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I am sort of in the same boat as you now, although mine is much more recent and involved 15 years of marriage. I kept thinking that because we live together still, because we still interact, because we have children, because she still has not made any moves to file for divorce that the door is still open.
Then one day, I had my normal “10 seconds of bliss as I wake up and forget what has happened and then reality comes crashing down” moment and I just said “Enough!”. We cannot control what they do. We cannot make them love us, miss us, want us. We can only control what WE do. I joined a gym and go 4 times a week. I hang out with friends that I haven’t hung around with in years. I do things without worrying about if it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings that I am doing it without them. I am living for me. I have cut all non-essential contact between me and my wife. Our conversations are very much business related now. I am living my life, because sitting around and waiting for someone else to come along and validate my life is depressing.
Now, this isn’t saying there isn’t a part of me that hopes really badly that my wife will see what I perceive as an error and change. But I am not longer dependent upon it. Life will go on. The sun will rise tomorrow, and I with it. I am making myself a better person, and doing so in such a manner that my wife cannot help but notice it. I clean the house from top to bottom, avoid past vices that got me in trouble (video games), hit the gym like I said, seeing a therapist. I am going to make this decisions much, much harder.
I would say in your particular case, you seem to have some stuff left unsaid for this guy. I would perhaps drop him an email. Do not be needy and desperate. Just tell him how you feel. Avoid the whole “I can’t move on” part, but just tell him how you feel about him and that you just wanted to tell him regardless of how he feels. Until I sat my wife down and said what I needed to say to her, I realized that I would forever wonder if I had left words unsaid that would have avoided this, or at the very least, made this less painful in the long run. Now, I know I didn’t. Whatever happens now is completely out of my hands, and I have come to terms with that.
Once you contact the guy, don’t contact him again. Let him contact you if he feels anything for you. And do not get your hopes up. He may ignore you entirely. He may give you a short “Okay” type response. He may come back at you aggressively (he might be mad about how it ended). You never know. If he does come at you mean or cold, don’t respond. At the very least, you will get to say all the things you didn’t get to when the relationship ended. And you never know what the outcome might be.
As for your anxiety and the like, I am a big fan of Lithium right now. I am currently taking that. Also, there is a device on Ebay called the “Bob Beck Zapper”. It’s like very, very mild electroshock type therapy. You place these things on your ears and you turn it up until you get the sensation of calm. It works so awesome. You feel giddy and happy for the whole 20 minutes you leave it on and it promotes brain growth. Exercise is also great for that. Just kinda tossing some ideas to get you over the hump here.
The sad truth is you stalled in the denial phase of grief it seems. But with a little help, you can get over that hump and be happy again. Start to daydream about those things you say are painful, but this time, just blank out the face of the person next to you. Or remove them all together. And repeat to yourself “I don’t need ANYONE to be happy”. It may be an outright lie, but you can fool your psyche into believing it long enough to move on at least.
I am going to take a different tack on this matter and sort of disregard you calling him sketchy (but I would agree that is likely something you should pay attention to honestly).
Did he already know a bit about you? While talking about himself might seem shallow and narcissistic, if he already was acquainted with you and your life, perhaps he was attempting to fill in that blank for you.
When he asked you to make plans, did you flounder on it at all? Like say yes, then at the last moment cancel or something? I ask because if I was interested in a woman and attempted to make plans and she floundered or she was rude in saying no or a little too enthusiastic about squashing the idea, then I too would likely break contact and allow you to make the next move. He tried his move. You rejected it. As a man, not only does that bruise our ego, regardless of how he played it off, but it makes us feel like you are uninterested so we sort of put the ball in your court.
As for his multitudes of women and looking at their photos, was he not doing that with you as well? It seems a bit odd that you would find nothing wrong with him liking or loving your photos, but find it “sketchy” that he does it to other women’s photos. Yes, the part where he doesn’t even know some of them is creepy (I think I have one person I don’t really know as a friend, and that was to help keep in contact with an actual friend), but we are men. We have sexual desires and urges just like women do. And while some of them can be quite offputting, I don’t think this specific brand of “lurking” is anywhere near as sketchy as you might think. It is weird though, I will agree with that.
I would say that perhaps he also sees the sort of environment we are in now. I am having to come to grips with possibly having to date again soon if my wife decides the divorce is final, and it sort of scares the shit out of me. Not because I am clumsy with women, although I totally am. But rather because now if you pursue a woman with too much gusto, she could accuse you of sexual harassment or worse. I heard a woman claiming a man at work had sexually harassed her because he had dared to ask her out TWICE over the span of 4 years. Today’s climate is kinda terrifying for us men, especially those who aren’t used to navigating this minefield we now find ourselves standing in.
I’m not saying anything here that I have said is the case. I am just sort of looking at it from outside the box and attempting to maybe see it a little from his perspective. I will say though, the mere fact that you have made a judgment call about him being sketchy already should serve to answer your question about breaking it off, but it might be worth maybe digging deeper into some of this I mentioned before doing so. Maybe that observation is a flawed one because you don’t have all of the info.
Airene is right. There is a reason the term is SELF esteem. It’s very hard for someone to change how you feel about you on a fundamental level. The only way they can tear you down is if you already have insecurities for them to prey upon.
The conversation you need to have with this man is simple.
“I am miserable with you. You prey on my insecurities and make me feel terrible. I cannot be with you anymore.”
The more difficult part here is going to be staying away from him after. It sounds like you have some codependency issues that you should really talk to a counselor about. Otherwise you WILL just continue to relive this cycle over and over. And the end of the cycle, if left to its own devices I fear will be very bad for you.
I got hurt, and blubbered and begged and promised to change. That was mistake number one. Then, I got angry and petty and vengeful. That was mistake number two. As I told Sierra, there is nothing we can do if the person you love doesn’t want to love you anymore. For instance, I have spent the past week and a half watching every video from a “relationship guru” I can find in an effort to get an idea of how to play this now. Some say to break off all contact and make them miss you. Others say that only works on men and women are likely to leave you behind and get over you faster if you ignore them. But they ALL agree on one thing: work on yourself. You likely cannot ever be who you were when you met them, especially with the lengths of both of our relationships (yours 18, mine 15 years). Hell, I was 24 then. I likely had not even become the person I was going to be yet by then. But you can reignite the spark of attraction in the other person, and a lot of that just spawns from letting them go and bettering yourself. I know I told Sierra that success without them is the greatest “revenge”, but more appropriately, it’s how to make them regret letting you go.
If you truly want this to work, then this is your best way. It makes the most sense in a psychology sort of manner. My wife and I ceased being two people a long time back. When we first met, we were independent, happy and driven people. But as we grew together as a single entity and lost ourselves in the process, we lost some of that drive, and a lot of that happiness because of it. My wife has said that she wants time to “find herself” but is adamant that our marriage is over. I don’t want to discount her feelings, but I highly doubt she is as certain as she claims to be. But she IS right. I need to find myself again. She needs to find herself again. And should God or whatever force you believe in sees fit, those two new people might want each other again. We did before. The thing you must remember is that they married you, so they found you physically attractive. So that is one problem you don’t have to worry about anymore. But if your career stalled out, or you stopped doing fun things, or like me, just sort of fell into a rut of the same old, same old for years now, you have to break those habits and live your life like today is the last day on Earth. Your husband will see the change. He might start to rethink his decision. Or he might not. But living your life for yourself will make it so it doesn’t matter. You will be happy no matter what.
It’s gonna take some time. Trust me, last night was filled with dreams of my wedding day and my beautiful bride standing across from me, and for the first few seconds of the morning when I woke up, I was happy again….because for those brief seconds, I had forgotten reality. And then it all swept in again and sadness hammered me. It also doesn’t help that I have a son and 3 little girls who are shattered by all of this and constantly crying (yeah, try not to be sad around THAT) about the divorce. I have found a good way to deal with that sadness is the gym. I know that sounds really cliche, but I mean it. You can focus all of that energy and sadness into working out, get a good endorphin rush, and at the same time, you are actively working towards bettering yourself, which as I mentioned, is a great way to spark that attraction between you and your ex again.
I will ask this, however: Do you KNOW he is having an inappropriate relationship with the woman at work? Or do you just think he’s having one? Because I can tell you from experience in my past (not my own) that accusations with no evidence often backfire. Not only does it broadcast that you don’t fully trust the person, but as a friend of mine found out, it can actually facilitate the action you are accusing them of. He had often thought his girlfriend was cheating on him. He would confront her about it often and finally she did. When he asked why she would do that to him, she simply stated “You were sure I was doing it anyway, I might as well have the fun associated with the accusation”.
Long story short, don’t sit around moping. Get out there and live your life. Better yourself, keep contact limited (I likely wouldn’t do the “no contact” thing….it just seems counter intuitive) and let the man see what he is missing out on. If he truly wants to be with you, and you look like you are bracing yourself to move on without him, he will come running.
I will say to not do some of the more counter productive actions that often times are associated with this sort of thing like rebounding with someone to make him jealous, or attempting to disrupt said relationship with the other woman. Let him think it doesn’t bother you, be out and about having fun (which I know sounds hard right now), and trust me…..even if he doesn’t come back, you learning to live without him will happen while attempting to do so.
I am always confused by the “risking of our friendship” part. Are there really people out there who suddenly recoil, scream “EEEEWW!” and then don’t want to be friends anymore? The point being, the only thing you are actually risking is your ego. You are afraid he will reject you romantically and that is scary. But your ego will recover, and you risk missing a great relationship.
I will say this: Go into this with the expectation that it won’t last. At least with this guy. He seems non-committal to say the least. This is not me saying it can’t go extremely well, he can’t get over that phobia of commitment and you guys have a great relationship forever. But I am saying you know how he feels NOW. As long as you understand that he could bolt at any time and you are okay with that and are able to be friends if that is what he decides, then go for it. However, if you are one of those people who tends to get super hurt during a breakup and doesn’t want to see the other person again, you might want to keep it casual.
I have learned in the past 2 weeks of my 15 year marriage crumbling a single, immutable fact:
You cannot control what they feel or think. It would be great if we could, but it just can’t happen. So you should control what you can. And that is you. It may feel like the end of the world right now depending on how long you were together, but this too shall pass. I would say that the best revenge at this point is not running out to find someone new to flaunt it in his face or attempting to derail his new relationship, but rather to live your best life. That is what I am doing. Somewhere last night in the soul searching about what I wanted to do and what I could possibly do to save my marriage, it occurred to me that I can’t. Only she can. She is the one who ended it, therefor she is the only one who can save it. So I could sit around and mope and be sad, or I could live my best life. You see, the best revenge is success without them.
I have put in with a firm I have put off applying with for several years as it was kind of out of the way and I already had so little time with my wife and kids, only to find out the schedule is a 4/3-3/4 schedule where you work one Wednesday every other week and get 3 days on, 4 off or vice versa depending on the week. This puts me at an entirely new wage bracket and finally fulfills my quest to find a job using the degree I got a few years back.
I opened a gym account today and started working out again, I got a nice haircut, I bought myself some nice clothes. I made plans with friends that I could never see because of my wife’s jealousy and have started really deep diving into the man I want to be. Partly for her, because I cannot lie to myself, I would like to save this relationship if I can, but there would definitely be caveats in it, but mostly so that I am just better. With her, without her, with the next her. Life will go on, and I do not intend to allow it to go on without me. This might seem rather coarse to say since it was a 15 year marriage with 4 kids, but it is the sad, honest truth. I cannot control what she feels and thinks, I can control how my life is from here forward. If luck has it, it might be me finding myself and allowing her to do the same that lets us find each other again. So that is my advice. Live life out loud. No one regrets traveling, having fun and loving life at the end. They regret all of the times they COULD have done something and did not. So get out there, have fun, be constructive and not destructive while doing so, and he will be a memory that you might think of fondly one day as the catalyst for you changing your entire outlook on life.
I have chosen to end the fight. It is clear I can no longer control the fight. She thinks she has made this decision (I highly doubt it, but whatever) and while I do not respect it at all considering this was a determination made by a single person in a partnership, I will allow her to have her space. I intend to continue on my personal journey. Part of me is nearly certain that as I endure and don’t fall apart, and start to grow away from her, she will come running back. I honestly believe she thinks I am going to sit around like a mopey dog and wait for her to come back. I am not. Not this time. And to be honest, at this point, considering the cruelty of pulling me back in close just to dash my hopes again, I am not certain I will take her back if this happens. I saw a side of my wife tonight that makes me wonder how I could have ever fallen in love with her. There are certain things on a list that if I see them, you are disqualified immediately from any chance with me, and one of which is cruel pettiness. And she showed it big time tonight. I wanted to speak to her. To make my “Alamo last stand” as it were. And not only did she not come home, she swept our kids up from walking home from school and kept them from me all night until I finally had to go to work.
I am not a vindictive person, but when forced to it, there are no half measures from me. I go scorched Earth. Part of me gleefully revels and letting that demon out of its cage to teach her a lesson after tonight. The other part of me is so sad that she ever has to see that side of me. But it seems like she is now attempting to force me to let go by treating me like shit. And if that is the case, I am so tired and defeated at this point that I am afraid I will lash out in the worst possible ways.
I am hoping this was just a bad night. That she was suddenly coming to terms with the end and realizing that it actually hurts and isn’t something to celebrate. That the reality of her decision is starting to dawn on her. I am not expecting some epiphany where she suddenly falls back in love, but if this is the mode she chooses to use while communicating now, before any of the painful and hard stuff starts, I fear for the feelings and mental well being of my children as mom and dad get into this knock down, drag out pit fight. I only have so many cheeks to turn, and I grow tired of being treated so poorly by someone I still love so much. But I suppose that is the point. I suppose that the entire meaning behind this is to make me leave. But I have bad news for her. I am not going anywhere. I am not abusive mentally or physically. I am not an addict. I am not a threat to her or my kids in any way. So she has no right to run me out of my own home.
I think I am going to ask my wife to sort of swap some stuff around in the house to make this tolerable. Maybe have my son move in with me in our master suite and have her move into his room. I can’t keep sleeping next to her like this is all normal. I want her to feel that cold, empty spot in bed next to her. I want her to feel the distance growing between us. I want her to understand this is different this time, not just in how I changed and want to make it work for real this time, but that I will not be the lapdog waiting for her.
I am so happy to see that you are able and willing to take some self stock and introspection. It’s really going to help you move past that mistrust of men. And I get it. My wife damaged my trust many years ago. It festered and I thought I was over it, but every time she did something that was a precursor to that violation, I jumped on it. Mostly not because I thought she was violating that trust again, but rather that I had ignored signs before that something was up, assuring myself I was overthinking it, or my mind was just running amok. I had learned to trust her again, but the wound was just too great in the end. We ended up never talking about it. I tried to act like it never happened but when those instances came up, she took it as an attack on her. Both of our unwillingness to stop and take some time to just speak to one another about a rather important issue cost me my marriage this week.
So if I can stop that from happening for one other person, to stop this pain and suffering that is completely avoidable, then I will. Again, remind yourself that he is not those men. Talk to him about what happened to you. If he does things that remind you about those men and what they did, ask him about it. But realize that too much of that will make him think that you believe he is just another one of those men. And that might spell the end as well.
I don’t know what to think now. How she was acting today made me furious. Here I am, mourning the loss of my 15 year marriage, and she is dancing around the house and singing along to music like she’s having the best day she ever had. When I called her on it, she claimed she was “just putting on a brave face for the kids”, who weren’t even there at the time. She swears up and down that there is no one else, but I know her. She has this need to have a man in her life. The last two times she claimed she was going to bail, she tried to hook up with other men and it fell apart, so she ran back to me. Which now that I think about it in that light makes me even more furious. Did I really mean that little to her? Was 15 years of marriage nothing? She claims that she wants out because she thinks we will just end up back here again and at that point, I understand her fear that we might hate one another.
I am struggling with my pride right now. Part of me wants to tell her she is wrong. That I honestly never tried before. That I always thought she was just blowing things out of proportion and that she would get over it at some point. I understand how that makes me sound, and how that is likely to make her feel, but it is the truth. And it’s why I know now that I am willing to work on this. I have always been one for procrastination. Always. Last second fixes are my specialty. The other part of me says that sounds an awful lot like begging her to love me again, and I absolutely refuse to do that. I wish she would see. This isn’t the same. And I get why she feels like it won’t change because I haven’t in the past. I don’t get it. She always told me she was the type of person who would work at this if it got hard. That she wouldn’t just give up. It’s a large part of why I chose to marry her, because I knew both of our family’s history with marriages, and I didn’t want someone who was going to tuck tail and run for the hills when the going got tough. And yet here she is. Surrendering at the first sight of difficulty. Just like her sisters. Just like her mother. I should have known better, and that is what is really making me angry.
I don’t know. She just seems way too cheery for someone who is supposedly “numb” to it all right now. And no, I have no plans to sleep with her any longer. I will not allow her to use that to string me along until she finds someone else. She wants to feel what it’s like to be single with 4 kids? I can oblige. It’s time to turn the screws a bit. Let reality sink in. I’m guessing the numbness wears off real fast and turns to anger. And at least I can work with that. I am just venting. I would never be that vindictive and petty, although I would love to be since she seems to think that the way to handle this is to outright avoid me and when we are around each other, act like it’s the best day of her life.
I think you are right, though. I think she fell in love with the man she thought she could mold me into, ignoring what I actually was. In looking back and taking stock of what changed, outside of the normal things that change in a 15 year marriage, not a whole lot else has. I am essentially the same man she married, but just older and with less ego because I let that go when I married her. That is the other thing that drives me crazy, she has unilaterally made all of these decisions. I was not allowed to state my case, not allowed to rebut her flawed fear based on faulty information. Imagine if you took only 6 words from this entire post, at random, and then made a decision for both of us. That’s what it feels like has happened here. You can’t just insist it’s not gonna be different on your own. It seems so petty and childish. I would have never made this decision without including her in it.
I don’t know. I am hurt. And depressed. And fighting against dark thoughts. I’ll win, I always do. But I fear it is my body, not my mind, that is what is going to give out this time. At my therapy appointment today, my blood pressure was 161/112, which is stage 2 hypertension and just shy of heart attack land. I am not overweight, not sedentary, so that is likely mostly from the stress of all of this. I am attempting to keep calm, take my trace element oil and magnesium lotion, and pop my lithium to keep me evened off.
I have to stop hoping for a miracle. I have to start dealing with reality. This is over. And dwelling on it is not going to fix it.
Mark really hit it on the head. Our first major relationships are often fraught with mistakes, mostly because we have not fully learned to love ourselves yet. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love anyone else.
That being said, if this were my daughter telling me this story, I know what my answer would be. Five years is a long time to support someone and care for them as if they were a child. Perhaps the past women he did so much for treated him badly, and this is his misguided way of “getting what’s his”? I can’t really tell. I have known some people who did that. I have known some who honestly were just lazy. And I have known some who are in that sort of funk and are DEEPLY depressed. That depression leads to no work ethic. Hell, sometimes it leads to not wanting to leave the house. So I guess it all depends. If he is happy go lucky, that doesn’t mean he isn’t depressed. My friends were all amazed when I told them years ago that I was clinically depressed. Maybe just ask him about it, and be warned the conversation is likely to be an argument if he really is either lazy or depressed, because both are things that person will know about themselves but not want to hear. Perhaps bring up depression first, then move out to outright laziness. See which one you get the biggest rebuttal over.
As I said, if this was my daughter, I would be driving over to pack your stuff and leave him behind. But we don’t know the whole story, so making that sort of knee jerk reaction to it could be quite bad. What do you think? You think he might be depressed? How is the economic environment in your area, ie are there many jobs open. Thinking he isn’t wanting a job and being unable to find a job are two different things. We all hear that the jobs market is booming but fail to realize that isn’t a universal thing in the entire world/country. Just spitballing here.
I didn’t see your last post. That makes a lot more sense.
Just keep reminding yourself the following:
He is not your dad. He is not the man who cheated on you. He is not any man who hurt you in the past until he IS that man in the present. Putting that on a man without him having done anything, not really ever trusting him because of baggage you brought into the relationship (and rightfully so, I get it, it’s hard to trust again after being screwed over), is not anywhere in the realm of fair. And honestly, if you ind yourself unable to fully trust him, end it. Because without trust, there is no love. Period.
Oh dear, where to start.
The term “knee jerk” comes to mind. I do it often. I see something that doesn’t make sense and instead of asking about it, I assume the worst and let my mind run amok. It is a VERY bad habit if you intend to have any meaningful relationship.
I am going to take a guess, and this is in no way meant to be like a snarky shot at you or anything, but I am going to guess you might be on the younger side? Lower to mid 20s I would guess? Because this seems like the sort of silliness one hasn’t quite grown out of from high school and we let infect our relationships later in life until we learn to not do them anymore. I want you to learn it now, and save yourself some grief and hopefully, your relationship. So a few things:
- If he wanted to dump you, he would have fully ghosted you, not selectively banned you from a single app.
- There are several other reasons he blocked you, from “accidentally sat on his phone in just the right way” to “phone malfunctioned and kept giving him WhatsApp updates from you without you actually doing anything (which I have had happen…..guess how you get that to stop?)” to “You incessantly attempted to contact him a few dozen times while he was working and he was getting in trouble”. That last one is not an accusation, merely an observation of yet another reason he might have blocked you, and something you may have omitted as I have in the past to make the story a bit more favorable to your side.
- He contacted you again. Not exactly the move of someone who doesn’t want to see you anymore.
- Finally, and this is key: stop playing games. Stop dumping him on a whim because of stuff like this. Stop playing silent treatment with him because you don’t buy his answer. Stop, stop, stop. As a man, I can tell you there is nothing more aggravating than a woman who knee jerk reacts to everything and then plays passive aggressive games when we meant nothing by what we did.
The big problem I see here is you are arguing your feelings. Even in your response to him, you said you FEEL he blocked you. Since there is no possible way for him to prove otherwise, you are putting an unreasonable amount of pressure on him to prove your feeling. If he says he didn’t, that’s all you can do. Pushing it further WILL end up causing problems, so you must decide whether you believe him or not. It appears you do not. Now you must decide what the penalty for that is. If it is breaking up, then be up front about it and don’t string him along or play these passive aggressive games with him. Even if you aren’t together anymore, after you both get over what I will admit I find a silly reason to end a relationship, he will be able to respect that you didn’t toy with him or play games about it.
I am currently your husband in this exact scenario with my wife. So I will attempt to put out the possibilities of what is happening here in his head.
1. He is trying to placate you. He has done it before. He thinks he can do it again. I did it for years and years with my wife, but she is now saying that she wants to separate because she is afraid we will end up where you are now, in sort of this “I can barely stand to be in the same room as you” tolerance. This is a very real possibility, and you have to know this going in. But you have been with him for 30 years, so you know if he is committed to something like this.
2. He is really changing, but you just are too far gone. This is sort of a crappy position for you both. He might definitely be trying and have definite plans to change and STAY changed this time, but after being told that he is going to change and failing to do so, so many times, you have just sort of grown cold and calloused to it. It’s a bad position for your both because of the following:
- He is going to lose you, which he seems to not want
- You are going to possibly watch him become the man he should have been for you, with someone else
This is currently the situation my wife and I are in. She says she just doesn’t believe the patterns we have fallen into the past 15 years are going to be broken, even though she sees that I am indeed trying. And I can’t blame her. We stopped talking, stop trying for one another. And it probably cost us our marriage. It makes me feel really sad knowing that the likely outcome for me, since I am more than ever driven to change, is that she will see me become the man she originally fell in love with, but I will be that man for another woman. The big thing here is the intent to change and for who. If he is changing for you, then he might do it, he might not. It’s a toss up. It depends on how strongly he feels for you honestly, and he might change then revert right back after. But if he is doing it for himself, to make himself a better man no matter how it all plays out, you might want to perhaps at least give it a tentative chance.
3. He changes, you notice, you are stronger than ever and you live happily ever after or whatever fairytale nonsense people still believe. But the first part will likely be true until something new pops up, and in that case, you need to talk about it. If you talk to him about it, don’t be discouraged when he butts heads with you over it or perhaps takes it as a personal attack. When people hear things about themselves that they know are true but are hurtful to hear, the reaction is usually not acceptance and talking about it. It’s usually a bit of a tussle. But that is okay. Just tell him you aren’t meaning it as a jab at him, but rather are addressing an issue you would like him to work with you about. I wish I had this chance. It seems like I won’t get the chance.
Those are really your only three options unless he is some sort of sadist who loves drawing you back in to treat you poorly, but I would have to believe that after 30 years you would have picked up on that. It really is that simple about the motivation for his change, however. My motivation started for her. I fully admit that the catalyst for my change was her asking to be let free. But when I started actually making changes, I realized these were all things that were good for me AND her. And I suddenly was keenly aware that if she was indeed over this whole thing that I would need to learn to be a good man again, because the baggage I was towing along with me would have decimated any other relationship.
Overall, you know your husband. And I understand that you are tired of his nonsense and that you feel that he is never going t break the rut that you are both in. But if he is really changing, then leaving him now is going to cause more pain than sticking it out to see if they stick or not. And even if he is doing it JUST for you, there is a good chance he loves you so much that he will make those changes and sticks to them. But if he is making those changes for him (disclaimer: AND they are good changes, I have seen the opposite and it was not pretty), he is far more likely to stick with them.
No matter what, I wish you luck and hope for you the same thing I hope for my wife: to be happy and loved.
I will say this, however: while you always felt like an afterthought, did you ever ask him if that was the case? Same with the “keeping your mouth shut”. Did you ask him if he was annoyed with you? Perhaps he was annoyed that you didn’t speak to him and he felt like an afterthought. Point being, I am seeing a LOT of things in my marriage now that were basically the same problem from two different points of view and if we had just spoken about it, I feel like we would be deeply in love still and working on 20 years instead of 15 and done. But here we are.
Well, I know for certain now. She is done. She feels like nothing is ever going to change and she wants out now before we hate each other. To say I am gutted is an understatement, but honestly, I feel relieved. Yes, this sucks, and yes, I loathe having to tell my children that mom and dad are done, but honestly I just feel like after a month in this holding pattern, I feel like a weight has been lifted.
I am wondering how much of that is my intent to change, and our intent to co-habitate for at least a little while. Like the last shred of hope that I will change like she thinks I won’t, and magically we will fall back in love. But even that, I now feel, is such a long shot that it doesn’t matter anymore. It isn’t my goal anymore. It might end up being a happy side effect of my goal, which is dealing with all of this stuff, but if not, I know at the other side I will be happy again one day. It feels so far off, and honestly I am wrestling with feelings and thoughts of self harm because of it, but it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. The depression has lifted a little it almost seems because for the first time in a long time, I have certainty on my side. I am certain I am changing for the better. I am certain that my overwhelming obsession is no longer placating my wife. I am certain that some day, I will be a better man for someone else likely. But that is 15 years of my life gone. I would do it all over again in a second because it gave me my babies. But what do I do now that the best years of my life were taken from me by someone who sees it getting tough and wants to throw in the towel?
Part of me also thinks that she thinks I will be there waiting like an obedient hound at the end of her own soul searching. I have been before, as I said, this isn’t her first foray into “I think we should split up”. And both times, I was there eagerly awaiting her return. But I told her in no uncertain terms that this would not be the case this time, that I was finished being told I wasn’t good enough for her every few years. That this would be the last time no matter how it all worked out. And I meant it. I don’t want to hurt her, and I don’t want to damage someone else, but there is a girl I have known since high school that has been sort of sniffing around since the separation talk was had, and she is the one that got away for me. It seems she sort of feels the same way.
But I don’t think it would be fair to my soon to be exwife, my children, or this woman to thrust myself into a new relationship so soon. I am starting to understand that I might be sort of addicted to being loved and needed, and when I wasn’t feeling that from my wife this past month it was like torture. But now that I am free to pursue my own happiness by any means, I feel better. But a “rebound” is just a terrible idea I think. I don’t know. My soon to be ex also still wants to sleep together which I feel is odd. I am not sure how I feel about that now. I feel it might give either one of us hope that the other is coming back, and right now I don’t really want that.
Anyways, you guys have been invaluable in this process. I am seriously uncertain if I would have made it through all of this unscathed if I didn’t have you all to bounce ideas off of and vent to. With my exwife’s past indiscretions, I have distanced myself from any real life friends, so it was hard to find anyone to talk to about this, and my best friend, my ex, was obviously not available. So thank you so much for this.
There is a sharp difference between fantasizing about other women (many men do, even if they say they don’t….we usually say we don’t to save feelings) and getting calls from them at midnight. I would be worried. I would NOT, however, do something silly like give him an ultimatum (her or me, etc). Just tell him that it bothers you that he spends so much time speaking with her and the times that he does it at are concerning as well.
If I could tell about 99% of people on this board one thing, it would be TELL PEOPLE HOW YOU FEEL. You would be surprised how many problems are solved and started by doing and not doing that (respectively).