Wishing for divorce often

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Anonymous

Anonymous

Even though I'd like to talk to her about it, I'm frankly terrified. Partly of her reaction. (Also thank you Gboard for suggesting "boobies" after I typed "her") partly because of the financial aspect and the impact on the kids.
 
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I'm glad you are being treated for depression, and I hope you continue to do so.

Have you started any other therapy? I understand couples therapy probably won't happen, but suggest individual therapy if you can't do couples therapy.

As much as it pains me to say it, you should talk to a lawyer first before even discussing divorce with her. Specifically a family practice divorce lawyer who understands how the legal system works in your area and how they treat fathers. What you say and do from here on out could make it difficult to have the final results you are after. Do note that your mental health will be called into question during such proceedings, so make absolutely certain your doctor agrees that your current plan of management is effective, that you're taking any prescriptions you're currently supposed to be taking, and work hard to avoid any outbursts or seemingly erratic behavior.

If you aren't following your doctors plan, work with you doctor on a plan you can follow that is effective or find a doctor that meets your needs. You don't want this to become a question during any divorce/custody hearings.
 
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Yes. Consult a lawyer.
If what you say is true, then the situation almost sounds like she is trying to get you to file for divorce rather than doing it herself.
One wonders at the motivation behind this choice, assuming the relationship has not merely become "roommates with kids."

--Patrick
 
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Anonymous

Anonymous

I tried to say something. Again. The result is the same. I find it really hard to describe. She doesn't turn me down. She doesn't get angry. It's sort of like she manages to say nothing and shuffle it off. It's like being stuck in tar. I try to push out, but it pulls me back in.
 
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Anonymous

Anonymous

Still the same. Always gets better for the holidays, but then right back to the same. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if she's not a bit of a psychopath. Like clinically, not layman terms. Everything is in terms of its practicality with her. Zero emotion. She's a great roomie. I still have no idea how I would even broach the topic of some time apart. That could go two ways. Emotionless "whatever you want". Or since it looks bad on her and messes with her practical plans, it could go very badly.
 
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You should see a therapist. They will be equipped to help you understand objectively what her actions mean about her and you and how to deal with them. They’ll also give you solid advice about how to move forward with confidence knowing that your path is reasonable.
 
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Even though I'd like to talk to her about it, I'm frankly terrified. Partly of her reaction. (Also thank you Gboard for suggesting "boobies" after I typed "her") partly because of the financial aspect and the impact on the kids.
Sorry, can I ask about this? Do you think getting a divorce would be hard on the kids, like you and your wife might start fighting or something?

Because..my opinion...don't stay in a bad marriage for the kids (even if it's not what some would consider stereotypically awful) - one of my good friends, his parents are still married and all they do is fight and hate each other, but they don't get divorced because 'the kids', even though the kids are adults now. Wouldn't it be better for them to see each of you in a healthier/happy relationship? Part of why I got divorced is because I see how my parents are; they're actually still in love and I realized I didn't have that.

Anyway, I was just curious. :) I know there's no easy solution and you're in a pickle. I hope some progress can be made for you! And also, I do agree with Stienman that therapy would be beneficial. It should help you center yourself and give you more direction, and they can probably even help you look at things from every perspective, including your wife's.
 
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Sorry, can I ask about this? Do you think getting a divorce would be hard on the kids, like you and your wife might start fighting or something?

Because..my opinion...don't stay in a bad marriage for the kids (even if it's not what some would consider stereotypically awful) - one of my good friends, his parents are still married and all they do is fight and hate each other, but they don't get divorced because 'the kids', even though the kids are adults now. Wouldn't it be better for them to see each of you in a healthier/happy relationship? Part of why I got divorced is because I see how my parents are; they're actually still in love and I realized I didn't have that.

Anyway, I was just curious. :) I know there's no easy solution and you're in a pickle. I hope some progress can be made for you! And also, I do agree with Stienman that therapy would be beneficial. It should help you center yourself and give you more direction, and they can probably even help you look at things from every perspective, including your wife's.

I'll echo this. I grew up with parents that hated each other. They still hate each other. They're still married, but sleep in separate bedrooms. I don't know how much of this affected me growing up, but I do have a pretty dim view of marriage, so that could be why.
 
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Anonymous

Anonymous

I get that. We don't hate each other. That's why I have such issue with this. If I hated her, there would be no question. But I don't. Rather, the situation is that she doesn't seem to care much for me. But she never says so, never acts like anything is wrong, and simply will not discuss it with me. I wish I had a better way to describe it to you all so that you knew what it was like. I'm lonely in my own marriage even though I sleep next to someone every night. She won't touch me, hasn't kissed me unprovoked in nearly 2 decades, barely talks to me. I constantly try to communicate, but there is no reciprocation. We have a friendship, but that seems to be it. And, no, I'm not talking about physical intimacy. I mean emotional. I mean, physical would be nice, too. She hasn't initiated that since before my oldest was born, and they're 14, about to turn 15. And when I initiate, I'm usually turned down. We're at once a month maybe now. Often with greater than a month between. And if it wasn't for overwhelming natural proclivities, I might not engage at all, because it always feels like she's doing that thing where she's filing her nails and waiting for me to finish.
 
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Anonymous

Anonymous

I hate to say it, but it really sounds, from the outside at least, like you've hit an impasse. You sound like you're extremely unfulfilled, if not downright unhappy, but you have a stable situation that you can manage. It's up to you to decide whether you want to upset your (assumption on my part) perceived stability for a chance at happiness.
 
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I get that. We don't hate each other. That's why I have such issue with this. If I hated her, there would be no question. But I don't. Rather, the situation is that she doesn't seem to care much for me. But she never says so, never acts like anything is wrong, and simply will not discuss it with me. I wish I had a better way to describe it to you all so that you knew what it was like. I'm lonely in my own marriage even though I sleep next to someone every night. She won't touch me, hasn't kissed me unprovoked in nearly 2 decades, barely talks to me. I constantly try to communicate, but there is no reciprocation. We have a friendship, but that seems to be it. And, no, I'm not talking about physical intimacy. I mean emotional. I mean, physical would be nice, too. She hasn't initiated that since before my oldest was born, and they're 14, about to turn 15. And when I initiate, I'm usually turned down. We're at once a month maybe now. Often with greater than a month between. And if it wasn't for overwhelming natural proclivities, I might not engage at all, because it always feels like she's doing that thing where she's filing her nails and waiting for me to finish.
Okay yooooo. This echos my marriage in a lot of ways? And I’m sorry, but: Get. Out. Staying because you’re friends isn’t a good enough reason. Not when you could have a better more fulfilling life on your own or with someone else.

Cause hear me out, I still love Nate in a lot of ways and it was really difficult for me to leave but, damn, this is my one life and the only person that could change my situation is myself. Anytime I brought something up with Nate things didn’t change, so I got out, even though he and I actually still really get along well. We weren’t in a marriage though, we were in a friendship, which makes things weird and confusing, especially for those on the outside looking in. So I get it, I do, to some degree. You don’t have to hate her to get divorced. You don’t have to hate her to be in a bad marriage. You really don’t.

I’m in full support of you leaving. I feel bad and mean, I know I’m not in your situation and only you can decide what is best, but nothing is going to change or happen unless you make it happen. Don’t languish in this relationship.

My life has been flipped on its head and is nearly in complete chaos but I can’t tell you how much happier I am now, even now that I’m facing a lot of uncertainty. I really wish I could help and I’m really sorry you feel so stuck, but I get it. I was there for a couple of years, I can barely imagine how you feel after more than a decade of this. :(
 
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Something I took from therapy and will repeat here: you can be okay with a C grade life, but you're not wrong to want an A grade life instead.
 
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Anonymous

Anonymous

I hate to say it, but it really sounds, from the outside at least, like you've hit an impasse. You sound like you're extremely unfulfilled, if not downright unhappy, but you have a stable situation that you can manage. It's up to you to decide whether you want to upset your (assumption on my part) perceived stability for a chance at happiness.
This is the real problem. We have a 20 year marriage, two kids, a nice house, sterling credit. You know, the American Dream. How do you uproot all of that? Is it right to do so just because I'm unhappy in my marriage? On the one hand, I think, maybe this is as good as it gets. On the other, I think I'd rather be broke and hunting for food with someone who cared about me than safe and dry with someone who does not. You only get one life. There's no reset button. But is it right of me to upset hers? She seems to have no complaint. Is it right of me to upset the kids' lives? I go over this stuff in my head all the time.
 
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Well, it bothers you enough to bitch about it to a bunch of random strangers at irregular intervals, so...
 
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More's the pity. We could liberate this poor stupid fuck from his personal hell and be done with it.
 
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It turns out that we can't grant divorces! Who knew??
Does anyone else remember that guy (I can't remember his user name) who was married to a woman who would lock herself in her room if he had friends over, and thought everyone was stabbing her in the back, and he was making eyes at any female?

I think about that guy a lot.

Like, probably a weird amount.
 
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Y'know, getting a divorce isn't actually a guarantee that the quality of life for the rest of your family is going to decrease. Just using my wife's family as an example, the parents are divorced, sure, but they're still friends or at least friendly to each other. Up until a couple years ago they still celebrated almost all major holidays with each other, including some of the greeting card holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day. Are you taking some risk of causing some discomfort? Of course. Divorce is very uncomfortable. Even in my utter sham of a first marriage - when I knew that I'd had no intention of marrying this person in the first place, when I knew she'd been cheating on me at every opportunity, when I knew she was only using me for a stable source of income - having it come apart, not being able to fix it or live with it while we worked things out, it sucked. There's a lot of work, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of communicating with all sorts of companies, government entities, the courts, you name it. It takes a lot of dismantling to revert a government recognized "couple" back to two governmentally recognized individuals - and you're opening yourself, your wife, and your kids to the judgment of everyone you interact with along the way; or at least that's how it feels. The reality of it (anecdotally) is a lot more mundane. I seriously doubt that, aside from our families and close friends, anyone that my ex and I interacted with during the process of our divorce, thought anything of it other than how it pertained to their job in that moment, if then.

The mere fact that you're willing to ask these questions:
But is it right of me to upset hers? She seems to have no complaint. Is it right of me to upset the kids' lives?
Tells me you care about your family. You're not going to stop caring for the person who isn't going to be your wife anymore, or your kids, or even (probably) most of her extended family. Because you're still going to be a family, just one that the government no longer recognizes as a single entity, and one that lives in separate houses. It took a long (and I mean LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG) time for me to understand why my MIL and FIL still hung out and went to all the same holiday things - it's simple, they're still a family. They still even support each other financially from time to time (usually it involves my FIL loaning my BIL some money, with which he pays for something for my MIL, or my MIL loans the money back to my BIL, who uses it to repay his father).
 
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This is the real problem. We have a 20 year marriage, two kids, a nice house, sterling credit. You know, the American Dream. How do you uproot all of that? Is it right to do so just because I'm unhappy in my marriage? On the one hand, I think, maybe this is as good as it gets. On the other, I think I'd rather be broke and hunting for food with someone who cared about me than safe and dry with someone who does not. You only get one life. There's no reset button. But is it right of me to upset hers? She seems to have no complaint. Is it right of me to upset the kids' lives? I go over this stuff in my head all the time.
So on the one hand I'd sacrifice everything and anything for my wife and children.

On the other hand you aren't constrained by my beliefs about children and family.

So speaking from a worldly perspective, "But is it right of me to upset her [life]?... Is it right of me to upset the kids' lives?" is self-sacrifice to a damaging degree.

It tells me your depression really isn't resolved - martyrdom is not a positive, healthy trait. What does your therapist say about these thoughts and feelings? Are they, objectively speaking, reasonable, or do they proceed from a faulty brain chemistry?

Does your therapist agree with you that your wife doesn't care for/about you, or is it possible that this, too, is still being filtered through either the mental illness itself, or the side effects of the medication?

You can ask yourself or us these questions until the end of time, but I think your therapist is probably the best person to get an objective assessment from. We don't have enough information and you are compromised.

Even though you're better, it's possible that through some additional manipulation of your medication you have additional headroom to improve your happiness.

That said, as others have doubtless pointed out, your wife and children need you to do what's right for you, just as much as what's right for them. If things are objectively as bad as you state - and they may well be, I hope you understand I'm not trying to undermine your experience, just point you toward a solid foundation on which to base your claims - but if things are that bad, then you must set an example for them on how to resolve the issue without destroying things. Some fathers/husbands leave and do a lot of damage in doing so. Some never leave and everyone else learns that life is meant to be a joyless sacrifice.

Handled well, though, such a break will provide an opportunity for everyone to learn how to adapt and change to the improvement of everyone's life. Not to say it has no downsides, every break involves heartache (lifelong) and pain, but put on the balance it may be worth it given the increase in total happiness and opportunities for joy.

Also, I'm lazy and haven't read through the thread recently, sorry if this has already been asked and answered: is it possible that your wife also suffers from depression? There may be reasons she can't/doesn't show the affection and love you need that aren't by choice.
 
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Does anyone else remember that guy (I can't remember his user name) who was married to a woman who would lock herself in her room if he had friends over, and thought everyone was stabbing her in the back, and he was making eyes at any female?

I think about that guy a lot.

Like, probably a weird amount.
I think that poor boy was Shawnacy. I felt bad for that dude too. It was odd that he had this steam-punk wedding and seemed stoked, and then soon was posting all that sad stuff, and then soon dropped off the boards. Sounded like he was on a tough road. I think about him too from time to time.
 
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Oh yeah, Shawnacy. I felt like he dropped off the boards because people were pretty blunt about his relationship, which I don't think he expected. I hope he's doing okay.
 
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Does your therapist agree with you that your wife doesn't care for/about you, or is it possible that this, too...
Actually, it is not his or her place to make that kind of statement. Acknowledge the feelings OP has regarding her not caring? Yes. Ask OP how he wants to proceed and maybe reframe the situation for OP to come to his own conclusion? Yes. Come right out and agree with OP that she doesn't care? I'm pretty sure that would be unethical.
 
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I think that poor boy was Shawnacy. I felt bad for that dude too. It was odd that he had this steam-punk wedding and seemed stoked, and then soon was posting all that sad stuff, and then soon dropped off the boards. Sounded like he was on a tough road. I think about him too from time to time.
He also dressed as the Punisher for Halloween.


Just saying...
 

fade

Staff member
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Well, no reason to hide behind Anonymous anymore. Just an update on what has happened here.

I did start seeing a therapist, and I don't really feel like it's done much. She agreed with me. The state of the marriage is the cause of my depression. Didn't need a therapist to tell me that. It's like going to a doctor with a knife stuck in your arm and having the doctor say, "Ah, I see your problem. You've been stabbed with a knife." She offered some exercises, but truth be told, I've tried a lot of it before. She acknowledged that, and encouraged trying again. For instance, she suggested going on dates with my wife. I have attempted to schedule a date many times since then, and every time, my wife has had a reason she cannot go.

One of my big problems with therapy is that there seems to be a general pattern to the way people process depression, and I'm not following that pattern. People seem to withdraw, stop exercising, stop doing things that interest them. I'm processing it in much the opposite way. I buckle down, and do more. I exercise till my legs fall off to self-medicate (like that dude in The Stand who ran until he gave out). So the advice like "exercise" and "force yourself to do things" doesn't do much for me.

Here's something else that happened. I have a really good relationship with my mother-in-law. I figured I'd try talking to her about the situation. That actually went very differently than I expected. I expected her to offer platitudes or come to her daughter's defense. Instead, she said, "Yes, I've noticed. She has always been like that. It's her." She ended by telling me I had to "do what I needed to do to help myself".

I've also tried again to talk to my wife. As always, she insists nothing's wrong. And I believe her. For her, the marriage is where it needs to be. It's fulfilling the things she wants out of a marriage, so it's good enough. There is no reason for her to work to change things because it's sufficient as is. She is extraordinarily pragmatic, and this is working for her.
 
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If all she cares about is that it is working for her, she sounds psychopathic.
FTFY

While both describe a person with little or no empathy or morals, Sociopathy is usually characterized by impulsive, erratic, “outburst-y” behavior. A psychopath, on the other hand, is usually described as “distant,” calculating, manipulative, and/or self-centered.

And if that’s the case, I don’t know if anything short of an intervention would work, since it sounds like she would just Bartleby her way out of any sort of eval appointment. On the plus side, psycophathy has apparently been found to have some roots in genetics, so maybe that might mean it could be treated? (i.e. address the hardware-based concerns)

—Patrick
 
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fade

Staff member
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Well if we're being technical, they are both non-clinical terms for antisocial personality disorder, and there's no strong or accepted clinical definition for either.
 
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It’s apparently a common enough thing that there’s a website devoted to it, though of course it looks as though when it says “dedicated to those who have lived with psychopathy” they’re not talking to the psychopath, they are talking to the people around him/her.

—Patrick
 
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Are you waiting for her to agree there is a problem before committing to some kind of action? What is keeping you there if you are this unhappy? Sorry if you've answered those previously.

I think part of the problem with your therapist is that you get used to counseling people who don't know why they are depressed, don't know how to cope with their problems in a healthy way, and need a person in their lives that will listen to them. You already know what to do. Your depression, from what you've said here, is situational. It's because you're unhappy/unsatisfied with your marriage. Once that changes, your depression will likely improve. Unless your wife is willing to go to therapy, too, there isn't much that this counselor can do for you alone. The cause of your depression is rooted in your wife turning a blind eye to your needs as a partner, if she even sees you as partners.

In a way, I think you may be looking for someone to give you permission to feel the way you do about your marriage and that a separation/divorce will be ok if you choose that route. Could that be possible?

This is all, of course, only my opinion based on the impressions I'm getting from what you've written here and not a professional diagnosis/determination.
 
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Unless your wife is willing to go to therapy, too, there isn't much that this counselor can do for you alone.
I wonder if the counselor isn’t waiting for him to actually speak the words, “I’m starting to think the problem is actually my wife, and nothing I change about myself is going to fix that” out loud.

—Patrick
 
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Honestly, given that you first posted this three years ago and are still posting it, I don't think there's much of a chance it gets better. It's obviously your call, but at some point you can't keep waiting for her to get on board and just focus on yourself.
 
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