I just joined this group as a way to hear of the trials of others, to explain my own and get some help. My wife and I have been married for 9 years this October. When we got married, we never really had any orientation/counseling on marriage. Myself, I can't say I had any idea of what marriage was like and what I wanted/needed or what level this comitment was. I guess I really understood the vows and such, but that was about it. I know that I really did not know what my wife wanted. Not only that, but she was not an outgoing person and spent most of her life at home. Her home and family was her friends. I was an only child and only had a few friends as we lived out in the sticks. I think our issues really started here.
When we got married, I approached married life like I did as an only child - like I wanted things. Well, that met a roadblock, as that is not how my wife wanted things. Plus, she had separation anxiety from her family and that was a major brick wall to overcome. As I tried what I knew, it never worked. I fell deeper and deeper into withdrawl, eventually pretty much abandoning her emotionally, as when I tried to reach out and she did not respond, I gave up on trying. Well, fast forward 9 years, two children, and a couple of brief counseling sessions with our pastor. Things were not any better. From pretty much the 5 year point on, we lived separate lives. This spring, I started a spiritual/emotional adventure where I was able to understand all my issues and learn some of what I needed to be doing. I am ready to re-commit to this now, however over the last month she has found someone else, seen him probably a dozen times through volunteering and visits, spent quite a bit of time on the phone (I had to tripple my cell allowance!) and she admitted that she wants a divorce and wants to pursue this as a new relationship. I came on board a couple months too late. How crappy is that!
Right now I am at a loss on what to do. I realize that I have strong feelings for her and still love her and think we can work things out, as we never really did this 9 years ago. I think that if we were able to get past the frustration and anger, we would have more in common that we realize. My hope is that our pastors will get us together and help us get past the anger and get to a point where we can re-learn about each other, get some help with communication and conflict resolution and maybe get through this. At least this is my hope.
For some reason I equated loving my wife with being a good husband and being able to deliver what she needed. Well, I really did not know what she needed, so I was stuck with this conflict of I love her but I can't really love her, can I? Does this make any sense? Through my reading, I somehow just realized that I did love her, I was just immature and ignorant on how to love her. I would really like to restart this, however she seems bent on going to divorce. Whenever I bring up items on divorce, or when I called church to find out if they knew any lawyers, she gets upset and accuses me of being the instigator of this. I think she is just really confused and upset about going through all this. She hasn't worked in years, will not have any insurance, not sure where she will live or how to handle the kids all day, as I am also starting a new job where I will be out of town about 50% of they year. Everything was fine and dandy when the fantasy life of having someone else that likes you pay attention to you. Now the realities of being separated, caring for our kids, and possibly his kids, dealing with his ex wife, shuffling our kids to me and back, income cut in less than half, and obvious bills to be paid. Its a hard slap in the face to take.
I look forward to hearing others thoughts on this and any possible input on how I should handle trying to get back together. As I said, we do have nine years together, as tough as it was at times. We do have two daughters. I still do love her and if she came to me and said, "I was wrong on this. I have dropped him. I want to try to fix our relationship." I would wipe the slate clean for her and start over with a new, fresh outlook and move forward.
I applaud you for wanting to fix this. I mean ...she is having an affair. I hope she realized how lucky she is...one day.
I don't know how to help you though but I can give you a little moral support. All I know is keep on trying.....since this is what you want. Keep praying...since you seem very spiritual. Reality will keep slapping her in the face and hopefully she will realize that the grass isn't greener...anywhere.
Your problems sound pretty much like normal married stuff.....up till her affair. that's a turn for the worse...but you must really have a deep commitment to want this fixed...to offer a clean slate.
Still.....dont' let it get you down....she might not ever come around. Gosh...I really hope the best for you....I feel like a cheerleader....several guys on here are really trying so hard......and I am rooting for you all. It gives me hope......no.....men are not always the bad guys.
Thanks for the words. Yes, I do pray every day and night for myself, for us and for her. Actually, for all three no matter how things turn out, as any way it goes, it is not going to be easy.
As far as the affair items go, she says that there is just a friendship, nothing more, although they are planning a future. I believe her that there is nothing physical going on, however I too feel this is an affair. It is just an emotional one. The guy is a spiritual advisor and counselor and chaplain at the hospice near us. She said she was called to do this volunteering, and thinks that he is the reason. I think that she is drawn to him because her dad passed away a few years ago and she is still having a tough time with that. Obviously he is able to counsel with this, and he is going thru a 2nd divorce with the same woman. So they do have a few things in common. However, to throw everything away, tear apart a family and go through all this after a month....
I only wish that I could have come to my realizations and learning a couple months earlier. Things could be much better by now. I guess if nothing else, I am more ready to be the one for someone else.
Stop beating yourself up....this guy sounds like a creep. Sounds like he is taking advantage of a woman who is confused. If he is a spiritual advisor then he is failing miserably at his job. A real spiritual advisor..one of God...would tell a woman to work things out with her husband.
Sorry...just my way of seeing it. It is an affair...but it is up to you whether you can get past it and it sounds like you can.
Pray that God will help to open her eyes to see this guy for what he really is. And to see you again. I believe it can happen.
And never underestimate a guy willing to fight for his wife.....I'm in your corner. you made a few mistakes...she made a few mistakes....and you are right....if she will not change her mind...then you will make someone else very happy. Let's just hope it doesn't come to that. Divorce is not easy...and even worse on kids than people realize.
Keep posting your feelings....it's a good safe place to talk. No one on here is going to do anything but try to help. Good luck.
No, I don't disagree with you about he affair. I was just stating what she says. I really think that she is not sure what to do when you peel away the anger, frustration and disruptions, she is scared and afraid of what will happen. I don't blame her. I feel the same way, for me and for her.
Yesterday I called our other pastor to ask if the church knew of any laywers involved with divorce. I wanted to treat this with a bit more respect than just picking a name out of the phone book. He gave me a name and I have a meeting with him next Tuesday. I guess the pastor called the other one that we had been seeing to get information and then he called my wife to see what was going on. Turns out that the one we were seeing is not going to be back until the 18th. UGH!
My wife was pretty upset at me for doing this and she feels like a fool because it is more out in the open now. I told her what I said to him, which was a brief overview of what has been going on and asked about the lawyer. Now, again, she is accusing me of being the one to get papers filed and leaving her out in the cold. I'M NOT THE ONE WHO WANTS THE DIVORCE! I AM NOT PLANNING ON FILING! I can't seem to get that into her head. Am I crazy for thinking this? from what I heard of when I spoke to this lawyer, he sounded decent. I'll see next week.
Yesterday I was in a good mood. Today, not so much. I don't know if it is that I have a lawyer appt, that we had an argument last night (and for some reason it has not even come up today... I'm debating asking her about this), just depression mood swinging, feeling like this is the end... I just don't know. All I know is that I'm not feling great today.
Right now I am thinking of stepping aside and letting what happens happens. I feel like the more I pursue this to reconsiliation, the further she gets from me. I have been working on the little things in myself that always get to her, and rightfully so. I got my hair cut without her asking. I have lost about 15lbs since the beginning of the year and dropped 6 inches off my waist. I never got new clothes, till this week. I am taking more time for the kids and the house. Although I feel like I am abandoning her more, I really feel like this is going to flop, as they have about 20 hrs of phone conversation and at best a dozen get togethers. How can that be the basis of a life together? Maybe by then she will realize that we should be working together, and not against each other.
Hello no.1daddy2kids, I live in west MI and I checked out your story cause it looks like you live around here. I have been marrried 5 years and we have 3 kids, her daughter was 5 when we met and we had 2 since then.
We had been drifting apart for some time and it all started to reach a breaking point last year and I felt much the way you had described. Like she was getting closer to a new friend than she was to me, talking to him alot acting all bubbly in things concerning him. I wondered why she couldn't be this way with me. It was making me feel like I was just the guy to take care of the material things while she got her emotional needs from someone else. I seriously considered letting her go to him, but it would have ruined our kids lives. Then I got unemotional about it and reviewed like an umpire what had been going on between my wife and I and I realized that although I thought I had been a good husband to her I had been creating my own little world that she was more of an intruder than a participant in. I had lashed out at her, not physically, I just got mean when she inturrepted my online gaming, and I had ignored or particapated only minimally in the things she wanted. When she met someone who acted interested in her it became the outlet for those parts that I trivialized and ignored. This was my revelation. I told my wife that I wanted to show her more attention, that she would come befor any other activity and that I wanted to be the friend she could talk about anything and everything with, and that I would take the time to really listen. She didn't believe me at first, but I really did change the focus of my day to day life to put her at the center and make sure she felt like it. She has told me that at first it felt like I was smothering her, but soon she felt the emptiness inside her fill with the attention I was showing her and she really liked it. The friend she had been talking too all the time was informed that there was no future for them and he didn't even bother to return her message, showing what he had really been after. We have discovered a whole new level to the relationship, after getting past and accepting the flaws in each other that almost caused our seperation.
This is what I hope you do with your wife. Find out what she gets from her connection with this other person that she doesn't get with you. Be unemotional about it, dont judge if its important or normal or right, just identify what it is and how you can be that for her. As a guy we sometimes think that every problem needs an awnser, but girls sometimes just want to share and communicate and not be expected to work out a response, they just want someone to know what they are going through. Then make a real change she can feel in how you behave with her, so she will notice how comitted you are.
Marriage is to guys the last step, and to girls just the end of the first step. A relationship needs work and effort every day, there is no cruise control. I hope your wife has the revelation that this is the life she needs to live, that your children will always want you two to be together, and that you are the man who can give her everything she needs.
I read your post. Sorry things are not well with your marriage.
Make sure that you allow her to feel her consequences of the other relationship. It sounds like you want to help her not have any pain. I understand this as I know you love her. I did the same thing. They need pain.
It is highly unlikely during an affair that the spouse will come back emotionally/physically etc. They have to see that things will not work out with the other person. If you force it, then they just get defensive or resistant.
Read Dr. James Dobson When Love Must Be Tough. It give you an idea of what you can do when your loved one wants out of a marriage and you don't! I REALLY helped me. It's about giving that person what they want (freedom). It goes against our nature. Read this...he's a Christian psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family.
Gomez: I applaud you for overcoming the jealousy and anger that seem to be building in me as she continues this. How did you do it? Even though I know my feelings are strong for her, I really don't know if I have the stength to overcome this. I pray day and night for help. When I have tried to tell her the same things as you did your wife, she basically told me don't bother, it has to come naturally, it won't feel right. Thats exactly where I feel I need to be though, starting from page one, day one. rebuilding trust and friendship and love as if we were starting over. I just don't know if I have the strength. I do appreciate your post tho. I have read it 3 times already!
Corpuswife: She felt some of that today. She was supposed to go to "her moms" for the day and when she got home from the gym in the morning, I was loading up the car to go to the beach with the kids. She was real upset about me taking them "without talking to her about it". She always said that was going to be something for the "family" to go and do. Family, what family? The one you are ripping apart? She was pretty peeved, but I went anyway. I got home and a half hour after she would have got to her moms, I left a message there, as no-one was home. Hhmmm, let me guess, I wonder where she could be? Tonight may be an interesting night....If you listen closely towards Michigan, you may hear us.
Overall that is the direction I have been looking, to make her feel the consequences of the direction she is heading. I'm ready to split the finances right now, as she has no income. That would be a big whack. I have been bugging her about jobs a few times, and that may come up again. She got a big whack when she found out that the house payment was double what she thought it was, and that is only the mortgage. Taxes, insurance, water, gas, electricity, phone, all make it almost 4 times what she thought. Things look great when you are living in a fantasy world
I can't imagine anyone in a marriage not knowing what the bills are...I was a stay at home mom for 15 years and was very involved with the financial.
She must be QUITE surprised about your budget. Boy, is she for a rude awakening as a single gal.
Keep heading to the tough love stance. She will be angry with the finances but it is reality. When people divorce, they have to take over their own finances. When people divorce, they don't get family time with their ex and kids. In other words, they don't get their cake and eat it too. My dear husband, is learning this for the past 3 weeks or so.
I am hoping, in my relationship, that my husband want to reconcile. However, at least I am working toward detaching my relationship...if he chooses not to want to come back and work for the marriage. There is a good chance that he won't...
Part of it is that it comes out of my paycheck automatically, and we are one of those that have some bills paid automatically. The amount is deducted in quicken and that's that. Since we don't consiously "pay" those bills, they add up without you even realizing.
The big realization will come when she tries to get a job after not working for 8 years, has to pay for everything for the house (or maybe apartment since I would have to sell the house to her, which probably no mortgage company would do), child care, health insurance, car, utilities and the other bills. The other man is a chaplain at a hospice and his pay is less than half mine. Not only that, but with a job for her, she would be shuffling the kids around all the time. I will be working out of town for weeks at a time coming up soon so I will be no help and she will have it all. She is pretty high strung on a good day and is getting over stressed at the situation now. Honestly I think she may explode anytime, but that is part of the chance she is taking. She mentioned when she was talking to our pastor about the situation, he asked if she would pick the status quo or take the risk. She said she answered risk without hesitation. Now reality is sinking in and she may be rethinking this.
Obviously I do care for her or I would not be going thru what I am riight now. I am not going to leave her hanging out to dry, but she does need to realize that this fantasy life she is running in her head is not any better than where we were 6 months ago and may be worse. I believe we can work it out and make it great. But that has to be done as the 4 of us as a family, not with breaking up the family.
Don't file out of anger. Anger is a powerful emotion...dangerous one that makes us do things we later regret. Get past that anger.....It won't help you. If you file....do it because you are sure that she isn't going to ever change her mind.
I hate to keep pushing you about this..but really....this situation with the other guy is something you need to deal with. Until you have filed or she has filed....she shouldn't be even speaking with anyone. And you should tell her how disrespectful it is to you and the girls. She is obviously not thinking very clearly or she would realize that this is unhealthy behavior to model to your children.
You can't keep enabling her behavior. I am on the side of this working out for you so I am only saying this out of kindness.....make her take full responsibility for it. She isn't going to come back to you if she can mess around and you let it happen. She wants her cake and she wants it her way....yes. It is time for her to know that isn't the way life works.
Sit her down.....tell her straight that you love her and you will do whatever it takes....but...that means honesty on her part and respect. For you and the children. No other men....and that if she can't make that decision...you can. A dose of fresh air ......might wake her up.
But she isn't going to come back to you if you don't stand up for what is right. There is nothing wrong with loving someone who has dumped on you.....we are all human.....Keep putting your family first...adn next time you plan a trip to the beach......invite her. That way if she says no....it's ALL her fault.