Wife blindsided me. Any advice?

OldXRGuyFebruary 24, 2013

My wife of 20 years recently told me she doesn't love me and she feels like we are more like roommates. I found that she started an emotional affair last October. I am not sure if she was intimate with the guy - she denies it. And although she says it's over, I am not sure if it really is. (If it is still going on, she's very careful & discreet.)

We've never had any prior problems with money, verbal or physical abuse, gambling, drugs, alcohol, infidelity..

I assume that I have at least some responsibility in how things are. But she can't tell me what I have ever done, other than not take the family on a trip to Disney (that we probably could not afford) years ago. I've begged her to forgive me for my faults (whatever they are).

She apparently has a serious issue with not being able to forgive & she's just started counseling for it recently.

Meanwhile, although we get along OK, there is no intimacy. I have no idea if she is interested in working to repair our marriage, or if she is totally checked out and done with me.

Some days, I am 100% committed to fixing the relationship. Other days, I am bitter and angry at having been blind-sided, and I would be happy to find a nice woman who would appreciate me.

I've always made 80% of the money. So I worry that she will take me for 1/2 of everything, and then shack-up with a boyfriend - avoiding marriage so the alimony doesn't get cut off. (I've seen this exact thing happen to a close friend.)

BTW - my daughter is off to college this fall and my son is 16.

I'm in such a confused and worried state. ANY advice would be appreciated.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

SHE has started counseling...and you are asking a bunch of total strangers on the internet for advice. Does this sound like a one hundred percent committment to fixing the relationship?

When your car starts making that grinding sound, do you take it to a professional to fix it? Same thing with your marriage.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gosh this reminds me of someone I know.

He claims he is wanting to stay married when in reality all he keeps saying is he will lose half of HIS money. Don't get angry. It's someone I know. k?

"I've always made 80% of the money." Ok, now on to you. Kids? Who carried them to term and delivered? Know what "that" costs today? Who was home for their care? Look up costs for a nanny. Who Took care of your laundry, your cleaning, your cooking, your whatever? Go to a site and find out what it would have cost you if your wife had up and left you with the kids and you had no one to schlep them on. Would you make the kids do the laundry and clean? Food shop? Find out what the annual costs of that would entail. Go on. And all the other little things you might need: gifts for kids, Holiday things, family gifts, clothing for kids, dental appt, soccer/school, etc.

Could it be you were too busy to care? Doing whatever? Sounds like all you are concerned about is you: your wants, your needs, your money.

I think I'd want to leave you, too. Sorry. It's you.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


For fair warning, you should definitely ignore Worried One. She thinks that all men are like her ex husband.

This site has been kind of quiet lately. You should google christian forums dot com (I'm not sure if I can post links to other sites) or talk about marriage dot com

I don't see the harm with posting to forums. Counseling can be just as much of a crapshoot anyway. But that's just me.

I can't give you any advice though. I've only been married for a year.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ignore the negative responses. They don't know you and are obviously bitter about something in their own life. Anyway, counseling is definitely needed here. Just go on your own if she doesn't want to go together. Have you tried romancing her? Because with kids in college and high school, you've come to that point in a marriage, everyone does, where things change. If you try everything, romantic dinners, flowers, backrubs, etc. and nothing is working, then it just might be over. If her major complaint is that your family didn't go to disneyworld, then she's the one with issues. Maybe she should have gotten a part-time job to pay for the trip to disneyworld.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 6:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, I didn't expect those negatives. I guess I am naive enough to think that people would actually take my words at face-value.

I could never convince the bitter ones of who I am, or what
type of husband or father I have been. As I type this reply,
I think back at the fact that I have done most of the cooking,
half the laundry, all of the home maintenance, all of the car
maintenance, all of the sewing, all of the ironing. I was up
in the middle of the night for those newborn baby feedings &
diaper changes. (I cherish those moments, would not have had it any other way.) She's certainly been a wonderful mother, and done her share of the home duties too. We both have. So don't assume that I have had an indentured servant. Even she would not say that.

I'll agree that my rant about the money was off-base. It comes from fear. I've been on my own financially since I was 18 years old, and there's nobody in this wold who's ever going to bail me out if the family splits. We'll both lose everything. Still, I should not have said it.

Thanks for the positive and understanding responses though.

I honestly want my wife to find healing from in her counseling.
And I've gotten counseling from our Pastor, who has helped
show me that I have had a role in our situation. I realize
I have a share of the blame.

My greatest hope & desire is that we can work out our issues - hers, mine, and ours. I pray every day for this. I am sad
that so many homes are broken these days, and I pray that mine won't be another one.

I was just hoping that somebody might have a word or two of
wisdom, or advice, in what has been the worst time of my life.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow you sound like you have been part of a good team. I applaud you for doing so much housework !

There has been a terrific show on here with 4 couples who are having troubles in their marriages and they bravely bare all. There is a psychologist, and counsellor talking about topics that could help them all.

To me the main problem of all of them is communication. Specifically getting into the "blame" game. They all seem to blame the other one for the shortcomings in their marriage.

Perhaps you could think back to what it was like in the early days of your marriage. Why did you marry her ? What did you like about her ?

Life throws lots of stresses for a marriage, it is tough.

You seem like a good chap, so all the best to you.

I work on the theory that if I have a complaint, I have to have some sort of solution as well. I have found that a useful way to tackle most problems.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it is very easy as the years go by and life starts focusing more on the kids to not put energy into the marriage. You start taking it for granted and conversations center around the kids and house instead of each other.

I would start by sitting down, maybe take a day off work so it is just the two of you. Plan something fun to do, don't talk about kids or house or projects, have a real date.

Talk about how much you do love her still, tell her you want to save the marriage and make an effort to create greatness in your marriage. See what she says. Offer that you think you should go to counseling together.

I would also make an effort to romance her. Leave a romatic card or note in the silverware drawer or somewhere she will go during the day.

My husband still sends and leaves me notes after 24 yrs of marriage, he sends flowers, he surprises me with little things and will sometimes just plan something without my knowledge and then say he would love company for an errand which is actually going or doing something that I mentioned. He is very spontaneous where I am a planner, down to the last detail bit it is a great combination.

It is not usually expensive, sometimes just a drive like we used to do when we met in college and had no money. Something simple but enjoyable.

I wish you well and hope you both can save your marriage.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As far as going to "the professionals" my wife and I at around 10 years of marriage were having MAJOR problems. In a 2 year period we went to 3 different marriage counselors. The 3rd one said maybe we should get a divorce. No thanks. I said forget the marriage counselors and we've been married over 30 years now - and have a great marriage. We just had to learn how to resolve our conflicts.

As for your wife - people don't just "fall out" of love or stop loving someone out of the blue. It's the accumulation of a lot of angers, hurts, and disappointments over a period of time. Especially your wife - at least the way you describe her. If it's hard for her to express her wants, feelings, etc., then emotions are going to build up until they finally need to be dealt with.

My wife is also the type who won't say what's wrong until she lets things build up - (actually she's much better about that now, but it used to be bad). Usually when someone says they feel like roommates it means there's no longer any intimacy. She more than likely feels like you don't do anything together and don't have the same interests anymore.

The ideas (above) from Karen10125 and LauraNJ are profound in my opinion. Years ago when my wife and I both were at our worst, we'd gotten so bad that almost every time we opened our mouths it was to fight and I didn't know what to do. Counseling hadn't helped (a little disclaimer here ... I'm not suggesting counseling wouldn't help the two of you, in fact it's probably a good place to start, just don't feel like they're the only ones with answers if you're not getting help). One thing for sure ... I felt we needed to give each other a lot of space. I was hoping by creating space we could re-establish a relationship where we could at least be friends again.

Anyway, my older brother told me I should try "courting her" and letting her know how much I cared. I didn't think it would work because of how she was feeling about me but thought I didn't have much to lose at that point. So every day she started getting something from me in the mail. Cards, a music tape, little gifts, souvenirs, notes etc. Then it was phone calls (out of the blue) during the day, and then it was us doing things together again and somewhere along the line she started having feelings for me again. Oh yeah, every bit of that was surrounded by a lot of prayer as well. (our convictions about God kept us together through some very tough times).

I've always loved my wife, which is what made it so frustrating not being able to resolve our issues, but we finally learned what we needed to do.

Anyway I went on for a little while but I hope it helps out in some way. Again - remember Karen and Laura - those are both women speaking and it sounds a lot like what my brother advised me and it worked. Not saying it'll be a "cure all" but it may be just what you need to get things turned around in the right direction..

One last thing. I'm going to recommend a short ebook report by Michael Eastwood. It's got some excellent principles which in my opinion are exactly what a marriage needs to work. It's helped us a lot in the area of resolving conflicts. It's short, reads well, and there's no charge for it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Save Marriage Tips

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 9:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Find out if you live in a community property state (there are 9 out of 50 i think). If not, you probably won't lose half your money if you split.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 5:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is good and bad to everything. Two sides as well. Since we don't have her version, well sometimes it is good to mention what might seem a bit more obvious to some. For sure her lawyer will :)

That said, it appears to me that you are more worried about " your " money. As it has been said here - just my opinion, and my own personal experience from my spouse that claimed " I love you " and "it is my money" in the same breath. So, I will let all this go for now.

Let's recap: (sit and think on these, ok? I do not know you ) Your words: I assume that I have at least some responsibility in how things are. (It has been said it takes two. Two sides to every issue. Two to blame as well)

She apparently has a serious issue with not being able to forgive
(I am not going to fall for this one. Almost sounds to me as if you have cleared yourself of any " responsibility in how things are " No?)

I would be happy to find a nice woman ( Maybe it was during one of these thinks she picked up on it and wants a nice life for herself ? )

Here is the next one....wait for it....I've always made 80% of the money. So I worry that she will take me for 1/2 of everything...
( the main worry? only worry maybe? Do you recall the takes two I mentioned? Well, courts some how feel that spouses should divide up the marital equity 50-50. I am not kidding. She does get half. It is hers. She isn't taking you at all. What was yours before the marriage is yours to keep. Starting the day you married it blended into both of your property. Marital property.

Go price full time care givers and house keepers.Or surrogate baby mommas - it is not cheap. Trust me, she contributed to the marital property big time. My husband pays $840 a week for his mom's companion. This woman is only required to do light cooking/house cleaning. She doesn't have to take kids to the dentist, go grocery shopping! She is not medically trained, either. Just a " companion " to make sure Ma doesn't fall or something. $840 a week plus free room/board. Two nights off each week and some vacation. Think think think. How is this just YOUR half? sorry, always get emo over that)

As for shacking up with a boyfriend as you so " tactfully " put it, there are some legal clauses that deal with alimony while the ex-spouse co-habitates.

Sorry to be so blunt. I guess I am not the huggie kissy unless there is a true need. Your post sounds very much like some men that are just worried about themselves, their love not being returned, their needs, their happiness, etc (money).

Hope your children transition well. That they don't wind up in the middle and are used as pawns. For that is the most important right? The children that will go thru this as well. If things head toward divorce.

If your wife agrees to nothing from the marital property other than for your son, Who's to say you don't shack up with some younger woman who does take it? Then leaves you?

It is rough. I know. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, this is awful, but I really feel like you could be my husband, only we are younger, and you obviously are not him...But one day I just realized I am not attracted to my husband at all....Most of his mannerisms only serve to annoy me.
Upon telling him this he argued that, "No, I can fix everything and it will be better I promise." He can't fix this. I don't want to be with him. I'm done here...stop bothering me. All his neediness and whining. All his jealousy over the children...all his lack of help around the house, all his chauvinistic views, his constant need for attention, all of it! Tired of getting pawed awkwardly in the bedroom...tired of having to smell his freaking feet! All he has to do is wear some freaking socks and it would help...He wears workboots all day with no socks...and his feet stench bad enough to gag you, while he's wearing shoes...ugghhh...
I just am not interested in this life I have been leading with him. He's a nice guy and all, but I'm finished. I don't think there's any going back. I don't like the way he deals with the children, so I can't really ask him for help with a whole lot of anything. He is like a big smelly petulant child and I am done! Don't get me wrong, I'm no prize either, I don't keep house as well as I would like, I only sometimes have dinner ready when he gets home, I am not terribly interested in sex with him ever and the kicker, I knew most of these drawbacks before I married him but I did it anyway. I figured these things weren't that big of a deal, but they are...and I have reached the end of my tolerance.
When I told him how I felt I asked him if he didn't think he deserved someone that loved him back? and he said that no, he wanted me and he could make me love him...knowing that is impossible still I sit here resenting him every time he forces me to lie to him by asking me questions like this one..."Are you sure you love me?"
Do you want the truth or another lie? Oooh you want lies? Then STOP ASKING ME THESE STUPID QUESTIONS!!!

Here is my take on the whole thing, if a person tells you they don't want to be with you, then assume that they know what they are talking about, and whether they don't want to be with you because they want to be with someone else, or just because they don't want to be with you, you will likely feel better once you have the option to be with someone that is interested in you, because there is a really good chance that you aren't getting the benefits of being in a relationship with someone that loves you for you. You are just existing in the relationship you have.
And if you let this person do what they want and give them the divorce they want and it turns out they were wrong and do want to be with you, then tough for them I guess.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 1:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Am I Wasting My Time?
So, I have been with my fiance for 5 years. In the...
34 weeks pregnant; so unhappy with husband
This will sound like a case of pregnancy woes..and...
Scarlett's List of People to Avoid (Romantically)
Reading some of these recent posts, I'm moved to start...
Intimacy Issues
My wife and I married at the age of 16, we were pregnant...
Getting a little help from your spouse
Well, the holidays are here and as usual, I'm worn...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™