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Married and had kids with the wrong person - what should I do?


Kaizen4
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Hi All,

 

I really need some advice. I think I married and had kids with the wrong person and I don't know what to do.

 

My wife and I have been married for almost 15 years and have two daughters, ages 6 and 9. For the most part, we get along well, but I married her for the wrong reasons and am not in love with her. We were like best friends, more than deeply in love (at least from my side). My parents loved her and we all had a lot of fun together. She was my first girlfriend. I was pretty shy, had low self esteem and, although I knew I wasn't really in love with her, I felt like we could have a good life together. I didn't want to crush her and was too weak to end the relationship.

 

I've done a lot of personal development and introspection over the last couple years, and am finally able to better articulate and face my feelings. She's a very negative person, and complains all the time (about the kids, work, house, her health, etc). We have very different parenting styles and I feel like she's super-critical of our kids and contributes to a lot of the problems we have with them. She's gained a lot of weight since we started dating and I'm no longer physically attracted to her. I don't like being physically affectionate with her because it just feels fake. We're always civil to each other, and do have a lot of fun together as a family, but we don't communicate very well. I don't feel like I've ever been able to truly be myself around her. It used to seem like we had a lot in common, but we've both changed a lot and it doesn't seem like she's very interested in me or my goals at all. She never seems interested in talking about me, my interests, or what I'm working on. I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.

 

I know we need to work on our relationship and communicating better, but I'm afraid to tell her how I really feel because I know it will crush her, and I don't want to ruin the mostly good family life we have. So my question is - should I tell her how I really feel? If I tell her and we decide to stay together for the kids, I'm afraid it's going to make our life together negative and miserable. If I tell her and we decide to split up, I'm afraid of what it will do to our girls, and I really don't want to be away from them. If I don't tell her, I have to continue living this lie.

 

I feel like such an awful person for letting it get to this point and am ashamed for not having the courage to be honest about my feelings from the beginning. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to offer.

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Do you think she might already suspect how you feel?

 

You've been together a long time. I imagine she can read you quite well by now, and while she might not know exactly what you're feeling, I have to wonder if she senses the emotional distance and disconnect in intimacy.

 

You won't be able to escape hurting her, unfortunately. It is going to hurt when she finds out that you are considering leaving the marriage, but it will also hurt if you say nothing and continue to live inside what's become a shell of a marriage. Would you consider trying marriage counseling with her, or do you feel you're already past that point in terms of wanting out?

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You need to worried already how bad your marriage is if you're scared to talk to your partner. If she was or still is you best friend at all, why wouldn't you tell her what's going on?

 

You don't have to say it in a harsh way or blame her, you can tell her in a more gentle way and let her know that you haven't felt close lately and you don't feel that you two are communicating like you should or want to be.

 

Consider marriage counselling. At least give your marriage a chance. Try it for a few months, but make sure you find a therapist that you feel is truly listening to you both and addressing all the issues you both have.

Work together on overcoming these issues, not who caused it or who's in the wrong.

 

But after you give your marriage a fair shot and if it still feels stale and you're not happy, start the talks about a divorce. Staying together for the kids won't work.

Kids are smart, they can tell when their parents are no longer happy together.

You can still co-parent and share custody but not be forced to live together in a marriage that has expired.

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Sorry to hear this. Did you meet/notice someone recently? Was this an arranged marriage? Unfortunately she sounds more miserable than you do being married to you so divorce may come as a welcome relief to her. If divorce is too expensive, try marriage counselling first.

My parents loved her. I knew I wasn't really in love with her, I felt like we could have a good life together. I didn't want to crush her and was too weak to end the relationship.

 

She's gained a lot of weight since we started dating and I'm no longer physically attracted to her.

I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.

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I would say to her, "I want this marriage to work, but we have a lot of issue so I want to try marriage counseling so we can get the skills to work together on that." Even if this doesn't work to change your feelings, hopefully the issues of how she treats your children could be addressed, and perhaps that will help on how she handles them.

 

If trying counseling, and for a good year at minimum, you can't love her like you should, you can then consider divorce. Think of it as freeing her to be with a more compatible partner, and the same for you. Sure, she will be upset. But it will free her to eventually be with someone who is crazy about her, so she will one day realize that you did her a huge favor. When you come up with a good co-parenting plan, your children will adjust. Good luck and keep us updated.

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Before marriage counseling, I'd consider seeing a therapist privately to decide whether I want to be in or out of my marriage. I'd explore whether there's anything that could change in my marriage that would make me want to remain in it. Otherwise, if I'm already clear that I want out, then it makes no sense to invest the expense and time with a marriage counselor just to tip-toe 'around' the fact that I'm hiding my end goal.

 

I wouldn't make wife jump through hoops to try to save what cannot be saved. If I've already got one foot out the door, then I'd seek legal advice to learn my options, the steps for each option and the potential consequences of each option.

 

You might opt for a separation for both you and wife to learn where you want to stand after living without one another for a period of time. You might decide that letting go of some of your portion of assets could alleviate some guilt while providing the best home for your children and their mother.

 

The point is, operating on emotion alone is not wise or helpful. Talk to experts who can help you make choices that you can live with and who can teach you how to navigate those in the kindest, most productive ways possible.

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I'd like to "third" the question that was brought up.

 

After 15 years you suddenly are thinking about taking action? There is a motivator...is it your age or is it perhaps another woman you find interesting and who you think would be a better fit for you?

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This is what happens when responsibilities, kids, chores, mortgage, etc take over the relationship. You lost connection, and the fall out is depression, frustration which can lead to a wondering eye, weigh gain, loss of attraction and a feeling of hopelessness, guilt. This has nothing to do with your choice to marry her, this has a lot to do with getting lost in your journey of being parents/spouses. I do like the idea that you seek out therapy privately, but to use it to help you prepare how you communicate to her without hurting her. Andrina's suggestion sounds gentle enough as a first approach. You are not pointing any fingers or bringing up specific details, just a goal you have in mind.

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I know we need to work on our relationship and communicating better, but I'm afraid to tell her how I really feel because I know it will crush her, and I don't want to ruin the mostly good family life we have.
Then I too am on board with you getting yourself into personal therapy to figure yourself out.
I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.
Really? And, who is it you are thinking you are meant to be? That is a serious question to be asking yourself and to do so with the help of therapist.

 

You know, mostly the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence. It just looks that way because of the angle. You are lost and you would do well to partake in professional guidance. If after your get true clarity with professional help, if you still feel you are not "the man you were meant to be" then you will at least be leaving your "good family life" with knowing you are not just suffering in grass-is-greener-syndrome. Therapy may even give you confidence to communicate with your wife and at the very least, give her the opportunity to remedy. I suspect that she doesn't even know that there is anything wrong in the status quo which is rather sad if true.

 

When is the last time you took her out on a romantic date and showed her that she is more than the mother of your children?

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Yes, tell her how you feel even though it will crush her because honesty is the best policy. No sense living a lie. Don't give up on your marriage yet though. Seek professional marriage counseling and see if it will help both of you.

 

Tell her the truth. Tell her all of it and don't hold back. Tell it all and tell it like it is. In all fairness, she should give you feedback as well so if you can dish it out, be prepared to take it, too. I'm sure she'll put you in your place and tell you you're not so "perfect" either. It's not all about you as it takes two to tango.

 

If you and your family are faith based, you might want to consider joining a church so you can be taught to have a different perspective regarding how to approach life, marriage and family life despite the rut and boredom you feel you are in.

 

I know a lot of married couples who don't belong on the cover of a magazine yet they truly and sincerely love each other. Their focus is not about looks and with a different perspective whether from marriage counseling, therapy, church or psychologists, they change their ways because whatever they're doing now with their marriage and child rearing is not working.

 

Watch some episodes of "SuperNanny" to get ideas on how to change with marriage and family life. Perhaps you can still salvage your marriage and family life by making serious, permanent changes so all of you can heal.

 

Don't give up so easily. Put forth the effort and make changes so everyone benefits.

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Marrying young and your first girlfriend/boyfriend without any chance to go live life first rarely works out for people.

Most of my classmates and friends growing up were rather hardcore Christians who married the first guy/girl their parents liked, and there it's down to 2 out of nearly 30 of those couples who are still married. We are all around 40.

So it's not strange at all that you'd be reassessing now after living out what you thought you were " supposed to be " doing - marry, have kids, the end.

 

Catfeeder's post hits the nail on the head for me. I'd start with that.

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I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet based upon an impulsive whim. Walking out because you're stuck in a rut and the marriage grew stale and boring is commonplace.

 

Life falls into a dull monotony of mortgages, bills, grocery shopping, school, homework, organized sports, household chores and repeat.

 

Divorce is an instant out and a solution for most people who are ready to simply call it quits because "they're not feeling it." Exhaust all options first such as professional marriage counseling and therapy for both of you.

 

Also, take a time out minus kids. Don't be lumped with kids all the time. And, don't focus on romance all the time either. Some women simply want adult interaction with you, a good conversationalist, a great listener, take simple walks together, have a picnic, socialize with others, see a movie, take her out to a nice restaurant and get out of the house. Get a change of scenery. Have good couple friends, too. Mix it up.

 

IF you are faith based, try church because many times, it will change your perspective on life, marriage and family life. There's more selfless attitude and not about "what I want, what's good for me, how I want my freedom, how I want a better looking, slender woman, how I wish we can raise our kids differently, etc."

 

A lot of times, it's not the wrong person you married but the circumstances to change IF there is a mutual willingness and cooperation to do so.

 

If there are behavioral differences and attitudes regarding how to raise children, both of you as parents need to be on the same page. Either marriage / family counseling or church (if you're faith based that is) will help you because you need a new, fresh pair of eyes as moral support and new lessons to apply to everyday living.

 

It's not necessarily what you're supposed to be doing in any particular order with marriage, having kids and the end. It's about how to conduct your lives and if there are improvements needed regarding marriage and family life, there needs to be a sincere, concerted effort to change whatever is not working. If your life is chaotic, take cues from "SuperNanny" to get a glimpse of a different approach so healing is a realistic possibility.

 

The problem is giving up so easily when changes could be had IF two people are on board to make it work. When children observe two parents who truly love and sincerely care enough toward one another, healing begins. Kids perceive this newfound intelligence to make it work as a team; not one giving up on the other and walking out just because life feels too difficult, challenging, a boring rut, mundane, a partner grew fat and whiny.

 

There is a communication problem between you two and you're getting your wires crossed. Seek professional intervention through marriage and family counseling or a marriage-family psychologist who can guide you into the right direction.

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he's gained a lot of weight since we started dating and I'm no longer physically attracted to her. I don't like being physically affectionate with her because it just feels fake. We're always civil to each other, and do have a lot of fun together as a family, but we don't communicate very well. I don't feel like I've ever been able to truly be myself around her. It used to seem like we had a lot in common, but we've both changed a lot and it doesn't seem like she's very interested in me or my goals at all. She never seems interested in talking about me, my interests, or what I'm working on. I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.

 

Your wife is the right one,because you chose her.

The best marriages are built on being best friends.

I think what happened is you had a decent marriage to begin with, but never personally worked on communication skills.

And now your wife has lost her figure because she had babies. What a surprise!

 

I think you need to pick your battles. If she is with the kids all day, maybe she is critical because she is at her last straw with them. Do you help out at all? Its common for the husband to thinks their children are angels sent from God meanwhile the mom has refereed their 32nd fight over who gets what color cup.

 

Your wife knows you don't find her attractive anymore and it stings. Women know!

So fight for your marriage. Go on dates with her. Sometimes just anything that is without the kids no matter how small but what about dressing up sometime to go to a nice place for dinner and something you used to like to do like the theater, a comedy club, a sporting event -- etc.,

Time without the kids together won't change things overnight but it will help things start to change -- lines of communication may start to reopen.

 

Sometimes family life can get mundane - you have to work at it.

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Marrying young and your first girlfriend/boyfriend without any chance to go live life first rarely works out for people.

Most of my classmates and friends growing up were rather hardcore Christians who married the first guy/girl their parents liked, and there it's down to 2 out of nearly 30 of those couples who are still married. We are all around 40.

So it's not strange at all that you'd be reassessing now after living out what you thought you were " supposed to be " doing - marry, have kids, the end.

 

Catfeeder's post hits the nail on the head for me. I'd start with that.

 

Most of my family members married young and are still married -- parents, cousins, etc. and are still happily married. One aunt/uncle set divorced but other than that - thats it. Young marriage is not always a deathnell --- sure, i think 19-22 year olds should be discourage nowadays "if its right, a delay of 1-5 years won't make a difference in that". But to retroactively tell someone who is married with kids "you married too young " as an excuse to not work on their marriage or leave -- nope. Unless there was no free will -- young 17-20 year old woman forced to marry a 50 year old guy in an arranged marriage or extreme situations like that, of course, the remedy is leave, not "work on it" if the man is unkind/unloving. You can't turn back time. You can only move forward. I think the difference in my family also is that couples have a strong support system of other couples with experience and are encouraged to work your basic getting into a rut type of problems.

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I'd like to "third" the question that was brought up.

 

After 15 years you suddenly are thinking about taking action? There is a motivator...is it your age or is it perhaps another woman you find interesting and who you think would be a better fit for you?

 

Good question!! What is that thing that you feel is worth being a part time dad for?

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The reason I brought that up is because OP mentioned he married for the wrong reasons. He was young, had low self esteem, and hadn't figured out how to communicate and express his feelings. He didn't even KNOW how he felt about it, as he's expressing here that he is still struggling with being in touch with his own feelings and what he wants.

 

And that's also why I think Catfeeder's suggestion for him to go talk to someone himself first is so great.

The opportunity to get to what is going on with himself, his needs, his desires is there waiting without having to pull the trigger yet on anything in his marriage. And its paramount to get to that truth first, to learn to get comfy expressing it.

Sure, he could go through all the motions to stay married but that's not the real point. The real point is him being genuine.

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Step up as a man. Help your wife without her having to ask for help. Do it without fanfare nor recognition. Do the right thing. Be honorable. Pick up the slack.

 

Throughout my marriage, my husband always helped me with the following: All errands (grocery shopping, miscellaneous errands, gas for both cars), household chores (housecleaning & laundry), cooking, newborn / baby / child care, organized sports, church life with children, chauffeuring duties in addition to yard work, car repairs, car / house maintenance, etc. Because of his invaluable, priceless help, I have time to exercise, meet my girlfriends for outings, lunch or occasional dinners and I'm a happier, relieved lady because he lightens my load. My husband makes my life easy and enjoyable. Happy wife equals happy life. :D

 

My father-in-law (FIL) is the same way. Both my FIL and husband treat their wives like queens. We are incredibly fortunate and blessed.

 

Your children are observing you. They will emulate you when they grow up and have relationships and marriages of their own.

 

The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love and respect their mother. It's time to man up.

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Unfortunately you seem to be rehearsing the typical lines used to have affairs. "not in love" we are like friends, we are like roommates, got fat, let herself go, Doesn't understand me, nasty...Staying for the kids... blah blah blah.

 

Do Not tell her how you feel. Your feelings are a collection of disrespectful negative and highly subjective complaints. Instead tell this laundry list of complaints about her to a therapist and an attorney. Find out how much a divorce will cost you.

-I married her for the wrong reasons and am not in love with her.

-We were like best friends,

-She's a very negative person, and complains all the time

-She's gained a lot of weight since we started dating and I'm no longer physically attracted to her.

-we don't communicate very well.

-I really feel like the relationship is holding me back from becoming who I'm really meant to be.

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Wow, thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments and advice. I am truly grateful and honored for you all taking time to read this and provide your advice. What a great group. I'm definitely open to counseling, and I like the suggestion from several folks that it might be good for me to seek counseling first on my own.

 

To answer one common question... no, I have not met someone else and don't really even want that right now. I think the trigger for all of this coming up now was losing my job a couple years ago. It gave me time to focus on personal development - starting a healthy morning routine, journaling, meditation, reading personal development books, and getting clear on what I want in life. It's made me much more aware of who I am, what's really important to me, and I've finally worked up the courage to face this issue which I've been burying for so long.

 

Sorry for not providing more specific responses to your advice & queries. I will definitely be reading and thinking this over some more and will come back with more thoughts and responses soon. Thank you!!

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Who is paying the bills? Are finances stressing you out? It sounds like you don't do much all day except these introspective, self indulgent activities. You can do all this and work full time as well as take classes, courses, join groups, clubs sports, etc. Full time parents and workers do that all the time.

 

Are you a stay-at-home dad? Does your wife resent supporting you? You need to get off the couch and self-help videos and be more productive.

 

Sitting there ruminating about what self help gurus are telling you while you grow increasingly contemptuous, resentful and spiteful toward your wife seems a bit hypocritical.

 

She is not holding you back from your "true self", being unemployed for years is.

I think the trigger for all of this coming up now was losing my job a couple years ago. It gave me time to focus on personal development - starting a healthy morning routine, journaling, meditation, reading personal development books, and getting clear on what I want in life.
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Wow, thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments and advice. I am truly grateful and honored for you all taking time to read this and provide your advice. What a great group. I'm definitely open to counseling, and I like the suggestion from several folks that it might be good for me to seek counseling first on my own.

 

To answer one common question... no, I have not met someone else and don't really even want that right now. I think the trigger for all of this coming up now was losing my job a couple years ago. It gave me time to focus on personal development - starting a healthy morning routine, journaling, meditation, reading personal development books, and getting clear on what I want in life. It's made me much more aware of who I am, what's really important to me, and I've finally worked up the courage to face this issue which I've been burying for so long.

 

Sorry for not providing more specific responses to your advice & queries. I will definitely be reading and thinking this over some more and will come back with more thoughts and responses soon. Thank you!!

 

So you lost your job and spent the last two years indulging in escapism - also known as the new agey psychobable of self development concepts sold by self pronounced gurus whose only interest is to milk money from fools, as if you aren't already developed as an adult man with a wife and family to support. High time to get back on that horse, go get a job and start adulting again. That means disconnecting from the escapism and reconnecting with the real world - work, life, your wife, your family, developing some actually healthy hobbies, etc. You've had one heck of a long vacation and it hasn't exactly served you well - you are now sabotaging your marriage. I'd be less harsh if it wasn't for the fact that you are not only sabotaging your marriage but you have children as collateral damage of this bs. Enough is enough. High time to get back to the real world and at this point, you might well need some real counseling since you appear to have done a good job of brainwashing yourself with the find yourself bs industry.

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You have way too much time on your hands. Idle hands are the devil's workshop. :upset:

 

Become employed, industrious, productive, take good care of your health and you will become a more positive person towards your wife, marriage and family life.

 

Stop the pity pot.

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