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Just not sure #435255
04/19/18 01:08 AM
04/19/18 01:08 AM
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Posts: 503
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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It has been a very long time since I was here. Everything seemed to be going along nicely then I looked up and found myself in familiar territory. The arguing returned trying to win vs listen and compromise. This June will be 19 years married we have two children a S now 11 and a D 6. W and I both have long term and short term health issues. I work as a teacher and she homeschools our children. We have come close to the edge of divorce and turned back each time but this time I just don't feel like I am up for the work that needs to be done to mend this relationship.

I have said as much to my wife and she said that if I feel that way then I need to move out. That was yesterday. I'm just kinda in shock since in the past I was the one fighting to stay together. I am not at peace with the decision that I have made but now even after thinking about it for weeks, doubt is creeping in. Knowing that I will likely have visitation every other weekend and Wednesdays is not something that I am looking forward to.

For the longest time, I have not felt as we are equal partners in this relationship. She has final say on so many things and I often don't feel like I am heard. I get loud when we argue and that triggers her to her childhood. She has started drinking more and more and that triggers me since my mom abused alcohol when I was growing up.

I am not even sure what I hope to get from here other than I need a place to get stuff out.

RM

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435265
04/19/18 01:18 PM
04/19/18 01:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,356
midwest
Miranda Offline
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RM

I don't know you from when you were here before (I don't think anyway) so I don't know your history, but from this one post, it sounds like you've always been the one doing the "heavy lifting" for your relationship. And if you aren't willing to fight for it now, your wife isn't invested enough to do so.

That's a lousy place to be, and I'm sorry. But it was probably an eventuality, with that kind of dichotomy going on. You can only be the hero for so long with the other person "checked out" in reality.

Let me know if I have it all wrong.

And tell us what else we can do for you... We always want to support our members no matter which way their story goes

I'm sorry you find yourself at this fork in the road..


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435272
04/19/18 09:02 PM
04/19/18 09:02 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 503
Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Thank you for the support. Sometimes it is just nice to type it out just so I can look back and see where my head was on a certain date.

To be fair we have both done the lifting at times but this time is different. I just don't know that I have it in me to do it yet again. We always have stress, and this time it just doesn't seem surmountable.

My response when she asked me to move out was: "no I am not moving out to live with my parents." and didn't comment any further. So for the past couple of days, we co-exist, carrying on the routines of work and raising children.

I was wondering today if anyone had successfully co-existed long-term to raise children but had an agreement to do so. She hates waiting and me not moving out when she said to is bothering her. For now, I would like to live here and carry on without the added stress of moving out. That may happen in the future but I don't want to do that at this point. Financially we barely make our ends meet so maintaining 2 households would be near impossible.

Luckily there are no third parties to deal with. I just can't see my way through the trees on this one. Kinda drifting at the moment.

RM

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435273
04/19/18 09:51 PM
04/19/18 09:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Rambling, it has been a while! Have you ever heard of Alanon, since you have a problem with her drinking? It's a 12 step program, and will help you right off the bat

*get a handle on your anger
*have an equal say in your marriage
*eliminate the arguing
*not leave your home when that's not what you want to do
*make routines with yourself, your wife, and your kids that you enjoy, or build on what's already going well


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435284
04/20/18 03:09 AM
04/20/18 03:09 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 503
Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Thanks for the list of goals.

I haven't tried Alanon

We had a pretty heated argument today. But I remained calmer than normal and I was able to express how I was feeling so that is something positive. I took a stand for what I was thinking and feeling and survived.

RM

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435285
04/20/18 04:02 AM
04/20/18 04:02 AM
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Blair Offline
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What are you arguing about? Why are they heated arguments, and not simply discussions?

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435286
04/20/18 09:34 AM
04/20/18 09:34 AM
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Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Emotion is the reason I suspect they are so heated.

We were arguing about how things were left with me saying I was not moving out. W said that I have 2 choices move out or if I was staying that we were not sharing a bed/bedroom and that I could find another room to sleep in. Well, we have a small house and I basically called her out on once again making a decision for us without any input from me. I explained I was not going to sleep on the couch and she responded that our D6 could sleep with her and I could take her room.

Then I got around to what the deal breaker was for me, her drinking. She says that she has stopped but she has said that before and I explained that I have heard that before. She also commented that prior to this last time we were getting along better and I said we were but she violated trust and my bank was immediately drained. I can not stand by and allow her getting tipsy/drunk around the kids and them seeing/picking up on why mommy is different. She started to tear up and I just continued cooking dinner. Dinner ended the argument and after dinner, it was getting the kids to bed.

I was done talking about it at that point so I chose not to discuss it last night.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435288
04/20/18 12:44 PM
04/20/18 12:44 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Rambling I really feel for you, you have a *long* road ahead of you. I don’t know where your wife is with her drinking. It’s a good sign that she wants to stop, but for some it has progressed from a choice to a compulsion they cannot control. I am glad you would not agree to a Wednesday and every other weekend.

I get it that you don’t want to put effort into the marriage anymore but you’re risking that at some point she’s going to take action beyond making it uncomfortable for you to be at the house. What do you see as next steps?

There are people who coexist in the home for the kids, and in your situation especially that is a better choice than divorcing and having random boyfriends around your young kids ugh. But it doesn’t sound like your wife going to be able to do that, stay with no improvement to the marriage. Her health is already shot and a marriage of neglect will make her health worse until it hits crisis. I think you’re the one who’s going to have to take the lead on this one, because the other options are so unfavorable. What do you think?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435289
04/20/18 01:26 PM
04/20/18 01:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,356
midwest
Miranda Offline
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RM

Why do you assume that you cannot win primary custody of your child? Or do you not want that?


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435294
04/20/18 02:31 PM
04/20/18 02:31 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Quote
Why do you assume that you cannot win primary custody of your child? Or do you not want that?


This is important to think through, too. I still think your best shot is to get outside help and make your marriage what you want it to be, a source of joy and strength for you, and hopefully that would help you guys win the war on all the health issues that have been exhausting you.

But it is essential when you're making risky moves to think through all the alternatives. I can imagine there are benefits your kids are getting from homeschool that would not continue if you got primary custody, but when you have kids with special health issues, there are programs available in public school that can be valuable for them. Especially if your wife has or develops a drinking problem she cannot control.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435296
04/20/18 02:59 PM
04/20/18 02:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 10,015
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Would she be able to continue homeschooling if you divorce?

I doubt she wants a divorce. She wants to control you. And that is likely because she feels out of control of herself.

Don't make any rash statements or decisions. Your kids need you full time. They need this family to stay intact if at all possible with any reasonable measure of health.

Re: Just not sure [Re: NewEveryDay] #435298
04/20/18 08:57 PM
04/20/18 08:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
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Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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What do you see as next steps?

Steps, well I see that inaction is a step that puts the decisions in her court.

I am thinking that I want to approach her about for now living together and working on ourselves and the kids but I am not sure.

I do feel that W will not go for that. She hates the feeling of waiting around and that is what I am thinking is my best path forward.

As far as taking the lead, I don't want to. In some way I want her to see how it feels but that will most likely end with an adversarial relationship moving forward.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435299
04/20/18 09:10 PM
04/20/18 09:10 PM
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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The state I live in is not favorable to fathers even good fathers. I would most likely lose in that long drawn out battle. If divorce is the outcome then the best chance I have of getting more then Wednesday nights every other weekend is if W would agree to something more.


I am not sure that she would be able to continue homeschooling if we were to divorce. She would need more money that she would get in any settlement and most likely have to work and I also would need to supplement the remaining income I earn to live. Financially it would be very devastating for us both.

Even before this latest round of issues, we had considered transitioning the kids into public school. So that is not out of the question.

I am less likely to make rash decisions. W would be more likely to make those types of decisions as I have mentioned before she hates inaction and waiting.

Thx for all the points to consider.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435301
04/21/18 12:09 PM
04/21/18 12:09 PM
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Based on what I read everyone saying, after the kids went to bed I asked that we sit down and talk.

I realized that I did need to take the lead this time because if not I would be continuing the patterns of old. We were able to come to an agreement that has me staying in the house and basically a cooling off period where we will focus on the kids and perhaps start working to mend the marriage.

She asked what it would take to regain trust and I basically said that I need to see her not drinking. I also laid out a few things (remaining calm, and following through on things) that I would be trying to show her so that we are both working on things. (Lord knows I'm not easy to get along with at times)

This was all done with normal voices in a civil way.

*No rash decisions.
*get a handle on your anger
*have an equal say in your marriage
*eliminate the arguing
*not leave your home when that's not what you want to do
*make routines with yourself, your wife, and your kids that you enjoy, or build on what's already going well


I canceled an acupuncture appointment for today and decided on taking the kids go-karting and mini golfing instead. W is going on a plant walk today and is gone the entire day.

Thanks for all the input it helps when my own head isn't thinking straight.



Last edited by Rambling Man; 04/21/18 12:10 PM. Reason: grammar
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435302
04/21/18 02:10 PM
04/21/18 02:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
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Miranda Offline
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RM

I have lots of questions for you.

Have either of you ever had any counseling of any kind, either individually or as a couple?

Do you love your wife?

Do you think she loves you?

How long have you been married? How long into the marriage did the marital problems start?

You said you both have health problems? Did I read that right?

What is the state of your sex life? (Sorry this is important diagnostically)

Are either of you religious? Were you ever?

I’ve bounced back in a way from a VERY troubled marriage. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I am in a much better place as a person than where I started. I’d like to help you, if I can.

I hope you newfound peace lasts, but your own history indicates otherwise. Let’s see what we can do to tweak the system.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435303
04/21/18 05:56 PM
04/21/18 05:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 503
Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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I hope you newfound peace lasts, but your own history indicates otherwise. Let’s see what we can do to tweak the system.

Yes, as to this I certainly understand that this newfound peace is just the very first step in this process. In no way do I feel like everything is back to normal. This conversation was the first healthy one that we have had in a long time. It just feels good coming to a basic understanding of where we are starting to go from here.

Have either of you ever had any counseling of any kind, either individually or as a couple?


Yes, we have tried counseling on a few different occasions. I currently have zero interest in going as an individual or as a couple.

Do you love your wife?


Love is a decision for me. Something that one chooses to do. Right now I can't do that because I am scared of being hurt again emotionally.

Do you think she loves you?


I am not sure.

How long have you been married? How long into the marriage did the marital problems start?


We have been married 19 years this June. The problems started about halfway into our marriage.

You said you both have health problems? Did I read that right?


Yes we both have long term and short term health issue and special dietary requirements for all of us.

What is the state of your sex life? (Sorry this is important diagnostically)

non-existent

Are either of you religious? Were you ever?

No and no

I’ve bounced back in a way from a VERY troubled marriage. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I am in a much better place as a person than where I started. I’d like to help you, if I can.


Thank you

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435310
04/22/18 05:40 PM
04/22/18 05:40 PM
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Well, today we sat and talked again. It was civil and we shared well (i.e. listened to each other).

I said that I think we both need to work on ourselves without closing the book on us. She said that she will try but she doesn't like waiting and that it pains her to be in limbo.

I restated that I feel that our kids would be better off in a situation where we were working together whether as a married couple or not.

Coming back to the question: Do I love my wife?

I love the life we have shared for the last 20 or so years, yes.(overall) Right now, however, we are in a very bad place. When I think about it, would we choose each other at this very moment I would say, no? I am still very confused about this part. Do I love her or not? I must on some level still love her or this decision would be far easier. Life is messy trying not to rush through this and let it happen at its own pace as long as I am still working on my stuff.

Had a great time with the kids yesterday first time S drove a go-kart on his own and D rode with me. Smiles all around.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435311
04/22/18 09:32 PM
04/22/18 09:32 PM
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Blair Offline
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Why does your wife think your marriage is in limbo?

Are you both committed to fixing your marriage, individually and as a couple?

Re: Just not sure [Re: Blair] #435312
04/22/18 11:29 PM
04/22/18 11:29 PM
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Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Why does your wife think your marriage is in limbo?

Because right now I am saying that I want to work on me and she works on her and we will over time decide if the marriage can be mended. Until that work is done I don't think this marriage stands a chance. She wants an answer as to whether it can be saved and I can't give her that right now.


Are you both committed to fixing your marriage, individually and as a couple?


I am committed to fixing me and trying to be a full-time parent. I am committed to being open and honest with my wife regarding where I am in this process and be actively engaged in working towards my stated goals.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435316
04/23/18 01:16 PM
04/23/18 01:16 PM
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Is your wife committed? Or has her commitment level changed over the last few years?

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435326
04/24/18 12:22 AM
04/24/18 12:22 AM
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Somewhere btw'n here and there
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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I think she is committed. She doesn't like the fact that she doesn't know what is happening in our relationship. She wants to know but only time will tell what will happen in the end. She has made it very clear that she doesn't want to be roommates. She isn't drinking the last few days. That is one thing that makes me think she is still committed. If she weren't that would have continued I am sure.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435327
04/24/18 12:33 AM
04/24/18 12:33 AM
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Sitting here tonight I think I hit on something that should have been obvious to me. Kicking myself for not seeing this sooner.

I find myself here when I stop taking the lead. I am laid back by nature and when I stop actively taking a lead in my marriage I end up adrift wondering how I got here.

I hate confrontation. I am laid back. So oftentimes I honestly don't care about little things in our marriage.

This is where I am not sure what happens next. Does my W just take the next logical step and start making decisions that are bigger in nature thinking that I have unplugged in some way or seeing that I don't care so much about x,y,z that she just makes those bigger decisions too without asking.

Or is it me do I become complacent, and just whatever everything until I feel like I'm out of control and then just kinda snap?

I need to think on it a bit.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435329
04/24/18 02:39 AM
04/24/18 02:39 AM
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Blair Offline
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You both need to learn the skills to be a team. And to help each other out when one of you doesn't feel like they can take the lead. It's a bit of give-and-take in the relationship.

And perhaps you feel like you've you always had to take the lead, and you might be feeling burned out right now. So you might be at the point where you need your wife to step up and take the lead for a while to show her commitment. Is that what you mean?

Re: Just not sure [Re: Blair] #435334
04/24/18 08:11 AM
04/24/18 08:11 AM
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Rambling Man Offline OP
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Maybe it is more when I take a passive role in our relationship vs voicing my actual opinion on things.

Being geared away from confrontation going along with things is often easier in the short term but seems to build resentment in the long term.

Re: Just not sure [Re: Rambling Man] #435341
04/24/18 12:56 PM
04/24/18 12:56 PM
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Miranda Offline
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RM

that whole confrontation avoidance pattern? It's pure poison in your relationship. I know it SEEMS like it's such a good thing, right? No fights, no turbulence, all smooth sailing. But it's just not what it seems.

Because under the water, danger lurks. Sharks, ice bergs, coral reefs, and so much more! Just waiting to demolish and devour your marriage! And of course both of you can SEE some of these things, but you're not calling them out, because you don't want to "upset the passengers" but then no course correction can be taken in time!!

It's so much better to have those conversations early and often. To find a way that doesn't feel like griping or sniping or [Bleep!] at each other, but that you're just sharing important information about the state of the marriage. Now that's easy to do when it's early days, and you're both filled with love and happiness. Later on, when things have started to sour? A lot harder. But that's the task I'm setting before you.

Try to figure out how you can give voice to those concerns early and often, and invite your wife in to do the same. And how can you do it, without EITHER of you becoming defensive, hurt or angry?


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
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