A turning point in my life... Thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A turning point in my life... Thoughts?

hi there - this is my first post here. i've been looking around at marriage advice sites - and have done a lot of googling… trying to find some answers… i think i just need to talk a bit and see if i can get some honest feedback on my situation…

my wife and i were married about a year ago, no kids, but recently some things have happened in her immediate family that have put an unimaginable strain on our relationship.

she comes from a home where her father was an emotionally unbalanced, highly negative, emotional abuser. he was a bad guy. a toxic guy. he had been for a very long time. he manipulated and controlled his wife, his daughters (mine of which is one), and his son for 35 years.

i saw what he had done, and how he treated his family - so i never really got along with him. we never fought, bought i definitely did my best to avoid him and the situations without making it obvious. he had a tendency to drag people into an emotional black hole - which i, being on the outside, saw and was smart enough to avoid.

his daughters unfortunately did not know any better, and couldn't see how his actions affected them and others - so they loved him. kind of like a wounded bird. he played the victim, never took responsibility for his actions and never cared about anyone but himself… yet his daughters still loved him. i guess because he was their father… which i understand. he passed away about a month ago tragically and unnaturally.

after that, now - i feel like my eyes have been opened to all the irreparable damage he had done to my wife. which i think she is repeating/has repeated, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally.

which brings my here to now. i'm a really happy-go-lucky guy. i don't sweat the small stuff and i try to make the best of any situation. i can (up until now lol) handle the curveballs that life brings me. this one really has me stumped.

our relationship (5 years, married 1) has been mostly ok. except for some cyclical bouts of her immaturity and negativity. i don;t want to sound like I'm dumping, because we all have faults… because of the way she was raised, she has low self-esteem. she is shy, and has trouble doing things on her own. things like making friends, having hobbies and being independent. her father kept her as a "baby" so she never learned to handle life on her own. she is also unintentionally selfish,

when she doesn't want to do something, or something doesn't go the way she wants it to - she reacts negatively. she complains, pouts, and sometimes makes the people around her kind of miserable… the best way I can explain it is if you had a cranky teenager…'

when she is unhappy, she takes it out on other people - mostly me, because i'm the one who's there. complaints about nothing… hair, traffic, work… things get made up to complain about… and i know, we all complain - but sometimes she literally lets something small ruin days and weeks… and it puts me in a terrible funk. i just don't want to hear it.

these cyclical phases had become less often before her father passed - but after he passed she has started to revert back… when she gets an ear infection - its a five-day pity party complete with a breakdown… i'm sure this had quite a lot to do with the stress of recent events as well…

recently the wife of my friend was having a baby shower, which she was supposed to attend. she complained about the time, the people, how she didn't have anything in common, about the day… everything… and it felt disrespectful to me. i was hurt that she couldn't "take one for the team" do i expect her to be best friends? no. do i expect her to be respectful and gracious as my wife? yes.

i've been a pretty social guy - i like having the right people around. i like going out - and most of the time she does, but she makes it really really hard to. i feel uncomfortable asking to have my parents over for dinner, and going over there for dinner. i feel uncomfortable making dates with my friends where she comes along because I'm afraid she'll unintentionally push them away.

I'm a college educated, professional in a vp-level job. its pretty high stress and high pressure - which makes things really tough. focusing on my job and career and juggling this has been my most terrifying struggle to date. her parents, she - and most of her relatives come from blue-collar backgrounds - and broken homes… i'm white collar with a great family and brothers i love. so this creates a disconnect. they don't really actually like me because they think I'm the rich-boy. which I'm not. so that creates a little more tension. but, i'm always nice to everyone i meet. i usually always find something to talk about and make them laugh...

for her, i feel like there is some kind of under-the-radar jealously and insecurity happening where she is just unable to face life optimistically.

the interesting part is, she is not a "bad" person. she is a sweet and beautiful, but unable to handle herself…

i feel like the only person trying in the relationship. the only person who can handle the big things. i kind of feel like i have a daughter, and not a partner.

so, i've come here - because I'm literally contemplating leaving… it's weird to say it out loud. i talked to my parents about it and let them know for the first time - and while i was talking it felt incredible. like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders…

then when i went home, i felt terrible. like because i said something, it made it true…

I've been trying to be honest with myself over the last few weeks. not sure if I'm overreacting - or under reacting, if i should be working on it, or leaving. so I'm stuck for now, in limbo… and its affecting my job, my attitude, my life… everything.

i guess I'm looking for honest feedback. if i commit to trying to work it out will the cycle continue? will i ever have a partner instead of a daughter? if i leave it will destroy her i think…

thank you for reading this - i feel a little relieved…
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A turning point in my life... Thoughts?

When you marry someone you marry their family and the upbringing they were trained by.

You can't change people, they can only change themselves, so the question is does she recoginize the issues and would she be willing for counselling to change.

A marriage with a parent child relationship is going to build up trouble and resentment in the future. If you are both aware of it, agree that it is there and willing to work at it, there may be a better future ahead.

My 2 cents.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm starting to learn that. Only when we got engaged was I privy to the problems in the family. They "hid" them per se. Now I'm starting to connect the dots and I'm afraid of how it will impact our future. 1/2 of me feels like it can work, 1/2 of me says it won't work, and 1/2 of me says it might work, but eventually the cycle will continue and I won't be happy...

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When you marry someone you marry their family and the upbringing they were trained by.

You can't change people, they can only change themselves, so the question is does she recoginize the issues and would she be willing for counselling to change.

A marriage with a parent child relationship is going to build up trouble and resentment in the future. If you are both aware of it, agree that it is there and willing to work at it, there may be a better future ahead.

My 2 cents.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A turning point in my life... Thoughts?

When I started reading this I connected with your issues immediately. That is my father exactly.
My dad treated us the same but also drank as well. It made it very difficult to grow up in a houdehold where everything was an argument and what he said was always right.
The difference is I chose to not act like that because I know the pain and sorrow it causes.
I am much like you, very laid back and wants to be with someone who makes me happy, not drags me down.
She can change but only if she sees there is a problem with the way she is acting and truly wants to change.
There is, as you have said, the problem of her saying she will change but reverting back to the way she was raised. It is a tough choice to walk away from everything you have built together but only you know deep in your heart if you truly love her and trust her enough to change. No one should have to live with a spoiled adult who acts like a child. Its all about how you want to live the remainder of your life. Walking away will be the toughest thing you have ever had to do but they say when you find that special person you are meant to be with it makes all the pain and suffering of leaving a learning experience and something you know you would never want to go thru again. I wish you luck as most of us on here struggle with what is right and wrong. Only we as individuals truly know what is right for us.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've mentioned after most episodes that being negative is not constructive, and that piling on herself is unacceptable. Taking it out on me is not good. Most of the time the behavior stops for a while - but again, like recently it came back... I've made comments about the daughter vs. wife, but I guess not a real sit-down serious talk... Which I have to have... And I'm dreading...

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Originally Posted by Cogo123 View Post
When I started reading this I connected with your issues immediately. That is my father exactly.
My dad treated us the same but also drank as well. It made it very difficult to grow up in a houdehold where everything was an argument and what he said was always right.
The difference is I chose to not act like that because I know the pain and sorrow it causes.
I am much like you, very laid back and wants to be with someone who makes me happy, not drags me down.
She can change but only if she sees there is a problem with the way she is acting and truly wants to change.
There is, as you have said, the problem of her saying she will change but reverting back to the way she was raised. It is a tough choice to walk away from everything you have built together but only you know deep in your heart if you truly love her and trust her enough to change. No one should have to live with a spoiled adult who acts like a child. Its all about how you want to live the remainder of your life. Walking away will be the toughest thing you have ever had to do but they say when you find that special person you are meant to be with it makes all the pain and suffering of leaving a learning experience and something you know you would never want to go thru again. I wish you luck as most of us on here struggle with what is right and wrong. Only we as individuals truly know what is right for us.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A turning point in my life... Thoughts?

Although it is hard to do, you must tell her that the thought of separating has crossed your mind and you want to do counseling together. A good therapist will see her issues and will recommend individual counseling, which your wife needs. It's the least you could do for someone who has given you 5 years already. Even if you decide to leave after this, you will have tried and she will have had the experience that should be her wake-up call.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A turning point in my life... Thoughts?

Yeah I know from experience that talking to your spouse about your feelings is not easy. Mine became very defensive and mad. It can be a wake up call that's for sure. Mine went back to his behavior a short time after.
Its all about what u can and want to put up with
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A turning point in my life... Thoughts?

Did you wife participate in hiding the nature of the dysfunction in her family. Do you feel as if she hid who she was for four years before you got engaged?

What attracted you to her?

It sounds as if she will not improve as the responsibilities of life pile up. Does your professional success depend upon the ability of your wife to entertain colleagues and to accompany you to social events and to be accommodating to the wives of your colleagues?

Sounds like you are a rescuer and you may be maturing and want a real partner and not a child bride.

If she were self aware and willing to work very hard to overcome her problems then you may have a chance. During that time you should not have kids.

If you see no self-awareness and no desire to get assistance then the chances of having the partner you desire is unlikely if you stay married to her.

Of course you feel bad about not working out but it has really been a process of dicovery and maturing and advancing in your life. You did not decieve her or purposely out grow her. You may not have had enough info about her to make a good decision before engagement. Your only mistake was to go ahead with the marraige.

That is not a fatal error and it is not too late to reverse it. Think of it this way - you are not compatable with her socially and this will be a source of unhappiness for her.

If you let her go she will find a man that she finds less fault with and who will have a life that is more compatible with her.

Please don't make the mistake and stay married and have children. It will be a decision you will deeply regret.
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