You Made Me A Better Person, But Not On Purpose.

I wanted to pose an observation I had several years ago and see if the rest of this lonely group experienced the same thing. When we got married we started having problems quite soon. I thought it would go away and then I thought what have I done? I was assured by life and spiritual counselors that things would improve so I stuck it out and then the kids arrived. No regrets about that at all, and before any dolts out there start lecturing that we shouldn't have produced kids in a difficult marriage just shut it, my two kids are the greatest kids on earth and I am so blessed to have them.

Back to my observation, fast forward a few years, I'm changing diapers, getting up during the night, working full time, making dinner, helping clean the house, doing the yard work and home improvement projects etc etc while she is a stay at home mom. And this still didn't seem enough at times. She wasn't emotionally available to me and of course we had the crappy sex life to go with that.

So through all that I have been through I am a far stronger person, I have come to depend on myself and not her for emotional support. She made me a much stronger person but not in the positive. And not just a little stronger, I am now very comfortable being by myself. I really have enjoyed my time on EP but I also really enjoy being by myself, but it does come with a little bitter taste.

So if anyone else is a stronger person because of the poor relationship with their spouse let me hear it.

deleted deleted
13 Responses Dec 1, 2012

I am not sure if we stay because we are strong or leave because we are strong! I question the state of my marriage every single day. I can honestly say I was ready to take the imperfections with the the promise of the good times to come. I just did not realize all that would entail. Givng up so much of myself to save a marriage is really not what I expected.

guysmiley, throughout my life I've been pretty much a solo act. I'm the youngest of 6 boys and grew up in a still naturally wild, somewhat remote place in the pacific northwest. My friends in childhood were those who lived near me and those I found in school. Not many. We were always a close knit family who relied on no one but ourselves to survive... emotionally, mentally, physically and maybe in a bad way, socially.

So, needless to say I'm not too adept at socializing. I grew up with a neighbor girl and when we reached 13 yrs. of age we experimented beyond the kissing, handholding phase. I ruined that relationship when I was 18 yrs. old by marrying her. That marriage lasted a year. Me, away in the Army doing what we did in the Army in 1972, her.... off in in the local junior college, eventually strung out on cocaine and heroin. After receiving notice of the previously unknown pregnancy and abortion I figured it was time to call it quits with her and did.

I didn't do much by way of socializing for a good two years, devoting my time and efforts to a new career in a whole new community away from family and friends. Eventually I met and married a fantastically wonderful, sex starved, beautiful, adventurous woman and we fell in love and married after a year of wild, fantastic fun! Within five years our lives were slowed by two wonderful kids. Over time they were raised, went off on their own and have their own families. We all stay in touch daily. The makings of the model family, right?

Bring it under our roof... sex slowed to a weekly thing at first... decades ago. It's now pretty much not happening. What has happened is we've both made each other independently stronger, thick skinned, matter of fact than anyone could imagine.

So yes, I and my wife are both stronger than we were decades ago. We can attribute it to our close to lifelong relationship, though not the most active and promising it's certainly one that's somehow endured over the years.

Now it's a matter of "a point of no return" relationship for both of us. I love her, I can't live without her but we simply continue to exist together under one roof riding out life together to the end...

If that makes sense.

Dunno whether strength of character etc actually has a lot to do with it, but you have recognised the reality of your situation.

Your missus is progressively making herself irrelevant to you as a wife, and you are responding accordingly.

A time will come where she will have made herself completely irrelevant to your life, bar as a co-parent.


Tread your own path.

Definitely! I surely feel what you are saying here. I have become much more attuned to my self and my inner workings, and what I need. It may sound a bit selfish, but when you are in a relationship where you are constantly being ignored, where else do you focus your efforts? I've quit a few bad habits cold turkey due to increased self focus (drinking, smoking, nervous tendencies, etc) and I have become more spiritual. I eat better as well, exercise daily, have become more committed to bettering myself in any way and I embrace my oddness instead of trying to justify it or make excuses for it to others. I'm definitely comfortable in my own skin now, and I'm realizing at age 32 what self-love truly is. It feels wonderful...but it came with the high cost of an unhappy, room-mate marriage to a man I once loved but now feel loathing for.

I like to think that we can plan for all this joy and sunshine and all this mythological crap surrounding the idea of "marriage"...and when the truth of it turns to gloomy skies and rain, it can be just as beautiful in it's own way *if* we are strong enough to endure and learn the lesson life has selected us to learn. I saw an interesting quote somewhere and I'm probably hacking it: "By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." I think it was Socrates. But ain't that the damn truth? I have never thought about life more. When I was happy, all I was wrapped up in was walking on clouds and sunshine, but the more severe shades of life, they can be quite motivating in their own ways. Let us vent, but never despair too long, friends. Joy starts within, not externally.

". . and before any dolts out there start lecturing that we shouldn't have produced kids in a difficult marriage just shut it, my two kids are the greatest kids on earth and I am so blessed to have them."

Of course your children are a blessing.

But don't you think this very aggressive statement tells YOU something about the guilt YOU feel over this? Frankly, I have no real life interest in your marriage (or anyone else's). My comments are objectively based on what you (the OP) present in your story.

You DID choose to have children whilst knowing your marriage was less than "great". Many people do. And of course you would not be without them. But looking back,. would you NOW not choose to wait until you could be more certain that your beloved children would be raised in a truly happy home??

Are your KIDS blesssed to have two loving parents, happily married to each other, and raising them under the best of all circumstances? Or are they hostages to your real situation - a Dad who does everything he can to make things work and is happiest doing things without his wife? And a mother who is emotionally distant from her husband and refuses him the essential rights of a loving union?

Like most of us, your decision to have children was ruled by your hearts rather than your heads - and you probably hoped "things would get better". I am NOT blaming you for making the decision to do so - but I AM challenging your statement. There is nothing "doltish" about querying the wisdom of bringing children into a dysfunctional relationship - quite the opposite.

And because I think you (and others in the same situation) have made a mistake, I am NOT blaming or criticising you. I am simply using your story to point out to others, who have NOT yet made this mistake, that bringing children into a dysfunctional marriage is something to be avoided.

My own children were raised in two separate dysfunctional marriages! So this is not personal criticism of YOU, it is simply the distilled wisdom that comes from having made mistakes mself. And preferring to see others avoid the same mistakes, if I can warn them in time. You, like me, do not have that option now - so you (like me) are doing the best you can to be a great parent in a situation that is less than perfect. Good for you!!

Enna, when I decided that a child could be a wonderful thing, I was at a crossroads--in the middle of a degree program and making contacts that would allow me to leave H. But everything H had said about having kids told me that he would be a great dad, someone I could really trust as a co-parent. Lots of people get their degrees, have a kid in the middle, and marshal on with their lives. I honestly didn't think that our relationship mis-match would affect the parenting, because we had discussed our parenting styles ahead of time. But then our child had special needs and I had to instantly become an entirely different type of parent, and drop everything outside of parenting for a long while. The relationship mis-match suddenly became a huge factor--it already was, I just didn't know it. We all plan the best we can with the information we have at the time.

An excellent point. We do the best we can with the knowledge we have at that time. Sadly though, if our assessment of our situation is not "spot on" we can later live to regret the choices we made.

That is probably true for all of us on ILIASM! I certainly do not blame anyone for choosing to have children whilst they believve their relationship has a chance of success. But those who are choosing to have a child in the hopes that it will somehow "fix" the marriage are sadly deluded.

And if a person who KNOWS their marriage is dysfunctional chooses to bring a child into that situation, then IMO that is selfish.

a better,
more understanding
and just generally...
a more "tenderized" person in my heart...
think how you tenderize a poor cut of meat...
ya...beat it with a mallet or
jacard(sp)? it with forcing tiny lil holes
in it...
that is what my heart has and is
going thru...
a long,
but worth every moment...
tenderizing process...
the only thing that keeps me remotely sane...
this will all serve others someday...
it is not in vain...
keeps me
keeepin on...
it does
joyinthejourney, clg

You Made Me A Better Person, But Not On Purpose.

This really defined it for me..

Your stories hit me very close to home. I was in a similair situation and I was fortunate enough to be able to step away. I wish you the best and hope things work out in your favor. Remember you are the only person who can truly guarantee your happiness.

<p>Wow what a question..<br />
I was the stronger person because he was the weaker person. I used to wake up 6am in the morning and sleep 11pm in the night. All the time, doing all the chores, working my butt off, had to keep sending almost all my money to my mom who had stage 3 cancer,<br />
had to put up with his sometimes mean family, wouldnt even buy an apple if I felt like eating one, scrounging for every penny. Working on his self esteem, he would sit their with his books working on his phd, while I was getting ground day in and day out. Even working on his interviews, didnt have the courage to ask him and get a job because I didnt want to take away from his phd experience. And ofcourse no sex. Have died every single day...until God decided to be kinder..</p>

Yes, I am stronger, but I suspect that was deliberate on my wife's part. You know, tough love and all that.

Good point. Stronger in one sense, but also much more f*cked up.

I've always been "ok to be alone" strong. Now I'm back to that...

Not I. Im a working progress. = (.<br />
hey, came across this on fb and my hubby thought it was hilarious! I know its a joke but I think its working for me. lol<br />
MARRIAGE HUMOR... Lately my wife and I fight constantly. I've been so upset and depressed, I've lost 20 pounds. My friend said to me, "Bob, if it's that bad, why don't you leave her? "I told him "I'd like to loose another 15 pounds first...

Oh Yes, this is funny! I feel like the Bob in this one!

I had to get stronger to end it. Yes.