My husband and I have known each other for 20 years, and been married for the past 8. We have two adorable children who we both cherish. Since having the kids though, 5 years ago, our marriage has become unbearable. My husband has been through serious issues which led to depression, and has to his own belief, now dealt with the issues. During the time of his issues, he had two incidents, at least that I know about, with other women, and over the past 8 years with his behaviour, my trust has been stripped away and I am left with no trust in him whatsoever. He now continues to tell me he wants the marriage and he is in love with me, but I find it hard to believe when after 2 years of trying to work things out, we are still no further along than when we hit rock bottom 2 years ago. He continues to be thoughtless, and my anger and emotions hit sky high every time he stuffs up. I know I should be forgiving, but I find it harder and harder these days. I have told him I hate him and that I want him out. I cannot ever see a loving future between us, and I hate the kids seeing me this way. Also our intimacy has completely gone out the window. We have not been intimate in almost 3 years. It’s so depressing. Although I want the marriage ended, I can’t help thinking “Would I be so angry and upset and emotional, if I no longer cared?” Any advice on whether I should give him a go for the thousandth time, or just cut my losses and run?
Visitation without me around scares me, especially if he goes down the angry road again, or simply the unhappiness road. The other day, he told me he failed at his workout goal. I said, well, at least you tried! He said he got close to his goal, but failed - he was 6 seconds off of the goal - we had a discussion about failure/trying your best is success...I worry for my daughter that this will be his perspective - He quoted Yoda - there is no try, do or do not...He told me we have different point of views and he didn't want to get into an argument about it. The only reason I held my ground and talked with him about it at all is b/c I worry that my daughter will be seen as a failure at some point. He tried and succeeded in keeping it a pleasant discussion. But the perspective scares me, especially if I am not there to remind my daughter that (if something similar happens to her) she is a success - just for trying her best!
It’s popular among Christian literature for women to discuss the types of wives we should be, and the actions we should take to help ensure a happy husband who doesn’t stray. I can get along with that to some extent. I’ll admit that I shave my legs every day, and that I dress nice and put on makeup more for my spouse than I do myself. I mean, it makes me feel good, but it also makes me feel good to look appealing for him.
I guess the question here is as the topic suggests: “Is my marriage over?” Are these all signs that she is heading for the exits and as soon as good opportunity comes along she will leave me? Is she just going through midlife crisis? Till some of these questions are resolved, I am destined to a life without any kind of love, communication, being called scary monster etc, let alone any sex. A corollary question is ” Should I be heading for the exits? I do love her (she would chuckle on this one) and just cannot imagine my life after divorce. Also, the idea that my girls will have another “father” simply devastates me. On the other hand, I am 46, not exactly the time to go out and build again something useful and stable. To say that I am depressed is understatement. Many times I contemplated suicide, even thought of how to write the final letter
I KNOW WHAT EVERYONE IS FEELING AND STATING MY HUSBAND OF 21 YEARS DECIDES ONE DAY HE WANTS A DIVORCE HE NEEDS TO FIND HIMSELF AND MAKE HIS DREAMS N HOPES COME TRUE I CAN HONESTLY SAY I WAS THE BEST WIFE I DID IT ALL AND WORKED MY ADVISE TO ALL IS STOP TRYING TO GET THEM BACK THE TEXTING GIFTS NOTES EMAILS ETC DOESNT WORK SAYING AND APPRECIATING THEM DOESNT WORK THE MORE YOU DO THE LESS OF A POSITIVE RESULT WILL OCCUR BEEN THERE DONE THAT I AM NOW LIVING FOR ME LIKE EVERYONE SHOULD LIVE FOR THEMSELVES FIRST THEN SEE WHAT HAPPENS !
I totally agree, Brian. I think that “getting” the same kind of humor is very important — at least to me. I was watching The Big Lebowski (which I think is hilarious), but he didn’t think the movie was funny at all. He wasn’t into nuanced or satirical comedy. He liked the kind you get with canned laughter on sitcoms. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we weren’t on the same wavelength at all and it was a deal breaker for me because we were polar opposites when it came to our senses of humor.
June 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm I know how you feel. I have been married almost 28yrs to my highschool sweatheart and just yesterday came to the end of my rope and told him to move out. He has changed so much over the past few months that i just could take anymore. Our daughter (27 and 19) and i have begged him to get help but he just won’t. He has lost almost 50 pounds (not in a healthy way), is buying hipster clothes, walks around in a daze and goes from jekyl to hyde in a flash. We can’t decide if he is having severe depression with mania or simply a midlife crisis. I’ve tried talking to him and it’s always the same “I don’t know” answer for everything. He does say he still loves me and is still in love with me but we don’t communicate at all. I told him I feel like I am married with a husband but am all alone and he said “but i’m here all the time”. Well his body is but he’s not and i told him so and again just silence with the hands in the air. He no longer states how miserable he is only that he doesn’t know anything (what he’s doing, what he wants, etc). So after months of trying and crying I’ve decided it’s up to him. One of our cat’s just died, my 80yr old mother has probable cancer again and I struggle with bipolar and diabetes (insulin pump) myself. Needless to say I have enough on my plate and I can honestly say I tried! During a six week therapy course we were told about co-dependent relationships. This may or may not apply, but you don’t go down on a sinking ship. Sometimes, In my case (since I see a therapist and take meds) it was a matter of saying to my husband “I’m riding the train to wellness, your welcome to come along, if not, have a nice life”.
Of course if something is bothering you, make sure you tell him about it as well. These conversations should be calm and collected. You want to make sure that you both realize that you’re in a safe atmosphere where you can easily share and work on improving things together. Don’t panic if you’re having marriage trouble. Communication is key, and together you can reinforce the love and joy between you.
Learn to forgive your marriage mate freely. Nowadays, forgiveness is often pushed aside; women prefer getting even with their husbands over showing mercy. The result? The push their husbands farther away from them into the waiting arm of another woman. If you want to become more forgiving, start by taking an honest look at yourself. Do you not upset your husband at times? And do yo not appreciate his forgiveness? So why not be generous at extending mercy to him?
It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle our mood from a loved one's mood without swinging too far in the other direction, becoming disinterested and emotionally cut off as a means of self-preservation. Living with an unhappy person is, in many ways, like living with someone who's ill: the illness is theirs, but the experience belongs to the caregiver as well. Thinking of a loved one's unhappiness as an illness brings to mind some points I made in an earlier post, The Caregiver's Manifesto, that, in modified form, may apply:
“Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint,” writes Lisitsa on Recognizing Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. “The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an ad hominem attack: it is an attack on your husband at the core. In effect, you are dismantling his whole being when you criticize.”
I think a lot of guys get to this point simply via time. Time passes, everything seems to stay the same, not getting better but not getting worse. And, then something minor and seemingly insignificant happens: your favorite pair of pants are now too tight, someone at work whom you like or crush on makes a joke about your bald spot, you get a younger boss or get passed over for a promotion. You see my point?
I am my new husbands 4th wife. He has a handicapped son that lives with us, the son is now 28 years old, he is agressive and my husbands feeling of guilt means that he has to go out of his way all the time to give his son a normal life, he runs around like crazy to make him happy, i am therefore a very close second in his life, not first. When we got married i had no idea that things would turn out like they are, i love my husband and i am sure that he loves me. Problem is, we have almost no signs that we are married. I have slept alone in our bed for the last 6 years, he has to sleep with his son for security (medical) purposes. We do not share a dinner table and we seldom do things together, when we do have a chance to talk, he will fall asleep on the couch. We differ 18 years, i understand that he is tired, i also work and are tired too. My husband does not like my oldest son and to the degree that i had to move my son to live with my sister. I feel like all the dreams of love and intimacy of family will never be a reality for me again. I am very lonely and my heart breaks for my son and rebellious things that he starting to do. I have never used anything as escape and recently found that a few glasses of wine each night helps to dimm all the emotion.. we are bringing the ugliest out of each other, i some days don’t even recognise myself and are starting to believe my husbands bad words against me, and then he brings me tea every morning, he never skip, no matter how bad the fight was. We mostly fight about how he treat or speak to my boys. Our daughter are in the middle of this all, she does not deserve this. We have talked about divorce and then he threatens to take our daughter, and then the next morning he brings me tea again. This has been going on forever. Please advise on what you think i should do?
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband — prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially — not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.
The feeling of being head over heels in love is powerful. So powerful, in fact, many couples forget that being married, or at least having a successful marriage, goes beyond just being in love. Klapow explains that men often don't realize marriage isn't an addition to their life, but really a call to change their life. "This takes a while but sets in hard — that marriage means your life changes," he said. "Men have a hard time accepting this."