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I told my wife I want a divorce


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Old 27th February 2012, 9:58 AM   #1
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I told my wife I want a divorce

We are both 39, been married 17 years, 2 kids (16 and 14).

I don't know if I am making the right decision. My wife asked me to leave the house about 6 years ago after she found me looking through her phone as the previous night she was out late and wasn't where she said she was.

I never found solid evidence that she cheated and I chose to believe her. But that week of living in the extended stay hotel really affected me and I don't know that I ever really got over it.

I work a lot of hours (around 60/week) and make a decent living. She does not work. She has had a couple of jobs here and there, but hasn't been employed in quite some time and never for more than a couple of months.

I also go to the gym about 3 times a week. So I am not at home a lot and that bothers her. I really need that gym time to decompress from work though. Lately it just seems like everything I do bothers her. She is always tired or feeling sick. She takes Paxil and Xanax and I really think she struggles with depression.

I feel so bad and have shed a lot of tears. I hate seeing my kids hurt by this. I just want to be happy and not be judged anymore.

Thanks for listening. This is hard.
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Old 27th February 2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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Try to save the marriage. Try Marriage Counseling.
Communication needs to be opened, even if you're both discussing unhappiness - at least you'd be airing it out, rather than burying/nuking everything in the name of never addressing the unhappiness.
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Old 27th February 2012, 2:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmrmarine View Post
I never found solid evidence that she cheated and I chose to believe her. But that week of living in the extended stay hotel really affected me and I don't know that I ever really got over it.
Fmrmarine..that above sounds like your carrying a lot of resentment over your sacrifice 6 yrs ago. So much, that you mentioned it first. Kinda makes you wonder where her sacrifice is? As hard as it sounds, you gotta let it go..you did your part in the past to make it work, so you have to ask yourself if your willing to do it again. It's good that your recognizing your marital issues, and I think WGW has got it right with the marriage counseling suggestion, as long as it is with the right marriage counselor.For example, if you and your wife and Christian people, it would probably work better with a Christian marriage counselor, etc.

Your wife's Rx drug needs are most likely a factor as well, and I bet there is more to your story.
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Old 27th February 2012, 3:22 PM   #4
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Oddly enough, I just got back from a meeting with my wife and a marriage counselor. I am really mad at myself for getting emotional during the meeting but I guess that's to be expected. I am going to stay with a friend and his wife who have a spare bedroom. The couselor suggested we make it a "healing separation" and I'm not quite sure I understand the concept. But I suppose I am willing to try. I just can't go back to the marriage the way it was. I have some things I need. Ultimatums, for lack of a better term. Is this something I should discuss with my wife and the counselor at our next meeting? I am pretty confused right now.
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Old 27th February 2012, 3:26 PM   #5
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Is this something I should discuss with my wife and the counselor at our next meeting?
You need to make your needs voiced,
and conversely, you need to allow her the space to voice her needs (be they off-base, spot-on, or somewhere in the middle).
Somewhere in the middle lies "compromise" which is the nature of marriages & friendships. Not saying you're like this, but putting this out there in general: It's not about having the other person fully realize and attend to your definition of perfection or near-perfection. Such idealism should not be expected of you, nor your partner.
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Old 27th February 2012, 3:39 PM   #6
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Good point WGW. My wife is very good at playing the victim and making it appear that everything is my fault. That's a big part of why I told her I wanted out. I want to make sure I articulate my problems with the marriage in our meeting. Maybe I should make notes to take with me the next time. I've never been in any sort of counseling before. It was very akward. My wife and I met in the parking lot and didn't speak. Went in and did the session for an hour. We both shed a few tears (I hate getting emotional) and communicated fairly well although I think we both held back. After the session, we left and didn't say anything to each other. We are supposed to go back in a week. I don't know if it will work, but at least I can say I tried. Again, thanks for listening. I think it's theraputic expressing this stuff.
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Old 27th February 2012, 3:43 PM   #7
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May I recommend to you EFT therapy as opposed to a Healing Separation.

EFT has a higher success rate and I tried both with my husband. The HS left us both feeling drained and unsupported. I have not been alone in this finding.
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Old 27th February 2012, 3:50 PM   #8
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What is EFT therapy? Frankly, the counselor didn't even tell me what a healing separation is. In his defense, I didn't ask either. Overall, I liked the guy and I think my wife felt comfortable with him although as I said we didn't talk after the session. Thanks for the input.
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Old 27th February 2012, 3:54 PM   #9
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I think you need to stop looking at this as your wife being the one to blame for your marriage breakdown. You need to take ownership of your part in the marital breakdown. If you are working 60 hours a week and spending a large portion of your limited free time at the gym, it sounds like your wife is feeling abandoned and is rightfully upset. This is not something that is not fixable. Just go into therapy with an open mind and not a defensive one. Own your part in the breakdown of the marriage. Be willing to work on what YOU can improve on. You owe it to your kids to give it your best shot to make your marriage work.
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Old 27th February 2012, 4:18 PM   #10
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Kathy, I agree with much of what you said. There are certainly things I need to fix if we go forward with trying to reconcile. Yesterday, I wouldn't have thought I had any inclination to reconcile, but I spoke to an aunt who was recently divorced at her initiation after a lenghty marriage. She said if she had to do it over again she would have tried to work it out now that she's on the other side of it. I may very well end up divorced. In fact, a huge part of me thinks it is inevitable, but I want to minimize regrets.
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Old 27th February 2012, 5:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Healing Separation:

We agree that in future time, when we have experienced the personal growth, self-exploration, and differentiation possible in a healing separation, we will make a more enlightened decision about the future of our relationship.
So you're working 60 hours a week presumably paying the bills. You're going to the gym 3 times a week to stay in shape while your wife sits around taking xanax and acting cranky; and now you're packing your bags and living on a friend's spare bed? That doesn't sound very fair.

Last edited by coffeeaddict; 27th February 2012 at 5:31 PM..
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Old 27th February 2012, 6:08 PM   #12
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She frequently says "there is more to being a husband and dad than paying the bills" which is true. And I do more, I empty the dishwasher when I know it has run. I take out the trash. I admit I am not very domestic-minded. I don't get to as many of the kids activities as I should due to work. But I make a point to go to the big ones. I help with homework and school projects. I have tried to be attentive to my wife.
It just gets old when she is always sick, tired, going to bed at 8 p.m. and generally in a bad mood.
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:26 PM   #13
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EFT is Emotionally Focused Therapy.

And dude, following your posts that you made after: you are totally checked out of the marriage. You listed CHORES that you do in regards to doing more then just paying bills.

It is WAY MORE then bills, kids and chores.

I am going to go out on a limb here and guessed that she nagged you for awhile about the marriage and then just gave up and went on ADs.

So her sex drive ain't exactly peaking either.

This IS as much on you as it is on her.

Book for you: (take it on coffee breaks)

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It

Excellent resource. Your wife is seriously lonely.
A Healing Separation may teach you both how to self-sooth but that only fixes up the symptom in the individuals, not bridging the gap in the marriage.

A good resource to explain EFT is another book called Hold Me Tight. (I really hate the way that middle-age women often write, and the title is lame as Hell, but she's smart, and she's got it right)

If you want some journals etc. To back some of it, or other books I have found tremendously helpful, I have quite a few.

My marriage has been nothing short of a magnificent trainwreck on all fronts and many different techniques and behaviors have influenced myself and my husband to change things around completely. (that's why I sound like a ****ing informercial now).

But truly your behavior totally can alter hers and vice-versa.

I think parents owe it to their kids to make every effort to save the base family before divorcing.

By the way.... Anyone caught your eye outside the marriage?
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by fmrmarine View Post
She frequently says "there is more to being a husband and dad than paying the bills" which is true. And I do more, I empty the dishwasher when I know it has run. I take out the trash. I admit I am not very domestic-minded. I don't get to as many of the kids activities as I should due to work. But I make a point to go to the big ones. I help with homework and school projects. I have tried to be attentive to my wife.
It just gets old when she is always sick, tired, going to bed at 8 p.m. and generally in a bad mood.

"There's more to being a husband than paying bills" I'd say is true in a general sense, but in this context it's vague, condescending and self-serving; it's designed to put the focus entirely on you, while simultaneously minimizing all that you do. "Paying the bills" certainly isn't everything, but it's far from nothing. You're shouldering the entire financial responsibility for her, a portion of her household duties, and you're not being treated very well to boot.

Has she given you any specific obligations she thinks you're not doing as a husband/father that you should be doing? Listen to what she has to say, but don't let yourself be put on trial. Also be sure to flip the question around and approach it from the opposite angle; she's talking about your role as husband, what about her role as wife and mother? Is she fulfilling your emotional needs? Is she living up to her duties, in your opinion?

Create a list of things (expectations/obligations) that in your mind she should be living up to yet hasn't. The rotten behavior, not chipping in financially, slacking off on domestic work. She can create a list of obligations she thinks you aren't living up to; then you meet and exchange lists. Tell her you'll agree to spend more time with her if she'll agree to treat you better. From my point of view, that makes a lot more sense than you moving into the dog house.
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Old 29th February 2012, 12:23 PM   #15
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Wow. A lot of really good feedback. I sincerely appreciate it. And yes, certainly other people have caught my eye. But more so other couples. It's frustrating to see couples getting along well and thinking "why can't I have that?" I think the list idea could be good. The counselor gave us a questionnaire with 17 things to answer so we can identify areas of conflict. I will check out those books as well.
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