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A couple of weeks ago my wife wanted to have a serious talk, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing because we don't have enough of those so we end up not saying what is on our minds or how we feel about something.

 

The first discussion basically came down to the fact that she doesn't think she is "in" love with me anymore, her reasoning is because she doesn't think you CAN be in love with someone, she said she feels it's all fairy tale nonsense basically.

 

A discussion or two later she was upset because we didn't talk about it much since the first conversation, but now her thinking had changed. She said she came to the realization that she actually didn't respect me. She says this because I don't measure up to her father's standards basically, which is understandable, it's hard for anyone to measure up to the view a little girl has of a loving father.

 

She doesn't think I'am willing to do absolutely anything for her and our 2 children. Now I can't really blame her for this thinking because I'm still pretty young (25) and we've only been married 4 years this April, and we have two kids. Needless to say I've made some mistakes, in the past couple of years I left the military and took my sweet time getting a job, mistake one. Then I found a job but it was crap and honestly didn't pay enough to make the transit worth it so I quit as soon as she got a new job, mistake two. Then it took me about another 6-8 months to find a new job, mistake three.

 

So obviously her view of my has become a bit skewed because I made immature decisions for selfish reasons. Yet here I am, a year into a job that has decent pay and great benefits, but that I'am absolutely miserable with, to the point of depression. (I work customer service) So I feel I've turned things around and hopefully redeemed myself a little, which apparently is not the case.

 

Her main arguments are the fact that I complain about my job all the time, and the fact that I'm an artist, I do feel I am quite talented and I do have dreams that I want to fulfill but she thinks I'm wasting it all by not putting myself out there and doing something with it.

 

Now she has a new job, thank goodness, and it pays twice what my job pays just base salary, plus she gets commission, so now a new thing factors in, I should feel bad because she makes more than I do, and I'm the man so I have to be the head of the family (she's super old school, I'm not).Unfortunately I can't snap my fingers and make my job pay more so theres jack I can do about that immediately. With this new job though, she'll be gone for four months out of the year, only able to come home on weekends. She's scared that she'll leave and not want to come back, but she will come back and says she might resent it and me.

 

All that being said, we have had a couple of rough spots in our relationship with her leaving me when we were dating and then her wanting to leave me after our daughter was born (this could be chalked up to post pardem depression though). My sons first birthday is today so I don't know if the whole post-pardem thing is factoring in again, or if I should be really worried. She has to leave for her job in about a month and a half, and we have this hanging over our heads, not to mention our new schedules allow us to see each other for a day and a half a week, maximum, so it's hard to try to discuss things and work them through.

 

Now since this has come up, I've enrolled in college to get a degree to actually use my talents and better myself and hopefully show her I'm serious, partly I'm doing this for her, and partly because she truly is right I need to man up and do something with my talents and not wait for something to fall in my lap.

 

Honestly I don't want all the jerks I knew in the military to be right about my marriage only lasting this long and no more. I'm not an idiot or naive either, so it has crossed my mind that something may happen with someone else while she is away. This is what scares me the most, if she just left, I would undoubtedly be torn, but to know or to suspect she might be finding pleasure with someone else, that pushes me over the edge, my imagination is entirely too vivid and does not help in these scenarios.

 

I love my wife and I love my kids more than anything, it's not quantifiable and I know how I feel, a family is what I wanted ever since I was a teenager (not typical guy stuff I know). She's put me through hell before, she'll even admit it, but I don't want to lose her, I don't want to be that guy, I have serious enough manliness issues as it is.

 

I don't know if I'm posting this little novella for advice or just to get it off my chest honestly, but there it is.

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Sounds Like you just hit a little mid life crisis, and alot of strain can be put on couples when it comes to the job money issue. It is amiable that she is pushing you to your goals. Just make sure she understand everything you wrote and fully knows it. Some times when your in this sititution you can feel like your the only one trying and feel under appretionated sounds like you need to do something special for her just to let her know that you understand her feelings like cook dinner just for you two have the kids stay at grandparents for the night like request a day off on hers without her knowing and just surprise her with a day for just the two of you

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Also is she older then you? it might be alittle age difference being a strain. I was put into this same sitiution with my finance when i quit my job and was trying to find a job and myself I'm 23 and he is 29 he supported me financally during this and he felt how your wife did.we came close to seperating. we just need sometime to grow up and make sure that commutication is open.

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Welcome to ENA,

This doesn't sound good does it?

What I read is that she is making a case for something she is planning on doing. There may be no way of derailing this thing if she has set her mind to it. Your fears are justified about her meeting someone new but don't let them control you. After all you have no control over what she will or won't do, only what you do. Going back to school and moving forward with your life is a great idea. Remaking yourself into the man YOU want to be just for yourself is a good place to start no matter what happens to your marriage.

Don't let what others have said or think deter your thinking on what is best for your family. Your wife sounds somewhat controlling so it will be up to you to keep the home as stable as possible for the kids as this thing plays out.

 

I think you are doing the right things so don't let up.

 

best wishes

Lost

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Thanks for the advice and words of wisdom.

In response to Jadenrain's question, I'm actually the older one, but only by a couple of years. It does strike me as a bit of a midlife crisis situation, even if it's a bit early.

 

Actually a little update, I got off work early tonight and we were able to spend some time and talk. Unfortunately that talk led to her admitting she doesn't want to be with me anymore. I asked if she was willing to at least work at it to try to stay together, her answer was that she doesn't know.

I'm also getting the super cliche constant comment on how great a guy I'am, which is immediately negated by the fact that she doesn't want to be with me.

I'm honestly torn myself now between wanting to fight like hell to keep her, or just admit my loss and move on with my life and save myself months of heartache and frustration by trying to fight the inevitable.

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I am sorry but the "I don't know" or "I need time to think" phrases are just another way of saying it is over. She just doesn't want to admit it to you or possibly to herself. Walking away from a husband willing to do anything to try and work on the marriage is not what they want to do because they know how that makes them look.

 

Save yourself the grief and set aside you love for her and the fear of the unknown and look at this as clearly as you can. I know it isn't easy, I have been there myself but you can do it if you simply look at the facts and what you can control.

 

Lost

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Your marriage is worth fighting for. Since she's saying I don't know, ask her for 6 months to try to work things out. If she agrees, go into full gear, make her your number one priority, every possible way you can. Really listen to what upsets her and do something about it. Show your love in little and big ways. If it doesn't work, at least you'll know you did hte best you possibly could.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ah, but the OP should be making himself a priority, not her. It sounds to me that the problem is more economic than emotional. She's in her early twenties, but she has to shoulder the responsibility of being the breadwinner because her husband seems to spend more time unemployed than not, and when he does find a job he makes half of what she does.

 

Women need a measure of security and support from their men. If she's not getting that from him - if, instead, he's an economic burden - then perhaps she's thinking that she'd be better off alone. She's probably deciding that it's time to grow up and start planning life, considers you a liability and figured that there's no point throwing good money after bad. Things won't change and the sooner she leaves, the less painful it will be.

 

My advice - if you want her to stay with you, make her view you as a good investment. Get into a job with career prospects that you like, because enjoying your work will make you more successful at it. One that pays nearly as much as hers, or more, with reasonable certainty of future earnings growth that's above the rate of inflation. She needs to know that if she wants to have kids and is forced to stay home for an extended period, her husband will be able to take care of her. I know that doesn't happen overnight and that you can't wave a magic wand and make yourself earn more. But in her mind you've had 4 years to do that now, and failed...

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Alright here’s my 2 cents, you might not like and people might not agree but one thing I have learned from my own personal experience and read is that you have to do the counter-intuitive things to get what you want in these situations.

 

I’ve gone through this myself, my wife also makes twice what I do and did the “You’re a great guy but…” thing to. She wasn’t honest enough to say she lost respect but I figured that out on my own later. Don’t take to heart anything she says right now, they almost always change their mind a few months down the road.

 

She is wanting you to be a man so this is the time to man up. Give her exactly what she wants and she’ll end up thinking twice once she gets it. In order to save your marriage you have to try to end it. She has already checked out of the relationship and has been for some time. Nothing you say to her will make her change her mind so don’t try.

 

Stop trying to talk her out of her decisions or counter her points. Tell her she is right about whatever and that she deserves to be happy so if she wants to end the marriage then do it. Start getting your affairs in order and discuss the finances and how you are going to separate stuff and be as unemotional as possible. Act like this is YOUR idea and that you want the divorce. This will freak her out because instinctively she’ll want to do the opposite of what you want. Most people that walk away don’t completely understand all the consequences of what they are doing so it’s your job to show her.

 

Speaking of affairs, odds are she’s having one which is what’s motivating her to do this. Women don’t just leave the father of their children that easy. While there are affairs going on 90% of the time this happens, the affairs have a 90% failure rate so don’t overly concern yourself about it if you find out there is one. However if you do find there is one don’t break down and try to plead with her. You need to act mad (whether you really are or not) because they know that it’s wrong and being forgiving makes you look weak. That would be the time for YOU to file for a divorce. Remember, filing doesn’t mean you will actually get one but it will send a message to her that you have limits. Don’t tell her later that “you didn’t mean it” or you were just acting out, taking back anything you say or do will make you look weak and inconsistent and you don’t want that. If you say you are going to do something, do it and make no apologies. She’ll respect you if you stick to your word even it’s something bad for her.

 

Hopefully this won’t be the case….but I would be shocked if there wasn’t one.

 

You can will her back if you get her respect back which will mean acting indifferent to her. She will hate it at first but once she sees you will be fine without her, even do better (if you can pull off acting happy) she will have second thoughts. As long as you try to win her back she will just pull away. When you talk, don’t talk about the relationship and keep it just business. Short and sweet and kinda cold.

 

Good luck. You are at the very beginning of something that could take a couple of years to resolve so don’t get impatient. Use this time to work on you and fix your flaws. Even if everything I said worked to get her back, if you are still the same guy as before she will be out the door again in no time.

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