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  #1  
Unread 18th March 2009, 10:25 PM
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My wife thinks she can't be happy with me

My wife and I have known each other since we were 14. We ended up being really close friends in high school, but there was never anything romantic between us. When we went off to college, we realized that we desperately missed each other, and through a lot of conversations on the phone and through email, decided that we loved each other and wanted to be married. We were in our early 20's when we got married. Now we are coming up on our 10th anniversary and have 4 kids. Early on she would sometimes become upset with me and tell me that we never talk. I didn't really understand what she meant, because we talked all the time, and I told her that. She told me that I say things to her but I don't really talk to her. It puzzled me, and I don't think I ever really understood what she meant, and she could never explain it in a way I understood. Eventually, she stopped bringing it up all together and she started to become depressed and distant. She stopped doing any sort of cleaning or taking care of the house, work we had shared in the past, and it seems like all my time in the last few years has been spent either working, trying to keep the house clean, or cooking and taking care of the kids while she sits on the couch on her laptop. I knew she was depressed but didn't know what to do about it. I thought she was just worn out by watching the kids all day, so I would try to help by taking over chores or watching the kids in the evening so she could get out of the house. I encouraged her to get a job so she could spend time with adults and have a life outside of the home, but she never wanted one.

Anyway, about two months ago she told me that she has never really been in love with me and thinks that marrying me was a mistake. She says she married me because I was "safe and comfortable" and she's always been nervous about men she doesn't know. She also says that at the time she felt pressured by the church to get married and have kids because that's what a good Christian woman does. She has spent the last five years or so depressed and feeling guilty about it. She says she wanted to have children because she thought that she might be happier with me if we had kids, but that it didn't work and she feels trapped now. In subsequent talks with her I've found out that she has met another guy online who she says is all the things I never was, and she doesn't know whether she wants to stay with me or leave to be with him. She says she still loves me because I've always treated her with love, but she only sees me as a friend. She's afraid to leave me because she doesn't really know this guy and she doesn't want to hurt me or lose my friendship, but she's afraid to stay because she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life unhappy. She says she believes in God but is sick of the church and doesn't think God can or will do anything to make her happy in our relationship. Before all this came up, we had planned on her getting a vacation by herself to Florida. We had set up money in a seperate account for the trip and she has plane tickets. This was when I thought the problem was just stress from the kids and from being couped up in the house all day. When I found out about this other guy, I also found out that he lives in Florida, and they were planning to meet for coffee, I guess so that she can weigh her options. She told me she still intends to go through with meeting him, but she has also told me that she is willing to go see a marriage counselor. She didn't want to see a Christian marriage counselor unless we had no other choice, because she says she "knows what they'll say already." She's just torn right now because she doesn't want to give me up, but she doesn't want to give up this other guy either.

I'm sorry this is so long. I haven't been able to talk to anyone about this. That's why I found this forum. I don't want to talk to anyone we know about it, because I'm afraid they will judge her and look down on her, and I don't want that on her reputation if she decides to stay. I want to meet whatever needs this other guy is meeting, but I just don't understand what it is she wants from me, or even if that is really the problem. She has told me over and over that it isn't that I ever did something wrong, it's just that I'm the wrong kind of person for her and that I'd be happier without her. Also, I've been trying to find a counselor, but I don't know if we can afford one. I feel abandoned and stupid and worthless because I can't be the husband she needs and I just don't know what to do. I feel alone. Please pray for me.
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  #2  
Unread 21st March 2009, 08:10 PM
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If she is sinning on the computer you should get it out of your home. Immediately. You can not fight a mirage which is what she is seeing. You need to be strong and at least act indignant. If I were you I'd call her father and ask him to come pick up his daughter because you didn't bargain for this. You have to blow the secret wide open because as long as its hid it will mess things up. By getting family involved she will have to face reality, hopefully before she really wrecks things.
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  #3  
Unread 22nd March 2009, 10:55 PM
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If it was just a matter of her trying to resist temptation that would be one thing, but she has said that she doesn't really believe that she's wrong, or at least she doesn't care. She's also said that if I were to try to thwart her in some way, like taking away her computer or if I were to go "blab" to her family she would make up her mind to leave. There is more going on here. She has started questioning her beliefs as well, she's said that she is no longer sure what she believes, and that she no longer trusts the church. She is angry because she feels like she has been trying to be someone she isn't to please her family and the church. Understand that I don't just want to force my wife to stay against her will by manipulating her. What good would that do? I want her to stay because she wants to.

More importantly, I want her to be in right relationship with God again. I think I have found a Christian counselor we can afford. I'm hoping that an unrelated third party might be able to talk to her, because there won't be so much emotion involved. Everything I hear and read suggests that restoring a marriage is possible, if both parties want to. If one doesn't, I'm not sure what hope there is.

As I look back over this post, I can see that it would be easy for someone reading this to think she is an awful cold-hearted person. She isn't. But she is confused and scared and dealing with crushing feelings of guilt and desperation and loneliness. She feels like God has abandoned her. She is also strong-headed (always has been. I've always found it endearing, oddly enough) and will reflexively push back if she is pressured or told what she should do. That's why I'm hoping a counselor will help. Someone who can talk to her without her feeling judged, because that will just cause her to dig her feet in. Please pray for her. I think she has reached a defining point in her life, where she has to decide whether she actively chooses embraces or rejects the beliefs her parents taught her. I never realized before that she hadn't yet reached that point until now.
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  #4  
Unread 22nd March 2009, 11:13 PM
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Book recommendations for you: "Love Must Be Tough," by James Dobson, and "I Don't Love You Anymore," by David Clarke, PhD.

I'm glad to know that you've found a counselor you can afford. Perhaps you should also tell your wife that you realize there is a communication problem that you have never understood and just assumed was not a huge problem; but that you now realize how very important it is to her and you want to learn to talk with her in a manner she finds satisfying.

Praying for you both.
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  #5  
Unread 23rd March 2009, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Flibbertigibbet View Post
Book recommendations for you: "Love Must Be Tough," by James Dobson, and "I Don't Love You Anymore," by David Clarke, PhD.

I'm glad to know that you've found a counselor you can afford. Perhaps you should also tell your wife that you realize there is a communication problem that you have never understood and just assumed was not a huge problem; but that you now realize how very important it is to her and you want to learn to talk with her in a manner she finds satisfying.

Praying for you both.
I'll look into those books.

I have told her exactly those things, over and over. She says it's about more than communication. It comes back to her spiritual crisis I think. I'm not sure which is the symptom of which. Thank you for the prayers.
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  #6  
Unread 24th March 2009, 03:17 AM
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It is about communication. She's communicating intimately with another guy and you are letting her. If he came over to visit and they walked alone together into your bedroom would you be kind enough to give them space...?
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  #7  
Unread 24th March 2009, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Autumnleaf View Post
It is about communication. She's communicating intimately with another guy and you are letting her. If he came over to visit and they walked alone together into your bedroom would you be kind enough to give them space...?
What if she has told me that if I don't let them talk alone she will leave? Where is the win there? Either she leaves slowly or she leaves quickly.

It is nothing I am consenting to. I have not told her it's ok. I've told her it's wrong, in fact, and that I don't want her to, but she's told me she is going to anyway, and that if I try to boss her around about it or treat her like I own her, she would leave. I'm not saying she's right to think that way. I believe she's wrong. But I want a wife who wants to be with me, not one who is with me because I've forced her to be. I've already got a dog.

I suppose I could smash her computer, cut the telephone line to our house, and as a last resort, chain her up in the garage. I don't think that will bring reconciliation. In fact, I know that I would never see her again if I did that (assuming she could get out of the chains.)

I do understand where you are coming from, I just don't see how it will work unless she also wants to make things better, and right now she doesn't.
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  #8  
Unread 24th March 2009, 10:29 AM
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I feel for you and your wife.
It seems to all be about communication, but what you can't do is let her blackmail you. You need to trust her enough to know she won't have any hanky panky with this other man, let her talk to him and see the marriage concellor. Don't make it about blackmail, because that really is the road to a ruined marriage.
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  #9  
Unread 24th March 2009, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FantasyWitch View Post
I feel for you and your wife.
It seems to all be about communication, but what you can't do is let her blackmail you. You need to trust her enough to know she won't have any hanky panky with this other man, let her talk to him and see the marriage concellor. Don't make it about blackmail, because that really is the road to a ruined marriage.
Yes. And I do trust her that far. It's hard to give the whole picture on the forum when I am talking for her. I do trust her not to take this any further and she isn't going to blackmail me, because she hasn't anything to blackmail me with. And that's not really what she's doing. She isn't threatening me. It's more like, she doesn't know what she wants or even what she thinks is right, and doesn't want to be forced to make a decision without working it out in her own head. Of course, I keep bringing it up so that she is actually facing it rather than just trying to pretend there is nothing wrong. However, I can't blackmail her into staying either. I can't say to her, you straighten up or I'll take away your stuff and tell everyone about this and make your parents take you away and shame you in front of everyone. That's not love, it's manipulation.

Last edited by jimmyl; 24th March 2009 at 11:36 AM.
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  #10  
Unread 25th March 2009, 12:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmyl View Post
What if she has told me that if I don't let them talk alone she will leave? Where is the win there? Either she leaves slowly or she leaves quickly.
Or she respects you whether she leaves or not. Did it ever occur to you that she might want you to give her some form of firm direction?

It is nothing I am consenting to. I have not told her it's ok. I've told her it's wrong, in fact, and that I don't want her to, but she's told me she is going to anyway, and that if I try to boss her around about it or treat her like I own her, she would leave. I'm not saying she's right to think that way. I believe she's wrong. But I want a wife who wants to be with me, not one who is with me because I've forced her to be. I've already got a dog.
By tolerating it you are consenting just as if you let your child smoke marijuana in his room. If she will leave if you tell her to stop doing destructive things to the marriage, the right thing to do is to let her go. Then at least you are not part of the problem.

I suppose I could smash her computer, cut the telephone line to our house, and as a last resort, chain her up in the garage. I don't think that will bring reconciliation. In fact, I know that I would never see her again if I did that (assuming she could get out of the chains.)
Get rid of the means you provide for her to fail the marriage. Stop the internet. Its not that complicated.

I do understand where you are coming from, I just don't see how it will work unless she also wants to make things better, and right now she doesn't.
She doesn't because she doesn't have to. You make it comfortable for her to do what she is doing. You say you don't like it but you are enabling her.
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