My wife and I have been married for over 11 years. We have an 8 year old and 10 year old.
Over the years we have had our ups and downs, but we were always there to support each other. My wife had a couple of lumpectomies and is also being treated for anxiety. Treatment for that included meds and counseling. We had some financial difficulties but have improved our lives immensely in the last 3 years.
I should note that I grew up as an only child with a divorced mother (divorced when I was 4), so I figured that I missed out on a few things in life, but came out of things with a Master's Degree and able to live independently. My wife grew up as the youngest of three and was fairly spoiled by her parents. Her siblings do not get along with her for this reason. Her mother recently called her arrogant but I defended her at that time saying that she was sensitive.
I noticed that a few months ago that my wife was spending a lot of time alone in our room (right after supper until bedtime) on her laptop. Because she was on anti anxiety medication I was not concerned since she has always gone to bed early. A month ago we went on vacation and a couple of weeks after we returned she told me that she wanted a divorce. I was flabbergasted.
I immediately suggested MC, since I had already done counseling before to improve my parenting skills, which worked great! Well, we went to MC session 1 and she called me down to the dirt. I was unable to respond. In that session she said that she hasn't loved me since after our first child was born. I knew that this was not true. She does tend to dwell on negative things and she has a quick temper. I am a little more laid back. I think that was part of my problem, becoming a little complacent. Some of the other things she mentioned were the fact that I didn't clear the snow off of her car sometimes. I believe that happened maybe 12 times last year. That seemed to be a little bit picky. I cleaned off the car at least 50 times over the winter in addition to clearing the driveway. She goes to work an hour before me so sometimes the extra 30 minutes in bed are required. Our morning routine was I would get up, put the coffee on, she would get in the shower and I would go back to bed. She got out of the shower and I got in. By the time I was ready she would have the kids' lunches ready and would be leaving. I would then get the kids up, get them breakfast, get them ready and then take them to school.
Just before our session she told me what she was doing on her laptop. She was chatting with people all of the time, except that she had also made a connection with another man. This connection led to a couple of phone calls, one of which was made while we were on family vacation down south. I was floored! Since then all connections have been cut off with that person, but she is still spending a lot of time on her laptop. I am giving her space.
Our second MC session is this week, but I do not think that it will go well either. She seems to like telling me that she has already seen a lawyer. We are not sleeping in the same bed. I am sleeping with my son in his bed (double bed). I have told her that I will be seeing a lawyer this week as well.
I have read the "Man Up" articles as well as the 180 and am trying to use them as best as I can. I still feel like an emotional wreck though and trying new things to hold on to my sanity. I am spending a lot of time with my kids, which I am enjoying. I know that if we get divorced the kids will stay with her, but I will still have them a lot. I worry about being alone, but I also worry about my wife and kids. I know that my wife will have a hard time doing all of the chores that I do since she has never had to do them.
I'm sorry if this rant was a little long, but if someone can give me a little advice I would really appreciate it. If you need anymore info feel free to ask questions. (5 mins ago) It seems like when I told her that I was going to see a lawyer that she changed a little. Now she is willing to let me back in bed. I am weary.
I don't get it, she is connecting to another man and you leave the bed? whats that all about?
Don't let her rewrite history, she's scewing around so stay stronge and focus on the belief that begging and pleading will only empower her.
The big thing here is take your time and think before you speak. Your at a cridicial point and it can go either way, just don't buckle under her BS to make you look like the bad guy. Support her and acknolodge her feelings but never apoligize for her choice to cheat.
The other man is out of the picture now. That was done before our first MC session. That person was not even from Canada, he was somewhere in the US... as I have been told. We had a good evening last night and that has carried over to today. I'll be careful, I still trust her, but I wonder some times.
The snow clearing was brought out in MC. She was adding things in to put me down. Another session this week, so I'll see how she speaks this time around.
May I reply to your post?
As a disgruntled wife myself, I can say that seemingly minor things to you can be major things to a wife... While it may seem trivial about brushing the snow off the car, to a woman it might be a sign of affection and caring--know what I mean? Like, by not brushing off the car, you're not giving her the 'affection' she craves...Does that kind of make sense?
I'm not saying she's right or that she was involved with another man because you didn't clean off her car, but I'm trying to say that men and women think differently. My H and I have this kind of fight all the time, that's why I wanted to post. To me, the act of cleaning off the car is an act of love--something that shows your wife on a daily basis how much you love her. And when you don't do it, she might have looked for other 'signs' that you loved her but didn't find enough...
I'm not justifying her behavior in contacting another man...That is completely unacceptable. What I can say though, is that from a woman's perspective, she was probably "missing" something at home...and as much as you think you were giving it to her, she apparently wasn't 'receiving' the love you were offering... Make sense?
Again, I'm not taking sides or bagging on you at all...You sound like you've been a great husband! It just tends to be that sometimes men and women express love and feelings in different ways and sometimes the other partner can't "hear" what they're saying because it's expressed in a way they're not wired to "get".
I hope MC helps you both sort things out
I agree with you that men and women see things differently. My goal is to actually think about things a little more. In hindsight, I should have cleaned off the car. We have reconciled at the moment and I plan to try and be a more considerate husband and do the things that remind her that I love her. She has told me that she plans to do the same thing and she thanked me for the support that I have given her over the years. The fact that she thanked me made me feel appreciated. This was something that I was missing and liked to hear.
I think that the MC sessions will be more positive now. Hopefully it will help us pave the way to a greater marriage and respect for each other.
Yes, I can see that. Makes perfect sense. "you didn't brush the snow off my car, so I want a divorce!"
LMFAO! This has to be the most ridiculous attempt at blame shifting and trying to justify her actions in her head. If that's the best she can come up with, she's grasping at straws. Posted via Mobile Device
Oh my gosh SJMan, I'm sorry! I wasn't saying you should be her slave or anything...That's something she needs to get over too, making you clean her car *all* the time...
I was saying more that she might have not been receiving the message "I love you" that you were sending because we're wired differently. I agree too with AlphaOmega that it is ridiculous of her to want the car cleaned off and that she's grasping at straws to explain away her affair and marital dissatisfaction... But no matter how dumb her argument is or how nonsensical it is to you, there's something there somewhere in her message that she's telling you she didn't feel loved by you... It doesn't mean you *don't* love her and I'm sure she knows that...she just probably needs the message delivered in a different way. I think MC would help you both if this is really just a communication issue and not her actually wanting to leave the marriage.
I hope it works out for you
I totally understand. It's the little things that I am missing. Just spoke to W a little while ago and that is our goal in MC now rather than the past.
I think that my main problem is that I didn't grow up in an environment where I could witness and learn from these things. However, I did note to W that it was a two way street and that I intend to try and express myself more, but I am not going to do everything for her. She has to do things back as well.
The reason I posted in your thread is because I can relate to where your wife is at kind of (minus the affair part thankfully)...And what you post is really helping me too...It helps me understand where my H is coming from because in alot of ways he's like you, where he tries to deliver a message of love and support but doesn't have the 'tools' or whatever to give it to me in a way that brings me joy and happiness. (Sorry to sound preachy there).
So, what I wanted to ask you is, what is it specifically you need from your W?? My H and I have problems with communication and all the stress of life makes it worse...But bottom line is I love him and don't want a divorce, but I can't see him delivering the message of love (ok, yuck that was kinda gaggy there lol) in a way I can "get"...Know what I mean?
So I'm figuring if you could say what it is you need from your wife that would give *you* joy, happiness, etc. maybe it's what my H wants too, or close to it...
I've tried asking him but he can't articulate his feelings to me--maybe because the relationship is too intense for him or something, but he just can't open up to me like that...plus he did not come from an emotionally-close home.
It's hard to say what in particular I would like to see. I know that I want to feel needed, respected and loved. When my W has an issue I want her to come to me first. I want to see her smile (this would depend a lot upon me) and want to do things with me and go places. I want my wife to prod me a little or tell me if she thinks I am being emotionally unavailable, so that I can try to open up. I am a man, but I have feelings as well. In my case I would also like my W to only be angry at me if I am the cause. She tends to vent at me when someone or something else makes her angry or frustrated. I hope that I am not making you *gag*, but I want my wife to want to hold my hand because I certainly want to hold hers.
Obviously I do not put all the blame of our situation on my wife though. I hope that we share it 50/50. I intend to learn (and practice) the 50 that I need to make our marriage work.
I love my wife, but I won't be trampled. I want us to raise our kids in a happy, fun and outgoing home. I want our kids to have what I never had.
Believe it or not, this thread is helping me reduce my stress. It helps to talk. Thanks.
LOL, that's funny....you're not making me gag.lol It's nice that you love your wife like that and can talk about her in that way
I"m glad this thread is helping you because it's helping me too...alot...
I hear that you don't want to be trampled...My H feels the same way, and in fact when we first got together and we had any arguments it came down to him saying "he didn't want to be steamrolled again." And my H wants to give his kids what he didn't have either--which is a devoted dad who goes to all their sporting events and is "there" for them.
I tend to be like your wife and probably alot of other women in that I vent at/on my H. Something goes really wonky at work or some huge thing happens and I'll be all fired up and tell him about it. My H has said, like you, that he doesn't want to have me "take things out on him"--but from my perspective I'm not taking it "out on him", I'm just venting and telling him about what happened. So what I'm gathering that venting to a man is *not* a good thing?lol
I have my mom and friends for girl-powered venting support, but I also need my H to just let me talk about whatever is going on...and just offer a hug... I don't expect or need him to *do anything*...I just need that sympathetic ear...and the hug.lol
Wonder what we as people can do to get women and men on the same page in that area???
You mentioned also wanting to feel respected... I have to admit that I can make my H not feel respected by the things I say and do. I make belittling comments and say things out of anger and frustration that I'm sure make him feel disrespected. Maybe that's something your wife could work on too?
I talked to my H the other day about us getting divorced and we discussed how we felt about our marriage, etc. I said to him that being Mrs. So-and-So is probably the biggest thing in my life...That it makes me proud to wear that title and it in a major way, defines who I am. I don't want to be a single girl again...I want to be a married woman who has 2 step kids and a dog and a house in the burbs... It's who I've become and I'm proud of being Mrs. So-and-So. Getting a divorce would rob me of a chunk of my identity and I don't want that.
I'm thinking if your wife got to sit down and talk with you in MC, she might show you and tell you that she feels the same way.
Thanks for sharing your male perspective with me...It definitely helps
I don't mind when my wife is angry/upset and telling about a problem or issue that she is having. She actually gets angry at me which makes me feel ... bad when I really haven't done anything. This is when I feel like I am not respected. There are the same sort of things as well where belittling comments are directed my way. I have been guilty of the same, so we are both guilty and need to work on that.
I would LOVE for my wife to say that she is proud to be Mrs. So-and-So. I think that it would fill me with pride. However, she looks at my last name and associates it with my extended family. This is one of the things that she sees, but I am nothing like my parents.
MC is in a couple of hours, so I'll be back after then. Hopefully it is a positive session unlike the last one.