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Someone please tell me what to do!


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We've been together 10 years, married 8. I wasn't the best husband, and I wasn't the worst. There has been no physical abuse or infidelity, but I have had a tendency to be a bit verbally abrasive towards my wife and apparently unfulfilling of her needs. I had an issue with internet porn for long time. I did not realize the extent of the pain this was causing her. I have honestly stopped this behavior, albeit only 6 weeks or so ago. She still admits to checking my internet usage. I am OK with that. I've told her before I would stop and did not, so she has no reason to believe me this time. We have been through a lot together. I think we would both admit that there have been more good times than bad. She told me she has lost feeling for me. I was blindsided and devastated. I knew things had been better but did not realize they were this bad. We have been on a violent roller coaster ride for several weeks now. We had a two week stint where things went well. I think we were both happy and optimistic about our chances of healing. Then I made a huge mistake by questioning her fidelity to me. I was making a lot of assumptions and had what I thought to be damning evidence. I have never mistrusted my wife, and I do not to this day. I cannot understand why I felt the need to confront her, but I did, and I cannot take it back now. This led to another shot at seperation, but that did not last long either. We have been back living together for a week now, and she has told me once again that she "isn't feeling it." This was to be our last attempt at mending fences and all communication has broken down at this point. There is no real anger or bitterness between us right now that I can see, which makes this so hard to understand, let alone explain. My wife has a demanding job, probably the most demanding thing she has ever experienced. She is struggling to stay on top of her work and feels she is being neglectful of our children. Besides us, she spreads herself so thin among family and friends and is very unhappy with her life as it is. I feel like I am the scapegoat. She seems to think that being without me is the key to her happiness. I know she loves me. I know she hates the thought of divorce. I know this job is killing us and her. I also know that she is completely torn as to what to do. Should her indecision be enough of a sign for me to face my fear that this is over? If it were to work, shouldn't she be willing to put her best into it? Am I crazy to believe that I can help things along by doing my best to meet her needs while she expresses indifference towards me? We are both paralyzed right now with fear. I would like for us both to be a little more assertive in finding the answers to our problems but am afraid saying so puts too much pressure on her. This really sucks, and the little bit of advice I have gotten is as unsure as I am as to how to proceed. Any insight from anyone out there would be nice.

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I've tried to put myself in her shoes to think about what she might want you to do. I think that if she is feeling stressed from her job and her kids and her family, she needs someone who doesn't demand anything, just helps. Maybe you could tell her that you love her and want to work on the marriage but you understand that she has enough on her plate right now. Ask what she needs help with and write a plan together to make those things happen. If she needs help with the house, laundry, cooking, kids, etc.; write down what you are going to do - take over all of the cooking during the week, send the laundry to a wash and fold service, run the kids around during the week to all of their activities, maybe even take the kids out of the house for several hours every Saturday so she can be alone.

 

You didn't say what kind of job she has that is so stressful, but I assume that it won't always be so bad. That said, maybe you could tell her that you will support her through this difficult time by taking on some of the suggestions I made in the last paragraph, but you need to set up a time for revisiting the relationship and working on it. Assume a time period of three to six months. Together, put the day on the calendar that you two want to talk about where to go next. It could be that all she needs is time to prove that you aren't surfing the porn anymore. You would also be AMAZED at how appreciative a wife can be of a helpful, non-demanding husband.

 

The final suggestion I will give has to do with intimacy. Being non-demanding comes in on this part to. I don't know all about your life, but I've had female friends complain to me all the time that the only time their husbands touch them (or they say every time) is when he wants to have sex. Part of helping her and not making demands is to give her sweet touches and kisses that do not lead to sex. Hold her hand in public, come up behind her and rub her shoulders a little, give her a long sweet kiss when she's on her way to work. If SHE makes the move for sex, by all means have a good time, but don't put any more demands on her.

 

I know I said that last one was the last piece of advice, but I thought of one more. If at all possible, maybe you should get rid of the computer or put it in the family room. Either one should make it more believable that you have given up porn.

 

I'm curious to see what advice other people give. Good luck!

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I think you might be in denial about your role in all of this. What I keyed on is the term 'verbally abrasive' and I wonder if that really means verbally abusive in her mind. Couple that with the porn and I can understand her emotional exhaustion.

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We have discussed the abrasive/abusive debate and have reached an understanding here. I do all the cooking and cleaning and attempt to take the boys away to allow her free time as much as possible. All the advice says don't walk away until you have done all you can do. I am afraid I have and am beginning to see the writing on the wall. Sex was the one thing that was great, and it was fulfilling for both of us even during our struggles. I am attempting to show affection by all of the means suggested; hand-holding, hugging, kissing, random txt messages. She sees all of this as a means to an end (more sex). I don't want it if it isn't good for her too - she has a hard time believing me and says she feels obligated to put out as the only way she can satisfy any of my needs. I am allowed to have needs aren't I? They are not being met at all and not only do I feel selfish and needy, she MAKES me feel selfish and needy. My only point is that it is difficult for me to be everything she needs all the time when nothing is reciprocated. I feel like I am supposed to be a robot. We are supposed to chat tonight about 'US' and I am completely anxious...almost naseaus. I feel like it is inevitable even though I don't want this to end badly. She is angry that I have taken so long to come around, and I understand that, but if she hasn't done the paperwork yet, shouldn't we BOTH be doing everything we can? Work is important, damnit, but more important than your family? She is a state employee - social services. Her work drains her completely, but her personality allows it to. She is so thorough with everything, almost OCD. She spreads herself so thin and then beats herself up for not satisfying everyone completely. She does things for her clients that none of her colleagues would consider. She is putting everything she has into work, and very little into anything else in her life. It's like one of those life lessons that you have to learn for yourself, only, it is happening at the detriment of our marriage.

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You are at a very dangerous stage in your relationship with your wife.

 

There are many of us here who have been in a similiar situation. As with any problem, it can be best dealt with in the earlier stages. Please check out divorcebusting.com for better insight into the dynamic that you are describing. You will be amazed at the similarities in the cases and examples there.

 

Also, here is a link to an interesting thread started by Jaspar on ENA. Or for more stories you can check out "Relationship with X" under divorce.

 

 

 

There is plenty of support here.

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What To Do If They Cheat - Do this ...
What To Do If They Cheat - Do this First

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