Hello everyone. This is my first post (and, if the dynamic of this site proves to be positive/supportive enough, it may not be my last) and as titled; my marriage is on very, very weak ground and the fault for it being that way is mine and mine alone. The lady I married is someone I've known for better than 30 years. We were close friends all throughout high school and long after. There was always this 'buzz' between us...a buzz that always seemed to hint at the idea/fact that there was far more brewing between us than those who knew us suspected, and a few DID suspect all the same.
The hump of it all is...even for everything I was feeling about her even way back when; I didn't take a great deal into my own hands in the name of making it known. What little I DID do, I would often treat it as if nothing really happened the next day or the next time we saw each other. Truth be told, I had little to NO idea of what to do about what I was feeling because with HER, it was stronger and deeper than anything else I'd ever known and far stronger and resonant than it ever felt with a couple of women I did in fact forge relationships with in the years that followed. Neither of the relationships we endeavored in were any real success and you'd have thought that all signs would prove that to us and gravitate us closer together a lot sooner than it actually happened. Much as we stayed in touch throughout all this time, we never really broached the subject.
From my end, I kept whatever I'd felt at bay for a few reasons...one, I honestly felt I could not have coped very well if how I felt wasn't mutual (even though she'd reciprocated with the few attempts I'd made...if it isn't mutual, that wouldn't happen)...the other reason was that I couldn't get over how I felt about her and how much it seemed to scare me (what the hell is THAT about!!?). It would scare me from doing all that much more than what little I'd done and any added hints to the same came fewer and farther between. I'll tell you this...it certainly wasn't for her lack of trying. At around the time we'd graduated from high school, she'd moved some 250-300 miles away with someone she'd started a relationship with...primarily for the simple reason that because *I* hadn't said or done anything about what I felt, she felt no reason to stay and no reason to push the issue..feeling that there was no issue.
There's a lot to tell here...honestly...and the bitch of it is...is throughout the time we've been together and married (a total of 17 years), by now; you'd think I'd have been completely over and beyond whatever fears, insecurities, misgivings (about my own self), and anything else that kept me so at bay all that time...and the reality is, no matter how hard she's tried, talked, reasoned, cried, pleaded, begged, yelled, screamed over the course of that time; I get on my 'A' game for a little while, and I end up relapsing...going back to doing very little to make up for the little I'd done in all this time and from the time before. She's been the absolute genie out of the bottle with me...conversely, she feels like she's still rubbing at the lamp and presently doesn't wish to rub at said 'lamp' anymore...and I can't say I blame her...and yet I'm gutted about so much of this time I feel I've wasted and the love she'd always represented to me that right about now--just isn't there for me anymore.
I've gone to three different therapists near me, and each time it came up to make the deductible payments per visit; I'd find myself unable to keep up with it and in turn, would prevent me from keeping up with it to get to the root bottom of my issues. I'm sorry for such a long post...but...I'm not in a good space right now...with my marriage, myself...a few things. If it helps, I'm 49...and yet...right about now I feel as lost as an insecure 14 year old (ironic, since when I WAS 14; I wasn't one of your more confident, go-getters either!).
I think it can be hard to show someone else how you feel. And to understand your own feelings. And feelings can grow and change; we as people also grow and change. Some things you can figure out by the time you're a young adult, while others may take years, or even a lifetime.
In my last relationship, I was pretty good at doing the little things to show my girlfriend I loved her. I would always go overboard trying to make certain days or events special for her/us. But right out of the gate I realized I could be insensitive at times, and she could be controlling. It took me years to realize how deep-seated some of my personal problems were, and how my childhood and family played into some of that. I had to gradually understand how her upbringing had effected her as well. It took me until the final months of that relationship to realize that this wasn't the person I really wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
You know sometimes it really is the small details. Buying her a pair of earrings she comments on and surprising her with them later, taking a drive to the place where you met and talking about that day and the years since. Maybe picking her up a newspaper or a coffee every day on the way home from work, or stopping by her workplace to have lunch with her and ask her about her day. Sometimes writing down your feelings and thoughts in a letter or an email and sending it to her, or rearranging your bedroom so that you have optimal room for that awesome new electronic gadget or piece of furniture you've both been talking about buying. ...Going to a store just to look at things you could buy together and getting excited about redecorating your home away from the world. Looking through camping and hiking equipment and planning an adventure away from the grind, or a retreat under the stars one calm night. Or just making sure you kiss and hug her as much as you can, especially when you will be apart.
Sometimes it's hard to put things into words, and as long as there is a mutual understanding, that might be fine. But the more effort you put into things to make sure she knows you care, the better. Think about what your life would be like now, if you weren't lucky enough to have her. It wouldn't be as great without someone amazing to share your days with.
After 17 years she is well acquainted with your personality - and is tired of the energy required to maintain the relationship. Can you blame her?
You don’t seem happy with yourself - why would you think anyone else would enjoy living with someone who doesn’t like himself?
Perhaps you are in a depression. Get that checked out.
Saving this marriage will take energy. Are you willing to work on it?