What Do I Do?

To make a long story short...I married my high school sweetheart, she was pregnant.  She lost the baby a month before the wedding.  I decided to follow through with the wedding because I loved her and didn't want to cause her any more pain than what she was experiencing.  She was devastated from the loss of the child. I tried to console her, but everything I said or did she resented (I found this out later).  Before the loss, we always had fun together and sex was uninhibited and frequent.  It seemed after the loss of the child, everything changed.  I was young (early 20's) and had not yet learned about the emotional sensitivity and heart of women (I'm still learning).  At that age my hormones were raging and the sex we had consisted of a hand job or BJ or intercourse (after she healed from the D&C), but this was maybe once a month.  I had to pretty much raise hell to get her to show some kind of sexual interest in me.


After six months we became pregnant.  There was no sex during the pregnancy because she felt it could do harm due to the issues from the first pregnancy.  Two years into the marriage I had a one night stand with a girl I knew from high school.  It was great, but I regretted it later and felt guilty.   My wife found out about it and decided to seek revenge.  She ended up having two affairs with "friends" of mine.  It almost ended our marriage.  I slept with 4 different women over  a period of about a year because I thought it was over between us.  I met one girl and fell in love with her.  She was so different, so alive, we could talk about anything, I loved everything about her, she was my souls mate.  It broke my heart to leave her, but I decided to remain in the marriage and try to repair it for the sake of our young child.

 

I used to think that something was wrong with me after being denied by her so many times.  I heard every story in the book about why she didn't feel like it or why she just couldn't sleep with me.  I began reading any and every book I could get my hands on regarding pleasing a woman sexually or learning to communicate with a woman.  "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus", etc, etc.  Anything to get a better understanding of romance, love, and just what it all means to a woman.  Lets face it, men and women are different and usually look at the same thing from not always the same perspective.  People judge other people by their own values.

 

I have tried earnestly over the years to show her I love only her.  To sacrifice my wants for hers, to respect her, to listen to her without judging her, etc, etc.  There were some really good times and some bad.  However, in all this time she has always approached me to communicate her wants/needs/whatever with this attitude that there will be conflict.  Like she has a chip on her shoulder.

 

I always have to initiate sex with her.  If I wait for her it could be 6 to 8 weeks before she hints at having sex.  I tried to get her to go to marriage counseling, but she wouldn't go.  I guess after living in this situation for 27 years you actually become comfortable in it.  That's the only way I can describe it.  Even if you are unhappy, you become comfortable with it to the point that you can't leave it.

 

A year and a half ago we had a big fight...she has always become not physcially violent, but if looks could kill...you get my drift.  She's cussing and raising hell about something she told me she was going to do and has never done and all I did was ask her when she thought she would take care of it.  My garage is my man cave.  She had pulled a pile of stuff out of the attic and cleaned out the house to go through the stuff and get rid of it or put it in a yard sale.  She dumped it in the middle of my cave.  It sat there for a year and a half.

 

I said I am tired of your **** and she said the same.  I thought about it over the next month and a half and then I told her I wanted a divorce.  We had about 6 or 7 conversations that lasted anywhere between 4 to 7 hours each.  Me telling her it was over and her begging me to stay.  Guess what?

 

She cried.  She started being nice to me. She started going to buy groceries and cook again.  She started exercising and lost 30 pounds.  She started cleaning house and doing the laundry and every time I turned around, she wanted to have sex.  Every single day.  And not just plain ole vanilla sex, you name it sex and I'm getting it.  She also started going to a counselor about her anger issues.

 

We had a couple of fights and I told her I didn't think she could keep doing everything she was doing.  Honestly, I never expected her to go overboard with all of that.  All I wanted was for her to be fair with the kids, cook me a nice meal when I come home from out of town (fast food gets old real quick on the road) and at least show me she desired me sexually on occasion.  Anyway, she told me one day during a fight that I better get my **** out of the house or it would be in the road the next day.  I went home and packed up lock stock and barrel.  I moved out.

 

I reconnected with the girl I fell in love with 24 years ago purely by accident.  It's like we saw each other yesterday, best friends and heart strings.  I could see myself getting serious with this girl and she has said the same.  I told her that I wouldn't be looking to jump out of one marriage and into another. 

 

I am having issue with it all.  I guess it is guilt.  I have stayed at the house on and off out of convenience over the last couple of months.  My other residence is an hour from my work.  I look into my wife's eyes and I still love her.  I can see the sadness in her heart and it is breaking.  Now I feel resentment when she tries to do all of the things I have asked of her politely over the years.  I would miss my children terribly, there are two still at home.  I just don't understand why it had to come to this before she would actually take action. 

 

 I am going to call and make an appointment with a counselor tomorrow.  I just don't know what to do.  If you took the time to read any of this incoherent dribble please feel free to comment.  I appreciate it.
beyondescription beyondescription
46-50, M
5 Responses Mar 2, 2010

move forward, you gave it your best? She asked you to leave yes? You did your best? Your kids at home are older? <br />
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Bottom line, if there are not young/needy children at home, if you have done your best, and it's not working....move on.<br />
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I herby give you permission to live your life, in joy, without guilt.<br />
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(the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.)

I believe that is the key, being able to recognize the issue and make changes early on. In my situation though, she would not accept responsibility for her actions. Early on when I suggested that she go and talk to a counselor about her anger issues she said she wasn't crazy. She would become defensive even though I was truly concerned and wanted only to help her.

You sound like a good man who is trying to continue to do good. <br />
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If there are any support groups for men who suffer from abusive women, I recommend that you seek them out and participate. There are some such groups in my city. The men share their thoughts, experiences and coping strategies. Sometimes it helps to know that you are not alone in these troubles. <br />
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By participating in these groups, you may even be able to counsel other young men who are in abusive relationships. Even though you may not be able to fix the damage that was done in your marriage, there can be great solace in being able to help someone else when early change is possible.

My parents are still happily married and up until I moved out of the house I don't think I heard more than two curse words spoken by my father. He was mad about something and it must have been pretty bad, but it was not directed at my mother. They had their share of conflicts, but in a respectful way. Not screaming or cursing or throwing things or seeking revenge over some perceived wrong doing.<br />
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Her mother was married and divorced 4 times. I witnessed a couple of very ugly confrontations between her and her sister when we were dating. Her mother was always very nice around me. My wife was always very sweet to me before we were married. I always felt that I was taking her out of an undesirable family situation. I later realized she brought all that bagage with her to our relationship.<br />
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Both of my oldest moved out as soon as they graduated high school. She would treat them disrespectfully and I would caution her that they are young adults and need to have some privacy and space that she wasn't giving them. She cried when they both moved out and couldn't understand why they felt like they had to. When they were younger she would make them prepare the meals, do the laundry, and general clean up in the house. She would sit and watch TV or talk on the phone while they worked. She was always getting mad because they got to where they didn't do things the way she wanted them done, like taking clothes out of the dryer as soon as it shut off. She constantly complained about the kids not doing right by her or complained about her job. I tried to offer suggestions and it just made her mad. I read a book at the time that said women sometimes just want a man to listen to them and not to offer suggestions. Men are wired different that way, they are problem solvers, women don't necessarily care about that.<br />
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I never had a problem with the kids, but I would approch it differently. I would say we have to get this done before you can do what you want to do and I would work along side of them to get it done. Sometimes we would make a game out of it, but I always tried to make a positive impression with them. You know, they didn't always want to do chores, but I think it helps if you lead by example.<br />
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I would be out of town on occasion and the kids would tell me that she was different when I was away. Some of the things she did I witnessed like slapping them in the face or cursing like a sailor in front of them. If I spoke up against it, it would escalate into something worse. So I would not do what I know now I should have done. I was trying to avoid conflict with her and keep the peace.<br />
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As the children grew older I would hear about some things that would happen in her mother home and began to realize her mother must act the same way when I wasn't around. It's like they are not happy unless there is some drama going on.<br />
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She tells me now that I should have beat some sense into her. I slapped her once as hard as I could and she did a cartwheel over our bed. It was only after we had been arguing and she had already slapped me twice. I told her that I don't hit women, but if she hit me again I was going to hit her back. She slapped me so I slapped her. That was the only time I hit her.<br />
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We would argue sometimes and I would walk away to try and cool off, but she would follow me room to room poking me in the back trying to get me to explode. She would say go ahead and hit me, I know you want to.<br />
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I could go on and on, but I know what I need to do. It just goes against everything I was taught in my Christian upbringing and I'm no angel.<br />
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My youngest is 14 now so I'm sure whatever damage there is has already been done. My wife regrets a lot of what she did and now accepts that she shouldn't have done it. It upsets her to think about it. I just don't understand why she couldn't see it when it was happening. Maybe I am wasting my time trying to understand it.<br />
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I am sorry you had to endure that type of environment at home. I pray that you find a place of harmony in this world and let the past be in the past. Thank you for responding.

I took the time to read it all and my eyes are welling up. I feel your pain. Your wife sounds 100% like my mother. I was raised with those shenanigans and the constant threats. My mother tormented my father and then she tormented us until we moved out. One of my sisters was briefly committed to a mental institution and my other sister is nuts. I think I am heading that direction too. <br />
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I do not have any advice for you except: PROTECT YOUR KIDS any way you can and the way you think is right. If you think the sexlessness is heart-breaking I can guarantee that you will feel 100 times worse in your old age if you see your children grow up to suffer as a result of the constant bickering. <br />
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Definitely share your thoughts, troubles and stresses with a counsellor. <br />
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God bless you and stay strong.