Wife shows no affection
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wife shows no affection

I imagine this is a typical situation. Married 15 years, 2 kids, jobs, etc. Wife puts our children, herself and her job before our marriage. She shows me zero affection. I am the only one to initiate anything physical. At this point, the marriage is probably over but I have not left because of our two children. I understand why she is not attracted to me now (presently). The years of feeling unwanted have jaded me. I don't care anymore and have little incentive to be nice or even civil. And if I am nice, it changes nothing. But it wasn't always like this. I think I am an attractive man. I find that attractive, well-rounded women seem to be interested in me. This is part of what makes this situation so difficult for me. I can get what I want from another woman and knowing that is not a benefit to my marriage. I have a very good career that provides more than enough for our family and gives me a lot of freedom. I help a lot around the house. Other than cooking dinner, I do pretty much everything else. And we eat out probably 4 days a week. So there is not a lot of cooking going on anyway. Part of me feels used and that is also a problem. We do have sex, but only because I consider no sex a deal-breaker and she knows it. But it is "duty" sex and that is very unfulfilling. Always the same positions. If I try to change things up she complains. The only way she can reach orgasm is if she is lying on her stomach and I am on top of her, or behind her. She never looks at me and this position facilitates that. Never any kissing. When I try to kiss her during sex she does her best to make it quick and impersonal. She just doesn't like me. I understand that. And I am not at a point where I even want to try to change this. Just want to move on.

How do I get out of this in the most pain-free way to my children? The relationship I have with my wife is already hurting them. They know we have problems and we are setting a horrible example for them. I need to get involved in a healthy relationship. Taking that next step seems so difficult...

If you are a woman in a similar situation as my wife, please refrain from responding. I am not really interested in hearing why I am so horrible or hearing about all the things I am doing wrong. Or worse, I don't want you criticizing me for the faults of your own husbands. In other words, if your first thought begins "Well, have you ever considered how your behavior..." then please just go on to the next thread.

Last edited by Jonathan35; 02-28-2013 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife shows no affection

I'm not in a bad relationship, far from it. However your last paragraph reads "Don't tell me what I don't want to hear, I didn't really come here for real advice".

Your children will be very hurt. You can't change that.

You could of course try and actually change your dynamics. You don't sound like a great guy to be married to, and your wife doesn't sound like a great woman to be married to. Of course we are just seeing one side of the story.

Why do you do everything else? Does your wife nag you?

How much time do you spend together each week, just the two of you? How much non sexual touch do you give your wife?

You can completely ignore me of course, and leave your wife, but you will still be the same person with the same problems, and they will follow you. Every relationship is exciting and shiney and new for a time, but after a couple of years you will probably end up back here. You need to work on you. And if it doesn't help this marriage, it at least will help you from bouncing from relationship to relationship.

Also your children deserve the best from both of you.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Wife shows no affection

I do think leaving your wife is completely avoidable if this is your only pressing issue. It's normal to go into states where it feels like your living more like roommates. You've disconnected from each other emotionally and you need to get that back. My husband and I have a fabulous marriage and we go through this every so often. It takes a lot of dedication along with communication with both spouses to keep on track.

One way to get it back is start fulfilling your wife's needs. In return she will appreciate you again and the passion comes back.

I'm assuming your wife is in the dark about how you really feel and that you are starting to make exit plans. Divorce is extremely hard on the children and it changes their behavior no matter how good or bad the marriage was.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife shows no affection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan35 View Post
I imagine this is a typical situation. Married 15 years, 2 kids, jobs, etc. Wife puts our children, herself and her job before our marriage. She shows me zero affection. I am the only one to initiate anything physical.
Can you give us more DETAILS... was it always this way? Chances are .... resentment is going on here ...and in a very bad way...possibly for years...

This could have started with you- over the lack of affection (maybe she was too into the kids)... then snowballing with her.. communication taking a horrible dive...avoiding each other...passive aggressiveness... fighting that never touches the root issues of hurt... the walls growing higher... Resentment Test here >>
RESENTMENT- Sexual /Emotional etc - how it robs us of the intimacy we crave the most

Does she work full time...are the kids in many activities, is it a matter of a woman so stressed out she just can't find the time -for all that needs done in a day?

Have you ever heard of this book >>> His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage ~ It goes into detail about 10 Core emotional Needs we have as individuals... and our spouses needs could be very different....which can cause all kinds of issues when we are missing each other.....

Quote:
10 Emotional needs:


1. Admiration
2. Affection
3. Conversation
4. Domestic support
5. Family commitment
6. Financial support
7. Honesty and openness
8. Physical attractiveness
9. Recreational companionship
10. Sexual fulfillment
Maybe you & her could sit down and write out your lists in the order of importance .....your top 5 specifically...and hers....with the goal of working to fulfill each others love tank....if she would like to salvage this marriage....Here are work sheets you can print out

Emotional Needs Questionnaire

..or it sounds you would need a Marriage Counselor to help you both open all this up and see what , if anything, can be salvaged.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife shows no affection

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Originally Posted by Jonathan35 View Post
How do I get out of this in the most pain-free way to my children? The relationship I have with my wife is already hurting them. They know we have problems and we are setting a horrible example for them. I need to get involved in a healthy relationship. Taking that next step seems so difficult...
It doesn't seem like you are asking how to reconcile with your wife and how to get that spark back. Right? I think you're asking how to move on, and the step that seems so difficult is divorce.

You have to do it. If not for yourself, then for your kids. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are staying in the marriage for your kids. The damage that you are causing them from being in a dysfunctional family will manifest itself in all kinds of ways - short term and long term. My 2 siblings and I (all in our 40's) are still scarred from our dysfunctional childhood from parents who lost their love for each other long ago and all that was left was berating, bitterness, anger, hostility, underhandedness, and manipulation of the children to choose sides. Most of all helplessness.

You can still get the kids in a divorce. My relative has his kids 4 days/week. He and the mother live in the same school district so they share the kids.

You can't go on this way. There is no reason to. I've read so many stories here at TAM of people who finally got out of lousy relationships and were so glad they did. It will be tough to do - probably the hardest thing you'll ever do, but depriving yourself and your kids of a chance for normalcy doesn't make sense. Good luck.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife shows no affection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan35 View Post
If you are a woman in a similar situation as my wife, please refrain from responding. I am not really interested in hearing why I am so horrible or hearing about all the things I am doing wrong. Or worse, I don't want you criticizing me for the faults of your own husbands. In other words, if your first thought begins "Well, have you ever considered how your behavior..." then please just go on to the next thread.
Pretty insightful post for a newbie. Good show.

Open a beer (or two) and read this thread. Talk about bad advice he got.

Blindsided by my wife, she doesn't love me nor want me. She wants a divorce

I just wrote this novel on page 26 of that thread. See if it helps you at all.

Good luck. You made the right decision to move on.

K

----------------------------


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"The first question I would be asking is: how do you plan on compensating me for the last 5 years of my life? The years that were stolen via deception."

I can't believe I was the only one that caught this. About 3 years ago I started to try to fix what was a rut in my marriage. Although she did and said (mostly) the right things, I could tell her heart wasn't in it. When I would back off, she was right back in front of the TV and turning her back to me in bed. When I'd press again, it was back to, what appeared to me, doing what I wanted just long enough to get me off of her back again.

Well, in one heated exchange, when pressing her for answers, she said a few things. Things meant for me to just shut up and leave her alone. But in that one awful moment, I realized she didn't love me. Hadn't for a long time. As long as 10 years. And not only that, in that one instance, from having been on these forums for a while at that point, I even realized she was never coming back. Kind of the way I felt about Anon's marriage before I even left the first page.

You talk about a blow to the gut. I felt a physical change in me. And not a good one. But back to Wilderness' comment. As my present got crushed and my future became uncertain, my mind kept drifting to the past. The past is history. It can't change, right?

All of those hugs. All of those kisses. All of that snuggling and hand-holding. All of that talk of love and how we were planning our life together. Where will we live. Grandkids. All of that goofy stuff that a man will do and say to a woman who loves him. It's touching when there is love. When no, it's just kind of pathetic.

I love to kiss, and I haven't kissed a woman who has wanted to kiss me in what is now pushing 14 years or more. Of all of the things I hate about her now, stealing the past 14 years from me is the most agonizing.

14 years of my life, nearly erased.

I knew this script from the first post. Oh, sure. I knew there was a possibility of an OM. But from page 1, if I had to bet $1,000 on if there was an OM, I'd have bet against in a heartbeat.

I'm actually kind of surprised at the "she's cheating" mentality that took over. A lot of veteran posters with a lot of good advice under their belts do not know the power of a walk-away wife (I still hate that term). Maybe until you've lived it, you can't understand. How many of you say "ILYBINILWY = affair 99% of the time". How wrong that is. Most of the time ILYB... means just that.

And I'm glad the gender war was averted. 99% of the time women say "how could you have been blindsided, I told you EVERY DAY this was my problem". Yet 99% of the time, men are blindsided.

I'll tell you what. My revelation was probably more powerful than getting the speech. With the speech, you're like, "WHAT? You don't love me? How can that possibly be? And for how long? In this marriage that is the envy of the neighborhood? And it's been like this for HOW LONG? How can I be 50 years old and not know this can happen?

When mine hit, that was the last piece that made the puzzle complete. It was like a movie where all of the tumblers lock into place when you hit that last number in the code. I was devestated.

Thousands of years of marritial evolution, hundreds of years of psychoanalysis, 20 years of internet websites like this and we sill have wives leaving the marriage and not telling their husbands. And most amazingly, people blindsided by it.

I will teach my son's about this. I will try to teach my daughter, but I obviously don't know the female mind. Oprah was onto something when they first started the walk-away discussion on her show. Then Tom Cruize jumped on her couch like an idiot or Madonna or Branjolina adopted a new African baby and we were onto other things. Leaving this discussion undiscussed and with a horrible name (A walk-away is a walk-away precicely because she did NOT walk-away. If she actually PHYSICALLY leaves the marriage, it's something else).

2013 and people STILL don't get this. A lot of ruined lives. The husbands, the wives, the children. And we're STILL not dealing with it when it needs to be dealt with. Months BEFORE "I do". Do you see BEFORE in caps? That is the most important word I have ever typed on this forum. BEFORE they get married.

Good luck Anon, but get out while those chicks are still checking you out. She's not coming back. I'm still putting that $1,000 on it.

Take it from me: it's a LOT different when you're in your 50's.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wife shows no affection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan35 View Post
I imagine this is a typical situation. Married 15 years, 2 kids, jobs, etc. Wife puts our children, herself and her job before our marriage. She shows me zero affection. I am the only one to initiate anything physical. At this point, the marriage is probably over but I have not left because of our two children. I understand why she is not attracted to me now (presently). The years of feeling unwanted have jaded me. I don't care anymore and have little incentive to be nice or even civil. And if I am nice, it changes nothing. But it wasn't always like this. I think I am an attractive man. I find that attractive, well-rounded women seem to be interested in me. This is part of what makes this situation so difficult for me. I can get what I want from another woman and knowing that is not a benefit to my marriage. I have a very good career that provides more than enough for our family and gives me a lot of freedom. I help a lot around the house. Other than cooking dinner, I do pretty much everything else. And we eat out probably 4 days a week. So there is not a lot of cooking going on anyway. Part of me feels used and that is also a problem. We do have sex, but only because I consider no sex a deal-breaker and she knows it. But it is "duty" sex and that is very unfulfilling. Always the same positions. If I try to change things up she complains. The only way she can reach orgasm is if she is lying on her stomach and I am on top of her, or behind her. She never looks at me and this position facilitates that. Never any kissing. When I try to kiss her during sex she does her best to make it quick and impersonal. She just doesn't like me. I understand that. And I am not at a point where I even want to try to change this. Just want to move on.

How do I get out of this in the most pain-free way to my children? The relationship I have with my wife is already hurting them. They know we have problems and we are setting a horrible example for them. I need to get involved in a healthy relationship. Taking that next step seems so difficult...

If you are a woman in a similar situation as my wife, please refrain from responding. I am not really interested in hearing why I am so horrible or hearing about all the things I am doing wrong. Or worse, I don't want you criticizing me for the faults of your own husbands. In other words, if your first thought begins "Well, have you ever considered how your behavior..." then please just go on to the next thread.
Guy here, so I guess you MUST listen to me

First question... do you want your marriage back? At one point I didn't. I had enough of the rubber band syndrome... stretching to the breaking point and then snapping back. After so many stretching, I found I couldn't snap back anymore. If this is you, then the only thing to do is to tell her you want a divorce.

There is no way to do a pain-free divorce. It's just the degree of pain that is caused. If you try to avoid the pain and live there in a bad marriage, the kids will see this. They will learn from this and it will be implanted in their minds when they start developing relationships.

Now, if you DO want to stay and repair the marriage, I would suggest marriage counseling. And yes, you WILL have to address the things you are doing wrong. These situations are rarely one-sided. Forget who started the downward spiral between the two of you... that's history. Man-up and address your shortcomings, as I did in marriage counseling.

In addition, be prepared to lay out all the issues you have with her. This is your chance to get them on the table. You don't want to get through marriage counseling and realize you don't like something and she says "well, you never brought it up in counseling."

The decision is yours. If you feel like working on the marriage and she doesn't ("we don't need outside help" or "I'm not talking to a stranger" or "YOU'RE the one that needs help"), go to a counselor alone and let her know you are. You will figure out (a) a way to live with the situation you have, (b) how to change her or (c) how to leave the marriage with the least collateral damage.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have gone to counseling alone. I initially did it for my children but it turned into being solely about me. I am not delusional and I do realize that I am not perfect. Far from it. The therapist helped me figure out a lot of my present feelings on this. She wanted to see my wife also. Wife wasn't interested. I quit the sessions in an act of capitulation. And it didn't feel like there was much more to discuss anyway. We have just grown apart. She wants a polite, sexless, cordial relationship with a man that pays for everything. I am fine with her wanting that. She just needs to go find that somewhere else. And I am certain she will find someone and most likely have a healthy relationship. Honestly, I want that for her. For both of us. I have stayed this long because of my fear of how a divorce will affect my kids. I understand all of the "therapy-speak" on this subject. Frankly, I find most of it conventional and not very helpful. Every child and every marriage is so unique that convenient explanations or solutions will rarely help. There are so many variables and moving parts. Divorcing with kids is rolling the dice. That scares me. I really love them and my desire to protect them is probably clouding my thinking. Ugghhh.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jonathan35 View Post
I imagine this is a typical situation. Married 15 years, 2 kids, jobs, etc. Wife puts our children, herself and her job before our marriage. She shows me zero affection. I am the only one to initiate anything physical. At this point, the marriage is probably over but I have not left because of our two children. I understand why she is not attracted to me now (presently). The years of feeling unwanted have jaded me. I don't care anymore and have little incentive to be nice or even civil. And if I am nice, it changes nothing. But it wasn't always like this. I think I am an attractive man. I find that attractive, well-rounded women seem to be interested in me. This is part of what makes this situation so difficult for me. I can get what I want from another woman and knowing that is not a benefit to my marriage. I have a very good career that provides more than enough for our family and gives me a lot of freedom. I help a lot around the house. Other than cooking dinner, I do pretty much everything else. And we eat out probably 4 days a week. So there is not a lot of cooking going on anyway. Part of me feels used and that is also a problem. We do have sex, but only because I consider no sex a deal-breaker and she knows it. But it is "duty" sex and that is very unfulfilling. Always the same positions. If I try to change things up she complains. The only way she can reach orgasm is if she is lying on her stomach and I am on top of her, or behind her. She never looks at me and this position facilitates that. Never any kissing. When I try to kiss her during sex she does her best to make it quick and impersonal. She just doesn't like me. I understand that. And I am not at a point where I even want to try to change this. Just want to move on.

How do I get out of this in the most pain-free way to my children? The relationship I have with my wife is already hurting them. They know we have problems and we are setting a horrible example for them. I need to get involved in a healthy relationship. Taking that next step seems so difficult...

If you are a woman in a similar situation as my wife, please refrain from responding. I am not really interested in hearing why I am so horrible or hearing about all the things I am doing wrong. Or worse, I don't want you criticizing me for the faults of your own husbands. In other words, if your first thought begins "Well, have you ever considered how your behavior..." then please just go on to the next thread.
Sadly, I think I have been where you are at in my first marriage. I was married 14 years with 2 kids. At that point, my relationship with my ex was very similar to what you have with your wife. At the time, I did realize how bad our relationship really was. We were successful financially and never had a fight. Really, no arguments for 14 years. I thought that me not feeling connected was just the result of all the pressures raising 2 kids with both of us working. I wasn't happy, but somehow didn't expect I should be. Fortunately for me, my ex had an affair and then insisted on divorce. She was not interested in talking or counseling. So I had no choice, which means I carry no guilt relative to the kids. I was in shock. I thought after 25 years, I knew my wife. But clearly not. After the shock, I was very concerned with the impact on our kids. The divorce turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to me -- really. For my ex, well I'm not so sure. But then we all need to be careful what we ask for. Post-divorce, I focused on the kids and they have turned out to be amazing young adults. So divorce is high risk, but can sometimes be the best thing for both parties. Kids can do well if both parents focus on constructively parenting the kids they both love rather than fighting with each other. Hope sharing this helps. I recommend you read up on divorce and impact on kids. There is a lot of good material published on this. Divorce is a high risk road to be taken as a last resort, but life can be better after.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can turn your marriage around if you want to. If the two of you once left deep love for each other you could have that again. The lost does not really die. It goes underground. The only thing that dies is one or both partner’s energy to create a loving environment.\


You have a shot at fixing this. You both will need to change, meeting each other's needs. But the change will most likely have to start from unilateral action. This means that you need to do the work necessary to make real changes in yourself that will cause real changes in your marriage. It sounds like a lot of the anger in your marriage stems from the both of you being very frustrated and not sure how to get your marriage on track.


Here is a list of books that can help you. Often times I find that one good self-help book is worth hours, months, even years of counseling. All of the suggested books are available through Amazon.com and other book sellers and on the web sites of the authors. I suggest that your spouse not see these books nor see you reading them. Otherwise they might get the idea that you are making temporary changes to suck them back into the marriage. This is not about temporary changes just to achieve your goal.


“His Needs, Her Needs” and “Love Busters”, Dr. Harley… good guides for how to meet each other needs and rebuild to a passionate marriage.



Then this one does a very good job of explaining how to use unilateral action/changes to improve/save your marriage… Divorce Busting: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again, Michele Weiner Davis - great for communication, and for taking responsibility and action to improve your quality of life.



Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In, Laurie Puhn. - Ways to tackle problems in a common sense way, and open direct, honest communication in areas of conflict.




The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert, John Gottman. - Ideas and activities to go through to understand each other more and strengthen your bond together.


Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm, Nicole Daedone - a recipe for reconnecting emotionally and physically.



That's a good pile to start with. If you start to change the dynamic for the better, your husband cannot help but change too. You might be surprised how easy it is, once you have some constructive goals and direction!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Someone posted about a study here recently. Basically the study asked couples if they were in a good, happy marriage. Then they went back 5 years later and asked the same couples the same questions.

85% (or so) of the couples who said they were unhappy in their marraiges 5 years ago now said that their marriages were happy.

Moral of the story? It's worth working to improve your marriage. Apparently you have an 85% chance of fixing things.

Divorces usually do not solve problems. They only create new ones and drain all parties financially. The biggest cause of financial ruin in this country is divorce. It's not a quick fix.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree with the others
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It's true that divorce is hard on children. But so is living with parents who don't like each other. And they always know.

I decided 30 years ago to overlook my husband's infidelity because I didn't want to put my child through a divorce. I did a lot of rug-sweeping and convinced myself I was fine with my decision until a reoccurrence a few years ago. Now, after 45 years, I'm getting out.

I recently talked to my child about the fact that I stayed all those years ago and the response I got was that I probably shouldn't have.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Openminded View Post
It's true that divorce is hard on children. But so is living with parents who don't like each other. And they always know.

I decided 30 years ago to overlook my husband's infidelity because I didn't want to put my child through a divorce. I did a lot of rug-sweeping and convinced myself I was fine with my decision until a reoccurrence a few years ago. Now, after 45 years, I'm getting out.

I recently talked to my child about the fact that I stayed all those years ago and the response I got was that I probably shouldn't have.
It sounds like you and your husband did not do the necessary work to rebuild your marriage into a happy, healthy one. Now mybe it was he who would not do this. (not trying to blame you). But bottom line is that it was not done. So of course it might have been better had you not stayed together? Then again, your children did not experience divorce so they have no idea what that would have been like.

IF the OP does everything possible to try to turn his marriage around, then divorce is a reasonable option. But he has not done this. Divorce should never be the firsts option when there are others that will save a marriage and turn it into a happy, passionate marriage.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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How do I get out of this in the most pain-free way to my children? The relationship I have with my wife is already hurting them. They know we have problems and we are setting a horrible example for them. I need to get involved in a healthy relationship. Taking that next step seems so difficult...

Sadly there is no such thing as "pain free" break up (as far as the children is concerned). Whether you like it or not, ending your relationship with your wife will always hurt your kids in one way or another. But, I think it's better you give it one time blow to them, than prolonging your children's agony by living a relationship that is not working anymore. I presume your kids are old enough to understand. Avoid sugar coating the truth for them. It will hurt, but either way you choose, you are still hurting them. So better hurt them with the truth.
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