Need advice/help for a crumbling marriage!

MysteryFlavorJuly 5, 2013

Hello! This is my first time, so sorry if I can be unclear.

My wife and I have been together for nearly a decade. I'm 29, she's 28. We have two kids (daughter 2 1/2, son 6) and my family means the world to me. As a family, we have a great relationship. As a couple, we've been gradually drifting apart from each other for about the past 2 1/2 years. Keep in mind that I can get lazy at times and be somewhat manic depressive, but not at all too much to handle. She suffers from depression and anxiety, and she sometimes can lash out (emotionally and verbally).

In the beginning, life was great. We were a couple that had everything going for us. School, work, money, friends, trust, intimacy, and we both have supportive families. After 2 years of being together, we had a son. Things were still fine and dandy. We enjoyed each others company and our son just enhanced our fun. We got married at about 4 1/2 years and everything was still great (think American dream).

We decided to have another child while we were still young, so on the 6th year, we had a baby girl. Best little princess ever. But there were complications after she gave birth. She hemoraged and was quite literally a thread away from death. Her body was able to beat it though thank god, but her mental health became horribly unstable (and I don't blame her).

I tried to be as supportive as possible and I did all the house chores, kids going to school/daycare, finances, and emotional support. I did this for nearly a year, but I started feeling like a single father. She no longer wanted to be touched (and by touched, I don't mean intimacy, I mean literally not wanting to be touched), no longer wanted to talk to me, borderline didn't care how I felt, and didn't care about my short list of needs. It felt like I had a roomate.

I felt like she just didn't want me anymore and that she could do better. So after another 1/2 year of counseling and therapy, we decided to break it off. I wanted to go because I though I wasn't enough for her, and she wanted to go because she felt I was asking for too much. But about two months later, we wanted to give it another shot, so we did and that's why I'm here.

I'm trying to fix the trust that was broken. I feel like that is slowly being mended, but I know it will take more time. In the meantime, she wants zero intimacy with me (that goes from hugging, to kissing, to sex). She said she had no sexual drive, but I catch her "playing" at least twice a week. I never minded that, but if she has no sexual drive, then why does she do it?

A couple of weeks ago she went out with some friends (couple guys), and she came home that night and I wanted to have some fun. She kind of just shooed me away and went to bed. I woke up that night to her calling out one of the guys' names and she starting "playing" again, but she did this unknowingly. I talked to her about it, and she said she doesn't have feelings like that for him. I'm unusally jealous about this situation because - 1. We haven't been intimite for months and 2. She's thinking about other guys. I know it's just a dream, but it makes me completely confused about what she's feeling (she doesn't want to talk about how she feels, so I'm left to speculate).

I love her very much, and I don't want to give up. But sometimes I feel like I keep getting pushed to the edge and it almost makes me feel like she wants me to give up.

If I left anything out, I'll be sure to post some replies. Thanks for reading my long rant!

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"I'm trying to fix the trust that was broken."

Not sure what you mean here, how has the trust been broken ?

Difficult for you to move forward when she refuses to have a good talk to you. Why did she want to get back together - I guess at that point there should have been agreements about certain conditions.

But, in reality, you have to work with what is going on now.

Communication is the key to it all - you both have to be better at communication with each other. Talking about feelings. I realize you have made a good effort in this area.

If something is not working - it needs to be fixed - if you keep doing the same thing you will get the same result.

I wish you well, you sound like a decent chap.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 10:01PM
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The trust that was broken was when we split up. She has it in the back of her head constantly that I might get up and leave. Though at the time it was a mutual agreement to seperate, I may have pushed it a bit more than she did.

And you're right, communication in our relationship is key, and right now it's like I'm talking to a brick wall 3/4 of the time. I'm just hoping that wall will come down with time and patience.

Thanks for the reply.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Well what I am seeing might not be what I really going on.

1. it does not matter who the people are or what they have done in their lifes if you can no be Friends 1st you most likely will not make it.

I am sorry for the blunt of my reply but because here is reason for why I say friends 1st....
Friends can communicate , Friends can fight, friends can love each other, and friends can be lovers.....

You might both need to sit down and decide what is really bothering you both. Make a list of things that you both need to work on. From feelings to your marriage to income or what- ever it might be.

Take some time make DATE night.... where you are not with other friends , or family and you have a baby sitter for your kids. Even if you only have date night once a month it is better then nothing.

( my husband and I have date night every 2 weeks. No matter what he has to take me out for date night. I don't ask much out of him. It could be taking a drive or going out for ice cream but we are still taking time for each other. without other persons around just him and I)

For your sexual problems you might want to talk to each other and Find out what is really going on. be truthful, and don't get mad. Find something New to spice things up.

I wish u both luck ...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 4:41PM
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You broke trust with each other.

Is she angry?

Perhaps you could request she keep an "open journal" for three months. Then´╝îgraduate to talk.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:49AM
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You "catch her playing" at least twice a week?

That sounds like a clue;
nobody wants to be "caught", nobody wants their privacy violated.

& the fact that you think your mood swings are not too much to handle doesn't mean that they aren't too much to handle.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:42PM
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You are manic-depressive and your wife has depression and anxiety. That signals the need for professional help. If your car's transmission and brakes started going out, would you take it to a qualified mechanic or discuss it on the internet with complete strangers who may or may not even have a car?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 3:51AM
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If you've been together nearly a decade, that means you got together as teens. I'm sorry to say this, but teen relationships are 'practice' ones. They rarely last longterm and aren't really meant to. That's the time we're all trying out life, learning about ourselves, learning about others. And, of course, our brains don't completely mature until our mid to late 20's, so it's very iffy to try to make a teen romance into a lifetime one. There are some who do make that work, but the percentage is very small.

A married woman with 2 children at home SHOULD NOT BE GOING OUT with 2 gentlemen friends. If you all want to get a babysitter and go out as a group, that's one thing, but it's totally inappropriate for her to be out clubbing or whatever she's doing, with other men, while you stay home.

I'm not a big fan of divorce, especially when there are children involved. But neither do I believe in beating a dead horse. I think you need to really sit down and honestly assess the situation. If you can get her to discuss things with you--where she is right now concerning your relationship, where she sees it going, what she's willing to do to make it work (and you answering those same questions), then maybe there's a chance you can try working on things. However, I have a feeling she want's the best of both worlds--a built-in baby sitter, provider, to take care of things while she lives the single life.

Sounds like it's time for you to move on, I'm sorry to say. But before you make a decision on that, sit down with a good counselor and your lawyer to investigate your options, and to work on your own insecurities. Good luck

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:04PM
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It's hard to accept, but I think she wants out and is just waiting for you to make the next move. I've seen it before, with my first marriage and that of friends. I think the person that wants out has a lot of guilt and doesn't want to be the one to end it all. They wait for the other person, the one who's trying to make it work, to just say the word and their bags are packed so fast and they're gone. It sounds like you've made a lot of effort and she's not reciprocating at all. If she's unwilling to communicate, you should see a lawyer. I wish you all the best

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 6:39AM
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Thanks for all the responses! Here's just a couple quick replies:

I did not intentionally "catch" her doing it. She would go to bed at the usual time at night and I'll usually still be up 2 hours after she's already sleeping. I accidently catch her because I'll be ready for bed and she'll be doing the "deed." To me, it's not invasion of privacy because I didn't know she was doing it and the fact that I'd like to sleep in my own bed. As far as my mood swings, keep reading below.

As far as me being a manic-depressive, again read on below. As far as you analogy goes, I agree with you for the most part. I did seek help for myself, and it helped tremendously (again, read on below). She's still trying to resolve herself. I posted this on the internet to see if people with simlilar problems might have some insight and maybe give me some advice about the current situation. I don't see anything wrong with comparing notes.

The follow up:

I was seeing a therapist for a good 6 months after this post (between July-December 2013), and she "helped" me a lot. The reason I say "helped" is not because she directly helped me, but because she was more there for me to vent off my issues. She gave me a minimul amount of advice in return, which I didn't mind, because again - she was there to just listen. I do vent to friends from time to time, but you can only be negative to a certain extent without pushing them away. I stopped seeing her after 6 months because the cost was slowly draining my finances.

I started making sure I began seeing a more positive side to my life. I have great kids that I love dearly, and they show it back. I have good friends that stuck with me for a good while with everything that has been going on. I have a family that cares for me as much as I care for my kids and wife. I started doing hobbies and recreations that I used to enjoy (fishing, racquetball, generally being out with friends and family). I'm enjoying life more than I should have, like a piece of an unfinished puzzle that's been missing for the past 6 years. So as far as being a manic depressive and having mood swings, they're pretty much non-existent.

As far as me and my wifes relationship goes, it's still a bit rocky. She has her own issues to deal with that she has expressed to me that "it's not you, it's me." As cliche as that sounds, that's what she believes. I try to not to take things so personnally anymore. I will always be there for her no matter what. We still feel like borderline room mates, but we're trying to get past that.

The way we are trying to work things out is having basically a weekly session of what's on our minds (good and bad). She has been pretty shut in since my last post, but she's slowly working on opening up. We're trying to make a date night, but money is tight and it extremely hard to find a babysitter. We try to make up for it by having a couples dinner and/or a movie here and there. I'm hoping it works out, only time will tell.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 12:11PM
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You sound like you are doing your best, and it all sounds really good and positive. Good for you.

Wkly session is a good idea and date night.

Are the children doing okay, with a struggling mother ?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 12:11AM
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MysteryFlavor, can you read my post in the Unemotional Wife thread.

I would ask if you have looked at things from your wife's perspective? Was she ever the type of person who would open up about things? Or did you only just notice that she didn't communicate the same way you did when things weren't going so well and you felt a frustration that you couldn't get through to her?

I don't believe that two people who don't communicate exactly the same way can't be together. I like to learn to speak different languages as a hobby. I see no reason why I should not have to learn my wife's language in how she communicates love. My wife appears completely emotionless and that is true from a certain perspective. She is very logical and unemotional. That doesn't mean I should dump her. I love her.

When you think about what makes her laugh, what makes her happy? If she is depressed now, maybe she doesn't express her joy anymore. Maybe you need to look back at what made her happy in the past. Maybe all the former ways of her playing have been locked away because she has found herself in a life where she hasn't got the opportunities to play any more. Look at how she interacts with her family and how they demonstrate love to each other and how they enjoy each others company. It may seem like a very strange way of expressing love to you, but to her it may be natural.

I am by no means telling you what you should do, as I don't know you or your wife. I'm simply providing a different way for you to look at your issues.

I think that forming and sustaining a family is the most important work a man can do. We shouldn't give up until we've searched all the undiscovered terrain and shone a light in places where no one has thought to look yet.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 12:40AM
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That is really good advice, Gary Appleseed.

I like where you say - " I like to learn to speak different languages as a hobby. I see no reason why I should not have to learn my wife's language in how she communicates love. "

Your wife is very lucky to have such an emotionally mature person such as yourself to care and understand you.

I will take your advice and try to apply it to my domestic situation. It is so easy to get caught up with the "me,me,me" , as the most important thing in our worlds.

Working hard at observing and understand how our loved one communicates love and accepting that, and not trying to change it - is certainly a mountain to climb.

So -" We shouldn't give up until we've searched all the undiscovered terrain and shone a light in places where no one has thought to look yet." I will also take your other bit of advice and do that myself.

Thanks very much for your kind words.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 7:59PM
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