Is marriage a dead end?
I have been with my wife for 10 years this year. We have 3 gorgeous children, 17,15 and 10. 2 oldest are not biologically mine but I treat them as if they are.
I left my wife 2 year after marrying her for the most stupid craziest reason. I hadn't long been in remission from testicular cancer and I just felt trapped, needed to breathe take a moment to look back on what had happened the last 12 months. We got back together and things were working fine up in till the last 5 years. We seem to go round in circles repeating the same thing over and over again. She would be on my case all the time about not doing enough domestically around the house, helping with the kids etc. I admit I am quite a laid back person and in some ways can be lazy.
We always seem though to get things back to normal until the next 6 to 12 months and we would slip back into the nagging at me etc. Now the last few years she has made quite a few new friends (no harm in it they all seem fine). They were all befriended through my brother who is gay, he had asked my wife to go out with him on the gay scene ocassionally and she became good friends with 1 or 2 gay lads. Before you judge me I am not homophobic nor jealous that she was spending some of her social time with them.
I have met and partied at home bbq's with her new friends etc but I became concerned about the way they treat their relationship with her. I noticed they are very self centred and selfish and everything has to be all about them. I have tried to bring this up with my wife but she defends them at all costs as she thinks they are great and they make her feel happy when she is in their company.
Now I have had a mutual friend of my wife and I with the same opinion of me. I have tried to bury my head in the sand thinking she will see sense eventually but nothing seems to phase her.
This now brings me to today as we have just had a huge talk and she isn't happy with her life with me. She loves me but not sure if she is in love with me. She has admitted that she goes out as much as she does because this is her now but she is sick of the plodding on life that we have. We also never spend any time together any more as we have nothing in common apparently.
Our life is no different to thousands of other couples trying to keep our heads above water.
I do have a small part of me that wants to blame her gay friends for having a strong influence on her. I dont know if this is the end or 1 very last wake up call for both of us to give everything we have to try 1 more time.
To make matters worse I have developed and low self esteem and thoughts to take my own life. I feel that if I wasn't around she would be better off financially and have a better life.
Hi Giraffe Man,
Why would you believe she would be better off financially or in any other way without you? Has she ever expressed that herself? Have you had depressive episodes before? Have you ever sought treatment for them? During these "return to lazy" periods you say you go through, do you lose interest in other things you enjoyed doing in the times when you had more energy or felt better? Have there been any other physical or emotional changes that you notice in yourself?
Giraff Man, please remember that you have three children, your youngest is only 10. I guarantee that no matter what your wife may have said to you or what you imagine she would feel, your children would be devastated without you. Please remember them every time your feelings of hopelessness seem overwhelming and hang in there for their sake if not your own. Ask for help and keep asking for help until you get it. You're not being a burden when you ask for help. We all need help throughout our lives and we can all manage to have better lives when we help each other. Please keep talking to us here and we'll try to help you find a way to make your life better. If you are in crisis right now, please call a hotline or use an online chat service offered by any of the suicide help centers you can find with a web search. Suicidepreventionlifeline.org has online lifeline chat through their website and their toll-free number for the U.S. is 1-800-273-8255.
Also, I want anyone and everyone reading this to know that depression is a real physical condition of the brain and not a shameful weakness anymore than cancer or heart disease, or any other physical health condition is. People with health conditions that affect the brain are as deserving of compassion and care as people with health conditions affecting the rest of the body. It is NOT their fault and it can be as difficult (or more) to recover/heal from as any other persistent illness or injury. That it is so stigmatized in every culture worldwide is a huge disservice and a worldwide societal failure in compassion. There are ways to help people with depression recover but not by blaming or shaming or minimizing the devastating toll that these conditions can take on a person and their families.
Oh and Giraffe Man, I don't think your marriage is a dead end. So I hope you aren't scared off now, because I'd like to hear from you again...
Ok, I think I'll go ahead and give my impressions of the other stuff you said in case you come back and get the impression that I only know how to flip-out and lecture all the anonymous people who read these threads about the sorry state of world affairs. Here goes...
Your wife did say she loves you. She Loves You. That's a very important part to focus on and remember. That's the essential part. She may have gone on to say things about not knowing if she was still "in love" with you but that's fluff. That's how people talk when they miss doing more romantic stuff with the person they love. And for her that person is still you! Remember that important part.
I suspect her missing the romance is a direct result of hanging out with and watching those gay men romancing each other. It's not that you've done anything wrong, it's just that after ten years of marriage people slip into routines and forget to make special moments happen for themselves (your wife included). Especially when kids are part of the equation.
You're feeling down right now and that's going to affect how you view and respond to the world and what other people say and do. It's important to question whether you've misunderstood any time your wife seems to have said something really terrible because of this negative mental filter you have affecting you right now. Let your wife know you're feeling this way. And that it's not just a minor down moment. She cares about you. Even if she's recently done a crappy job of telling you that. She loves you. Remember?
Could the times when you become "lazy" also be mild depressive periods? It's very common to feel a lack of energy and interest because of depression. There are things you can do that help lift a depressed mood. Anti-depressants can help and so can something called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). When used together, those approaches are usually effective at helping people recover. There's also a particular book that could be worth a try: Feeling Good by David D. Burns.
I really believe that not only is this NOT the end of your marriage, but it's not even the last wake up call to save it. So don't lose hope.
Let me know what you're thinking and anything that's happened since you first posted, ok?
Thanks for the replies. I never actually expected any.
Bit of an update for you all. I woke up this morning and felt a strange urge to check my wife's phone. I never nor have ever done this but I just felt something wasn't right. My gut feeling was right I found texts from someone else. I was too numb to take in each text and just managed to see what was needed to give me proof. This other person is a woman! This has left my world upside down.
I have confronted her and she admits to fancying this girl but they have only ever kissed the once. The texts from what I did see were more from this girl saying things like what she wanted to do to her etc.
My wife says she is confused and is struggling to understand why she has ended up having feeling for a woman whilst she is still married to a man.
After a long discussion she deleted the girl off facebook and deleted her phone numbers and all messages. Now at this present time my wife she just needs time alone to decide what she wants.
That's cheating. Even if it's a kiss and texting/sexting, it's still emotional infidelity. It will change the marriage relationship. Does your wife recognize that she's cheating? I imagine you're still trying to figure out how you feel about it all. That's going to take time even after your wife figures herself out. I've heard someone say that the way to approach infidelity is to admit that the previous marriage is over and the decision then becomes, do you want to have another one with this person? and what will the marriage be like this time around? Do you have other friends that will be compassionate and supportive of you in the meantime? Can you find other activities and relationships (with your kids and your friends) to find some relief from the feelings of depression?
Especially since you have minor children, you might want to quietly, telling no one, contact a divorce lawyer and learn what your rights are should divorce become the final decision. Find out what you should be doing right now to protect your custodial and property rights, just in case it works out that way. Keep it quiet until you know where you and your wife stand. And if you reconcile with your wife, she ever needs to know about it.
I was pretty discouraged myself after hearing your update and I realize I let that affect what I said. Discouraging and that's not helpful right now. From all you said, you and your wife have been through quite a lot and managed to make it so it's good keep that knowledge in mind to steady yourself right now. Also, no matter what happens you have more to live for than your wife and marriage. How you're feeling now will ease with time. You could have the best moments of your life still ahead of you but you need to make it there to find out. Your children haven't all graduated high school. Or gotten married themselves. Had kids. All that and more is worth sticking around for. I still think it's a good idea to seek out your friends to help you. Sometimes just having someone distract you for a while can really help and friends are usually good for that. Call someone, anyone, if/when the feelings become overwhelming, ok? Some people find it helpful to keep posting here as things change and progress in their lives. I hope you give it a try if you think it would help you get through this uncertain time.
Thanks SMILESUPSIDEDOWN it does make perfect sense what you say but it hurts to even think or look to my future without my wife, at this present time I would do anything to have her back.
I'm no stranger to how the system works but I was young the last time round. My longest relationship before I met my wife was 2 years. When that came to an abrupt end you know your young and that there is plenty more fish in the sea. This still applies now I know that. I left home from living with my dad to move in with my wife at 22 years old, I took 2 kids on and became a family unit more or less straight away. I know no different and built my world as it is today with her. Like I said I know how this works, I have given others what I believe to be the right advice before but you never seem to understand it when it happens to yourself. Time is a good healer they say but what about the emptyness that you feel in the process.
I know I'm not going to have any answers or closure until my wife has had time to take control of what she is feeling but its killing me. Friends are so supportive but they cant take away the pain that eats away at me. I'm having anxiety moments feeling paranoid, horrible thoughts playing through my head. I seem to keep myself together in front of kids but that's it, after that I just enter meltdown stage. This morning after my daughter went to school I had an episode of wanting to hurt myself I just lie there completely numb. My doctor give me a number to contact the nhs crisis team if I needed help but I just can't seem to open up to make that call I just lie completely lifeless. I dont know if I'm capable of hurting myself or doing away with my life but at the moment it seems to be the most painless solution.