Re: Help for the Unhappily Married Man
many good points from all posters.
well, to answer your question, about knowing if your heart is in the marriage..
Well, look at it this way, it's always been in it, and it's always been out of it. At any moment, there's always the possibility, that we either conciously, or subconsiously, decide not to put any effort into something that is important to us. Whether it be a marriage, work, a project, a painting.
I'll give you an example, abeit a weird one.
I enjoy crafts, I love to paint, do pastels, pencil sketches, anything really. But in the last few years I"ve really gotten into making really elaborate wreaths. So, I'll go to the craft store, usually Michaels, and get all kinds of stuff to decorate them with. I then set up everything I'll need, and lay out the trinkets on the wreath, where I want them. Then I attach them, and secure everything, and there you have it! One or two times, I've gotten all kinds of stuff for a wreath, I get all excited about it, my Heart is in it, I want to make it, and then.... I neglect it, keeping all my materials in the bags from the store. And a year or two will go by, and it's still sitting there, waiting to be put together! hehehe..
Where am I going with this? Well, you see my heart was in it, and I wanted it , but it takes work to acheive it. And even after I let all the stuff for the wreaths sit, and neglected doing it, that didn't change the fact that I still wanted it completed and put together, but I simply wasn't willing to put any work into it at that time. So my heart was in it, and wanted it, but my heart also wasn't in it, and was too busy to work on it, and didn't want to do the work, to achieve the final result.
I think if your heart wasn't in your marriage, you wouldn't be posting here in the first place, you'd have just left her, and that'd be it. At the same time, your "heart" isn't in it in this moment. And likely her isn't either. You do care for her, clearly, and you likely still love her. You have a family, and a life with her. A lot to give up, without a serious fight. She needs to do some work too, both of you do.
You travel a lot, and that can be an issue, but, even that won't ruin your marriage if you don't let it. You have to really dig in your heels, and just decide that you're going to do this, if you truly want to save your marriage.
My advice, even if you don't miss those times with her, although how would you know, if you haven't had that for years? Even if you dont' think you miss it, go an do something with her anyway.
Take a trip, just the two of you, even if it's only the weekend. No sex pressures, unless you both want it. Just court her again. Take your family and go for a hike, wherever you live, find neat things to do around there, and do them.
You say you're overly competitive, and that you push your kids hard. That can be a good thing, but not if you over do it. So just resolve to lighten up a bit. Life truly is not about winning at something, it's just about being happy, and savoring every moment we have. Every day you're here, that your kids are here, that your wife is here, is a precious gift. Don't let things that ultimately won't matter one bit once you're gone, influence how you live your life.
Do I mean don't be competitive, no , it's okay, as long as it's not interfering with your ability to parent, and be loving to your family. Do I mean don't work hard, no, hard work is one of the things that makes us stronger, and responsible. Just don't let it over take your entire being.
Your marriage is the number one thing in your life, aside from your kids. If your heart was not in this, you'd have been gone a long time ago.
even when things seem hopeless, they aren't. Anything is possible.
So, do you want it?