I've been married for 21 years and my wife has said she wants to leave me. We have three children ages 20, 18, 17 and we both love them very much. We have been having problems for years and she just told me she had been meaning to leave me for a few years but she was afraid I'd take the children form her. This was devastating to me. She says she has been telling me there is a problem for years by such comments as 'I'm lonley', and 'I feel empty inside'. She had been taking a drug for depression for years but hasn't taken it for a few years now. She says she's been filling her empty spot with the children for so long and now that they're older she doesn't feel I can fill that spot. She says she's been done for a long time and there is no saving our marriage. I've done some very irresponsible things and I have been making changes but she refuses to see them. My most recent foolish act was buying a car that I'd always wanted after she quit her job. I have been feeling unloved and rejected for a long time and felt I needed something and thought that was it. We have been in financial crisis most of our married life. I want to save our marriage and she doesn't want to try. She won't see a counselor with me! She refuses. I told her I would go without her but really wanted her to re-consider. She never told me outright, 'Kevin, we are in trouble and we should seek help'. If she had, I'd have done so. I've been the supporter of the family since our marriage at nineteen years of age. and she's never held a job for longer than 2 years. She blames all our problems on me! I love her so much but she won't let me touch her now and says it's over. Please help!!
Communications is about more then just talking, It is about listening and solving issues.
I.) Communication~ An Open line of communication can build a great relationship, keep it moving or repair it when there is damage to it. In my view there is nothing more important then being able to talk to your partner about every thing. By communicating I know my wife what she wants and what she expects. The lack of communication almost lost a great thing. The ability to communicate not only saved it but strengthened us.
A.) Listen~ A part of communication has to be the ability to listen. No one wants to spill their heart out if the other person isn’t listening or just paying lip service.
1.) Boundaries~ Listen to what your partner thinks as far as limits. Is hugging okay, how about dancing with someone else? Knowing where your boundaries are can keep you from having to repair a relationship.
B.) Acceptance~ You have to be able to accept what you are being told from your partner. Saying you do doesn’t help if you can’t or refuse to use the information.
C.) Sharing~ You must be willing to share the good and the bad of the day or even your dreams to communicate well.
D.) Conflict Resolution~ Use communication to solve your problems. Most arguments are not because people disagree but rather they can’t or will not compromise or they can’t understand what the other wants. Arguing is the worst form of talking because things not meant to be said are out of anger and most arguments would not happen if there was good communication.
Well, she refuses to accept any of the blame for our situation and she feels that I don't respect her. I suppose because of the foolish things I've done against her will. I have been trying to make changes but she doesn't seem to see them. She never encourages me or tells me I've done well at anything. I try to compliment her often. But she also complains that I only want to touch her if I'm getting sex. That was the case when we were younger but I really just want to be able to hold her and kiss her tell her I love her.....I want to show her it's not about sex but that I've changed and for her to show the same affection towards me. We've never cheated on each other....we don't drink, smoke, do drugs. We both believe in God and attend church once in a while.
Is the car the first big ticket item you have ever purchased without consulting her? It sounds like she doesn't really need to accept any responsibility if you can admit that you have done things that were against her will. It might be best to let her leave, and hope that she gives you another chance down the road.
We have both been very irresponsible with our spending and yes the car was the first large purchase I've made without her consent. However, I did purchase a truck a few years ago and we had discussed getting a truck but she didn't want a full size truck....I did....for good reason. We burn wood in the winter months and a full size 4x4 truck for hauling wood is more practical. I somtimes have to travel farm roads and haul wood over rough muddy roads.
She didn't have a good childhood and has no contact with her mother or father. She always spends way too much money on the kids, especially at Christmas, against my will but I do understand why she does it and forgive her. She is selfless when it comes to our children.
Also, Sage, She has never really encouraged me or told me I'm doing a good job......I'm a defense contractor and I've recently gotten a new job with an $11,000 increase in pay and I've recently been given Project Lead status. I make decent money but our inability to manage our money properly has caused much trouble. And she just recently quit her job.
sounds like your wife is a bit depressed. she has invested much into the kids that she may not know how to be with you and vice versa. plus the kids are getting ready to leave the house (college, work/trade) and this may be difficult for her to get used to.
try conditioning your wife. instead of wanting to hold her, kiss, smell and more, take her hand and kiss it like a lady. research your local opera/symphony stadiums and find out if the nutcracker ballet is playing in your area. stroke her hair and tell her "i love you" and then walk away. of course this will leave her dumbfounded but hopefully rethinking that you did not intentionally touch her to make-love. try to get her into a hobby that she always wanted to do and try to go along with her. then over time (like 3 months or so) IF she says so she may want to do it on her own and her own thing. but when she comes home act interested on what she did.
finding your wife something to do and invest into her own happiness along with you by her side may be the thing she needs. discuss this and about doing activities together.
I want to touch my wife so badly but she is totally unreceptive and recoils when I attempt to do so. She apparently feels it is too little too late but in reality I've been trying to just hold her hand and touch her lovingly for a few years now and she has been making me feel unloved and rejected. Believe me I want to touch her and hold her but she has felt for so long that I'm just doing those things for sex that when I attempt to do them now she is expecting me to want to jump in the bed. I've definitely changed when it comes to that. Just to hold her hand or hug her is so good for me but she'll have nothing to do with that now.
the most important thing i can tell you is don't give up. my husband and i were in the exact same situation as you. i wanted to leave him. refused counseling...all of it. i moved out for awhile even. my husband refused to give up on me, on us, on our marriage. i moved back home recently and we are attending marriage counseling. i am beginning to feel good about us again. but its a long slow process.
i can't stress enough communication. if you can get your wife to discuss with you some of the things she is unhappy with (not just what u think you've done wrong) you can begin to work on those. show her in little ways u love her. dont' expect her to let you know that she is noticing. i saw my husband changing but it took me a long time to admit that it WAS making a difference. just doing little things makes a huge difference. he leaves me little notes saying have a good day and that he loves me. it all makes a difference. i know my husband wants to be a better man. it makes me want to be a better person as well...and also made me realize that we could have the things we wanted, we could dream, plan our future...and be happy together. communication is so huge. i would have never thought my huband and i were bad at it...turns out...we were awful.
its hard. i feel i was extremely depressed and still am a little. i was so unhappy with everything. if she is refusing counseling...maybe encourage her to see someone on her own. you have to understand...you can't make her happy. she has to be happy with herself first.
i could go on forever. feel free to ask me questions...like i said our situations are the same. let me leave u with this. if you truely love her...fight for her. fight for your marriage. don't give up.
Thanks for the encouraging words. I don't plan on giving up. I read the book "The Five Love Languages" and found my wifes language is 'acts of sevice' and I have been changing over the past 2-3 years and intend to be the man she wants me to be. She definitely has her mind made up to leave me but she can't right now because she doesn't have a job. She has asked that I basically stay away from her and give her space but she will talk with me if I don't bring up her leaving. I feel certain as of now that when she gets her feet she will move out. She has agreed to go to the first session of counseling but says it's only to help me get through this. She has been telling me for years she was unhappy and I just didn't hear it. I would just brush it off and it would subside for a while then it was back again. I know I haven't been the husband she hoped for but I am making some major changes in my life and pray she is seeing.
Libra, did you feel you didn't love your husband anymore when you moved out?
Yes, that is exactly how I felt...in fact, it was my main reason for leaving. I truely felt as though I wasn't "in love" with him anymore. Before I moved out, I told him that I would do marriage counseling but I too, thought i was doing it for him. So that he would be okay without me.
Do you think she would be willing to tell you why she is unhappy? To get at why she wants to move out, without actually talking about it.
She's told me that she is tired of feeling like the only adult in the relationship. We seem to get deeper and deeper in debt and she feels like it's all my fault. She hasn't held a regular job since we've been married for very long....maybe two years max. She feels that I don't respect her and disregard her feelings and that was true a few years ago but I really have changed. She feels I can't support my family and I continue to spend with no care but for myself. I see my wrongs and I'm making changes. I'm selling the unnecessary things and getting back to basics. I'm getting a second job to make things work and repairing and doing things around the house because I've made the choice to love her and she is why I'm doing these things. I want to be the man she wants me to be. I want to be the man she needs. I'm a gentle spirit and love my children, I don't have anger issues, I don't think I'm bad to look at..hahaha! I'm 40 years old and in good shape physically. I just need to show her that I realize my mistakes and I am changing things. I will not pressure her any longer about staying but I will let her know I do love her and regardless of the outcome I am a changed man.
Hi all, I just found this post on Google since I'm basically going through the same thing. I'm 29 and my wife is 25, married for seven years and we have a wonderful three year old son. I won't go into detail about my troubles except that 4 days ago I received the same bomb-shell that you did Wats. Wife refused counseling and the lot. I did buy an e-book online that, surprisingly, she read with me. Here's a link if you want to check it out - Marriage Counseling Tips to Stop Divorce and Save Marriage
It convinced my wife to attend counseling even though she says it's all just for my closure. I'm glad to hear your wife is willing to go now. From what I've read, buying time is the key. If she refuses to go, try telling her that in order for you to be a better person, regardless of what happens to you and her, that you need her to tell the counselor about you so he/she can better help you. She would probably jump at the chance to tell someone all of your faults and in the meantime the counselor will probably turn her around to look at herself. Just getting her there is the big step.
I haven't been to my first session yet, but at least my wife is going. Hold on to that and never let go.
I can't help to think that, like me, you've probably fallen short on promises in the past and saying that you've changed doesn't hold a lot of weight right now. Try telling her that while changing on your own has been very difficult, that you're convinced that with help it will stick. Admitting your own faults is great, it's probably one of the toughest things one can do, but don't beat yourself up too bad. Remember, it takes two to tango. If she can't see her own faults then she may very well be doomed to the same consequences in another relationship, should it go in that direction.
I wish you the greatest of luck on saving this life-long investment. Hold your head high, as hard as it may be, and resolve to at least help yourself.
I'm sure that with your strength and the help of God, you two can see this through and be stronger in the end!
Thank you all for the encouraging words and prayer.
I have some additional information I'd like to share with you that came about over the weekend. I found a letter from a guy friend of hers and it was basically a letter telling her he had always loved her and wanted to move back to our state to be with her. She went to school with this guy and they were friends but she hasn't spoken to him in years and years. She told him she was leaving me before she told me. she is on the phone a lot with him and also on the internet chat with him. This guy has been married before and is now engaged to another woman but since my wife told him she was leaving me he has been making advances on her. She told me he wasn't showing interest in her and I found this letter and it all broke loose. She want to a class reunion dinner and he was there. This was a couple of weeks ago and he walked her to her car and kissed her. She told me this. I know he is not why she is leaving me but she refuses to admit she is having an emotional affair with this guy. She keeps telling me there is nothing left between us and this guy making advances is not helping our situation. Any advice?
I'd say the relationship is over and you are not going to get her back. Move on, the more you dwell on this the weaker you seem to her and push her away more. Maybe down the line things will be different. Maybe you have learned enough that the next girl you are crazy about will be the one for you and will love you back as you want her too.