T Nation

How Do you Know it's Over?

and you aren’t making the biggest mistake of your life?

I’m posting this here because I figure some of yall have been there before.

You’re married and have been with the same woman for more than 5 years. She is the mother of your children and in all intensive purposes is a good person. She’s never cheated on you (that you know of). You have no other woman and aren’t in love with someone else.

Lately your relationship has been rocky or has been rocky for several years. Y’all just can’t seem to get it together. You’ve increasingly found reasons not to go home. You sit there seething and feel she is too.

It’s been so long since you’ve been in a different relationship that you aren’t sure if this is just a rough spot or if you have fallen out of love. These rough spots last longer and longer and you both find excuses not to be with the other.

Your kids aren’t grown and basically you two have built a life together. If the shit hit the fan, you both could afford to live fairly comfortably and a divorce wouldn’t ruin either of you.

She doesn’t make your life miserable by nagging or spending all your money and gives you your time to do what you need. You do the same for her. Most people would look at you two and see a normal couple. However, your true friends know you are miserable. You suspect her friends know she is miserable.

What do you do?

Do something for her without expecting anything in return. Something that will make her a little happier or her life a little easier.

The thing I’ve found (So far) in marriage is that if I’m in it only for my own happiness, I’m guaranteed to be unhappy, because I’ve missed the point.

I haven’t yet completely learned this lesson (if it is in fact a lesson), but I do find that if I stop concentrating on how unhappy I think I am and what I think I deserve and go about being more useful or less shitty for others to be around it makes me happier as well.

Crap. I’ve written it, now I have to live it…

From reading your post, it seems like you actually have a pretty good situation. It would be a real shame to lose that, and I wonder if you would be any happier with a divorce, never having learned the “secrets” to making things work.

I agree with Skid, but to add my one cent’s worth of advice, five years is not a long time to be married (coming up on 18 myself this year, with five kids). If things feel boring or lackluster now, it’s probably a lack of investment.

I’ve also found that, no matter how much I think I’m not at fault in certain situations, things just work out better (in every way) if I just suck it up and try to make things right unilaterally. I’ve got to constantly remind myself that marriage isn’t international relations, and brinksmanship just doesn’t help.

Probably a lot of people on this site will give you opposite advice, but they are wrong. If your spouse was abusive, or the relationship was destructive in some way, my advice might be different, but that doesn’t sound like your case.

Again, my one cent.

We’ve been together 19 years SFP. I just didn’t want the “me an my girl been together a long time - 9 months” kid shit so I clarified it 5 years.

I think Youve gotten good advice. I know its hard, but remember when you were dating? Every thing you did was about her. Your the man. That means you HAVE to be the initiator. Man I hate even typing that, cause it reminds me of my own responsibility.

As far as divorce goes… I dont know how old your children are, but I can tell you this - It impacts them in ways you cant imagine. Most of the kids Ive dealt with(including my own) kinda get stuck at whatever age thy are when the divorce happens. My sons are 25, 24. To this day they have trouble with the opposite sex.

Theyre not the only ones Ive been in contact with. It seems common. There are lots of things that seem common.

My advice? Show them how a man works through adversity. How a man treats a woman. If their boys they need to learn, if theyre girls they need to know what to look for.
Let me tell you, having been a survivor of a cheating wife youve got something to be thankful for.

One more thing, we tend to think of Love as a feeling. It not. Feelings/emotions come and go. If thats all we base it on were all doomed.Its a commitment. Through thick and thin. Try to find a reason to go home.

19 years? Wow, all the more reason to not give up!

Galaxie said it better than I did, and more.

Giving up is easy isn’t it?

too easy, and I think about it every day. No advice, just an “I know what youre going through”.

old lardass

Maybe you should both be checked out by an MD – just to make sure there is nothing wrong physiologically. Couldn’t hurt.

[quote]fatInIC wrote:
Maybe you should both be checked out by an MD – just to make sure there is nothing wrong physiologically. Couldn’t hurt.[/quote]

Not a bad idea. I knew a guy who, in his late '40s really kind of got strange (no desire for work, etc.) for no apparent reason. Got checked up, and the doc found his T was startlingly low. Got the OK for T replacement, and has since become his normal self.

Note that I’m not implying there’s anything similar going on here. You’re certainly well within the bounds of “normal” behavior! But, you never what you might dig up.

A lot of great comments and advice here. Galaxie makes an excellent point about the kids. What if your wife remarries? Do you know how many kids are molested by step-parents? Besides that, do you really want some other man’s influence on your kids for the rest of their lives?

A lot of fathers say “I would die for my kids, take a bullet, throw myself in front of a train, etc.” Big deal. What kind of father wouldn’t do those things? But how many men sacrificially love their kids enough to stick with a marriage where the fun and excitement have faded (perhaps) years ago? Real men do and so do real fathers.

Good point, Undone.

But if both sides don’t hate each other, and, in fact, once loved each other (I’m assuming this is the case here), there’s no reason to have fun and excitement fade, at least in the aggregate.

Everyone has bumps, but overcoming them is one of the things that really makes sticking with it worthwhile. Makes one a better person, too.

At least that’s what I tell myself, even if no one else thinks so!

Over and over I hear the report of aged successful married couples, 30 year, 50 year anniversaries and what the spouses say of each other is that each is the other’s best friend.

So if I’m having problems in my marriage, one of the questions I have to ask myself is: How good a friend am I being to my wife?

I am probably the last person to be giving advice as far as marriage is concerned. I am still a rookie.

But while groping in the dark, I’ve come to realize that as long as you are both good people with good intentions, and you both value the institution of marriage, things can always be made much better.

I recently saw a movie, Fireproof, that I think you may find helpful. It’s a story of what a man had to do save his marriage.

I have some reservations recommending this movie however

  1. It’s a christian movie so I understand why some people may not want watch it, but I don’t believe this took away from the core message of the movie.
  2. Acting is not so great but then again it’s about the message.

If you can get past these issues, you only stand to lose 2hrs and $1(available at redbox).

In order to bring back the excitement and revive your marriage…do things that you find are both fun and exciting? Do you guys have dreams or similar interests? If so plan with each other get excited and do something fun and invigorating! Surprise her at home more often with random lil things and she respond well and surprise you back! everyone gets in little slumps…there are two main factors I see as the problem though besides the little things mentioned above.

  1. Marriage as mentioned before is through THICK and THIN and sometimes you hit your rough spots…but the key is that you guys are in this together and have been together for a long time! No point in quitting now! You just need to spark the fire that initially started the relationship in the first place and made you want to marry each other!

  2. Secondly…ask yourself…hows the sex? If you answer truthfully to yourself and the answer isnt “amazing holy shit never been better I cant get enough” or something along the lines of that…that is a HUGE problem…but the good news is…its VERY fixable. If theres any way to revive a long marriage of a loving couple is AMAZING SEX…I bet you remember when the relationship first started out the sex was great…wild…exciting…FUN! And it made you want more…you didnt fear coming home or wanted to avoid her…YOU SOUGHT each other out.

I think that if you ramp up the sex life and think about how you can be all you can be and tap into her self and encourage her to do the same…great things will happen. You have a long relationship and have built a family. That is a huge accomplishment! You are going through the thin right now…but the difference between good successful marriages and ones that fail…is that the unsuccessful ones quit when it gets rough. Work together and remind each other why you love each other! In the meantime though to help with the sexlife:
http://davidshade.com/ this guy is incredible and I HIGHLY recommend downloading EVERYTHING he offers on torrent sites. If you need anything just pm me and I can send you a lot of david shade material such as the deepspot, secrets of dirty hot phone sex, etc …let me tell you…this shit is INCREDIBLE! If multi orgams, squirting, nasty dirty talk, and crazy exciting sex doesnt interest you…stay away! This material is gold and has made my relationship with my longterm girlfriend absolutely heavenly and we havent lost the spark yet! but anyways I can talk about it all day…good luck man, stick with it and pm me if you need anything!

[quote]skidmark wrote:
Over and over I hear the report of aged successful married couples, 30 year, 50 year anniversaries and what the spouses say of each other is that each is the other’s best friend.

So if I’m having problems in my marriage, one of the questions I have to ask myself is: How good a friend am I being to my wife?[/quote]

That is the nail on the head. Invest in your wife. Work it like she was someone you wanted to get to know and to date.

Relationships take sacrifice and work. It is too easy to forget that, especially if you are going through andropause or sleep deprivation or something similar.

[quote]hoosegow wrote:
and you aren’t making the biggest mistake of your life?

I’m posting this here because I figure some of yall have been there before.

You’re married and have been with the same woman for more than 5 years. She is the mother of your children and in all intensive purposes is a good person. She’s never cheated on you (that you know of). You have no other woman and aren’t in love with someone else.

Lately your relationship has been rocky or has been rocky for several years. Y’all just can’t seem to get it together. You’ve increasingly found reasons not to go home. You sit there seething and feel she is too.

It’s been so long since you’ve been in a different relationship that you aren’t sure if this is just a rough spot or if you have fallen out of love. These rough spots last longer and longer and you both find excuses not to be with the other.

Your kids aren’t grown and basically you two have built a life together. If the shit hit the fan, you both could afford to live fairly comfortably and a divorce wouldn’t ruin either of you.

She doesn’t make your life miserable by nagging or spending all your money and gives you your time to do what you need. You do the same for her. Most people would look at you two and see a normal couple. However, your true friends know you are miserable. You suspect her friends know she is miserable.

What do you do?[/quote]

You haven’t described WHY you feel the way you do. Do you know? Once you’ve identified a problem, then you can deal with it.

And for God’s sake, don’t divorce. The children of single parents have the worst time of it. If you love your kids, stay in that house. Drugs, pregnancy, poverty…don’t do that to them.

[quote]63Galaxie wrote:
One more thing, we tend to think of Love as a feeling. It not. Feelings/emotions come and go. If thats all we base it on were all doomed.Its a commitment. Through thick and thin. Try to find a reason to go home. [/quote]

^^ this be very true.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
[b]
You haven’t described WHY you feel the way you do. Do you know? Once you’ve identified a problem, then you can deal with it.

And for God’s sake, don’t divorce. The children of single parents have the worst time of it. If you love your kids, stay in that house. Drugs, pregnancy, poverty…don’t do that to them.[/b]
[/quote]

Isn’t that the truth. Its the reason I had to quit doing family law type stuff. Just really got to me. Funny, one of the other guys in our office used to be board certified in family law and on the statewide boards. He obviously is doing something different now too.

Divorce can be terribly hard on the kids.

But find out if you have low T, if you just need to start courting your wife again, if you are just short on good sleep (some supplements can mess up your sleep patterns and lead to all sorts of problems) or if it is something else.

Any direction you go from here will take a lot of work. Just putting the amount of energy into courting your wife that a divorce would take will probably yield more benefit than anything else you can do – and make life a lot better for you.