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SO confused.......


jhamp
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Hello ~ it is nice to find this forum. I female, 44 and have been married for 20 years. My marriage has slowly broken down over the years and I am at a point where I feel the need to separate. My husband and I have grown apart, and because of things that have been said and done, I have felt distant and "numb" for a long time. We are currently in counseling which is really not going too well. We have two children 15 and 11.

 

I feel that I have worked on this marriage for a long time, and I am finished trying. Whenever I would voice my concerns over things that have bothered me with our relationship, my husband would walk away, roll his eyes, call me "insane", tell me I need to be on medication, and would basically belittle my feelings, to avoid having to deal with anything. I have been called a "failure" in dealing with our adhd son, I have been called a bad mother (which anyone will tell you is not true), I have been called boring, have been told I have a fake smile, no sense of humor... the list goes on. These things have been very hurtful and I have had a hard time forgiving such behavior. My husband has spent our marriage telling me how I should feel, and takes it upon himself, to decide what is important to me. He has not taken our relationship seriously, and is more interested in becoming "father of the year", and touting how great he is. Parenting is a big contest to him, and he often undermines my authority and my decisions. Instead of supporting me, when times are bad, he yells at me telling me I "can't handle it" and "this is your job, you signed up for it" when he doesn't want to deal with our kids. He has trashed me as a person in front of the kids and told them that I am a bad mother, and that I am giving up on the family, and running away from my problems (because I mentioned separation). Getting our children involved in this, has been inexcusable.

 

I have put up with this for a long time, I have grown distant, and depressed. I do not feel any love for this man, only hatred. As of late, there is someone else who has taken a great interest in me (male) and my husband is aware of it. NOW, all of a sudden, my husband claims he has had an "epiphany" and wants to work on our marriage and he is begging me not to leave him. Telling me he loves me, and he is now ready to give me what I deserve. Am I wrong to be insulted by this? Why didn't I deserve this before??? Its almost too little too late.....

 

Any advice?

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Well, I see that there are really two things in your question.

 

In one part, you are complaing about things you husband has done over a long time, and almost all of those things are simply wrong. He has certainly done things that are not appropriate or loving, etc. But, on the other hand, to some extent, you've let him. So while I would blame him entirely for his own actions, I would also tell you that with regard to him you have failed him in that you've failed to do what it took to guide him inot being the kind of husband you wanted and needed. Although, I don't know the extent to which success is possible or what it would have taken, in this regard. However, you married him, you bought into him and who he was when you married him.

 

Also, you misconstrued love, in what you wrote. The way in which you talk about it is simply a feeling in your heart, and emotional attachment to him and between the two of you, and that's a nice simple concept that many people have, but it is also rather mundane and elementary. If you think that love is just about that, and I don't know that you do, then you are missing out on the more important part. The more important part is that even in those moments when you hate the person you are supposed to lvoe, even at those times when you feel as if you could strangle them, even when you simply cannot stand them, you when married have committed to do what is in their best interests, to act with thier future in mind. And this is the committment you must consider whether you want to give up on or not.

 

Your post really seems to smack of a question to others as to whether you would be right and justified in walking out on your husband, to bask in the interests of this other man. I cannot say that, because what I see is you walking out on the man in whose interests you swore to act, until death did you part. Your husband may not deserve this, and you may very well deserve better, but what you do is not supposed to be about what you deserve.

 

And welcome to enotalone. I'll get down from the pulpit now, and ask you that the real question you need to ask is both above and in how serious you think your husband may take his promises from here on out. Good luck.

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welcome to ENA jhamp!! - I too am glad you found this site.

 

I really feel for you.

 

I'll try to give you the courtesy I would if you were my sister or close friend.

 

I would never tell anyone its time to give up. i imagine there are things you and your husband could do to work things out.

 

One thing that will be hard to overcome is all the resentment and lost love you said you have. I totally understand WHY you have those feelings - if anyone, let alone my husband - ever talked to me the way you said your husband has talked to you, I would......well, I guess I would...Feel really bad about myself, second guess my own decisions, feel less important and resent the person making me feel that way.

 

It is my opinion that something extreme is what it may actually take to wake your husband up enough to even consider working on the issues in your marriage. Something like another guy, moving out....

 

I don't think you should begin seeing someone else whilst you're still married, but now that your husband knows the possibility is there....maybe you two could be a bit more serious with your counseling.

 

If it comes to it, are you prepared to leave? Or would he move out?

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One thing that will be hard to overcome is all the resentment and lost love you said you have. I totally understand WHY you have those feelings quote]

 

An excellent comment by Awdree. Overcoming the resentment and insecurity will not be easy and it would require a lot of forgiveness probably on your behalf. In this case, that may only be possible if you see sustained effort from your husband. You probably would not be motivated to do so without that effort from him.

 

It is my opinion that something extreme is what it may actually take to wake your husband up enough to even consider working on the issues in your marriage. Something like another guy, moving out....

 

I don't think this is a bad idea either. If you were to have a good marriage and relaitonship with your husband, then you will need to back up to square one abd build a new relationship, not just modify what you had.

 

I don't think you should begin seeing someone else whilst you're still married, but now that your husband knows the possibility is there....maybe you two could be a bit more serious with your counseling.

 

This I may not agree with. While I don't think you should be in any relationship, I think you seeing someone else casually, with really no sexual activity might not be a bad thing. You having someone else interested has motivated him.

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Do you want to remain with your husband?

If it takes the looming threat of an affair for him to show resect, how can you sustain that threat?

 

I agree that he needs to follow through and get counseling, change his behavior and treat you as a human being, but in the end, do you want him anymore?

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We have had problems all along, and I have always felt that we are simply just not right for each other. We got married very young, and I have grown a tremendous amount and changed. I am not the person I was twenty years ago, (or 24 if you count the dating time) and I can honestly say that I don't think I would marry him today. I know what love is, and love is not calling your spouse a failure. Love is not telling your children, whom your wife has cared for and loved for 15 years, that they have a bad mother. How can counseling work when I am numb? When I look at him and feel nothing? He goes into counseling and spends the entire hour telling the therapist what's wrong with me. He has very high standards, and honestly, he is hard to live up to.

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It's the easiest thing in the world to have high standards just for other people, and it's a selfish way to boost your own ego.

He might not meet those standards himself.

 

If there's nothing there for you, you should consider living your own life. It's a shock at first, but you'll still wake up, eat breakfast and go through the day without being mistreated. This guys sems abusive.

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I know what love is, and love is not calling your spouse a failure. Love is not telling your children, whom your wife has cared for and loved for 15 years, that they have a bad mother.

 

That's absolutely correct.

 

But taking it from him, and letting him walk all over you is not love either. We need to have the courage to tell our spouses when they are acting like selfish brats to us or anyone. We are supposed to make each toher better, not indulge each other's faults.

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Believe me, I HAVE told him numerous times over the course of this marriage how hurtful he is. I am not a person who lets people walk all over me. He just turned it around on me, and called me insane, or too overly sensitive. I am not a patient person, and I lose my patience with the kids alot. But instead of helping me, and diffusing things, he will yell at me for not being able to "handle things". I just can't seem to get past the hurt and move on. He says I am unforgiving, yet I feel I have forgiven alot just to get through the day. Alot of issues have been swept under the rug, and now that pile is very high. I honestly feel better when he is not around. When I am not being scrutinized. He says he is desperate to repair this marriage, but again, I have heard this before. We just do not get along.......

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With regard to any efforts to keep your marriage together, you and your husband will need to udnerstand that you need to build a new relationship, not improve the one you have.

 

When things go bad in our relationships, we don't just fix what went bad and make everything well again. Instead, we need t back up and get retrace steps that we went through and got right the first time too. In each case, we don't so much improve our relationships as rebuild it, because when we do damage, we don't just damage one thing. The damage extends past the specific area that it hit. We need to make sure all the damage is gone, and everything gets rebuilt, better.

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he sounds like he is very controlling, and verbally abusive, and manipulative.

 

so the trouble with him now all of a sudden wanting to 'work on it' probably means that as soon as this other guy is out of the picture again, he'll go right back to the way he was before... he's on his best behavior because he has to be, not because he wants to be.

 

having said that though, please do no cheat with this other man while still married, nor give your husband any ammunition to get evidence that you *might* be cheating, no matter how tempting... that would not only lead to incredible bitterness, but you could also to be charged with adultery, and a much more messy, ugly, expensive divorce because of that.

 

if you really have attended counseling with him and it is not working, consider going to private counseling to help you decide whether you should end this marriage. divorce is never easy, but it is easier if you deal with it openly, fairly, and before a betrayal with someone else, because that adds a ton of bricks to the load, and might give him leverage in terms of a property settlement and custody of the children.

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It's not so much telling him, because clearly telling him again and again just did not get through. That's lousy enough as it is, because that's telling me he was not listening or if he was he was not valuing your words. I had a bit of this yesterday. I was talking, told her a few things, and then she chimes into the middle of the conversation with a question that showed she did not listen to parts of it. So, yes, I got a little nasty, not too, but a little.

 

What seems to have occurred in your relationship is that both of you did the same thing over and over and over again, and it didn't work. Your tactics to get him in line were really ones of passive-aggression, if they were aggressive at all. He probably did not seem and maybe just did not respect that kind of approach. (I don't really respect it much, and when I get it, I sometimes attack it.) But, you also did not see that you needed to do something else. When he did not respond in the way you wanted to the tactic, it began to build up resentment in you. If you think you have really forgiven, then whatever it was that "got swept under the rug" should have disappeared all together. If it is still in the pile, if it still on your scorecard as to what you have "forgiven, then you really have not forgiven it at all, it's still there burning inside of you creating more anger. So, in some respect, he may be right about your not forgiving.

 

On the other hand he seems to generally have been a boor and oaf around your feelings. And he has one totally incorrect idea, your marriage does not need repair, it needs to be torn down and totally rebuilt.

 

He needs to go back to acting like he is just beginning to date you and can show you that he is a guy who can act appropriately. You need to figure out who each other is again, and he definitely needs to be different. You might need to be different too. If he begins to act like he has in the past, i.e. a boor and insensitive, then you'll need to stand up to him and tell him "NO WAY you are being an A-H, AND I am not going to sit down and take your crap."

 

If you asked me, I think you know by now that I would be someone to tell you to get back in there and fight for what I think you committed to when you married. But you cannot do that just because I think you should, you have to find some want and desire in you to do that. I hope you do, but I also hope you think about what it would take.

 

Good luck.

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"As of late, there is someone else who has taken a great interest in me (male) and my husband is aware of it. NOW, all of a sudden, my husband claims he has had an "epiphany" and wants to work on our marriage and he is begging me not to leave him. Telling me he loves me, and he is now ready to give me what I deserve. Am I wrong to be insulted by this? Why didn't I deserve this before??? Its almost too little too late..... "

 

Isn't it funny how when the ego is threatened it becomes 'If I can't have her or don't want her, nobody else can have her either'. EGO!

 

Go for a better relationship!!

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I may have seemed flippant in my first response, so I'll explain and comment further.

 

I have been married 14 years and should have left 10 years ago. He would keep telling me he'd change and we had bouts of counseling. He's a good talker and good convincer; even to the therapist. But, it always ends up at the same 'o, same 'o.

 

I cannot help beating up on myself and feeling like I've wasted so many years of my life and the most important years! I was in fear to leave and felt no one else will love me because HE made me feel that way!

 

Your husband verbally abuses you to make himself feel superior is what I think. He needs extreme help for that. Why can't he feel good and confident without berating you?

 

What kind of role model is he for his children while he is emotionally abusing his wife and mother of his children? What is he teaching his kids? You didn't say what gender your children are....but he - is teaching them - how spouses should treat one another.

 

I am hoping and praying (serenity prayer 1,000 times per day) that I have the courage to finally call it quits and no longer buy into temporary saneness.

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BeStrongBeHappy

 

You wrote: "but you could also to be charged with adultery, and a much more messy, ugly, expensive divorce because of that."

 

Really? What country or state do you live in? I WISH I could get MY way in divorce court because of adultry! I think adultry only applies to military personnel these days.

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Sorry....havent been on for days!! Things have gotten worse around here. I was called the "c" word the other day, if you can believe that!!! All because I walked out of the room, when he was bullying me again. Never in my life, have I been called that, and well, its a hard thing to come back from. He called me that, and then showered me with gifts for Valentines Day. Counseling is doing NO good whatsoever.

 

I need to leave, separate, but I will not do so without my kids. I have no relatives nearby to stay with. I work part-time, and for me to leave, with the kids, I would need to find quite a large place (apt. with at least 2 or 3 bdrms). That's costly. It would be easier for him to leave, but he won't.

 

Ugh.....

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i am so sorry to hear that...my husband called me that once when he was distancing himself b/c of an affair he was having...i hate that word! it is verbal abuse for sure! i would get with an individual counselor and make a plan if you really want to leave....they can help..and there has to be a way to get out of this marriage if you want that...don't leave the house though b/c i think it can hurt you if you divorce but do get counsel on that...and good luck!

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