ForumRelationships and Stuff ► My Failing Marriage
Intro:
What's eating at me is my thoughts on relationships in general. I don't believe in "true love" and I try not to have unrealistic standards for romance. I'm married and I've put a lot of commitment, effort and sacrifice into our marriage over the past 6, going on 7 years. My wife is about to have a second child but it appears as though our relationship is weaker now. The only thing left really keeping us together is to parent our children.

The Current Issue:
My problem is that I'd be more than willing to break up and just let it all go were it not for the children. I know I'll miss them and I know I am a good parent to them. I'll still be in the military moving around for a few more years. If we separate, then I won't see my kids and I will not be there for them. I don't know if I should just stay in this relationship which has simply become duty and long list of constantly evolving needs from my wife to tack onto what I'm already trying to accomplish, or stay for my kids. I've read up on serial monogamy. This seems like it'd suit me much better, just for practical reasons, but it doesn't seem like the way to raise a family and that's something I already started at a young age. I don't know whether it's better just to stick with one person.

Recent Thoughts on Relationships:
Maybe love is just a biological trap which keeps the cycle of life going by fooling us with strong emotions. Afterward all that's left is simply to clamor for needs from each other. I feel like those who have stuck with one person and raised a family, like my grandparents who raised me, my aunt and uncle, and others I know, have not had such a great life. They spent all their time providing for each other and needing things from each other to the point that the relationship seemed more like a needy mess. Even still, they seemed like they couldn't imagine anything else. Religion, their parents, duty and society all provided reasons for them to stay together and they seemed to endorse it wholeheartedly. I feel a bit selfish, weak and shallow for not having the same feelings about it.

Value Comparison Between Me and My Wife:
I told my wife if I was dying of cancer and hope for recovery was slim, or it looked as though she'd have to spend years taking care of me as I wasted away, that I'd rather she just let me go. I wouldn't want her to waste her life on a dead man. I would likely rather put a bullet in my head than go through that pain and drag my family through it with me. I told her this when she asked if I would stay by her if she was slowly dying of cancer. I said, I wouldn't want to, but I might just have to accept that as my life since we are committed to each other. I'd feel duty bound to stay. She hated this answer. She said she'd stick with me to the end because she loved me and try to help me recover and that she'd want me to feel the same about her.

Her Mother and Inspiration:
Her mother is not a bright person, she grew up in a large family. Her mother provided for them all to the point that it costed her own health. Her mother lost most of her teeth because she couldn't afford dental care while providing it for her children. Her mother stood by her diabetic husband as he slowly wasted away without a job or a way to provide for the family. As noble a sacrifice as this is to me, it's not the sort of values I share. Her mother was often snubbed and had people take things from her. A lot of her children don't care about her except for my wife. They won't take care of her even after she sacrificed so much for them and would do it again. She tried to take care of her youngest son who had autism and schitzophrenia, even though she really wasn't capable of providing him the care he needed, because he could end up in a foster home. He did end up there eventually, but only because she couldn't risk him hurting her other children or her since he began to make threats with kitchen knives and hurt himself and others. He had bad parents in foster care and is about my age now living with her again, only now he's better adjusted and on better medication. I think this is almost insane. I wouldn't do that. I would try to be more practical. I wouldn't have had more children than I could care for while taking care of myself. I wouldn't have stuck with a dying spouse to the point that it became an impossible burden to overcome. I wouldn't have tried to take care of my child if autism made it too much for me to handle without such grave risks in the first place.

The Result of Her Mother's Family Values:
My wife's family is very religious, her mother is Latter Day Saint. They are all obese and lazy. They are all impoverished and fairly uneducated with the exception of my wife who strived not to be as ignorant or so unfit. She's been obese over the past few years with all the stress and finances put into getting her pregnant again.. I'm not attracted to her anymore. I hated to see her try so hard for something like this when it was so impractical for us to do IVF and go into deep debt to expand our family. I want to be go into medical science, likely to become a medical researcher, but I likely won't be able to do much else except provide for my family if we stay together. Again, I feel selfish and weak for not wanting to do what her mother did for my wife and for not feeling attachment affection after what I've already sacrificed. My "dream" was never oriented so entirely around family. I had terrible experiences and relationships with my family and I hoped to find something new and different with my wife.

Help:
I can elaborate and tell more of my story if necessary by editing this post later if requested. There are a lot of other things that culminated in the potential dissolution of my marriage and reasons we ended up together in the first place. Any thoughts, feedback or similar experiences to share with me would be appreciated.
  
Sounds like you don't love her anymore and she's gotten fat and unattractive from all I can see. I know you put a lot of other shit in there but your un-attraction to your wife stuck out more than anything. You feel stuck, right? Tell her. Talk to a therapist. Find a marriage counselor and see if you can fix it. If you can't, leave. IDK what else you expect from us. None of us that I know of are pros at this. I don't even think more than a handful are married.
  
I didn't expect pros, I was just wondering if anyone here had a similar experience or knew someone who did.

I've stuck by my wife through her weight gain just fine. Before she got slightly obese, she was already overweight after the first year of marriage and her first pregnancy. I wasn't pleased about it, but it wasn't too much for me to deal with. The thing that really started to hurt us was the expenses of the fertility treatments. Her number 1 and only dream was to have a family with 6 kids. I didn't want that, and I talked her down to 3 and we try to have the last one naturally as she adopts a healthier lifestyle. Overall it's cost us about 35,000$ total and families are expensive even without trying IVF and IUIs. She has PCOS and Hypothyroid, so weight gain is understandable. She was very into fitness after the Navy when I met, her and I know now that after she recovers she's determined to get into shape again, but we are just very different people.

She's become more of a stay at home mom type since I joined the Air Force. She is needy and less capable of taking care of herself and our daughter. She has difficulties hearing any criticism or anything slightly negative without blowing up. And I'm not referring to her behavior while pregnant, on medication or her period; this is how she is almost all the time now and she's been telling me she doesn't like who I am anymore recently. She told me she's likely going to leave anyway. I think I could convince her otherwise, but it'd likely require I lie. I don't want to do that, but I don't want to hurt her either. I also have my daughters to think about.
  
Y'all should seek a marriage counselor for x amount of time and perhaps start working grounds for divorce. Sounds like you both are unhappy.
  
You need to bite the bullet and tell your wife that you aren't happy and should seek counseling for you or as a couple now before the nuclear option is the only option.
  
I agree that marriage counseling is a good bet.

However, it sounds like you have a lot of work to do, and you are going to have to change a lot about both your attitude and your actions if you want to be a participant in a healthy relationship.

Simply dating someone else is unlikely to turn out much better unless you address your own stuff, too.
  
Though, as much as we talk about divorce as "breaking up a happy family" you're breaking up an unhappy one. If you can't work these problems out, your kids are probably better off not aspiring to a loveless marriage where one parent blows up and the other is emotionally distant.
  
"They spent all their time providing for each other and needing things from each other to the point that the relationship seemed more like a needy mess."

Others have already commented on the other bits that stuck out to me, but I'm going to narrow in on this part. A large part of a healthy relationship IS supporting each other. No, it shouldn't be to an extent that you lose your individuality, but particularly once you're older and not as physically capable, your partner and you will need to share the load with each other. Even when younger, you should feel comfortable going to your partner for emotional or physical support when it is needed.

Now, I obviously don't know the ins-and-outs of this relationship (and there may well be some VERY unhealthy things going on here!), but I feel like an attitude involving wanting mutual support between you and your partner is a good thing that you may want to reconsider your views on. Possibly you have gotten the idea of supporting each other wrapped up in other unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
  
We're going to find some marriage counseling. I have told her how I feel about all this and it upset her deeply. She still has strong feelings for me. Today she told me she's interested in trying to see if we can make things work out. She also wants to go home to California with her family for a few months after our next daughter is born and she's fully recovered. That'd be great for me because I can catch up on the housework in peace and get some of my life back in order.

In the past I have "emotionally cheated" on her and nearly physically a couple years ago. I told her about everything that happened because I realized that I had lost touch with her almost completely. Now, I wouldn't dream of trying anything like that now because I feel like my problems may just follow me and there are far too many complications having a family now. My family was fairly emotionally distant as Grey put it, and so I suppose I've returned to that sort of state since things began to become more focused on my responsibilities to my wife rather than my relationship with her. We don't click on almost any level anymore and we don't share any of the same interests anymore.

We talked about separating and she's wants to peacefully call it all off depending on how she feels after a few months away and some marriage counseling. She's not lashing out emotionally anymore and she's keeping to herself while she considers all this. I've had a hard time offering emotional support as I've dropped the exhausting amount of energy I've been putting into it. Although, I do care about how she feels; it's just the support I offer her now is not the affection she craves, because that would be pretense. Thanks for the responses, if you know of a similar situation, let me know how things turned out.
  
Where children are involved I think counseling is a requirement when you're not violent or fighting. At least trying one more time can't hurt, but if it really doesn't happen, divorce is better than resentment.
  
Just thought I'd throw in an update to this while I happened to have some extra time off. Me and my wife have decided to get back together. We talked through all our problems on the phone and have also decided to seek counseling to ensure they don't creep up again. Ultimately between the kids and work we didn't prioritize time together. Instead what happened was one parent was either working, watching the kids or taking what little time we had separate from each other with friends or alone. I lived the single life for just 5 months and it was miserable. It was actually my wife who called me while I was just getting used to this new sort of misery hoping to try again.
  
This isn't going to be helpful, it's not going to be nice. You seem like a piece of shit and I wish that your wife would have stayed away from you because she deserves so much better than somebody who is unfaithful, shallow and conceited.

I'm sorry that I couldn't add an impartial constructive thought to help you. The only thing I could think as I read everything that you posted was that how you view your wife and how you treat your wife disgust me so much that I felt the need to let you know that you disgust me. This says a lot about who you are as a person.
  
Man, I don't agree with that. He doesn't sound like a piece of shit at all, just someone deeply frustrated and unhappy about a wife who wanted different things, blows up when she's criticised and needed expensive treatment. It's not wrong to get upset and distant, especially when you're at breaking point and have a kid you'll likely barely see (man in the airforce) if you walk away. Not to be crass, but a man can't walk out of a relationship with kids unless he's unhappy enough for the total crapshoot that is family court and the very terrifying prospect of basically zero custody.

Since the last update was 50 days ago, how is everything going?
  
Thanks Grey, things are going well. She and the kids are scheduled to arrive on the 21st. We’ve got flights and reservations all set. My wife and kids are anxious to see me before the holidays and I’ve been busy adjusting to Alaska.
  
How old are your kids now?
  
My oldest is 5. She still loves Disney’s Frozen so she’s very excited to see snow since she’s only lived in California and Hawaii. We FaceTime on the weekends. My youngest isn’t yet 1 but I’ve missed out on a lot of her growing.
  
Mine’s 3 and also loves Frozen, she’s also never seen snow.
  
I guess it’s true all little girls love Frozen. Either I forgot or never knew you were a father. That’s pretty cool.
  
Step one: build ice castle for your daughter
Step two: make mine jealous with pics
Step three: I make your jealous by taking hot weather and barbecue photos when it’s cold as balls in Alaska
  
Yeah, it gets down to -40 here but we’ll have plenty of daylight in the summer.
  
Make time together a priority. What keeps you together is not strong and fiery emotions for each other, but a kind, caring, loving relationship. Keep a date night every week and have someone watch the kids. Bring her flowers or chocolates.
I must disagree with advice given earlier in the thread--telling her you don't live her or breaking up a marriage is not going to ensure a happy life for either of you. You have a commitment--keep it. Like I said above, gentle kindnesses and time together go far towards a happy and long marriage. Also, developing a relationship with God, studying the Bible regularly and accepting Jesus' love for you, while trying to immitate it towards your wife, will go far in helping you:)
  
ZOMFG that necromancy though.

I remember when this thread was actually active. I was too.
  
Make time together a priority. What keeps you together is not strong and fiery emotions for each other, but a kind, caring, loving relationship. Keep a date night every week and have someone watch the kids. Bring her flowers or chocolates.
I must disagree with advice given earlier in the thread--telling her you don't live her or breaking up a marriage is not going to ensure a happy life for either of you. You have a commitment--keep it. Like I said above, gentle kindnesses and time together go far towards a happy and long marriage. Also, developing a relationship with God, studying the Bible regularly and accepting Jesus' love for you, while trying to immitate it towards your wife, will go far in helping you:)


Thanks dude, I appreciate it. We've been doing great. We make time for each other and we're at a point where we both realize anger never solves relationship problems.
  
Dang, it actually makes me really happy to hear that you guys are doing well. I hope things continue getting better for you!
  
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