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Wife of over 10 years has changed - Trying to keep up


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Old 3rd October 2017, 2:00 PM   #1
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Wife of over 10 years has changed - Trying to keep up

Hello All,


I appreciate you taking the time to read this. A few months back, my wife's son graduated high school. She started early, and had him when she was 20. We have two children together. Him graduating triggered what I can only describe as a mid-life crisis.


Background, we have been married for almost 15 years. In that 15 years, it's been tumultuous and difficult. Not all the time, but some of the time. In the past two years, we've fallen into a routine / rut. Neither her nor I have had much of a social life at all.


Fast forward to a few months ago, I met new friend that I thought we could both be friends with. Couple our age, kids, etc. My wife was hesitant. One day, I asked her to give my friend (a male) a ride to another town to help out. She did, and felt an admitted connection. During the same time, she had started going out more often, once every couple weeks or so. Without me. Out to the beach, the store, the bar. All by herself. She also lost a bunch of weight. I began to get suspicious, and snooped through her phone one night. I found texts to my friend that were flirtatious in nature. Nothing overt or blatant, just flirty. I began to pay attention to their body language when we were out, and I didn't like it. I confronted her and admitted that I had snooped through her phone. She apologized and said there was nothing going on at all. I asked her very directly if she had feelings for him, and admitted an attraction and connection, but reiterated nothing occurred that was inappropriate.


Now, in the present day, I'm a mess. She still chats with him via text and I noticed via FaceBook Messenger the other day. My day is consumed with thoughts that my wife is unhappy with me and perhaps looking for someone else. She insists there are no issues short of my insecurity. I've talked to her so much lately about the issue that she's tired of talking. I've told her that I needed more from her in terms of affection / love, and she says she doesn't think she can give me that.


I don't want to lose my family. I don't want to lose my wife. Despite our past, I love her more than anything. Over the past 60 days I've busted my butt to be the best husband I can be, and show her how much I love and appreciate her. I feel like that behavior may only be pushing her further away. I don't want this to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.


I feel like the problem may be me, admittedly. I don't know how to make myself feel better and at the same time save my marriage. My thoughts are consumed with the possibility of her infidelity and her not being happy with me any longer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 3rd October 2017, 2:05 PM   #2
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Talk to her & try romancing her.
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Old 3rd October 2017, 3:35 PM   #3
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Hmmm. Interesting that you've been married and a family for 15 years, but it's still her son...not your child. (Just an observation.)

Anyway, consider marriage counseling.

You had both fallen into a routine/rut with each other, and had probably been investing most of your attention and energy into the kids rather than your own relationship. Having a child graduate can be a wake-up call. Becoming empty nesters forces a couple to refocus on what they have in their relationship once the kids leave. Granted you still have two more kids at home, but it sounds as if your wife is already thinking about what life without kids look like. You on the other hand, just want things back to "normal." That's typical. No two people are going to approach change in the same way. A neutral third party can help you both deal with the transition you're facing--specifically in communicating your needs and desires, handling your feelings, addressing any differences, and resolving these, hopefully in a mutually satisfactory way.

Don't wait until things deteriorate even further to seek outside help. If you can nip problems in the bud, you have a better shot at success.

Best of luck!
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Old 3rd October 2017, 4:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. Good observation on the her son part. The emphasis there was intentional, as I was trying to convey that she had a child at a very young age, whereas we were together for 6 years before we had children together.


I've suggested marriage counseling and she refuses. This is part of the feeling of dread and peril that I have. I know the hard answer there, that being if she won't participate I don't have much of a way to go. I was hoping for a solution beyond my level of creativeness.






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Originally Posted by angel.eyes View Post
Hmmm. Interesting that you've been married and a family for 15 years, but it's still her son...not your child. (Just an observation.)

Anyway, consider marriage counseling.

You had both fallen into a routine/rut with each other, and had probably been investing most of your attention and energy into the kids rather than your own relationship. Having a child graduate can be a wake-up call. Becoming empty nesters forces a couple to refocus on what they have in their relationship once the kids leave. Granted you still have two more kids at home, but it sounds as if your wife is already thinking about what life without kids look like. You on the other hand, just want things back to "normal." That's typical. No two people are going to approach change in the same way. A neutral third party can help you both deal with the transition you're facing--specifically in communicating your needs and desires, handling your feelings, addressing any differences, and resolving these, hopefully in a mutually satisfactory way.

Don't wait until things deteriorate even further to seek outside help. If you can nip problems in the bud, you have a better shot at success.

Best of luck!
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Old 3rd October 2017, 4:08 PM   #5
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Have you spoken to your friend about this? Not a good friend is he really

Have you considered marriage counselling?

Perhaps you need to indeed tinge in yourself too. Get fit. Don't pander to her needs, but suggest thingd you can do as a couple..... make yourself interesting and attractive.
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Old 3rd October 2017, 4:31 PM   #6
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How old are your other children?

She seems to be a free spirit which is something I can really relate to.

I was at the stage in my 30s where I found the routine too much and needed to break away.

I had an accommodating and sedate husband..I craved excitement and without much meaning to I fell for a bad boy and left my husband.

It was a very bad decision in hindsight..however I'm telling you that the nicer you are to her, the less respect she will have for you and she will stray and may leave.

Be firm and tell her she either values the marriage and family enough to try and fix it or you're leaving (look up the 180).. it may also be that the kids were the glue that kept two very incompatible people together...you may find that being apart makes you both happier
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Old 3rd October 2017, 4:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inmyownhead View Post
Thanks for the reply. Good observation on the her son part. The emphasis there was intentional, as I was trying to convey that she had a child at a very young age, whereas we were together for 6 years before we had children together.


I've suggested marriage counseling and she refuses. This is part of the feeling of dread and peril that I have. I know the hard answer there, that being if she won't participate I don't have much of a way to go. I was hoping for a solution beyond my level of creativeness.
Okay. Makes sense that you were trying to give us a clearer picture.

What was her response when you suggested counseling?

If she is completely against individualized marriage counseling, another thing you could suggest is a marriage retreat. These retreats are often a weekend-long experience to help you reboot your marriage. The Gottman institute, John Gray, and other reputable marriage counselors all conduct marriage retreats.

If you observe a particular faith, you could also seek advice and guidance from your pastor, rabbi, etc--with or, if she remains unwilling, without your spouse. Ultimately though, it takes two to work on a marriage. One person alone can't do it.

Again, kudos for trying to work on your marriage as soon as you sensed a problem.
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Old 4th October 2017, 9:41 AM   #8
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She's wants her cake and wants to eat it too. She is ready to break free from what she thinks she missed (Been there, am there). If she doesn't want counseling, AND also states she can not give you affection, how long are you willing to wait for her to get through her wanting fun? and hurting you?

You could try all kinds of things and it sounds like you have and are trying, but something has changed. She has work to do on herself. She actually said to you she can not give you affection? A separation may be in store here, in my opinion.

She is wanting change, a different direction, some freedom. She is acting single while you're still very much married. It sucks for both people. I think you need to quit being a doormat and get serious about a strong conversation with her about what you both consider married stuff and what is not appropriate. She is hurting you. I get what she is feeling having been going through the same thing myself. It's hard to tell someone you want to be free, that the feelings may no longer be what they were, but you still care about your partner. I am sure she does still care for you and love you, but she wants to find herself. Midlife crisis? Maybe. Will it pass? Maybe, but you are not in the same frame of mind. You want marriage, she wants freedom.

You could have "Couple time" where you both find something you'd enjoy. She could have some girlfriend time alone, but it gets cloudy when there are attractions and that kind of thing going on. That friend is not your friend, he's flirting with your wife.... When people are vulnerable, they can lose their way. I did that. Not proud, but I did.

You have some decisions to make. Your wife does too. She can try to find herself within the marriage, hopefully without hurting you, but you need to speak up and tell her what is hurting you. Put the shoe on the other foot and ask her if the things she has done (texting, going out alone, telling you she can't provide affection, admitting attraction to someone else) ask her if it were you telling her this, would she really be o.k. with it? She would not!! Then ask her if she wants to stay together and work on it or is it over?

Sorry you are hurting, sorry to be blunt but you either fight for her, put up with this or get out. Best of luck!
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Old 4th October 2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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You have to up your husband game and be the guy that she fell for years ago. And yes, that other guy is a threat to your marriage.
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Old 4th October 2017, 11:56 AM   #10
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Um....why don't you talk to your "friend" and tell him to back his ass off or things will get very unfriendly... before you tell his wife about the flirtations between him and your wife?


Why don't you try protecting your marriage?
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Old 6th October 2017, 12:42 AM   #11
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Time to get off your butt and do something.

Hit the gym and start going out yourself.

Send your friends wife a text and let her know what is going on between the two of them.

Your wife is checking out and you can not stop her by playing the pick me game. Read No More Mr Nice Guy.

Stop following her like a lost puppy.
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Old 6th October 2017, 2:16 AM   #12
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Maybe I'm just jaded, but I read...

Quote:
Originally Posted by inmyownhead View Post
During the same time, she had started going out more often, once every couple weeks or so. Without me. Out to the beach, the store, the bar. All by herself...

She also lost a bunch of weight. I began to get suspicious, and snooped through her phone one night...

I found texts to my friend that were flirtatious in nature. Nothing overt or blatant, just flirty. I began to pay attention to their body language when we were out, and I didn't like it...

I've told her that I needed more from her in terms of affection / love, and she says she doesn't think she can give me that.

... and I think, something physical has already happened.

Perhaps the most damning part is her admitting she can't meet what, I assume, are pretty basic needs of love and attention from her. That to me says she's already engaged with this guy physically and now, ironically enough, would feel she's being unfaithful to him by showing you love and affection.
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Old 7th October 2017, 2:17 PM   #13
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Hi IMOH, tell me something. Why can you not ask your wife upfront whether she still wants to be married to you or if she wants her freedom to do as she pleases. Does your wife work? If so can she support herself on her own income? You have been given a lot of good advice by all the folk here especially Midlifemama. In fact she is speaking from experience of having been in your wife's position. So has hestheone66.

It has been said that if you love someone set them free. If they were meant to be with you they will return. If not well it was not meant to be. However that fact is no reflection on your own love. Just be decisive and do not stay in limbo. Warm wishes.
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Old 8th October 2017, 2:06 PM   #14
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your wife is cheating, you need to realize that and drill that in her head that is she doesnt cut off all contacts and pledge NC then you would be packing her bags soon.

as somebody has already smelled, something physical has happened, so need to start telling her to come clean and straight.

Last edited by hammyy2k; 8th October 2017 at 2:08 PM..
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Old 8th October 2017, 2:58 PM   #15
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Better wake up. It's an emotional affair at this point andcsn blossom.

This is exactly how affairs start.
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