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How Do You Find The Strenght To Leave

I've been married for 17 years to a wonderful wife. We really like each other. But early on in our marriage the physical relationship dwindled. Maybe once a month, then once every 2 months. We had some pretty tense moments but never any physical violence. For the last 10 years we've hung the "Divorce" word out there like a shield. Then she started finding reasons for falling asleep on the couch until we now rarely even sleep together. I love kids, everything about them. Now I've come to realise that my wife may never have wanted them, even though we talked about having children before we married. This is totally destroying my life. I'm now 53. I know the chances of having my own child is slim. Christmas has been the toughest...seeing the dads with their kids. Now I've come in contact with a past love. She is going through a divorce and has 2 kids who are teenagers. She was in a loveless, sexless marriage but held on because of the kids. She lives 900 miles away, so I know unless one of us moves, the chance of us actually making it work between us is very unlikely. Still, from the time we knew each other, 33 years ago, 30 years ago, 25 years ago....we have been in each other's lives. I am a hopeless romantic and I believe she is my soul mate. It has been after our recent reunion, which she found me on face book, that my world finally caved in. She knows what I am going through, she wants to there for me to talk to. I maybe just hoping to have one more chance with her. God i hope I'm not reading too much into this. I knew that I had to make a change. I love my wife and she loves me....but we have become room mates. We care deeply for each others welfare and that makes it so hard to leave. We don't fight. We love doing the same things together. We have a business that we work together. This complicates things. We have the same friends. This is a killer. I love her family and my family loves her. This is still a secret to them all, although they know something is wrong by the depressed mood I've been in lately.  I started seeing a pychologist. I learned that I do everything for others and rarely anything for me. I have been trying all my life to make others happy that I haven't learned how unhappy I was. I not sure how the progress is going. I am scared to be alone again. I never was like that when I was younger. Now....? How does a guy find the courage to take that first step out the door. I look at everything that we've collected over the years. I remember the stores we shopped, the vacations, evrything that we done together, the sweat, the laughter, the tears of losing our dog, every year of our lives. I sometimes feel like I've wasted not only my 17 years, but also hers by not confronting our problem earlier in our marriage. My therapist thinks I've already made my decision to divorce. I just hate causing the pain. I know we both had a part in the marriage not working...that gives me some strength. Still, I don't take losing easy, I don't like failing, I am breaking a commitment, I never do that....it's that me thing again. If there was abuse, drugs, alcohol, infidelity, or .....I could see it would be...easier? How oh how did others find the strength to leave.
fishingtime fishingtime 51-55 8 Responses Jan 9, 2011

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I would really like to know how you are doing. I understand the internal battle you were fighting at the time you wrote this. She took the joy of being a father from you and you stayed dedicated to make the marriage work. Its unfortunate you waited that long to leave but at least you know you gave 100%. What gave you the strength or made you finally decide to leave? How is life now for you. Hopefully you will reply some time.

Wow...I honestly feel for you. There aren't too many words of comfort that will make you feel any better, only time. What I can say is don't give up on you. You were honest to address what your heart was telling you. I have been through two failed marriages. My first marriage lasted over 29 years, but he had stopped talking to me and basically used the bible to read verses to me about how I was not suppose to rely on my feelings, but on the laws of God to remain submissive to him. <br />
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We slept in separate bedrooms for years. All I wanted was "him" back...but his interest in me, early on in the marriage, had turned to an obsessive interest in religion only 4 months into our marriage. We had kids together, and yes, they, and fear of leaving, are why I stayed in it for so long. <br />
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He let me know when I left the first time that I would never make it without him. My kids, by now in college, hated me for "abandoning" him. My mother was shocked, telling me it was hard to "find a good man" out there who would provide for me. (Sound a bit old school?) It was difficult, but I found a job and started saving some money. We had tried therapy, but he would carry that bible to read verses to me and the therapist to prove his point. After 10 months of being shunned by my kids, I reconciled with him. I cried after being back only 3 days, knowing that nothing had changed. I was simply a wife that he needed to take care of him and the house. <br />
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We ended up sleeping in separate bedrooms, communicating on a platonic level. There was never any infidelity from either of us. I have always believed in the sanctity of marriage, although he did accuse me of adultery because I had admitted in therapy that I had dreamt of another man just holding me! It was a DREAM. So, I faced my fear of leaving again, after being with him for two years, and this time, filed for divorce. It wasn't an easy decision.<br />
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Almost 2 years after my first marriage ended, I met a man who literally swept me away. He showered me with so much love and attention that I had craved for all those years. I picked up on some of his jealous tendencies, but I had never had anyone jealous over me so I just ignored it. Too bad I didn't trust that first flash of feeling about his jealousy, or his subsequent anger. I didn't pay attention to my stomach when it tightened in bad situations with him. These were signs I ignored, because I wanted so badly to make it work. I'm the type of person who needs to be consistent with what I've said or previously done...so here I went again, trying to save a bad marriage. His outbursts of temper flared, and one night he was arrested for domestic assault. And yes, I stayed, for five more years before I finally realized....wait a minute…it's MY LIFE! I am worthy of living the rest of my life making it whatever I want it to be...with or without someone else. Life is just too precious a gift to waste.<br />
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You are worthy, too. You won't be able to get rid of your memories, no matter who tries to tell you. Divorce hurts like nothing else. You’ve invested alot into your marriage and your relationship, so expect to hurt. It helps you to grow stronger. But life goes on! You have the rest of your life to make it special every day, but start with YOU. <br />
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Someone once told me it's ok to be self-ish. From what I've read about you, it will as hard for you to be self-ish as it is for me. We're the type of person who always looks out for others! YOU need to be ok being alone, and then things will fall into place. You'll have fun again... just keep busy and enjoy being you. God is smiling on you...hang in there!

Thank you. My heart goes out to you also. I analyze everything. I've come to realize that my old girlfriend has been the reason none of my relationships have worked. Each time she came back into my life I would think that this was the time that we could make it work. This last time, did she lead me on? She didn't mean to but she definitely did...I remember everything that was said. 14 years ago she came back into my life for about an hour(another story). I believe now that this had a great impact on my marriage. It may have been the true reason that it fell apart or at least a reason why I did not encourage fixing it. I made my old girl friend into something that no other woman could compete with. Maybe now I have learned. God I hope so.

How are you doing now. Damn I'm in the same situation- about seconds from leaving. I'm afraid though that I'm chasing illusions.

I ended up leaving her. Fact is, another woman came into my life. This is a complicated issue that you may find in some of my other stories. I dont feel good about leaving, i dont feel good about me. This other woman of course did not work out. Now I'm completely alone. I have never felt so alone and hopeless. This is so unlike me. This is tough to handle. Dont let anyone tell you that divorce is the best thing. You married someone you loved...that part is still there. Divorce rips that out.

Your story is quite confusing to me. You claim to 'love' your wife but then admit you haven't 'worked' on making the relationship better. What does your therapist have to say about working on the relationship?<br />
re: I've been married for 17 years to a wonderful wife. We really like each other. But early on in our marriage the physical relationship dwindled. Maybe once a month, then once every 2 months. <br />
>>> Why? Exactly what went wrong? Have you or your therapist examined it? Did you ever consider counseling or fixing that? Why didn't you do something about it right away??????<br />
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We had some pretty tense moments but never any physical violence. For the last 10 years we've hung the "Divorce" word out there like a shield. <br />
>>> Did you ever hang the "Counseling, therapy, help, fix this, why's it happening" word out there?<br />
Did you ever work on the marriage?<br />
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Then she started finding reasons for falling asleep on the couch until we now rarely even sleep together <br />
>>> What has your therapist said about it? When, where or how were you ever going to fix this?<br />
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as for me: <br />
I tried to 'work' on my marriage after learning a few things in group therapy but she would have none of it. She only saw me as the problem - not her self! Unlike you, we had become ENEMIES living under the same roof. <br />
Well, I finally left her when I faced my fear of going it alone and decided I just did not want to live that way any more - not for some other "safer" woman! I had an affair going but left my 1st wife for my own reasons and needs - not to rush off to a better, safer MOMMY. We had no kids so it was a bit easier to leave what had become a horrible, dangerous prison.<br />
But if I had been in your situation, I might have tried harder to save the marriage. I'd say if you want kids and she doesn't you may have to just toss a coin - the wife or kids - and move on if it falls in favor of kids.<br />
this is the best i can come up with,<br />
jim

Talk with your wife. If things get ugly, stop talking and leave.<br />
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It sounds like there's more there than just the kids. Remember this.<br />
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I haven't heard of reuniting with past loves ending well.<br />
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When she's ready to talk, talk.<br />
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Stop blaming her. There is always something you could do or could have done better.<br />
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If you're truly happy with yourself and everything you do and she doesn't appreciate you, go find a better life.

First, all you have to do to leave is walk out the door and don't go back. It is that simple. <br />
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Your long lost love is likely not the answer. You can't leave to be with her anyway. Her teenagers will hate you. They can barely stand her (or themselves). <br />
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You have to decide to leave knowing you will be alone. If you're lucky, you won't stay that way. When you leave, you get no guarantees -- all you "buy" is opportunities. <br />
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Princess LiveInReality

All your arguments are, at core, excuses. I've made all of them. The only thing that will get you out the door is your willingness to face your fear. Once you do that, everything else will fall in place.

You have a choice and your wife has a choice, You have an oportunity to say the following.<br />
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You say that you can not go on this way. You can tell your wife that she must agree to either therapy immediately and agree that the marriage has to change significantly. or the marriage is over. It is that simple.<br />
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You go on to say, that you didn't marry your wife to be her brother or her father, you married her to be her husband. And, frankly, you expected her to be a willing and enthusiastic wife. <br />
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This isn't a decision she should need to sleep on or think about. it should be an immediate response. And that response should be YES. I will go to counseling. Yes , I want to be your wife in every way. And Yes, I am sorry that things are the way they are. Yes i want our relationship, our sexualy intimacy back. Any thing less than that, and you say good bye. You say,I am sorry , but I am not staying in a marriage where I am not loved, desired, appreciated.. I want a reciprocal relationship<br />
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.I think being frim gives strength to your statement. it gives power to your statement. It gives importance to your statement. It lets your spouse know that you really mean what you are saying. The game is over. She can choose to participate 100% or not. But anything less that 100% is not aceptable and not negotiable<br />
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.If your wife doesn't accept your terms, your free ,and either way i wish you well and every happiness.<br />
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Neuilly