Desperate for help...

mark2468September 16, 2010

I am desperate and need some help. I am a man trapped in a loveless marriage. My wife and I are more distant now than ever. We have been married almost 30 years and have 2 kids in college and one in highschool.

The problem is that my wife and I are like partners more than we are husband and wife. We don't fight, we just exist and haven't had intimacy in over a year.

I am 5o and lost my father last year. He died quickly from a vial disease and our family was in shock. I tried to go to my wife for support and she wasn't there for me. She says I pushed her away...but I was in shock and grieving. Shouldn't she have tried harder. This causes me to resent her.

Before this happened I moved my family to another state so the distance was hard. This year my mother passed away and because I have such a bad relationship with my wife I still have no support. It's more than I can take sometimes. Getting through each day is real challenge.

I am considering ending my marriage and trying to find a person who I feel loves me and wants to spend the rest of our lives together. This situation makes me feel trapped. I resent her for not being there for me. I thought better or worse meant that in a time of tragedy we should pull together. I really can't belive this but I think I would be happier in life with just my kids and not having to feel this resentment towards her all the time. I feel like she let me down. I would have been there for her. I love my wife, always will, but I don't think I can get past this resentment and feeling that she doesn't care about me. She treats our friends and family with more affection than she does me. Before anyone says...go to counseling....I've already thought about that. She has to be feeling the same emptiness I am and frankly everytime we have an issue, I always have to go to her to talk about it. She never starts the conversation.

What would you do? I REALLY have nobody to talk to about this so please give me some guidance.

Thanks for listening and I apologize for the length of this post. I really needed to tell somebody.

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Hold on a minute!! You say your wife wasn't there for you when your father died. Then in the next breath you say you pushed her away and she should have tried harder. Bull!!

Everyone grieves differently. After you pushed her away and if you wanted to talk later it was up to you to go to her. She is not a mind reader. She didn't know what you wanted if you didn't tell her or give her some signal.

I would like you to think back over things and see just how many times you did push her away. I'm not saying the alienation you feel is all your fault. Marriage and communication is a two way street. It takes both partners working together and communicating with each other to make a good marriage.

I do suggest you go to counseling. I also suggest you pick a time when you will be uninterupted and tell your wife how you are feeling. Rent a hotel room if you have to. When you talk it should be about how YOU feel not about when she does this or that. Accusations just put the other person on the defensive and then nothing gets solved, so keep your conversation about your feelings. I'll bet your wife has a lot to say too. Start your conversation by saying you feel lonely and alienated and ask her if she feels that way too.

Finding someone else may sound good but it's a pipe dream. The one thing that remains is that if you don't try to solve your situation you will just be carrying all the same garbage into a new relationship.

I wish you luck. I hope you can work things out

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:44PM
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The situation you described is quite common, although I'm certain it doesn't feel like that to you. What have you got to lose? You're already most of the way out the door. Find out what you need to know. You know her. You know how to do this.

Alone-time. Bottle of wine. Guts out on the table. Print out what you just wrote and show it to her. Allow her to respond in-full. Find out what the situation really is direct from the source. I suspect you'll both learn a few things.

From what you wrote, I'm not sure she knows where you're at or why. After 30 years, I would think both of you have license to enquire without fireworks.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 11:04PM
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If you are saying she does not show you enough affection - then how much affection do you show her ? Are you behaving the way you want her to behave ?

You have been through so much together, having children, it can't have been all bad, was it ? Where there any times where things were going well and you were happy ?

Sometimes we expect people to do things, and then we get cranky and resentful because they didn't do what we thought they should do, when the reality is they just don't have a clue what is going on !

You really need to talk to the great Asolo suggests, print out this the posting you made and show it to her.

30 years is a long time to be married.

Losing your parents is heartwrenching, has she been through that ? You might be going through some mid-life issues.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 12:07AM
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Thanks for your responses. I appreciate it..

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 5:00AM
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Is it possible that you are still grieving the loss of your parents? Have you tried grief counseling? It really does work. I agree with what the others have said. Marriage counseling may also be good. Thirty years is a long time and I am sure that you don't want to throw in the towel withoug giving your marriage all that you have to give.

In addition to the years that you have been together, have you thought about the finances of divorce, not seeing your children daily, giving up a portion, possibly half, of your retirement, child support and possibly alimony? At fifty,it ain't pretty!

Finding someone to love you and to spend the rest of your life with very often is "the grass is greener" syndrome.
You may have what you want right there in your house. You may just have to work to bring your marriage back to life.

TALK to your wife.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 2:29PM
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Would you say there are some dependency issues here? Everybody needs a support base. Sometimes you have to build your own

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:05PM
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Mark, I just wrote a lengthy post on your other thread without realizing you had written this one too. My apologies, didn't know there was more to the story than a long marriage that had gone a bit stale. I don't frequent this forum too often but your other post got me thinking about marriage in general and how it changes, or doesn't.....

Anyway, spouses aren't mind readers. Not because they don't want to be, but because they can't be. It just isn't humanly possible. If you push someone away, don't be surprised if they stay away; they are just doing what they think you want them to do.

Start talking, and really listening.......good luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I think you should go on a long holiday, trek in Nepal, might do it. Take yourselves outside your comfortable life, find new ways of dealing with the survival stresses that would come up on such a trip.

If you both do some work to help less fortunate people, you might see each other in a new light. There is a whole world out there to explore.

Find the joy in each other, again, must have been there in the first place when you first got together.

Just an idea for you.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 3:07AM
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"I would have been there for her. I love my wife, always will"

By withholding, you are not being there for her...

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 4:50PM
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Mark you have had a very tough year losing both parents. Losing a parent can be devastating, losing both it tragic. Your wife was there for you, just not how you needed her to be. You need to forgive her as being less then perfect.

I think when someone is grieving, you need to give them space. I don't think it's necessarily your responsibility to reconnect even if you pushed her away. Your wife may be trying to respect your wishes but now you need her back in your life. You love her. Does it really matter who initiates the reconnecting? Pride can kill a marriage.

The family dynamics are also shifting through all of this. You and your wife are almost empty nesters. There are a lot of weekend retreats for couples that provide tools to reconnect. Check them out and present some of the ones that you think would be beneficial...let her decide on the one ultimately so she feels some sense of input.

Good luck. Thirty years of marriage is too important to throw away, just because you have hit a rough road.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 10:06PM
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