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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

My wife and I are in our mid-forties. We have three children and we have been together for 20 years, married 16. 15 years ago we were forced to move from my home country and moved to the UK, where my wife is from originally.

I had a well-paid job as a Business Development Manager for a software company, which allowed my wife to stay at home and look after our two kids. We bought a small house in a relatively downmarket neighbourhood, it was all we could afford as we had lost everything when we were forced to move.

Neither of us was particularly happy living in the UK, we had been used to more space, better weather and less crowded living conditions. We dreamed of moving to a Mediterranean country to bring our children up in the sunshine. We eventually did this, but understood that it was risky proposition, financially speaking.

We bought a small business, which my wife ran, and things were idyllic until the financial crisis hit two years later. The business took a hit and my wife decided that she would prefer to get a job as a teacher than struggle on with the business. I took over running the business, which remained profitable but didn't make enough money to justify the amount of time I was spending on it. My wife put pressure on me to earn more money somehow, and I did my best with the limited set of skills I had to offer in this foreign environment and with the highest unemployment rate in the Western world at the time. Arguments about money were frequent, with my wife laying the blame at my feet.

Our relationship was rocky and I ended up having an online affair, which my wife found out about. In the aftermath we renewed our relationship and improved our sex lives. Money was still an issue, but in between arguments we were very happy and enjoyed our lives in the sun, with trips back and forth to the UK every summer and Christmas.

One day a bomb dropped, my wife was pregnant with our third child. There was a huge gap between our first two and the third child, and we were in no position to look after a young baby. My wife took six months maternity leave and then it was down to me to look after the baby, which I did happily, but running the business at the same time was impossible. I closed the business and got evening work. I would look after the baby during the day while my wife worked, then she would take over when I went to work in the evenings. It was tough, but we made it happen

Now the youngest is at school and I have slowly built up more work during the day and in the evenings, though it is still not really enough for the life we want to live and we are often short of money towards the end of the month. We still fight often about money, with my wife generally laying the blame on me.

My wife began to feel very stressed about our future and this culminated in a huge argument and her telling me that our life together has been a big disappointment for her. This upset me and I suggested that perhaps we should separate, with my going back to the UK to earn more money to support her and the kids. This rattled her and she has retracted what she said, is very apologetic and wants us to move forward.

I sat down and put together a spreadsheet showing our current financial position and what we would have when we retire and how we are going to get the kids through university. Our situation is not at all bad and this process has made her feel much more relaxed.

The problem is I find being a 'disappointment' hard to deal with. She says she is hormonal and perhaps pre-menopausal and I should forget what she said. That is not so easy as she had implied the same several times during our marriage, although she has never been so direct and explicit.

My feeling is that we went on this adventure together, with promises that we would be mutually supportive if things didn't work out and instead she has blamed me for our predicament. Apart from the perennial shortage of money we have a great life, which is the envy of family and friends. Our children are being educated at the private school where my wife works and we live in a nice house close to the beach. in the last ten years we have had three foreign holidays, outside of the trips to the UK, and our kids have everything they need materially. Healthcare is free and of a high standard here, and we have managed to do all the dental work etc that the kids have needed. I feel her blaming me is unfair and her disappointment is unfounded.

Sorry this is so long and not very exciting but I would appreciate any comments and/or advice you might have.
 

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Well, I can give you no advice on this issue, in fact I have somewhat the same problem. Everything is actually great, but money is a disappointment, and I feel I am the cause. So I am anxious to see what you find you can do about it.
 
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I think you've done amazingly well under difficult external circumstances. Wouldn't we all like to be better off financially, though? Your wife is a partner is this, and if she feels that better choices could have been made to improve your circumstances, she should have spoken up or done more herself to make more money. At this point, if she's not happy, ask her what the two of you can do to improve things - surely if she has a problem, she must have ideas on a solution!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Because of where we live it is very difficult to improve our financial situation without uprooting the whole family. She doesn't want to leave and neither do I. She says that she is over it, she is happy and wants to forget about what she said, but we have been there before and it will come up again. I don't think it is healthy to sweep things under the carpet.
 

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I don't think your situation is uncommon. I would urge you not to take her frustration personally.

I would ask you, though: Do you feel disappointed in yourself? Is that why her words hurt?
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OP,

You have done well, and her statements may be as she says due to pre menopause. But the old saying goes "listen to what someone is telling you".

If she is "disappointed in her life, unhappy in general, blaming you for the difficulties, and on and on, guess what is likely to come next???? The old " I love you but I am not in love with you".

And at her age, add in the hormones, and the statements she is making to you, do not be surprised if another man pops up on the horizon. May even be there already. Women of her age who are "unhappy" are obviously more vulnerable to "Prince Charming" showing up.

In my opinion, separating and you going to another country is basically signing the death knell on your marriage, and you will be in the other country when you find out about her new boyfriend.

You need to face this head on, get some MC if you think it would be helpful, and sort this out one way or the other. If she is "checked out" it will be less painful to find this out than be whacked with infirdelity later.

And remember this. The problems in your marriage belong to BOTH of you, so do not accept her blaming you for everything. And remember, when women get in her frame of mind,m especially where you had some type of affair, it is very easy for them to justify anythin g they do as "they deserve to be happy". You also might want to pay attention to "girlfriends" she may spend a lot of time with because peer acceptance and agreement with them many times has an effect that anything they do is OK.

Stpe up and face the future with open eyes and keep your head out of the sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't think your situation is uncommon. I would urge you not to take her frustration personally.

I would ask you, though: Do you feel disappointed in yourself? Is that why her words hurt?
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No, I don't feel disappointed in myself. I feel like I have adapted to the changing situation; becoming a SAHD, learning a new language, finding flexible work etc. The reason why it hurt is my view and her view of the last 10 years seem to be so different; I see a life well led, well rounded kids, adventure. On the face of it she feels the same way, but when we are having a tough month she lashes out.
 

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No, I don't feel disappointed in myself. I feel like I have adapted to the changing situation; becoming a SAHD, learning a new language, finding flexible work etc. The reason why it hurt is my view and her view of the last 10 years seem to be so different; I see a life well led, well rounded kids, adventure. On the face of it she feels the same way, but when we are having a tough month she lashes out.
Probably because that is her feeling, deep down. And she trusts you enough not to lie to you.
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Probably because that is her feeling, deep down. And she trusts you enough not to lie to you.
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So, my feeling is that this can't be ignored, that something has to be done. She says she didn't mean it and we should move on. What is your opinion?
 

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So, my feeling is that this can't be ignored, that something has to be done. She says she didn't mean it and we should move on. What is your opinion?
The thing that has to be done, imo, is that you have to be able to fully hear her without taking what she says personally (being defensive or reactive). And she has to come to accept that while you two have not made all the money she might have hoped for, life is still quite good.

This is really normal, run of the mill, typical 20 year marriage life stuff, imo. Nothing to break up or even temporarily separate the family over.
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So, my feeling is that this can't be ignored, that something has to be done. She says she didn't mean it and we should move on. What is your opinion?
She meant it, if nothing more than in the moment.

What you need to identify is if she was just emoting, or if there is something she would like to do about it. Make sure there is not some form of unrealized dream she is stamping down to sacrifice for the family. I would bet there is something like this.

What you need to do is be able to make it safe for her to express this to you. That means no judgement, no taking it personally, no threatening to separate.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
She meant it, if nothing more than in the moment.

What you need to identify is if she was just emoting, or if there is something she would like to do about it. Make sure there is not some form of unrealized dream she is stamping down to sacrifice for the family. I would bet there is something like this.

What you need to do is be able to make it safe for her to express this to you. That means no judgement, no taking it personally, no threatening to separate.
I have suggested we talk now, after we have settled down and there is no anger, but she says there is nothing to talk about, she didn't mean it and that is it.
 

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Your wife is playing the victim and that is a recipe for disaster.

We are each responsible for our own happiness.

She seems to have lost respect for you. Are you still the same man
she married or have you turned into the "modern nice guy man"

SAHD's have a hard time keeping their wives attraction. Many threads
here demonstrating this.

Did she rugsweep your EA? This could built up resentment on her part

Is your sex life awesome?
 

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I have suggested we talk now, after we have settled down and there is no anger, but she says there is nothing to talk about, she didn't mean it and that is it.
Then take a different approach.

Don't mention the "incident".

Ask her if there are any dreams she saw the two of you doing. Be prepared to discuss one of your own to prime the conversation pump.

When you ask, ask it in an open ended form rather than a yes/no question:

"Wife, what have you always wanted to do that you haven't been able to...maybe due to family or other obligations?"

You may be surprised what you learn from her.
 
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So you had some difficulties and your response was an online affair.

Then your wife tried to talk to you and your response was to suggest separation.

You've made clear that you are an unsafe place for her.....how do you suppose that's going to work for you?

Of course she doesn't want to talk to you.
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OP, if you haven't shown her this post, have you at least had a serious talk with her, where you've laid out all of the same feelings that you've conveyed in writing here?

If you haven't, then you are setting expectations of her that she knows nothing about. You're expecting her to react in a certain way when she does not have full context. That's called a covert contract. You have to be clear and up-front about your expectations. You can't assume that your wife knows what you do, how hard you work, what you really contribute, or how well off you are financially. She lives in her own reality, not yours. Do you know absolutely everything she feels she contributes?

It's good that you laid the finances out on a spreadsheet so she could clearly see a plan. She probably feels relieved to know that you have been planning. She can't know unless you share with her.

If you haven't yet had a talk with her, I'd do this right now before one more day passes. As FSJ expressed above, do it gently and do not get upset with her. She needs to feel comfortable being HER honest self, too.

A lot of people are blind to the good things they do have, and instead focus on what they do not.

Women will not just trust their men unless they have had a historical reason to. It's not fair, but it's been my experience. Your online affair obviously hurt that trust. We don't even have a full picture of it - how far did it go and how did you get caught? Or did you confess?

Maybe she needs a little more convincing that things are going well. Maybe she needs to be a little more comforted. Women pick at men because they are unsure and are testing them. You've got nothing to worry about in my mind when it comes to logistics - you seem like a very prepared man that has always looked out for the interests of his family. Continue to show her this and be confident about it. But be aware that if you have not tackled your infidelity to HER satisfaction, then she may have many unresolved issues that keep her from trusting you completely.
 
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And remember this. The problems in your marriage belong to BOTH of you, so do not accept her blaming you for everything. And remember, when women get in her frame of mind, especially where you had some type of affair, it is very easy for them to justify anything they do as "they deserve to be happy". You also might want to pay attention to "girlfriends" she may spend a lot of time with because peer acceptance and agreement with them many times has an effect that anything they do is OK.
Bold is bang on, but yes. The EA was silly.

And woe betide a man who doesn't provide (what she sees fit). But just a second, the ladies all want careers nowadays don't they? If she's earning more than he could, he can be a SAHD and everything works out just fine, right? He'll be well respected by her for keeping house and bringing up the kids, right? That's where we're heading isn't it?
 

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OP,

You have done well, and her statements may be as she says due to pre menopause. But the old saying goes "listen to what someone is telling you".

If she is "disappointed in her life, unhappy in general, blaming you for the difficulties, and on and on, guess what is likely to come next???? The old " I love you but I am not in love with you".

And at her age, add in the hormones, and the statements she is making to you, do not be surprised if another man pops up on the horizon. May even be there already. Women of her age who are "unhappy" are obviously more vulnerable to "Prince Charming" showing up.

In my opinion, separating and you going to another country is basically signing the death knell on your marriage, and you will be in the other country when you find out about her new boyfriend.

You need to face this head on, get some MC if you think it would be helpful, and sort this out one way or the other. If she is "checked out" it will be less painful to find this out than be whacked with infirdelity later.

And remember this. The problems in your marriage belong to BOTH of you, so do not accept her blaming you for everything. And remember, when women get in her frame of mind,m especially where you had some type of affair, it is very easy for them to justify anythin g they do as "they deserve to be happy". You also might want to pay attention to "girlfriends" she may spend a lot of time with because peer acceptance and agreement with them many times has an effect that anything they do is OK.

Stpe up and face the future with open eyes and keep your head out of the sand.
THIS X100.

I went through the exact same complaints you are going through.....only my financial position was better than yours.

Had a house about 5 years from being mortgage free....I was 41 she was 37.
two good children
both worked with retirement savings.
went on vacations and had other nice things in life......

she used to complain about was what we "didn't have"............griped she was unhappy. I was faithful to her.

said similar things to the OP's post how life has been a disappointment.

all it took was for the right very rich guy to come along and the affair was on.

OP I would be very concerned right now.
 

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I dont know if this a trust issue or a never happy issue.

There are people out there who are never satisfied. Can have happy healthy kids who visit with their grandkids a lot. A decent house, nice vehicle, take vacations, etc etc. But for some its never enough. They arent happy. They fixate on what they dont have. What they didnt get. They lack perspective. They simply dont enjoy the simple things in life enough.

Does it mean they are bad people? I guess not. But to me they are sad sad people. But when they start blaming other people for all their dont haves? Ughh.
 
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