1. Saying Goodbye to a Great Staffer: Edial
    Please help me wish Edial a wonderful blessed journey as he steps down from CF staff.
    His footprint on our ministry will always remain but his presence will be greatly missed. I'm sure he will come around as a member to all his favorite forums but for now please join me at his profile page to wish him many thanks for the years of service he has brought to us all.
    All of us on CF staff will miss him dearly!!
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
  • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
  • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
  • Access to private conversations with other members.

We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

My wife thinks she can't be happy with me

Discussion in 'Separation and Marriage Restoration' started by jimmyl, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    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.
     
  2. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

    Messages:
    24,472
    Likes Received:
    759
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Charismatic
    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.
     
  3. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    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.
     
  6. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

    Messages:
    24,472
    Likes Received:
    759
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Charismatic
    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...?
     
  7. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    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.
     
  8. FantasyWitch

    FantasyWitch A closed mouth gathers no foot

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    3
    Marital Status:
    In Relationship
    Politics:
    UK-Labour
    Faith:
    Pagan
    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.
     
  9. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    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: Mar 24, 2009
  10. Autumnleaf

    Autumnleaf Legend

    Messages:
    24,472
    Likes Received:
    759
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Charismatic
    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?

    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.

    Get rid of the means you provide for her to fail the marriage. Stop the internet. Its not that complicated.

    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.
     
  11. AL is correct. Nobody responding to your posts wants to see your marriage fail. But you are coming at this whole situation from a position of weakness - and don't doubt for an instant that your wife is aware of that.

    I have been both the cheatER and the cheatEE in my lifetime. Please listen to the advice that you are being given regarding allowing yourself to be run over in this matter.

    You cannot make your wife want your marriage by caving in to her desire to continue a relationship outside of it.

    I highly suggest that you get those books. You are creating a cage with your pleas and your agreement - and you are most likely providing her with further reason to want out.

    Question for you: why should she choose to work on your marriage, when there are no consequences to her starting an emotional affair with another man? Even more pointedly, when her husband lacks the self-respect to say "This is not acceptable. Choose." and instead condones the affair.

    And, as a long time atheist prior to a couple of years ago, a crisis of faith has very little to do with cheating. There are plenty of non-believers who are faithful in their marriages.

    I don't mean to sound harsh, Jimmy. You just need to be aware that you are setting yourself up for your wife to view you as a spineless wimp - which will certainly not be a good comparison to an internet fantasy who says all the right things.

    I will continue to pray for you and your marriage.
     
  12. fields316_2000

    fields316_2000 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    41
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    first of all the main focus is that above all she needs to get into god and in touch with god asap. She is flirting with death at this very moment..sin is blinding her judgement no matter what her intentions are - and hell is not something you would want anyone you love going to. get her into service and counciling right now. and i'd hate to be a jerk about it, but you needs ot get some gumption and put your foot down and check her about other guys. granted ive got no room to talk based on my marriage being strained by my over bearing 'kill all men who look at my wife' attitude, but this is one case that you should set the example. if you went out there and seen him it wouldnt hurt to say thats my wife and dont come around again. directly. then the second time beat him up or something..it's not the other guys its her and if she and you plan on being together forever she better remember what happens when she flirts with other guys
     
  13. EZoolander

    EZoolander Regular Member

    Messages:
    5,490
    Likes Received:
    558
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Libertarian
    Faith:
    Deist
    So, it's been a couple of months since this guy posted.

    I'm curious as to what eventually happened.
     
  14. fields316_2000

    fields316_2000 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    41
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    id say at least he should call the guy up and let him know he's not happy.
     
  15. 2Confused

    2Confused Newbie

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Catholic
    Jimmy is not at fault here, I can tell as a woman that this man is very calm, kind hearted and trying so hard to see the view from his wife's point of view... good for you Jimmy... not many men would be able to acheive this w/control as you have... I completely agree w/you that she needs to make the choice to stay or leave... I would not want to force anyone to be with me either...

    I am very happy to hear that you keep reminding her of the situation, and many times often enough people let it go and think it will fix itself... don't let this happen and keep reminding her so she can understand and live out her reality... It will NEVER go away, it may get pushed aside but it always be with her if she doesn't work this out in her own head...

    Seeing the counselor is the best thing you can do for your marriage, I suggest speaking w/him or her first... explaining the situation of your wifes faith and lack of trust in God right now... This will really help her if she feels uncomfortable and the counselor will know what to do...

    However, in the case of the other "man" - As a woman, I cannot believe she told you about him, she must really be at her wits end (hanging by that last string) I know you have been patient with her, but maybe you can also be her mentor in this situation and explain to her how hurt you are by this in a calm and quiet mannor... it will really make her think long and hard... Try telling her that you are doing your best to understand her problems and in order for you help her - ask her how she would feel if you were doing what she was doing and then ask her how she would handle the situation... it's worth a try... you might be surprised by the answer...

    I will pray for you - God Bless and I am truly sorry you have to go through this... I know how tough it can be...
     
  16. gentlewolverine

    gentlewolverine New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Jimmy,

    Hi my name is Edward, I wanted to tell you that I found your post because I entered a search for what do I do if my wife does not want to touch me Christian.

    First off my heart goes out to you. and my situation is not exactly the same but it is similar in that my wife and I have been married for 14 years i have known her for 17 and we have 3 children and she is now feeling distant from me.

    The short of it for me is there is pain in her past from others and pain from me because of lustful thoughts and pornography. She never really dealt with that past and never forgave me for the things I had done. Also in thinking about it I have never really been there to hear her out and it has always been about me dealing with my issues. When we talked about the sexual issues I had at various times it seemed as though she was accepting it and dealing with it and forgiving me but it really was building a wall because she was not really forgiving me and giving me a clean slate. So this is the consequence of my sin and her connecting it to her past and projecting those feelings or anger towards me, albeit because of my similar actions.

    4 days after we were married she found out that there was a stripper at my bachelor party and a month prior I had gone to that i had went to a strip club with a friend (not a very good one looking back). While I did not have "sex" I still violated her preparing herself for me, for us in our marriage. My brother knew she was against a stripper and he did it anyway and I just stood by and let it happen in both cases. When we were married I had literally just become a believer maybe 1 month after marriage and I never really dealt with or better yet never knew how to deal with the sexual perversions in my life and I did not seek outside help and tried to resolve my struggles by reading books and slowly changing by picking up little things that would help me battle my flesh. Never really trusting G-D to take it away from me. I reaping the result of that...

    Although I feel there has been progress for ME in that area and I feel, through much talking with G-D, that i have given it to him (that is key to understand) just a week ago she told me she loves me as a friend but can't stand my touch and thinks about horrible things when we are intimate and she said she was thinking about getting a separation. There is a lot more to it than that but I have the same feeling you have that you put in your original post.

    Sorry to bring you through my own issues because this is certainly not an answer Jimmy. I am just another brother with and estranged wife currently dealing with the same sort of confusion although mine is much more self induced from a long time ago. I was always too scared to bring up the conversation because I thought she would not want to deal with it and she would think I was too pushy. I failed as a spiritual leader in my household to be there for her. After we talked I saw how much I blinded myself to it and did not grab hold of G-D's promises for us. Had I opened my eyes I would have seen her pain and that she never talked about the issue. Foolishly I thought she was just being strong in her heart with G-D guiding her. I was extremely timid and I cannot be that way when it comes to our relationship with G-D and what he has called us to. thank you all for your care for people you seemingly don't even know.

    Jimmy reading the responses to your post has helped me some. I have told her that separation is not an option and I will make every effort to relinquish anything that would hinder my relationship with G-D. I did let her know we must go to a Christian counselor and G-D will guide us as long as we commit this to him.

    My wife is going to counseling next week for her pre-marriage issues and then we will most likely go to sessions together following that. Some of the advice is good on this post. Lean on G-D my brother, keeping loving her, and call her to account on marriage vows to you by your own actions. I wanted to thank you for posting and my heart goes out to you. I am just starting this phase of revealing this problem, coping and confronting this in our marriage. Please pray for my wife and I as well. I pray things are going better for you.

    In his mercy and Grace
    Edward
     
  17. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    Sorry it's been awhile. I didn't mean to leave everyone hanging.

    So, she stopped talking to the guy. She said that she understood that it was the wrong way to go about things. However, now she has told me that she definitely wants to leave, and that she has decided that she is an agnostic. It would appear that my marriage is over and there is nothing I can say to her that she would listen to. Really, I think the agnosticism was the root of the issue the whole time. I have been growing in my faith for years while trying to bring her along and I was always confused at how much resistance she gave. She claimed to believe but acted like she didn't want to. As I grew in my faith and she pulled back, we drifted further apart. Now she is finally being honest, which is sort of good, I guess, though I wish the truth was something else.
     
  18. Macx

    Macx New Member

    Messages:
    5,485
    Likes Received:
    326
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Politics:
    US-Libertarian
    Faith:
    Anglican
    It is as if you lifted the text straight out of my story.

    She will go back on her word & talk to this guy. My ex-wife said a variation on the same thing, what ammounts to: If Christian accountability demands that I stop my adultery, then I renounce my faith. She is going to do what she wants to do. No following the Matthew 18 process is going to change the results.

    It really is great to have no guilt regarding my first marriage. I did everything I could to save the marriage and I am quite certain independant witnesses would still say I far exceeded anything reasonable in trying to heal my marriage (they did at the time, even her parents). That clear conscience has enabled me to move forward without much baggage and the Lord has blessed me with a truly awesome wife. My story has a happy ending, but I don't believe it would be nearly as happy had I not gone the distance in that first marriage. Christ knew he was going to die, long before he saw the beam his hands would be nailed to. Living in ressurection is a glorious thing.

    While I am encouraging you to go boldly to the doom that is your marriage, only you can know when it is time to breathe that last breath saying "it is finished".

    Be strong & re-read all the posts by Autumnleaf. He really is a wise dude.
     
    JACKSONVILLE4 likes this.
  19. bliz

    bliz Contributor

    Messages:
    9,393
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Is your wife getting couseling? Is she getting any medical treatment for her depression? People tend to depression is a minor problem, but it can be devestating on the individual and on the family, as you have seen. The most effective tretment is the combination of talk and drug therapy.
     
  20. jimmyl

    jimmyl Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    6
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Faith:
    Christian
    We went to two counseling sessions and then she refused to go back, because the counselor basically told her that everything was her fault. She is on anti-depression meds, but it isn't changing how she feels about God, or about our relationship. It's just making her less depressed about it.
     
Loading...