Here’s my situation: I have been married to my wife for 10 yrs and we’ve been together for 15yrs. We have two boys ages 5 and 12, I’m 34 today and my wife is 32. We had our first child when we were very young as all of you can see. Here is my problem. My wife and I used to fight constantly and we wouldn’t talk for weeks at a time. It came to a point where we did our own things and I don’t mean cheating, she would go her way and I would go mine. Well in the last few months it has gotten worse until it came to a head one day when I told her I wanted a divorce. That night she went out after work with her friends and didn’t come home until 12:30 in the morning on a Thurs night. Well I was pissed off and accused her of cheating which she says never happened. I figured she wouldn’t have gone out after I told her I wanted a divorce that is what got me pissed. Eventually we worked things out but I have come to find out that she feels that I have been a miserable bastard for 15 yrs. I never knew she felt that way she never told me. This is where I need some help, she says she does love and that she does not want a divorce. She also says that she is not looking for someone else. She told me that she wants things to work out but that she needs time to find out who she is. What does that mean? I have told her that I am willing and I want things to work out. I’ve told her that I’m sorry for the past but that I can’t change the way I was. She told me she thinks she resents our oldest son because we had him so young. I have told my wife that I know what I want out of life but she doesn’t know what she wants but says that we will be fine and says that we are worth saving. Woman are confusing! Any good advice will be appreciated, thanks!
Do some reading:
Letters to Phillip by Charles Shedd
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
The Art of Understanding Your Mate by Cecil Osbourne
Fit to be Tied by Bill and Lynne Hybels (strong Christian slant in this one)
If Only He Knew by Gary Smalley
Your Personality Tree by Florence Littauer
Once you’ve finished these, then read them again, and put them to use. I’ve personally seen these texts, as well as having something to work toward together, save many a marriage. After you’ve gotten through that first 6 month to 2 year period where infatuation fades, then the marriage is WORK. At that point, love is a choice, something you do, not something you feel. Time to get to work.
By the way, you probably HAVE been a miserable bastard, and didn’t know it.
Get couseling. And I’m not making a snide remark, I really think it would help. It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself in the process. If you don’t want to do the couples therapy right off, you could find a reputable counselor and each go individually to him/her for awhile, then go together.
You both obviously have some repressed issues (well, at least she does from what you say in your post, but you probably do too) that need to be dealt with. If you want it to work, you’re both going to have to work at it. Good luck. BTW: happy birthday.
Something that just lept out at me, I feel the need to comment on:
1. She claims you’ve been a miserable bastard -for 15 years-, but she still loves you? If you know, let alone marry or live with, someone for 15 years, you know -exactly- what kind of person they are. Which is why this is discouraging. As you said “I can’t change the way I was.” but let’s face it, that’s not who you ‘were’, but simply who you ‘are’.
Thanks for your suggestions. I will look for those books and put them to use.
I have suggested going to counseling to her but she does not want to go so I will not push the issus. The reason is she doesn’t want to sit in front of someone and talk about our problems. I think it would help but I’m not going to make an issue of it. At least she is willing to tell me what the problems are. Thanks for your suggestion!
There was also something else that she told me that I find a little confusing. She said that she needs her space and some time to figure out who she is and what she wants in life. Does this sound like a possible mid-life crisis? I ve never been through anything like that so I don’t know what it is like. Any thoughts?
Speaking from past experience I once felt the same way and I didn’t have the heart to tell my man that I wasn’t sure if I loved him anymore, so instead I said that I needed time to find out who I was and that I needed my “space”! This may or may not be the way she is feeling. I recommend counselling and a lot of TLC! All the best
I’ll probably get flamed for this but here it goes! It’s been my experience that most women are treated as second class citizens in the family order of things. Especially when you start having kids at a young age. What I mean by this is that the husband’s job is always considered more important than the wife’s, the husband’s needs (time away, etc) are generally met first. The women have a tendancy to put themselves last. That nurturing thing can come back and bite us in the ass. After we are done making sure the kids are taken care of, our husbands, the house, and our jobs we get what is left. Which is generally not much. And after years of this, the resentment can/does build. I am the world’s worst at doing things for me and I bet your wife is like that too. Alot of times men say one thing and do another, example “Honey, sure go out with your girl friends! Have fun! I’ll stay with the kids” and what actually takes place is “Baby, I’m sorry. Some clients are in town and I have to take them out” or “Mikey is sick, I don’t know what to do”. All I can say is that she sounds like she has hit the exploding point. She probably feels like her youth has been slipping away while she has been wiping noses and butts and scrubbing toilets. Try and be patient and understanding. Maybe a get away for the two of you alone would help (absolutely no kids!) some place romantic and treat her like you did when you were first dating. Make her feel special, sexy and wanted. It can’t hurt.