Some semblance of normality?
June 24, 2012 7:08 AM Subscribe
I'm increasingly certain that my marriage is dying, and I need some help negotiating the time between now and my first realtionship counselling appointment. (Apologies for the long post)
posted by anonymous to human relations (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I have been married for 4 years, together for over 15. We love each other dearly, and there has been no infidelity. Although our time together has been mostly happy we have always argued every couple of days.
Recently things have deteriorated. My wife is working 65+ hours a week and is extremely stressed. In her words she "feels nothing about anything." Our arguments are far more frequent and nasty during term time than during breaks. At the same time I'm starting to pursue a new career path, which is eating up a great deal of my time (though I try to ensure that it doesn't overlap with what time I get to spend with my wife).
Our sex life is at best, poor. We haven't had regular sex for at least 5 years, maybe longer, and what sexual contact we do have had is mostly in the form of me bringing her to orgasm manually to "help her get to sleep."
A recent business trip, which took me away for two weeks, threw much of this into sharp relief. I realised that I was far happier being on my own and that though I missed some things about being at home, I didn't miss spending time with my wife much at all.
Realising that this was a very big deal, I made an appointment with a relationship counselling service (I've been trying to get my wife to go for relationship counselling for nearly 10 months, though she refuses because she doesn't want several painful personal issues between us dragged up). My initial appointment is the week after next, and my main aim at this point is to figure out how the hell I actually feel about my marriage and where to go with it from here. I know I love my wife, but I don't know if I love her as anything more than a good friend.
In the meantime, perhaps foolishly, I've been reading "To Good To Leave, To Bad To Stay" which I'd seen recommended a great deal to people in my position. Many of the answers point to me bring happier if I leave (particularly to "have things ever been really good between you, even at their best" (no) and "if you were to split up tomorrow, is there anything you wouldn't have anymore besides a partner?" (no)) but I don't trust myself to make a rational decision at this point. I hope the counselling will help me with this.
My wife is aware of the relationship counselling appointment, and a couple of nights since, it came up in conversation. First of all, she asked whether there was any point in not just giving up now (my wife is a pessimist by nature and this is often her first response to a problem, though she usually perseveres once convinced to do so). Second, she told me that she can't live with the uncertainty of it all, though she appreciates my honesty. She now refuses to kiss me or to undress in front of me.
Whilst I realise that things are not normal, I'd really like to carry on trying to keep them as normal as possible, but I don't know whether that's being grossly unfair (after all, I'm the bastard in all this, I shouldn't be demanding anything really).
Is here anything that I should be doing to help my wife get through this? She's responsive to general sympathy and is in every other respect behaving perfectly normally, but overt displays of affection are met with tearful refusals.
Note that I'm well aware that I'm the guilty party here, but I am willing to try and work at this - we deserve at least that much. I could just do with a little guidance from the hive mind in the space before the counselling starts.
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