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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. I have always thought I was a good communicator but now that I am trying to get words around my struggles with family life I feel I have nothing but the language that has not worked. Sometimes I think that there is simply a truth that I can't say that will set me free.

Another night lying next to my wife with a wall of resentment between us--my resentment.

'How do I resent her? Let me count the ways.'...

She never gets so excited about a book she is reading that she wants to read me passages or talk about it. When I get used to share with her my thoughts/excitement about what I was reading it just didn't go anywhere.

Her lack of spontaneity, her willingness to just let the kids, the lists, the responsibilities go for the sake of something unexpected.

Our sex is just not connected. We are not connected

And on and on......as I said, 'Let me count the ways'. Tonight my biggest resentment, the one that got me out of bed and downstairs where I found and registered onto this website is the 'yet another day' I spent unable to get traction toward my personal goals.... Read on.

We have two kids and I love them deeply. I am an artist and married at the age of 51. I was used to the hours I needed to nurture and pursue 'creative impulse and action' but now find the disjointed, fractured reality of kids and marriage make it impossible for me to find the rhythm I need to create. I have talked to her, I have tried to explain that this is not a new, that it has always been difficult for people to understand that though I may be 'self employed' and though I may appear to be 'idle', I am in fact working. That I need that same time that she has in her work that is so protected. Hours that I would never intrude upon because they are so culturally understood as fortressed. I need, at least, those same hours. As it stands, I get about 5 hours between getting the kids on the bus and picking them up.

I have to cut this short. I could go on indefinitely. I am not happy. I love my kids but can no longer find the love for my wife.......Just Resentment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will look up the book. So much of my difficulty is that I cannot discern that boundary where my issues end and hers begin. I am so reluctant to point a finger--to blame. Her response to what I feel are my gentle suggestions that she has skin in the game is defensiveness and a battening down of the hatches (her description of what she does). When this happens we are log jammed.
 

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Have you tried marriage counseling? Do you think she would go for that?If so, might be a good place to start.
 

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Kathy's right. Been there done that, no infidelity but at the end, full of resentment, . The book was a revelation. It got us back on track.

Get the book! Here's the site. Take the quiz. The 5 Love Languages®

Also look up "His Needs, Her Needs"

Do the reads. Let us know what you think.
 

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On a daily basis, how many hours do you feel you need, over and above the 5 you are currently getting?

Have you thought it all through and presented your wife with a draft "schedule" so to speak from which you can negotiate with her and which takes account of her own schedule, responsibilities and need for free time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you tried marriage counseling? Do you think she would go for that?If so, might be a good place to start.
Yes, we spent a year with a marriage counselor--initiated by her with no resistance from me. That was maybe 3 years ago. At the time I wasn't as clear about resentment and when the question came up I said I did not feel resentment. I remember the therapist expressing relief and saying how difficult resentment can be to handle.
 

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Yes, we spent a year with a marriage counselor--initiated by her with no resistance from me. That was maybe 3 years ago. At the time I wasn't as clear about resentment and when the question came up I said I did not feel resentment. I remember the therapist expressing relief and saying how difficult resentment can be to handle.
Resentment can be a marriage killer for sure. However, I do believe some situations are fixable and can be turned around with some work from both people. Your situation sounds fixable if you both are willing to pull together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On a daily basis, how many hours do you feel you need, over and above the 5 you are currently getting?

Have you thought it all through and presented your wife with a draft "schedule" so to speak from which you can negotiate with her and which takes account of her own schedule, responsibilities and need for free time?
Just reading your post I felt relief--to actually know and have a schedule that is protected. Here's the inevitable bigger picture:

Our house burned two years ago. We are now in it again after I spent a year struggling with an insurance company and than playing a big role in the re-building in order to get a decent house back. The re-building goes on and too much of my potentially scheduled time ends up being consumed by the re-building. Lots of resentment here, too. Resentment of the 100's of unpaid hours spend on putting our life back together. Resentment that all of my capital made it possible for us to purchase this house in the first place. Resentment that this is the 2nd house I have build for us without earning a dime.

I feel there is resentment at every turn, in every corner, and the way that resentment festers is awful....it is so close to hatred.

We have been together 10years and I take my vows with her seriously. I trust her and I love her for that. I love that I know she will always be honest with me. There is much to love but something is not clicking.

Thank-you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Resentment can be a marriage killer for sure. However, I do believe some situations are fixable and can be turned around with some work from both people. Your situation sounds fixable if you both are willing to pull together.
I believe it is fixable, too. Yet finding any time to rediscover each other with two kids on board, a house that burned down two years ago, a 1 year battle with an insurance co., open heart surgery for an aneurism last spring, a father on hospice, a 5 year old with Down Syndrome (a beautiful child by the way, I would never have him be anyone other than who he is)........sometimes I think I will explode.

So, you see--I see--, there is so much that feeds into the equation of a relationship. So many challenges, so many equations and weights and balances....is resentment avoidable?
 

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I will look up the book. So much of my difficulty is that I cannot discern that boundary where my issues end and hers begin. I am so reluctant to point a finger--to blame. Her response to what I feel are my gentle suggestions that she has skin in the game is defensiveness and a battening down of the hatches (her description of what she does). When this happens we are log jammed.
It sounds to me like your "gentle suggestions" aren't fooling her at all. She sees them as the criticism/control issues that they really are.

It's important to learn how to separate the other person from issues we have ourselves. It sometimes takes me a few days to figure out exactly how to address something that comes up - especially when the "wrongdoer" was very clearly wrong. If I felt my partner didn't respect my time and give me ample space to do what I needed to, one way I might address it is to say, "I'm not getting enough time to be creative, so I'm thinking I'll go to the museum (during these times, one these days.)"

It's not up to anyone else to fix my problem, and it's not up to me to fix anyone else.
 

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From what you wrote most recently, you have resentment outside your relationship with your wife, toward life in general. Maybe some IC to figure out how to deal with how your life is not turning out the way you thought. Maybe I just don't understand what you are saying. Do you resent that she didn't help rebuilding with house? does she help with kids?
When the situation is happening, do you express your need for help, or state your boundaries? ie: I need you to call the contractor, or do you wait until its over and tell her you needed help, and she didn't help. I used to be like this, but now I state at the time what I need rather than just doing it and then getting pissed he didn't help. Much better for me!

I guess the bottom line is you can change your behavior and how you react to her, but you can't change her. I would check out some IC.
 

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Do you have much of a social life outside of the home or your work?

To an outsider... your situation may seem, well, different.

You are blessed. Thank goodness you had the capital, and the time, to do the things you have done. I look at it almost with jealousy.
Life threw you a curve ball, and you had the means to do just what was needed. Kinda like it was meant to be.

As an artist, do you find that life's experiences enrich your abilities?
How many people have the perspective you now have ?

You can choose to be resentful about the past. It won't change the past. But it will certainly "cloud" your future. Which would be a waste. Since you've now got unique experiences to call upon.

See how differently it seems from this side?
It's all a choice. Every. Single. Day.

Kids are sensitive little creatures. They learn that a tragedy ruins your life forever, or it puts you a new path. don't be afraid to take the new path. Why not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
From what you wrote most recently, you have resentment outside your relationship with your wife, toward life in general...

I think you are right, my resentment extends or perhaps even originates outside of my relationship. I do feel a disturbing growth of bitterness. Bitterness, that in spite of effort things haven't necessarily turned out he way I expected. I have so little faith in IC but yes perhaps I will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you, Dejov. Like Shiksa you are broadening the conversation and shifting my target. And yes, for the time being my contact outside the home has diminished.
 

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is resentment avoidable?
Yes, resentment is avoidable. Resentment is a choice you make and it is a choice that will eventually destroy you and your family.

Resentment starts when we feel that we have been wronged through no fault of our own and we feel we are owed something, usually by whoever wronged us, to make up for our loss. As time passes with no repayment in sight, we become more and more bitter over what we deserve that we are not getting. This could be as simple as an apology or bigger than a house.

Fireside, this is entitled thinking. And very often we truly are entitled. But justified or not, if we want to live successful, loving lives we have to let go of this entitlement, we have to forgive the wrongs that have been done to us, we have to have to just say we're not going to collect on what is owed us and let it go. This is your choice and only you can make it for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ten Year Hubby, I like that: "Entitled Thinking". I am going to swim laps and will meditate how that is working in me. Thanks.
 
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