I am at the end of my rope
As I sit here writing this I have a lump in my throat and the tears are pretty close. I feel like my marriage is in the toilet but I am still unsure whether or not to file for divorce.
My wife & I have been married for almost 9 years, and have a 13 year old girl who is my wife's from a previous marriage. I have raised this child as my own (her biological dad is not in the picture; he lives in CA and pays child support but is no contact with my stepdaughter). At my wife's insistence, we live with her elderly mother, who is a narcissist. My wife refuses to buy a house with me as she wants her mother's house that has been willed to her; she also is supporting her brother and told me if I bought a house she would not help with mortgage/utilities/taxes as she was supporting him; nor would she help with maintenance/yard work as she would be looking after her mother's and father's homes. Her father is also a narcissist; he demands being waited on hand and foot, which is why I hate him, too.
The reasons my marriage is falling apart are many, unfortunately. The biggest one(s) are my wife's narcissistic, elderly mother and father (both 90+). They are divorced for over 30 years and my wife's father lives on his own in his own home. He wants to remain there until he dies, despite being extremely infirm and incontinent. Another problem is my wife's golden child brother, who is over 50 and dependent on my wife financially. 7 years ago, she bought him a house as he was bankrupt due to a nasty divorce from a narcissistic ex wife. He also has 2 boys, 1 of whom has been battling cancer for 4 years. He was originally supposed to build a basement suite in this house & put a tenant in there but 7 years later the suite is STILL not finished. I suspect he is taking advantage of my wife financially. He does work occasionally but it is mostly odd jobs with home renovations/maintenance. My wife still feels devoted to him, and has been using her dad's $$ to help finance these renovations to build the basement suite in the house she bought for him. This has resulted in her putting the bulk of her time into looking after her toxic elderly father, and she and her mother have both demanded my help with him, mostly with personal care, housework and yard work. It has reached the point that he has physically injured me and put me out of work for 2 months but my wife & her mother denied he was the cause and continued to demand help with his house & bathing him. It did not matter to them that I could not work because of their demands; they just denied that this old man had put me out of work.
My wife's mother is also incredibly toxic and selfish. She constantly demands regular, physical labor around the house and her garden, demanding we dig & plant her vegetable garden every year (same goes for my father-in-law's garden as well). She also has a garbage pile of a summer cottage 2 hours away that my father in law used as a storage dump for many years. It is dusty, smelly and gross. Every years we are expected to go to this cottage and clean, cut grass, prune trees etc. I am also saddled with driving 2 hours back to town so everyone else can rest (never mind that I have been doing most of the heavy work). On top of all this, there is another golden boy son who lives locally (the other one does not) but he is the most favored child and my wife's mother does not want to get him to help; she figures I should fill in for him. My wife goes along with all this stupidity and demands I help her elderly mother and father, all the time, every time, so the 2 boys do not have to. I now hate her father and mother and want nothing to do with either one of them but my wife does not respect that. All I get from her is 'why don't like like Mom & Dad? what have they done to you? They are just old and need your help'. Most of this stupidness is so that my wife can inherit her mother's house and ensure that her dad's house will be sold and she will get her share of the $$. My wife's mother does not believe in having hobbies and does not approve of me taking an active role in sports; she thinks that I should be taking care of her pet projects around the house, all the time, every time. She also believe that adults do NOT have the right so say 'NO' to her and becomes verbally abusive if she hears the word 'no'. My wife consistently takes her mother's side over mine if and when I say no to her. Previous complaints to my wife about her mother have gone ignored or my wife defends her mother by saying 'that's just how she is, and you just have to put up with her'.
Because of this, my wife and I have almost no life. Everything revolves around her family. She has not gone on a date night with me since we were married as she feels it 'would be mean to Mom'. Either that, or she is too tired from doing all the crap for her father. It doesn't matter whether or not I help with her dad; she is ALWAYS too tired. She will not go to any restaurant fancier than Boston Pizza (not that I hate pizza but I have wanted to try nicer end restaurants); she does not like going out to movies (she would rather sit at home and watch them, and doesn't want me going out to them alone). Her argument is always 'I'm too tired' or 'I don't have time to get dressed up' or 'It doesn't appeal to me'. If I point out that looking after her father doesn't appeal to me either, she replies 'I don't want to hear it - Dad and I need your help' and ignores it. She often complains about being overweight (I refuse to make any comment about her weight as that is just too cruel; I also have a few extra pounds myself so that would be a bit hypocritical), but refuses to exercise aside from gardening (and thinks I should be happy with that as well). She does not want to go to a gym, even with me, despite the fact I have offered to support and help her with workouts; she also does not like me going to a gym myself (it takes me away from helping her with her father & mother). The closest thing we have had to fun time together has been nights out ice skating with our daughter and her friend. Not that this is a bad thing as I am an avid skater myself (I was a figure skater before we met; that is another things my wife disapproves of because it takes time away from her & her family). My wife will not do any kind of sport with or without me as she is too wrapped up in looking after her parents.
As far as our sex life it is still alive but almost on life support. My wife will not kiss me at all, especially not on the mouth (she told me after we were married that she would not do the 'smoochy-face' kissing as she called it). To me, kissing makes sex that much more wonderful and I feel far more connected to my wife. Whenever I try to kiss her she turns away so I only end up kissing her cheek. Even though my wife likes to have sex she will not hug me during it either. She says I have erectile problems (which is true because of an inguinal hernia that is causing constant pain). There is still love on my wife's part because she will cuddle me at night, just out of the blue. However it's hard to say if this makes up for all the rest of the crap.
My wife also believes she has the right to dictate what I am doing on my days off. Recently she demanded I drive 4 hours out of town to pick up a puppy she and my stepdaughter had picked out online; never mind that I was wanting/needing to do other things those 2 days. This is normal behavior for my wife - she and her mother believe they have the right to control what I am doing and I am met with narcissistic rage from her mother or silent treatment from my wife if I refuse. When I have said 'no to my wife's demands a common response is 'you don't say 'no' to your wife!'.
Financially, I am expected to cover all costs for vacations, sometimes to expensive places. When we went to Europe 2 years ago my wife agreed to pay half the cost, then backed out afterwards, saying 'I might need some help with paying' because she was supporting her brother. She paid less than half of what she agreed to, then had the nerve to fly her brother and his family out for Christmas! The reason? 'oh, it was a Christmas present for Mom'. She never did fully pay me back, as it was painfully apparent that her brother was more important.
This whole situation has led to me moving my things out of the house and back to my own condo (I held on to my condo after our marriage; it's a good thing I did because it allows me to get away from my toxic mother-in-law) over a year ago. My wife,as expected, reacted horribly and pleaded with me to come home, even agreeing to counseling, which I did. Days later, however, all that was out the window. She refused to get a home with me because she was supporting her parents and brother and also refused counseling, saying 'what good will that do? you and the counselor will just gang up on me'. Now she is no contact with my family as she believes they were trying to push us apart. I turned to my parents for support because I was getting none in my marriage; my wife put her father, mother and brother ahead of our marriage and expected the same from me. When I pointed out that her father, mother and brother had also ruined things because of their repeated interference and her devotion to them, she denied it and defended her family, saying 'but that's different! My parents need our help, and I can't believe you don't like Mom and Dad'. She has even involved her daughter in our marital problems, as my stepdaughter came to me once and angrily said 'Mom says you don't like Grandma!'. The reality is, I HATE Grandma, but I did not tell her that.
I apologize for the long-winded post. This pretty much covers the major details of what has been my sham of a marriage. At 46, I fear that even if I do divorce I will never find another woman to share my life with. I have a very bad track record with relationships - I did not date for 10 years in what should be the best decade for dating (in my 20s), largely because of paralyzing shyness & social anxiety but also because of battling terrible depression through college. Even though I was around many women at college they all had boyfriends already, so I found myself on the outside looking in. I still remember at my nursing graduation dinner/dance I was the only man there without a date, and I whittled away the evening swapping war stories with a classmate's boyfriend who was a firefighter (I was an EMT prior to becoming a nurse). I also seem to always find the women who will treat me worst - they use me for money and/or have emotionally abused me. Other women who I was quite fond of and were very level-headed/down-to-earth lost interest in me quite quickly and turned their backs on me. Clearly I had done SOMETHING to turn them off but I never have figured out what it was.
Again, sorry for the lengthy nature of this post. I just think the more information one has, the better to make a judgment call with.