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Groundhog Day.....

I've been married to L for 23 years.  We have two kids - 17 and 13.   We both work and make good money.  Neighborhood is great.  Kids are great.   And frankly, I'm the husband that many women wish they had.  Granted, that looks rather arrogant and conceited, but the truth of the matter is I'm very good at being a husband and father.  Most women tell me this frequently.   L does on occasion....

I provide a great income and lifestyle.  I'm always there for my family.  I do dishes, wash clothes, run kids to their activities, and anything else that needs to get done.  I'm 6'2" and a fit 230.  I work out 5 days/week.  I have a strong libido and never had ED issues.   In any event, you get the picture.  No more resume info needed, but I wanted to paint the picture to reduce the amount of questions.  I'm not the douche bag couch potato who watches sports all day long and emotionally neglects his family.

My issue is I go above and beyond to make my marriage and family work.  L doesn't.  She gives priority to other things (like her profession).  She's a very good mother, and she's the kind of person who would help you if you needed help.  Unfortunately, she's a very average wife.  This is where I struggle as I strongly believe I deserve better.

L & I have been through counseling - which I started for us.  She had a hard time with the candor and we ended up stopping the sessions.  The truth hurts and it was a very "raw" process. 

Today, we just continue to plug along as if everything is hunky dory but it's not.  I call it benign neglect, and freqenly refer to it a Groundhog Day or SSDD (same **** different day).  I want a divorce and she knows it.  I love L, but she is not capable of being the person I need as a partner long term.  L will never even consider a divorce and continues to believe that our relationship will weather the storm.  She loves me very much and hopes for a better outcome.   Unfortunately "hope" is not a course of action.   We have issues and differences she is simply unwilling or incapable of addressing.

If my kids were out of the house, I'd be gone tomorrow.  Unfortunately that's about 5 years away.  I can do another 5 years, but I'm no spring chicken.  Being 50 and single doesn't sound so hot, but it is what it is.  I've considered having affairs, but my legacy as a good man and father has prevented me from going down that path thus far.  It's tempting though. 

I really want a vibrant love life and that's not possible with L.   We have sex maybe twice a month.   I would prefer 3-4 times a week.  She's very conventional.  I like to spice it up.  We're simply two different people. 

Some days when I get mad, I'm ready to retain a lawyer the next day.  I just don't want my kids to hurt and delaying that hurt until they're young adults seems to be the best course of action at the moment.  In the mean time, I continue to lose out on having a healthy love life and satisfying relationship.  

Groundhog Day continues....
WallyCleaver WallyCleaver 46-50 9 Responses Sep 8, 2011

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That sucks man. I'm not really in a position to give you counsel because I'm 25 and never been married, but I do hope that you find a better sense of ease and well-being in your life, or whatever it is you may be looking for. May you be happy, and may you be well.

Wow.... I similar experiences are beyond amazing, from our ages, to the number of years till our kids our off to college, to the dropping of counseling, etc....

This is how I have handled things, good and bad, and this is where I am. I have read like hell, and I have gained amazing perspective. I have had affairs, not full blown love-affairs, but great sex that reminded me what it is like to truly have passion and be desired. I learned to be authentic and have REAL friends that I can share my real self with. I also spent a year in therapy trying to understand why I was stuck.

Now I am ready... I have formally stated we have a plan that defines what our marriage is to look like. We create it together from scratch and define a life that fulfill both of us. We commit to weekly therapy, and make this definition creation part of it. I am willing to go totally out of the box if necessary on the commitment. While it is not my first choice, I am willing to open the marriage as a means to get desired experiences not being found in the marriage. If she does not commit to trying to find a shared definition or if she does and we can not find one, then the marriage ends, hopefully with loving kindness.

The frustration and emptiness leaks, and kids being near high school age certainly get it. Staying married for them is not necessary. Their needs will be met, both materially and emotionally. They will still have two engaged loving parents. If the work yields real movement and a coming together, we will all be happier.

You sound very strong and confident. Maybe it will work for you!

Maybe, maybe not... I have felt hopeless before, so I relate. Its not that I feel hopeful or need to. Its just that I am using my time in a productive way, and the work I am investing in the marriage will be valuable, whether I stay married or not.

I'm far from the "perfect husband", but I can relate. I do my best to be a good husband and father. I provide for the family. We're not rich, but we're not destitute, either. I have a good job, etc.

I am staying for now because of the kids. My youngest is 12, so I have a while yet before I can leave. I don't want to hurt the kids. I feel trapped.

And I don't feel sorry for you for one sec! And you know why? Because this is exactly how my husband would describe himself- "I'm the husband that many women wish they had". So, your wife was and is smarter than you if she has chosen you years ago. Get it? If you were soooo great and perfect, how did you end up with wrong wife?!

Are we not allowed to make mistakes? Are we not allowed to change? Why is Wally not allowed to feel distressed and seek guidance?

i am in a very similar situation..my marriage is lacking so much and i realize i want so much more in a partner. And then i look at my kids...it kills me. so i stay. We have been to marriage counseling and i still dont see a difference..i have been honest in what i want and have finally realized it isnt him. He is a great father and kids adore him so i stay. I truly feel your pain. I do want my kids to see what a loving relationship is about but unfortunately its not with their father. i worry that staying with him might damage them also because we dont have a loving relationship. My husband is a good guy and provider and father who is not the one for me...i know i cant be this unhappy until my kids are out of school but i am dragging my feet to change it. Good luck

Thank you for sharing your story

I have recognized some things. Was good to read.

Lot of guys support your morals and values!

I'm so sorry. Let me say that life is far too short to stay unhappy, no matter what you're age. In my case I was discovered talking with a male friend and am now being served with divorce papers. I actually feel quite elated. It takes courage, and it isn't easy, but PLEASE follow your heart. You and your wife will be much happier.

Thanks, kwanyin. The toughest part is not wanting to disappoint my kids. I love them more than life itself.

If you can be authentic, kind, and straight with your wife and what you need to be happy, you two can decide to make commitments together or not. If she can not commit to your needs, then ask her to propose what you should do. If you can choose to separate kindly, you may be able to do so in a way the kids can understand.

Like you, my youngest is 12. Both of us have kept the family intact and built solid foundations. They are becoming independent, and will now choose the relationship they want with you regardless of whether you remain married. You can have a rewarding father relationship, have their needs met, and live an authentic life. To do so, be authentic with your needs with her. If she refuses you, you can feel better about moving on. There is a possibility she chooses to make the commitments you need because she does love you and wants to make you happy. Its a tough leap to confront like that, but one you know you need to make to find your peace.

I can relate as well. Though my situation is a bit different as I have cheated and found love with that person. And thats whats making it so hard on me. Knowing that I have found that lost love and passion that I dont have for my wife. Having kids as well, is what stops me from leaving. Good luck with your situation.

So how does she (the other woman) feel about you staying in the marriage for your kids? That has to be a strain on the relationship (I would think). I want to find someone as well, but I'm concerned I'll just create another issue, and God knows I don't need complexity. That said, the need for companionship is pretty strong...

I feel like I want to tell my story, but it is so hard to have any perspective some days. This is one of those days, or I wouldn't be here.

I am (the other woman) and I think the man I love would really understand what you have written. He is a good man and we did not mean to fall in love, and neither of us have ever been in this situation before. We were both in unhappy relationships, but mine did not have children in it and the ending signs were already there. I am now single (I would have ended my relationship in any event), but he has children and his wife is not well, emotionally or physically.

We started as friends but found trust and love and intoxicating passion, and although it sounds unbelievable, we have an incredible foundation upon which to build a life.

I wish our path was clear. It has been a long time (years), and we have tried to give each other up and he has tried to make his marriage work. I have even tried to help. I know I am not the reason his marriage is failing, and there is no guarantee that a relationship with me would last the rest of our lives, but I also know that I may be the reason their marriage still exists. I fill in the holes. I am what his marriage is lacking.

I know I seem foolish. There are so many things that are impossible to type. But we have made the best decisions we could at the time. We continue to do so.

I can not ask him to leave his wife. He, like you, is a good man. It feels so tragic that this incredible thing that we have found must be given up. I can not ask him to leave a sick wife, but I also cannot stay in limbo forever.

So we will stop and he will go back to feeling exactly as you do and I will cry. And the average level of happiness in the world will drop a bit.

Thanks, Danielle.



As much as I wouldn't like some of the consequences, I wish I could speed up time so I can get on with my life. Very frustrating.