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?