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Realizing When It's Over...after Your Spouse

Over the course of nearly 3 years (of 4 years total), I've lived a pretty celibate life. It wasn't until recently when a friend of a friend pointed out the obvious to me that I knew it was over. How that came to happen...well...at a birthday gathering, I met a friend of the birthday guy...someone I had never met before. This friend asked me, "are you going to talk to her?" Me, "who?" Friend, "[my spouse's name]..don't you think she's hot??" Me, "um...yes." Friend, "I think you should go for her." Me, "That's my wife." Friend, "[Gasps] Ohhh! I'm sorry, I didn't know that!"

Wow...if that didn't point out the obvious. A perfect stranger couldn't tell we were even a couple! That's how distant we were...it spoke volumes through our body language and how we interacted (or didn't interact).

The other part of that same story really gave me a splash of cold water to wake me up. My partner decided to go dance at this party. Fine, I'm not big on dancing and don't care that she wants to go dance. She comes back from dancing with some gay man (who sounds like he dances professionally) and cannot stop talking about the experience. She's practically drooling about it to the point where it occurs to me that she sounds and looks like she just had one of the best f**ks of her life! Now, I'm not a jealous person (as in I trust my partner not to cheat and I don't call every 5 minutes when she's out) but this made me so enraged. Why? Because it was the attention, that oh my god, you rocked my boat message that I had not gotten in years from her. She could however, react that way to a total stranger in the matter of a few minutes of dancing. Hmmm...

Up until that night (which was a few days ago), I've spent the last 3 years basically begging for scraps. Scraps being a peck on the cheek or lips, hugs, brief cuddling/intimacy, any type of physical connection. That look of "you're so hot, I want you now/forever" was long gone--apparently I was the only one capable of that anymore. When I tried to initiate and she'd go along with it, she would lay there with her eyes closed, motionless, while I was left to feel like some dirty old man. I might as well have been trying to make love to a pillow. The frustration grew and grew, exploding every few months through arguments. She would find some sort of excuse every time. "I just showered, I don't want to get dirty again," "I'm too tired, you shouldn't wait until we go to bed," "I don't want to do it in the morning," "I have to go to work, why do you wait until now...you had the whole night!" And worst of all was, "I don't know what's wrong with me." [Side note: There's nothing wrong with her...she's 26, no kids, no medical issues.]

The part that hurt the most was that she never looked at me. That look of desire for me was gone and I was trying desperately to figure out why and how to bring it back. I'd take her on vacations to Hawaii, Europe, Mexico and short weekend ones (none of which we had sex during or after returning). I'd buy her flowers and have them delivered to her work so that her coworkers could fawn over how lucky she was because their men didn't do that. I'd buy jewelry, cook dinner (I'm the one who can cook), take her out for dinners, bought a new car (that she drives 99% of the time), gave her massages after a long day, did her laundry...the list goes on. When she hit me with "you've gotten lazy...you haven't been to the gym," looking at me with disgust...I signed up with a personal trainer (not cheap!). [Side note: I'm naturally lean and require exercise to keep muscle and pounds on. I had LOST weight and she complained.] I just about tried to fix/improve everything she pointed out. I even went salsa dancing with her and I don't even know how (and being an introvert, you can say I was very uncomfortable with this). Whatever I tried, there was always something else wrong with me.

While trying to please her and make her feel special, I felt like I was dying inside day by day and with every rejection of affection. I stopped wanting to go out because I couldn't stand making myself appear cheery while my "happy" marriage was basically a sham. This only made her annoyed with me, constantly nagging at me as to why I was such a "Debbie Downer." When your self-esteem has shrunken down to a raisin, how can you not be a downer? I couldn't dig deep anymore because there was almost nothing left of me. I became so frustrated and constantly irritated at not FEELING loved. She may have said the words, but there was little if anything behind that. I started to realize I was giving and giving and giving and all I could get back was, "what? I appreciate you." My boss appreciates me, my spouse should be IN LOVE with me. The realization that this was not a sustainable relationship was beginning to creep up on me.

Since that night of my "enlightenment," we've been unofficially separated. We argued and I finally threw the towel in, saying I couldn't do this anymore. To which she (figuratively) slapped me in the face with, "I warned you...I told you I wasn't made for relationships." WTF flashed and scrolled across in my head like a CNN breaking news scroller. Why would you say yes and why would you keep things going if you knew in your heart that you couldn't be in a relationship?? At the time, I figured, well we'll see about that--we're doing great together so it can't be true. Apparently when she said that, she wasn't lying...but the rest of the time she certainly was, letting the sham carry on. It was then that I also realized this relationship was already over and that she was just waiting for me to SEE it...and to do something about it.

At this point, I'm seriously thinking about (actually definitely going to) file for divorce. There's nothing left between us but pain (on my part), guilt (on her part), and resentment (both). Luckily we don't have children involved in this so there's really no roadblocks to my decision. I've had it. I don't want to be like my father who gave his all for a nagging, bitter, unloving wife for the last 40 some years. I've got a lot of reflecting to do and however difficult this divorce will be, I need to move on and get her out of my life. There's so much re-building of my self that needs to be done. I wish I had seen it before letting all this damage happen.

justwokeup justwokeup 31-35 14 Responses Apr 27, 2012

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Damn. Divorce is one of the worst things you can go through. But, no kids, no love, and she doesn't want to fix things. Divorce is inevitable. Find a girl that screws you how you want, and treats you like you treated your soon to be ex-wife and you'll be happier in the long run. You'll appreciate life differently in a few years. It takes a few years to get over divorce. That's just how it is.

"I warned you...I told you I wasn't made for relationships." WTF flashed and scrolled across in my head like a CNN breaking news scroller."



It flashed across mine too, reading it!

Although I cannot relate to your story, being a girl and a teenager, but it sounds like a pretty one-sided relationship. I think your wife is a little too passive, waiting for you to make all the moves, and not even objecting to separation! I think it is wise to break things off now, as there are plenty more things to experience out there. You sound like a very devoted and capable husband, I am sure you'll find someone who will appreciate you.

I'm sorry you're in this boat with all of us here. You sound like a very caring person, and it's a damn shame your wife doesn't get that. But it sounds like her loss, not yours.

Ouch, I wish well, and prompt healing. Good luck.

Ron, I reckon part of it was that his spouse made it obvious sooner rather than later in that she even told him she was not made for relationships when he confronted her. How many of us would have saved so much time in our own process if our spouses had leveled with us that early in the marriage?

Wow! This is one of the best stories I have heard in months. You went from zero to a hundred before you even joined our club!



I wished I had the clarity of mind that you had when I was your age.

These stories sound so familiar...



I've been married for 28 years to someone who doesn't value me at all. Our problems started to get bad about 10 years ago when I noticed that he wasn't as caring as he had been. Then, about 4 years ago, we had a blow up and he told me that he didn't love me anymore and thought we should end our marriage. I thought he'd divorce me, but didn't. Since then there has been no intimacy, almost no caring gestures, he barely speaks to me at times, rarely visits my relatives, and when my father was dying last summer, didn't call to talk to him even one time - and my dad was a good father-in-law. (My husband eventually went to see him, but it was almost too late - my dad kept falling asleep.)



What makes me so mad and hurt is that I am a GOOD wife. I used to almost worship him, I was/am good to his family, didn't spend too much money, took excellent care of our children, etc. He gets sullen when I do anything that takes me away from my Cinderella chores.



I am so sick of this, but I promised my children that I would not be the first one to make the move.



To everyone living in this situation. I FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

-----"I am so sick of this, but I promised my children that I would not be the first one to make the move." This is a very curious statement to make to one's children. Why did you make such a strange promise?

Because I don't want them to have to endure all of the things that go with divorce - even as older kids. My husband and I are cordial, so there isn't a lot of stress for them. It is just on me. I consider it my cross to bear right now. Maybe when my children are out of college, I'll make the move, but until then, I just try to go with the flow and deal with it.

When your children are out f college, they will have children of their own. Then you won't move because of the grandchildren . . .! You need to recognise that you are "hiding" behind this promise to your kids. I'm sure they will understand and respect you more if you free yourself from this situation NOW. Tell them you can no longer put up with the loneliness and the rejection. YOU have a right to live your life. Grasp it and live it.

I do understand what you are saying. I'm truly not hiding, and I have been making some plans. However, I have always been brought up to think of marriage as being a "forever - better or for worse" kind of thing. I know that this is the worse. I am waiting for the better again. I also guess I keep thinking that maybe he'll finally wake up and see that he has it really good. Actually instead of hiding, I'm probably just semi-delusional :-)

Your husband has told you he does not love you and has been clear in words and deeds. And, if you keep reading the stories on here, you will find that most refusing spouses will never leave their marrriage. The one suffering will have to make the move to improve the overall quality of their life. The refusing spouses are getting all their needs met within the context of the marriage (even if they do not love their spouse), so there is no incentive for them to make the "first move" to divorce. I wish you luck on getting to a better place in life. I would not count on the husband falling back in love with you. His behavior, as detailed by you in your comment, certainly is evidence that he is done (but he will probably never initiate the divorce). He will be context to avoid you out of his guilt and you will continue to suffer.

Thanks. You are right. I appreciate your candor. I guess I have a lot of thinking to do.

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Sounds like a lovely person, never mind woman. Not having sex with her sounds like the least of your problems which ironically she has affirmed to you. Is the moral of your story that when you are given the facts of a situation don't strive to put a contrived interpretation on them?

You are too good for this. Beware that she may have "a change of heart" when she realizes that you are not going to be a jelly fish anymore. I am afraid that her old ways would reappear after a couple of rolls in the hay!



You have so many qualities that are lacking in most men. Don't waste them on this @!$%^!!!! Hopefully, you can heal and open up to a women that deserves you. Just watch out, because you know we tend to find a new partner like our old one more often than not. She will think that she can manipulate you in the future, because she has gotten away with it for so long. She is a taker, and you are a giver. The only thing left for you to give her is the boot!!! Good luck. You have your whole life ahead of you...... Don't waste another day on this one!

You are lucky enough to escape before you get seriously bogged down with kids and all the other things that make leaving so hard. But you know it's the right thing to do. She flat out told you that she doesn't love you so there's no further reason to be clinging to hope or any of that. Get a lawyer and get out as cleanly as possible. It will cost you but it's the price you'll pay for a lesson learned and next time you'll be more observant I'm sure and watching for those red flags that give away that a relationship is just not going to work such as statements like "I'm just not made for relationships". Good Luck

Your situation is identical to mine in every respect except I have about 10 years, 2 houses, and 2 kids on you. I filed last month. Do yourself an enormous favor and get out now while the gettin' is clean and (comparatively) easy. Your situation will NOT improve and will only become much more difficult to extricate yourself from as time goes on.

----- "I warned you...I told you I wasn't made for relationships."



Intrepretation: I don't love you sucker. BELIEVE HER.



I recommend you seek legal counsel immediately.



DO NOT slip and get her pregnant.



You know where you stand with her - NOWHERE.



Own the problem and get it corrected before you toss any more years down the well on this particular woman.



Take the lessons learned here and move on to find a woman who truly loves and adores you.

"DO NOT slip and get her pregnant."

That would require divine intervention and immaculate conception at this point in my celibate life lol! :)

Don't be so droll. What we are dealing with here are, by and large, are people obsessed with control. Never put it past a refuser who perceives they are in danger of losing you to have just enough sex with you to ensnare you on an entirely new level.

Agree. When she senses your impending departure she could hit you with some nookie in a moment of weakness...she would have nothing to lose by throwing everything at the problem to try to make you stay. You would be wise to be aware of these tactics. There is even research on this (I call it defensive ******* and I posted an article that I had come across on it a while back) in psychological circles and is a recognized behavior pattern.

Yep, don't be surprised when you hit her with divorce papers if she drops her knickers and jumps you.

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Man, I wish you more affection and understanding in your life. The only words that come to mind after reading all that is ditch the b**ch.