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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been in a technically sexless marriage (10 times or less per year) for 8 or 9 years, with the last five years being absolute zero. The impact on me as I questioned how the hell this came to be after 24 GREAT years of amrriage has been that I have become withdrawn, unsure of myself, negative, internally resentful and angry, confused.........I went from being a vibrant, confident, smiling, playful father, to a shell. The kids didn't know WHY, but it sure has colored their impression of me.

Last summer I found Twitter posts that my middle son and daughter had made about me. The one from my 15 y/o daughter said something to the effect of, "Father's Day today, but I didn't get my dad anything because I don't really care for him." A month or so later, my 19 y/o son tweeted "If there's one thing I've learned from my dad, it's not to be like him." There were many others from both, but those were the most hurtful. Their online life is their own, and they don't know that I've seen these things. I've just tried to put on a brighter face, re-engage them, act positively, joke, smile.....but it's hard to do when your wife has shut you down so hard and SHE still has the premiere relationship with the kids and goes on with her life as if nothing's amiss.

FML. I think I've made progress with my kids over the past six or seven months, but that hurt is there, man. And I think that's one of the terrors of pulling the plug on this dysfunctional marriage -- losing the kids all over again as surely they'll side with mom and this will be just another excample of what a jerk dad has become..............ugh.
 

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Why did you allow this treatment?

Did it happen slowly over time or was there an event that led to her withdrawal?

I would think your children have lost respect for you because you have lost respect for yourself. They can sense it. You're not being a good example of a man and father by allowing this type of dysfunction. That's the impact.
 

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There is no way to predict how your kids will react, but I find it highly unlikely that they will "side with their mother". They are old enough for you to be honest with them about what has been happening in your marriage to explain why you are choosing to get out. I think they will be supportive. Do work on your sullen demeanor and do some things to work yourself back in to living life. Your kids will no doubt be happier once you are honest with them and pull yourself together. I know first hand how it feels to be in a family with miserable parents, it sucks to no end.
 

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Kids learn from their parents.

Dyfunctional parents = dysfunctional kids (most of the time because dysfunctional becomes their normal.)

Dysfunctional kids grow to marry other dysfunctional people.

And walla..another dysfunctional marriage.

and on and on and on...generation to generation. Until somebody at some point realizes there's a problem and does something about it.

:(

Aint life grand?
 

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Seperate your issues.

Your unhappy marriage is not your children's fault. Teens are very hard to deal with. Don't worry about what they are saying about you. My teens told be they hated me many times...because that is what teens do. They are not your friends.

I think you need to suck it up until the children are older in regards to your marriage. If you leave now, the children will have a lot of resentment towards you & yes will side with the parent who stayed & sucked it up.

It would have been better to leave when they were younger or even better, addressed & fixed the problems with the marriage.

Drop the resentment towards your wife. It will be freeing for you & you will be abe to be a better parent. Remember you will always be a parent even if you get a divorce.
 

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Teens are very hard to deal with. Don't worry about what they are saying about you. My teens told be they hated me many times...because that is what teens do. They are not your friends.
There you go.

Do your best to improve your mental state and the happiness of your marriage of course. No matter how perfect and rosy your household is though, teenagers will say vile things on occasion. They might make you out to be someone you're not to their friends to suit their own purposes in the moment. You have to have a thick skin. Keep in mind that time and experience will have big effects on how they come to see you as well--when they have their own kids, for instance.
 

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Oh, geeze! Kids do this crap, and it's very hurtful but it does go away.

They're at a time in their lives when they're trying to separate from the family unit and become adults. To do that, they *have* to prove to themselves and the world that they're "not" the family unit they're leaving.

I have come to believe that EVERY teen goes through this to some extent. I'm the stricter, more practical parent, and their dad is the permissive one who is full of "benign neglect." (Chronic alcoholism means party dad who doesn't show up for birthdays.)

My oldest girl was unbelievably hostile to me for about 6 years. She blamed me for divorcing her step-father, even though she wasn't close to him, and despite knowing he'd betrayed me and our family. She's better now, but I still have some lingering hurts that get in the way at times. Today, she can actually acknowledge that I was right about XYZ once in a while.

My youngest was the same way. She believed her dad's statements that I was "crazy" and "should have been medicated" and things like that. We fought and argued like crazy! Today, she calls me a few times a week. She told me a while back that she always fought me because she felt like I made things hard on her and that she thought I treated her like a kid, and then added, "But now I know you're the only person who was actually treating me like an adult and expecting me to be responsible."

My middle girl is going through it now. We haven't talked for over a year because the girl who used to always say that I was the only one who really supported her suddenly decided I am the sole reason for her low self-esteem. I imagine she'll get over it the same way I did when I did this with my parents as a teen.

I can't tell you how many times I've shed tears, been angry, and wished I'd made better choices when I was young, but I can tell you that life goes on, and that these things eventually do pass. I have stopped taking it personally these days.
 

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Teens say these things. I never wanted to be like my parents, now I think they are the greatest people on earth, and I aspire to be like them.

Having said that, they deserve to grow up in a happy home. My spouse and I are going through a bump right now, and our mood effects them just as their moods effect us. I personally don't want my husband as a roommate, and know he wouldn't tolerate that. My best friend is in the same boat as you, no sex for 5 years. I know she is in the relationship for financial reasons, they are both staying until the children complete their education. Choice is yours, and no one is to judge. If you are a loving parent, they will be okay whatever your choice is. They will probably not realize how great you are until they leave home, that's how it works. Good luck!!!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for all the support and experiential wisdom. Makes me view it in its proper context! I now get to drive my D home from softball practice every day (I coach baseball) and we have some good talks and laughs on the ride home. Feels great.
 
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