Married 10 years. Still in love. Unhappy. Stressed. Devoid of joy.
Thats how I would describe myself. Clearly the “Still in love” sticks out. But thats my life, one big contradiction. Pushed and pulled in many direction, I am seeking desperately for salvation.
The fact is that my wife has moved on. She recently told me that our marriage is more or less over. That she checked out years ago. And now that she has made up her mind, she has informed me that its finished.
I felt numb. Shattered. In shock.
I could not understand. How did we get here? How did she go so far and never tell me? She did not even want to talk. She did not want to share anymore. She told me that everything that needed to be said, had been said. That she had made up her mind, and that was that.
My initial reaction was that of repentant reconciliation. I knew we had our issues over the years. Mutual respect was always a very big issue. Differences in philosophy of life and money was another huge issue.
She had expressed many times during the relationship that she felt stifled by my constant supervision. She felt eroded, the life forced out of her. Her confidence and self-esteem destroyed.
She saw me as the aggressor. The man who was supposed to give her everything, but crushed her instead.
I saw myself as a stressed out benefactor. I saw myself as always putting the needs of my wife first. Forever sacrificing my needs for hers, and in return, I demanded control. Control of what she spent and how she spent it.
Years of iron handed control has eroded everything of love and value for my marriage. And now I am desperately trying to pick up the pieces. I am grasping to understand what happened, and what is going to happen. I am in a tail spin trying to understand why my set of values did not work for us.
So far from what I understand, our marriage lacked a few things:
- Mutual respect. Being a SAHM, my wife’s contribution were never appreciated as an equal part of the marriage.
- Spontaneity. I always let the concerns of tomorrow cloud the way we lived and enjoyed life. I was scared all the time, unable to let go and just enjoy the moment.
- Persistence. In the most negative way, when I did not get what I wanted, I pursued her in a nagging and increasingly stronger and negative way. In the end, she always gave in, but kept her scars.
So, after years of tolerating her life with me, my wife started to pull away. I created an ever spiraling cloud of fear and uncertainty. I was negative about everything. Paranoid and scared. Thats no way to live. I told myself all these years that I was being diligent and disciplined. But the fact is that I have never associated discipline with anything but abject misery. I have never focused on just enjoying the process of doing something.
I told myself that it was ok to be miserable and unhappy for the sake of financial security. That living in the moment was for the weak and un-disciplined. Now I look back, and in the wake of my attempts to create wealth, all I see is the rubble of my marriage falling apart.
I am a deeply remorseful man. I have never wanted anything more that to have a happy family life. And now I will need to fight for it. And I can hope that there is something left to rebuild.