My wife and i have been married for 17 1/2 years. We have two beautiful daughters age 14 and 4. Last April my wife began to become distant towards me. In May she informed me that friends of our had told her they had noticed us treating each other different. We seemed to be more rude to one another and bickered more. She also told me that people were complaining about my sarcasm, and didn't want to be around me. She was very angry at me for this, and blamed me for our friends no longer wanting to come around. At first I was very defensive when she told me this, but I started to think about it and wanted to change my ways. I began working on myself, and even started going to counseling. However, she remained distant and in her shell unable to forgive me.
In June I was asked to deploy to Afghanistan. I asked my wife how she felt about this, and she thought it would be a good idea because it would give us time apart. I agreed to go on the deployment to give her space. Things were ok, but she was still in her shell. In August I left for training and everything seemed ok. I came back for two weeks in September, and she pretty much acted like I wasn't even there. In October I left for three more weeks of training. The previous two weeks weighed heavily on my mind, and we argued on the phone most of that time. Prior to leaving for Afghanistan I went home for a week. This week at home was fantastic. We did things together, wen't to lunch and dinner, movies, talked, and were intimate all week.
Then I left for Afghanistan. As you can imagine being away from your family is difficult. I missed them very much and called and expressed that often. I'm a very insecure person who leans on his wife allot for support. I had the capability to call her anytime I wanted to, but she requested I call Wednesday, and web cam on Sunday. At first this was very difficult to follow. She was still very supportive to me even when I called out of cycle. Eventually she would get angry when I called and would even ignore me if it wasn't on our agreed days.
Sometime in December I questioned the fact that she had stopped saying she loved me anymore. At that time she informed me of some frustrations and changes she wanted me to make, and that she would consider leaving me if I didn't make them. I immediately stared making changes. I began talking to the chaplain regularly, reading self help books, web sites, forums, you name it i did it. My years of negativity turned positive.
things were going really well. I was talking only positive things to her, and i was sticking to her phone arrangement. One Wednesday after our conversation she commented how nice of a conversation it was, so we talked for another hour. Sunday after we did web cam, she told me she had something to tell me, and she dropped the bomb. She acknowledged the positive changes i had made, but she said she was tired of trying for 17+ years.
I was absolutely devastated and blindsided. She also told me that she had gone to see an attorney in June about getting a divorce, and he told her she was undecided and needed to go home. I did everything she asked me to do, and yet she still decided she wants out. However she's agreed to marriage counseling when I return, but she doesn't want me living in the house while we do it because of the tension it may cause for the kids.
We have had a very good marriage, with flaws of course, but she never expressed the majority of the complaints she's coming up with now. She is a woman and has a great memory, so she's going back to the beginning and picking every negative thing I've done. I can't seem to do anything right in her mind right now, and unfortunately I'm 8000 miles away and can't do a thing.
My wife is a wonderful woman. I love her with all my heart. However she's always had the ability to be very nice or very cold. She's stubborn as all get out, and is unable to forgive. She harps on past issues, and will never let you live it down even after you think the issue is dead. she also said she let me go to Afghanistan to give her time to think, and because absence makes the heart grow fonder, but she doesn't miss me and she doesn't look forward to me coming home like she did after my last deployment.
I myself am very insecure and require allot of attention. I can totally understand her being tired. I've never been controlling, but my trust and jealousy issues have kept her from doing some of the things she wanted to do. Things i never knew about because she never told me. we have always been each others best friend and told each other everything. Now she says she's tired of me always using her as my crutch.
My W and I have been talking allot lately, her calling me, and she keeps cracking the window open a little more. She told me the reason she doesn't want us living together when I return is because she's afraid I'm going to talk her into leaving things the way they were. She has started counseling and wants me to do the same when I get home. She told me she still loves me, but wants us to work on ourselves and then us. That's been my plan the entire time, that's just the first time she's shared her plan with me.
What it boils down to is she's lost herself, and she needs to get herself back. She wants to be able to make a decision without having to analyze and worry about the outcome. I may not completely understand, but I respect that it's her feeling. I'm slowly developing patience, and will wait for her because I love her, but I won't wait forever.
She's very up and down, but she doesn't seem as divorce minded as she once did. I really don't know how to take all this. W says she doesn't know exactly what's going to happen when I get home, which isn't neceseraly good or bad, she is just obviously confused. This is the first time in months that she even mentioned the fact that she still loves me.
I need some help from some of you with experience. I had mentioned previously that my wife had started counseling finally. She says she needs to fix her before she can work on a relationship. I can completely understand that, but she sent me this in an email the other day.
"I want you to continue to work on yourself. I have a long way to go and you have even further because you have never traveled this road with a professional before. It is hard and takes time. Things cannot be fixed in a matter of weeks or months. Especially since you are dealing with issues from your childhood. It is a long journey but one that is well worth it in the end. You will be amazed at the progress you make when you come back".
I agree with most of this, but i disagree with the fact that it's going to be a longer road for me. I have worked on allot of stuff while deployed, and feel better about myself than I have in years. i agree I have flaws and deep rooted childhood issues that contribute to my trust and jealousy issues. that I definitely need professional counseling for. However, I don't feel broken, lost, or depressed like my wife says she feels. i haven't relayed this to her, but should I worry that she thinks I need so much help.
Obviously since I'm not home yet, she really doesn't know how far I've come. I still have a long way to go, but I'm well on the way.
Our conversations have gone well, nothing bad, nothing good. She seems to be over the angry stage, and has been more positive and supportive of things.
Today I called my wife for our weekly scheduled phone call. She asked me how much time I hd and she put my 4 year old daughter to bed. She asked why I called 14 year old daughter on Tuesday, and I told her I always call her on Tuesday. She asked if I could call a different night because that's the night she has counseling and isn't home. She want's older daughter to concentrate on little sister. I agreed and chose another day.
I was very calm on the telephone. She had emailed me from work and said she wanted to talk to me beacause she was angry about the night before. Me calling while daughter was watching sister. I stuck to the points, listened and agreed when needed, and compromised like readjusting the day. We finished the conversation with small talk, and then I got off to go to work. I feel doing and saying all the right things, but the truth is when we meet up face to face.
Towards the end of the conversation she asked about how things would be when I came home. My wife asked me if I wanted the first few days with the kids when I got home. I replied yes absolutely because I miss them and they miss me. She said she would pick me up form the airport, take us home then she would leave for her friends house. I asked if she literally meant she would drop us off, tag off to me, and leave. She repilied with yes, how did you think it was going to be. I told her I thought we would visit for a little while.
I realize she doesn't want to be with me right now, and I realize she wants to feel things out when I get home. I just have a hard time with the fact i left 6 months ago with what apeared to be a wife that loves me, and I'm going home to one that apears not to. I look forward to getting home and seeing my girls, but I'm not looking forward to what lies ahead.
This must be very difficult while you are out of the country and at risk. I'm sorry.
I suspect your wife feels she did let you know, in what ways she could, that she was unhappy with things--not by crying, screaming, etc., but in her way (whatever that might be). I am not trying to insist that she "did," but rather that *she* probably thinks she did. At some point she gave up trying b/c it got no results.
Look up the "Walk away Wife syndrome" and see it that might apply. Good luck and may you stay safe.