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Marriage in free fall (very long)


Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 24th October 2017, 1:26 PM   #46
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I find it hard to reconcile with a notion that my wife took advantage of me. Perhaps unwittingly, but I do find I hold her to higher account because of her academic intelligence. We expect more from those whom have demonstrated an ability to do more. She helps so many other people, she's not one to take advantage of others in any context I've seen.

If anything, she's told me her biggest mistake was overestimating my abilities. It's as though she naively thought one day I was going to magically turn into some genius.
I think that members who believe that your wife preyed on your youth are referring to the considerable difference in life experience between you two. When you met your wife, you were still young and idealistic. She was far more aware of the pain and disappointments life can bring.

How do you plan on approaching your marital issues?
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Old 25th October 2017, 6:09 AM   #47
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I think that members who believe that your wife preyed on your youth are referring to the considerable difference in life experience between you two. When you met your wife, you were still young and idealistic. She was far more aware of the pain and disappointments life can bring.

How do you plan on approaching your marital issues?
I understand that. I'm almost 33 and my wife just turned 46. So I'm the same age as she was when I met her. If we'd met at the ages we are now, the 13 years of life experiences (obviously different to the ones I have had currently but still adult years of experience) would mean we were a lot closer in terms of life experiences. I'm sure that when I am 46 I will have a lot more life experience under my belt than in 2017, but I think the valuable experience in this context would plateau out. In other words, I am so worldly wise compared to the age of 20 that the scope to learn a lot more has diminished.

My marriage is an ongoing saga that is literally taken 1 week at a time. It may be a cliché, but it is pretty much how it is going. We still have financial problems as I simply can't earn enough to pay rent, food, bills and the like while funding an existence that is anything more than mediocre. I had a discussion with my wife this tonight that was frank, honest and devoid of anger and emotion - something rare for our discussions.

My wife is unwavering in her quest to join the police. She is booked in to have gastric sleeve surgery in December. She has also seen a plastic surgeon in Portland to have a tummy tuck once the surgery is successful and she's gotten to her ideal weight. It will hopefully be around the Chrisymas time 2018 when she's ready to apply, with an early 2019 date hopefully when she's accepted into the academy. For the moment I'll just have to hang on.

We spoke about a lot of things, and my wife expressed her concern over how dysfunctional we are as a team. She's worried that when she does start working again full time, she will be left to deal with the house duties etc which was a contributing factor to her heart attack 6 years ago. Things have changed since then, her older 2 kids aren't at school anymore, and it was her son's sleep condition and her daughter's anxiety which caused a lot of stress while trying to balance a new born baby at the time and a 4 year old. My wife's stressful government job and being bullied at work were all things that are no longer factors.

Moving forward, my wife expressed how she's struggled to deal with, what she describes as me being "emotionally vanilla". She thinks I lack empathy and an ability to connect on an emotional level with her. I am an even tempered person, I don't get very emotional either way. I don't get extremely excited with amazing things but I don't get down when things are bad. My wife gets extremely excited when things that are good happen and she gets extremely down when things are bad. She's struggling with my inability to connect on an emotional level and she feels like she's taking on life by herself.

She's been honest and says she's not sure we're right for each other. We spoke about theories around people staying with each other because it's the "right" thing to do when you're married with kids, or whether it's actually stupid to fight the inevitable just for the sake of being able to describe yourself as someone who "never gives up" and is a "fighter" and any such noble terms. We spoke about whether you actually win when you're on your deathbed and can look into the eyes of your spouse saying "we made it" only to feel regret.

My wife is now in a situation where she's unsure whether she would actually regret it at the end. For years we spoke about whether it was just money that was our problems. We spoke about other couples that lasted through hard times, but never had the financial elements as an additional complexity and instead they could take a vacation to Hawaii or somewhere to recharge and destress. I made the point that I feel our financial issues aren't a separate barrier stopping us from being happy and working through the tough times, but rather the financial problems are as a result of our inability to connect and bond to make a good team.

We're both confused. I asked straight out whether my wife thought she'd be happier if we broke up. She had a bit each way, saying she thought she would be in some ways but not in others. I asked her if she thought over time those feelings for me would dissipate would it then put it in the positive basket and factor that in before even meeting someone potentially more compatible.

She's worried about the kids and the affect is would have on both myself and them. Assuming she has primary custody, which in reality is what she'll fight tooth and nail for and probably get, she's worried about how that will affect me. She has always said and has always previously with her older kids been very cooperative and receptive to their father being in their life, so nothing would change in that regard. I will be able to see them when I want, but it would still be on her terms.

Writing everything I have, I know it doesn't read good. But I was really happy with having an honest conversation. For the first time it felt like my wife was resigned to the fact that things won't be ideologically perfect and that I have many flaws which she needs to decide on whether they are insurmountable or not. For years she hounded me to "do this better" or whatever. She wanted to see continuous improvement as a mechanism for staving off mediocrity. When everything fell apart she blamed and resented me for not keeping up. Now she accepts it and who I am and how I can't be transformed, the emotion isn't there and she's thinking clearly.

Honestly I'm tired of it all. Is my wife the woman for me? She's an exceptional person who loves hard and does everything she can to help her family and friends. Fiercely loyal and hard working. Very ethical and someone who is relatable on so many levels, but seemingly not on the lofe partner level. I hate the idea of holding back her happiness because I can't keep up intellectually or otherwise. Then I see my buddies with more "simple" wives and they're happier.

But in many ways my wife has made me a better, stronger person. I have learned a lot from her and value the many great qualities she has which have only further cemented my desire to be a good person by those qualities rubbing off on me. Everything about her is a great in a sense of me looking up to someone, almost idolizing someone in a way. Then it dawned on me that she's probably been more of a mother to me than a lover, and that's clearly been hard on her.

What was that song from Rod Stewart called... Maggie, I think it was? If you're unfamiliar with it, Google it. It pretty much sums up how I feel. Lucky for Rod it was just a fling and he had the good sense to cut it off before it went too far. I, on the other hand, put all my eggs into 1 basket... now here I am, still unsure of where to go 12.5 years later.
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Old 25th October 2017, 8:22 AM   #48
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Is the OP's wife posting on her own thread?
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Old 25th October 2017, 9:54 AM   #49
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Is the OP's wife posting on her own thread?
What do you mean by that?
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Old 25th October 2017, 2:22 PM   #50
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Were you unhappy with your wife's weight when you met her? You've mentioned it quite a few times and I wonder if it's commmon that you bring it up to her? As someone who has battled with their weight (I have to work very hard at it and I'm up at 5am and in the gym every day!!), it can be soul destroying to have it mentioned.

It sounds like you're in an awful situation. But you've taken a lot on at a very young age and things don't seem to have improved for you. It also doesn't sound like your wife is very good with money but has high aspirations. Nothing wrong with high aspirations but I think money problems can really complicate things.

I'm no relationship expert as you know... but it sounds like she's became incredibly resentful towards you, and is quite comfortable voicing it to you. With the issues I have in my marriage, the lack of attraction I have towards my husband makes me feel disgusting when I'm sleeping with him. But I'd never tell him that as he'd be devastated.

Do you know if your wife wants to continue in your marriage? Do you want to?
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Old 26th October 2017, 6:10 PM   #51
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Were you unhappy with your wife's weight when you met her? You've mentioned it quite a few times and I wonder if it's commmon that you bring it up to her? As someone who has battled with their weight (I have to work very hard at it and I'm up at 5am and in the gym every day!!), it can be soul destroying to have it mentioned.

It sounds like you're in an awful situation. But you've taken a lot on at a very young age and things don't seem to have improved for you. It also doesn't sound like your wife is very good with money but has high aspirations. Nothing wrong with high aspirations but I think money problems can really complicate things.

I'm no relationship expert as you know... but it sounds like she's became incredibly resentful towards you, and is quite comfortable voicing it to you. With the issues I have in my marriage, the lack of attraction I have towards my husband makes me feel disgusting when I'm sleeping with him. But I'd never tell him that as he'd be devastated.

Do you know if your wife wants to continue in your marriage? Do you want to?
Nothing good comes out of being overweight. Was I happy with it? Not especially, for many reasons. Did I bring it up? No, but she did. It was only supposed to be a transient state for her and she told me from the outset that losing weight was always a goal for her and that I would provide her with additional motivation to do so. Once we got together she said she didn't want to lose the weight and fall pregnant again only to put it back on. She was never overweight until she had kids. So we conceived our son after 4 months of being together and she gave birth to him the following year in April 2006.

One thing led to another and my wife never attempted to lose the weight until I proposed to her in 2008. She lost a fair bit of weight for the wedding, then 2 months later she was pregnant with our daughter. The weight went back on again and once our daughter was born in September 2010 everything started falling apart. We lost the house, my wife had a heart attack, her kids had issues which I've mentioned previously.

I never brought up the weight, but if she didn't is was a bit like the elephant in the room. What bothered me the most was that when things started to fall apart, I felt like she blamed me a lot for my "deficiencies" and it was hurtful considering I NEVER brought up anything that might hurt her. Never once did I bring up weight other than in context of a discussion which didn't revolve around having a go at how she looked, just the health complications etc. She's smart, there's nothing I could really say that she didn't already know. It just hurt that I was her punching bag when things fell apart, but I never picked on anything she did.

Her justification was that she's an emotional person. She has a vent but justifies it by saying that it's just letting off steam and then she refocuses and gets stuff done. I prefer to quietly plug away, but when she's constantly ranting I find it difficult to deal with. She says I lack empathy and if I understoof her better and how she ticks I wouldn't only not take it personally but I'd be better able to emotionally support her. I disagree as I just find emotional agressive ranting and finger pointing destructive. I have told her this and her response is "I'm only human" or "other women would have thrown tantrums a lot earlier than I would, I am actually patient and if you had any idea you would know and appreciate how much I suck up."

I feel like my wife is 51/49 as to whether she wants to continue the marriage. She's judt hanging on by that 1 % but things could change. I feel as though she is hanging on to some notion that "the penny will drop" with me and things will get better. She says she never wanted me to earn a truck load of money, but recntly she's been angling at the kids (our 2 kids who are 11 and 7) now seeing dad as a "mechanic" and would that be a position they'd rever and look up to when in contrast to some of their other friends who's dad/mom earn more money and do more things with more resources. She thinks if I have a better job that will rub off on the kids.

Do I want to be with my wife? Yes and no. Ultimately I don't think I can make her happy. I do feel as though she resents me because she sees me as an average plodder who's middle of the road at everything. She says I lack emotional intelligence and I'm not an inspirational person who's uplifting to those I'm surrounded by and don't bring the best out of everyone else. The pressure I feel to be something I'm incapable of being, but know in reality that to keep this relationshio going I need to improve is quite frankly daunting. I too feel incompetent and I know that is how my wife feels about me. It's not a fun position to be in when the person you love feels that way. It makes you feel like there's no point even trying because you'll never live up to their standards.

Last edited by Trail Blazer; 26th October 2017 at 6:13 PM..
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Old 26th October 2017, 6:56 PM   #52
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N now seeing dad as a "mechanic" and would that be a position they'd rever and look up to when in contrast to some of their other friends who's dad/mom earn more money and do more things with more resources.
OMG- My father was a mechanic for over 25 years. Owned his own car repair business. He is twice the successful man than I am. I look up to him tremendously. Never sell your self short for actually having a good job skill. Being a mechanic these days is just short of wizardry! You can do anything you put your mind to. And learning a skill such as yours proves it! Your employed...That beats a whole lot of people these days.

[/QUOTE]Do I want to be with my wife? Yes and no. Ultimately I don't think I can make her happy. I do feel as though she resents me because she sees me as an average plodder who's middle of the road at everything. She says I lack emotional intelligence and I'm not an inspirational person who's uplifting to those I'm surrounded by and don't bring the best out of everyone else. The pressure I feel to be something I'm incapable of being, but know in reality that to keep this relationshio going I need to improve is quite frankly daunting. I too feel incompetent and I know that is how my wife feels about me. It's not a fun position to be in when the person you love feels that way. It makes you feel like there's no point even trying because you'll never live up to their standards.[/QUOTE]

You all need some life coach time. As well as a financial expert. Local banks usually have lines on these... As for your wife, she does need some counselling concerning her attitude and health issues.
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Old 27th October 2017, 9:35 AM   #53
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Her justification was that she's an emotional person. She has a vent but justifies it by saying that it's just letting off steam and then she refocuses and gets stuff done. I prefer to quietly plug away, but when she's constantly ranting I find it difficult to deal with. She says I lack empathy and if I understoof her better and how she ticks I wouldn't only not take it personally but I'd be better able to emotionally support her. I disagree as I just find emotional agressive ranting and finger pointing destructive. I have told her this and her response is "I'm only human" or "other women would have thrown tantrums a lot earlier than I would, I am actually patient and if you had any idea you would know and appreciate how much I suck up."
Your wife really tries to manipulate you and uses your lack of experience before you met her to her benefit. She manages to twist every single thing she says and does to make you look bad and her saintly. She is the one who lacks empathy. If she had empathy than she would know that people do get hurt and even damaged by words. If you were ranting at her you better believe that she wouldn't be empathetic to that behaviour. If you treated her like she treats you she would call you abusive and aggressive. She acts like it's perfectly normal to throw tantrums but it's not normal or healthy at all and it's certainly not something all women do. She sounds emotionally unregulated to me and rather than appreciating that she has an even tempered husband she finds fault with you even for that. Somehow in her warped thinking she is better than you because she is on a emotional roller coaster.

Your wife is going to get surgery and get fit and then she plans to work in a male dominated field. She doesn't see you of any value and she doesn't respect you. She is going to ditch you as soon as she finds another man who will accept her baggage and put up with her. By the way there is nothing wrong with being a mechanic. My grandpa was a mechanic as well as one of my uncles. They both did a fine job of raising their families and had good marriages. Nobody looked down on them for being a mechanic, especially not their kids. Kids love and respect their parents based on how their parents love and respect them. They don't care where you work or what your job title is. How cruel of your wife to say you aren't good enough for your kids.
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Old 27th October 2017, 5:37 PM   #54
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OMG- My father was a mechanic for over 25 years. Owned his own car repair business. He is twice the successful man than I am. I look up to him tremendously. Never sell your self short for actually having a good job skill. Being a mechanic these days is just short of wizardry! You can do anything you put your mind to. And learning a skill such as yours proves it! Your employed...That beats a whole lot of people these days.

You all need some life coach time. As well as a financial expert. Local banks usually have lines on these... As for your wife, she does need some counselling concerning her attitude and health issues.
Thanks for the kind words. There's a difference between your father and me though, that is while we're both mechanics he's also a businessman. It's hard to start up a repair shop and run it successfully to make a buck, and to do so for 25 years in a fantastic feat. I have a buddy who has done just that, except first he started out as a mobile mechanic in 2013 and has only just started working out of a small gas station. I've seen first hand how hard he works and continues to work to build the business and I've helped and supported him where I could. Honestly, even if I had the money to invest in something like a business, I certainly don't have the ability to successfully build and run a business.

I don't think we need a financial expert. My wife controls the money we do have an does a fantastic job managing it all. The problem with our money extends back years and is very messy and complicated. As I've explained on the first page we had over committed as I was very close to getting a very well paying job on an oil rig that a buddy was helping me try to get a job on back in early 2009. The financial crisis ruined that opportunity and I haven't been able to secure anything like that since. It's pretty clear where we went wrong, so no financial person is going to help from here. Unless they can fix the past, we're pretty well set managing things from here.

Last edited by Trail Blazer; 27th October 2017 at 5:39 PM..
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Old 27th October 2017, 6:25 PM   #55
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Your wife really tries to manipulate you and uses your lack of experience before you met her to her benefit. She manages to twist every single thing she says and does to make you look bad and her saintly. She is the one who lacks empathy. If she had empathy than she would know that people do get hurt and even damaged by words. If you were ranting at her you better believe that she wouldn't be empathetic to that behaviour. If you treated her like she treats you she would call you abusive and aggressive. She acts like it's perfectly normal to throw tantrums but it's not normal or healthy at all and it's certainly not something all women do. She sounds emotionally unregulated to me and rather than appreciating that she has an even tempered husband she finds fault with you even for that. Somehow in her warped thinking she is better than you because she is on a emotional roller coaster.

Your wife is going to get surgery and get fit and then she plans to work in a male dominated field. She doesn't see you of any value and she doesn't respect you. She is going to ditch you as soon as she finds another man who will accept her baggage and put up with her. By the way there is nothing wrong with being a mechanic. My grandpa was a mechanic as well as one of my uncles. They both did a fine job of raising their families and had good marriages. Nobody looked down on them for being a mechanic, especially not their kids. Kids love and respect their parents based on how their parents love and respect them. They don't care where you work or what your job title is. How cruel of your wife to say you aren't good enough for your kids.
When I said I was even tempered, it was in the context of emotional responses to things good and bad, like getting excited about good things, but getting angry at bad things. I still get happy at good things, but I feel things harder than I express them. Same with injustices that I see, they make me very angry but I don't lash out in response, I'm usually measured in response. As too is my wife, when it comes to people who stuff her around with her business (which doesn't make much money anyway) she always handles it well and professionally.

What I will say is yes, I have gotten very defensive before and bitten back at my wife. I have learned to control my emotions when I feel like she's attacking me. I did lash out a few times and yeah, she did acuse me of being abusive. She also has admitted to getting too angry but she says a lot of it is frustration because I don't understand what she's saying and shd responds to my defensiveness. She always says "if you're guaranteed one thing that will make me pissed it's saying stupid things because I hate stupidity." It does feel like I'm the stupid one at times and I do get really unsure about myself. If she's trying to put doubt in my head she's doing a good job of it.

I have seen her manipulate others (like her dad) and even picked her up on a few things before. She's always said "I know what I'm doing, I'm not an idiot" or "there's a reason why I have to handle certain people a certain way". Usually it reveals itself and usually there's no real sinister reason why she did it, other than knowing what outcome she wanted to achieve (which is usually a reasonable one in itself) and how she had to handle that person in order to achieve that outcome. It does make me wonder how much I'm being manipulated for an end game I'm yet to realize.

I do feel like sometimes my wife gaslights because I do have a lot of doubt in my head. Sometimes when I tell her about certain things at work she's quick to criticize how I've handled certain things to make out like I'm getting played. The thing is, perhaps I am and I don't realize it. But perhaps I'm not but I'm just not seeing the opportunities to turn a situation into my favor like she would. Either way, she makes it out as though my inability to "play the game" is part of the reason why I'm not getting any promotions at my work.

That's only half of the problem for me. The other half is that I have made many silly mistakes when it comes to the kids or things around the house. I do forget things at times, and make mistakes like forgetting a certain bill is due or whatever. My wife has said "if things weren't on a tightrope we could absorb mistakes but we can't so you literally can't stuff anything up or it will cause huge problems. I put my hand up and say I don't have a stupidly good memory like she does, but what's also a matter of concern and doubt for me is when my wife will use many of these examples an reason for why I'm not successful. She will say that I have poor executive functioning and unless I can get a handles on that I'm destined to never succeed.

As for my wife joining the police and leaving me, I seriously doubt it. Leaving me is something that may or may not happen, just as me leaving her is something that may or may not happen. If we break up, I think it will be more of a mutual thing than one person announcing they're leaving, especially because they found someone else. I guess stranger things have happened, but I don't think that's my wife's style at all. And on a side note, I seriously doubt whether she would find someone who would take on her significant baggage. Her older 2 kids are aduts, but both still live with us so it's not like they wouldn't be a factor.

My kids adore me undoubtedly, but I get this idea that my son (who's 11) doesn't respect me as much as he could because of my job which doesn't pay as much as other jobs around. He sees his friends at school living in their own house, not a rented one. He sees the moms of his friends drive much newer cars than his mom. He does think my truck is pretty cool though, so that's one thing! My son also wants to be a police officer in the K9 squad as he loves dogs and German Shepherds. He told his teacher once that "he doesn't want to be a mechanic like my dad." I'm not sure what to read into that, but I guess he's got a thing in his head that if you are a mechanic not earning a lot, this is the life you will get if you have a family.
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Old 27th October 2017, 8:37 PM   #56
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Your wife sounds controlling and emotionally abusive. She has also passed down her materialism as well as snobbery to your children. An 11 year old shouldn't be caring about how new the family car is.

Your wife thinks that you're not good enough because you're a mechanic? Maybe she needs to struggle as a single mom again and see how well she does in that situation. If your wife wanted a monied white collared professional, she shouldn't have latched onto a young man who barely had any work or life experience when she met him.
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Old 27th October 2017, 9:57 PM   #57
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It's honestly so upsetting to read this story.

I really think your wife took advantage of you when you were young. It's sad. Why would a grown woman ask you, a 21 year old at the time I'm guessing, to have a kid with her. You were young, what the hell did you know? When I was 19 or even 21 I knew nothing. I was a young adult and I was barely able to support myself.

I've dated quite a lot and I've heard that older women with kids struggle in the dating scene. I think they have a smaller dating pool because many men their age or older, do not want to date women who already have kids with other men. I think that being older with kids didn't help her in the dating scene.

I think that when she saw that you were interested in her, she didn't hesitate to grab on to you because she may not have had a lot of options. Also, you were young and I hate to say it but very easy to manipulate especially by a woman who is much older than you.

This is just my speculation. Why would a grown woman ask such a young man who is practically still a kid himself to have a kid with her? I am positive that at that age you barely knew what you were doing. I feel like she stole your youth to be honest.
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Old 28th October 2017, 1:13 AM   #58
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If your 11yr old son doesn't respect you it's because he has observed and listened to his mother disrespect you. His disrespect for you has been learned from your wife.

I'm not sure what kind of help you need or want. You post about all these awful things your wife says and does but when posters try to empathize with you or validate your feelings you seem to become defensive and start backtracking. I hope you figure out what it is you need and then find a way to achieve that.
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Old 4th November 2017, 7:41 AM   #59
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If your 11yr old son doesn't respect you it's because he has observed and listened to his mother disrespect you. His disrespect for you has been learned from your wife.

I'm not sure what kind of help you need or want. You post about all these awful things your wife says and does but when posters try to empathize with you or validate your feelings you seem to become defensive and start backtracking. I hope you figure out what it is you need and then find a way to achieve that.
I think saying that I'm defensive and backtracking is a little unfair. All I've tried to do is present the facts as truthfully as I can. If that means "backtracking" then so be it. There's a lot going on and it's easy for misinterpretations, especially if I read what I said after someone replies and then realize that the way I presented the situation needs some clarification.

I appreciate that people are trying to empathize with me, I really do. What I wanted from joining and sharing my feelings was to just get stuff off my chest. Things are tough right now and we've been rocky for a long time. I'm feeling confused, trapped and scared about the future without my kids if things end. My wife is not vindictive and said all along she would want me to see the kids all the time, but it's not the same as living with them.

I do thank you and the rest of the posters in here for taking the time to read and reply to my story. I am pretty pragmatic about the fact that no one can really say anything that's going to help without me first knowing that unpleasant advice is probably necessary. I'm in a pickle and have to make hard decisions, none of which will be pleasant. It's a matter of determining and prioritizing my own happiness in the welfare of others' needs.
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Old 4th November 2017, 8:43 AM   #60
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Your wife sounds controlling and emotionally abusive. She has also passed down her materialism as well as snobbery to your children. An 11 year old shouldn't be caring about how new the family car is.

Your wife thinks that you're not good enough because you're a mechanic? Maybe she needs to struggle as a single mom again and see how well she does in that situation. If your wife wanted a monied white collared professional, she shouldn't have latched onto a young man who barely had any work or life experience when she met him.
I guess kids notice these things all on their own. My wife's 2003 Ford Focus was always breaking down. I kept fixing things constantly and she was getting really mad. I can't blame her I supppse. I was lending her my truck while I borrowed cars from work while fixing my wife's car in my spare time. It was a pain in the ass having to come home and fix it all the time. The kids loved mom dropping them to school in my truck, but she hated driving it because "it's too big" and "only rednecks drive those things".

I took out a loan and bought her a 2013 Camry. A lot weight is off my mind now. I can fix up a few things in my own time and then sell it. The sooner I sell it the sooner I can put that straight back on the loan. While money is tight, this is the first time since I had a mortgage that I actually owe any money. It was a necessary evil. My wife is extremely happy though and very appreciative. The kids love the car too. I guess the plodding mechanic has ticked a box this time.

I have told my wife on many occasions that she should have married someone else if she wanted money. She says she never wanted someone with money, she says she wanted a partner who could back her up. I've told her that I try, but at the end of the day she really did NEED someone with the earning capacity to keep up with her. She admits she overestimated her own ability to manage everything, including working in a stressful high level job and have 2 more kids with someone who wasn't going to be the primary earner.
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