T Nation

Wow.....Life.....

I’ve debated with myself for the last couple of weeks whether or not to post what I have been going through in my life. Well, I guess I decided in favor of it.

I’m not sure why, though. I originally was going to post to ask for advice and help, but chickened out. I’m not looking for help or even replies now, but feel free to do so. I guess I’m doing it now, just to do it. I just feel like getting it out and saying what I’ve gone through and what’s been on my mind.

I guess I can start with a little background info of myself. I was in the Marine Corps from 1997-2002 and spent the entire time in Southern California. I met a girl, fell in love, the whole works, and got married in 2001.

We lived In San Diego County together until August 2002 when we decided to move to Santa Clarita(by Magic Mountain if you care) where she grew up. We had jobs, not great ones, but jobs, and they paid the bills and we had a little left over. To sum it up things were going smoothly.

Time passes and we start thinking about settling down, buying a house, and living the rest of our lives. The problem is house prices in California are insane(and the houses don’t have basements!). Since I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I suggested we move there. Housing’s a lot cheaper, gas is cheaper, and I was starting to really miss the midwest and four seasons. Plus, only 6 to 8 Packer games were televised each season in California.

Well, we go back and forth about moving for the better part of eight months. Finally, she tells me she’s ready and wants to go. I’m excited, but I want to make sure she’s sure. She assures me she’s ready and May of 2004 we moved.

We’re here for a week and I can tell she hates it. And to be honest, it wasn’t all I expected. I guess after being gone for seven years people change and friendships fade. So now she has no friends and I don’t really either. It sucked, but no big deal, right, we have eachother.

She had a family reunion in Las Vegas in June that she wasn’t sure if she would be going to. She also had a wedding at the end of June that she wanted to attend. She wants to do both and she hates her job, so I tell her that she doesn’t have to work right now if she doesn’t want to. I do this trying to be supportive and help her adjust. And since the cost of living is so much lower, we could actually live off my pay for a while. So she gets to do both.

She drives out there since she will be gone for 3 1/2 weeks and we weren’t going to pay for a rental for that long. Things are going fine and she enjoys herself, but maybe too much. I guess she started to realize what she left behind and how much she missed it.

A week into her trip she tells me she isn’t coming back. God, I miss her.

She says she can’t see herself leaving California again. I’m crushed. I cry and beg for her to come back. For three days I didn’t know where my life was going or what to do. Then I did it.

I needed to get my mind off of the situation for a while. I needed help. I got invited out for a drink after work with a co-worker. A female.

I thought it would be good for me to get out and be social. I knew in the back of mind what was going to happen but I went anyway. And of course it did happen. We came back to my apartment(which by the way, my wife now refered to it as “mine” and not “ours”) and I became a cheater.

In a strange way I thought I needed that. I didn’t know where I stood with my wife. She said she wasn’t coming back. Were we even still together? I really didn’t feel that guilty at the time. I would later.

My wife and I talked almost daily. We slowly tried to make some sort of compromise or arrangement and fix our living situation. I couldn’t just go out there, we just moved here and had a one-year lease. I try to convince her to come back at least through Christmas and we can figure it out from there.

She finally agreed to come back until at least November. We would pay the penalty to break the lease and move back to California.

Days passed and I started questioning myself. I told her that if the only reason she was coming back to Wisconsin was for us to move back to California, then don’t come back. I told her I can’t guarantee that I can move back. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave Milwaukee.

And we were stalemated for 2 weeks.

One day during one of our conversations she asks me to fly out there so we can drive back together. I’m confused and asks what she means. She said she doesn’t care where we live she just wants to be with me. She said we don’t have to be in California, but we have to be together. I’m thrilled. But then guilt sets in.

I tell before she comes back she should know what I did. I tell her I cheated. I try to justify it by saying she started the chain of events that made me do it. In all honesty, I somewhat still believe that, but I know I still shouldn’t have done it.

That makes her decide she never wants to live in Milwaukee or anywhere in the midwest. So now we’re back to that position. What do I do now.

I belive that at the time, part of me didn’t want her to come back so I had to tell her about “the girl”. But I didn’t feel that way for long. God, I miss her.

She says we can still be together, but I need to move out there so we work this out and move on. I didn’t know what to do. I like Milwaukee. I like beer, brats, and snow. I’m just a midwest kinda guy. I didn’t miss the west coast and had no desire to go back. I was lost. And I kept her hanging with my indecisiveness.

I knew that if I stayed, I could buy a house afford to finish school, watch the Packers, and basically have everything I wanted in life…except her. Maybe to others this is a no-brainer in one way or another, but to me it was agonizing.

I told her I would come back to California in a couple weeks. I started making plans to leave and kept finding reasons to push the date back. Finally the time came to leave and I couldn’t do it. I just didn’t want to leave.

I called her and she asked what time I was leaving. I said I don’t know. I told her I’m not coming, at least not right now, maybe in a couple months. I said that I just got here and I wanted to enjoy it for a while longer. She said I was being selfish and didn’t care about our marriage. She tells me she’s filing for a separation by the end of the week. This was last week.

I start to think that maybe I am being selfish. What the hell do I need to stay here for? I decide that I want to come back, but she doesn’t believe me. She thinks I will just change my mind again. I ask her to please just give me a month or so to finish living here and settle things here, including the lease. She agrees, but says she won’t believe me until I am there. She also says that she won’t file for separation, but in her mind we are separated.

This morning I call her and tell her I don’t need a month. I just want to be with her and nothing else is important. I agree that I was selfish and we need to get our lives back together.

We have a little small talk and then she tells me that I need to know something before I come out there.

I already know what is coming.

Now we’re both cheaters. She went out the night before with some friends and brought a guy back to her apartment. I was crushed. Again.

I ask her for all the excruciating details that I shouldn’t even be asking. I found out the positions and how he put me to shame in the “stamina” department.

We talk for a while longer and as the initial shock wore off things changed. We actually had a really good conversation. It was probably the best conversation we have had since she left. God, I miss her.

She is the selfish one for not coming back home to HER HUSBAND in the first place. Good luck though.

If it were me in your situation I wouldn’t have told her anything…why? Well now anytime she suspects anything be it small shit she’s going to remind herself of what you did and the trust pretty much went to shit. I’m a firm believer in karma so maybe you ended up cheating on her because she did the same to you when she came to cali for 3.5 weeks?

I hope it all works out for you both…
Take it one day at a time and if your situation goes to shit…remember to think with your head and not your heart especially considering nowadays marriages last only 50% of the time.

-c

Damn I didn’t scroll all the way down before posting :slight_smile:

malonetd,

I very much understand the kind of situation you are in. Seeing a relationship that you heavily invested into, fall to pieces is a traumatic experience. Having been there, here is my view:

First of all, your honesty is commendable. People sleep with others, although they love their partners - only lying about it makes it cheating. In my book, the two of you have are even now, and should not torture yourselves or each other for it. You have other stuff to concentrate on.

The remaining question is: Do you both want to really be with each other, or can’t you just let go? That answer only you two can answer - some couples manage that without external help, others don’t. If you can’t, get proper help.

The notion that everything (job & living situation, external pressures) can be overcome, just by loving each other is in view simply wrong. Relationships can break over external conditions, sometimes they even must. Often though, internal processes, without being conscious to the partners, play a big role - find out about them.

Without knowing your situation, let me give you a suggestion:
If you decide to try and save this, don’t just move in together. Move close to each other, so you can be together if you want to, but don’t just try to take it from where you think you left - because that conditions have dramatically changed. As posted in another thread, I think everyone is responsible for his/her happiness, even within a loving relationship. Find out what makes you happy alone - and leave your wife out of this, until you know. You should in the end be together, because you really like each other, not because you can’t face live without each other. That simply does not work.

Hang in there, I hope it all works out in a way you can live with.

Makkun

Ouch dude. These things are tough. I’m amazed you were able to share that with us.

There is no one path to happiness or we would all just follow it. Whether or not the two of you work things out you should both be learning a lot about yourselves.

Anyhow, a significant ex of mine moved with me back to Canada from Texas at one point. It is extremely difficult to make that type of transition. Eventually she ended up going back and I didn’t.

The cross border aspect made it more difficult for either of us to consider working things out.

In any case, I’ve been pleasantly surprised as I get into shape to find that it is easier to meet people. That may be a no brainer, but the surprise is how many people there are that you can develop that level of attachment to.

Heh, I really don’t have anything in particular to say. If you decide to stay together, you’ll have a hell of a story to joke about later on. If it doesn’t work out, don’t panic, time will take care of that too.

Get a divorce and move on. Hell, 52% of the rest of the country is doing it.

It’s hard for me, and her I’m sure, although in different ways. When I sit and read what I wrote, I sit back and I don’t know what to think. There’s no way I could have expected anything like this to happen. It’s almost funny the way life works.

I don’t know where I’m headed. Right now I’m inclined to go back to California. Last night we talked about her flying out so we could drive back together. I definitely still love her, but I wonder how this will affect us in the long run. Will we both get over it and not hold grundges? Can we both trust eachother again? Can I afford DirectTV so I can watch an entire Packer season?

There’s just a lot of questions right now. I miss her so much and it’s been hard for me being alone for the last 2 months. I’m just not used to it. And it doesn’t help that I don’t even talk to any of my so-called friends. I guess not liking being alone was a big factor in me cheating.

I don’t know, I guess we’re kind of equal in the infidelity department and maybe that’s why we ended up having a nice, calm discussion after I found out. I think in a weird way we needed her to do it. We actually started joking about it afterwards.

We used to say we each had one “free pass”. You know, the one person you can have sex with without repercussions. Normally people pick celebrities. For a long time my choice was Salma Hayek. She kept changing hers. I changed mine to one of her good friends. So last night she says, “You used your free pass. Now you can never fuck Amanda.” We laugh. It’s strange. It’s really an odd feeling to talk to your wife about someone else she just had sex with; unless of course you’re into that sort of thing.

Anyway, I thank those that took the time to read my post. I know it’s long, but I really felt the urge to write it. I don’t want a divorce and hopefully we can work through this. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her when we got married and I still do. I think she feels the same way. It will take some work to rebuild our relationship, but I’m sure we can do it…together. I really miss her. And I know 2 months isn’t that long to be away from someone, but it is if you don’t know if you’ll ever see that person again.

Trying to make sense of life,
Todd

just because 52% are doing it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do. It’s sort of the only way out… and it ends up ugly.

i wish you all the best. my friend is going through a similar episode… he’s also from Norway, and studying in australia. of course, he happened to meet an excellent woman there, so he’s pretty serious.

now he told her he wanted to move back home (Norway) and she was hurt. she broke it off and now he’s suffering big time hehe. just sort of trying to help him get over it over the messenger we use. it’s not easy…

at any rate, good luck!

I read your post, but, being the inexperienced youngster, all I have to say is, good luck with everything. I hope things work out.

P.S. You two sound like the type of couple that goes on ‘Change of Heart’ to see if your relation is durable enough, after a hot and steamy date with another person.

Hang in there! Relationships can really suck everything out of you especially when you fall for someone.

I live out here in Satan Clarita and the cost of living is ridicoulus! A house that cost 175 grand five years ago costs 500 grand now!! I feel for you man, it must be hard to move away from Wisc. where you grew up and have family and friends to a whole new enviroment.

Hopefully, things work out between the two of you. Best of luck to you, I’ll send you some positive vibes :slight_smile:
“Sancho”

Walking away is easy, staying is hard. You know better than anyone if you’re being treated like a door mat or if things just got out of hand.

If it’s a matter of pride keeping you from what you really want, then suck it up, get in your car, and go.

Work it out with her in person. Get out all of the yelling and hurt on both sides. And then agree to just leave it alone. Don’t let it keep coming up in future squabbles about the little shit, and rehash it all again.

Maybe you’ll look back in five years and realize it was the best thing you ever did, or maybe you’ll remember what a dumb ass you were. It’s better than wondering.

Remember, they’re aren’t any fucking rules, and who gives a crap what anyone else thinks. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck dude.

Hey,

Thanks for sharing such personal experience. I guess you just needed to get it off your chest.

This is just my reaction NOT advice, my initial reaction is that you should just stay with her since you love her and miss her so much even after few months of seperation. If things don’t work out later, you can always call it quits again. Nothing is written in stone.

Good luck.

[quote]Quest4Glory wrote:
P.S. You two sound like the type of couple that goes on ‘Change of Heart’ to see if your relation is durable enough, after a hot and steamy date with another person. [/quote]

That’s pretty funny.

Well here it is a day later and we had some nice conversation today. The only thing was that when I was at work in the evening I kept thinking about her and I would try to picture her. It has been over two months since I’ve seen her. But when I do picture, I keep picturing her “with” that other guy, if you know what I mean. And then I was going through all kinds of emotions at work. I was mad one minute, hurt the next, and so on. I’m sure this will pass with time, but it’s hard right now.

However, as soon as I got off work, I called her and it was so nice to just hear her voice and talk to her.

Anyway, we are planning for me to go back out there. We are working out the details of when she can fly out here, so we can drive back together.

Thanks to all,
Todd

Wow, indeed.

Sorry to hear you’re going through this. I think WTF had the best comments on how to handle things.

Good luck with everything and keep us posted.

[quote]wtf wrote:
Maybe you’ll look back in five years and realize it was the best thing you ever did, or maybe you’ll remember what a dumb ass you were. It’s better than wondering.

Good luck dude.[/quote]

Thanks, and I agree. That’s part of the reason I am trying to work it out and go back out there. I don’t want to wonder in five years if I just gave up on what might have been the best thing in my life.

Hey Todd, up front I want to wish you all the best in life, health and happiness foremost. I hope it works out one way or the other.

These are some of my impressions from your post. I apologize if some of them seem cold-hearted, that is not my intention. I am simply being honest. I truly enjoyed your post, I feel for you and want to contribute.

That said, here are my impressions:

1- You mention the Packers way too much. I don’t understand how the most imp’t relationship in your life is affected by a football team. What are your priorities?

2- There are brats and beer in Cali as well

3- I understand both of the conflicts you two face re: where to live.

My advice, since I’ve lived thru this myself: for you to live somewhere, there has to be a REASON for it. Its not wise to arbitrarily decide to move to somewhere cuz of the weather or the lifestyle. That is superficial.
Base it on a COMBINATION of Job/Career, education, family and, yes, culture and lifestyle.

4- You are dead on talking about friendships and family. Friends DO fade away as we change into diff’t people and we shouldn’t be too attached to old friends.
Re family, you have to do what is best for YOU. That is most important. If being with your wife is the best thing for you, then that is where your priorities lie.

5- My impression is that both of you need a focus, you need goals. What do each of you want out of life (besides each other)? You seem to be drifting. What are your goals? How are you going to get there? Are you going to support each other in pursuing goals? Marriage is a partnership wherein both of you have to make indiv. sacrifices for the sake of keeping the marriage intact.

Are you compatible enough to support each other to reach your goals? Love is 1 amazing, incredible, ecstatic thing- but marriage is something else.

All the best, and G_d bless.

~Rant warning!~

Many people, including myself at times, seem to be aimless and wander thru life. A lot has been written about this. In our conuntry (and many other 1st world mations) we are all so well off and have too many CHOICES, too many options. Everything is so much easier for us than in most parts of the world. We have food, shelter, clothes, schools, money…all our basic needs are met. Then we live in the wealthiest country in the world, with so many options about what to do as a career, where to do it, where to live…Our priorities become fuzzy and mixed because since so many of our base needs as humans are met just because we are Americans, we tend to focus on the superficial things which DO NOT lead to fulfillment and happiness.

I know I’ve spent most of the last few years trying to make myself happy and being miserable at it, because I haven’t been focusing on what’s important. Now I’v realized that and have made changes in my life.

~Rant over~

Sonny S,

Excellent post. Words of wisdom.

[quote]Sonny S wrote:
Hey Todd, up front I want to wish you all the best in life, health and happiness foremost. I hope it works out one way or the other.[/quote]
Thank you.

[quote]
These are some of my impressions from your post. I apologize if some of them seem cold-hearted, that is not my intention. I am simply being honest. I truly enjoyed your post, I feel for you and want to contribute.

That said, here are my impressions:

1- You mention the Packers way too much. I don’t understand how the most imp’t relationship in your life is affected by a football team. What are your priorities?[/quote]
I added this for humor only. I am passionate about football and the Packers, but I know what’s important in life. I was supposed to be mild joke. Something I probably couldn’t have done had I posted this a couple of weeks ago.

[quote]
2- There are brats and beer in Cali as well[/quote]
The brats aren’t as good and most people in California don’t even know what they are. And as a side note the “Happy cows come from california” commercials are garbage. Funny, but wrong. You Californians know what I’m talking about.

[quote]
3- I understand both of the conflicts you two face re: where to live.

My advice, since I’ve lived thru this myself: for you to live somewhere, there has to be a REASON for it. Its not wise to arbitrarily decide to move to somewhere cuz of the weather or the lifestyle. That is superficial.
Base it on a COMBINATION of Job/Career, education, family and, yes, culture and lifestyle. [/quote]
This is where I disagree with you. You list job/carreer first although I don’t know if you meant that as the highest priority. For many it is. Not me. Maybe because I don’t rank high in the occupational world. My life isn’t about my job and I’m not going to make it about my job. If I can afford to provide for my family, pay the bills, and have a little left over, I’m ok with that. I don’t aspire to have a great, desirable profession. Not in my blood. I feel I can be happy in life as long as I’m happy at home and not miserable at work.

I also think the weather, culture, and lifestyle of a place a very important in deciding where to live. Some people would be miserable living through a cold winter every year. I would be fine with it. In fact I really miss snow. I haven’t seen it in eight years and it never really feels like Christmas to me. On the other hand, I got very used to wearing shorts and sandals almost year round.

As far as the culture of a place, the midwest is very different from the west coast. Attitudes are different. Priorities are different. People are different.

I prefer the green and trees to the sand and mountains. I prefer thunderstorms to earthquakes. I don’t like 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. heavy traffic. I do like Summerfest. There are things I like about southern California, too(In-N-Out comes to mind), but if all else was equal, I would prefer the midwest.

[quote]
4- You are dead on talking about friendships and family. Friends DO fade away as we change into diff’t people and we shouldn’t be too attached to old friends.
Re family, you have to do what is best for YOU. That is most important. If being with your wife is the best thing for you, then that is where your priorities lie.[/quote]
Friendship and family is important to me. It bothers me that I pretty much lost all my old friends when were close for so long. I also made some really good friends while in the Marine Corps, but after we all got out, people move back to their home states, and you start to lose track of eachother. As far as family, I don’t come from a real solid family and am not close to anyone in it. I rarely talk to any family members other than one sister.

To me this would possibly rank higher than job/career. But after actually living here in Milwaukee again, I realize that I don’t have much of that here anyway.

[quote]
5- My impression is that both of you need a focus, you need goals. What do each of you want out of life (besides each other)? You seem to be drifting. What are your goals? How are you going to get there? Are you going to support each other in pursuing goals? Marriage is a partnership wherein both of you have to make indiv. sacrifices for the sake of keeping the marriage intact.[/quote]
This paragraph really intrigued me and made me think. It reminded me of before I joined the Marine Corps. I didn’t know what I wanted in life. I would get frustrated thinking about the shitty jobs I was working and I thought I needed to do something with myself. So, i joined the Marines.

I get out and I am(other than the last 2 months) a much happier person. This in spite of how much I initially hated the Marines and how much trouble I got into. I am just hapier with life.

Do I know what I want out of life? No. As generic as it sounds; to be happy I guess. What would make me happy? I don’t ask for much, I’m a simple person. I want someone to share my life with, that I can grow old with. A couple friends to share some good times with. A place to call home. And that’s about it. I don’t want much as far as materail things. Sure there’s things I want(mp3 player…), but that’s not going to make me happy.

I guess right now the only other thing I really want in life is to buy a house. Going back to Santa Clarita will make us have to wait a long time for that. But if I want to be with my wife, then we just have to wait and save. And I do want to be with my wife.

[quote]
Are you compatible enough to support each other to reach your goals? Love is 1 amazing, incredible, ecstatic thing- but marriage is something else.

All the best, and G_d bless.[/quote]
I truly hope we can work past everything and re-commit to eachother and eachother’s needs.

Like I said, I really don’t need much to keep me happy. Like I said, my only big goal was to buy a house. I don’t know exactly what she wants out of life right now. I guess being in California around family and friends is important. And she went back to her job that she loves. So hopefully with that part of her life satisfied, me and my needs can fit in there.

Thanks for reading and thaks for the input. I will let you know where we go from here.

What a summer,
Todd