Very unusual situation, considering divorce but it's super complicated. - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Very unusual situation, considering divorce but it's super complicated.

I’m in my mid 30s and have been married 9 years to my wife who’s 30. We got married early when she was quite young. We have no kids, no mortgage, no shared commitments other than a marriage and a few cats. Since about the third year of marriage it became clear that we are not really sexually compatible, it’s just gone downhill every year and now it’s at the point where we’re just roommates, in fact for the last 2 years we haven’t even slept in the same room. In addition as time has gone on it’s become clear that we’ve grown in different directions, I’m active, like the outdoors, exercise a lot and keep in good shape. I have hobbies and interests that she doesn’t share at all. She just comes home from work and watches TV and literally does nothing else, even on her days off she just sleeps on the couch and watches TV, no hobbies, no interests, no activities and she has become more than a little overweight and she makes little to no effort to be attractive. She wants sex on her terms and on her schedule which doesn’t match my needs at all and so there is no passion between us and I am not really attracted to her physically any more at all.

For the last 2 years we’ve worked different hours, she runs a small business which barely breaks even, but she works long hours and weekends. She seems to feel this gives her the right to be mean, critical, unsupportive and uncaring. I work similarly long hours at regular M-F job, but one which does involve some time away from home on business trips but provides a good, well above average salary. When at home, I do all the housework, cleaning, washing, ironing, fixing things, feeding the pets, etc. She doesn’t cook and I don’t have time so I live off of take out food. The kicker is that while I didn’t know this when we started dating and didn’t factor into the marriage decision much beyond the ‘nice to have’ point, her family is pretty wealthy and while they don’t directly support us now in terms of income at all, a 7 figure inheritance is very likely at some point in the future. This is one factor I personally believe contributes to her general laziness and lack of work ethic. Another kicker is that we are an Asian/European couple living in Asia. We haven’t seen a professional marriage counselor since this type of service doesn’t really exist here as it does in the West, but we’ve had discussions and fights about this mismatch and bad situation in the past and I’ve made sincere efforts to improve things, but she hasn’t met me half way or even at all. On rare occasions we say we love each other, but I think on many levels the flame has gone out for her as well, I certainly still care about her and her about me probably, but nothing that would come close to love so I have been wondering about whether it is time to consider divorce for some time.

What really put things in a spin is recently through work I met a woman who is on the surface and as far as I have been able to see beneath it, the woman of my dreams and everything I've ever wanted in life. We aren’t colleagues and don’t need to interact for work, but we do cross paths professionally often by choice. We get along great and flirt on a light and innocent level, we have what I think is a clear mutual attraction and spend time together whenever possible, going out of our way to do so, including dinner together alone once or twice while on business trips. More and more I feel like I am falling in love with her. Absolutely nothing has happened beyond a really good friendship either physically or verbally, but there are clear signs that it could and that we are mutually attracted to each other. She knows that I am married and probably surmises things aren’t great but we haven’t discussed any details of my bad marriage. As if things weren’t complicated enough she is 10 years younger than me and though this doesn’t seem an issue to either of us, it's something to consider as a potential societal obstacle I guess.

The more I think about it, the more I believe it may be worth it to walk away from the failed relationship, my wife, our broken life together, the inheritance and everything else except the cats and take a chance on the new ‘friend’ . I am considering telling all of this to the new ‘friend’ but I will not cheat or do anything more than I already have while married, I do not want to put anyone in that position. I know full well that telling her this may very well scare the new ‘friend’ away by putting her in the position of being the one in the middle, even though I think on some 'perfect world' level she might be able to accept that. Of course I wonder if taking the chance and telling her about all of this is a mistake that will end things with the new 'friend' heartbreaking as that would be. I keep thinking that if I had some kind of confirmation that she really did feel the same, at least that she would be willing to try if I ended to marriage, that I would know it's the right decision and follow through. Selfishly I want that confirmation before I go ahead I guess, even though I can see it's petty and unfair. I can't help thinking it's such a pity I didn't meet the new 'friend' earlier, that things couldn't have worked out differently, she's amazing and deserves a better prince charming than me, much as I'd love to be him and for things to work between us. Then again, maybe I should play it 'safe' try again to fix things and hope somehow everything changes, though I can't see how it could from where I am now.

Heartfelt thanks for reading this and for any input or thoughts you may be able to offer.

Last edited by onthefencebutclose; 03-25-2013 at 06:32 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 08:52 AM
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Re: Very unusual situation, considering divorce but it's super complicated.

I'm not trying to be smart-assy, but *I* don't see what's so "super complicated" about your situation!?! It sounds like hundreds of others on TAM except that your wife stands to inheirit in excess of $1 million at some point in her life.
  • You and wife are both miserable.
  • Wife sounds clinically depressed.
  • You and wife have no interests in common.
  • You and wife have not slept in same bed/room for 2 years.
  • Wife lost interest in sex sometime in the last 2 years; then you said she IS interested in sex, but only on HER terms. What are her terms?
  • You say you do EVERYTHING around the home (cleaning, laundry, etc.) and she does NOTHING. Is this factual or is this hyperbole?
  • Sounds like you BOTH are miserable mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually...everything but financially.
  • You have met a new woman.
  • She is 10 years younger than you; that is TOO LARGE of an age gap! The difference between a mid-20s and a mid-30s is light-years (unless you're incredibly immature for your age).
  • She is not bothered by the fact that you're married! (She doesn't respect other people's marriages...what make you think she'd respect yours and hers when things get 'boring'?)
  • You are not bothered by the fact that you're married! (see above comment)
  • A relationship that begins as an 'affair', almost NEVER ends well! Don't believe for a minute that you two will BE that 'one in a million'...because you won't! It's not something you can count on.
  • Stop thinking you need to be a 'Prince Charming'; only LITTLE GIRLS want a Prince Charming! REAL WOMEN want a man, a partner, an equal, an adult business partner in the business of building a strong, solid, mature, financially stable, emotionally satisfying long-term relationship. Cartoon princes and princesses SUCK!
If you're thinking of hanging in until the inheritance, DON'T! It won't be worth the years you have to invest.

If you're unwilling to work on this relationship and/or your wife is unwilling to work on this relationship, pull the plug.

WALK AWAY from this 'flirty friend' before you make ANOTHER mistake in your life. This will set you up for a series of jumping from one relationship to another WITHOUT EVER acknowledging and fixing what is WRONG WITH YOU! (It ain't all your wife who's screwed this marriage up!) You think doing all the housework makes you a great husband, but look around TAM and READ what others have gone through/are going through. What kind of husband/man are you EMOTIONALLY?

Have you considered that you might be codependent?
Have you considered that you might be suffering from 'Nice Guy' syndrome?
Have you considered that you might be a people-pleaser?

I don't know enough of your story to KNOW what is messed up, but if YOU will read around TAM and YOU will do some serious soul-searching, then YOU will be able to put your finger on where YOUR failings as a mature adult partner lie! Only THEN can you fix yourself and be a better man for another relationship. If you don't fix YOU, don't expect your next relationship to be ANY DIFFERENT from this one in 9 years.

If you're serious about a BETTER LIFE and not JUST better sex, then get busy reading/posting on TAM and get yourself FIGURED OUT.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 05:19 PM
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Re: Very unusual situation, considering divorce but it's super complicated.

Slowlygettingwiser those are words that I will pin to my mirror and read daily for the next month! I cannot agree more than what you said.

For the original poster, like slowlygettingwiser said, your situation is nothing special. You think your case always is different. I thought mine was, but look around and you'll see that the patterns for an imploding marriage are very very similar. You have the opportunity to avoid the mistakes that many of us have made.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 10:31 AM
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Re: Very unusual situation, considering divorce but it's super complicated.

Hey onthefence-

I think slowlygettingwiser was a little harsh in the response, but not technically wrong.. Here's my take-

Your wife is lazy, unmotivated, entitled, fat, unattractive (now), and shares no interest in doing anything. I get that, I got one of those also. Except mine doesn't come from money and makes very little during those rare times she's actually employed- so it could be worse for you, believe me.

But in your situation, the first two paragraphs you typed pretty much tell us that you've already made up your mind, and are more looking for approval that it's the right decision, rather than what you should be telling us-

What you should be telling us, and maybe yourself, is the answer to one simple question: Do you want to make it work, or not? Are you willing to meet her halfway between where you are her both are? By doing all those chores, accepting the bulk of the work, you are in fact enabling her to abuse the system of your household, and like mentioned above, is a pretty clear sign of the nice guy syndrome. I too suffered from this.

I speak in the past tense, because while I cannot help my nature to nurture, I'm aware of it enough that I've changed my attitude, even though it goes against my nature. The end result is that I did want to save my marriage (and had no choice really), and since I had no choice, I decided to either make the best of it, or get kicked out trying.

Whatever makes you sexually incompatible you need to address in more detail- does she like it to start out a specific way, then it's her way through all of it? Yep, mine was the same. Designate a 'her night' and a 'your night' where you get to take turns calling the shots. If she's not agreeable, then just stop having sex with her until she can agree to attend to your needs as much as you attend to hers. For instance, if she wants 1 hour foreplay and overblown romantic sex, and you want a 1-hour HJ or BJ, that's a fair trade.. try to focus on both parties being satisfied at the end of either though, if possible!

You need to man-up. Start putting your foot down. Don't avoid arguments, but engage them. Remain rational during the arguments. She will throw every guilt trip known to mankind at you and make you out to be the #1 source of all her problems. Keep in mind, these are HER problems, not yours. Make her own them. Anticipate her arguments that will corner you, and find alternatives.

Give some specific arguments here and I would be glad to tell you how I overcame them with my wife.. and believe me.. I've heard just about every irrational argument a woman could offer.

Anyways, it still comes down to that one question. And it applies to both of you. If even one person isn't committed to making things work, they won't ever work.
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