Forum Replies Created
January 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm #125666
Check out this book:
It’s amazing. My jaw is dropping as to how close it is to my situation. I believe it may be very close to yours as well. It was recommended to me by a friend who experienced the same situation.
The link is to an online PDF of it, but I am getting myself a hard copy.
Let me know what you think!
NinjaJanuary 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm #125125
Just checking in.
How did the holidays go? How are things in general?
NinjaDecember 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm #123824
James and K4ren –
I would like to respectfully disagree with K4ren’s note from yesterday.
While it is wonderful to relate one situation (as I have done too in this thread), there is a little too much conjecture and supposition here to provide a concrete direction.
And, as a father, you cannot simply disregard the responsibility of having children.
I completely agree that people change. In fact, we all do. After 23 years, my wife and I are much different than the couple that wed in 1993. Much different. Still, marriage is much more than meeting individuals “wants” and one person’s happiness. Marriage is a covenant between two people. It really is “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.” There are joys, disappointments, trials and wonderful surprises. If my wife were to get seriously ill one day, I would take care of her. It’s more than about my personal happiness. It’s what I pledged to her in 1993. It’s simply love.
I do respect the fact that some people do need to end their marriage. But I do not believe that this is the case with you, James. You are definitely going through a fiery storm. But I would strongly encourage you to keep your focus on loving your wife – without condition.
Your marriage is far from over, James. Keep the faith.
NinjaDecember 23, 2016 at 1:35 pm #123390
Hi, James. Just checking in on you. Let us know how the holidays, travel, sleeping arrangements, emotions, etc. went.
I hope things are moving in a positive and healthy direction for you both.
Peace … and Merry Christmas!
NinjaDecember 7, 2016 at 12:42 pm #122188
I again find myself agreeing with Anita. I too was confused by your statement, James.
Your wife is putting a TON of pressure on you – and it must feel like you’re walking on eggshells 24/7. Deep down, this must be eating away at you and building up some very negative and toxic feelings that eventually spill out and “negates all the good that has been achieved” (by you). You’re only human, James. Is the opposite true? Meaning, has she put out some effort and attempted to please you by showing 100% happiness? Of course, she cannot. She’s only human, too.
This sounds like a control situation. And you’re being set up to fail. Maybe not maliciously (by her), but it is evident.
NinjaDecember 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm #122070
I agree with Anita. I would also say that it sounds like both you and your wife are suffering from depression. I forget, are you both seeing a therapist? If not, I would suggest that you do.
I would still suggest that you get back into your bedroom with her before it becomes too much of “the new normal.” The longer it takes place, the harder it will be to go back. Having her call it “my room” to your girls is not right. Yes, it may seem like a small thing. But the small things are sometimes the tip of the iceberg beneath. And “maybe more space would bring us closer” doesn’t make any sense to me. Sorry, it just doesn’t. Of course, don’t thunder back into your room – if you choose to. Be gentle and diplomatic. Maybe set a date of January 1.
Tell me, does she travel and is away often?
NinjaDecember 6, 2016 at 9:04 am #122033
Hey, James –
Maybe I missed it, but I did not realize that the two of you were sleeping apart.
Let me share my situation, as it may help.
In 2001, I took a new job three states away. Our girls were 2 and 4 then and, since I was out of state, they started sleeping with Mommy. Just made sense with Daddy gone. A few months later, we purchased a new home in our new state and were all again settled under one roof. But the girls stayed in our bed while I was relinquished to the guest room. My wife said it made them feel safe and they shared so much of their day with her as they were going to sleep. Being the nice guy and seeing how it made them happy, I gave.
Now, let me add that my wife has never been big into “doing it and whenever we would have a “date” (yes, sex) she would wait until both girls were asleep and then would visit the guest room. With each passing year, my anger quietly grew. This continued for years – until January of 2016. Yes, 15 years – until one was away in college. I finally put my foot down (probably ridiculously late) and said out loud, “Look! I am your husband, I belong in my bed with you!” She couldn’t deny that I was right. Fortunately, our high school aged daughter who was still at home was all too happy to start sleeping in her own room.
I tell you ALL of this because our sleeping apart hurt much more than it helped. Now, I’m sure some people may disagree, but I cannot see how. If I did it all over again, I would have moved our girls to their rooms after just a year or two. Pure and simple: your girls need to see an example of a husband and wife who share a bed. And your wife needs to know that a.) You are a wonderful and caring guy who’s putting her needs before your own, but can still be b.) The man of the house who sleeps with the woman he married.
Again, sorry to share so much about my story. But I believe that your going to the basement (sleeping away from the bed that is rightly yours) will only add to your current frustration and anger.
Get back to me and we’ll go from there. And I’m here – and happy you reached out.
NinjaDecember 1, 2016 at 10:52 am #121704
Or, jenhodges1979, if you feel more comfortable keeping it a part of this thread, as the person who started it, please feel free. Sometimes these threads “stray” for a reason … only to come back full circle.
NinjaNovember 18, 2016 at 6:44 pm #120682
Okay, fair enough. “Purity” may have been a poor choice of words on my part. I retract it.
Still, it is my belief that people with lower numbers of partners still place a certain value in holding back, disciplining themselves and not giving themselves to the person who bought them enough drinks on the dance floor last night.
Again, everyone’s moral code is different.
NinjaNovember 18, 2016 at 11:28 am #120670
Thanks, Jessi. I really appreciate the input from a woman’s point of view. While I do agree that it does have to do with insecurities, I also believe it’s simply intimidating. Go to YouTube and watch the scene in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” where she goes through her list of 30+ partners to a shocked Hugh Grant. It is funny.
I also believe people fall into one of two groups: those with higher numbers and those in the low single digits. The response from those with high(er) numbers deal with a level of shame and regret while also insisting that “the number doesn’t matter.” The lower, single digit folk seem to feel there’s still a sense of purity in those who haven’t “slept around.”
I think it comes down to history and personal belief and preference.
NinjaNovember 17, 2016 at 5:59 am #120558
Jessi’s note must have come in as I was typing mine. I just wanted to acknowledge it here, and say that I wholeheartedly agree with it – every single word.
NinjaNovember 17, 2016 at 5:42 am #120554
I would be very cautious here. While I’m certain that everyone is responding with the very best intentions in an effort to help you and your family find peace, you are definitely getting a broad spectrum of direction here.
I agree with Anita that this is a great opportunity to invite a renewed sense of openness and honesty into your relationship. Rekindling healthy dialog can be the basis of rekindling a relationship.
While some of the advice here is solid, I will say this: your relationship is not dead.
There are several hopeful signs that your wife does care:
– She admits that you are now everything she wants in a husband
– She has cried in front of you
– She has said she was surprised by your positive efforts, fighting for you both
If your wife had been expressing apathy and indifference, then I would be worried. Believe me, if I thought you should end this I would tell you to do so. I have suggested this to other people in other threads. But in your case, I too have a saying, “It’s always the darkest before the dawn.”
Also, your two girls are more than “complicating factors.” They are your girls. You owe it to them to give this everything – and you are! I know, there have been—and will continue to be—major peaks and major valleys. And it can be pure, frustrating hell. I’m there, too. My suggestion is to follow Anita’s advice and be as open and honest with your wife as possible. Also, follow your counselor’s guidance. Don’t try to “find happiness” all at once. Maybe someday. But take it day by day – and set an earlier goal of simply finding peace. And lowering the tension and frustration level in your home will help everyone – including your girls. Big time.
Lastly, if you belong to a church, you may want to consult your pastor. This is entirely up to you. But as I too am experiencing a similar crisis with my wife, I cannot imagine how we would be getting through this time without the support of our church family and our faith. In fact, my pastor has connected me with an elderly gentleman (not a pastor) in our church who is now my trusted mentor. I’m not preaching here – I’m simply sharing as it is far more than “catering to dogma.”
Be strong. Wishing you peace today.
NinjaNovember 15, 2016 at 3:21 pm #120454
I’m glad you wrote – been thinking about you.
I’m sorry that you’re hitting this tough, lonely time when you want something in return.
I can empathize – because I’m there, too. And I know how hard it is to muster the emotions to feel good about yourself when the one person who promised to be your soul mate isn’t encouraging – in fact, her not encouraging is discouraging. I know. I know. I know. And it’s hell. And while my wife and I have made positive steps, we have some ways to go ourselves. But it is far from over.
Here’s something that I recently discovered that has significantly moved our needle in the right direction. My wife and I have been married more than 23 years. It occurred to me how much different (and younger) we were then – and so was our marriage. So, marriages change, shift, weaken and strengthen over time. Like Jessi wonderfully said, “you’re going through a dark tunnel right now.”
When you and your wife first fell in love you were different people, too. But with years, children, stress, jobs, children’s medical issues (a big one for you guys), etc., those old incredible, sugar-coated feelings for one another waned. You are no longer discovering new things about one another. And you’re depressed. And depression is nothing to take for granted.
What helped with us is that instead of worrying about if my wife liked me, I focused on liking myself. I put energy into becoming a 2.0 version of my former self. I took up running. I started painting again. I didn’t ignore my wife and children. In fact, when my wife was busy or not interested in doing anything with me, I took my girls on “Daddy Dates” – to the movies, hiking, Saturday breakfast at some unique diner, etc. This is key: I found my happiness outside of my wife. But it didn’t mean I had to end my marriage. On the contrary, I realized that the more I kept pursuing her, the more she withdrew. So, I changed my actions toward her to “acts of service” – which is her Love Language. Oh, it’s hard. I desire her a ton. But if I channel my energy and attention elsewhere, the contentment fills the void. And, it’s quality time with my daughters – time well invested for any dad.
Of course, the “Pursuer—Distancer Dance” is nothing new – couples fall into it without much though. Here’s a great article on it, and additional tips on how to break it. (Ignore the fact that the examples they use have the genders flopped.)
Build back your confidence. And believe me, there’s nothing women find more attractive than a guy who’s genuinely confident. She’ll notice – eventually.
Again, I’m going through this sh#t, too. Write back. I’m here.
Wishing you peace tonight.
NinjaNovember 10, 2016 at 10:48 am #120069
Thank you for sharing more.
I looked at your only other thread and it sounds as if this woman is relatively new in your life (Guidance Through on 11/6: “I have recently begun to date a woman for the first time in my life”). While you may feel it is love, perhaps for the first time, still, often a deeper, more spiritual love takes time. I am not questioning your feelings nor judging the depth and immediacy in which this relationship unfolded. But it does sound as if she was up-front with your verbally, even though “her words and actions never matched up.” I also find it odd that she “travels around a lot for work with no real home.” I would suggest giving yourself the time you need to grieve and heal. Again, I am sincerely sorry for your loss.
Wishing you peace today.
NinjaNovember 9, 2016 at 11:07 am #119992
Dear Journey85 –
First, I am sincerely sorry that you are going through this. I too have been through similar heartache and loss with a woman I loved.
With this said, I believe that in order to help I would need a little more context and background regarding your situation. You said that you were sleeping together and that she was moving away – were you living together? What do you believe was the reason that is causing her to leave?
Of course, I completely understand that sharing more information is both personal and may take you back to a painful place. So, share what you feel is possible for now. I am here and will look for your response.
Peace to you today.