Can anyone comment here on this. After 20 years of marriage, I am so tired of it and want out. I have actually been sick of it for many years but just dealt with it. I have 3 kids 14 and 11. Has anyone ever gone through this, where marriage just wasn't for you? I am beating myself up badly over this, wanting to end the marriage, but have stayed for my kid’s sake. I do not want counseling or therapy. Why do I feel this way you ask? Basically, my wife has treated me like a roommate for many years. I know this sounds so terrible, and this is why I feel so badly. I fully realize some of the changes in store for me, including the lost friends and family relationships. Additionally, I am in a prominent national spotlight and am very well known. I guess I am having such a hard time with the embarrassment my wife and kids will face when this gets out, but I am having such a difficult time coping day after day. Why do I feel so ashamed? Is there any justification for these thoughts and feelings? Someone PLEASE HELP!!
Just have an affair. thats what other people do.
Ok, let's have a powwow, you help me with my roommate and I'll give you some pointers on marriage. And please just because I am no longer in one does not mean I don't know what one is!
When you said she treats you as a roommate, ask yourself this, are you? I mean, some relationships wither due to lack of water, complacency hits, and things just get dull. Everyday blends into the next. Where is the spark? I ask you?
And no, I'm not talking answering the door in saran wrap, that's been done before. But, maybe an easy refresher, a brief glimpse if you will, into what attracted you two to each other before the kids, the years and blah blah. . .
I just know communication is a biggie. I know spontaneity is another big one. Keeping a piece of something separate, and uniquely for yourself, and vice verses is a good one. Wow, I'm sounding like Dear Abby, but I don't mean to.
Hey! Breathe in, breathe out. . .and remember the only thing in this life that is constant is . .change.
First and foremost, you shouldn't be talking on a forum about it. You should honestly be talking to your wife. You also have to think within yourself what the problem is and if it can be fixed or if its really over. Its not fair for us to know and your wife not to.
His name is generic. His wife is not implicated. Perhaps he doesn't have other avenues to vent this, to bounce this stuff off walls, to explore his feelings... insert cliché here. This is as valid a method as any. Who are we to dictate how someone else works through their emotions. It's ok to tell your best friend, or a bar tender, or a councelor, some guy on a long bus ride... but not anonymous people on an Internet forum? I fail to see the logic.
As for the "phase" thing, Rip. I think we could debate on the choice of terminology, but the point is it's common to see couples hit that place after growing kids. The question of how individuals navigate through that phase, or out of it, is in the ammount of effort they decide the relationship is worth. If there's an interest in preserving the relationship, fixing the broken parts (or trying to) because the larger object (the marriage as a perduring thing) still has value, even if only from the perspective of what it was originally intended to be, the youthful ideal, then taking that effort may ultimately bring you to the next phase that many older couples can tell you about as they sit on their front porches sipping cider contemplating what to do for their 64th anniversary.
If it's not valuable, even the ideal that once was there no longer holds appeal outside the immediate loneliness and misery, then no effort will go in to saving it. A significant question is how long to wait out the storm to see if that energy, some might call it loyalty and dedication, even honor, can be mustered once the kids are gone.
It is possible to save a marriage in the circumstances you describe. Doesn't sound like there's a lot of hate and vitriol. Don't really know tho.
I think this is not the place to be asking for this kind of help-- and you must be aware that people who ask for help in forums (especially forums which are not dedicated to this type of problem) are sometimes seen as hoaxers or trolls.
I am not saying that you are-- but if you are "well known" and sincere you probably have the financial resources to seek confidential, personal, professional advice.
We are not professional advisers-- this IS an openly viewed forum seen by anyone.
It seems to me that if you've tried talking it out, tried counseling with no cooperation or results, something cataclysmic needs to happen in order to bring the marriage back into something that's more than a roommate situation.
I don't have much authority or room to speak here. I'm divorced twice. But this much I will say: after years of getting through the nighmares of both divorces, giving away two homes to people who absolutely hate me, I am happier than I have ever been. And they continue to be as miserable as they ever were, with no real prospects of another spouse. I pay big bucks for all this. But I am happy. Big bucks is the price of my happiness, and I had to make peace with that.
However, all that being said, I advise against divorce unless it really is the last option. It's brutal, and it takes years to recover.
The fact that you are posting here seems to mean you are pretty much out of options. So if divorce is your last option, make it as equitable and battle-free as you can. If you have kids, they will surely be pawns. No ifs, ands, or buts.
Hope this helps.
I am not in a position to help but I feel you should have a heart to heart talk with your wife. If that doesn't help then maybe you can call some counselor since they guarantee client confidentiality. A public forum may not be the best place to seek thorough professional advice. Good luck my friend.
It's totally normal. 20 years is a long time. You came together with your wife in a different time of life, you had a view of the world that was what it was then. Kids came. You did right by them (in theory, I don't really know you or the actuality.. but in theory etc.). You grew, she grew/changed... nobody was looking, but all the kid-focus makes many marriages suddenly wake up like from a dream when the kids roll out 2 decades later... you stare at each other and are like..."Who the F- are you?"
The question becomes, do you stay on the principle of "sticking it out through thick and thin".... "until death do you part" ... on the raw dedication to the idea that the ideal of marriage as a concept is more important than your actual experience of life... hope it balances out once you "get through this phase" ????
Does the prospect of looking back one day and saying, "Man, I should have stuck it out" weigh more heavily than the prospect of being happy, or potentially happy in an unknown but possible future that seems near, one that seems to promise an escape from the banal and potentially eternal humdrum of moral steadiness?
Welcome to the human condition as documented by the last 1500 years of novelists and poets.
Wish I could help.
If you figure it out, let me know.
(Hope this helps. It's honest and studied. If you really are a big shot, talk to me sometime, I'll help you out and you can use your contacts to get me an agent.)
I think you need to be brave and face your wife with this issue. I am on my 2nd marriage and it wasn't easy ending my first. If you don't face upto it, the only one who is going to win out of this is the lawyers on both sides.
I should say, all the comments have been good points. Yes, I will face up to this very soon, and discuss this with my wife. She has been a fantastic mother to our kids, just less than ok as a wife to me. I also know that the definition of being a "good" wife or husband is different for all of us. Can two people really grow apart after this long? It's amazing to me that this has occurred. And yes, I am fully aware that I am half of this cause. I have spent 29 years with her, 20 of which married (I'm now 47). We both have very good careers, and make plenty of money, but I really want something else, this and life is NOT it. But I am scared, very much so to go down this path. As I said, for my career, our mutual friends, family(s), ugh. As far as Shadesbreath's comment, I am not in a "phase", or if I am, it sure has lasted a long time. Yes, I have taken very good care of my kids and they are happy, but see something is terribly wrong. Countywoman commented that a public forum is not the right place to seek advice, but I must cordially disagree. What better place to seek advice than from others who have experience in these matters at least once in their life or many times? I appreciate and understand where you were going with this Countywoman. I’m not sure I can postpone the misery until our kids are grown and out, as the prospect of this isn’t real bright either.
Thanks for the support, Shades. Indeed, this is all I am asking for, I'm just looking for opinions. The final decision will be mine. As I stated in my original post, I'm looking for some help. Your comments are appreciated, and expected.
I added to my last one, if you want more of my didacticism (lol) scroll up.
Well, if you are for real, at least I have a space to say (and feel validated) that I think the marriage & kids thing is highly over-rated in its current American incantation. At least for me. And I'm not even married--but I've had a taste of it with my BF's now humongous kids living with us and basically ruling the household.
I've never been interested in 'kid focus.' I don't feel that families should be that way, frankly. What you then produce are offspring who think the world is all about them, with an inadequate work and study ethic, etc. Not good for a marriage, not good for the children (who will become adults...well, hopefully), either.
And as far as I'm concerned, if you have taken care of your children, and plan to in the future--if you are not happy and don't feel you can rekindle your love with your wife--you owe it to yourself to LIVE.
I've been thinking that for the last fifteen years or so. You're dead on with that. I was brought up that "kids should be seen and not heard." The work ethic of the generations that made this country strong has been whittled away by the move towards utopia and lolipop land. The belief that the entire universe is supposed to center on the kids is crazy. I don't know how many other cultures there are that think that, but I'm convinced there aren't many.
Kids need to learn that they do not DESERVE anything, and that they have to earn things in life. The simple truth is, the world doesn't care about us, so it's important to teach kids not to expect anything they don't go get for themselves. OBviously there's a balance between imbuing them with self esteem and letting them know they have a safe place where they are supported, loved and always welcome, but there's a lot of room between that idea and this stuff we're doing now. (Sorry Rip, that's off topic, but, yeah, it was a good comment Lita made, I had to pipe in.)
Shades-- hope your real drift is taken. Some people do not get sarcasm. I have trouble with it myself.
On the other hand. I could say "to hell with the kids"-- who cares. Except that I do. They only want honesty, whichever way it pans out.
No. I think Shades is serious... And I'm serious, too. We (I think Shades is) are younger than you, so maybe we are in direct contact and seeing it more/understanding it more.
No way did I grow up the way I see kids growing up now, either. And I am FAR from a conservative, strict, hit em on the head, go by the rules type person. But no, kids don't DESERVE and shouldn't expect to deserve anything. That's doing them a disservice for the future. They need to understand they must work for respect and self worth--those things are not handed out just because they are 'darling kids.'
It's a definite balance, and all I can say is I would have done it differently than how I have seen these kids' were raised (most of their years with their mother).
Thanks for the comments, Lita and Shades. Definitely no hate here, a little bitterness perhaps, but I know that comes from within and not from without. I may have misspoke, my kids are quite well rounded, not spoiled whatsoever. I'm just hoping they won't go on hating me for the rest of their lives.
Well, I have a little bitterness (oh, actually maybe just a little tiredness) with my own situation.
The question to ask then, is why is your wife treating you as a roommate? I guess what I'm saying is I feel the primary relationship is always the key.
And I don't think you should feel guilty at all...
That's a good question, Lita. You have an hour for me to explain? This is the core issue. I could never treat anyone this way, but I am seriously treated like a roommate. I cannot explain the relationship any better. Not real condusive for a happy marrige, but as a roommate, I guess she is a good one. (yes, I know how bad that sounds)
I have a friend who, I guess, officially 'broke up' a marriage. Similar situation. Living as room mates, not marriage partners or lovers. He noticed her at work. (These are ethical, decent people, too...)
It took him a while, but he did divorce his wife. The one son does not hate his father. My friend Diana and this man have been married now for a few years.
Sorry, it does sound bad. I would have a hard time with it, and I'm a woman--so, you shouldn't have 'male' guilt of that kind, if you do!
Good luck to you.
No trolling here, Rochelle. I am looking for complete anonimity, and have no desire to seek a counselor who will not likely have the life experiences that several others have who posted on this thread. THIS IS MY ONLY MOTIVATION. If I were to seek the kind of responses I have already received on this forum, I would need to have gone to 10 counselors. Hope you follow this rational. Thanks for your opinion.
Get this book called "The Love Dare" from the movie "Fireproof". My mom in-law got it for us, We haven't really started, but it help my in-laws. It might help you and your marriage try it, try anything and everything before you file for divorce. I hope it helps you're in my prayers now. God Bless.
Cap, No I am not a roommate, not have I treated my wife this way. But with so much experience, yes I can advise you on yours. Spontaneity is gone, so is the passion, so is the sex. All of that has been gone for many years. I have so patient, but that has really run out. I am tired of pretending for my kids sake and its starting to show.
I'm sitting on the fence on this post. Can't tell you if it is a good idea to be doing this in a forum or not, that is entirely up to you, especially if you feel you can't talk about this to a professional. I will tell you I was at one time in your same situation and clearly having those same doubts about the relationship and what the children will think. Your anxiety is already affecting your marriage and children. Children hear, see, and feel tension even when you believe your keeping a pseudo marriage going. You should talk to your wife because if you don't, and she has not had any clue about your feeling towards ending your relationship, there will be hell to pay. No one likes this kind of surprise, and gently having talks with the wife may help out in the long run. The other factor, she may just have your same feelings about keeping the marriage going for the sake of family and children, and you both will come to an agreed ending.
PS: didn't mean to write a short story....Good Luck though...
We have indeed spoken about this, so she will not be suprised. I will need to seek professional advice, as just financially, if I pull the trigger on this, will be....interesting. Thanks HealthCareB!!
One more thing. If you indeed discuss with the wife then the two of you should start thinking of how you are going to present it to the children. That is where the professional comes in and can guide you to minimize a negative impact on the children. Opinion here, save the financial protection moves until the children are up to speed. Children should be the focus, and allowing them to express their concerns. Believe me, they will put you through the wringer with questions and you need to be prepared.
Financial aspects, if you are living in the US expect a minimum of 50% assets going out of your pocket unless you and the wife can sit and arbitrate fair and equitable contracts.
Hi there,...Obvoiusly I'm not married and im about half your age, gentlemen but i just want to say this
The situation has to be evaluated (why you want to break up , and why wouldn't you) ACCORDING to the relationship between the two of, not according to kids, friends or embarressment.
It appears that there is no intimacy and this can't be your wife's mistake alone (just take a moment and think what you may have done wrong? what you may have over-expected)
When we are in grief or sad for a long period of time, we start seeing small problems as terrible disaster. I know there is a seriuos problem with your partner, but the negative attitude will make it 100 problems and you will feel helpless.
29 years of commitment? i dunno but i don't think that you felt bad ALL the 29 years not even the past 10 years...can you remember how you felt (before this bad feeling)...what happened then to make things go this way?
Good question Hawkes. She finally feels counseling is needed, but emotionally I don't have the desire anymore. She has consistently refuted the claim of this roommate issue. By the way, as I stated, I put at least 50% of this or more on me. These kinds of issues are usually never one sided, I totally get that. I guess I am answering some of my own orginal question(s) here on this thread.
I can understand that she feels the need for counselling, and as she refutes the idea of the roomate issue, I can see her desire for counselling making sense.
As I do not know either of you ,and going only by what you have said; I would say that your wife does not see a problem from her point of view. It might be an idea to let her read all that is being said here, as emotions in black and white ,make for easier understanding.
I think that you need to find another forum that is dedicated to helping men who wants to get out of their marriages. I agree with most of the commenters that the conversation should be between you, your wife and a professional counselor.
I empathize with the kids who have an adult father who would divulge the details about their family online even if the profile name isn't readable.
There is this thing called protocol where you do not talk to anyone about your situation except those who are in the same league at least agewise. An adult should not be soliciting advice from all genres of the stratosphere of people, because the advice from a teenager for example would not be expected to be followed.
I suggest that you log off of the site as no hubpages have been written and call your counselor and set up an appointment immediately. Do not continue to ridicule yourself and put your family on a public forum of which we can not draw a scarlet letter.
No one wants to comment on a relationship that has been going on for twenty years and have produced children. Such a group of people is called a family and their are churches and organizations that are formed to address the issues you are posing to hubpages.
The written word is on the site forever and although you said that your relationship is like a roommate with your wife, I don't see any real problem. I think that you need counseling and should seek help immediately.
Rip, I divorced after 23 yrs of marriage (plus 4 dating =27). We just weren't the same two people we were when we met. We didn't hate each other, still don't. We get along great to this day. We had two kids who were 10 and 12 at the time. We tried counseling, but there wasn't anything they could fix. Nothing was broken. We just didn't want to be together any longer. The kids took it in stride because we were adult about it.
Yes-- I am certainly older than most of the smart people here.
I am saying that if you have kids-- you try to do the best for them. If breaking up is best for everyone, go for it.\
Shades can tell us if he is serious, but I know he loves his family.
Naw...I think we were just branching off into philosophical discussion on this point.
Oh, you know...video games, all the movies you can handle, let's buy that car for you, 'my child will not work for minimum wage,' etc. Meanwhile the children can barely graduate high school or do a chore. At least that is what I'm talking about...
I don't think one should ever stay together just for the kids, that is so archaic and causes lots of damage and issues for the kids. If you're a room mate and still get on okay, then financially in this current financial crisis it might be best to hang on a bit. But if you're at each other's throats, then leave. No point in dragging out the unhappiness.
Wow, I feel the same way. My kids are grown and due to an illness, my husband can no longer perform. I feel very guilty in that he is loving, sweet, kind and loves me so very much. But, living as roommates, with no intimacy does take it's toll. However, staying just for the sake of the children, is not always best because, believe me, children can tell, even if you don't argue, when their parents are unhappy. Perhaps your wife treats you as a "roommate" because she feels the same way and is afraid to tell you? Or, perhaps she is exhausted or has low estrogen levels. However, if the two of you are not even talking about this, speaks volumes to me as a woman. The two of you have no communication in your marriage and that right there, to me, is a deal breaker.
I haven't read the enitre thread (yet) but I'd like to suggest divorcebusting.com
I'll read, offer more if it occurs to me.
I tend to agree with Rochelle earlier and I wonder why you dont seek the help of Professionals ,but I understand also that venting and being open to a variety of opinions sometimes is important to simply bounce ideas and thoughts off.
I have been through a similiar situation ,but heres the thing , everyone's situation is so different , so different in fact ,that my opinion would have no personal relevance to your family.
Who really knows if staying together for the sake of the kids will help them or not ,the kids on the other hand would care the most about your ultimate decision(mine did).
It sounds like you have already left in your mind anyway. If I were your wife,I would probably sense that and it would cause me to detach,which inevitably reconfirms your isolation from her. Spiral effect I guess. Many thoughts must occupy your mind.
Are you more concerned about what others will think? or how their opinions will effect you? make you look like the bad guy etc?
Of course your kids will be confused,hurt ,maybe angry,withdraw, thats normal even under the best separations ,I think its natural for them to be disappointed and sad.
You were the first man they ever knew and loved. They will change ,adapt ,they have no choice and the best hope they have of doing that is if the first people they ever trusted be honest with them.
Whatever you decide , I wish you all well. I think you are normal ,most married couples go through ALL kinds of ups and downs ( emotionally and physically) some have affairs (grass is greener scenerio) and men in particular place alot of their esteem on physical aspects),some become work-ahololics, drink more to escape,take up a new hobby,eat more,look for ways to find a disappearing youth ,the list goes on. What kind of life are you missing that you cant find with your wife I wonder?Maybe the best way to come to a decision is ask yourself. Where did the love go? ( it must have been there at some stage) and then seek to get it back. If you dont want to ,then like I said you have already made up your mind.
Rochelle, I was serious/am serious, I just may not have been very clear in what I was trying to say. I don't think pampering and coddling children is good for them. When they're babies, sure, but discipline and life skills have to be worked in too, and sooner not later. Like Lita was saying, it's balance that has been lost. I don't think it does a child any good at all to imbue them with a sense of self-esteem that has ZERO ties to personal effort and feats of discipline.
If a kid needs love and support, they should have it in the home. Constantly. But just as spanking a kid or standing them in a corner for no reason would be random, damaging and cruel, giving praise and adulation for nothing is damaging as well. It's actually worse, because it makes them helpless. They learn to crave the rewards of success without ever actually having to accomplish success.
And for the people bagging on this guy for taking it to the forums, I can only repeat what I said earlier, it's not like anyone knows who he is. And he can pick what advice he takes. Not like he has to take dumb advice just because someone posted it. I think it's too much of a "my way is best" attitude condemming him for testing the waters of opinions via something like this forum.
Well, everyone talked about, courage, truth, trying and so on, or end it...
I'll try to open new doors with my point of view.
I am married for the second time, my first husband was narrow sited, was a very severe person and new things were complicated to him. I felt trapped and then it was over.
In my new marriage I tried to avoid it since I dated him in our youth 15 years ago and knew he his a bit quiet and excruciatingly calm. It would be a lost case if I didn't take measures since the beginning.
So we decided to discover new lifes, new ways to have fun, we paid the baby-sitter, we dressed to impress and we went clubbing, to motel pools, we started to do role plays where he kidnapped me and lots of other scenarios.
Just saying you can find a mutual interest, will and courage to enjoy again each other company.
Go swim naked at night, park your car on the beach at night...play like young teenagers!
Discover that you can be young in mind and spirit! Be an example of life and joy to your kids...
I never saw my parents kissing, they were never friends, but my son always see his parents happy, when was little used to say "granny my mum calls my dad Muxinha" (in baby language kind of lover short name) and that's what they need to see.
Jump to her lap and ask to sleep like a baby or tickle her, take a shower with her, dress her lingerie and dance to amuse her...be childish be daring be funny and wake up the love and friendship that used to be!
The only thing I don't suggest is Swing, to emotionally weaken relationships it wouldn't work, It would end up the relation right away.
Swing works like a magnifying glass, if the relationship is good will become better, if is bad it will get worse and fast.
More, you may find it awkward or ridiculous, but it works, my experience tells me so, but it takes guts and a man to do it, not cowards or lazy asses!
And don't tell me "my wife wouldn't go along" without trying, every women love surprises and thrills and being treated like in a first date!
If you want I can write a full scenario for you to have ideas...
A tip, a note in the door saying "take a shower" , out of the tub a box saying "dress me".
A taxi waiting at the door with another box in the back seat, inside the box a rose and some red panties, note saying "dress me in the taxi, don't mind the driver, just do it!"
And I could finish the story, ask me if you really would consider to give a mysterious night to your wife....
Having ended a twenty year relationship where I tormented myself over the decision to leave for years, I can identify. Pro's and con's are not helpful. One book I read that really asks the pertinent questions is, Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay. (I don't remember author).
You need to learn to quiet your angst and your mind in whatever way does that for you. Then ask yourself, stay or go. One answer will be loud and clear from your heart (not your emotions, not your brain). That answer will eventually prevail, whether you accept it now or later.
From my experience, now is better. Years lost can't be regained.
Other people have been where you are, and it will pass.
Thanks GEEKAY, I really think this is what I am asking here. I'll keep you updated..WOW I never thought this would happen to ME. God help me.
Since you didn't even comment my answer, I guess you already know the answer. You don't want your marriage......
Tough place to be. I've been there and made the decision to go. But because your decision impacts not just you but your wife and your kids, it's hard to justify walking out on your responsibilities to them within the family. Your kids are at probably the worst ages to go through a divorce.
As for your wife, there is a reason she is relating to you strictly as a roommate. You owe it to yourself and to her to find out what that reason is. And you do have rights within the marriage,also.
But you are allowing this-- you have a part in it. So have you thought about that?
I agree with everyone above who recommends opening up the channels of communication. If you and your wife get your issues out on the table and still cannot meet in the middle, at least you've given it a fair shot. And you can leave with a more or less clear conscience. MM
I have been at work all day and was not ignoring all the excellent post/comments here. Thanks to all who have commented.
Ellandriel, Swinging? This is so far out of the realm of possibilities. My wife never really has enjoyed sex anyway, so I hope you can empathize with me here. Swinging isn't for everyone. I actually have a very good friend (woman friend) who decided to swing with her husband when her marriage was in trouble. This was so damaging to her that she had a nervous breakdown. As for me personally, I am always open to new adventures, my wife however has lost this aspect. I still enjoy (well measured) high-risk activities, and she accepted that about me, but as far as participating, she has no interest anymore even watching. I will again ask one of my original questions, from others with similar experiences. Can two people who were so close, best friends really, just grow apart? Was this because we met and starting dating right out of high school and never parted? Never really experienced dating others? How can I get over this terrible guilt?
Both of our lives are so intertwined with common friends, family colleagues. What will this be like when it finally gets out, or should I say how bad will it be? I am willing to take all the blame on this decision, but with so much of our lives intertwined will I be looking at having to drop out of society or leave the country? I know this sounds drastic. How will I be viewed by my friends or family?
One last thing, which I will comment upon again: This thread is strictly being posted anonymously, I totally disagree with those with believe this is not the place to be asking these types of questions. There are hundreds of common people with similar experiences as mine who may help me come to a decision on this issue. If you don't like the topic, then don't reply. Yes, I am a real man, not a kook, asking real and difficult questions. How many professional counselors would I need to go see to equate to all the great comments posted on this thread thus far. Thanks you all in advance.
If you leave without your honor intact, then you will feel as if you need to "drop out of society or leave the country." The reason for "having" to do such a thing will only be because you left in a shameful way. Everyone knows divorce happens (except a few fanatics whom you may ignore without shame.) The difference between shame and self respect is as Mighty Mom said. If you have opened up the chains of communication and truly given all the effort to save the relationship and it still fails, you both can walk away knowing that it's "no one's fault."
You said, "I am willing to take all the blame in this decision." You shouldn't have to. It takes two to Tango, as they say. If your marriage fails, it wasn't just you. However, if you aren't doing your part right now, while the music is still playing, then, you have things to feel guilty about. You are still married. You came to this forum seeming mostly to want a way out, or at least that's how I read it. If you want out, talk to her. Maybe she'll just say, "Yeah, this sucks. Let's do X, Y and Z so the kids don't get hurt." If that happens, problem solved. Go find a 25 year old hardbody and have a ball like everyone else does at this predictable phase of marriage.
However, she may tell you things that open your eyes to the person you originally married. You may see a spark of that person you fell in love with peeping out from under years of her own loneliness. Maybe enough to open empathy in you, which may lead to self examination of a more honest kind, which might in turn lead to the revelation of missteps in the tango of your last twenty years. Maybe you can save it after all and have that 64th wedding anniversary.
Maybe not. But you definitely won't if you don't man up and try. Talk to her. She deserves that much after twenty something years. So do you. You may think you just want out, but you will be miserable if you extricate yourself from your marriage in such a way as to deserve "all the blame." It's harder this way, but done with dignity and respect, you won't have to leave town. (And you won't end up with one kid hating you for twenty years or something which sometimes happens.)
Ok, you've asked a question and people have made comments about it.
But truely, if you're looking for answers then look within you at the moments that you have lived and then decide which way you want to go.
Only you can be the best judge of your own life, others can show you what they have lived or see what they see but they cannot see or even comprehend what you have lived until now.
So, in my most cherished way of thinking do what you like. We all come to a point in our life when changes are required. Sometimes the changes are within oneself that needs to be addresses instead of out in the world whome one lives with or deals with on a daily basis.
All life is precious and all life is a lesson of one kind or another - we wouldn't be here writing otherwise - would we?
Go within, close the door, leave all negative thoughts out and start to see what went wrong, where, how, etc and see if you can actually either turn it around or move on.
Thank you for giving me the chance to speak. Sometimes advice and knowledge that which has been written for others is in a way directed to ones own life. What I mean is that you're not alone, and everyone who has written something about this situation has one way or another either experienced it, lived it now or has lived it in another time.
Goodluck, and cherish the time you have for all moments are a doorway into ones heart/soul/spirit/mind/being/inner-truth/your-god/your-creator.
Sometimes the best place to ask questions is anonymously in a blog or a forum, people who will read are impartial and will not take parties.
Won't defend you or your wife cause we are out of the question, and sometimes only the outsiders are able to see things that you miss.
I stand by my idea, put the kids on they're granny, go to a quiet place, a cottage in the country, talk, talk with your heart and maybe you will find the will to start a new chapter, one of frienship, fun, laughter and youth... together again.
At least you are honest with yourself, now its time to be honest with your family. Sometimes, things don't workout the way we intend it to, that doesn't make you a bad man..You were married for 20 years, if a seperation of divorce is needed, then its time to go. Why continue to live a lie. People always say they stay for the kids. but how many kids do you know want to live in a unhappy family..They are not as naive as we might think. You are just going through the motions and beating yourself up about it, when there is really no need. If this is truly what you want, address the issue with your family and explain that this changes nothing as to how you feel for the children..but you deserve to be happy to...You only get this one life...what can you say about yours if you left today??
You stated the kids sense something is wrong. It is my opinion that it is better for children to be with one happy parent rather than with two miserable ones. When people stay together for the 'sake of the children', they are not doing the children any favors. Many times, the children take the blame on themselves. They believe it is something they did or said that caused the fighting, or non-communication. Whatever the situation is, they sense it.
Since you don't want counseling, the best bet, (in my opinion) is to have that long talk with your wife, as others have stated. Send the kids to the grandparents. For all you know, your wife may feel as miserably as you do. If, after talking, you find you don't agree, then you need to tell her that you can no longer stay, and the reasons why. (This is assuming she will want to talk about it at all).
When you feel you have given it your best shot, both of you need to tell the children. For all you know, it could be a relief for them as well.
Now, if you do leave, do you even know what you're looking for? Do you have any plan in mind? You will be venturing into the unknown, and although anything sounds better to you than the situation you're in, that is not always the case. Of course, you won't know that till it happens.
If this goes so far as a divorce, I would suggest a mediator, rather than a divorce lawyer. It will save lots of money. The reason I suggest this is because from what I can gather, it sounds to me as though there is no fighting, back-stabbing nor violence going on, so the process can then be handled amicably and at less cost. I don't know what the laws are where you live, but this is just something you could check out. I wish you well however it turns out.
Personally, I would much rather be happy and alone then miserable in a bad marriage.
PS: Two expressions come to mind, the grass is always greener on the other side. Not always true.
And, be careful what you wish for. You may just get it.
In 25 years of counseling, I've learned to trust the intuitive response to what someone is telling me, not the intellectual one. My intuition says you're not telling us the truth about something. That's why your guilty, and that's why you cannot take a decisive step either in or our of the relationship. It is sadistic to ask us for advice when you are really about maintaining a skeleton in the closet, not healing your situation. Notice, for instance, that even though you have asked us for advice, you seem to know better than everyone who offers it. You're not being straight with us, so I say go away until you're ready to tell the whole truth.
Got an idea for you. If you're really sincere about this, as opposed to just wanting some attention, then you will tell us your side of the problem. You keep saying that you know it's all at least 50% your fault. I think that's something you say, but don't feel. You're just too on-top-of-it for that to be real. But if you are sincere, then you will tell us, in full detail, those things about you that make up the 50+% fault. I dare you to get straight in your life by telling the difficult truth. Comes down to whether you want to look good or move some energy. The latter takes risks and a lot of love.
P.S. I agree 100% with this. If you're hiding things and don't want to face them, you still get to face them at some point. And you don't get to choose when. Period. However, if you really have tried to work things out, given it your best effort, then maybe it's time to consider a Plan B. Just don't penalize her or your kids because of you doing more than 50% of the damage.
My husband is doing the same thing to us. Read my articles at rachelsheart
She is probley right! Tell your wife first. Hub can be good for ideas though and support.
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