Between Scylla And CharybdisAs I read your stories, I am looking into the mirror of grim despair! My wife and I have been married for 40 years. The first 24 were alive with the flames of passion, and filled with the glow of love and happiness. I thought that we were soul mates, and for a time, I think that we were. However, 16 years ago, due to circumstances that were not created by either of us, and well beyond our control, the relationship changed. We did have children, but as they left the nest and had children of their own. our love, lessoned, though I refused to believe it, and the love making became less and less frequent, until it finally stopped altogether.
My wife is 6 years my senior, and it seemed that this gap grew larger and larger until it became a deep, wide chasm that increasingly grew, until all that I could do was stare hopeless, quiet desperation at the woman whom I once loved and had once loved me .
I turned from the beloved into the friend, and the friendship grew weaker with each passing day, until any mutual bond, lay broken and twisted in the pit between us.
Our marriage had become one of comfort, and, as we slipped into this relationship, for me, it became increasingly more stale, dull and boring.
While my wife seemed content, I desperately longed to return to something that had vanished. I hesitantly, tried to look outside the relationship, for what I could not find within it. However, because I had been married to my wife since I was 22, I did not feel at ease in my search, and never could become self centered enough to completely let our marriage go. I thought of looking in at my options in a number of varied places, and, though a few times I started, my repulsion to the word and act of infidelity would not allow me to look very hard or very long for what I was missing so desperately.
As change beget more changes, our situation worsened, and despair grew deeper as all hope was extinguished. Though I did not think it possible, we grew more and more apart and the chasm between us grew deeper and wider. My wife became more angry as I came to accept our situation and started to change for my own protection. Eventually, my wife's anger, turned into hatred and jealousy, and she moved out.
In the months that she was gone, in the physical loneliness of the now almost empty house, I began to reflect on these changes and became more self assured of my strength and more hopeful, too. Although after seven months, my wife did return, it was out of need rather then of desire. I worked hard to repair what was irreparable. We saw marriage counselor after marriage counselor, but my wife's unwillingness to try and her anger at me, more than at our situation, ambushed each attempt until I could no longer try and I no longer cared to try.
Last January, when the hopelessness of our situation fully dawned on me, I moved out of the house. My wife became more bitter and angry with me and I let myself develop resentments, until I was filled with hatred an anger to the point where I hated life as it became harder and harder. I finally had an epiphany, and realized that my only recourse was to accept my situation and accept my wife for who she had become so I could move forward with my life.
Unhappiness and despair ceased to be options and I developed a passion and love of myself and my life, that I had previously not known! I realized that my wife was miserable, and not wanting to see her like that, or to have her misery become mine any longer, I decided to help her, any with that new found resolve and my growing passion to be happy, the separation became less angry and vindictive to the point where our pending divorce, is almost mutually amicable.
I am 62 years old, and though I still yearn for love as beautiful as the one I had experienced for so many years, I am hesitant, and must move forward slowly and cautiously. I am apprehensive about my desire for any type of intimate relationship at this time, and even though I fear that with each passing day, my chances grow dimmer, my apprehension handcuffs me and I remain between Scylla and Charybdis, longing to go forward, but paralyzed by my fear of being hurt again.
All that I can do now is to play my hand out and let the cards fall where they will. As long as I continue to move forward and continue to grow, my life gets better. I guess sometimes we do have to settle, but as long as I continue to evolve, I will continue to have hope...smw