What Can I Do? My Life Is Destroyed.

Married 27 years. Three great kids. The youngest is a senior in high school. My wife and I are both in our late 40s.

My wife cheated on me last year. I was shocked and devastated.  A wake up call for me, beginning of a downward spiral for her.

I suspect menopause, physical abuse as a child (serious) and empty nest are playing a part.  I am beginning to believe that she just hates me.

I have forgiven her and would like to spend the rest of our lives together building a new and improved relationship. I have been in counseling alone since the affair came to light. She refuses.

She has very low self esteem, says she wants nothing from me. Shows no appreciation for anything. She puts on a great show for friends and family including our adult children but it doesn't last when we are alone.

I am as loving and kind as I can be, probably spoiling her and all it earns me is no respect.

My therapist says I am a punching bag for her and as long as I am around, she will throw those daggers at me and blame me for how she feels about herself.

I am not perfect but I have always loved her, honored her and taken care of her. I have not and would not cheat on her.

No intimacy for about a year now. I have learned to live without sex and attention period. She is at times abusive, usually angry and never happy around me.

When I ask her if she loves me, she says she does. Whe nI try to alk about a divorce, she says she doesn't want to, but encourages me to do "do whatever I want."

I have gone to the ends of the earth to do nice things, dates, trips, gifts, space, time you name it.

I am sure the affair is over but she is in a deep depression. When she does talk, she says she wants to live the rest of her life alone and have nothing to do with anyone, including me.

I ask her if she wants to divorce and she says she "doesn't care."

My life is empty. I have lasted this long on will power but that is waning.

The woman I love is gone and an angry bitter person has replaced her. I realize that I can't control her and don't want to. We just live in this limbo where she won't commit to being together or splitting up. She is a ball of contradictions. For example, she said she felt controlled because I take care of the finances. She works part time and I am the primary bread winner. I encouraged her to take money from the joint account and open her own account, she wouldn't. I wrote her a check and asked her to go open her own account, she burned it.

She says that when our youngest leaves for colege (next June) that she is going to leave me. Not divorce me, just leave me. She says she is going to take nothing. No money, no security, nothing. She says she is going to live in a card board box under a freeway somewhere.

I am at my wits end. I love my wife and I miss the warm and caring person I have lived with for so long. I truly want to die of old age in that person's arms.

I looked for an apartment last week in order to move out and try giving her more "space." (my idea, not hers, she says "I don't care, do whatever you want."). The first question the landlord asked me was: "Are you single?" Just about floored me. Looking at those empty apartments and thinking of the loneliness there made me hurry back to my very nice, well kept home and my angry wife.

I know I need to take care of myself but I am deeply concerned for her well being too. Sometimes I think if we separate, she will be able to decide what she is going to do with the rest of her life. As it is, she finds (makes up) a new reason to hate me every day. She has no recollection of any good times in 27 years and raising three great kids. I assure you there were many and we have the photos and videos to prove it.

I have expressed my regret for the issues I brought to the marriage including depression and a work-a-holic tendency. I sincerely regret the mistakes I have made and have apologized for them. She acknowledges that I am a changed man and have learned to share and give and communicate. All for naught she says, because she can't forgive me for "cheating her out of her life." Missed dance lessons in 1986, a fight during a vacation in 2000, terrible memories (for her) of our wedding day are repeated over and over and the force of the anger never seems to wane.

Is she ill? AM I naive? Is it noble or stupid to keep trying to save this marriage?

I am afraid that another 6 months or year of this and I will be so angry and resentful that a chance of any relationship wil be gone.

Has anyone had a similar experience? How didi it turn out? What advice do you have for me?

iietm iietm
46-50, M
11 Responses Aug 27, 2008

Hello iitem, I'm so sorry to hear about your current situation. Not sure what exactly has come of your situation, but if you did decide to pursue divorce and need a bit of help, I am offering free mediation and professional asset appraisal from a high end divorce lawyer and mediator for a new television show. I know that divorce can be a very personal and sensitive time but please let me know if you'd be interested in hearing more, no obligation to participate. There is compensation involved.

I am so sorry to read about what you're going through. What you describe does sound like SOMETHING for which your wife needs both meds and counseling...What would happen if you gave her the space she claims she wants? A well adjusted adult doesn't make plans to live in boxes. If she's saying that, she is either ill, or just desperate for you to beg her not to do it...She needs help. She sounds bipolar or maybe has some mood disorder. It doesn't seem like depression. Regardless, she needs to get help. If she won't get it, you might want to separate for awhile and give yourself a break from dealing with this.

My dear friend............u know why i am on this site????because i am going exactly through your state of mind, although i and my wife are a decade older than in your case...she cheated on me primarily for fun,,,and kept the relations restricted to telephonic conversation...It has been proved and divulged to me. I have three children. We both dont want to leave each other,,but circumstances are forcing us on divorce...we had terrific sex life,,,and great kids who r very small. I love her and she supposedly also confesses that. Blame on her is that she got involved in telephonic talk for an year with another man and now it has been revealed. She never intends to leave...what should I do. I am also disturbed that why did she do that....Please someone give me help and advice...

I am so sorry that you are going through this. Your wife sounds like she is deeply depressed and at her wits end. She is talking about living in a cardboard box for one thing. The affair was probably an escape from the way she was feeling. <br />
<br />
Is there something she does care about anymore? Maybe you could use it as leverage to get her into therapy? Keep working on doing things that will help you without completely leaving or being in her line of fire during one of her rages. I like the idea of the poster above about getting an apartment of your own, not to live there full time but just to have your own space when things are tough. <br />
<br />
Doing things outside of the marriage such as hobbies or spending time with friends or family will be good for you as well. And keep going to therapy, they can help you and support you in this. Good luck!

fbusa456 the site you recommend is just more bullshit that people are trying to make money selling you. Those are not the kind of thing that will save this marriage. How do I know? I tried it.!<br />
<br />
iietm I don't know what will help you and your wife. What I do think is that you need to help yourself first. If you love her and want to keep this marriage, you need to start with yourself. <br />
<br />
You stated that you are doing this and seeing a counselor. What has the counselor suggested you do in this situation?<br />
<br />
My opinion is that before you start feeling really resentful, you get your own place. That doesn't mean you have to live there full time. But this way when you are feeling frustrated you have your own space to go. <br />
<br />
It may also help your wife to miss you and realize that she really does want you. It is important for you to be healthy before anything else.<br />
<br />
Do your children realize what is going on with her? Maybe they can help to get through where you can't. I would be upset if my father didn't tell me what was going on with my mother and it were this serious. Talk to your children. This isn't yours to deal with alone. Your children might know things you aren't aware of that might help. If she is that important to you, call in the troops!<br />
<br />
Good luck. I hope everything works out for you.

When your marriage is in trouble you can really felt it and feel that the world<br />
is coming down at you, and you need help as soon you can can get it to save your<br />
marriage. Guess what? There is always help at your finger tips, but most people<br />
do not know this until they spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on therapy after therapy. That is why I had done this research for you. You need to try it. I am sure<br />
you would be glad you did here it is.. Please go to this to get expert advice, you may be surprise of what you would find out. You're not alone, but help is out there.<br />
<br />
http://www.business4info.com/save-my-marriage<br />
<br />
from B.F.I. R.company

i am so so sad and sorry to read your story, there is no good salution only a wee bit of advice, you have to stop doing wat you are doing , you dont want to end up resenting or even hating your wife as it could end up that way , you have to get help now from somebody, it is a obviose depression your wife is in, she seems at the nd of a road, and you are who she takes her dispear , anger , hate, on and she must love you to be doing that, awfull as it seems , so you have to get her help . i dont know were or how you go about it , but before you crack or something happens to your wife talk to doctor or some thing , just dont keep the pain going, try for your sake and your wifes to get help . we all need to reach out sometimes , good luck to both of you,,


My opinion is: Let her know that you will move out if she doesn't go to counseling and stick to it. If she begs you to return, tell her it is only if she gets counseling, etc. If she doesn't...move on. You've suffered enough. I think when she sees you are serious and you don't waver, she will stop trying to manipulate you and make a decision for herself. Either way, you are better off. I know it is sad, but you have to be strong. She needs to recognize your strength. She might then realize she needs your strength and take the steps to get better.

Hey friend I an feeling very sad after reading your story . I assured you that her simptoms towards you may not be true . She hates u coz she don't want to let you observe urself and try to adjust to live with a changed situation. You may talk to her about your childrens future and dont let him to suffer in ur regular absence in her daily life. Consult to a sexothorapise & may he cure you if god want to. BEST OF LUCK.

well my dear iietm =/ your story is touching and you seem like a great husband but seems like she needs to live alone for sometime let her know what it feels like not having you there . <br />
I think she wants something to happen thats why maybe she cheated on you .she has a hunger for drama and life , hate , love , fights an adventure ..let her go . i know its hard but she needs to find herself again and find the person you once loved within her . i hope she opens her eyes and sees you and loves you again .