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I've been married for 10+ years. I'm in my late 30's. I have two adorable kids, who I love.

I'm not very happy in my marriage, though. Actually, I suspected that I would be before I got married. I didn't realize it until the wedding invitations were out. I was too young and too embarrassed to call things off then. I talked to my mother about it, but in the end, I thought the right thing to do was to marry her. She was the nicest person I had ever met.

Then we were married. I realized that she had kept a lot of things about herself from me during our brief engagement. She was not really that nice all the time. She later admitted that part of it was the happiness of being together with someone and part of it was that she feared my reactions if I saw some parts of her. I felt lied to -- and that she should have shown it all to me beforehand. But then, I also wondered if I might just be overreacting -- after all, I'm sure some people find things that aren't ideal about their partners as their relationships progress.

Religious ideas held me back from considering divorce early on.

She wanted kids. I never did, because I was afraid that our relationship was headed for failure. She pushed and pushed. I relented and we stopped using birth control for about 2 weeks and she got pregnant right away.

Things got even worse after our first child was born. She had severe post-partum depression. I didn't want to leave my lovely new child, but I was about ready to divorce her anyway. Our relationship was in the dumps. I convinced her to see a counselor with me once. My wife refused to go see after the first session because she felt like the counselor was siding with me. I thought the counselor was very neutral, if anything.

It was around that time that I realized my wife had depression, not just post-partum, but a long pattern beginning in High School that was consistent with the "atypical" sub-type. I talked about it with my wife, and I told I didn't care if she went with me or not, but she needed to see someone, and if she didn't I would leave. She found herself a counselor who immediately recognized her depression. We wife started taking anti-depressants, which made a world of difference. She stopped being so suspicious of other people and also stopped being so sharp-tongued and short-fused. It was the first bit of light.

She started talking about another child. Because of everything that had already happened, and in the back of my mind I thought I might still divorce her, I told her my feelings, my reservations about another child. Then there was "birth control failure". I don't this for truth, but I suspect she stopped using her birth control. She hid the pregnancy from me -- I happened to find the prenatal vitamins.

But let's back up a little and inspect an overarching theme. My wife hates men. She thinks they are "vile and disgusting" and "only want is sex". She has memories of her dad with a terrible temper beating her fiercely as a child and throwing her 2 year old brother against a wall. Parts of it, she blocked out. She doesn't put me into this category of men and says I'm different. But she also half-jokingly says she thinks I'm gay because I'm not like most other guys. My wife tends to be a splitter, and I think men, by default, fall into the "bad" category.

Then there is our intimacy. She has a lot of hang-ups about sex and kissing. She finds anything involving saliva or secretions disgusting, and says so without reserve. This has never made for a very dynamic sex life, although our sex life isn't bad.

My wife is overweight. I worry about her health. She is only 5 feet tall and weighs more than me at 5' 9". I watch my diet and try to exercise. I had a long talk with her about all of these things before we got married, and how important fitness was to me. Her weight affects our lives -- as a specific example with our sex life, she only wants to be on bottom now because on top is too much work for her. She has been making an effort, and she did see a doctor and has started to exercise. She still eats a lot of extra food, though. For example, yesterday I found two candy bar wrappers in the trash and she made cookies at night. She got mad when I commented about it. I told the kids (who had a candy bar each) that one sweet was enough and they would have to save the cookies for later. I don't try to tell me wife how to eat, but I do try to encourage her to make good choices.

I worry because she feeds our kids all of the junk foods that she eats. She decided a few winters ago that our daughter was too skinny and started bulking her up. My wife was worried because sometimes my daughter would lose weight when she got sick. I protested, but I'm at work all day and can't control what she feeds the children. Now our daughter is overweight and her doctors are worried about it and talk to us about it every time we go for a checkup.

For the past week or so, I've noticed my wife doesn't greet me or say goodbye to me. She doesn't acknowledge me when I come into the room. She just stares at the television shows she is watching on the iPad. I want to talk to her about it, but I've already made comments about the sweets already this week and she'll probably not take it well. I find that when my wife is particularly "mean", she usually is not taking her anti-depressants, although I am very careful to ever talk to her about this for fear that she will retaliate by not taking them ever again because I said something. She has accused me of only wanting her to take them for selfish reasons -- that I only want her to take them so I can be happy.

I feel like I'll probably just go on like this until I die. Thinking in my head that I wish I were with someone else -- or with no one. Just not with my wife.

But then I see her redeeming qualities and think that I'm just not grateful enough... and that I'm over-critical. And that choosing divorce would probably just make a new set of problems that might be worse -- especially with regards to my kids, who I love dearly and am very close to (now grade-school age).

This is a never ending source of pain for me -- it seems that no matter my choice, the end result is painful. If I stay with my wife, I can assume that all the negatives/positives will stay roughly the same through the rest of our lives. If I leave, I may find someone who I would be happier with (or I might not), but I definitely would be away from my kids, get to enjoy being with them less, and have less influence on them (or at least less constant influence on them) than I do now.

I'd love to hear your thoughts to my post, any advise/reactions you might have.
 

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If one of your children was an adult, was in exactly the same situation and asked you for advice, what would you say to them? Would it be to stay in a situation because of fear, or step out and seek the life of your dreams?
You may see your children less but it will be better time when you do see them. They're also going to enjoy the time with you more if they see that you are being more of your true self.
 
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