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Life's Most Painful Lessons

Life's most painful lessons are it's most valuable. My marriage has opened my eyes to some very large flaws in my being. Deeply ingrained flaws that only the pain that spousal rejection can make you face.

I truly believed that my wife loved me for the longest time. When she was rejecting me, getting angry when I tried to hug her, refusing to spend a date night out or a sex night in with me. I still believed she somehow cared.

Why would I continue to believe that she cared? How could I go on blindly facing the facts yet refusing to acknowledge them?
Why did I so easily sacrifice my finances, my heath, and my emotional well being to please someone who so easily took everything from me yet gave nothing in return?

I have delved deeply into these issues. Most are just patterns in my life that were established as a child. The need for unconditional love and acceptance. The need to share my life with a caring person.
Well, I wasn't receiving any of these. I just gave until I couldn't give any more.

I also really began looking at other people's lives. Would any rational person accept this?
I began looking at the lives of some of my old friends. They seemed to laugh and smile. They went out  to dinner with their wives. They talked about sex with their wives.

I realized that I have accepted things in my life that other people wouldn't accept. I have foolishly let other people take the lead for me because it was easier. It was easier than taking charge of things myself.

A couple of years ago, while under a different screen name I posted a story called "I Remember".
In it I recalled all the great sex my wife and I had before she decided she couldn't get any more money out of me. It was a long lonely story. Reminiscing about the times my wife's head was bouncing off the headboard or bobbing up and down on me in the car. It was a reflection of a  fun time in my life. I had hope and optimism for the future. Then came the realization that I really existed in a bleak marriage.

Well, the hope and optimism is slowly returning. Partially because my wife and I rarely speak now. It is nice not being yelled out. It is nice not being compared to doctors and lawyers to reveal to me my financial short comings to make me feel bad.
It is nice not being refused for sex, because I don't ask.
It is nice not being turned down for a dinner and drinks only for her to go out for dinner and drinks with her friends.

I have had many sleepless nights. I have shed tears. I have questioned myself.

Now, I am looking toward the future. I have become stronger. I voice my opinion, and when it is not headed, I still value what I had to say. I no longer question my feelings. I no longer push what I feel aside for the "common good" of a one-sided marriage.

I realize that my generous nature was taken advantage of by a beast. I cast my pearls before a greedy swine. It is a mistake I will not duplicate in the future.

So, after years of self-medication and distraction, I have faced who I am and where I am at in life. I am becoming a man. I may be late in the game, but at least I am now in the game. I am greatly valued by my employer. My kids love me, and I can say that I have people in my life who really express care and concern for me. I can say that finally in my life that I can accept and enjoy the care and concern from others. There are people who do really care. I can allow others to do things for me.

I can now accept that I am human, and everything I do doesn't have to be perfect or please anyone else.

I can make a plan. Whether it is rational or not. I can set my own goals and direction in my life. I can believe miracles will happen and perhaps I will strike gold. I can be content even if I don't strike goal. Because I am no longer letting a nagging woman bring me down.
I can live my life not in reaction to my spouse, but in my own desired actions.
ManMovingForward ManMovingForward 41-45, M 27 Responses Mar 23, 2011

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I feel like I am looking in a mirror as I read your story. Thank you for sharing.

Vegas, I was on here under a couple of other names before MMF. I was really a mess when I first came here. I did everything I could to help my wife. I also had grave concerns that she was sleeping with someone else. Her friends were all going around doing that ****, so why not her?<br />
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Anyway, the biggest change in me occurred when I realized that she just didn't care. I was her free ride. No matter what I did, it would not change how she felt about me.<br />
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Then, I got a taste of a woman who was interested in me. That changed my perspective a bit, too.<br />
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You have been a great help to me. I hope that some day I can help some others the same way that you helped me. First, I have to get my financial house in order without working myself to death in the process. I also have to make sure I am there for my kids.<br />
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I'm to the point where I really don't need another woman. I would love to have companionship, love, and sex, but I have a lot of sorting out to do for myself and my position in life.<br />
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I still get really down at time, but not as bad as I used to get. Plus, the desperation and frustration I felt before seem to have left.<br />
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Thanks again, VB.

Thank you so much Smilin and DBM. I was very grumpy today. I find myself growing more and more irritated with the immaturity of my wife. I have a history of holding back on my emotions and needs. So, in my anger today, I prayed. I didn't pray not to be angry. I didn't pray for anything. I just prayed. Then it came to me that Jesus got angry here on earth. That we have these emotions for a reason. I just never listened to mine.

Self awareness - realizing that your emotions all come from you, and examining your own responses, looking at yourself as a survivor rather than a victim, all great strides toward becoming the person you are meant to be. It takes so much courage to face our fears - sometimes even understanding where they come from doesn't make it easier to actually ( physically) face them. <br />
I have so much respect and awe of those who have the inner strength to move forward as you have. It really helps me to read the stories that are shared here as I begin my journey ahead.<br />
A simple thank you for sharing doesn't seem to be enough, but it's all I can offer you here. <br />
Wishing you joy anfd love~

TF, feeling like I was nothing more than a paycheck was awful. I tried to explain this to my wife and she just never understood. I told her that I felt "used." I guess she never cared. One of her friends husbands came out and started saying the same thing to his wife. I guess I wasn't the only one.<br />
I will be sure to check out that book man.<br />
Thanks you everyone for your positive responses!

Congrats on your progress to rebuild yourself after the emotional beating you have endured. <br />
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Sounds like my stbx wife belongs to the same gold diggers club. It rips your self esteem to be viewed as a paycheck, for a job that has no performance standards. Maybe she does have issues as someone suggested, but I think very likely the peer pressure of her friends who also neglect their husbands.<br />
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I read a great book, "No More Mr Nice Guy", that helped me rebuild. I am now much stronger for the experience, and confident that the choice I make for the next woman in my life, can and will be everything that either of us ever wanted. Happily ever after. <br />
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It is a long and painful lesson, but be strong my friend, you are well on your way.

MMF, I thank you for your honesty and strength to come forward about your marriage or lack of. Truly is always saddening when marrriage falls apart, for whatsoever reasons. One feels like one has wasted those years of one's life, BUT NO! It is truly a learning curve and one that prepares you for a better life onwards. The main thing now is you have unburden your burden, and place the focus on U, not just US. I used to be a people pleaser, i try my darnest best to please each and everyone, only to realized that I'm short selling myself and thus demeaning myself from the perspective of everyone. I remember clearly a character in JOY LUCK CLub where the mom told her daughter that she is so much more worthy than what she credits herself. It was an AH HA moment for me as Oprah would say. So there... you're truly done and dusted, Go forth and Live your LIFE!

I was in the same situation for years. My wife's pet name for me was a@@hole. It came to a head ten years ago when I decided that my young boys were not going to grow up thinking that I am this wuss. I confronted my wife when the boys were out of the house. She flipped, cried and had a breakdown.<br />
It turns out that she was abused by a man at the hotel that her parents owned while she was a 7 year old when her teen sister left her alone because she resented babysitting. My wife has always hated her sister and now she knows when it started. My wife committed herself ( that was the most difficult, emotional situation I have ever experienced), and with help of prozak and cognitive behavior therapy she is a completely different person. She's outgoing and fun to be around. Our sex life is great and she not only found a job but has now become a manager.<br />
So, if you have stuck it out for this long and haven't left, deep down you must love her. So confront her and ask her if she is happy. Depression affects 25% of the population. Don't discount it. And despite Kristy Alley and Tom cruise, anti-depressants do work if the cause is low seratonin (sic).

I too am in a sexless marriage by my choice. I am a very giving and loving wife but when the emotional, finacial, and verbal abuse got to a point to where sex felt like rape because it was just one more thing he was taking from me I quit allowing the theft of my last true possession. I still clean, cook, care for the kids and help him however I can but I cant give into allowing him to rape the last piece of myself I have. Sometimes the problem is the one complaining.

Hey guys n grls gess watt...............SMEX-(sex)lol jk

Excellent and insightful post, MMF. Thanks for giving me a glimpse 2 years back in time to when I was facing down these issues. <br />
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I never want to forget what it felt like to be in the SM trap, lest I become too complacent and/or ungrateful.

Thank you for all of your comments. It is not easy at times, but nothing worthwhile ever is. I wish you all the best of luck!!<br />
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My biggest regret is that it took me so long to come to my senses.

Good for you to see change and make them and find a great female she is out there for you!!!oxoxoox

May you enjoy continued success on your journey to living a more authentic life.<br />
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Claiming or reclaiming your personhood is the toughest row to hoe.

Congratulations on reclaiming your life. You are another ILIASM success story.<br />
Newbies (and I was one of them!) believe that the only success stories are those where the marriage is saved. Such a criteria would have a VERY low success rate here on ILIASM.<br />
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But those of us who reclaim our lives - whether or not we stay in the marriages - are also success stories. And YOU are one of these. May your future continue to offer you choices for your own growth and happiness - and may you continue to make those choices successfully.

MMF, this sadly hits way too close to home.. My wife's "tough ****" attitude has drained my compassion & built my envy of those who can show love & caring towards others..

thanks for your story...makes me stop and think and take an honest look at things.

MMF, your story brought tears to my eyes. Becoming a man is something that a lot of "men" never really do.

Women who marry for money are prostitutes, except in many cases they are worse, because they don't even put out once they're in that position. They are absolutely despicable.

MMF I have heard of women like this and I am sorry beyond desc<x>ription that your wife fell into this pathetic trap. And I am sorry that your wisdom has been gained at such a price. I sincerely hope you find happiness again but I also hope your wife comes to realise her mistake.

Perserver is right. They dissected them behind their backs and to their faces. They just thought they were cool. They were too "cool" to be limited to being a good wife. I hope that makes sense. They thought they were being funny and cute. Other women who did love their husbands, show ex<x>pressions of love, and were involved with their marriages were viewed as backward by these women. That they were somehow limiting themselves and weren't "fun."<br />
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Let me add that these women were very materialistic. I heard them on more than one occasion that people should marry for money. They were also quite brutal and backstabbing amongst each other.

ulae, if I am not mistaken, I think MMF might have meant women who dissect and criticize their husbands behind their backs.

"Group of friends who viewed it as `uncool' to sleep with their husbands" --- It takes all sorts to make the world, I guess. I am sure there are (were) people who think (thought) it's uncool to eat or breathe.

The process of reclaiming yourself is a hard hard road. <br />
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Challenging your thinking is so so difficult.<br />
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The life law of "choice" is an unremitting task.<br />
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And is so so abso-*******-lutely worth every bit of pain, every tear.<br />
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Travel well MMF.<br />
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Tread your own path.

I want to add for everyone, if you feel pain in your relationship there is a reason for it. Use the simple analogy of a hot stove. When you put your hand on it, it hurts for a reason. Even if the stove could speak and tell you that you are not really feeling it, or that no one else would feel it.<br />
So, if your spouse is causing you pain, there is a reason. Even if they do not want to acknowledge it.

Perseverer, her rejection was due to a combination of money and a group of friends who viewed it as "uncool" to sleep with their husbands and generally have a good relationship with us guys. <br />
I want to add that money may only have been the "vehicle" that she used to reject me. I actually have done well financially. I just haven't done well enough for her, i.e., been able to give her every dime that she wants to spend on endless meaningless items.<br />
If I had been able to finance these habits, she would have found something else to reject me over.<br />
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As for making myself a priority, there have been many starts and stops involved. I have sputtered along the way. But, the picture is becoming cleared.

Wow. This was a riveting read. Prioritizing yourself and looking after your own happiness without depending on anyone else is a good way to move forward. Interesting that you perceive your wife's rejection of you as being due to money.