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Thread: At a total loss

  1. #1
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    At a total loss

    My wife and I are 32. We met in the first week of college and have been together for 14 years. We have a 3-year-old daughter, who is my entire purpose. My wife finished nursing school where we lived, in my hometown, and she took a job in a city about 3 hours away. I agreed to move with her to support her career, even though it meant leaving my family and my entire support network behind. I was excited about starting a new life together, building our own legacy. I work from home, and she works 12-hour shifts at the hospital. I clean, cook, so the majority of child care. I want her to be able to relax when she is at home.

    A few months ago, I found some overly friendly texts sheíd been exchanging with a doctor. I brushed it off, but I couldnít change my gut feeling something was off. I told myself it was OK to have male friends. I was almost past it. I thought I was the problem. I have a lifelong history of anxiety and obsessive thoughts and blamed it on this, and she did too. Encourage me to go to therapy, change my meds, knowing all along she had feelings for him. Flat-out lying to me. Last week, she went out with her friends and was out till 1 am. She said she ended up at a bar with just one of her girlfriends. I later found out the doctor was there too, and they ended up kissing. She lied to me for over a week, pretending everything was normal.

    She has blamed my mental problems on driving a wedge between us. She says I canít fulfill her needs because my anxiety does not allow me to be an equal partner to her. Yes, I struggle with some mental health issues, but I actively work on them. I take medication, go to therapy, exercise. My family is my life. My identity is being a husband and a dad. I cannot envision a future where we are not a family. Worse still, in the new city that she moved us to, I have no friends, no support network because I am 100% dedicated to supporting her and my daughter. But this is where my daughterís school, friends, life is. Without her, I have no reason to stay here. But I canít leave her.

    I want badly to repair this, but Iím not sure she does. I know we at the bottom of our marriage, but there is still love between us. I am afraid that she is so smitten with this new shiny object that she will ruin lives over it. I donít know what to do.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    How about couples counseling? You have to start somewhere to try to repair this.

  3. #3
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    Are you working?

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Just because you have a child it doesn't mean that you stop living as an adult. She's lost her respect for you because you don't seem to be able to balance your life very well and while toddlers can be a handful (I agree with you), I feel like you're using your daughter as an excuse for lack of growth. You are only 32 and supposed to be having the time of your life. It's wrong of your wife to speak to other men that way and be dishonest with you (dishonest towards the marriage). Try couple's counselling if you both have access to it. Since you are truly invested in your family and love them, show your wife how much it means to you. She has to have her heart in rebuilding the marriage and reconnecting with her family again. If this is one-sided it won't work.

    I'd also suggest you both set up some clear boundaries regarding inappropriate friendships. If she's feeling that resentful of you she needs to tell you and vocalize that and actually tell you whether the marriage has a shot of working (if she's willing to repair this). You should never feel like you're carrying the weight of the marriage on your own or in a lonely marriage. You really should start incorporating a few more elements in your life so you don't stagnate... I think you're falling apart (on a personal level). Have at least one or two hobbies or interests and learn to think creatively and enjoy life too. There's no reason why you can't share these with your wife and daughter and I think having interests of your own and being able to share them would strengthen your bonds as a family. I feel like you've isolated yourself unwittingly.

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  6. #5
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    Would you say that your treatment for your anxiety is working, OP? What is it your wife wants from you that she feels you haven't been providing?

    There is never a good excuse for cheating, to be clear. What she has been doing is unacceptable and not the way to deal with a crumbling marriage. However, should you decide together that you want to work on this, you will need to re-evaluate how effective your treatment has been and whether there is more or something different you could be doing. She needs to do the same, in assessing how she's been responding to these issues and why she played fast and loose with the boundaries in your marriage. If she doesn't, then this will likely happen again.

    She needs to cut this doctor off immediately, regardless. That is a budding affair and there is possibly more to it than she's letting on, either in terms of what physically happened or her emotional attachment to him. How did she meet this guy? How long have they been talking, that you know of?

  7. #6
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    Holly, yes, I am working. I have a very demanding editing job that keeps me in front of a computer 9-10 hours per day that I consider very respectable work. It paid her way through nursing school. I take a lot of pride in what I do, because Iím respected at work in many ways I feel Iím not at home.

    I feel a bit stuck in terms of personal growth. I read, I listen to music, I work out, but yes I am limited in what I can do. I take my daughter to school at 7 am, work all day, pick her up, make dinner for her and my wife, and then maybe go to the gym and read or listen to music before bed. My wife works some weekends, too, so I have my daughter for 13+ hours on those days. I donít see how say Iím supposed to join a tennis league or something with this schedule. That is why this stings so deeply. My reliability and sacrifice has allowed my wife to develop her career, her friendships, and hence this affair.

    I feel as though my treatment and self-care is working, but my wifeís general feeling seems to be ďtoo little, too late.Ē She claims that I cannot be there for her when she is upset or has had a bad day. I donít believe this would be surfacing so significantly now if she hadnít found another option. I think sheís infatuated and doesnít realize what I provide for her, including in terms of emotional support. We broke up briefly in college for similar reasons, and she came back to me. I donít know why she expects another person to love her more.

    In terms of counseling, I am going to bring her to my next appointment with my therapist, who also does couples counseling. I want the whole truth to come out, because I have been telling my therapist that this affair was all in my head and was working with her on ways to cope with obsessive negative thoughts. My ďworst case scenarioĒ as I described to the therapist was that my wife was having an affair and would leave me. That was seen as preposterous just a few weeks ago. The biggest source of my anxiety by far (since around Xmas) was this relationship with the doctor that I had to convince myself was not real. Now I feel like my wife is using my anxiety that stemmed from her lies as an excuse to get away. How is that right?

    Also, how is this supposed to improve my anxiety? My worst case scenario turned out to be absolutely true. My trust in my wife has been absolutely rocked. If she genuinely wanted me to improve and save our marriage, she wouldnít have lied to me about something that was emotionally tormenting me for weeks and cruelly used my mental illness against me. Still, we can connect. We have so much fun together when the air is clear (before this). What absolutely stuns me is I begged her to give me a ĒchanceĒ to improve two months ago, when I discovered this budding relationship and she assured me that it was all in my head. I canít actually move forward if my therapy is based entirely on lies.
    Last edited by SonicYouth; 04-07-2019 at 07:46 AM.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    It's inexcusable that she kissed another guy and is investing time with him through texting, etc. As a decent, mature person, one would either work on problems or divorce. That said, you two are lacking an emotional connection. You only describe solo activities when she's home: reading, gym. You two are workers and parents, but you're both at fault in not keeping the spark alive.

    How about, when you're daughter is at school, going to your wife's work place now and then to eat lunch with her? You're both working, so get a sitter once a month for date night. Most people can take vacation days and sick leave. Can you two take a day off once in a while, while your child is at school, and have a "play hooky" day?

    For yourself, you might also find a meet up group for Dads and kids who meet up on weekends for outings. It can't hurt to check it out, and you might find other meet up groups for just yourself, and make it a goal to attend to meet other guys in the area.

    She needs to know her one chance is over, and that boundaries cannot be crossed ever again, because you're not a doormat. Make those boundaries clear, and if she can't stick to them, you'll be going to a lawyer.

    Look at articles on how to reestablish an emotional connection with your wife, and let her know what you'd like from her in return, or discuss things you can do together to makes things great again. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  9. #8
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    So according to my calculations, you've been together since you were both 18.

    Put very simply, I think she's outgrown you and the relationship/marriage. Never had the opportunity to explore other opportunities, other people, and experience life outside of you and your relationship.

    She's a practicing nurse and now has this opportinity. It's an exciting time for her, new opps, new people, new feelings. A new man.

    I think she's using your "mental issues" as a way to place blame on you versus owning that she's simply outgrown you, and has become attracted to another man. It's a form of gaslighting.

    I mean your mental issues may play a role, but I suspect this would have happened regardless of your issues.

    I am sorry to say this, but you can try couples counseling but don't think it will work to save this.

    She's outgrown you, attracted/involved with a new man; this relationship/marriage has run its course, you married too young imo.

    I'm sorry!
    Last edited by katrina1980; 04-07-2019 at 01:03 PM.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by katrina1980
    So according to my calculations, you've been together since you were both 18.

    Put very simply, I think she's outgrown you and the relationship/marriage. Never had the opportunity to explore other opportunities, other people, and experience life outside of you and your relationship.
    Yes, aside from a brief break in college, we have been together since we were 18. You very well may be right, but that doesnít lessen the pain. I have given everything to my family. I married the woman who I thought was my soul mate at 26, and wholly dedicated myself to building our life together. Apparently I just didnít do it right? Didnít do enough? Why does she get a pass on this? She owes me a chance to work through this together.

    I believe that she is gaslighting me, and itís nakedly cruel, because she knows thatís my greatest vulnerability. Sheís using it to extricate herself from me, absolve herself, and make me feel like itís my fault. How is this in any way right? I am not some meek supplicant waiting for bread crumbs from her. Iíve grown, too, into a father and what I though was a better husband. This isnít fair.

  11. #10
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    Sonic, oh it's not right! It's cruel. And very very hurtful. And I'm so sorry you're experiencing this.

    As painful as this is, my advice would be to find good a lawyer and file for divorce.

    While I am a big believer in communication, talking things out, marriage counseling, I just don't think will work in your case, and will only prolong the inevitable.

    Again, she's outgrown your relationship, she's attracted to a new man and has essentially cheated.

    You should be done with this, the sooner the better, I would be if roles were flipped.

    Again, I know how painful this is and I'm so sorry!

    I wish the best for you and your young daughter!

    ((Hugs))
    Last edited by katrina1980; 04-07-2019 at 01:51 PM.

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