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Not supposed to be like this

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Wow, your wife's a piece of work. Of course she wouldn't leave you if you were 500 pounds. She's as much as admitted that she just doesn't want to be alone so short of you beating on her, no matter what you did, no matter how unhealthy or damaging you were to yourself, she wouldn't leave, because it wouldn't serve her interests to leave. And since she has no desire to have sex with you, you being 500lbs is irrelevant.


I'm so sorry, Awakening. I applaud you for making the effort, but this woman is a needy manipulator who just takes and takes and takes and doesn't want to give. I wish I had something... anything positive to say, I genuinely want there to be something because I know you love her, but man, she's not making it very easy.

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It sounds like you want to make things work so there's alot of hope. I have heard many people say that putting the kids first causes alot of problems in marriages. It's pretty common for women to feel that way, and I for one got all my affection from my newborn son and didn't really need any from my husband for a long while. My son is also almost 3.


Keep going to counselling and you both should read a book called "his needs her needs." when I first read it, I thought it was kind of antiquated but I think it's all pretty true.


I think you should DEFINITELY stop talking to women online. Make some friends who are male and talk to them. If you have emotional needs that can only be met by a woman, then keep trying with your wife and if it's not working then do without until it does. I think as long as you are having an emotional affair, it will be very difficult to make things better between you and your wife.


You owe it to your kids and to yourself to try to have a happy marriage, so just go for it, and give it your all. Good luck.

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Wow I read through the whole thread and I really feel for you. I have to say that am in agreement with Hex. Here is how it seems to me:


- You are making all sorts of changes for you as a couple. She wants free time to be by herself. I thought the point of a marriage was to be together...not spend time alone. It seems like you're already spending a considerable amount of time "not together" so why on earth is she asking for more?


- I can't believe that in 6 years the two of you haven't even been on a overnight getaway together. That is just astonishing.


- I love my daughter, and I'm not married, so take this with a grain of salt, but when I get do get married and have more children, my priority is the relationship with my husband. My husband will be my best friend, my companion, and the person that will still be there after the children leave. My children will be my next priority. I think there are sooo many people that put their kids first which causes so many later-in-life divorces. You have to maintain and work on your marriage every day.


- Which leads me to the fact that YOU are working on your marriage. Your wife really doesn't care about your marriage - she only cares about the fact that you are there.


Honestly, I'm not sure if you two will be able to work this out. You want different things, she refuses to get real mental health, and you have both lost the connection to each other. YOU want the connection back; SHE just wants to be alone.

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It is funny you mention that book (his needs, her needs)... I went to the bookstore the other day and bought the book and left it in plain view in the bedroom. My wife read it within a few days. I think she was a little put off by the men's needs, LOL.


We hired a new MC who has a reputation of being a drill sergeant. He did not disappoint. He told me that the solution to all the problems in the marriage was for me to put aside my resentment and accept my wife for who she is and everything will get better. Apparently, according to him, it is normal for some women to lose their libido after childbirth, and I should accept it as is.


I am willing to let this play out a little since I know it takes a little time and, in his words, "I haven't even gotten to your wife yet."


That being said, this does not strike me as normal at all. The solution to being lonely and trapped in a marriage is to accept I'm lonely and trapped? And of course if I accept that my wife needs full control and my needs are at the bottom of the list, the marriage will work. As long as I don't ask for sex. How on earth is this a fair compromise??


I am fully ready to walk away from my EA. I have been smart not to let it get too far, and just playing a different game at night would eliminate it completely. I know the EA is bad. It is unacceptable. I should end it. I realize all that.


But how does this help? I'll just be alone again. She is resistant to give up her friends and other assorted time sinks. I honestly do not think I am trying to justify my poor behavior - I am completely serious. If my EA is bad because it sucks emotional energy away from my wife, then isn't it also true that all her issues suck away the emotional energy that supposed to be coming to me? And since I'm the one ready to walk, isn't it MORE important for her to give up her distractions than I give up mine?


I think I am just full of resentment and I don't know how to let it go. I want and expect my wife to make the first move at this point and I don't see it happening.


I have decided not to make any major decisions for at least a couple months, so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for listening.

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I know about resentment -- believe me. But you should not have an emotional affair for the same reason you shouldn't have a physical one. Being deprived, emotionally or physically, is no excuse to stray.


I think maybe the point about acceptance has more to do with focusing on yourself rather than on your wife. You can change yourself (your feelings and perspectives, priorities, etc), you can't change your wife. My sister gives me great advice. Every time I talk to my sister about problems in my marriage, her advice is always to forget about what he's doing, and let's talk about what I'm doing. And believe me, my husband has not treated me well over the 5 years of our marriage. And yet still, she always wants to talk about how to change my heart, and how I should forgive. Love keeps no record of wrongs.


I think God wants us to reconcile with one another. I think marriage is meant to be a picture of unconditional love, the love that Jesus has for us, and how we should try to be more like Christ, to be forgiving (truly forgiving). Marriage shows us how unlovable we are ourselves, and yet God still loves us. And so we should also love our spouses, for better or worse. But it's a tall order, no doubt.


I have alot of pain and resentment in my heart towards my husband. It's like a disease that I can't get rid of. I am really trying, but it's so hard. He will never change. It's me who has to change, I have to accept it. And I have to accept it because I do not believe in divorce, I think that children suffer horribly in divorce (I did). My son adores his father, and I would never deprive him of his father. Divorce is not the answer.

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I suppose you are right. I will have to end this EA.


Amsterdam, I appreciate your post because it helps me see a bit of what the MC was trying to say. I do think I could forgive my wife for everything - truly forgive. I am not sure I can accept her without change, however. This situation oddly seems much like the grade school bully to me... I can forgive him for stealing my lunch money all those months but if he's still doing it, I'm not sure I can accept that. I think I would try to find ways to avoid the bully. That is essentially what I'm doing now with my wife. Not healthy but for whatever reason it seems like the right thing to do.

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Yes I completely understand that. It is very difficult to forgive someone when their behavior doesn't change. I don't know if you're a Christian or not, but when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive, Jesus basically said indefinitely. But my husband continues to do and say hurtful things, and he's really not sorry at all. It's incredibly painful and hard to live with.


I read someone post a comment to the Gore breakup story on link removed, saying that their mother lived in an unhappy marriage her whole life and how the person couldn't understand why someone would do such a thing. But I really feel that divorce is so destructive, and if I did file for divorce I don't think it would make me happy -- not today, not tomorrow, not 5 years from now, not 20 years from now. So the alternative is to try and make the best of this situation. And it is really all to do with me, I can only help myself.

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No disrespect to you or your faith, amsterdam, but I think you're giving Awakening some really bad advice. Just because your faith compels you to never seek divorce, that doesn't mean it's not necessary or the best choice for some people and some situations.


Marriage doesn't mean "I'll stay with you no matter how hateful, lazy and dead inside you become"


Awakening, really give this some serious thought, please.

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I think that there are two kinds of marriage. One that is recognized by the state and one that is recognized by God and the church.


If two people stand before God and swear to each other in front of their family and friends, for better or for worse, then that means you can't get a divorce when things get tough.


If two people stand before a justice of the peace and swear to keep it together until it gets hard, and get health care benefits and be each other's default beneficiary, then ok, get a divorce if you're emotionally spent.


From what I can tell, Awakening43 seems to have some pretty typical marital problems. I mean, marriage is hard. I have a particularly difficult marriage and many might think I'm crazy for staying, but I know alot of people in, say, "average" marriages, and it's still hard for them too. But again, I would argue that the vows did not say "until we don't love each other anymore do us part," do they?


I may seem a little militant on the "no divorce" thing, but seriously, I think it is an enormous problem in our society. Ever since no fault divorce was introduced, people have really started to throw in the towel without trying hard enough, in my opinion. Years ago it was very difficult to get out of an abusive marriage, and clearly we don't want to go back to those days either. But on the other hand, children suffer as a result of divorce, it really is a tragedy. Not to mention the other problems divorce causes (financial, etc). It is worth it to stick it out.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello, just wanted to post an update, would love to hear any opinions... though just posting seems very therapeutic.


Probably the biggest thing that has changed is how I view myself. I really am improving, growing, understanding things a bit better. I think based on my upbringing and a number of other things, my self-esteem is virtually non-existent at times and I depend far too much on what other people think. As ridiculous as it sounds, I do not frequently know what I want. I am working on improving that, on finding myself and what makes me tick.


I read a book called "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and it pretty much fit me perfectly. I am working on saying "no" to things I don't want to do, and saying "yes" to things that I want or that make me a better person. It is hard to get used to, but when I do it right, it feels very good.


As for the marriage, I am still living at home, and it is a very mixed bag.


The good news is that a lot of the anger and resentment I had previously has worked itself out of my system. Talking about issues and not backing down really helped over time. I have accepted my wife's shortcomings earlier in our marriage and I am trying very hard to forgive them and put them behind me.


We are much friendlier to each other than we used to be. I think a few bricks of my walls were punched out, and now we are friends again, which is nice. She is also going out of her way trying to do extra acts of service to show me that she loves me. I *know* she is trying in her own way.


Unfortunately, there are two pretty glaring problems that still remain. First, our sex life is non-existent. This is entirely my doing and it is because I really have no interest in sex. At least, with her. (It kills me to say that but at least I'm being honest.) How does one enthusiastically go back to lusting after someone who sentenced them to 5 years of a sexless marriage?


I'd love to get that feeling back. The problem is, anything that brings us remotely to the thought of fooling around shuts me down completely. I feel like I'm just giving in to what she wants. And this is a real problem. I have ZERO desire to initiate, and if she initiates, my guard immediately goes up.


I can't live like that, at least, not for much longer.


The second problem is what I suspect what Hex was alluding to earlier in the thread. My wife has managed to lose 12 pounds, but it has largely stabilized and her BMI is still at dangerous levels. Her running is down to once a week, maybe. At our marriage counselor, she says things like, "The last year has been very painful for us.", and that drives me CRAZY because it's been years of pain for me, and it's only been painful for her for this past year because I can't deal with it any more. She is just very self-absorbed, it is hard for her to see the big picture sometimes.


I also am learning that she has a tendency to lean on me in ways that I do not perceive as fair. For example, she complains that our finances are not good, we have a small balance on our credit card and she would prefer instead to be saving. I remind her that she is very attached to an investment she made pre-marriage which has been costing us roughly $600/mo. because it is losing money right now. If we got rid of the investment, I say, we'd be fine. NO. I mention that if we cut out her 2-3 $80 girl's night funds per month, we'd have no debt. NO. But she hints that if we made our lunches each day (which she already does, and I don't), we'd be better off. Grrrr. She says, alright, let's make a budget. I say, sure, you make the first one so I know what you need and I'll maintain it after that. Still waiting on that, been 2 months. In the meantime, I've already heard twice that I need to cut down on $5 subs for lunch.


Yesterday was my birthday. Exactly one year ago, my wife was complaining about finances so I told her, look, I'll make the sacrifice, I don't want any birthday gifts - it'll help us with the budget. Her birthday was a few months back, and I told her I knew her computer was old and I wanted to get her a new one. She happily agreed and said she would not forget this come my birthday. Two days before my birthday, I got a budget rant, and for my birthday, I got an e-card.


I guess this reads like one big whine. It just seems like I'm supposed to make all the sacrifices and I'm really tired of it. She doesn't understand that I just can't sweep the past under the rug and start over. She doesn't understand that many of the problems come *directly* from her treatments of me over the last few years. She doesn't see that without some sort of change, the same stuff with continue to happen over and over.


In my eyes, I'm working my tail off trying to discover myself and learn my strengths and flaws. I wish I could get her to realize she needs to look back on what she's done over the years and do the work internally to make sure she understands what happened and what she needs to do to make sure it won't happen again.


Thanks for reading.

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for asking.


Hard to sum up two years, but basically I have been in individual therapy for the entire time. We talked about a lot of abuse that went on in my childhood that I had really glossed over, and she has been terrific in helping me find out who I really am. I still think I have a ways to go, but she has told me I have been making terrific progress on a personal growth level and that has me feeling good.


One big result of this is that everything and everyone seems very different to me now. That's very good and very bad all at the same time.


I tried to address my wife with my new skills, but it caused a lot of fighting. I would get so exasperated that my new found assertiveness was met by her new and improved walls. There was some really rocky nights for sure, and I was very angry. I worry in a lot of ways I took out a lot of my anger about my newly discovered childhood trauma on her, which did not help at all. By that, I mean that I was very difficult... never got to dangerous levels or anything like that.


Eventually, my anger subsided and I am, in a lot of ways, at peace with myself. I am disappointed that I gave a healthy dose of grief to my wife, she did not deserve that. She had not made any substantial changes to the original issues, and now she was angry about my behavior, so things got pretty bad for a while on both sides.


Once the "new me" took charge, I did make a lot of headway into our issues. Ultimately, I think I look toward my partner to give and take emotional needs from, and she looks to her friends/family/children for that - has for many many years. This would explain why she was happy most of the time - because I was giving to her - and why her friendships are more solid than her marriage. When I started withdrawing myself, there was no connection at all, and at that point, asking my wife to give up some of her friendship time to work on the marriage (much like was advised here for me to give up the EA to invest in the marriage) did not go over well.


We have been separated for a few months now. I have very much enjoyed living on my own for the most part, except I miss my kids. I am managing things great (her big knock on me was that I wasn't good at housework, but my place is cleaner than hers, lol.) Sometimes I feel very alone and it is borderline frightening. I am somewhat surprised how much of my life has been spent learning to distract myself from that hole inside.


I think my wife is still hoping I come back. I would love to go back if I could want to. I guess if there is one thing I've learned, it's that I still care deeply for my wife, but I don't really like the way my life works when we were together. That's probably not going to change unless she's open to changes, which she has not been. I just can't go back if I'm going to feel worse if I do.


Long story short, we are separated for an undetermined amount of time, and I miss her, but I'm thinking it is a healthy place for me to be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can maybe give you some advice by telling you a situation which happened to my Aunt and Uncle. They had two children, and a seemingly healthy marriage. After their kids moved out, they sometime later went on a vacation together with no others to keep them busy. Soon after they came back, my uncle moved out of their house. My Aunt said that they literally had nothing to say to each other, it was almost as though they no longer knew each other. If couples do not work at their relationship, even with children, it is likely they will grow apart.

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