Forum Replies Created
November 16, 2016 at 10:54 am #120502
I am the wife that may not love her husband anymore.
As I think and write, I keep coming back to my struggle with vulnerability and trust. There have been times when I opened up to my husband about something important to me and I was met with judgment, dismissal, correction, or a lack of listening. Those moments severely eroded my trust in my husband to provide me “emotionally safe” grounds for sharing with him. Why should I bare my soul to someone who is likely to stomp all over my feelings? (I’ve come 47 years by relying almost exclusively on myself for my emotional needs, so to cut him out is no big thing for me – it’s comfortable in a perverse kind of way.) I have done my best to communicate to my husband about how he treats me and so far success has been intermittent. In my mind, I’ve given him all the answers (through verbal conversation and the sharing of articles that pertain to what I’m needing or how things have gotten this way for me from childhood) he needs in order to figure this out and he still hasn’t. I *want* to love him again, I just can’t right now because the trust is so broken.
I have no way of knowing if your wife is feeling any of these things. I simply wanted to share a little of my story with you in case it sparked something new that you and the others posting here haven’t already discussed.
I want the best for you and your wife!
B and E’s MomNovember 8, 2016 at 6:41 am #119909
Thank you for the tips on reaching more people. I appreciate the amount of time you take to respond to all the different posts – I’m sure others do, too 🙂November 8, 2016 at 5:11 am #119900
All true things you say, especially about owning your mistakes in front of your children. Yes, I started another thread because I thought maybe it would reach a wider sample of people from which to draw some information.November 7, 2016 at 10:04 am #119856
I agree that the love is strong towards and from both my kiddos. They come to me, I think, BECAUSE I’m a “guiding force” that actively listens without judgment and am moving towards a peer to peer relationship style, while still offering direction, as they approach legal adulthood. In the weeks of our having dinner together I have come to know more about my son than I ever did when we lived under the same roof – both before and after the divorce with his father. For that development I am most grateful.
This instance with room clearing is probably THE MOST un-calm thing I’ve done as a parent. It’s like I was another person, entirely. Rational thought was not with me. I suppose the stress of everything I listed previously finally demanded to be let out and my son got caught in the crossfire.
I am often an impatient person, and this period of my child’s lives can be excruciating at times. I want to know *now* that I haven’t screwed things up and that at some point, my kids might actually see some value in my husband.November 7, 2016 at 9:28 am #119853
I think my son didn’t do the things he was asked simply because he didn’t *want* to do them. Kind of a “won’t do” as opposed to a “can’t do” situation. I agree that it is possible I reacted too quickly on the clearing of his room.
I also happen to agree with you on my husband’s attitude and we have talked about it. It’s basically a moment where we have agreed to disagree.
While not perfect by any stretch, the three of us (myself, husband, and son) did manage to live together for a time. Things ramped up in intensity once the knowledge of mine and my husband’s marriage was brought to light. Before then, things *appeared* ok.November 7, 2016 at 8:50 am #119849
There could be others, but here’s what I can definitely say about the disrespect:
My son was/would:
1. Asked to carry a house key/lock the front door (a request made to me by my husband)
2. Asked to text if he wasn’t going to be home by a certain time
3. Use my tools for his skateboard and not return them, ending up in them being lost
4. Asked to be quiet after certain hours so that my husband and I could get a decent night’s sleep yet there were many a night where there was lots of banging about in the kitchen
5. Not get up at the appropriate time in order for me to drop him at school and not worry about being late to work myself
6. Asked to keep a screen-less window closed so the cats couldn’t get out
7. Enter mine and my husband’s bedroom/bathroom without permission
I cleared out my son’s room because, in part, if he didn’t want to live with my husband and I, then he needed to live with his dad full time again and not play us against each other by saying “I’m going to spend the night at Dad’s” while in reality going off with his friends. He wanted to come and go from either house at his discretion, which I felt would wreak havoc on any kind of schedule/routine for daily living, i.e. it would be hard to plan on doing things (for my husband’s work or for us as a couple in the evenings) if my son showed up unannounced. It was also partly what my husband had been encouraging me to do (giving my son the ultimatum to “follow the rules” or live elsewhere) because the level of disrespect from my son was not conducive to me learning how to be more assertive, stand up for myself, respect myself, and feel like a worthy individual. All of which have been a lifelong struggle for me.
As to my “great anger”…. I think I was reacting to:
1. Feeling like I had no independence and everything I did had to be approved by my husband (hence the switch to the “hold on loosely” approach)
2. My kids preferring to live with their dad
3. Not knowing if the kids appreciated what/how much I did/do for them and how many “problems” I helped them solve
4. Not communicating as well with my son as I was with my daughter – feeling distant from him
5. Fear that the kids loved their dad more than me because I’m the one who instigated the divorce
6. Fear of the kids perceiving their dad as “better” than me
7. The kids not liking my husbandNovember 7, 2016 at 7:45 am #119839
Examining things here would be fantastic!! This turned into a novel of a post, so I apologize for the length.
My kid’s complaints (to which I’m privy) have been:
1. Both kids were worried that my husband was controlling my time and thoughts and wanted to be with me every waking moment (which has changed significantly since he and I met – he’s adopted the “Hold on Loosely” (thank you, 38 Special) principle and that has made things much better from my perspective.)
2. My son hates my husband and thinks he is an outright asshole who is “narrow minded and rigid.” I believe this stems from an incident between them. There was always some tension between the two because of item number one above.
First, some background tho….. For various reasons, my son was asked to leave his father’s house. My son came to live with me at around the same time my now husband entered my life and moved in with me. My husband did not like the level of disrespect shown to me by my son and was encouraging me to stand up for myself and not get walked over like a doormat. That was difficult for me, so one night my husband asked if I wanted him to deliver the “respect your mother or find another place to live” idea to my son. I agreed and a somewhat heightened conversation took place between the two. Fast forward four to six weeks when my husband and I reveal that we got married to both my kids at the same time. They were surprised and may have felt “left out” of this decision because we got married without telling anyone. Soon after this reveal, my son is brought home by his father after a trip to Goodwill to buy furniture items for the basement at my ex’s house to be used by my son. My son goes into his room and starts removing his computer and some other items saying he is going to now be splitting time between his father’s house and mine & my husband’s. I replied that that was unacceptable – I wanted him to make a choice, so there would be known accountability for his well being and not some loosey-goosey arrangement where he showed up at either house on a whim. In anger, I said he could take what he had gathered, drop it at his father’s house, then come back for the rest of his stuff. He disagreed with me about that, and asked me not to clear out his room in the interval. I did not listen and again, in great anger, cleared out his belongings and placed them in the garage for him to retrieve. When he returned, there were more angry words between us and some tears. He ended up leaving with his stuff and going back to live with his father.
So, now to what I believe to be the major point of contention between my son and husband…. The day after I moved things out of my son’s room he returned to the house while I was at work and asked my husband to let him in to get something he forgot. My husband, not being comfortable with the idea of my son inside while I was gone, refused my son entry; asking him to return after 5:30 when I got home from work. This angered my son to the point of yelling, crying, and trying to lift a sliding glass door out of it’s tracks to gain entry into the house. (I was being texted by both sides of this exchange while it was happening.) My husband did not respond to the emotional outburst, which further fueled my son’s distress. My husband described it as telling my son “no” and not backing down. Eventually, my husband went and found what my son wanted and handed it to him through the door and my son left. This also created some issues for my son and I, but we sought assistance from an excellent counselor and have been on pretty good terms since then, having dinner together once a week and texting off and on.
3. My daughter has told me she “tolerates” my husband because he seems to make me happy. When she is with my husband and I, I get very little sense that she has the level of animosity that my son does. My husband describes it as her being caught in the middle of a situation where she wants to support and be loyal to her brother for the “wrongs” done to him but, at the same time, she may actually find some value and interest in many of the things my husband says and does (cooking from scratch and ideas about how to live one’s life.) The three of us have actually had what I consider to be good, happy times where my daughter has benefited directly from a new perspective.
As to what my kid’s father is contributing to the situation, I can not say for sure. I *suspect* there may have been some “fueling” in the beginning, but the pendulum *appears* to have swung the other way as myself, my husband, and my ex have had non-confrontational exchanges in front of the kids on multiple occasions. If the ex *is* fueling anything, then (in my opinion) he is exhibiting hypocritical behavior with the kids.
My husband’s attitude is that while my kids are teenagers he is not going to overly invest in them as they aren’t “done” yet and won’t be the same people in the coming years. He will help/support me with them (eg, transporting them to and fro if I am at work and unable to do so, showing my daughter cooking techniques, or talking about different life philosophies) but he’s not going to “befriend” them until they become adults.November 7, 2016 at 6:03 am #119826
My husband has agreed that he needs to “compartmentalize” his work/personal personas (they are opposite ends of the spectrum) and be more supportive and thoughtful with me than when he is working. So we’ll continue down this new path we created over the weekend and see where it leads. BOTH of us need to keep our minds open to what the other thinks/feels/believes and do our best to accommodate each other while, at the same time, remaining true to “who we are.” It sure isn’t as easy as in the books and movies!!!! 😉
Because a lot of stress (for me) comes from not knowing how things are going to end up with my kids, perhaps I need to find a group of people who’ve had divorced parents remarry and see if they would be willing to share their stories in some fashion. It’s about the only way I can see to allay my concerns while my children finish their journey to adulthood.November 7, 2016 at 5:35 am #119818
Thank you for the link! It is an interesting idea to ponder. I appreciate the time you took to send it to me.November 7, 2016 at 5:34 am #119817
I was able to have some good conversation with my husband this weekend. He appears to understand the things that are bugging me about his behavior of late and says he is more than willing to work on things because, “I’m worth it.” We will see what happens. His business is 100% commission based and has been very slow. I knew this going into the relationship and there are other trade offs that make the situation amenable to my life – I haven’t had to cook or do laundry or clean the bathroom or deal with a technology problem in over a year 😉 The second job is due to my 17 year old having medical expenses from surgery for a broken arm.
My kids are 15 and 17 and live with their dad, so they don’t interact with my husband very often. My husband DOES encourage me to spend as much time with them as possible (one on one) and to “make memories” with them. He says they will eventually out-grow their distaste for him as their brains prune themselves down from adolescence (by forgetting the incidents that caused the dislike to form in the first place) into adulthood and things will become more cordial for everyone. Neither he nor I had divorced parents that remarried, so there’s no first hand experience with these feelings (from a child’s point of view) and my fear is that the kids WON’T lose their distaste and will forever view my husband as, “the enemy.”
I suppose the bottom line is that by taking the chance of opening up about my discomfiture with the state of things, I set in motion a conversation about how my husband and I can better communicate with each other so that my loneliness goes away, he feels positive about things too, and this relationship can be as good as possible. I’m not ready to throw in the towel and would say I’m cautiously optimistic about it all.November 4, 2016 at 8:38 am #119614
Thank you for your comments. As it turns out, I have an interview for a different job next week. I applied to something thinking I wouldn’t hear a word and they called me this morning. And, as you say, if I’m busy at work I won’t have time to feel lonely and do nothing but think about the stuff going on at home.
B and E’s MomNovember 4, 2016 at 8:19 am #119609
Thank you for your comments. I am a practical person at heart, so YAY!!!!
I have used Meetup.com before, and the reminder is appreciated 😉
I have not read the particular titles you mention, so they’re probably worth considering!!
Joint activities that my husband and I can do together is a great idea. I think there needs to be some resolution to whether or not we are even going to move forward together, first. If I can’t be vulnerable then, in my opinion, everything else is a way to avoid the elephant in the room. If we can sort things out, then this option is totally viable 🙂
B and E’s MomNovember 4, 2016 at 8:08 am #119604
I think you ultimately nailed it on the head when you said, “I know I am depressed and I should try a little…” I have lived MANY of my years in a minor depressive state. Not wanting to deal with the world, shoving my head in the sand to avoid it all. It’s been the hardest thing for me to realize and begin to accept that I am worthy and have value. It took lots of tears and much gnashing of teeth to come through, but it’s happening. As cliched and trite as it is to say this, YOU are the only one who can help you. Your children can’t. Former co-workers can’t. Men can’t. It’s got to be you, and you alone, that affects the beginning of the change.
You also say, “The love and friendship I have stored up inside me feels like a heavy weight inside my chest…” have you thought about volunteering at an animal shelter? Animals seem to have a way of helping us humans because they accept our love and friendship – especially dogs. There may even be an animal that you specifically identify with upon hearing the story of how it came to be at the shelter. If nothing else, perhaps giving what you have to offer to a creature that can offer little to nothing in return (in a material way, at least) will help dissipate the weight you feel.
B and E’s MomNovember 4, 2016 at 7:43 am #119599
Yoona – yes, I have been looking inward and reading – A LOT – over the last year and a half. I haven’t joined any groups because I’m not sure where I’d best fit in. I started out not really having a great sense of “who I am” plus strong feelings of worthlessness, and some depression & anxiety. While I’m still not there, it’s gotten a little better. I’m learning about who I am, I don’t feel nearly as worthless, and I’m no longer on my antidepressants. So, as Pearla said, I *do* have more than I think. Pearla – I am going to think on your words and see if maybe I can come up with something helpful for you, too.
I would be really happy if my kids didn’t dislike my new husband so much. If you are familiar with Myers Briggs, he’s an INTP, which can be a difficult type to get along with. I identify as an INFP so, on the surface, my husband and I *should* be compatible. It’s this matter of vulnerability (for me) that seems to get in the way. I believe my biggest contribution to my current situation is simply not having the trust/faith in NOT being hurt if I open up to my husband. I believe he truly cares about me and wants me in his life. That is all tempered, greatly, by his ability to be overly logical at times (a MAJOR characteristic of an INTP) and treat certain issues quite coldly. I think it was Einstein that defined insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” This is where I feel I am with my husband. I’m tired of getting the “same results” and so I have withdrawn from him.
My ex and I did some couples counseling before divorcing, so I feel pretty good about taking the lessons learned there and applying them in this new marriage. It all seems to come back to the vulnerability/trust issue. My husband and I had a bit of discussion last night and nothing was really resolved, but some honesty about how I’m feeling was able to be conveyed and vice-versa. The jury is basically still out as to whether or not “we” will continue moving forward.
Thank you, Yoona and Pearla, for replying. I was half expecting no feedback at all.