reconnect or separation - Talk About Marriage
Experiences in Counseling Have you been through professional marriage or relationship counseling? Are you considering it? This section is for topics related to seeing a therapist.

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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reconnect or separation

So here we are, about to start a new path. At this point I believe it can go either way. Yes, I'm talking growth or divorce. I'm not even sure which I prefer.

On Wednesday the 16th my wife and I are going for counseling. We have been having some serious issues for at least the last year, maybe 2. Sure there has been problems for much longer but the last 1-2 it has increased. The last 6 months or so have pushed us both to the edge.

I don't want to go too deep into details at this point but am hoping for this to be an outlet for me as we progress to our future. Hopefully my postings won't be exaggerated or incomprehensive.

I have been reading this forum for a few years so I guess issues must have been bad for some time longer as I think about it. My initial registration on this forum was due to this gentleman's posting. The Firt Day of the Rest of MY Life

Just a little background to answer the first questions to readers minds:

-Married 31 years

-My first

-Wife's second

-One stepson (38)

-Some money issues but not poor

-Counseling mostly my suggestion although she did some 1 on 1 a while back

-I picked the counselor and she agreed

-Female counselor because I relate better to women and so does wife

-Counselor is a Dr. and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

-Had some couples counseling around 20 years ago when stepson went to college that put wife into Peri-menopause

I started to keep an email journal to myself about a year ago but didn't really update it regularly and took an extended period off. At this point I wish I had maintained it and recently started up again although it is really the same issue over and over.

Seems I am just starting to ramble now so let's end for today. Thanks for reading.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 09:11 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

OGNW, I am truly sorry that you find yourself in this situation. But what do you mean by growth or divorce. These are not exclusive of each other and in fact you have at least four permutations of the two that I can think of-
Grow and stay married
Grow and divorce
Don't grow and stay married
Don't grow and get divorced
I would say that these are listed in order of desirability with the last two being tied for dead last on that scale.
Ultimately, you either grow or you die.
I ranked grow and stay married as the most desirable choice with the caveat that the marriage is a healthy one. If you stay in your marriage you can still grow. Positive growth will take place in the context of a healthy happy relationship. But this takes two committed individuals to make this work. OTOH negative growth can also take place if the relationship is not a healthy one. This is often the case if one or both of you have checked out.
Divorce is a life changing event, not to be taken lightly. You can still grow from the experience. In fact to fully recover, you must grow by learning from the experience.
As for the last two you either grow or you die. In my case I stopped growing. I didn't start looking soon enough. It appears that you have.
So your choice of grow or divorce is a false one.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 09:36 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

You dont tell us what your serious issues are. With a stepson that age you cant be too young. After being married so long and it is your first wife I think it is a shame to have to divorce.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: reconnect or separation

Thank you Ynot for the clarity. I guess I haven't thought of the 4 options as you have laid them out.

Grow and stay married would in fact be my preference. I'm not sure my wife feels the same way. We both have grown in the past two+ years after relocating and according to her she is not the same person she was. That translates to she is not happy and also depressed. Those are her words.

I asked her the other day what she expects to get out of counseling? Her reply was she doesn't know but believes after 31 years the least we could do is go. Of course I want the Dr. to say she is all wrong but I know that is not the case and if the Doc did say that, she may not be the best at her craft. We both have our faults and hers are more than likely no worse than mine.

I'm expecting to get some help on more meaningful communication. That is something we seem to have gotten really bad at. She likes to yell and her anger bouts to me seem to be out of control. I don't like to fight but she sucks me almost every time. Mostly I have a hard time comprehending why someone would be 100% angry at the smallest things. This is something I brought to her attention in a non-threatening way some time ago the day after another fight. It seems she has no levels of annoyance, only rage. I suppose that comes from her not being happy with her life as it is now.

Hopefully some understanding can come from outside help. Also I hope we both find the counselor to each of our liking. Wednesday will give us the first glimpse into all around compatibility.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 07:11 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

Having the input of a disinterested third party can only help. I think that over time a lot of little resentments start to build up and that along with expectations brought about by years of experience with the other person tends to lead to disappointment. There is a reason the term "familiarity breeds contempt" was coined.

A third party will hopefully provide a new perspective on the issues facing your marriage. She may not realize that she is sending certain messages, you may realize that you are doing the same thing. The third party should hopefully be able to guide the both of you towards more effective communications. The very fact that both of you are at least cognizant that issues exist is a very good start. It at least means the possibility of renewal exists.

I sincerely wish you both the best of luck in counseling. You may not hear what you want, but hopefully you will hear what you need.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: reconnect or separation

Success after one session.

In less than 40 minutes I found that my wife has no desire to work on our marriage. We will not be continuing with any more counseling and now I need to find a good divorce lawyer. I will not allow her to take advantage of me during property division.

I wish the outcome would have been different but if she is not happy there is no reason to remain together and I wouldn't want to keep her in an unhappy relationship. That would not be healthy for either of us.

I'm pretty distraught right now. I don't really know how to proceed from here. Lots of different thoughts and emotions racing through my mind. All I know is, right now my life sucks.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: reconnect or separation

I feel so alone.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 11:20 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

OGNW, I feel so badly for you. I went thru the exact same thing. One MC session. It ended with the counselor telling us she could help us if both of us were willing. I said I would do anything. She said it was a waste of time. And that was that.
As I said before you may not hear what you want to hear but you will probably hear what you need to hear. She has made your choice clear by making her choice.
All I can say is, hang in there. I wish I could be telling you something different, but you are in for the roller coaster ride of your life over the next few months. Try to stay focused on the future. Work on your self. Find some real friends that you can talk to. Especially some that have been through it. Listen to them. A lot of what they will tell you, you won't truly be able to understand. But as the twine ball untangles you will begin to see the truth.
Also, try not to placate your pain with booze or drugs (illegal or prescription). Try to avoid the easy way out of facing your problems and ultimately your self.
Hang in there! If you ever want to talk - send me a PM.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 11:43 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

Quote:
Originally Posted by OGNW View Post
So here we are, about to start a new path. At this point I believe it can go either way. Yes, I'm talking growth or divorce. I'm not even sure which I prefer.

On Wednesday the 16th my wife and I are going for counseling. We have been having some serious issues for at least the last year, maybe 2. Sure there has been problems for much longer but the last 1-2 it has increased. The last 6 months or so have pushed us both to the edge.

I don't want to go too deep into details at this point but am hoping for this to be an outlet for me as we progress to our future. Hopefully my postings won't be exaggerated or incomprehensive.

I have been reading this forum for a few years so I guess issues must have been bad for some time longer as I think about it. My initial registration on this forum was due to this gentleman's posting. The Firt Day of the Rest of MY Life

Just a little background to answer the first questions to readers minds:

-Married 31 years

-My first

-Wife's second

-One stepson (38)

-Some money issues but not poor

-Counseling mostly my suggestion although she did some 1 on 1 a while back

-I picked the counselor and she agreed

-Female counselor because I relate better to women and so does wife

-Counselor is a Dr. and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

-Had some couples counseling around 20 years ago when stepson went to college that put wife into Peri-menopause

I started to keep an email journal to myself about a year ago but didn't really update it regularly and took an extended period off. At this point I wish I had maintained it and recently started up again although it is really the same issue over and over.

Seems I am just starting to ramble now so let's end for today. Thanks for reading.
First sorry you are here. But now look what I picked out of your statement and bolded. Nothing wrong with a female MC counselor especially if you are the one pushing for MC. Your wife is likely more comfortable with a woman than a man as you point out. However, The fact that you are a man and relate better to women than men may be indicative of other issues however.

One book that is frequently recommended in this forum for men going through a crisis like you are is No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover. Don't let the title fool you. It is a very good and profound read. One thing that Glover points out about "nice guys" is that they almost invariably have difficulty relating to other men. It's like their hallmark. Nice guys ultimately lose themselves in their efforts to please others. They are hollowed out inside from all the years of pleasing parents, teachers, spouses, etc. And ironically all that pleasing behavior fails to gain them what they think they wanted most of all in the first place. There is much more to it, but that is the nutshell message.

I recommend this to you because regardless of how your MC (and your marriage ) turns out you are going to be left with yourself. And while you many not be able to impact your marriage, you can change yourself which will change the dynamic of how your wife and others relate to you. Which may in the end be what you needed anyway. Just another perspective for you to think about.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 10:46 PM
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Re: reconnect or separation

I was fortunate that I had a strong circle of male friends from rugby who were able to offer me emotional support during my break-up. In particular, as my female friends had great difficulty putting themselves in my shoes. If you have male friends, go to them for support, you may find them more able to help than you realize.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 01:40 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

Quote:
Originally Posted by OGNW View Post
Success after one session.

In less than 40 minutes I found that my wife has no desire to work on our marriage.

I'm pretty distraught right now. I don't really know how to proceed from here. Lots of different thoughts and emotions racing through my mind. All I know is, right now my life sucks.

(((Hugs))))

I am truly sorry this is happening to you.

My XWH and I didn't even make it to our first MC session.

XWH was seeing an IC for over 2 months so she could help him decide how to leave me and the kids for OW, without causing us too much pain

I have no words of wisdom to help ease your pain, hope cyber hugs help though.

Bibi
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: reconnect or separation

After a few days, for me at least, of great anger and hurt, we have tried to find some way to correct all that is wrong.

It worked for about two days while we tried to discuss some issues on both sides. Now my wife is mad at me again because for some reason the freezer thawed and refroze. This made a mess and ruined anything that was stored. I just don't know why I am to blame. I also question whether there is any hope. sigh

Is it time to accept reality and just move on? At 58 should I look for some happiness in the last maybe 20 years?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 11:06 PM
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Re: reconnect or separation

Quote:
Originally Posted by OGNW View Post
After a few days, for me at least, of great anger and hurt, we have tried to find some way to correct all that is wrong.

It worked for about two days while we tried to discuss some issues on both sides. Now my wife is mad at me again because for some reason the freezer thawed and refroze. This made a mess and ruined anything that was stored. I just don't know why I am to blame. I also question whether there is any hope. sigh

Is it time to accept reality and just move on? At 58 should I look for some happiness in the last maybe 20 years?
That answer is obvious. You are a grown man getting no younger, so do it.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 11:46 PM
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Re: reconnect or separation

Quote:
Originally Posted by OGNW View Post
At 58 should I look for some happiness in the last maybe 20 years?
Absolutely!

58 is still young. Plenty of time to heal, move on and yes find happiness.

Bibi
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 04:56 AM
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Re: reconnect or separation

Quote:
Originally Posted by OGNW View Post
After a few days, for me at least, of great anger and hurt, we have tried to find some way to correct all that is wrong.

It worked for about two days while we tried to discuss some issues on both sides. Now my wife is mad at me again because for some reason the freezer thawed and refroze. This made a mess and ruined anything that was stored. I just don't know why I am to blame. I also question whether there is any hope. sigh

Is it time to accept reality and just move on? At 58 should I look for some happiness in the last maybe 20 years?
Sounds like you maybe a doormat. Pushback and stand up for yourself.

This attitude is unattractive to a woman. Man up. You have everything to gain from it and nothing to loose. Take control!!!! Now.
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