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.
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18 Responses Mar 23, 2011

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.