December 6, 2016 at 8:33 am #122030
Just another update as I’m starting to feel down again and its only been a couple of weeks. The past couple of weeks have been really nice, not great, but nice, and this is much improved from October. My wife used the term, “It’s been calm”. My wife and I were communicating better, I continued to help her with her assignments, and we were watching tv together.We were talking about our days and even laughing about our kids at times. We went out to dinner and a show and had a nice time. There were some hugs but nothing more and it is still pretty awkward at the end of the night when I go down to the basement and she goes up stairs to bed. It’s just a real weird dynamic that drains me when I think about it too much. I’m not sure what happened exactly but over the weekend I started to feel down again. I know that a few interactions occurred that stung me a little bit. One was when we were watching a movie with the kids on Saturday night and they wanted to watch it in bed in the master bedroom and my wife said, sure we can watch it in my room! As I write this I know this isn’t a big deal but it did hurt me a bit. The other moment was when she was leaving for a work trip Sunday night I said bye, I will miss you, she couldn’t return the words to me. I guess I thought things were better than they are. I know these things are minor and my wife doesn’t mean to do them, but they plant seeds of doubt in my mind and they faster and I make a bigger deal out of them then they are! Bottom line is I feel down again and last time this site helped me so I’m hoping it will again. The worst thing is my wife was probably anticipating that I would get depressed again and I have proven her correct! It’s a vicious cycle.
It is just so hard to stay positive all the time about this.December 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 6, 2016 at 9:08 am #122035
You shared before that your wife was depressed following the birth of your second child, if I remember correctly. You wrote that you were not supportive of her during the time that she was depressed.
She is not supportive of your depression now, is she?
Both you and her treat your sadness, down feelings, depression as if it was your faulty character, a bad habit on your part. When you feel down, it is “proven her correct!” and it proves you incorrect, or wrong.
To exit this vicious cycle, the two of you need to stop viewing your feelings, specifically your down/ depression feelings as a character flaw. As long as you do, you are stuck in that cycle.
I agree with your last line: “It is just so hard to stay positive all the time”- and I would take it farther and state: it is impossible to stay positive all the time.
(And the circumstances of your life, living in the basement, waiting for your wife to love you again- these are depressing circumstances).
December 6, 2016 at 9:33 am #122040
- This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by anita.
Hi Ninja, I agreed to move into the basement at the end of October. I guess the rationale was that maybe more space would bring us closer? It’s hard though with very hectic work schedules and home life to give each other space. I did think the past couple of weeks were much better though and was starting too feel more relaxed than I have in a long time but then something so silly and minor can make all the doubts resurface. I think I’ve just got to keep going, learn from my mistakes, and maybe one day we will be able to share a bed together soon.
Anita, my wife says she understands my depression and has accepted it. She hugs me when I am feeling sad about our current state of affairs. She feels a great sense of pain that she is putting me through this process and right now can’t really do a lot to comfort me because our situation is the cause. She has said she genuinely cares for me and when I told her about a possible work promotion last week that I may get she was thrilled for me. I think their has been a lot of good that has occurred over the past couple of weeks and if I would just let things happen, they may just happen. But in my world right now 2 weeks seems like an eternity…..December 6, 2016 at 9:47 am #122042
If she is not putting any pressure on you to be happy/ to not be depressed, then you are putting that pressure on yourself and it is not helpful; it is counter productive really. When you feel down, it is not game-over. Don’t be alarmed. Pay attention, notice how it feels, accept it best you can and know feelings change and that down feeling will not stay the same.
anitaDecember 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 10:12 pm #122110
Yes, we are both seeing therapists now and it has been helpful. My wife and I had a really good talk this evening about the “roller coaster” of emotions we are both going through. She said that just when things become “nice” and “comfortable” and she starts to wonder about possibilities I follow a pattern of crashing and in negates all the good that has been achieved. In fact, she said I haven’t been able to go 3 weeks without crashing since this all started in July of 2015. There was a real sense of calm the past two weeks and it was nice. I took a lot of advice from this forum and just tried to be relaxed, have fun and laugh and when that happened I wasn’t so worried and it felt good. I wonder what it will feel like if I can stay positive for 6 weeks what it will be like?? I’ve never been able to manage my sadness for that long so I don’t know. That is my goal now, 6 weeks with no depression during that time. I should correct that statement. As Anita said, it is ok and normal given the circumstances to be sad and I know it will pass as it always does. I will use the methods my counsellor has suggested to manage my sadness when it flares up and try to make sure it is contained and if at all possible my wife doesn’t see it.
Ninja, I’m going to see how the next 6 weeks go and then see about the sleeping arrangements. We will be visiting my parents over Christmas and sharing a bed then so I will see what happens then. She does travel quite a bit but they are usually short 2-3 day trips. I hope everything is going ok with you as well 🙂December 7, 2016 at 12:31 pm #122181
I thought she did NOT put pressure on you to be happy. But you wrote: “She said that just when things become ‘nice’ and ‘comfortable’ and she starts to wonder about possibilities I follow a pattern of crashing and in negates all the good that has been achieved.”
– this means she is putting ALL the pressure on you.
No one can be consistently happy for more than a day, a few days? I don’t know what the record out there is (with/ without drugs)
December 7, 2016 at 12:42 pm #122188
- This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by anita.
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 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 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm #123407
* Merry Christmas Ninja, and a good, loving year ahead, for you and your family!
and Merry Christmas to you James as well, may there be healing in this coming new year for you and for your family.
anitaDecember 27, 2016 at 3:42 am #123670MandyParticipant
Hello James, I am a wife and have been married for over 20 years. This is going to be a very unromantic, blunt reply and set aside the fact that you have children. Firstly, I believe that your wife does love you deep down for your history and for the man that she married and the father of her girls, but passionate love has waned with time, life, kids, stress, demands and new desires. Possibly you are a person who does not share the deep down soul values and goals in life that she has too. Maybe freedom, adventure and new experiences matter more to her than love and security. She may now need something different in her life. When we say ‘I do’ for as long as we both shall live, is it realistic to make that commitment, really, at age 25, for the rest of our lives? The fairy story is just that, a fairy story.
I found that being in a long term relationship felt like it ended my ability to experience life, particularly other people. I am viewed as a couple. Over time, it’s a huge loss of freedom and a constant compromise, even though I love my husband. The person you want to become is straight jacketed, you lose the ability to know what you really want individually. I would really recommend life coaching, particularly for your wife, so that she can figure out what she really really wants whilst you to some extend, support and love her. What is not right for her within a relationship and life, is ultimately not right for you. You need someone that gives you spontaneously, what you need. What she wants is not within your control and you should not try and mould yourself to be that want, you cannot be it at this time. Sad as it may be for you and your family, you can only support and love her for whatever it is that she wants, even if it is separation. Your understandable anxieties and fear of loss are not going to prevent it, perhaps only exacerbate it and cause resentment. If you love her, you do want her to be happy and fulfilled, even to some extent, at your expense.December 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 30, 2016 at 3:03 pm #124022BarbaraParticipant
I really dont think your wife is giving you enough credit James, and I also really think you are being hard on yourself. Sleeping in the basement – even the image depresses me. Im not surprised you are feeling down. You are doing your best to change and yet being distanced, neglected and it is as if you are on trial.
I really think you shoud be sleeping in an upstairs room, your wife should be in therapy too, and you should stop beating yourself over the head so much.
If any man i had ever been with had shown me so much will to make the relationship survive – I would have been very respectful about it. I think your wife is using the fact that you are a very decent man – and is almost allowing you to grovel emotionally.
This is not ok.
Your self esteem is taking a bashing here.
Please be kind to yourself. You deserve love, respect and trust. You are a good person.January 1, 2017 at 1:14 pm #124231ShellyParticipant
I have been in a similar situation. It turns out he had been having an affair for several years and chose to keep me in the dark rather than reveal his actions. It hurts a lot. I did try my best to salvage the relationship but the reality is he already had left the marriage and I was just getting the memo. I feel angry at the situation but my faith gets me through the bad days. I have three young kids and the stress And strain is felt by them. We are all much happier living apart so for those that say staying together for the kids is a reason I disagree. Anyway guard your heart and find out the real reason for her words. The truth will be revealed in time. I am a survivor of a domestic abuse situation and in can tell you this is way more common than people think.