Can't Stand It Any MoreWow, had no idea this kind of forum existed... was feeling very down this morning and stumbled here via search. The more I read, the more things hit home. So, WTF -- here's my story for what it's worth.
I've been married 17 1/2 years -- I have two wonderful boys, 14 and a soon to be 17, both now in high school. I'd like to say I love my wife, but I've been dissecting that more and more every day. She is attractive, intelligent, and hard-working, but also negative, quick to anger and judgment. I read about the people who have gone a couple of months or years without sex -- sadly, I know exactly how long. The last time I had any physical relationship with my wife was the conception of my second child -- as he is about 14 1/2, that makes it over 15 years. Let's just say that I've compensated -- I have a grip that could crush walnuts...
So why stay? A couple of details to add color to this: my wife is 10 years, 10 months and 10 days older than I am -- no big deal early in the relationship, but she hit menopause early and we've been living with that for years. She also came from a 'broken home' situation -- her father left her mother when she was a teenager; her mother had a nervous breakdown and she dropped everything to take care of her mother. To this day, neither I nor my children have ever met her father. Bottom line, I know there is a lot of baggage there and I have always kept that in the back of my mind whenever I consider leaving her.
As the years have progressed, this is starting to take a toll on me -- I'm intelligent enough to recognize this. I have seen therapists, as I have been laying most of this on myself -- what is entertaining is that at some point all reach the same conclusion, that my dysfunctional relationship with my wife needs to be addressed. The problem is, and as I read today, I realize I'm not the only one, my wife doesn't see a problem at all. In fact, she doesn't understand what all of the fuss is. The reality is, it is starting to affect many areas of life -- I am an emotional eater, and turn to food at night instead of drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. I am now WAY out of shape and this just feeds into the whole beast [feeling inadequate, unhealthy, makes me depressed, etc. leads back to eating and a vicious cycle].
My kids are old enough to see and be affected by this as well -- my older son is starting to have issues and I can see echoes of what is happening between the spouse and I in what he's facing.
Bottom line -- like many here I am lost and confused about what to do. At 44, I'm not dead yet -- however, if I keep eating and living like I am, I'm not going to last too much longer. I am the breadwinner of the family -- this would cause untold financial hardship on all parties as something like this always does. Although my sons are older, they are still at a tough time in their maturity and I worry about the impacts on them. And I still like my wife -- admittedly, we are little more than business partners and roommates, but she gave me two wonderful boys; add to that the guilt and harm that would come from having her repeat the pain her mother went through, and yes, I've done a great job of setting myself up in a trap I don't know how to get out of.
I've tried to broach the subject of counseling -- the dilemma is that any mention of that denigrates into "oh my god, you're leaving me", hysterics kick in and any hope of some kind of conversation fall apart. The story title is what I typed into the internet search page to get me here -- and it is true. Thoughts?