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GH2001
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What does one do when everything that their spouse does, from the sound of their voice, to what they talk about, to what they do, to how they talk to the kids, gets on your nerves? It is like being married to one's annoying sister. The love is long gone from my marriage, we don't have much if anything in common outside of the kids. I have tried finding common ground but we just don't click with each other. The marriage counselor said that my wife needs to challenge me, she is so passive, but in a way I think that might be the final nail in the coffin.

 

I don't want a divorce because of the kids and the extended family (most think we have a perfect marriage). We have been married 15 years and for about the last seven I have been trying to figure out what is wrong, subconsiously at first and consiously for about the last 18 months. For the last seven years I have been falling for other women (I never let it go anywhere with the feelings, keeping them inside). Don't get me wrong, she is a sweet lady, almost too much so.

 

I wonder why I married this woman in the first place. I feel like I am drowning! Help!

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I don't think you should take the attitude that you don't want the divorce because of the kids and extended family. It really is not a good reason to stay together if things are at the point of no return (which is basically what you are saying I think).

 

Have you guys actually talked about divorce?

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Has you wife been to any of the counseling with you ? Have you pretty much exhausted all efforts to make it work out in a good way with your marriage.

 

I agree with Melrich, that staying just for the kids sake or for appearance purposes is not necessarily how you should look at it. How old are you children?

 

Sometimes it is worse off on the children in the long run by staying in an unhappy marriage , than to move on with your life.

 

There is no reason you can not still be a father to your children if you are separated or divorced. HOw does your wife feel about the whole situation ?

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The wife accompanied me to counseling (our first session). The kids are 3 and 6 months by the way. We are trying the counseling angle now (the counselor said that we are already emotionally divorced). I won't approach discussing divorce yet though. I want to exhaust all possibilities. I have been told that I have a lot of hostilities (not violent but anger) built up based upon dysfunctional relationships in my past. My wife is so passive that she seems more of a robot. I hope that I have not done this to her. She is a sweet lady. I just was not thinking when we married 15 years ago. This might sound illogical, but we never fight. We go to our corners and sulk. It has been that way for 15 years.

 

Alot of this can be in the mind, I know. I just have to figure out whether this is a normal eb and flow in our marriage or if it is a symptom of a marriage that is in effect over.

 

The kids add additional stress, but I have been finding myself attracted to other women for about the last seven years. I never act upon these feelings, but this last attraction has been really hard on me. I have only now reached the point, after ten months of being truly in love with someone else, where I am not ready to just go live by myself. However, the mistakes I have made in trying to get the marriage back on track have me very cautious. I have tried to find common ground to no avail for years. There are also religious reasons I don't divorce.

 

Life can sure be a living hell when you are married and keep falling for other women because you are not satisfied emotionally and physically at home.

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Hey you.

 

You decided to get married - was there a gun at your head????? Does your word mean nothing???? Maybe your 'timid' wife is hurting too. Sure she got a pearl in you didn't she???

 

Let the poor woman and your kids go - you would be doing the only decent thing that you have done since you met her!!!!

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To sum up: You've presented reasons to leave, then you present reasons you can't/won't leave. You can't simultaneously stay and leave, and you can't pick and choose the aspects you like from both choices.....so you choose nothing, continue to tread water, make yourself miserable, and essentially live a lie. Meanwhile, time keeps going by.

 

Sometimes we are presented with choices that are difficult. Sometimes all our options suck. Yet it is those difficult situations and sucky options that provide us some of the best opportunities for personal growth. The thing that keeps most people stuck and sitting on the fence in those difficult situations is fear. Those fears can be broadly defined as "fear of change." It is astounding the amount of energy and time people will use in an attempt to keep things the same so they can avoid the unfamiliar (change). And, they may succeed (or appear to) for a while...but change has a way of demanding your attention. Sometimes it creeps in slowly around the edges over time and sometimes it falls on you like a ton of bricks in an instant, but it always manages to work its way in to your life. Because, as much as we may fear/dislike it, change is the only constant in life, after all.

 

So we can remain stuck in fear and let outside events dictate where the change is going to take us...or we can embrace change and take an active role in shaping our life and work with outside events to select and travel to our new destination. Physiologically, "fear" is the same as "excitement." It is our mind's interpretation of those physical sensations that make us dread them or anticipate them.

 

If my husband had mentally/emotionally checked out of our marriage for a number of years to the point of wanting to act or actually acting on attractions to others, I'd want him gone physically as well....family's/friend's opinions, religious beliefs, financial considerations be damned. I get one shot at this particular life at this specific time, so it is my goal to be fully in it, fully present, and enjoy the ride as much as possible...even when outside circumstances aren't ideal. I can't really do that in the context of a relationship/marriage if I'm not with someone who'll commit to be fully in it and fully present, too.

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Hey you.

 

You decided to get married - was there a gun at your head????? Does your word mean nothing???? Maybe your 'timid' wife is hurting too. Sure she got a pearl in you didn't she???

 

Hey You back...

 

Why do you think I am still in the marriage? No doubt she is hurting too. I am trying to get some help here, not just for me, but my family.

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Honestly, I don't think it's healthy for you, your wife or family to stay if you really have felt this way for seven years....it's not fair to anyone involved. I know if I was your wife, I would not want to be with someone whom had already "checked out" and basically resented me for every thing I did.

 

I once saw something that said "if you start hating the way they breathe, it's over!".

 

As a child of parents whom did divorce, believe me, it is MUCH better than knowing your parents are miserable and unhealthy together. And kids do know. They also learn for their own future what "love" is in their future relationships....I am sure you don't want them to learn this is what it is about, do you?

 

Honestly, the extended family and others only see from the outside, they do not know what is happening, nor are they the ones in the marriage. Do not let their visions of "perfection" cloud your own judgment.

 

I am not sure what answer you are looking for if you have tried "everything" yet don't want to take that final option...all I can so is just wish you the best of luck, and let you know sometimes the "right choice" for everyone can be the hardest to see.

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Thank you RayKay for those words of wisdom. As another enotalone buddy I have been speaking to... you are wise beyond your years.

 

Identification of what I am looking for is tough, I agree. I subconsiously was wandering about for those seven years. Actually falling in-love with someone else was a wake up call. It is so "new" as to be sureal for both my wife and I. I have been giving it time, in hopes that counseling and a cooler heads will prevail. Marriage is hard work, harder than I realized it would be 15 years ago.

 

It actually opens up the entire religion can of worms. I can't say that I would still be married if it were not for understanding that I have to abide strongly by God's word on divorce. That also keeps me tied down and is probably an entirely different thread. The concept of divorce/remarriage = adultery is really convicting me right now. Are there any threads on enotalone that address this? I don't want to repeat threads here.

 

I have been on many Christian chat groups that are really harsh but maybe this is because God's laws are sometimes harsh but necessary.

 

As you can see. I am really confused.

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staying if it is "for the kids" is absolutely worth it. That is what a marriage is all about, 2 become one, then with 2 kids, what is best for all 4 is what is most important, not what is best JUST for you. There are many people on these boards who left marriages soley for how it was affecting them, without deep consideration of how it affects the family. They are quite happy to give you the same advice. That is what true love is all about, caring about others more than you care about yourself.

 

Saying all that you have a tough situation and I feel for you! Sometimes you just can't bear anymore and need to rip the entire thing apart, there is no other chioice, and believe me there will be a ripping sound in the universe with consequences for your children and possibly even future generations. I admire you for trying. If everyone who felt like just got up and got divorced, most of our "kids" would be raised by single parents. I'm in my mid 40's and I see tons of marriages that are just moving along for the kids, what's so bad about that? That's what life is all about! What about the sex life?

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It is really still tough. We have started counseling. I think divorce is selfish. I do not love my wife and cannot envision how I will ever get back to being in a loving situation. It is basically a loveless marriage. There have not been any affairs. It is just an acknowledgement on my part that we have grown so far apart as to be really not even on the same page anymore.

 

Sex life? About 4 times a year and that might be a stretch. It does not bother me as much as not having a soul mate. I just get lonely, wondering what might have been if I had waited longer and dated a few more women. I was 26 when I married. That sounds average, but it was an inmature age for me. I only now am figuring out what I did not consider when selecting a mate. What a shame that we only get one real shot at "becoming one" and then, if it goes wrong, you feel suffocated, stuck.

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I don't think Divorce is always selfish and sometimes it is the right answer. What is selfish is to say, "I am only going to think of myself and what is best for me, disregarding my family, esp my children". There are "advisors" on the internet here, or a counselor, who will tell you marriage is about yourself. That is exactly what a counselor said to me 5 yrs ago when I went. She said you have to think of yourself first.(of course she was divorced herself)

 

You have to have the "intent" to do the right thing. The right thing is try to make a relationship work, are you forgiving her for her actions, do you hold a grudge, do you try to make up, do you try to make the marriage work by creating common interests, do you take the time to spend time together. You do all that, and you are still in a daily hell. It's a hard decision. One very good friend of mine, decided it was very important that he keep the marriage together for financial reasons and for his kids, there is absolutely no love in the marriage, but now he has a few girlfriends, he accepts that. Is that for the best, his 3 kids are probably happy they have a family to come home to, but how much can a person take? There are some very, very mean people and sometimes we marry them. They will cause us pain and suffering to no end. I sympathize with anyone in that situation and I can see why eventually the straw breaks and they have to go. Can you throw you entire life away when their is no end in sight to the prison and the misery you live in everyday? We all deserve a better shot than that. It is a decision you will have to make, and you are doing the right thing to search deep in your heart for a remedy to your current situation.

 

I have another friend whom because of lack of sex(14 yr marriage), started opening going out openly carousing at night, wife soon found an email from a lover. He showed no regret, they were already living in marriage hell before the carousing, she gave him a little time and left. No one should tolerate "open" infidelity. I don't blame her one bit, even though he is a best buddy.

 

I have three long-time employees(females) who divorced while working for me. They seemed to be in intolerable situations(although I only really saw their side of it), they remarried in due time and from my vantage point they seem to be much better off. Are the kids, I don't know, probably, at least the second marriages are stable(although not over 5 yrs yet, ha ha that's when the real fun starts). I think they did the right thing. They have absolutely no regrets. Divorce can work! But there is no rush.

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You know someone can say do whats best for everyone else. if you are unhappy in you marriage, as am I. Just read my thread a very long drawn out thread. I am also staying for my son, and to keep the family together. but I have been married for 3 years and my son is 2. so I guess that might be different. My family knows the marriage is crap and so does her parents.

 

I guess I didn't really get your initial post, are you just tired of your wife's voice? I mean do you argue/fight etc?

 

Some of the people responded with some very nasty rude comments. why are you on here if your going to be like that. The website is called e not alone, which should a support website not meant for bashing someone for being honest and open to complete strangers about their very personal lives.

 

People get married for one reason or another, did anyone have a gun to their head, probably not. But they did what they thought was best or best for the other person at the time. Does that mean deal with it or live with it if it is now a mistake and its making you miserable? No you should they made divorce an option for a reason, most likely to prevent someone from killing their spouse out of being trapped with no way out. I mean if till death do us part really meant that I think murder would be much more common and domestic abuse would turn into much more serious things.

 

so point is, if marriage counseling doesn't help. If she is unwilling to do anything to help the situation and you are doing your part, then weigh your options for leaving for awhile, file for separation and take a break. There are millions of women out there one is destined to be right for you. You never mentioned how old your kids are, if they are old rit may impact them more so then if they were young. But they need to understand that people may be better off apart, I mean after all there is a 60 percent divorce rate for a reason, a lot of kids are a part of that. Most of them turn out well, some do not but I am sure that is not the only reason for their issues. I mean even the Brady bunch was based on that concept they seemed to be ok right.

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so point is, if marriage counseling doesn't help. If she is unwilling to do anything to help the situation and you are doing your part, then weigh your options for leaving for awhile, file for separation and take a break.

i don't know if you are talking to me and maybe I am not explaining myself fully. There are two extremes to marriage. #1 - I made a commitment and "till death do us part". #2 - Life is all about finding and being happy, I"m not happy, I have to move on.

 

I know the results we get in life often are because of our intent. I think when you marry your intent should be #1. There are many who marry for intent #2. When things start getting real after the honeymoon is over, (1 yr) if you have #1 in your soul the odds are much better for your marriage. A #2 person is going to bail quick, be more apt to look at the other person as the reason for the unhappiness etc. But, saying all that, how much can a person take. And for sure, if there is divorce in your family tree, you can't but help yourself in having more #2 in your soul than someone who comes from a family tree of very little divorce(like mine).

 

How can WE tell you what to do. We don't even know what you look like. We have no idea what her side of the story is. I think if you read my posts you will see quite clearly my opinion, that is, divorce is a good option for many, but you have to really try first, you owe that to everyone involved. But how can I say, "get divorced"? That is an ultimate decision that if you can't make, how in the world could anyone else make it?

 

Like I probably said, i have had tons of my own marriage pain, however my wife is a decent person who I know looks at her own behavior with some regret, we try to come back together and move forward. If I had a women who never had any regret, who blames everyone else, every time, and from your posts you are living a life of hell everyday. I have observed my mother who has many of the same characteristics as your wife, it seems you have it much worse. I do think that if the union is absolutely not working, best time to get out is early, it will have much less affect on your kid, and if you are at base a good guy with a good heart, hopefully you will meet likewise this time around.

 

Here is what I don't like about divorce and this doesn't really apply to you at all. I have 3 separate male friends who seemed to have decent, long term marriages, >15yrs. In each case it was the women who seemed to just "get tired" of it all. In each case they got blindsided in their mid 40's, the woman left, there was no infidelity, the women just tired of it, tired of the arguing and disagreements that go along with most LT relationships. They just wanted a change, and it seems to me from my vantage point, they felt, who cares about the kids or the family, I want a change. Don't we all. In each case the men have told me they were willing to work on the marriage and they each thought their wife was just being selfish and thinking of herself.(of course my buddies all make good $$$ and wife will $live$ happily ever after, who needs him anymore, i have his $$$, can be very dangerous situation for established, prosperous mid-life male)

 

To me that's an entirely different situation than what you have. You are early in your marriage and it is obvious things are terrible and are going to stay that way. You don't even have the luxury of having years and years of a decent marriage behind you.

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Maybe I can explain a bit more. She was 18, I was 23, when we met. We dated for about three years. Neither of us had ever dated anyone before. I was lonely and felt that I was becoming the male equivalent of an Old Maid. We both moved away from home the day that we married. We have a marriage lasting over 15 years (I am in my 40's). We have two kids 4 and 1 years old.

 

All of this started early in the marriage. I found that we didn't have much in common, maybe a month (Honeymoon's over!) into the marriage. I kept trying to find things that we could do to enjoy our new life together. She was happy watching television or tagging along doing things I liked to do. I was self-conscious that she was not having a good time. I wanted her to enjoy life, not just be a spectator in mine. I thought I was supposed to make her happy. You can't MAKE someone happy or define another's happiness. I guess she is just happy watching television. However, I NEED more. Maybe that is selfish on my part. In retrospect before the children, we were living separate lives, even cooking separately.

 

After numerous attempts to find common ground, I made the big mistake of thinking that children would bring us together. The first child did for a while, but then my wife started running back home and spending more and more time with her family sitting in front of the television. Then the announcement of the second child on the way with the demands of "We need this, we need that..." Then I just wanted out. That was about 18 months ago.

 

Eleven months ago a woman started lightly flirting with me at work. It emphasized the fact that I had been subconsciously unhappy for a long time at home. She reached a part of my soul that few people have seen. I fell hard for this woman who is also in a loveless marriage. Without this intrusion, it would have been difficult to resist looking, but I would still be brainwashed, believing that I lived in a "divinely protected marriage."

 

However, even the seemingly benign flirting, if there is such a thing, hit me like a ton of bricks. So, I have spent almost a year trying to get her out of my head. I am using No Contact right now just to try and make some space to heal. I have convinced myself that she is wrong for me.

 

What has happened is that due to this other woman, my unhappiness has been revealed unto myself. So, even when I finally get over this other woman, there will be this recognition that something is missing from my life and I am open to another intrusion.

 

I don't like spending time with my wife anymore.

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Your story sounds identical to the situations TWO of my male friends have been in.

 

The first one, was actually an old ex of mine, as in we dated when we were 13-15. Right after that, he started dating a girl that he was still with up to recently - over 10 years. They never married though...he never quite felt ready. Anyway, when they met, it was kinda the same...she just adopted his interests. But, she also became very lazy...she was a tiny girl before about 5'2" and she ended up at over 200 lbs....now he loved her and never expected perfection, but she did become very lazy.

 

He finally realized her never wanted to marry her even though he "felt he should" because they just were not even friends. They had no shared interests. Just nothing there...they were just "comfortable" together. ANd he had not really ever dated anyone else (besides me...but that was so young and silly!). He knew that he needed more.

 

Another friend of mine got married at 23 to his "first"....they are still together and he is miserable too for all the same reasons.

 

You can't change her. You can either accept this is what marriage "is to you", or you can decide this is not something you have the will to "work on" anymore.

 

You are right, you can't MAKE her happy, and you can't live for her...she has to take charge of her own life and happiness, as do you.

 

Without a doubt marriage is about being a team, and about caring for each other, and being committed to the relationship. But, I don't think that means there is also NO thought about your own needs and happiness. Those two should not be mutually exclusive to one another.

 

I think more so than not liking to spend time with your wife anymore...I think you are kind of lonely. Even if she is there...you are lonely. She probably feels much the same way.

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That about sums it up RayKay. Unfortunately, it took many years, 2 kids, and a flirtatous woman to bring this about. You are right about the loneliness. It is just so hard being a person with many varied interests who has to experience them either by himself because of being "married." My wife DENIES that she is not interested in my interests but ACTIONS speak louder than her words. I can see it in her eyes too. She needs to be honest with herself. I have reached that point. I think she is satisfied with the comfort of the relationship. As our marriage counselor said, after I told her the story, I must be in agony.

 

I guess the next few months will tell the tale. Her parents and my parents will not understand if we divorce someday. It will break their hearts. But it is my life and hers, not theirs. Our kids are another matter. I have been on those discussions on enotalone as well. I have come to the conclusion that romantic love is a disease, not an emotion!

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