Slowly Losing My Mind

I can't figure out what I did to deserve to be treated so badly. Was I an evil dictator in a past life?

I do want to be fair and at least say there are some good things about her.

My wife is not a messy person, and she is not one to spend money we don't have. She does make dinner almost everyday and takes decent care of the kids. But that is where the good stops.

Our marriage has been a one way street ever since we took our vows almost 10 years ago. Intimacy is rare and not too great when it does happen. He'd rather be on Mars I think when we engage. This has caused me so much pain and depression, I feel dead inside. It's the biggest issue for me. I've tried everything to make this better and there is never a change on her part. It doesn't matter how nice, romantic or talkative I am, she's still remains a cold fish. I try to make it good for her and put her first during these sparse occasions.

I cannot spend a dime without being questioned and then being made to feel bad about it. Trust me, I'm not going out buying toys for myself and I don't really demand a whole lot. I don't have expensive hobbies or champagne taste.

I come home from work and basically I have to take care of both kids all night. I told her last night that I understand she's home with them all day and I want to help when I get home, but I can't do it all. Of course that somehow translated in her mind that I was saying she doesn't do anything. "What, where did that come from?" I said. she then went on to say that "...she's not my mother and cant' do it all" Again I said "where did that come from?" I said nothing of the sort nor did I ask her to be Ms Cleaver. It's classic argument manipulation at its finest, which is what she does anytime we have a talk about various topics. She says she wants to communicate, but when we do, she deflects everything I say and pulls things out of thin air to put me on the defensive.

She makes it sound like going to work for me is some sort of break, yeah because that's so much fun. I love my job, but it's still work. Yet she still continues with the "woe is me" attitude even though she can get out of the house anytime she wants after I'm home. I pointed out to her that I go to work and then go home and take care of the kids and it's all I do. She at least has a bit more variety in her day because she has, and can leave to decompress when I'm home. I'm not asking for the night off, just the realization that I need a bit of a break too, that's all.

Every single time I want to go have a few drinks with some friends, she makes me feel guilty and starts a fight. It's not like I ask to do this every weekend, maybe once every month or two. Yet she can go out(she doesn't do it much) whenever she wants too with no resistance from me. The point of this is she has the liberty to do this, I have to run the gauntlet before I step out however.

I even worry about what type of reaction I get if I tell her there is a game I'd like to watch that night. Is it too much to ask to watch a program I would like to see 2-3 times a week when she controls what we watch every other night?

These might seem like small issues to some, but they illustrate how every single part of my life is controlled by her. I feel like someone is holding a pillow over my face. I appreciate, but don't demand that she does housework, make dinner etc. I thank her for what she does regularly, I don't yell at her if she leaves a few dishes in the sink or a towel on the floor. However if I do that, it's the end of the world and means I don't respect her or care for her. I don't feel like an equal partner in this relationship, rather I feel like an employee. I get tense when she comes home because I wonder what it is I will be yelled at for. There is usually something 90% of the time, even though I give my best effort. I feel like every part of my life is controlled by her. I realize when you marry, you give a part of yourself up, but it can go too far which it has in my case.

I especially love how my failed business is thrown in my face. I tried my best to make a good life for her, but the business fell victim to a bad economy. But I'm reminded how I financially ruined us. Instead of realizing that I never gave up, that I didn't let the depression of a failed business keep me from trying to provide a good life, I'm reminded of only the failure.

I've bought here thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, cards for no special reason, but apparently I don't ever do anything special for her. I recently bought her a card and wrote in there how much I appreciate the work she does in our home a few weeks ago. The card is on a land fill because "she doesn't keep everything". Huh? you tell me I don't say thank you enough and when i do, it's not special enough to keep. I can see my gestures are appreciated.

I can't leave because I won't have another dude raise my kids. I love them too much not to see them everyday, they are all that keeps me going. Some will say that I'm doing them a disservice for staying in a bad relationship, but I say it would be worse to leave them alone with her without me to balance the crazy. Plus, who knows what type of guy would be their step dad if she were to remarry. I can't take that chance, I helped bring these two into the world and I'm not going to risk their future for my happiness. People say kids are smart and they will see through fake marriages. If they are smart, they will also see why someone stays when they really want out. They will one day understand why I stayed and realize I did it because I love them, not because I'm a coward or selfish.

All I wanted out of my wife when I was single was to be treated like an equal, respected, loved, support in my failures, allow to make a decision every now and then, and to not withhold intimacy.

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2 Responses May 16, 2012

Your story sounds like mine, about 90% of it. Sorry you have to deal with that. I know what you mean. I hate the feeling when they come home and you have that thought about what's going to happen. These days we don't talk, and he doesn't even look at me. It's for the best really, when we do try to talk it creates arguing and tension, so ignoring is working best.
I am here for my kids as well. I totally get what you mean about staying and hope one day my girls will see what I did for them.
Good luck to you.

Since you commented on my post, I decided to return the favor.<br />
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It honestly sounds like your wife is bitter and resentful.<br />
Granted, I do not know the whole story, but from what you have wrote here, it sounds like she is stressed and wore out from taking care of the children all day and may possibly feel trapped in the house because of it.<br />
It also seems that she resents you for being able to leave the house all day and get a break from them, while she doesn't feel like she can.<br />
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And while you say that these may be small issues, I firmly believe that often it's the small issues that can end up killing a marriage.<br />
Think about it, small issues left unresolved build up and turn into resentment and bitterness. I know from watching my own parents. This is exactly what happens with them. Even the ACT of cheating isn't what dooms a marriage, necessarily, it is the effects of it that build up: the anger, betrayal, hurt, paranoia/suspicion, jealousy, etc...those things build up and may not ever go away.<br />
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I will tell you about my parents because I feel that ultimately, it is the same underlying things that make their marriage how it is: (bear with me)<br />
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Growing up, I witnessed first hand how unhappy my parents were (and still are).<br />
They bickered and argued all the time over the dumbest crap that I just couldn't understand how it would escalate into a fight.<br />
This continued into my teen years. My parents disagreed about tons of stuff and they fought so much that on several occasions either my mom or dad would take us and leave for a day or so. They have talked about divorce, they went to counselors, but things did not get better. <br />
Now, as an adult listening to them both vent to me, separately about the other, I can look back and recognize the underlying issues that led them to where they are.<br />
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It wasn't the big things that caused it. No, it was years and years of little things and small wrongs made along the way that, instead of talking and trying to work out, they would just not speak to eachother and ultimately sweep it under the rug.<br />
Even in therapy, it wasn't big things they brought up as much as it was the little things that they hadn't let go of and were unresolved: he said this years ago, I won't forget when he did/didn't do this, he doesn't even remember my favorite color, etc etc.<br />
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They do not see eye to eye on anything. And I can listen to them both tell me the same story and it is CRAZY how differently they each perceived the situation.<br />
It's like two ships passing in the night. <br />
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It had gotten to a point where I was so tired of being around it, seeing it, hearing it that I told my dad (and my mom later) that I thought they should separate because at least they would be happy for once. They said they didn't want to split up because of us (the children) and I remember saying that I would much rather enjoy spending my time with my parents when they are happy rather than watching them both be miserable and arguing all the time.<br />
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What I am saying here is that from my experience, it sounds like it's things that have built up in your wife that have made her cold/bitter/resentful to you. Until those are resolved, it will just slowly simmer and that's why when you fight, she will likely throw all kinds of things in your face. It slowly builds up, then one day, erupts.<br />
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Have you had a serious sit- down, rational, honest conversation about how you felt and how she felt? <br />
Have you went to/ considered going to a marriage therapist?<br />
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Again, this is just my little two cents. I hope it helped at least a little.