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Marital Problems


ShackledNoMore
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I really never thought that I'd be in this situation.  My wife and I have been married for 16 years.  I've never had a jealous bone in my body.  Somehow I always went by the philosophy of selecting your SO with both eyes open, and then spending your marriage with one eye closed.  Perhaps that was not such a good idea.  Last Monday I was troubleshooting an issue with my wife's phone.  I was pulling down the notifications bar as part of the process, and an e-mail arrived with about five lines of preview that looked really steamy.  I didn't even snoop at the time, or get too upset.  As I say, it just isn't part of my mentality.  But it continued to play on my mind through the evening, since no matter how trusting and non-jealous I may be, it would be hard to imagine it being anything other than what it seemed.  It played on my mind enough so that I didn't sleep, and in the wee hours, creepy as I may have thought this to be, I snooped on my wife's e-mail.

 

I got quite an eyeful.  There was a man from out of state that she had been emailing.  There were steamy sexual fantasies and passionate declarations of love.  My wife expressed her wishes that she could be there with him if only it wasn't for her life with me and the kids.  (Oh, he's married too, by the way.)  There had also been some phone calls.  I read about the scare they'd had that night, and the "it's OK, my husband didn't see it."  About 3:30 that morning she got up to go to the bathroom.  I was already dressed.  I'd planned to go to work and come home early and deal with it with here then, but since she'd gotten up, I brought it up then.  Here initial response was "what are you talking about?"  By the time 30 seconds had passed, it was overwhelmingly obvious how much I knew.  Next came an excuse that it was role playing.  She was interested in writing (and it's true that I know this to be an unfulfilled dream in the back of her mind), and she purported that she gave a sample to the guy, he said he might be able to get her published, and the emails were basically a fantasy role play for the sake of her writing.  Eventually it evolved in to really serious contrition.  She says it was a stupid mistake she'll regret the rest of her life.  She said it meant nothing.  It's important to me whether this is a true statement or not, but I think it is the universal mantra of those who have betrayed trust in such a manner, whether it happens to be truthful or not.

 

The next morning as I dug deeper, I found another guy.  This one apparently had been friends for more than a year.  It was distinctly less steamy than the first, but it was still laden with bad stuff: concerns about getting caught (this guy was married, too), copious "I love yous," and an emotionally poignant squabble.

 

Since that time, there has been wailing and gnashing of teeth.  My wife has gone on a mission to try to win me back.  When there's not wailing and gnashing of teeth, I kind of have the old wife back now that I had when we got married, with humor, and the kind of friendship extended that I haven't seen to this extent in awhile.

 

Introducing more background: after three or four years of marriage, the initial closeness gradually degraded over the course of maybe ten years.  It reached its low point about two or maybe three years ago.  By that time, my wife had become an insufferable bitch.  It was so bad we started talking about divorce.  We made efforts to change things, and they did.  They recovered dramatically, but not completely.  Everything was quite tolerable.  But I never really felt like I had a good answer as to why she had been so constantly moody and bitchy.  I think the official answer was menopause, and it was like a five or ten year, really bad period (ironically enough, my wife was never bitchy at all during her periods).  But I was never really satisfied with that.  It was too much for too long.  I really had to think in terms of here being nothing more than a chemical reaction that had gone really bad for a really long period of time.  So for the past five or so years, I've been partially, but only partially checked out of the marriage.  Nevertheless, I really haven't changed very much as the marriage declined or recovered.  The change really came from her.

 

I'm guessing that there have been more than two gentlemen Internet "friends" and that this has primarily been within the past couple of years, and I am reframing some past events no longer filtered with an axiomatic sense of trust.  A couple of years back she'd befriended this woman she met from playing "hanging with friends."  They became pretty close.  They even snail-mailed stuff, and my wife was invested in the friendship.  It abruptly ended when she accused my wife of having inappropriate communication with her husband.  There are plenty of insecure, insanely jealous sorts out there, so with a presumption of trust it would not seem surprising to randomly run across just such a friend, but without a presumption of trust, it seems a more likely explanation that the friend had good cause, doesn't it?  Ironically, at the time, my wife was saying things like, "Really?  He was in his seventies."  She never gave any indication to me of being one to go after men 20 years older than her, and with the guy I caught her with, she at first said he was 80.  From my Internet research I found he was old, but not that old: he was 73.  She said she thought he'd told her he was somewhere in his late somewhere in his late 70's.  Of course no Internet Casanova who was 73 would represent himself as being five years older than he actually was.  And that's troubling.  When this broke, there was a pattern of trying to make things seem less bad than they actually were until I probed enough to case more light.  But I don't know how troubling that is really.  I suppose that most people would do that under the same circumstances.

 

The last of the supplementary factors: she does not work.  She has Crohn's disease, and although I don't think Crohn's counts as a disability for employment purposes, she legitimately spends A LOT of time in the bathroom, enough so that I'd think it would be irritating to an employer.  She has flare ups that would interfere with a job.  Unfortunately, she also hasn't done as much at home as I think would be a reasonable contribution.  When we moved earlier this month, she seems to have somehow hurt her back REALLY bad.  I did the whole move, for the entire family single-handedly.  Then I cleaned years worth of dirt from the old house single-handedly.  There was enough so that I realized that my sneezing suddenly got 90% better.  With the timing and peculiar severity of the back injury, I'm convinced that it was psychogenic.  Yes, I know that it's as real as if it wasn't psychogenic, but good GAWD!!!  I work my ass off, and it's stressful being the single point of failure to keep four people fed, housed, clothed, cared for, and medically insured, especially when losing insurance would be absolutely catastrophic for one of them.

 

I'm a white collar American corporate professional, which basically means that even though I am by no means a workaholic, my employer saps a good 55 hours of my time every week, especially if I include overhead such as commute time and the magical, mythical "lunch."  Then I come home and try to pay bills and do "men's chores" and do whatever overhead to keep the house together that she doesn't do, and try to spend time with the kids and be a good father.  And she watches TV.  I am overwhelmed.  I want the weight of the world off of my shoulders.

 

You see, she has pragmatic benefits from this marriage unrelated to whatever her feelings are for me.  I wish that she didn't.

 

Bottom line: If she's just using me, I want out.  If she really loves me, and she's having issues and problems and insecurities, then I still want to stay and help her.  Since the wee hours of Monday morning, she's been fighting tooth and nail to keep me.  And she's been doing all the right things, as much as she can under the circumstances.  I see arguments that she really loves me and is having issues.  One of our serious talks was a soul-bearing talk about her demons unless she's a total farce and everything is bullshit (both soul and demons are figurative).  I think it's plausible that she is true.  But that's also what I happen to really want to be the case.  I want it for our kids.  I want it for us.  I need to follow the truth wherever it may lead.  I've become extraordinarily jaded and cynical over the years.  People treat each other like shit.  It's been less than a week since I've dropped my presumptions that my wife is really on my side, and now a lot of what I see looks really bad.  But there's human nature and psyche and the whole world is so full of shades of gray and maybe I'm TOO jaded and cynical, and maybe I'm creating a false dichotomy that she's either with me or playing me and it's a lot more complicated than that, and damn it, I'm just too close to it all and by my biases, and wants and desires and personal world lenses to know.

 

There's more that I can say, both good and bad, but I've hit upon the essence, and this post is already long enough, but I must add that I've never badmouthed my wife to another person ever before, even once, and I hope never to again.  I don't think it's a good thing to do to your spouse.  I also worry about not having painted a fair picture because of the spotlight I have put on these awful things.  There are also wonderful things I could say about my wife.  If I've warped the picture beyond being meaningful by not saying those things, perhaps I should in later posts.  I could also develop my case against her being nothing more than an exploitive, betraying shit more, and maybe I should, possibly in later posts, but I figure that folks are smart enough to filter out knowing that my hurt perspective after something like this might not be all telling.

 

What is it?  Am I a fool?  Did I make a big mistake 16 years ago?  Or are my wife and I humans, on the same team who just have some tough times to work through?  I am an introvert who further is busy and has little time, so all my interpersonal eggs are in the family basket.  I don't have anyone to bounce this off of.  I would appreciate any insights into how salvageable this can be, or not, as the case may be, and clarity to offer for my personal agonizing mental swirl.

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This is a tough situation Shackled.  From what I've read, you have more than enough justification for getting out if that's what you want.  I'd think at this point it's up to you.  Does the marriage as it stands give you enough reason to want to stick with it?  I don't mean out of a sense of commitment and societal expectations.  I mean, does it give you personally enough fulfillment to make it worth it?  The ball's in your court here.  She's already made her decisions even if she didn't have the wherewithal to make it openly known. 

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I'm in the middle of marriage issues, so I don't think I'm very qualified to give advice right now. I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're going through this and I hope it works out for the best for all involved.

 

The one advice I would give is to listen to your heart and stand up for yourself. I've lived too many years thinking I was doing the "Christian" thing by putting people before myself, and it's left me resentful and disgusted with myself. you have to take care of YOU and your children, she needs to take care of herself.

 

*hugs*

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Take your time to decide whether to stay or go.  There is no particular hurry, the answer will come.

 

I would find it very hard to trust someone after infidelity.  It sounds like she wanted, and expected to be able, to have her cake and eat it too.  

 

If you decide to end it, see a lawyer for advice on child custody and financial matters before telling her of your decision.

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Thanks folks.  To answer some questions:

 

>> Is your wife willing to go with you to marriage counseling?

 

Yes.  And she was the one who volunteered that she was willing to do this.  She's normally not one to take too much stock in marriage counseling.  I asked her how she felt about it, and she was dubious, and felt like it was a little like airing our dirty laundry in front of a stranger, but was unconditionally willing to go along with it if that's what I wanted.  I have been giving this some thought.  Maybe it is a good idea.  Clearly there are some issues to work on and I question whether it can be done with just her and me.

 

>> I imagine you're willing to do whatever seems conducive to preserving your relationship with her.

 

Absolutely, and that's not to say that ending it is not also an option.

 

>> The last thought I have is whether your being ex-Christian is a factor at all.

 

It's really not.  My wife is a nominal Catholic.  I had already deconverted before we met, and she's been OK, and sympathetic from the beginning.

 

Regarding the finances question:

 

We were SITKOMS (Single Income, Two Kids, Oppressive Mortgage).  Having just bought a new house and not sold the old one yet, we're Single Income, Two Kids, Two oppressive mortgages.  And I probably miscalculated a bit on the amount of money needed to be spent to move and prepare the old house, and I'm finding myself in a position of needing to conjure up large sums of money out of thin air.  For the moment, it's about the scariest financial position I've ever been in.

 

>> The one advice I would give is to listen to your heart and stand up for yourself. I've lived too many years thinking I was doing the "Christian" thing by putting people before myself, and it's left me resentful and disgusted with myself. 

 

Yes.  We both seem to have issues about rocking the boat.

 

>> If you decide to end it, see a lawyer for advice on child custody and financial matters before telling her of your decision.

 

That's good advice.  I'd actually be quite shocked and flabbergasted if she tried to make it a nasty divorce.  By everything I think I know about her, she would not do that, but I've already been surprised and flabbergasted, so I suppose I can't rule out it happening again.

 

The kids:

 

don't want to lose the kids.  I don't even want to lose a significant portion of the relationship I enjoy with them now.  Nor do I want them to lose their mother.  My daughter is especially sensitive to the signals she is perceiving.  I don't want to traumatize them.  Pragmatically, if we split, my wife would probably move six or seven hours away, to downtown fundyville, not the outskirts, as I have posted for my location.  I suppose we'd have to somehow juggle the kids between those remote location.  I'd have concerns with the extended support system they'd have there, and the lack of an extended support system they'd have here with me.  I actually think that staying together for the kids is a legitimate option.

 

>> But as you stated there are other pertinent details you didn't share. Perhaps in those other details is the key to your conclusion whether or not you believe her

 

True, although I've mostly laid out the basics.  Perhaps so.  In my past experience, if something seems this bad, it usually is, but for it to really be like it seems, so much of the 16 years of our life together would just have to be a fraud, and that seems hard to believe, too.  People who have generally been really bad news and yanked me around like this, or tried to, in the past, except for my mother, have been short timers.  They haven't invested so much to make a real life together like my wife has.  I was a risky proposition.  16 years ago I was still working out religiously instilled sexuality issues that most women wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.  Through our difficulties, as bad as they are now, and at our low point a few years ago, her underlying commitment to be my wife has always been there, has always been discernible.

 

I do love the woman I'd like to hope she is.

 

Of course,

>> I would find it very hard to trust someone after infidelity.

 

That is so true.

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SNM, I am so sorry you are facing these marital problems (and heartbreak) right now. All i want to say to you is that my husband and I have been through a lot and right now we have a wonderful relationship. Do what you can to see if the marriage can be saved. It's very hard work going through it. I think you will know when and if it can be saved. I am sending you many cyber hugs today. Marriage and relationships can be very complicated. We humans make a lot of mistakes....

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If I'm reading this aright, a big immediate issue is that your wife has yet to give a credible explanation for her behaviour.

 

I'm far from clear how far the "infidelity" has been taken; I'm equally unclear as to why she has acted like this (assuming that her explanation thus far is the nonsense it sounds like)

 

Infidelity can only be remedied (if at all) by faithfulness and honesty; the problem is to know what is honest..

 

Getting to the bottom of that will take time and possibly considerable heartache.  I really don't envy you this one.

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I'm very sorry for your pain, Shackled.

 

Something to note about "serial cheaters." Often, what is at the core of it all is that cheaters are unhappy with something inside of themselves, not necessarily inside of the relationship. But to the person being betrayed, it feels like he/she has done something wrong. I was cheated on in my past relationship. (I've never been married)

 

I analyzed and analyzed it over in my head thinking I did something to cause it. He was a serial cheater, and he never admitted to it but I knew he cheated as others in our social circle knew. I came to the conclusion however eventually, that he was a very insecure unhappy man and that no "relationship" would help him. He and I no longer speak, but I had heard through the vine that he is still cheating.

 

So the moral of the story is, your wife sounds like she is very unhappy and looking for outside male attention to medicate her pain. This is not about you, this is about her. It affects you, but it's not about you.

(this is just my guess)

 

That said, you matter. And you deserve fidelity. Infidelity was her choice. Not an only option.

 

I hope you find peace no matter what you choose.

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Thanks to each one of you.  Deidre, I think you have the most insightful explanation into this behavior.  Still looking to find a way for things to work, for all we've shared, for compassion, for all I feel for her, for the kids, for kindness, for all those golden rules, for what I believe she feels for me.  We both had baggage, issues, stuff to work through for ourselves.  In past times, she has been supportive of me and I have been supportive of her.  I hope that she can resolve her issues, and I hope that I we can find a way for me to be able to legitimately start to regain some trust.

 

The mix of feelings, even my dreams, and what I'm seeing from her... It's intense.

 

I'm slowly adjusting, wife has returned to being like the woman I married, and there is a LOT of work before we heal, or find that it won't work.

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I truly hope you can work things out. But by the sound of your story, who knows how long or how far the cheating would have gone on if you hadn't found what you did. Since she's unable to work, she would be terrified of you leaving, naturally. It all sounds very manipulative to me. She screwed up, knows where her bread and butter comes from, and is now back to her old loving, caring self that she was years ago. Hmm. Doesn't sound very genuine to me. But of course that's only from reading this very small snippet of your life so forgive me if I have the wrong impression. Either way I hope you find happiness. Divorce can be a lot of work but may bring a more fulfilling life in the long run.

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From what you wrote, it sounds like the marriage has been deteriorating for some time. It sounds like at least a part of you has wanted out for some time. There is no excuse for your wife's emotional affairs (let's hope that's all it was), but I think it's fair to say that these affairs were not born in a vacuum. 

 

The question you can only answer for yourself now is whether or not you want to try to salvage the relationship. Note that I said "relationship," not "marriage." Because anyone can stay married for the sake of the kids. That does not equal a real relationship (and it's not doing the kids any favors either). 

 

You only get one shot at life, so make this decision count. You can try to start over with your wife and really work on building an intimate relationship with the person you have spent the last 16 years with, or you can cut your losses and start over with yourself, hopefully taking this experience with you into a future relationship. Both have pros and cons, only you know what you can live with.

 

I think that marital therapy would help to get some perspective on what you really want here.

 

Good luck.

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If I do marriage counselling, which I am leaning towards, I could go by myself, at least at first, or go with my wife.

 

One one hand, I agree with Human, that this is something to do together without emphasis on who's right or wrong, regardless of the fact that she was the one who cheated on me. We don't work through stuff by basing anyone.

 

On the other hands, I also think that Darkillusion's counsel is sage: "She screwed up, knows where her bread and butter comes from, and is now back to her old loving, caring self that she was years ago. Hmm. Doesn't sound very genuine to me."

 

I would also see benefit to working with a marriage counselor alone at first to address these questions of trustworthiness.

 

Thoughts?

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From DrNo: "anyone can stay married for the sake of the kids...(and it's not doing the kids any favors either)."

 

This seems to reflect conventional wisdom, but I'm not convinced that it is true. I am also open to argument and to the idea that it IS true.

 

I think it's generally recognized that divorce is hell on children. There is no violence in our house. There are no regular, extended yelling matches. What evidence is there that it is worse for the kids to stay together for their sake (or better, for that matter)?

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There's much to be said for exposing children to a passionate, supportive parental relationship vs. a cold, deceptive one.  It sets the tone for the entire household and will influence their future relationships.  Still, I would be very slow and cautious if considering a decision to leave.  I think counseling is a good idea.

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I'm very sorry for your pain, Shackled.

 

Something to note about "serial cheaters." Often, what is at the core of it all is that cheaters are unhappy with something inside of themselves, not necessarily inside of the relationship. But to the person being betrayed, it feels like he/she has done something wrong. I was cheated on in my past relationship. (I've never been married)

 

I analyzed and analyzed it over in my head thinking I did something to cause it. He was a serial cheater, and he never admitted to it but I knew he cheated as others in our social circle knew. I came to the conclusion however eventually, that he was a very insecure unhappy man and that no "relationship" would help him. He and I no longer speak, but I had heard through the vine that he is still cheating.

 

So the moral of the story is, your wife sounds like she is very unhappy and looking for outside male attention to medicate her pain. This is not about you, this is about her. It affects you, but it's not about you.

(this is just my guess)

 

That said, you matter. And you deserve fidelity. Infidelity was her choice. Not an only option.

 

I hope you find peace no matter what you choose.

 

^This.  +27

 

I have never been married, but I was in a 4.5 year relationship with a serial cheater and Deidre hit it on the head.  In my experience, nothing your wife tells you can be trusted, because she doesn't want to lose the safe, comfortable existence she has with you.

 

I was a fool and young (19-20) and kept trying to work things out with my gf and kept believing it was me who was not giving her enough attention.  When things finally ended I discovered there had also been an ongoing affair with my best friends roommate going on right under my nose for at least 2 years.  I had loaned her my backpack for a day and I found a letter she left in it about a week later.  The rest snowballed from there.

 

I'm extremely lucky I never caught an STD from her, and I am sorry to say I still have trust issues with the women I date.  I too am not a jealous person, and I don't go snooping through other peoples emails or texts, but more than once I have abruptly ended an otherwise good relationship when I felt she was not being truthful to me.  I hate to judge a woman based on the actions of a different person, but there are certain signs that can only be explained one way, and what you wrote in the OP is pretty clear sign to me.  In fact it is exactly what my serial cheater left for me to discover, except this was before email and texts...

 

Trust is so hard to get back once you break it...

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Thanks to each one of you.  Deidre, I think you have the most insightful explanation into this behavior.  Still looking to find a way for things to work, for all we've shared, for compassion, for all I feel for her, for the kids, for kindness, for all those golden rules, for what I believe she feels for me.  We both had baggage, issues, stuff to work through for ourselves.  In past times, she has been supportive of me and I have been supportive of her.  I hope that she can resolve her issues, and I hope that I we can find a way for me to be able to legitimately start to regain some trust.

 

The mix of feelings, even my dreams, and what I'm seeing from her... It's intense.

 

I'm slowly adjusting, wife has returned to being like the woman I married, and there is a LOT of work before we heal, or find that it won't work.

Glad you found it helpful. smile.png

 

From all I read here, YOU are an example of love. I can sense you really love your wife.

 

I just hope after all this, that she returns it back to you. You seem like a very kind man...just be careful. Sometimes, when people are 'caught' betraying their loved ones, they turn on damage control. It may appear she's returned to how she once was when you first married, but...people don't change that quickly. You can't just flip a switch.

 

Just be careful. If your marriage is to succeed, this will take a while. If it's meant to be, you'll both make it. I wish you the best!

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SNM: So sorry to hear this. As a divorced woman I don't know if I could offer much helpful advice.  Personally, I have been kicked to the curb so many times I don't know where the top of it is anymore. That's why I cannot do another relationship.  I have known you a long time here though, so I wish  you the best. 

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If I do marriage counselling, which I am leaning towards, I could go by myself, at least at first, or go with my wife.

 

One one hand, I agree with Human, that this is something to do together without emphasis on who's right or wrong, regardless of the fact that she was the one who cheated on me. We don't work through stuff by basing anyone.

 

On the other hands, I also think that Darkillusion's counsel is sage: "She screwed up, knows where her bread and butter comes from, and is now back to her old loving, caring self that she was years ago. Hmm. Doesn't sound very genuine to me."

 

I would also see benefit to working with a marriage counselor alone at first to address these questions of trustworthiness.

 

Thoughts?

I've had relationship counselling before and it's certainly possible to have 1-2 sessions each alone with the counsellor and then have some joint sessions.  This can be a good way for you to be heard, and to express whats going on for you, before tackling things together.

 

I think if the relationship is to continue, your wife needs to be given the clear message that there will be no second chances.  That is something that can be done in the joint counselling.

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From DrNo: "anyone can stay married for the sake of the kids...(and it's not doing the kids any favors either)."

 

This seems to reflect conventional wisdom, but I'm not convinced that it is true. I am also open to argument and to the idea that it IS true.

 

I think it's generally recognized that divorce is hell on children. There is no violence in our house. There are no regular, extended yelling matches. What evidence is there that it is worse for the kids to stay together for their sake (or better, for that matter)?

 

Shack, you're very much correct. I phrased that pretty poorly, and I'm glad you questioned it. I was speaking in pretty broad brush strokes and revealing my bias. The research actually shows that some kids fare pretty well after divorce, and other kids don't. Two of the main mediating factors here are the level of conflict between the parents and whether or not the divorce comes as a surprise to the child. For children who experience constant fighting at home, divorce can be a very welcome escape. For those who never had a clue that their parents were unhappy, it can be a huge blow. From the sounds of it, your kids would probably fall in the latter category.

 

That said, research also shows that kids can be pretty resilient, and while effects may be rough in the short term, long term effects tend to depend on how the parents get along after the divorce. In other words, if there is communication and cooperation between parents, kids my have a rough time at first but ultimately be OK. If the fighting continues after the divorce, or if there is little to no contact between parents, that can have a detrimental effect.

 

Whatever you decide to do, think about the message that the kids will be getting, because your example is a big lesson for them here. Do you want them to learn that it's OK to sacrifice your happiness in the one life we get to try to make someone else happy? Do you want them to see you making an all-out effort to genuinely restore the relationship and be happy in it? These are tough questions, but I guess what I meant was that you should not assume you are doing the kids any favors if you stay together while you continue to be miserable and unable to trust your wife.

 

Count the costs. Make the best decision for you that you can live with. 

 

For the record, I do think it would be a good idea to talk to a therapist one-on-one before starting couples therapy. But you should clarify this intention with the therapist over the phone before you see them. Some therapists will only see the couple and won't see partners individually. You may decide you need to work with a different therapist than the couples' therapist.

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I think we (as a society) spend entirely too much time worrying about "the children." Children are more resilient than we give them credit for. I know I would be devastated if I learned as an adult that my parents stayed together and pretended to be happy just because they didn't want to cause me any supposed emotional trauma. That they gave up their best years not pursuing who and/or what they truly wanted because they were tied down raising me.

 

You can divorce and still be great parents. Can a divorce cause emotional damage when the mother has the kids all the time and has to work two jobs to make ends meet because the dad is off galavanting with multiple women and refuses to pay child support or spend any time with the kids? YES! Can divorce cause emotional damage when the mother or father use it as a way to escape from their parental responsibilities and distance themselves as much as possible from their children? YES! Or at the very least, cause resentment.

 

But I think there is this myth that getting a divorce makes you a bad parent. Our culture likes to talk about examples such as the above but leaves out any good experiences. Is divorce bad when both parents care deeply for their children, never use them as tools against the former spouse, both make the children a priority and make an effort to spend time with them, and both work together to show the children love and support when they are in each respective household? The child will then grow up in two loving households, and will later know that their parents made the right choice and won't have to deal with the guilt of having held their parents back from what they truly wanted.

 

Just thought I'd throw in another viewpoint. I don't think you often hear someone saying, "man, I sure wish my parents would have just stayed together for my sake and waited to divorce when I left the house at 18 instead." No, most complaints and damage and resentment come from the bad behavior parents display after the divorce. Just something to think about.

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You seem to be bothered by the fact that she doesn't do much aside from watch TV. That's a huge red flag in a relationship and something you should seriously consider. 

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