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Less Stress/Anxious when Wife is Away


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I've been married for 1 year and been in a relationship with my wife for 5 years.  This is the first time in a while that we have been apart.  My wife went to see her family for 3 weeks and I stayed back to continue working.  During these 3 weeks, I felt a lot less stressed and less anxious, and I have never felt this way before whenever she is away.  Usually I would be anxious since she would act as a source of comfort for me, but this time was different.  It was the first time I felt this way and I was so relaxed to the point that it made me doubt whether I still actually loved her in a romantic way.  I told my wife about this and she wanted me to figure things out, but after talking about it, I instantly was rushed with memories and emotions of why I cared/loved her so much.  Regardless, I know relationships and marriages aren't supposed to be pretty all the time, but is this a normal feeling to have?  Was I just really more-so enjoying my "me time" for the first time in a while and did I just doubt my feelings for her since this is new?

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2 minutes ago, greatwj said:

Was I just really more-so enjoying my "me time" for the first time in a while and did I just doubt my feelings for her since this is new?

Only you can answer this, as only you know the intricacies of your emotional spectrum and marriage. 

That said, factor in a year plus of a pandemic/quarantine/lockdown/etc., and I'd imagine there might be close to a billion human beings on the planet right who would feel the way you do right now. Worth thinking about, for perspective. 

An analogy would be work. Let's say you love your job, are committed to it, but go through a long stretch of working abnormally nutso hours without a break, feeling your nerves fraying. You go on 3 week vacation and...ahhhh, doesn't that feel amazing?! The amazing feeling doesn't negate your love of your job, but is just a needed, healthy release after an absurdly trying juncture. 

Could this be that on the marriage front? Again, only you know. But if you've been living like most people I know for the past year, the typical breaks and spaces we get organically—from our partners, for ourselves—have been less accessible. Or completely inaccessible in the trenches of Covid. 

How would you have described your marriage a month ago, two months ago? Connected? Content? Or were you having edgy feelings about it? 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, greatwj said:

I told my wife about this and she wanted me to figure things out

Is this an arranged marriage? Did you live together before marriage? 

Are you thinking about or talking to someone? Often when the spouse suddenly seems annoying it's because you are busy with someone else.

It's bizarre you told her this. Were you hoping for divorce papers? Or to simply hurt her as much as you could?

Certainly she told her parents you're happier/less stressed when she's away, so maybe she won't come back and just send the divorce papers over?

Edited by Wiseman2
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I feel it was a good thing that you actually felt 'fine', while she was away.

To feel anxiety while alone is an issue, don't you think?

To be okay, on your own is a good thing!

I don't think it has anything to do with your 'feelings' towards her. 

Doesn't sound like you've done anything like fall out of love with her.

Right?

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Why would you be concerned because you weren't feeling those feelings? Seems to me you should be happy as it shows a sign of growth.

  Your security blanket left for 3 weeks and you were just fine, that is a good thing isn't it?

Just because you weren't devastated because she was away for a few days doesn't mean you don't love her, it means you are in a more healthy state of mind.

 Call your wife and tell her you figured out you are much stronger than you thought and got confused with these new feelings or the lack there of but you are not confused about how much you love her and how happy you are she is your life.  Of course if you do actually feel that way...

Lost

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47 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

I feel it was a good thing that you actually felt 'fine', while she was away.

To feel anxiety while alone is an issue, don't you think?

To be okay, on your own is a good thing!

I don't think it has anything to do with your 'feelings' towards her. 

Doesn't sound like you've done anything like fall out of love with her.

Right?

I couldn’t agree more.  I think it’s healthy to feel good about taking space.  My sense is you didn’t realize how much you needed space.  On the other hand people who can’t be apart without feeling anxious might not be in love but just needy and insecure. 

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Thank you for all the input everyone. I was having a hard time finding people to talk to this about and everyone's input has given me a lot to think about/allowed me to look at this in another light.  At the end of the day, I do love my wife and I want to be with her so I will just be honest with her on my feelings and hope to gain her trust back as well.

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18 hours ago, greatwj said:

... to the point that it made me doubt whether I still actually loved her in a romantic way.  I told my wife about this and she wanted me to figure things out,

Honesty is good but it works better with filters. Think first before you start saying things like this. Over time they can accumulate. Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf? 

When I read your first post the first thought that came to mind is an affair as you sound like you already have one foot out the door for other reasons. If you believe in marriage, don't give your partner reasons to believe you don't. 

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11 hours ago, greatwj said:

Thank you for all the input everyone. I was having a hard time finding people to talk to this about and everyone's input has given me a lot to think about/allowed me to look at this in another light.  At the end of the day, I do love my wife and I want to be with her so I will just be honest with her on my feelings and hope to gain her trust back as well.

You don't need to overshare.  Telling her about your doubts isn't honesty unless you plan to leave and want to be honest about why.  WE all have doubts or get annoyed or frustrated with our partners.  I don't share with my husband each time I feel annoyed with him in the name of being "honest" - I let things go,  I resolve things on my own or talk to a trusted friend (no I don't trash my husband -just to troubleshoot about how to deal with what irritates me) but  -what -I'm supposed to tell him each time I feel upset about his clutter because otherwise I'm being dishonest because I'm not giving him a running tally of all my feelings? If he asked me right then "are you upset about the clutter" I'd say yes.  If not - I move on with things. So if you felt like your wife looked fat or had put on weight would you be compelled to tell her your feelings to be "honest"?  

Yes, gain her trust back -tell her you were having a moment, you were stressed in general, you made a mistake.  You can't unring the bell but you can make it ring more softly.

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I want to give you a slightly different perspective. 

While I DO agree with the above posters that being fine and the ability to be happy without your spouse present 24/7 is a GOOD thing, but I want to focus in on a couple concerning things you said that I think are getting glossed over. 

I don't believe you should ignore your feelings that you were less stressed and more relaxed than you had been in your words- a long time.  While I don't panic when my husband is gone, I do still miss him. It's normal over the long term to want some occasional space or feel ok when you are alone.  However, to be there is a strong difference between that and feeling "free" when your spouse is gone which can be an indicator of something wrong.  (Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but perhaps a nagging issue)

Maybe this is you or maybe it isn't.  Perhaps your romantic love for your wife is waning a bit.  After all, you can still love someone and still have issues in the relationship.  Do you feel your wife is controlling at all?   Do you need to perhaps search for more alone time?  

The other thing that concerns me is when you said you were rushed with "memories and emotions"- be sure you aren't staying together for nostalgia reasons or fear of being alone. I still have some pleasant memories of my ex-husband, but divorcing was still the right thing to do.  

Not saying you don't love your wife or that it's a bad thing to feel ok when you alone, but I do think there are some red flags in here that perhaps would be wise to re-examine further.  Even if you stay with your wife, perhaps there are some issue that need working on, based on what you wrote. 

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When you talk to her don't just tell her what you think she wants to hear, speak from the heart.  She will be able to tell...

Call as soon as possible.  The longer this hangs over the relationship the harder it will be to fix.

Lost

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Or you're stressing her out or annoying the crap out of her for reasons  you are simply able to see, accept and understand.

Same thing happened to me not long ago. She actually called me during a vacation and told me how much less stressed and anxious she was feeling with me gone.

I was wondering if my stuff would be on the front lawn when I got back.

But in my case the reason was fairly obvious yet I was unaware how much it was really affecting her.

 

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