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Any Other Choice?


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Its been over a year since I found this board and posted about my life. In that time I've worked a lot on my life and tried to help others here on occasion as karmic payback. Eventually I'll try to add a conclusion to that post as I often wonder how things work out for many people here but they rarely say. For now though I have a choice to make and could use some advice.


The short version:

Married for 6 years

Good Husband

Wife fought with life/depression and lost

She cheated

She cheated again

I'm heart broken, shes not

Counseling didn't work for us

She went to live with her folks for a few weeks

Wound up back with the "other guy"

I asked her to move out

Shes heart broken

She moves close by

I work on my life, she works on hers

Months pass - we date

Things go great until they don't

She lies to me about seeing the other guy (not cheating just seeing him)

We wait a while

Lather rinse repeat


So now here we are, she moved out a year ago and things still don't work. We have had counselors tell us to our face that don't see any hope for us(their words not mine - talk about depressing). I've righted some of my wrongs and admitted to others, but I can't seem to get her to stop lying, handle her depression, or put her past behind her. She claims that she can get it together but only if we can get back on track first so she has something to build a life on(sigh).


Everything is already divided, there is no animosity between us and I'm doing well right now(though she is often still depressed). We see each other a couple times a week and it fills the void. Biggest problem is that this isn't going anywhere.


SO: As much as I wish I didn't, I still love my wife and hate the idea of divorce as much as I did a year ago, but I don't see any other option. Have we truly done everything we can? Is this where things have to end? When is it ok to say I give up on someone you love?

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Is there any time that you should give up on someone you love?


I also had my X leave due to depression (but says nothing wrong with her), mid life crisis, emotional distress, or however you want to categorize it. I have never given up on her but I did give up on having a relationship of any kind with her. There is still too much connection just toss her to scrap-heap but I still maintain N/C because it is too toxic and irrational.


I do not like the idea of divorce (especially with children at home) in most circumstances. But divorcing does not mean you gave up on her, just on your marital relationship.

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I don't see any regrets in you words. I don't see any stone unturned on your part either. I think you should be commended for the amount of work you have put into making your marriage better for your whole family. I think at some point (no matter what you chose to do) you will start to resent your wife for her role that she is playing in all this and looking to you to hold her up everytime she falls(cheats). I believe you may in fact be hurting her recovery by constantly holding the net out to catch her. If there is no real fear of falling all the way to the bottom because you will be there to catch her and put her back together, then why even try anymore than needed to keep you coming back? I think you knew the answer to your question before you asked it.

good luck with the rest of your life without her



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Sometimes things just don't work out. She doesn't sound like she takes marriage seriously at all, nor does she take responsbility for the effect of her behavior on others, nor how much she might hurt you.


You deserve to live a calm and happy life. It sounds like it will never be that way with her. It also sounds like she doesn't much want to be a wife, rather just drift from guy to guy.


If you've had a couple marriage counselors say it's hopeless, it probably is. They don't normally offer that opinion unless they have signficiant reason to do so.


You of course don't have to divorce if you don't want to. You can try again, 100 times if you want. Perhaps you are not ready to let go yet, or have a high tolerance for punishment. Only you can decide what you want for your life.


But i do suggest you don't dally in limbo being 'sort of' together. If you want to try, go ahead, but insist on fidelity or accept that she is incapable of it and an open marriage is OK for you and live with it. Perhaps if you have a few more rounds in the bucket you will feel wholeheartedly you need to divorce, or else you will have found some compromise by then.

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The responses are much appreciated, especially since from the outside it must seem such an obvious path. The last year has been full of so much emotional novocaine that its difficult to sort out exactly how I feel or should feel about things.


She definitely is a basket case though, and while she wants thing to work out right now, I can see that in many ways she gave up on our relationship a long time ago. I like the idea of being able to let go of the relationship but not giving up on her per se. Even if its just that - an idea - its a way of framing things that makes a lot of sense.


I'm definitely not ok with an open marriage, nor do I want these cycles to continue. I want her to get her life together as much as I want to get mine in shape. I want to be with someone that provides comfort, not chaos and the more I read, feel and think about it, a divorce is what I want. I just want to be able to face myself if I walk that path.


Up until now thats the one thing I've had to stand on - the solid fact that through all of this I have been a good man and a good husband.

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I don't have a answer. in many ways I sound like your wife, If someone would ask me tonight why I got divorced the answer would have to be " I don't know " maybe after six years of working through it I have a clearer picture of myself and my life than your wife has at this stage. It may all work out in the end if you hang in there and are willing to forgive her every time for her indiscretions but it do take a toll on you and you have to realizes it may stay this way indefinitely.


It seems you have found a way to put your feelings in many ways on hold for her to try and catch up with you in life, if she ever will is debatable. Some day she may realizes how much you really care and it could work or it may go the way I ended it feeling guilty for what I put my husband through and being scared I won't be able to keep my end of the deal. " I gave up" I run away telling myself it is for the best I only will hurt him again and again, he is giving his all and I'm always screwing up.


Today he is married and happy, he was and still is a great person, me I'm still lost in the past.


"Sometimes we all need time but there has to be a limit as-well." We can try and hide from the pain by postponing the inevitable, is it all worth the extra pain because we can't and don't want to except reality?

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Jeen, I can hear my wife when I read your post. She has said many of those same things to me already, and I worry that she won't ever forgive herself. I'm no saint but I am a good man - I think that has made it worse on her. I think deep down she is a good person who simply isn't in control. She doesn't like to hurt people, especially not me, and she always says the same thing: "I don't know why I say one thing and always seem to do another. I don't know why I can't stop hurting you".


I think its because as you said, she doesn't know herself very well. In the 10 years we have known each other I have changed a lot, grown up, and learned to accept myself in large part due to her. I have friends old and new, hopes, dreams, and a good career. She always struggled. Struggled for a job. Struggled for new friends. Even struggled to find things she liked or wanted to do in life. I tell stories about my adventures last month or last week - she tells stories about high school. I have been there for her, I have tried to help when I can, listen when I can't, share every success and hide my pain when I could... I'm rambling I know. Point is I don't know why life just didn't click for her and its hard not to feel terrible, but I did the best I could(I think?).


Bottom line Jeen, if your anything like my wife I hope you can look in the mirror someday and choose to be the jewel that you are, not get caught up in the misdeads of the past. My wife can truly shine at times and its crippling - I'll bet the same is true of you. In the meantime I've been talking seriously to her about divorce, the whole ugly, real, tragic, sad thing for past couple of days. I just can't take any more emotional letdown from her - it destroys a piece of me every time she breaks my heart and I don't want to be the cold bastard I know I would have to be to keep going through this.


Right now I just wish I felt better. I wish I could feel more confident about being alone, better about finding someone, better about not being there for her. I will take your advice Karmageddon and see what I can find to read about co-dependence, maybe something in there will help keep me moving forward before I get stuck.

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Sometimes we have to say and do things we really don't like, it is sad to hear how you feel but don't feel guilty about moving on, you have spoken to her and if she can't give you a answer it is not your fault, if you do end it. Everyone in life do deserve to be happy it will be hard.


"I wish I could feel more confident about being alone, better about finding someone, better about not being there for her."


It will not be easy, but it is a step you will have to take, it will hurt and many days you will regret what you did, you will feel guilty when you see her, you will feel lonely and sometimes you will be angry with yourself, her and the world, it is normal.


It is life, but with time it will get better, "how long?" I don't know.


All the best


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