Wishing for divorce often

At this point, really the next option is marriage counseling. I know, she says there's nothing wrong. Well, she's wrong. And considering you've been doing all you can to fix your end of it, this is the next step. She needs to be willing to hear you out that you aren't okay with things, and in a clinical setting with a therapist as mediator so it doesn't look like you're just looking for a fight.

And if she refuses to go to marriage counseling, I think you should be willing to say "Then we have a problem" and what follows from there.
 

Cajungal

Staff member
If only one person is fulfilled, and they're not willing to do anything to see that the other person is fulfilled, that's reason enough to move on. You asked if this issue is reason enough to uproot your lives, and I personally believe the answer is yes. It must be hard to think about that when you're not the only people involved; I know you have kids. But I'll tell you, I have a very close friend who is not doing her kids any favors by staying with her husband. They don't love each other, and unlike you and your wife, they don't like each other either. I really do fear that their kids are developing a really warped view of what "building a life together with someone" looks like.

I really hope you make headway in some way soon. This sounds really frustrating. And truly do I get where you're coming from, doubting whether it's worth taking action. There's no way of knowing if there's anything any better out there for you, and that's scary. But is the mere prospect of something actually fulfilling worth the risk to you?
 
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
It's possible. You can't move forward until you get over the hurdle in your path. Sometimes that's you.
 

fade

Staff member
It's easy to say, "get a divorce". It's a lot harder to do it. Especially when you do love the other person. And when your 20th anniversary is next month. I've been with this woman most of my adult life. She used to not be like this.
 
It's easy to say, "get a divorce". It's a lot harder to do it. Especially when you do love the other person. And when your 20th anniversary is next month. I've been with this woman most of my adult life. She used to not be like this.
There's nothing easy about telling one of your friends that they should consider getting a divorce.
 
It's easy to say, "get a divorce". It's a lot harder to do it. Especially when you do love the other person. And when your 20th anniversary is next month. I've been with this woman most of my adult life. She used to not be like this.
I get this. I really really do. And it's difficult and terrifying.

But the bottom line is that you aren't happy. And that will not change. Your wife has shown you that she isn't willing to put in the effort on your behalf. She used to not be like this yes, but she's not that person anymore. This is who she is now. People change, she's changed and you've changed. Just because your relationship wasn't always this way doesn't mean it can go back to what it was. This is the relationship you have now and it's up to you weather you think it's worth sticking out. Were it me, I would dip out. Personally, I would rather be alone than in an unfulfilling relationship, which you may feel differently, but it's an option.

There will never be a good time to divorce someone. Seriously, Nate and I put it off for months because of family weddings and holidays and a million other reasons, until finally I couldn't take it.

Also, I just...it sounds like not much will change in your relationship with a divorce? If she's already treating you like a roommate, a divorce shouldn't be that big of a step. In my situation, barely anything changed in my relationship, which just further proved how broken it was to me. He and I still get a long insanely well, we don't argue, I still have affection for him, but we are not compatible in a relationship. It kinda sounds like you're in the same boat?

I don't know, all I can do is speak from my own experience. I know none of this will be easy and I'm very sorry you're dealing with it all.
 
My best friend is on his second divorce, and honestly, he's happier than he's been in a long time. His first wife was borderline abusive and when he talked about going to marriage counseling, she said, "No, everything is fine, you just need to accept that." His second wife changed after they got married. She had trouble staying employed, she started withdrawing socially, then she started just staying in her room playing SWTOR, Dragon Age, and "working on mods" for them. She devoted more of her time to Dragon Age than to their marriage. And he was sick of being alone. So when he tried to get them to do things together, she would complain about it, but then overcompensate by being smothering. So they separated, and he started seeing a former coworker. They seem to be clicking well and he's honestly just a lot happier than he used to be.
 

fade

Staff member
I get this. I really really do. And it's difficult and terrifying.

But the bottom line is that you aren't happy. And that will not change. Your wife has shown you that she isn't willing to put in the effort on your behalf. She used to not be like this yes, but she's not that person anymore. This is who she is now. People change, she's changed and you've changed. Just because your relationship wasn't always this way doesn't mean it can go back to what it was. This is the relationship you have now and it's up to you weather you think it's worth sticking out. Were it me, I would dip out. Personally, I would rather be alone than in an unfulfilling relationship, which you may feel differently, but it's an option.

There will never be a good time to divorce someone. Seriously, Nate and I put it off for months because of family weddings and holidays and a million other reasons, until finally I couldn't take it.

Also, I just...it sounds like not much will change in your relationship with a divorce? If she's already treating you like a roommate, a divorce shouldn't be that big of a step. In my situation, barely anything changed in my relationship, which just further proved how broken it was to me. He and I still get a long insanely well, we don't argue, I still have affection for him, but we are not compatible in a relationship. It kinda sounds like you're in the same boat?

I don't know, all I can do is speak from my own experience. I know none of this will be easy and I'm very sorry you're dealing with it all.
To quote Modest Mouse:

"And I'm lonesome when you're around
And I'm never lonesome when I'm by myself
And I miss you when you're around"
 

fade

Staff member
So, I had a real conversation with her this weekend. It started as an argument. Actually, it started as a disagreement over what the word "argument" means. Anyway, she told me she wouldn't talk because the kids were around--an excuse I've gotten before. So I said I was leaving for a while if she didn't talk to me. I meant it, too.

Anyway, she confirmed my suspicion--she thinks nothing is wrong with the marriage. You know, despite me telling her for years I feel like there is. She agreed that she should communicate more, and to her credit, since then, she has been making a minimal effort to do so. But I still cannot get anything from her. I still know nothing about her side of the story. All she says is, "What do you want me to say?" I don't want a parrot, I want her point. And she just answers that there's nothing really to say. That everything seemed fine to her. That's just so odd to me.
 

Cajungal

Staff member
Sounds like your emotional needs and expectations are just really vastly different. Up to you to decide what to do with that info. Sorry for all the frustration
 
Honestly, it sounds to me like she's probably depressed herself, but is numb to it and doesn't see how or why it should change. I know with dealing with my own depression, for a long time I simply operated under the belief that it was the norm and expected.
 

fade

Staff member
Well. Here we are years later. Still the same. Nothing ever changes. I mean, I guess nothing is any worse, but it certainly isn't any better.

It's just so hard to explain to anyone who isn't here, either, because the reactions are always (I think) disproportionate to what's happening. Everyone goes for the d word, but I just don't know if that's justified. Maybe I expect too much. She certainly thinks I do. She thinks our marriage and level of interaction as a couple is on par with other couples. And honestly, the more I hear about people my age having separate everything and even doing the "living together apart" thing, maybe she's not wrong. Maybe the problem is this is what a mature relationship tends toward, and I'm the one who's different for wanting it to be passionate.

I did bring up divorce. But it was met with such a tepid reaction that I didn't even know how to take it. She said "if that's what will help you", in a way that made it somehow seem that simultaneously a) she wouldn't actually care, b) it would be my fault, and c) she'd be doing it all for me. In any case, no emotion.

Also, one of my best friends, who I've known since high school, has been going through a lot of the same stuff. She and her husband have been friends since childhood, and they were so emotionally intertwined that everyone was frankly amazed when she had enough and asked for a divorce. But to hear her tell it, it was nearly the same story as mine. He was just withdrawn, and preferred to live his own solo life inside the marriage. The result of the divorce is not quite as cathartic as people sometimes make it out to be. She has been an emotional wreck, wondering if she did the right thing, etc. and I'm sure I'd be the same.
 
Well. Here we are years later. Still the same. Nothing ever changes. I mean, I guess nothing is any worse, but it certainly isn't any better.

It's just so hard to explain to anyone who isn't here, either, because the reactions are always (I think) disproportionate to what's happening. Everyone goes for the d word, but I just don't know if that's justified. Maybe I expect too much. She certainly thinks I do. She thinks our marriage and level of interaction as a couple is on par with other couples. And honestly, the more I hear about people my age having separate everything and even doing the "living together apart" thing, maybe she's not wrong. Maybe the problem is this is what a mature relationship tends toward, and I'm the one who's different for wanting it to be passionate.

I did bring up divorce. But it was met with such a tepid reaction that I didn't even know how to take it. She said "if that's what will help you", in a way that made it somehow seem that simultaneously a) she wouldn't actually care, b) it would be my fault, and c) she'd be doing it all for me. In any case, no emotion.

Also, one of my best friends, who I've known since high school, has been going through a lot of the same stuff. She and her husband have been friends since childhood, and they were so emotionally intertwined that everyone was frankly amazed when she had enough and asked for a divorce. But to hear her tell it, it was nearly the same story as mine. He was just withdrawn, and preferred to live his own solo life inside the marriage. The result of the divorce is not quite as cathartic as people sometimes make it out to be. She has been an emotional wreck, wondering if she did the right thing, etc. and I'm sure I'd be the same.
Im glad you have a friend who you can relate to. At the end of the day though, I think it’s pretty hard to compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone’s relationship is so different. I don’t think it’s weird to want a passionate relationship, at any age.

And with that, I think every divorce is different too - I don’t regret mine for a second (Nate and I are even back together now), but you may regret it if you go that route.

I’m sorry it’s more of the same. I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. I wish I had better advice for you. Is there something you want to do but are afraid to do so?
 
The suggestion of divorce being met with a verbal shrug doesn't sound healthy, but there is no normal. It's really a matter of what you're okay with.
 

fade

Staff member
It's not a verbal shrug, though. It's more like I'm standing in front of a woodchipper, thinking about jumping in, and everyone around me just casually keeps saying, "Jeez dude just jump in". That's easy to say when you're not the one who has to jump into the whirly death machine.

My marriage isn't what I want. I'm looking for conversation about that, maybe confirmation that I'm not crazy in how I perceive what's happening. Maybe it's me, and that's kind of what I'm trying to find out.

I really don't think she's depressed. She has no typical signs of depression, and if somehow I've given that impression, then I did a poor job of explaining. As I said before, she is content with the way things are. Hell, that's 95% of the problem! This is what she wants. She is living her life the way she wants, and it looks like she and I are incompatible on what we want out of a marriage. For her, this silo living is perfect. For me it's not. She shows no signs of wanting different. If she does, she hasn't expressed it in the many hundreds of conversations I've tried to have about it over the years. This is not a woman who stays quiet on something either. We're talking a type A extrovert who has managed to get not one but 2 lemon law buybacks and a free transmission, start an entire program at her University, etc. If she wants something, she will say it. That's how I know she is content. Plus, I know her mom, and her marriage is much the same. She's the boss, she does what she wants. I mean, it's possible I'm wrong about her being depressed, but I don't think so. This is someone who engages heavily in her life--just not the part with me.

I don't mean to seem argumentative, and if I seem so, it's because I've had this same conversation in person with friends and family for 10 years. But I get defensive of her, because no one has her side or sees how things are outside of my filtered story where I only tell you the bad parts
 
I don't mean to seem argumentative, and if I seem so, it's because I've had this same conversation in person with friends and family for 10 years. But I get defensive of her, because no one has her side or sees how things are outside of my filtered story where I only tell you the bad parts
I wouldn't say divorce is easy or not a major decision, but you've been unhappy for literally 10 years. So at this point you know you will be unhappy for the rest of your life if you stay with her. Divorce might be worse, or it might be better. But staying together means that you will not be happy for the rest of your life, unless she happens to die young. And I don't think you want to wake up every day thinking that if your wife dies you'll finally get that chance of happiness.
 
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