Over the past year I have been very distant, focusing on my graduate school work. I isolated myself long before that into school work so that my social relations only consisted in my wife, who is a social person. I depended on her for my social interactions and I suppose to meet my needs. We ended up in counseling 7 months ago, but we could never really get beyond the sadness that has developed between us when we are together. No matter what I would do, it didn't seem good enough, and vice versa. I resented her new friends for "taking her away from me" and refused to hang out with them, or when I did I was silent and therefore passive aggressive. I noticed she had an attraction to one of these friends and we talked about it. She never cheated on me physically or anything but I became more and more jealous and my anger began to focus on that guy a few weeks back and I told him to back off, which he was happy to do actually. But because I was already using my wife for my social needs, she felt controlled, and this action made it harder and she feels betrayed by me talking nicely with the guy (though she knows I was very, very angry with him). I packed my bags and threatened to leave, she would have let me go, but we decided to try to make it through that weekend and then at a counseling session she decided to stay separated.
But I have been very self-absorbed for the most part, blaming her for our problems, blaming her friends, blaming her job, our city, whatever I could to keep from looking at myself. Her leaving has been a wakeup call. Three weeks ago I could not have admitted my faults. I have started therapy and am reaching out to make friends. I found that I was alone, with nobody, and it is awful. So I figured I better try to reach out to some people and have some conversations. So far that has been good, but I still feel like I don't have enough social interactions. Being a graduate student I am at home all day if I want to be.
She and I talk almost everyday by phone. I am trying to open up more to her and be honest about my struggles. After she left I decided to seek therapy, which she wanted me to do long ago. My counselor says I have suppressed my emotions. So I am trying to express my fears, worry, anxiety and such things instead of bottling it up. Since she left I have had anxiety symptoms--can't sleep or eat, my body feels like a punching bag and mouth is dry. I dread the thought of losing her completely. I am working on myself, my social network, and my spirituality. I know I need to do it for myself, but there is part of me that hopes she will notice and decide to return. She has decided to evaluate the separation in 6 weeks with our counselor (and her private therapist), who is currently on vacation during that whole time--which means she only has friends to support her and advise, which worries me more.
My doctor put me on Effexor for my anxiety today. He doesn't prescribe medicine too lightly, which I appreciate. So he must think the anxiety is serious. I've never been on an antidepressant before so I am pretty worried about side effects and such.
My mood is actually pretty good today, but my body is still hurting bad from the anxiety. I am pretty worried about the whole situation. It just feels like some kind of insanity bug hit us this past year. Looking back I just see how stupid some of it has been and unnecessary. I've been married for nearly 9 years, and together with my wife for over 12. It just seems such a shame to throw it all out because we forgot how to treat each other well for a time.
When my H left I felt the same way. I always felt cold all the time & couldn't eat. This is probably one of the worst things to go through. Mine left after almost 25 years. Our 25th would have been this year. Take care of yourself & keep working on yourself. Things will get better.
Thanks for the encouragement. I never knew a person could feel this terrible.
I had a pretty good day. I sat in a coffee shop and just talked with various people who came in that I either sort of knew before or who I know. I would normally have sat quiet and read. If felt really good to just be interested in what other folks were up to doing. I am intentionally talking to people, but not telling them about this, except a few close former professors and fellow grad students. I felt proud of myself for coming out of my shell.
I've never hit my wife, never hit anybody else either in the last twenty years (got into fights when I was a kid though). I am a peacemaker, hell I am even vegan. Yet my wife says she is afraid of me because I told her I wanted to beat up the guy she had a crush on and whom I told to back off. I was angry that is for sure, but I fear she has developed a portrait of me that is so contrary to everything I stand for that I am flabbergasted. She told me after an MC session that was afraid she'd end up in a shelter and she was scared of me, and that she thinks she now knows what women who have been abused go through when they want out of a relationship but the guy won't let it happen. I told her I had never even once thought of hitting her or laying a hand on her and she said that it was helpful to hear that. I didn't pay much attention at the time to those words, but today it hit me that she is starting to paint me that way. In the past when we argued we rarely even yell at each other, so I am pretty hurt by the insinuations.
I decided to tell her I did't want to talk tonight since I had only a few hours sleep yesterday and a long day hanging out with other people (slightly exaggerated but I engaged people a lot). I didn't sign off with "love" then my name. She doesn't either and doesn't wear her ring. I took mine off too today.
I see what you mean about too much focus. Yeah I love her, dearly.
I am supposed to go to church with her this week. She's preaching a message she said that was transformative for her and that she wrote the day she took off her ring.
I don't really want to go, but feel like if I don't and start distancing myself I'll do some harm. Since she left I have been praying twice a day (not for her return), and am more willing to be involved in a faith community than before. I see the importance now.
I see what you mean about too much focus. Yeah I love her, dearly.
I am supposed to go to church with her this week. She's preaching, and said the message she wrote was transformative for her and she wrote the day she took off her ring.
I don't really want to go, but fell like if I don't and start distancing myself I'll do some harm. Since she left I have been praying (not for her return) twice a day, and am more willing to be involved in a faith community that before. I see the importance now.
You may be right about her painting her own picture of you. I believe that us what my H did. He was blaming me & accusing me of some really strange stuff right before he left. In the beginning it bothered the heck out of me but as time has passed and I have done a lot of reading I realize it was him not me. I wasn't loosing my mind.
Its good you're putting yourself out there. You need to talk its good for you - like a release instead of leaving it all pent up inside. That's no good. I'm like you - only certain people know my whole story others no. I like to keep it that way for now.
I cant believe this crud she told you about feeling abused...have you been verbally abusing her? Having a heated discussion about her having a crush on another guy is NOT abuse. That is a serious discussion that needs to be had...boundaries need to be set etc.
YOU HAVE BEEN EMOTIONALLY ABUSED BY HER HANGING OUT WITH A GUY SHE HAS A CRUSH ON!
You have a right to do what you did especially since you did it in a polite way..although it was really her fault. However, you absolutely need to step in when another guy starts in on your wife!
That needs to be cut off in no uncertain terms. Trust me, deep down inside if she still cares for you she wants to see you step up to the plate and be the man and hold your ground.
That is absolute NO NO in marriage...hanging out with someone you have a crush on! A lot of people feel strongly about NO opposite sex friends period...if this is true it was a major issue...not a case of her having a right to have a friend...she has no right to hang out with someone she has a crush on while she is married!...come on....I cant believe no one else here has said anything yet.
On the other hand you have now been LEFT by a walk away wife.
Make sure she is not with that guy right now. There is a real possibility something is going on and Im suspicious about how she left so quickly and easily.
As I understand it women are much more likely to walk out like that when they have somewhere else to go...(or someone else to go to)...
You do need to distance yourself for your own good. I promise - i know its hard but its what is best for you. I don't think id go to church. She should not be indirectly speaking to you during a church service with people all around. At the very least she should let you know what she plans on saying before church and then you make the decision to go or not. That is a really mean & thoughtless thing to do to you.
I misread the question! That is funny. I have to learn to love myself I guess. I am in therapy and my counselor said that though I am a pacifist I have done a lot of violence to myself by suppressing my emotions and cutting myself off from others.
There was a time in my life, twenty years ago, when I was violent. I went to prison for arson and my life changed dramatically in there. I have worked for peace for the last 16 years.
Then why is she afraid of physical abuse from you?
What is all this crap about ending up in a shelter? She seems to have found somewhere NO A SHELTER to go already!
Something is not right.
Absolutely stay peaceful...and it sounds like YOU absolutely had a lot to work on and she may have already been wavering in her feelings about the marriage etc...you sound like you did screw up in the marriage not working out your issues...
However..now something is up. If she is already having an affair it might be too late.
Fetishwife: yeah I thought I had a right to do so as well. She said I betrayed her trust because I told him she had feelings for her and he needed to back off. He said he had for a few months, because he felt wierd about hanging out with another man's wife and had talked with his father about it. She kept doing things though, like gift wrapping his office with other people over Christmas (I got a crumby gift with a crumby note). So I just let resentment build up until it blew up one day. She was on a "retreat" trying to work out her attraction issue and had gotten tot he point, she says, where she was ready to let the attraction pass and then I stepped in after 6 months. She's not with the guy now. I know where she is staying. Being with him would destroy his career since he is a new hire at a theological school.