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Author Topic: Marriage in jeopardy  (Read 2393 times)

AnIrishMan

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Marriage in jeopardy
« on: Feb 25, 2013, 09:54:15 AM »
Hello all.  First time posting.  Just wonted some objective feedback on my situation.  I am 32 and my wife is 30.  We have been together for 12 years and married for 9.  We have two children, a girl or 6 and a boy of 8.  We live in PA. 

We have been "happily" married for our entire lives together.  We had our first child about one year after getting married.  Both children were not planned.  The first 4 and a half years of our children's lives I was the primary and sole income for our family.  I worked in construction and my wife stayed at home.  We both decided to move out of the city to have our children go to a better school.  My wife got a job as a teachers assistant at the school our children go to and I did the same at a residential clinical school els ware.  We just bought our first house a little over a year ago which is a 10 minute walk from school.  She recently had an opportunity to start her own teacher training and have her own class (kindergarden).  She left last summer for 3 weeks to start her training and when she came back she was completely unresponsive to our relationship.  By that I mean she was cold to me emotionally, and physically.  Never mean, never rude, just cut off.

Now, my wife has always been the planner.  She pays the bills, does the paperwork and red tape stuff.  She has spearheaded all major points in our life to a point.  I am the worker, executor, and facilitator.  She is a very emotional person and I was her rock for all the hard times she had in our lives.  She cooks, I clean. She plans, I do the laundry.  I have supported every decision she has made throughout our lives and worked hard at my own jobs to make sure we were financially secure in all phases of our life together. 

Now, after we finally started talking about what was wrong with our marriage and why she felt differently, she explained to me (in some not so very nice ways at times) that i have done nothing throughout our marriage.  She feels as if I have put no thought into our lives and have no ambitions and our goals do not match up.  She thinks I am incapable of taking care of myself and views me a "3rd child" sometimes.  She says that she has always felt alone, even before we were together, and that she has never been truely happy.  The teacher training she is going through is a very different and specific type.  If anyone knows anything about Waldorf Edjucation you may understand what I mean to some extent.  She has said that now that she has gained some "tools" to take a look at herself and us she has determined that were cannot be together.  She also made the point of saying that she made these decisions by herself because our dynamic (her taking care of the finances and making all the big decisions) at home made her think I didn't need to be involved in her letting go of our relationship. 

Her main point is that we are just to different, she needs space from me, and she cannot see how we could stay together.  Some of these point I can see as valid, but these are differences we have lived with and accepted over our lives.  I have never been critical of how overly emotional she was, or controlling.  We were a good team, both taking care of the things we could and helped each other in our own way.   And before she started her teacher training, neither one of us really had a plan of what we wanted to do as a career.  Her working at the school was supposed to be a gateway for her into education, but if this opportunity hadn't presented itself, she would still be an assistant right now. 

I have gone into therapy for myself to try and figure this out for me and for our marriage.  She doesn't really have any close friends or anyone to talk to other than her mother.  My wife is the oldest of 9 children and left the house when she was 16 because her parents were in a unhealthy and (sometimes) mildly abusive relationship.  They have stuck with it and are now in a happier place.  She is very much like her mother.  Strong willed, driven, and will do anything to get what she wants.  She does not take criticism well and has a hard time addressing her flaws.  I have told her that she should speak to someone impartial to our lives and get a perspective check on what she is doing to our marriage and our children's lives.  I come from a divorced family and would NEVER want this for my children. 

I DO NOT WANT to get divorced.  I want her to try and slow down and not take all of her feelings to this extreme place and try and work on this for us and for our children.  We have started to sleep separately.  We have a spare room down the hall from our bedroom but when I told her that SHE wants more space and SHE wants change, she insisted that I should move because she put more thought and energy into making our bedroom nice for us and her.  I would not budge because that simply isn't true.  I didn't pick the paint colors and hang the pictures but I helped paint room and move things in there. 

She thinks that I have basically gotten a "free ride" most of our lives together and now I feel like this life is half mine, when in her mind it is HER life because she has been the planner and "leader" in our family to a certain extent.  Now please understand, I love my wife and I have looked at some of things she has said as being true about me.  I am not as driven or ambitious as she is.  I am very proud and content with the way things are right now.  Just buying a house, a car, having two kids in school, and now her finally getting a lead teaching position.  I supported all of these things with my whole heart.  I feel like there is no saving, or even trying to save our relationship.  She has such a low opinion of me now, and has resigned herself to what SHE wants and seems like she is refusing to see things any differently.

I know this doesn't tell the whole story and its hard to explain both sides.  I have really tried to be objective in telling this story.  I understand my wife's feelings, but I DON'T understand why she feels like there is no hope.  I have tried to be sympathetic to what she needs but every time I stand my ground on something, or disagree, she becomes hostile.  I Think this is mostly due to the fact I have agreed with most of the things she has done for us and our family, and now that I'm not, she is getting upset.  I am not a do nothing dad.  I don't just sit on the couch.  I help with ALL the housework and never complain.  I really mean that, I have NEVER complained. 

I Just want to know how this picture looks to others.  She has not actually SAID she wants a divorce, but it has come up.  We cannot afford a divorce and neither one of us can afford this house (both our names are on the mortgage) without the other.  Space is her big issue and I have tried to help her with that and be understanding.  For me,my heart is broken.  These differences and flaws in both of us which we have always accepted, seem now to be the ONLY reason she will not accept me as an equal partner.  In her eyes we were, and never will be equals. 

Any feedback on this situation would be helpful.  I am feeling very lost.  The woman that I have loved for so many years has decided I am no longer good enough and I can't help but feel used.  Used for her to have a marriage, children, and finally working toward her becoming a teacher.  And now that she has those things, she feels I am no longer needed, other than to be our children's father.  Its very upsetting and she has so many other things in her life to occupy her mind, and I, right now, feel all consumed with sadness and doubt.  I am a good guy, a good man, a good father.  I have never done ANYTHING wrong to my wife, nor would I ever.   


tigger

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Re: Marriage in jeopardy
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25, 2013, 10:15:42 AM »
The worst thing you could do right now is to get depressed or consumed with "what if".  Becoming sad or depressed will only justify her position.  I know you're hurting right now but you have to remain active and happy.  Therapy is a good first step.  Stay involved with the kids.  Stay in the house.  Try to engage her but if she refuses, don't push it.  Actions do speak louder than words so plan outings and invite her. Take a lead position (but not to the extent that you're bossing her around.)  Plan a vacation or weekend getaway.  Just because she sees no hope for the marriage doesn't mean there IS no hope.  And I 'm not saying this will magically win her over but at least she'll have to rethink her opinion of you.
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!

AnIrishMan

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Re: Marriage in jeopardy
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 2013, 10:32:21 AM »
Thank you.  Yes I try really hard to stay positive.  I know I can't change what she thinks now.  We have said and explained ourselves to each other so much, right now if feels like there really is nothing left to say for now.  I know that (and she has even said it) she doesn't feel like its ALL over right this second, but this idea of space that she needs, and what is her's and what is not mine, is a concept that is growing.  She is NOT a mean person, but there is a side of her that has come out that is so surprising.  She has always been a kind and loving wife but her short temper and controlling nature seem to be taking over sometimes now.  Its also hard because she seems so "complacent" with the way things are.  She continues to do everything as per normal and only asks occasionally if there is "anything I wanted to talk about".  Again, I feel like there is very little to be said that would be helpful for either of us.  I am trying to look into furthering my own education for becoming a sound engineer and possibly finding a much higher paying job.  I know I need to do things that make me happy, but so much of my life was about making her happy (because she was so excessively emotional all the time and now isn't) and keeping a happy smooth life together.  Keeping the peace as it were.  Its hard to try and think and do so much for myself when I haven't really thought about myself like that in a while.  And I know thats part of what she thinks is so unhealthy about our relationship.  And that may be true, or at least partly true.  But I feel like this whole thing is something that can be worked on over time and figured out, not just one side deciding that its over and not working on it.

ocean

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Re: Marriage in jeopardy
« Reply #3 on: Feb 25, 2013, 06:59:42 PM »
Make bills night and do them together, start learning what you have and how it is paid. Make a bill chart with the name, due dates, amounts. Set up online with your bank so you both have passwords and can see where the money is going. I would be careful just handing over your check each week and not watching where it is going or if she is saving money to leave with kids in separate account.

Like Tig said, stay in the house. If at any point you think she is leaving, she can...without the kids. If she tries to take kids, file for restraining order to keep kids in house and school district until divorce trial.

Will she go to therapy with you or suggest a full physical for both of you including blood work. Make sure nothing else is going on, being low on certain vitamins can cause changes in some people.

Invite her for date nights, and take care of babysitter. If she says no, plan something with kids and invite her to go. Take pics with dates and enjoy the kids. Let her have some alone time. Maybe sit down and talk about what chores need to be done and split them up differently. If you can, hire a maid for a month or just one a month to do the big clean. Kids can have chores and earn time with both of you/game night. They are both old enough to clean up toys, their plates/cups, fold laundry, make their bed. House gets clean a lot faster with 2 more sets of hands and then have more time with each other.

Would not hurt to make copies of tax returns, her recent paychecks or bank statements with direct deposits and give them to another family member in case you need to down the road. Get copies of kids birth certificates too. Hopefully the change of going back to school, new job, dealing with 5 year olds all day and then coming home to the same age-sometimes is a little stressful. Be patient but at the same time protect yourself.

 

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