if both us are in the right mentality. It is definitely not now.

To be frank, I am not too hopeful that therapy will help. House half paid, own both cars, no other loan, and great dog...no major health issues (except her insomnia and my some arthritis in me). A lot of my friends would love to be in the position we are at our age. It does not make sense to me that we may lose all these.

To make matters worse, we work in the same office. We have talked about D and we both want it to be civil (mutual) one with equal split. But we have been back and forth on this. If we split up I am worried about her, she has never been completely independent, has no friends or family, has no hobbies. But may be being alone will push her to do things.

She constantly says that I am selfish and that I always ask her to do things that make me happy. After we got married she has slowly cut down on doing things that make me happy. Or if she does she certainly points out that she did something. But she knew what I wanted in a marriage and she also does not recognize that me letting go of things I like to do is also a form of giving. And I have spent hours wondering if I have been selfish. I will never know.
 

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Again, I am so very sorry that you find yourself in this horrible place that no one deserves to be. In answer to your question about being selfish, I would remind you that having needs does not make you needy. In a healthy relationship we should be able to expect to take turns giving and receiving love and affection. You can not simultaneously take care of her and let her go at the same time. There comes a time when you have done all you can and at that pint you are just receiving less and less. The time you spend in life moves only in one direction and no one is given these days to live over. I firmly believe that there are healthy women out there just waiting for you to arrive in their life. If that is not your destiny, I firmly believe a life alone is better than a life of pain ad anguish with someone else. I wonder if you have considered seeing an individual therapist in addition to your marital therapist. It seems like you have some of your own issues to work out independent of your wife and you are fortunate enough to be able to be able to afford it. Investing money in yourself is a decision that you will never regret and I can think of no better way to yield a positive return on your investment. I know that you have to make all these decisions in your own good time. Please use your social support system and trust the advice of people who care about you.
 

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Honestly, it seems like your wife is a likely candidate for individual counseling. Whether it's related to her childhood abuse/molestation or what, but she's angry at something from back then, and she's not letting it go. And as others have said... If she's not wanting to work on this with you, at some point you'll have to let her go and worry about your own health.

C
 
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