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Thread: Married and had kids with the wrong person - what should I do?

  1. #1
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    Married and had kids with the wrong person - what should I do?

    Hi All,

    I really need some advice. I think I married and had kids with the wrong person and I don't know what to do.

    My wife and I have been married for almost 15 years and have two daughters, ages 6 and 9. For the most part, we get along well, but I married her for the wrong reasons and am not in love with her. We were like best friends, more than deeply in love (at least from my side). My parents loved her and we all had a lot of fun together. She was my first girlfriend. I was pretty shy, had low self esteem and, although I knew I wasn't really in love with her, I felt like we could have a good life together. I didn't want to crush her and was too weak to end the relationship.

    I've done a lot of personal development and introspection over the last couple years, and am finally able to better articulate and face my feelings. She's a very negative person, and complains all the time (about the kids, work, house, her health, etc). We have very different parenting styles and I feel like she's super-critical of our kids and contributes to a lot of the problems we have with them. She's gained a lot of weight since we started dating and I'm no longer physically attracted to her. I don't like being physically affectionate with her because it just feels fake. We're always civil to each other, and do have a lot of fun together as a family, but we don't communicate very well. I don't feel like I've ever been able to truly be myself around her. It used to seem like we had a lot in common, but we've both changed a lot and it doesn't seem like she's very interested in me or my goals at all. She never seems interested in talking about me, my interests, or what I'm working on. I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.

    I know we need to work on our relationship and communicating better, but I'm afraid to tell her how I really feel because I know it will crush her, and I don't want to ruin the mostly good family life we have. So my question is - should I tell her how I really feel? If I tell her and we decide to stay together for the kids, I'm afraid it's going to make our life together negative and miserable. If I tell her and we decide to split up, I'm afraid of what it will do to our girls, and I really don't want to be away from them. If I don't tell her, I have to continue living this lie.

    I feel like such an awful person for letting it get to this point and am ashamed for not having the courage to be honest about my feelings from the beginning. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to offer. Getting Ready for a First Date

  2. #2
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    Do you think she might already suspect how you feel?

    You've been together a long time. I imagine she can read you quite well by now, and while she might not know exactly what you're feeling, I have to wonder if she senses the emotional distance and disconnect in intimacy.

    You won't be able to escape hurting her, unfortunately. It is going to hurt when she finds out that you are considering leaving the marriage, but it will also hurt if you say nothing and continue to live inside what's become a shell of a marriage. Would you consider trying marriage counseling with her, or do you feel you're already past that point in terms of wanting out?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    You need to worried already how bad your marriage is if you're scared to talk to your partner. If she was or still is you best friend at all, why wouldn't you tell her what's going on?

    You don't have to say it in a harsh way or blame her, you can tell her in a more gentle way and let her know that you haven't felt close lately and you don't feel that you two are communicating like you should or want to be.

    Consider marriage counselling. At least give your marriage a chance. Try it for a few months, but make sure you find a therapist that you feel is truly listening to you both and addressing all the issues you both have.
    Work together on overcoming these issues, not who caused it or who's in the wrong.

    But after you give your marriage a fair shot and if it still feels stale and you're not happy, start the talks about a divorce. Staying together for the kids won't work.
    Kids are smart, they can tell when their parents are no longer happy together.
    You can still co-parent and share custody but not be forced to live together in a marriage that has expired.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Did you meet/notice someone recently? Was this an arranged marriage? Unfortunately she sounds more miserable than you do being married to you so divorce may come as a welcome relief to her. If divorce is too expensive, try marriage counselling first.
    Originally Posted by Kaizen4
    My parents loved her. I knew I wasn't really in love with her, I felt like we could have a good life together. I didn't want to crush her and was too weak to end the relationship.

    She's gained a lot of weight since we started dating and I'm no longer physically attracted to her.
    I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.

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    Platinum Member Lambert's Avatar
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    Do think there could be any hope? That she also feels this is not what she thought married life would be and is open to trying to start a new life together?

    With counseling and mutual goal setting?

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    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    I would say to her, "I want this marriage to work, but we have a lot of issue so I want to try marriage counseling so we can get the skills to work together on that." Even if this doesn't work to change your feelings, hopefully the issues of how she treats your children could be addressed, and perhaps that will help on how she handles them.

    If trying counseling, and for a good year at minimum, you can't love her like you should, you can then consider divorce. Think of it as freeing her to be with a more compatible partner, and the same for you. Sure, she will be upset. But it will free her to eventually be with someone who is crazy about her, so she will one day realize that you did her a huge favor. When you come up with a good co-parenting plan, your children will adjust. Good luck and keep us updated.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    I was actually going to ask the same thing wiseman did, did you meet someone else?

    Not asking accusatorially, itís just... 15 years, what happened after 15 years that changed your world view and opened your eyes?

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    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Marriage counseling could help. If you are afraid to talk to her about this idea, can you go by yourself and not tell her? Perhaps a few sessions on your own could help you.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Before marriage counseling, I'd consider seeing a therapist privately to decide whether I want to be in or out of my marriage. I'd explore whether there's anything that could change in my marriage that would make me want to remain in it. Otherwise, if I'm already clear that I want out, then it makes no sense to invest the expense and time with a marriage counselor just to tip-toe 'around' the fact that I'm hiding my end goal.

    I wouldn't make wife jump through hoops to try to save what cannot be saved. If I've already got one foot out the door, then I'd seek legal advice to learn my options, the steps for each option and the potential consequences of each option.

    You might opt for a separation for both you and wife to learn where you want to stand after living without one another for a period of time. You might decide that letting go of some of your portion of assets could alleviate some guilt while providing the best home for your children and their mother.

    The point is, operating on emotion alone is not wise or helpful. Talk to experts who can help you make choices that you can live with and who can teach you how to navigate those in the kindest, most productive ways possible.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    I'd like to "third" the question that was brought up.

    After 15 years you suddenly are thinking about taking action? There is a motivator...is it your age or is it perhaps another woman you find interesting and who you think would be a better fit for you?

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