My Wife Resents Me...

So I see a lot of stories about men and women who resent their spouse for one reason or another. I am in the opposite side, and am the one who is resented. I want to figure out what I can possibly do to salvage my marriage, and am looking from advise from those of you that have experience with this. Here is my very long story...

My wife and I married when she was only 17 - and this is where the resentment comes in today. She had a very bad childhood, with abuse, homelessness, father who abandoned her at 5 years old, a mother who didn't know how to love, and 12 kids in her family. When I met her at our karate school, we were friends at first and had a growing love develop as we got to know each other. She was 15 and she confided some terrible things that happened to her and I loved her and wanted to save her. She got herself legally emancipated and moved out on her own, living with friends and for a short time before we got married she lived with my parents. I was older - 23 - and before you think I am some scum who took advantage of a young girl, please understand that this was about love and my need to save her, and it was not about sex.

She wanted to get married, she pushed for it. We dated and loved each other for 2 years and since legally she could do so at 17 without needing any permission from her mother (who didn't care and supported it anyway) she pushed for it to happen. I wanted to wait until she was 18 - if for no other reason then for just appearances to the rest of the world, but she figured, and convinced me that since we were in love we shouldn't care about what the world thought and just get married.

Now we have been married for 15 years - I am 40 and she is 32. We have 4 absolutely wonderful and amazing children whom we both love with all of our hearts. They are still young, ages 5 through 14. We have had our ups and downs like any marriage, but there has been a lot of love and we have always talked about how our love will always hold us together and we can make it through anything. I work hard and make a good living, she stays at home and raises the kids and takes care of the house. I encouraged her many times to go to school or get a job, but she was content just staying home with the kids and didn't want someone else to raise them.

6 months ago, I lost my job and for a scary 2 months I was unemployed. We had plenty of money saved up to live off of for at least 6 months, but it was still scary to be unemployed in this economy. During this time she was my rock. I was home every day with her looking for a job and I would get scared or down and she would pull me right back up. We grew closer to each other than we had ever been, and we both commented on this many times. Then I found a job - that paid even better than the last, and we were both thrilled and relieved. It was a tough job that had me gone sometimes later than my last job - but I was home most days just past 5pm and never later than 6 pm.

2 weeks ago I found out my wife was having at least an emotional affair with another man. She was texting him - hundreds upon hundreds of texts every day while I was gone, and deleting them from her phone so I couldn't read them. I found out because I was doing a routine review of my phone bill in detail (I do this once every several months to make sure I understand our cell phone charges), and saw all the texts. She doesn't delete texts from anyone else - even other guy friends that she has (I never care about her having guy friends). But these were all deleted.

When I told her I knew - at first she tried to deny it and say they were just friends. I showed her how much she texted him - even at times when I would try to talk to her or text her and she would say she was too busy to talk to me - and she would have hundreds of texts with him at that time. Then she admitted that it was excessive, but still denied it was an affair - they are just friends but she could see why I would think otherwise. I wasn't angry - I don't get angry (not in my nature) - I just wanted to know why and what her intentions were. I told her I wouldn't take second place to another man even if it is "just a friend". I asked her what she wanted - and that is when I got the kick in the stomach...

She said she didn't know if she still wanted to be married to me. That she feels like she is a nobody and has done nothing in her life. That she got married too young and she resents me for it because she never got to discover what she wanted to do in life - since all she has ever been is a wife and a mother. She told me she is so confused and doesn't know what to do. She keeps saying how she "doesn't want to get this wrong", but that she isn't sure if she is in love with me. She tells me that I am perfect - except that I am a little too smothering and obsessed with her and that I put her on a pedestal (which is all true). She says she doesn't want to be selfish and hurt all of us - the kids and me - just because she feels like she is trapped in a marriage and needs to get out and be somebody else or do something else with her life.

I am devastated. There has been no affection or love between us for 2 weeks. She and I both are in therapy, separately, and I have no idea where this is going to end up. We get along so perfectly in every other way - we agree on finances, household needs, vacation plans, parenting, everything! We don't fight and the kids all sense that something is going on because they can see how down I am - but otherwise they have no idea that she and I are having any problems. The only time there is any tension at all between us is when I ask her and want to know what is going to happen with us and our marriage and our family. I tell her how this will crush the kids and ruin their straight A's in school and their perfect and normal lives as they know it. She realizes this, but gets upset when I try to figure out what is going on with us and closes up entirely. Her therapist told her to stop talking about the relationship and marriage and go find things to do outside of the home that makes her happy. I have encouraged her once again to go back to school and/or get a job. Do anything to fill that gap that makes her feel like she is missing out or doesn't know who she is, but still stay married. If not for me, then at least for the kids. I know she is unhappy, but if she runs away to be happy, she will destroy the happiness of 5 other people.

I don't know what to do or say. I love my wife more than anything in the world, and I do want to see her happy. If leaving would do that, although the pain would be unbearable for me I would want her to do it. I just cannot see her hurt the kids in that way. They truly will be totally and utterly changed forever. I don't know how to salvage this marriage. I give her everything and always have. I ask her if there is anything that I could change and she says no "it isn't you, it's me". What do I do? Is this a lost cause?
charlierose5012 charlierose5012
36-40, M
18 Responses May 2, 2011


Wow. You sound like a stand up guy. Unfortunately, we can't be full today from yesterday's meals. Right now You are too busy and may have triggered feelings of abandonment. Right now you need to have her tell you what she needs from you, then start - even if you feel dumb you'll be light years ahead of blockheads you just plow on being a Neanderthal. Threatening her with the emotional weight of a separation isn't real. You are responsible too. I'm sorry, this is tough to hear but it should help.

Ok here's what I understand from this you met your wife when you were both young she 15 and she confided in you about her troubled past and you understood so much so that though she asked you numerous time to marry her you wanted to wait to give her some time to think if this is what she really wanted. So over the 2 years you dated she kept asking to get married so you finally did it not just because she wanted to but now your in love with her so you do. Flash forward 15 years you have children and in all the time you were together you both shared in all the good and bad including both supporting each other in every way you could basically as close to a perfect marriage as possible. Then to your shock out of the blue you find the text messages she has been sending and receiving in the hundreds per day to another man over whatever period of time. You confront her about it which at 1st she denies then tells you that she doesn't love you and resents you for her getting married so young. This surprises you because you told her from the beginning you both should take sometime to be together giving her a chance to find out if it was really what she wants but she kept asking you to marry her so what reason does she have to resent you? Any way you look at this it is entirely about sex she wants to experiment I mean she says things like it not you it's me you are smothering me (which you agreed you put her on a pedistal but she could have told you at anytime you where smothering her and I'm assuming she didn't) These and a few other excuses she will come up with are all typical things women say when they are interested in someone else and this is a 100% fact. I am 55 years of age and have met many men that say they try to give their women everything they are looking for but it never seems to be enough and the reason why is that in my life I have never come across a woman that knows what she really wants which again any way you look at it particularly in the physical department and I'm guessing not too many many will agree with this puts a hell of a lot of pressure on any man which in turn makes relationships hard. If you don't believe what I am says about this being entirely about intimacy give her space with absolutely no contact unless it's reference the kids and see how long it takes her to be with another man including her "friend" it's most likely going to happen anyway and prepare yourself for the worst which again I betting is going to happen anyway. If I'm wrong I'm wrong but I wouldn't bet against it. And any ladies that read this despite what you are reading here I am most definitely not against women as no one respects women more than I whether you believe that or not but just like the vast majority of men are pigs as they think with the wrong head which gets them in so much trouble it is what it is

I hope I find someone like one day when I'm ready . I sympathize with you and that you have to be going through this.

i don't know what's going on with your life now and whether you can see this reply, probably too late reply. i have read a book call "women's infidelity" by Michelle Langley recently and it might help you to understand the situation, women at their late 20's and early 30's may encounter this kind of situation: they resent their husbands,lost their interests in current life and having affair, and it's quite common, what is not common is that so many people never heard of this theroy. anyway, you seemed like a great man, hope you the best.

My wife is resentful of me, possibly for some of the same reasons. I care deeply about her and all she does. I am calm and patient with her when she is upset or otherwise empassioned. I encourage and support her emotionally and financially. She works but is incapable of supporting us. I have a severe spinal injury from last January that keeps me from working, yet I am still the breadwinner and arrange for all the bills to be paid with very little help from her. I cook most meals and do most of the dishes. We have grown children, but they were always my responsibility, not hers. I also get accused of "not caring" or "not listening" when we argue. This is completely untrue. I listen to and internalize every word she says, she simply doesn't believe it. When we argue, she speaks with the air of someone who thinks "I said it, so you must accept it as true." When I disagree with her, she doesn't allow the possibility that she may be incorrect or that my opinion may differ from hers. Through the disagreements, I listen to and accept what she says, however, if I think she's incorrect, I will not agree with her. That's when "you're not listening to me!" shoots out of her mouth. The problem with us is she is driven entirely by emotion, while I have been forced into a purely logical existence, stuffing and hiding my emotional side since she is incapable of employing any logic to life's challenges. One of us has to keep our heads above water and if I rely on her, we both will drown. Sad fact. I hope some women will read this and consider that maybe their man is a product of their own creation and that holding their husband responsible and resenting him for the man they turned him into is really crappy. Working together and communicating is the only way a lifelong relationship should work. If you cannot forgive your partner for being a fallible human being EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, then you should never marry. BTW, if I had two pennies to rub together at the end of the month, you know I'd take her out on the town every time, trouble is, she spends all our extra cash on other non-essential (non-romantic) things. I don't want to believe that she wants me to yell at her and become more dynamic just because she is bored. If that's truly the case, I am severely disappointed. Everybody, just go back and read your marriage vows over again. They are totally clear about what you agreed to do.

have you tried doing something new and exciting together? They say that couples that experience that can re-ignite something. I saw you mentioned therapy seperately, thats fine, but how about therapy together as well. She say she doesnt feel like she got to figure out what she wanted to do, but I tell ya this is classic "Grass in greener on the other side" syndrome in women...i wanted a career...i wanted kids we always think the other is better when really it is ridiculous to think we cant have both

If there is no sexThere are SERIOUS problems Call a halt have a long candid talk ultimately tell her if she's not interested in sex is she being intimate with somone else? Are you sure? What better ex<x>pression of love and happiness together than sex.Basically no marriage..she is humiliating you by holding back but watchiong you stick around anyway...give her an ultimatum.If she doesn't want intimacy and love with you..why stay in the ralationship?<br />

She is probably more upset with herself than you. She is using you as the reason for her unhappiness. If you are committed then do what you can and hope for the best. Hopefully she will see the gem she has right there beside her.

OK the first thing that struck me (other than how she doesnt know how lucky she is) is some of the phrases and things you said seemed to be about trapping her by guilt into staying. Thats not good for anyone. It sounds like she's suffering a crisis of confidence to me. She might have noticed some physical changes or found something out about an old school friend which is making her feel jealous and she's trying to compare herself with them and as you often do when you try this you always see yourself in the negative light. She needs to basically get off her *** and find some interests of her own that she can feel proud of (apart from a successful marriage and children which is the best thing, but doesnt always seem like it when you are trying to compare it)<br />
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I also fully agree with Averagelady - she is very smart. I am in exactly the same predicament as her, but am trying not to become emotionally reliant on other male friends for the 'excitement' recieving their messages gives me (nothing is going on but it boosts my confidence that someone else is contacting me and cares what I say) when life with my husband is really routine. Be spontaeous. Don't be so nice all the time. Get your own interests away from her and she'll want to be with you if it looks like you are having fun without her.<br />
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But if its not gonna work then it may be time to let her go. <br />
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I truely wish you the best and hope things work out for you :)

I understand both sides of your story.<br />
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I am the breadwinner of my family. My husband works, but his income could not pay anyone's basic living expenses. So I am expected to be both the feminine nurturer AND the money maker. <br />
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As the breadwinner, I feel I am working hard to support my family, but I don't have the soft person at home to support my efforts, to keep the home running smoothly, to appreciate my efforts.<br />
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As the woman, I don't have that financial provider, a protector. He doesn't romance me, he doesn't make special thought to me, he doesn't appreciate me.<br />
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Your wife doesn't know what is out there. She wants to safely test the waters....go out with girlfriends, go back to school, get flirted with. It doesn't mean she doesn't want to be with you. She is at "that age" where women start to WANT to figure out who THEY are. If you want your marriage to succeed, you have GOT to allow her to do that. <br />
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I also understand you do NOT want to be a doormat. I would lovingly tell her that this time you mean that you are going to give her space.....but remind her that you are trusting her to NOT do anything that she would not want YOU to do to HER. Take your ring off to. Start going out with your guy friends more. Join your local gym. Relax and let the ladies compliment how great you are with your kids. Let her know you got flirted with and how it felt to know you "still got it". <br />
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Complement her more. tell her she looks pretty today, but be specific. Complement her earrings or notice a change i her hair. Be nonchalant about it.<br />
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I hope things work out for you. It is hard to find happiness. As a woman, I can only tell you that I so wish my husband would really notice me, listen to my hopes and dreams, have some empathy. It is hard to be in your 30s and begin to realize that maybe your husband is really a self centered *** who is only happy when HIS needs are being met. Don't be that guy.

I say let her go. She wants the freedom of being single and not have a cared of being a wife and mother. Yes, she married to young. I did the same thing and wanted to experience life, I mean different men and more exciting life than being a boring housewife and mother. We both end up being happier. You will find someone who will love you back. She wants the attention from other people and it is giving her a high that you can't give her. No therapist can help you,they just take your money. If a person is not in love with you, you can't make them no matter how hard you try. You file for full custody.

Women need to feel protected. one form of that is that the husband loves her enuf to stand against any other man eyeing her n carrying on u know what.. She is also in the process of breaking another family. stop the money flow and have a face to face talk that this is not acceptable behaviour. Be a man and stand up~ True love is willing to take risk in order to save! This for yourself, for her and for your children. Best wishes.

@anonymous - Thank you for your comments. My wife does think and tells me that I am "perfect" and there is nothing I could change that could fix the situation (although I know that is far from the truth). She insists it is just her, that she is confused. We are friends with another couple where the man is horrible to his wife - does what he wants when he wants and makes her do all the work for the house and their kids. Treats her like she is nothing. My wife comments on it all the time about how I am the perfect husband and father and I need to "give him lessons". Apparently I am not good enough though.<br />
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Things are the same - going on 2+ months now I still get no affection at all from my wife. We still get along great - we do things together as a family and even just the 2 of us - but there is no romance, no intimacy, no feeling of being a couple or being married. I just continue to wait.<br />
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@MisstressTory - Your advice is echoed by the therapist I am seeing. He says to stay happy and positive around her, occasionally remind her that I love her and that I am still in this marriage, but to otherwise let her have her space. He says I have to "let her go in order to get her back". I do just that - I don't bring up our situation at all around her. All of our interactions are good ones. I encourage and even help her sign up for school and look for jobs she might be interested in doing. In the meantime, I am trying to do things for myself or just do things alone with my kids. I went to a ba<x>seball game with some work friends - the strange thing is she then says that she wants to go with me.<br />
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Honestly, it seems she wants to have her cake and eat it too. She continues this relationship with another married man that she insists is "just a friend". She goes to concerts and out of town with her friends. She doesn't wear her wedding ring ever and comments to me all the time how she gets hit on by guys at the gym and at stores, etc. And I am just supposed to smile and say that is nice and continue to be a doormat. How much time and space am I supposed to give her? Why would she ever want to go back to working at a marriage if she can have all the security, money, and benefits of a marriage while at the same time getting to do whatever she wants?

you are right. she does sound like she wants to have her cake and eat it too. no doubt she must be going through some sort of internal battle. i think you should give her space, but do so in a way that is respectful of urself also. because like you said she is getting all the advantages of a marriage while not being in one. and u are feeling like u just have to smile thru it all. why not suggest a trial moving out period where she can live by herself for a few months. that way u are not having constant reminders of how many guys hit on her. and additionally she can have a chance to miss you and if she really does think ur perfect then believe me she will miss you. and thats what she needs to work out i guess, if the feelings still exist within her.

I'm not sure if you're still looking for feedback, but I'm going to give it to you from someone who's been the wife (and got a divorce) in a relationship that sounds remarkably similar to yours.

She's telling you about other men, she seems to want you when you do something else away from her in an effort to get a rise out of you.

You say you never get mad. That's a problem. She needs/wants to see some passion from you. She feels no insecurity in flaunting her life away from you because you have her on a pedestal and she knows you won't leave. Stop being a doormat. Go out. Get angry. Be passionate. Show her you care in ways that don't include you supporting her when she is trying her best to distance herself from you.

At first, she may react negatively since it seems like you are quite passive and not prone to passionate displays. Believe me though, it's what she wants.

My first husband was much the same. I flaunted an emotional affair, went out with my single friends without my ring on, told my husband about men buying me drinks and hitting on me. His reaction? To listen and smile and say that is nice and be a doormat. I took it that he didn't care about me, despite the evidence he thought he gave to the contrary (being the breadwinner, telling me he loves me, being non-confrontational etc.). I felt so neglected. He wouldn't go to therapy with me, however, so you've shown her you care in that way.

Quit waiting (if you still are). Show her you care, but that you're not going to sit around and let her call all the shots. Go out with your friends. Don't be at her beck and call. Let her know you love her and want to be with her, but that you are not a doormat and will not tolerate her flagrant disregard for your marriage.

Hello, U sound like a very nice young man. Let me tell you this. I am married 2nd time, this time 11 yrs. marriend this year. Well, for the past 3 years my marriage went down hil, I cry every night, I am depressed, lonely, sad, confused, I want compassion, real love (not sex) like an embraxing hug. <br />
I am a female, in her 40's, with all of these marriage problems (and we argue every night, not just in a while, but every single nigt. I tell him, i am lonely, i am confused, I am hurt, he said well what is your problem, come to me, why should i come to you. <br />
I have to ask, (and i don't even know U) LOL, Is that the way men really are, do you really care? <br />
You eeem like a very sincere man, there are not many out there, if U R the The Real Deal, stay true to yourself and stay strong. You wil meet women that will take advantage fo you, don't let the. U R a very unique man, I am intriged <br />
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PS< How R rhings going? Hope all work out for you, great story.


Thanks for the encouragement. I do keep holding on to hope, which is all I really have right now. Otherwise, I feel like a doormat. I give her everything and she wants to now just throw it all away.

first thing pray because GOD is to be the center of everything. based on your story sounds like she is burned out and needs something new but not someone new. the person she is texting they don't "responsibilities" so it is all fun. she need to get her girlfriends and go on a cruise or some type of trip no husband and no kids just for her. believe her when she says it is not you it is her because she is missing something. she needs your support and the freedom to find it. yes she could an affair but once that thrill is gone she will regret it and ask you for forgiveness. so give her some space/freedom to find herself. she have her twenties to act out party club get into trouble like most folks did so now she feels as if she missed something. think of this way the more you keep your teenager in the house what do they do? rebel. i pray you all are doing better now but i still wanted to say something.

Nothing is a lost cause. Try to give her some control and see the results...