Boy...this is going to be tough.... but here goes I am 48 yeras old, been with my wife 18 years, married for 12. we have a 17 year old son together. I have ocd, and anxiety problems since birth. My wife seperated from me last week. She said that she cannot continue a relationship that has no emotionions or affection. and that I need to get help for myself to figure out why I'm not happy, and why I can't show her the things she needs. She told me that she knows I love her. I show her love in unconventional ways... never cheated, always faithfull. I went and saw a therapist last friday, and was completely open and honest with her. she recognized the problem pretty fast. As a child, I was so out of control, a neighborhood menace, due to my ocd, that at that time they had no clue what was the proble. So the only affection i received was at the end of a belt. I was raised in a very strict reliougios home, and cannot recall ever being hugged, or loved. A big light went off. I was never taught how to show emotion, or affection. For many years I used alcohol to suppress these emotional feelings that I simply didn't know what to do with. Come to find out my wife has been planning this seperation for awhile now. From what I can see now, she has fallen for some guy in canada, because he gives her the emotional support that as a normal person needs. Something I've lacked all my life. Here is the letter I just typed for her......
I wanted to thank you. thank you for opening my eyes to something I would have never figured out on my own. All my life I have always just wanted to be normal, to have normal thoughts and feelings like everyone else. I could never figure out why. My therapist hit it right on the head. I was never taught as a child, how to go about expressing emotions, happiness, affection. I am sorry however that it took this extreme of a move on your part. I never intentionally meant to hurt you. I love you. This whole weekend all I have been thinking about is you, and how much I miss you. I really hope you go with me on Friday, so Toni can meet you. I truly believe along with her help, and with the great info I've been reading, I can "learn" the things I need to to make you happy, and myself happy, as well those around me. Toni was telling me that I can attain these emotional quality's even though they are things I never learned as a child... that where these are first taught. I get so angry with myself.... what the hell is wrong with me... why can't I show these emotions ? It was seriously just killing me inside.... I want to do those things.... but didn't know how. Well I've done allot of soul searching these past 3 days, and after talking to Toni, it just all clicked. I felt a calm flow over me, because for the first time in my life, I understood WHY it is that I wasn't able to show affection. Now, I need to continue to move forward, and put into practice the things I am now learning. Gonna be hard with you not being here... because it is with you that I need to integrate these things into our lives. That is if you want me to. I know in the past, I have promised things will be different, but I lacked the skills to accomplish that. No matter how much I did want those things to change, I only relied on my own knowledge of what I knew to fix the problems. It is pretty obvious, no matter how hard I tried, I just didn't know how. Its like me saying I am going to ride this bike. I can sit on it, clean it, polish it, take care of it.... but till I ride it...to learn the skills, it doesn't matter how much I want to ride it. Its like my eyes and heart have opened up....now I see what I've been lacking my whole life. I'm just so mad at myself, that it took so long for me to finally get this figured out, and may have lost the only woman I so love in the process.
Life is hard, and nothing is perfect. We will still continue to have our up and downs, and disagreements. You told me that you know I love you. I do.... and am sorry for not having been taught the emotional skills to show you. I simply am asking for your help, to learn, and integrate these things into our lives, so we can be happy together, with a normal loved filled marriage. I am speaking from my heart, not just putting down words to try and get you back. I am serious about my commitment to you when I said I do 12 years ago. I was completely open and honest with Toni, and I am being the same with you now. I truly want our marriage to be strong, and filled with happiness and joy.
Written Sunday.... after I found out what's been going on with Robert.
I don't know where to begin, but to beg for your forgiveness for not knowing how to get in touch with feelings, and emotions. I am so so sorry for neglecting you on an emotional basis. I do love whole heartily with all my being. I don't know what to do. I am so emotionally messed up. Oh god please help me.... give me the strength and knowledge to make my wife happy. I felt so good after that visit with the therapist.... I felt hope, my eyes were opened up to what I've been lacking. I am so sorry I was so stubborn for not seeking professional help before. Oh god, please don't give up on us.... I will do anything. I can't stop crying.... I feel like I'm falling apart. My heart is bleeding, my soul crushed. I feel so bad, I didn't willingly mean to hurt us. Please believe me...it's the gods honest truth. Oh please please give me a chance to show you.... I'm begging you from the very depths of my soul. Oh god.... please help me.
and here is the email I sent to this guy shes been communicating with the past month or so..... and she said she wants to marry this guy.....
My name is mark, Tina's husband. I don't even know where to begin. I am so upset right now. It is obvious from your conversations with my wife, that you are aware of our situation. We have been together for 18 years now, and I love her with all my very soul and being. I have o.c.d. and anxiety problems since birth. I was raised in a religious very strict and overbearing household. Back in the 60's they had no idea what o.c.d. was. i was completely out of control child, so the only thing my mother knew how to do was beat me and my brother. Spare the rod spoil the child mentality. I have no recollection of ever being hugged and no affection was shown. The end of a belt was the only physical contact I remember. I can't believe I'm telling this to a complete stranger.... but I feel it really needs to be said. I am just now finding all this stuff out, after I went to a therapist last Friday. For most of my adult life, i used alcohol to cover over these inadequacies, and escape my emotions. When I went to see my new therapist, and i opened up to her, and was completely honest with her about my problems, she kind of hit it right on the head. a big light went off, and it clicked. I never was taught as a child, how to show emotions, compassion, and affection. Which carried on into my adult life. I love Tina very much, and through out the years showed her my love in unconventional ways, the only ways I knew how. well of course, any reasonable person of course needed more than that. Love is about affection...etc. It's not that I didn't want to share such emotions, I just didn't know how. Well now I'm paying the price, as you know Tina has separated from me. I fear I may have lost her.
I stumbled across your email to her.... I know It was completely wrong to snoop. I also saw the e-card she sent you. I can't stop crying. I certainly appreciate you moral values. Not to many people have those qualities in today's world. She has connected with you on levels I could not attain. I plan to everything and anything to win her back. She told me "I know you love me".... but am unable to show it in the normal way loving couples should. Now that my eyes have been opened, and through therapy, I can finally learn the emotional, and affection skills that I never knew how to express. I will not give up on my relationship with my wife, I love her so dearly, and am so tore up inside. I knew something was up, when I reviewed all the minutes used up on our cell phone plan. I couldn't help but see all the calls to you from her. I even asked my son Logan about, he said... no worries they are just friends. Even Tina said there is nothing going on between you and her. We can both attest that is a lie. I don't know you, and am still amazed that I am spilling my guts to you. But I love my wife, and am going to do everything in my being and power to finally show her through affection, and emotion of my true feelings for her. It's like going to school I guess, to learn things I've always felt, but didn't have the knowledge to express them.
I am asking you, that you cease all communication with Tina. From what you told her in that email...you seem to be a pretty stand-up guy, so you can certainly see where I'm coming from. Even at this point, any communications' with her I feel would not be good. I appreciate your input in regards to my request, and look forward to your reply to this matter.
I am sorry this is so long.... I'm just freaking out.... I love her so much.... she will be over tomorrow.... I don't know what to do.... confront her about this realtionship That she lied to me about with robert..... I think I'm going to lose it and break down and beg her for forgiveness, now that I have identified my problem, and with the help of therapy, will learn how to show my emotions, and affection.
Kudos to you for getting the help you need from a professional. I'm sure that was not easy, but it seems it was liberating for you! Until we have that 'light bulb' moment, we can not change.
I really don't have advice for you except keep talking to your wife and keep doing what you can do to improve yourself.
I can relate with your situation. My DH has some anxiety issues and I really am hoping he realizes it is an issue (something you have already done) and that he starts finding the life skills needed to cope with his anxiety (again, something you are doing).
Good luck! I'm hoping your wife will realize that it is better to work on the relationship she has than to go out and start a new one (which will also have issues to deal with after time).
Your efforts are to be commended. I wish you the very best. This is going to be a tall order winning your wife back--I think you already realize that. At this point I don't think words are the answer; your actions will speak much louder. Please read "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Identify your wife's love language, then implement those things. I believe that will give you an edge over the other guy.
Well... it's done. She came over, and I completely broke down, not having slept or eaten for 2 days.... I'm a wreck. I begged her for another chance, apologized about a million times.... damage has already been done. she has completely blocked herseft from me, and gave me no hoope whatsoever that their is a chance for our marriage. Now the depression sets in. I feel angry, sad.... angry at myself for letting this happen. I feel worthless, don't even want to live anymore. She did still agree to go to the therapy appt this friday.... alot of good that will do.... she pretty much has told be where she stands.... and lied on top of all this about this other guy.... been having an emotional affair with him... which is worse in my book. screw it... mind as well accept what a failure I am
no, you are not a failure. Dont' think like this. It's not the end of the world. Do you truly want a woman that would lie to you anyway?
Go to the counseling appt.... tell them how you are feeling.
If it is over, then nothing you can about it, just move on.
Either way, stay strong, and don't htink that you didn't try, or that your trying was worthless. It wasn't. And even if you don't stay with her, think about what you've accomplised in terms of bettering yourself.
That is worth a whole lot. maybe this is how it was supposed to go? Everything in life happens for a reason, and there's a plan for all of us. I truly believe this.
Dont give up. Continue your counselling. She will definitely realise your efforts to make this relationship work. If she could stand by you for 18 years when u dint even try to change, she will definitely see these efforts of yours...
Thank you all for such great encouragement and advice. I am certainly in a better frame of mind. Almost had a nervous breakdown. I got the audio book by gary chapman, that so many here suggest. Its awesome.... really opened my eyes to what I've done wrong all these years. Mt wife came by... I sem to see her at least once a day... she comes by to see out 17 year old son. We have had some good conversations. I now realize that my personal growth is #1. She has seen a change... but still told be straight out, she doesn't think, or for right now, that she can ever love me again, or be back with me. The hurt was too deep, and now she seems to be in survivor mode, protecting herself... Can't say I blame her one bit. Today is our first counseling appt. Will see how that goes. I gave her a copy of 5 love languages, I hope that was the right thing to do. I have been doing so much research and reading on what it is I need to do.... it's just so hard not to be able to implement these things with her. I have come to the realization its gonna take time... alot of time. But I must stay on track... which is so new for me. so hard not to get depressed, realizing we may never be together. Thank you al for listening. It feels good to get some of this stuff off my chest. I have been a loner all my life, never sharing any emotions with noone.
man i feel pissed. I don't know... first time ever at marriage counseling. This was my 2nd visit.... first time there with my wife. I guess I have a problem expressing emotions. For the past week I've been reading things like crazy... self improvement, 5 languages of love.... no need for that anymore.... she ain't a coming back.... therapist told me I'm doing it all wrong. books and knowledge won't help me... I need to interact with people. wtf all this stuff I've been digesting... and was really helping...probably because I thought there was still a chance to get back with my wife eventually. I have no friends... a loner... guess thats the core of my problems.
hey dont beat yourself up. ive been to therapist all my life. they dont know anything. its your life. if you were doing things that were making you feel good and helping you, then keep doing it. remember how you felt. You felt better. You've got to keep doing what you were doing. Maybe you do need to get out and socialize. But if stressing about that is going to make you feel depressed and defeated, then its not the time. Youve got to focus on what was helping, not on what makes you feel defeated. Do what makes you feel good with your self, at peace with yourself. Keep doing what you were doing, but have a goal to eventually make some friends, if that is what you want. Dont let that therapist discourage you. They dont live in your mind and your heart. They have no idea how to help you in the process of healing. They can only give you the bottom line, and what they were trained to say.
Makes sense... definantly. I'm not really sure if I will continue my sessions... since I will be just me, and at this point I don't see her supporting my program to better myself. I'm just trying to stave off depression right now. It is just so hard to admitt after 18 years its over. Man this sucks.
yup... completely over... has given me too many chances in the past... so I asked no matter what... even if I change into the perfect man, and provide and meet all her needs down the road.... she said no.... therapist just fed on that... "shes telling you its over mark" was her statement. The therapist didn't even explore or question my wifes views about our marriage. But my wife is pretty adament. I have to move on.
if she was so adamant that it is over, i find it strange that she went to counseling with you. im really sorry that your session went so poorly. my H had a counselor that just about caused us to divorce. is she still living with you? has she asked you to leave?
I think she went 1st I asked her to go 2nd. I guess she wanted to let her feelings be known in a mediated situation. i still live in our house with our 17 year old son.... she moved out 3 weeks ago... with no real residence... she is currently staying with my dad.