I hope some of you can give me advice and insight. My wife and I have lived together for 19 years (15 married). We are in our 40s. I am retired 3 years and my wife does not work. We have no children. We stay in florida for the winter at her parents empty house. Over the last year our 18 and 16-year-old dogs have passed away. My wife always tells me our life is over since they have died. The last few months have been hell for me. My wife wants to live in florida permanently and I want to continue living in my house up in NY. It was a house we bought that was abandoned and it took me 2 years to rebuild. I love it and do not want to sell it. While in florida this year, my wife took several trips to see her friend for days at a time. I never felt so alone in my life. No friends, no family to hang out with. Up in NY, I have my parents around the corner, my brothers live in NY as well. During our drive up to NY she constantly peppered me about living in FL. Now that we are in NY, my wife stays mostly in the basement apt. of our rental more than she stays with me 50 miles away in the house I re-habbed. I feel crushed. Our families have been asking what is going on with us. I tell them what is going on and they do not understand what is going through her mind. My wife does not get along with anyone in her family (very sad) and I love her family like it is my own. I provide for her, cook, do the shopping, fix everything for her among many other things. She is a good person but has many issues and we get along most of the time except for the fact about where she and I want to live.
I cannot understand it. I am good looking, work out regularly, smart, and I am a really easy going nice guy. I am flexible in that I am willing to go to FL for 6 months of the year but not permanently.
We have never been unfaithful to each other. We have never been physically harmful to each other during our fights.
I feel there is nothing for me in FL. In NY I have all my friends and family. I find that as one of the most important things in the world, especially since we do not have children. She does not care about any of that and only wants warm weather at any cost. We are considering separating. There is no marriage counseling as she says, “I won’t go. I want FL and you want NY. There is nothing anyone can counsel us about.”
Should I just give in and go to FL and lose my mind or get separated? I am so very sad about this.
You and your wife have a lot going for you as a couple--financially. Things probably won't be so great once you separate. So, both of you really need to work on your relationship before giving up. I'm a little confused with something in your post. Your wife has a close friend in Florida. However, in another place you say she gets along with no one. Is there more to this?
I honestly think your wife needs counseling. As I have learned those who need counseling the most are the last to get it. Therefore, I suggest you find yourself an individual counselor. A good therapist will be able to guide you and help you deal with an uncooperative spouse. You both need to be happy.
You know, you stated you do not have kids, but the dogs were your kids. You had them almost as long as a kid! DO you think maybe your wife is grieving? It sounds to me that she is lonely.
I don't think your request is unreasonable, yet you need to sit her down at some point and talk to her aout it. Would she like another dog? Would she benefit from some counseling? Make sure if your plan is to snowbird, you find a counsler in both areas that she can talk to.
Maye if she sees you are willing to let her move close to her friends in Florida, if she stays by yourside and comes to NY, she will feel better about things. Tell her that you miss her and you are lonely. That is the only way you are going to start any communication with her.
My wife does have a close friend in FL. She visited her several times as I stayed alone in FL. I did do things like go fishing, went to street fairs, etc. It just was not the same without her or alone. I was so lonely and hurt. She did not call me much telling me she was busy helping her friend. I am sure she was faithful. My wife has a few close friends but does not get along with her family, therefore she is extremely close to her few friends. She has had so many failed friendships and family relationships in the past. I just did not want to make my post so long that no one would read it. I talk to my father a lot and he says the same thing you do. She needs counseling. She would never do this. I am not a therapist but I believe she feels totally healthy and she wants what she wants and that is it. We have been going through this for 8 months now.
She brought up separating to me when she had a major fight with her mother. I guess she was so angry that she wanted to get away from everyone, including me. Last week we had a big fight and this time I brought up separating and signing papers with the court. That stunned her completely. Once again I cried and got upset and she got angry. We left it that we would look into this and that has been it so far. Right now I am in my house while she in in our rental. I don't know what to do now. I want to thank you for reading and responding. I read this board when I feel lonely and hurt and it helps. I will probably seek counseling on my own. Again, Thanks.
I agree our dogs were our kids. She may feel lonely but I was always there for her. So has my dad who lives very close by. The day after our 2nd dog passed, she did not even hug me. The very next day she left to see her friend in Miami (3 hours away from me) for around 5 days. I was left grieving alone. I do not think we can handle another dog right now. We still have our 12 year old cat now and it would be hard for the cat to live with a puppy right now. The way our relationship is going, I do not want to fall in love with my dog and have her take it away if we separate.
I brought up counseling to her and she thought it was stupid. As I wrote before, she feels she has no problem and she wants to be in FL for at least 10 months of the year or too bad for me. She makes fun of the fact that I love and want to be around my family. I don't care and I am proud of it. We sat down about this many times and she thinks I am being unreasonable. Every single person I talk to about this thinks she is making a great mistake because she relies on me for so many things. This includes my parents, her parents, her sister, and some of my friends. I am a very independent-self sufficient person on the outside, but emotionally I really rely on her.
We have discussed her returning to FL in Sept. I do not want to go to FL until Dec. So I have told her I cannot hold her back and she can go but I cannot handle being away from her for so long and be a married couple. What kind of marriage is that? She would get all the benefit (Financially) while I sit in NY crying and wanting her. That is why I brought up signing a separation agreement.
I want to thank you for reading this. Although I am upset right now as I write, it does make me feel better. It is very hard for me to cope as I am alone right now.
Glad venting on this forum helps. I think we've all done a lot of that! It does help; it has spared my therapist many hours. lol
I certainly understand where you are coming from on the family issue. I have a very close family too. In fact, we live on the same property. We are always here for each other.
Your wife is definitely distancing you. I think it may go back to the death of your beloved dogs. When I lost my dear horse of 30 years, it took me a long time to stop grieving. I'm sure I put distance between myself and loved ones--and I honestly couldn't help it. As I said before, your wife needs counseling.
Start by going to individual counseling and always leave the door open for her to join you.
Well, my wife left for Florida a week ago and we are now separated. I feel crushed. We were both crying right before she left. It is still very hard for me to understand. Every single person I talk to about this says she is making a mistake. She told me herself she knows she may be going over a cliff. Very hard for me to understand this after being together 19 years.
I read all your follow up posts and will start with the last one.
re: Well, my wife left for Florida a week ago and we are now separated. I feel crushed. We were both crying right before she left. It is still very hard for me to understand. Every single person I talk to about this says she is making a mistake. She told me herself she knows she may be going over a cliff. Very hard for me to understand this after being together 19 years.
... Sorry that you are now separated but it was going to happen based on her determination (your previous comments) and what seem so be her independence and strength.
I will only share with you from my own experience and not pose as some kind of 'expert' on relationships.
My situation was somewhat like yours. I was the needy, lonely, dependent person and my (then) wife was the tough, determined, strong person. I learned in counseling and therapy that I was the one-down, Codependent and she was the one-up, Counter Dependent (just another kind of Codependent). I was passive, she aggressive. These are just convenient descriptions to begin to get a handle on our condition and therefore begin to cope with and solve our problems. My wife, like your wife, would not have gone for help because she was PERFECT and didn't need any help whereas I was admittedly the messed up one, so I started working on myself in Recovery groups. I could give you lots of links and leads with this stuff but you can learn all about it by searching the web or in bookstores or libraries.
re: While in florida this year, my wife took several trips to see her friend for days at a time. I never felt so alone in my life. No friends, no family to hang out with.
.... This is all about Codependent neediness and isolation. Codependents are very dependent on others for their happiness and security, so when the strong partner is absent, the passive partner gets depressed, lonely, frightened, sad, etc. You can learn all about this by searching the web on Codependency or in counseling. By the way, Codependency can be CURED!
RE: Now that we are in NY, my wife stays mostly in the basement apt. of our rental more than she stays with me 50 miles away in the house I re-habbed. I feel crushed.
... Yes, you would feel 'crushed'. She is the strong/independent one and is in control.
Our families have been asking what is going on with us. I tell them what is going on and they do not understand what is going through her mind.
... Once you begin to study and learn about Codependency, what is in her mind will become very clear BUT what is in your mind is the most important thing, since fixing your self is the real issue for you.
"My wife does not get along with anyone in her family (very sad)
... That just tells me that there are deep, unhealed problems within her family that have lead to her Codependent condition. This will become clear as you learn about Codependency and other psychological stuff. Both of you could use some counseling but she will most likely never do it.
I provide for her, cook, do the shopping, fix everything for her among many other things.
... Same with us. I was the doormat, servant, nice-guy, needy little dependent one while she was the OK one.
re: There is no marriage counseling as she says, “I won’t go. I want FL and you want NY. There is nothing anyone can counsel us about.”
... Yes, that's a typical One-up Codependent response because they don't need any help from anyone or anything. They are tough, know it all, and very determined, etc.
Well, here's what we did and how it all turned out:
I started therapy/counseling in cheap or free support groups and some one on one counseling. The groups did me the most good. She watched from the sidelines and appreciated that I was getting better as I began to get a backbone and understand myself better. It got very sticky with us as I began to know what I want and learned how to STAND UP FOR MYSELF. She didn't like my new independence and strength which threatened her long standing control and authority in or very bad relationship. I learned exactly why or marriage was so bad and why I had been such a one-down, needy little Codependent ever since I was a child. I also began to understand why she was the way she was - she never did understand it, but then, she had no interest in understanding - just CONTROLLING everyone and everything. As I grew and learned, it became clear to me how to make a relationship work and what to do about our bad one. I learned that a relationship had to have: Total, 100% honesty and truthfulness - which our never did! It must be built on complete RESPECT, (I had to learn exactly what 'respect' is and how to attain it) affection and LOYALTY - which we never had. There are some other things but just these 2 alone can make a good marriage. Unfortunately, she would have no part of these new and threatening concepts, so after about a year more of bitter fights and discord, I LEFT HER and got a divorce. Once I learned what was wrong and how to fix it, I could no longer go on living in a bad, unhappy CODEPENDENT relationship with anyone.
I met another 'recovering' person, married her and am now happily married to/with a healthy, knowledgeable, loving person and we constantly use our relationship skills and knowledge to keep our love, respect and happiness in place. I deeply wish I had been taught these skills as a child or anytime before but our family was very dysfunctional and it took many sad and miserable years to finally HAVE TO stop and learn what I wish I had known all along but I'm ever so grateful that fate forced me to learn this stuff and I wish the same for you or anyone struggling in life. I have kept this as simple as I could and trust that, if you go searching, as I did, you will also find answers and solutions to your issues.
re: Should I just give in and go to FL and lose my mind or get separated? I am so very sad about this
..... Please do not 'give up' on your self or lose your mind any more than you already have in this Codependent relationship. You may be sad now BUT, if and when you go for help FOR YOUR SELF, the sadness may give way to happy UNDERSTANDING and knowledge of relationship skills and how to make it all work.
Good luck learning and HEALING,
Thanks jimrich and 827aug. I am really doing fine right now, although I am sad. I have been keeping busy with friends and family and forming a closer bond with them. My wife and I still talk on the phone once or twice a day but she is cold to me. She attempts to make me feel guilty by saying, "you chose your friends and family over me." I do not or will not buy into that nonsense. I told her I was willing to go to Florida 5 or 6 months of the year but not 10 or 12 like she wants. Every single person that both of us have talked to about this have seen it my way.
I am taking it one day at a time right now and have been telling everyone we are separated. I may go to florida to join her in December or January if I still want to stay married. I just don't think that will happen and I will just file for divorce.
Anyway this forum has been great for me---especially when I feel lonely.
I think I will have to go to counseling soon. I am very sad a lot lately. I still to this day cannot understand why she did this other than her needing to get away to think things out. We still keep in touch on the phone everyday but my wife is colder and colder to me.
Since she has been in florida I mostly call her. She told me the other day not to call too late at night. I called her 11:30 which was never late for us. She claimed it "scares" her when her phone rings that late. She always talked on the phone with her friends late into the night and I am sure she never told them to stop calling.
Yesterday, I figured I will not call her to see if she will call me. No call from her until the afternoon when one of our tenants had a problem. I was handling the problem so I figured I will call her to let her know what is going on. She did not answer my message (one message only). We finally communicated briefly by text. I asked her if I could call her, she texted "no, I am out". I am so mad that she will not even be involved with our rental home.
If this keeps up I might as well file for divorce. I was going to wait a few months to see if she will come back but it doesn't look that way. I am so sad.
This is awesome to be and live separated from your spouse I want to say that Marriage counselling continues to be identified by many people with different points of views. Some are brought with the concept that marriage counselling is made for couples who have problems in relationship or are on the brink of splitting up. Additionally, a number of people believe that getting any kind of counseling isn’t a necessity in that people ought to keep their problems to themselves and do not want to have their soiled laundry strung out in public places. Some consider it an embarassment as sensitive information about the partnership of both partners is given to a stranger. Nonetheless, when does a couple need to go to their marriage therapist, and is it necessary in order to endure the difficulties of marriage?
I think you should check it as it was beneficial to me too and convince your spouse for this too marriage counseling Orange County if nothing goes well Then that's your fate be brave.