Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

To make a long story short - wife an I married for 16 yrs, and for the last few of them I was a depressed drunk who neglected her emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually...as much as I loved her though, I was in a terrible fog. At one point she was practically out the door, had prepared to leave me once daughter graduated (coming up in a few weeks actually) - and that single act alone kicked me in the rear and woke me up. At first she was pissed that "I waited to long to straighten up, that I waited until she was leaving to begin to care".....I realized what a beautiful woman she is, how much I cherish her, and how much this marriage means to me...possibly too late. At first, it looked like there was NO chance of saving this relationship...she didn't trust me, she was scared of me, you name it....she had built a wall around her heart because of me. I decided to do everything in my power to somehow, someway, try until the very end...try to save this marriage. We have 2 children, 1 leaving for college and 1 is a 12 yr old, and she told me initially that they were the ONLY reason she stayed in the marriage. Fast forward to today - a lot has happened in 7 months...we're still in the same house, we get along quite well, we talk, laugh, little kisses and hugs here and there, she won't let me but a tiny fraction at a time but I understand why and I don't push it. I've had to learn, painfully - patience, understanding, devotion, consistency, determination, when to back off and give her room, when to listen, how to listen....many MANY other things. I spend every single day not knowing how long it'll last....but little signs here and there keep me going. I work on myself daily; I quit drinking, I've lost 25 lbs and got into body sculpting, meditation, stopped drinking, started my art career back up, got myself into some art shows, straightened out finances, and lots of other little and big changes....that have stuck that I'm quite happy with. Intimacy between us is almost non-existent, what I mean by that is she's not all 'lovey-dovey', which I would like to be...but I understand why she isn't....and I'm patient, leaving things to the universe and hoping the more she opens her heart, the better things will get between us. Sometimes it's 1 step forward, 2 steps back but seems to be progressing for the better. I can tell you, 6-7 months ago I didn't think we'd be together AT ALL, let alone as pleasant as our relationship is now. Somedays I think she doesn't love me, but something she's say or do, or we'll look into each others eyes for slightly longer than usual, and I can see it. It's there, I feel it in my heart and THAT'S why I stick with it. I guess I'm writing this to maybe give a 'glimmer of hope' for those who might be in the same position. READ everything you can about marriage....READ everything you can about what you've done or didn't do to cause the damage, don't overdo the clinging, the desperation, be confident, work on yourself and use actions....many actions, NOT as many words...little things. I've learned the hard way some days. For all I know she may still leave tomorrow, but I'm beginning to realize that there's a chance she might not...I can see it when we talk and look each other in the eye, when we laugh together, things she says...things she does sometimes...use your intuition, ask your heart for guidance. Realize that if YOU caused it like I did, you'd better be ready to face the consequences like I have. I try not to worry about the future but work on things daily, here and now. If it's really love, if it's really there, it'll win. I can tell some more if anyone is interested, there's been a lot happen in the last 7 months...an emotional affair, lots of issues...but somehow things have worked out....we're not in a perfect situation but it's sure as hell better than it was months or even weeks ago! Chin up and Happy to be here!
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

Wow! How wonderful you are and how powerful your post is. If anyone needs your advice, this guy surely does. I bet his wife wishes she were married to someone like you. Sounds like your wife is pensive right now and a little scared, but it also sounds like you are winning her trust back bit by bit. To take you right over the edge and back into your thriving marriage, rent this movie, watch it, follow the principles. Really wish you well.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

Thanks so much for your reply! I appreciate the support and advice of people like you and forums like this. Makes a world of difference. Good day
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

Congrats Lars! You are putting yourself down a long hard road. I'm proud of you and hopefully some day your wife will respond both to your efforts as well taking responsibility for her part in the relationships demise and if you two are really lucky, giving your relationship as much dedication as you have!

Best wishes and way to man up!
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

Thank you!
I can tell you though, that it's still not easy....there's still a LOT of uncertainty about what she's going to do, which eats at me constantly, if she's still leaving or not, and there are days when she doesn't want to talk to me AT ALL or seems to be getting further away. It's a roller coaster, but I've devoted myself to riding it out no matter what the outcome may be.
I stopped spying on her, checking her cell phone, etc. because one of the things I needed to learn was TRUST. I stopped (or getting better at it at least) interrupting her because I needed to learn to LISTEN to her. I've learned to respect her and everything she does, to 'try' (difficult sometimes) to stay out of her hair when I feel she needs space that day. I'm an affectionate Picses, which makes it painfully difficult most days - I mean I MISS her....and she's right here in the same house!
I'm not perfect but I'm a HELL of a lot better man than I was a year ago and everyone sees it. It takes a lot of work, a lot of soul searching, it's painful at times, but it's worth it if you truly love your wife or husband. A female friend of mine told me that if this marriage ends up breaking apart in the end, the next lady will be the luckiest woman on the planet because of how hard I've worked on myself and how much I've learned about relationships - ha! Good luck to any and all who may be in my shoes. Don't hesitate to ask for help - you're gonna need it, so put that ego and pride away if you really want to change!
Good day!
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

you have have given me hope where i did not have much. we have just entered into a seperation..sort of still living togther with our son. I was not into drinking, or abusive to my wife but neglected her through trying to find another job to sort of financial mess out. she was under a lot of stress which i did not see or help with. like you i love my wife so very much, never been intrested in another, but im also scarred that she will and can still walk! she said she no longer loves me, but i know that she is hurting, when i do cuddle her which i dont push onto her every day, just try to gauge the time and grab her. we both cuddle, then i let her go so she doesnt feel that im suffocating her. please keep posting. all my wishes are with you and your wife. good luck
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

Well Matt, I'll tell you how things have been going for me - looks like you're in sort of the same boat. Maybe I can be of some help to you, I sure as hell have needed it the last year.
It's NOT easy, that's for sure. In fact if you love her, it's the most painful thing a human can endure, in my opinion. Each day is different; some days she seems like she's opening up to me and oh man, what wonderful vibes I get from her....and some days she seems like she's closing back up and my heart feels like it has a huge piece of glass in it. I too lost about 25 lbs when all of this started, but that's not healthy and it'll keep you from thinking clearly.
Get some nutrition in your body!
What I've learned, the wrong way, is to try your hardest NOT to suffocate her during this time when she needs to breathe....she needs space to think, to sort her feelings out. Give that to her. She's hurting too, I'm sure.
Seeing how I am the one who caused this damage to our marriage and hurt the one woman I love more than anything in this universe, what do I EXPECT to happen?
I mean, I did it over years....I hurt her, built that wall around her heart. I didn't respect her, I took her for granted, and I was selfish. I was a jerk and this is what I get for acting that way! Doesn't make it any easier, but helps me understand why she feels the way she does.
My wife will not heal quickly, and possibly not at all....as painful as that is for me to say, I've grown to accept it as a possibility. I can say though, that 3-4 months ago I DID NOT think we'd be together. She didn't want me to touch her at all, she wouldn't talk to me at all. You'll miss her, and you'll be in proximity to her, which makes it all the more painful. I want to touch my wife SO BAD sometimes it kills me. I've wanted to leave, just to get away from the pain. DO NOT DO THAT. Don't remove her sense of security. Stay no matter how much it hurts.
In your case I'd say this and this is just from my own experience; Let her know how you feel without overdoing it, be patient and I mean PATIENT with her, not matter how painful it is give her some space and let her think, try to be friendly and when you get a chance to talk to each other, DO NOT bring up the relationship while you're chatting...try to keep it light and easy. Let her come to you IF AND WHEN she wants too....but at all times be there for her if she needs something from you....difficult to do without smothering, I know.
Take EVERY single smile or kind word she gives you and CHERISH the hell out of it! Let her know how important she is to you, let her know what she means to you and your family....again, don't overdo it because it'll push her further away! I know, I've been making these mistakes over and over for months!
I want her to trust me again...trust is something I destroyed....and man, does it take a long time to rebuild, there's no way around it! I hold out hope every single day, I pray my ass off for right thought, right speech, and right action...guidance...chances. I have faith and I've never had faith before. Trust your heart, your intuition....NOT your mind! I try to laugh and elevate the mood when we're around each other, no matter how either of us are feeling.
I also am learning to LISTEN TO HER when she's speaking, no matter what it's about!
LISTEN, don't interrupt, and HEAR what she says!
Good luck to you my man, I'll send you my strongest energies that you and you wife will find love again!
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to rebuild marriage, trust, love...not easy!

Let me add something else, about leaving; In the beginning of all this, I wanted SO BAD to leave...to run from the hurt, to get away from it. I was right next to me wife, but couldn't touch her...kiss her, hug her, nothing. OMG! how painful that is for me, I'm an affectionate Pisces! I thought if I were gone, my wife and kids would be happy and I could at least start to 'get over her' and move on with my life. I was hurting so bad initially that I couldn't think straight! That was my mind speaking, not my heart. My heart told me that if I TRULY loved this woman, I'd endure this pain no matter what, not matter the outcome, and I'd work on myself and this relationship until the very end....whatever that end may be. I've told her how sorry I am many times. I've had to learn to forgive myself for all of this pain and damage, and the fact that I actually had the balls to HURT her feelings. How could I do something like that?
Here I am, months later...I've wanted to run, I've broken down and cried like a hysterical baby in front of her (big mistake!- try to be confident, keep it together...difficult, I know), and made plenty of other mistakes...but here I am. I'm stronger in every sense of the word...physically, mentally, emotionally, more confident about myself than I've ever been, my self esteem is back, and I've NOT stopped working on myself. I've lost weight and started weightlifting. Women look at me, flirt with me, and hit on me more than ever! It's a good feeling, but ya know what? I look at them and think 'She doesn't have what ____ (my wife) has.' and the fact that I compare every women I see to her, and the fact that I hold my wife on such a high pedestal tells me that I truly her.
Read read read everything you can find on the internet about getting your wife's love and trust back, about how you are supposed to behave while she's healing from the pain you've caused. That's what I've done, and here I am.
Hope this helps!
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