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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Married over 20 years. Have what would best be described as a 'partnership' in that the household runs with both of us doing what needs to be done. That means--kids, kids events, kids to doctors, cooking, food shopping etc. Both have different days we get children off to school. Both work. She is not a very happy person, will not help me business wise if I need something emailed etc but will do anything for her family, the school etc. I am not important to her.
Her extended family is very important to her. Most days and nights she is on the phone with her siblings. To the tune of over 300 calls a month and plus 1400 minutes (Not including cell usage). She hangs up on one and calls another. She plans combined family weekend getaways with them without running it by me. I only have a widowed Mother who is not included in these plans even when they involve holiday getaways. My Mother was displaced from her home for months during a recent storm. Wife never went to help or see her, she was busy excitedly on the phone about a family party held one week after the storm for one of her sisters (not held by us ). Constant phone calls and emails about the perfect gifts for her family member while my Mother was devastated. This went on thru Christmas. I am close to my Mother and do all I can for her. My Mom is good to my Wife and when she comes to visit doesn't interfere in any way and usually comes loaded with food and cooks meals for us to have during the week. Her Mother is critical. She has often attacked me verbally. I let it go.
Never really complained about the extended family intrusion just let it go--first few years of marriage we battled constantly over holidays etc but it settled into her family and we included my Mom when possible.
We have no true intimacy. Haven't kissed in years and when we did there were rules--no onions etc . Writing this is embarrassing. How did I live this way so long? We do not exist as a couple. It is all about the children and her family.
Two weeks ago she said in front of our child that "we are not suitable for one another". My child asked what suitable means. And the wife is right--we are not suitable for one another.
I overheard her on the phone last week that she is considering a breast lift. She told me she was going to a dermo but it was a plastic surgery consult. Told her sisters. It is scheduled for next month. At this point I could care less that she never mentioned it. She has always made it clear her body her business.
Any opinions? Counseling is not an option that was already tried. I even went to see a Therapist so I could have someone to talk to about how unhappy I am in this marriage.
 

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Time to separate. She has taken you for granted for so long now only a serious wake up call might work. I have to say this though, you have allowed her to take your for granted by not insisting for things that make you happy, for things that you want. You cannot expect her to all of a sudden wake up and realize how selfish she has been. You have put up with this, but Not Any More.

Get a lawyer to initiate a legal separation agreement tomorrow! Find another place to live and move out. Start a new life in which your relationships include you, your thoughts and your feelings.
Go Ravens!!!!!!!
 

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I wish we could give you proper advice but in order to do so we need more information.

From what you shared with us I gather that you are at your wits end in your marriage, to the point of keeping a loose track of the numbers of calls per month.

You are stating that "She is not a very happy person" yet
- "She plans combined family weekend getaways with them without running it by me"
- "she was busy excitedly on the phone about a family party held one week after the storm for one of her sisters"
- "she is considering a breast lift"

It is very likely YOU might be the person causing her to be unhappy when she is around you.

You have been in a relationship with this person for 20+ years. (counting dating). I don't know how many of those 20 have been unhappy years. Maybe it's recent, maybe she has a different approach to life, or maybe she's seeing someone behind your back and has a different attitude. Like I said, the more you share with us, the better the advice. And I'm sorry if this seems like I'm going against you, I understand you are really frustrated and unhappy right now, but WE usually tend to make the mistake of not taking our own faults into the equation of what is wrong with our marriage , specially on forums.

From what I've read, she seems to be trying to enjoy life on her own because she believes you are either going to disapprove of her decisions and does not want to risk being sidetracked or stopped. My advice so far would be for you to try and do the same. Engage in a new hobby, buy something for yourself, be happy, don't rely on her for it. At least as a first step.
 

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Dude,

To simplify things. It's time to tell her to shape up or ship out.
I do know that I am a total hypocrite having said that.

The previous post is right though. More info is needed.
What are your faults? Why have you let this go on?
How long has it been going on?

20 years is a long time, enough time for a life transforming process to occur or Mac to happen as well.

She sounds pretty happy save the time you are involved.
If she is telling your kids about the incompatibility, well that is a red flag.

It may also be that you need to shape up or ship out as well my friend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Greg--she IS happy when she is with her sisters and family and/or planning a family get together with them..

I agree I am not her main source of happiness. That is why I posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have never held her back. I WISH she had friends outside or her family that she would go out with and enjoy herself with. I encourage her to do what she wants. My point about her family is To make plans to go away without even running it by me is something she has always done and yes I have not challenged that. On the other hand I am hounded by her with barrages of calls during a breakfast work diner meeting. I have been berated by her for the slightest annoyance on her part.
I have changed. I see things differently now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My faults are I 'tune out' I 'am autistic'. I have a hard time figuring out why I am at fault for instance:
Dinner guests last night--during the week she asked what day Friday or Saturday. I said either is fine. This resulted in a meltdown about my not being engaged about our friends coming over.
Now, if she can plan a three day 2,000 dollar getaway with her family for us without running it by me why do I need to say more about friends over for dinner except--either night is fine with me?
 

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Why is 'am autistic' in quotes? Are or are you not autistic?

The bit about not being engaged about friends coming over. It reminds me of when someone complains about their spouse leaving the cap off the toothpaste.

It's not the toothpaste. It's so many other things that it's a lot easier to focus on the toothpaste cap. And when the top is the toothpaste cap you know the marriage is in serious trouble and probably over.

She's ticked because the two of you are not engaged with each other. Does bring up topics about you not being engaged in all kinds of things?
 

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Ok , again, I can only give you advice based on whatever information you give us:

Let's go step by step:

1. "I agree I am not her main source of happiness."
Where you ever a source of happiness for her at any point in your marriage?. What do you think makes her unhappy with you? Aside from the "not being engaged enough" issue, has she expressed other concerns about you or your behavior?

2. "she IS happy when she is with her sisters and family and/or planning a family get together with them" ---> "I WISH she had friends outside or her family that she would go out with and enjoy herself with" ---> "I encourage her to do what she wants".
I don't doubt you encourage her to do things, but is it possible you encourage her to do things YOU think are best for her? I'll give you an example: It took me 3 years but I was finally able to convince my wife to go back to finish college. (She didn't work, nor did we have any kids, so I always encouraged her to sign up for something). Based on her personality I suggested she sign up for a Degree where she could work in a day care. She was very good with kids. But she insisted on being something else that didn't suit her personality because she didn't even have the stomach for it. She eventually snapped at me and said "I'm studying whatever the hell I want".

I felt bad but I later realized even though I was encouraging her, I realized I was actually trying to manipulate her decisions with her best interests in mind.

Maybe you've inadvertently have been doing the same without realizing it.

And lastly does she hate your mother, or the fact that you are still close to her?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Greg thank you for your questions.

Well she married me so yes there were things she liked about me. She liked my work ethic. That I was smart attended good schools. Thats what I like about her to. She did think I was "to quiet" but she has a very large family so I guess attributed it to that ie being in a large group of people. She likes my cooking.
Her biggest peeve about me is that I don't find her funny. She thinks she is hilarious and has actually said my not finding her funny bothers her more then anything. She seems to resent 'doing everything', that is a big theme and complaint. She truly resents working, detests it but makes a great salary and I too work very hard and make a great salary. She is waiting for the day she doesn't have to work. She doesn't like my friends I have known since childhood but that really should not be an issue since we don't mingle that much together. She likes my Mom enough. I am not a Momma's boy and my Mother is a strong independent woman with an active life of her own. She doesn't interfer although she lately remarked on the competiveness in Wifes family--comparing the kids grades, bragging etc--a lot of pressure to be the best or out do one anothers kids.
What I mean about encouraging her to do things I am the type of husband who would be happy to see her go away with friends-she did do that once but came home saying never going to do that again. Meanwhile I am on a very tight leash. And things have to be tit for tat if I have a breakfast meeting then she goes out the door shopping upon my return.
Shopping together makes her happy. I am a great bag carrier.
 

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Ok

I guess this gives us a better picture of the situation.

" She liked my work ethic. That I was smart attended good schools. Thats what I like about her to"

With this I can presume both of you are highly educated individuals capable of talking things through if each of you has the right state of mind. I find it curious that she admired your work ethic yet she herself resents working.

Maybe your work ethic and your education were alluring to her because she figured she would "pitch in" financially for a few years, but resents the fact that she still works to this day. Maybe you had lofty goals and different levels of expectations and she is unhappy with you because you weren't able to provide enough for both of you at the level of lifestyle you set the bar at.

You mentioned she likes your cooking. Is this a hobby of yours? a passion? or you just do it because it's convenient for her?. Do you like her cooking?

You also mentioned that her family is competitive and she is very close to her family from what you've shared with us. Do you help her stand out with her family? If they're constantly competing maybe she feels mad at you because you're not in that game helping her win.

What are your hobbies though? What makes you happy?. Your wife seems to have her life together, so I doubt making an ultimatum to her will result in something positive. Instead I would suggest you engage in something that doesn't affect her, but distracts you and brings you joy. She needs to appreciate you, but not by missing you, but instead by tearing down that notion she has of you not being suitable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks again Greg for your iput.

Although highly educated she resents working and not being a full time Mom. This is a result of our first child being born severely handicapped and as a result she had to work because of the medical benefits.
Truth be told that took a hard toll on us. As a result of a an autosomal chromosomal defect we went through years and years of genetic testing to have the children we have today. In other words our first child was born severely ill and any children thereafter were from genetic selection. Our first child lived much longer then expected by is no longer with us.

I Love to cook and most enjoy my cooking. She does not cook.

Her family is competitive but she herself does not compete within. She places her emphasis on our own children and is driven for them to be the best. This results in many battles at home btw her and our teen.

What makes me happy? Being away from her.
 

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You need to read "no more Mr. Nice guy."

Also, you are a freakin' door mat. Man up, its what she needs.

So try this and see her reaction. I'm serious. Plan something for yourself, something out of the ordinary, do it, enjoy yourself and then just be coy with the details ( since she will try to put you down so the power exchange doesn't shift).

What you will find is the more of life you secure for yourself, the less she will feel like her life is spent occupying your life. She resents you for not being a whole person, on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK Alpha. I tried that. I made plans to go to a College Football Championship with friends. I played pro ball.

I was told NO if I went the Marriage was over--she had committed us to her nieces school play.

I sit here and wonder why I gave over all the power to her. I cant do anything without being barraged by phone calls if I don't pick up immediately.

WTF??
 

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Dude, you need to read your own posts.

You mention that you are introverted and contemplative, while your wife is the complete opposit. Like many good decent men, you feel personally responsible for your wife's happiness and are under the consequent impression that if you go along with what ever she wants:
1. She will be happy.
AND
2. You will be happy with a happy wife.

But what is really happening is that she started to see you as disengaged and if she wanted anything done, decisions made, plans made, ideas explored, she would have to be the one to do it. So, she took over and you went along with it. But the more you went along, the more frustrated she got with how much she was doing, see all the above, and how little you were doing. As a wife in this EXACT scenario, I can tell you after years of feeling like the only person putting any effort into the relationship you find it hard to worry about making him happy. You figure he's a grown up and if he wants something he can just say it, damnit!

So, you made plans for football and she balked. This leads me to believe your wife hasn't put much thought into where her marriage has gone south and is stuck in the blame game. No woman in her right mind would insist her husband, with a probowl background no less, give up football weekend to attend nieces play, not even if niece was staring in said play.

If you don't stick to your guns, and go to the football weekend, you will loose respect in her eyes. Granted, I don't think she is even aware that she has lost respect for you, but that is what happens when men take such a passive role in their marriages.

Marriage is a partnership but neither is responsible for the other's happiness. You are responsible for not MAKING her miserable and vice versa. Being the passive partner, you have unwittingly made her miserable. She also sounds like she's just very impatient. Tell her to knock it off with all the calls. You wouldn't let a child act this way, you'd set boundaries and teach them to behave more politely, right?

You guys need to really talk this out with a counselor. But in the meantime, Go Team!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Anon.

The College Championship game is a long time gone. Like ten years ago. And we did go to the play. Because that was the original plan, the invite was not to be considered. Period.

I am a most agreeable husband. Always up for what she wanted to do, and never had problems making plans either.

I will think about what you wrote--ty for the input.
 
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