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Male opinion on leaving a family
February 19, 2004
8:26 pm
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trose
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Zinnie,
That is the dilemna that I have before me. Do I want to stay married and work it out. I have been trying to get myself to answer that question. The first question I have asked myself is do I still love him? And unfortunately I haven't been able to say that I don't. Not to say that there hasn't been times where I have said I don't love him, then I question if I ever really did love him. You know that kind of love, where you would be there for what ever happened in life. Both the good and the bad and the in between. I have been trying to figure this out for quite a while. When it comes to my children there has never been a question in my mind. I love them. I would do anything that I could for them, inclusive of being hard on them but being kind. I have had a number of situations with the four older ones where we have been able to air our feelings. Meaning hollering at each other and them being down right rude to me. Which I have always let them express their feelings, because I do believe it is better to air them. And in writing this, it has come to me, that in regards to airing things with the husband, he has always aired his negative feelings in regards to all situations and when ever I have done the same, he has stated that I was being selfish or that I didn't feel the way I said or any other number of things to let me know that I was wrong. And I always took it, thinking maybe he was right and I was wrong. I guess what has been lacking in the marriage is validation. That people and relationships need validation and that is something I have not felt with him.

Another thing that bothers me is my own lack of validating myself. I have been told by both my father and husband that I am selfish on one hand yet they will admit that I am a good mother. So how can I be both. Or why can't I be a good wife if I can be a good mother. Something doesn't ring true in this.

For the majority of my formative years I had a mother who always turned the other cheek. And even though I didn't like it that my father yelled at her for what I felt was for no good reason, she would never say anything bad about him. She would just say that he loses his temper easily. I was taught to always look for the good in other people, so I continue to try to do that. My personal problem is I haven't figured out when it crosses the line and hurts me without me becoming what would be selfish. I don't like that word selfish and I don't particularly care for selfish people. Although, I must say that I allow my children to think of themselves first on somethings and others second. Much of this has to do with their ages and that I don't want them to be taken advantage of, also I don't want them to take advantage(in a negative sense) of others either.

Regarding counseling. I have done this as well on my own. And the husband never liked it because I became to wrapped up in myself as far as he was concerned. I know I don't always have a great grasp of the english language and words often don't come to me as quickly as I would like, plus I really don't want to hurt anyone. But in trying not to hurt others it appears I have hurt myself.

He will be leaving again tomorrow, so maybe next week we will be able to talk. I find it interesting that he talks a bit more on the phone then he used too. But I noticed that he is calling less an less from work. I could almost always count on him calling once a day and for the past two days he hasn't. It appears to be coming to a head, and now that the anniversary date is over, my birthday is over I am sure he is even feeling more reason that he will have smooth sailing to leave. Three of the kids birthday's are in March, but since two are away in college, he won't feel much of need to deal with these.

Again I am rambling, but thanks for letting me do so.

February 19, 2004
9:15 pm
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strengthishere
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WOW!! I think that it's time to think about yourself and it's time to find yourself. Sometimes when raising children and a family we forget all about ourselves, our passions and desires etc.. etc.. I think that it's your turn to take a trip and your turn to let him stay with the kids. If he thinks your being selfish too bad, and he thinks his actions are very selfless, I don't think so!! It doesn't mean that you have to get a divorce it just means that you need to get control of the situation. They say that when women talk men hear blah...blah..blah.. so you just need to make your point and vent here. There are two books I would recommend that you read, Boundaries, Dance with Anger and actually a third, why men love bitches(this one talks about how you act nice but get what you deserve). Good luck on your journey. Please read the books I promise that they will help in some form or fashion. Also, pray to God, he does work miracles.
Strength

February 19, 2004
9:33 pm
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cre8iveqt
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Top priority should be learning how to manage conflict safely. Get a mediator! Too scared? Want to know what that is about? Go check this out:
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fa...../5218.html

male-schmale, don't be so sexist. It is only a socially constructed idea after all. Take care and good luck!

February 19, 2004
9:35 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Trose,

I highly recommend you go back to counseling, at least to work through some of the issues.

I agree with Strength (HI S!) in that in talking to you, I see a kind hearted person who is a good mother married to a selfish person. The whole weekend thing - sorry that is my Dad to the T. Like I said I love my Dad I really do... but, he is like that. However, I will say this - my Dad has never forgotten any of our birthday's, or holiday's, and since I have been married - he will always call and wish me a Happy Anniversary.

Another thing you might want to do is to take a piece of paper and divide it in two. Write out the pros of staying vs. the cons of staying. Perhaps that will give you a good starting point.

Come here for support - you will find it. Take care of yourself.

Love,

Zinnie

February 19, 2004
10:16 pm
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kmshull
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Well, I guess I'll throw in my 2 cents on this topic as well. I, too, was in a marriage that I wasn't sure I was ready to give up on. I, too, had put a lot of time into it and felt some kind of loyalty because of that. I, too, felt like I wanted to make sure I'd tried every avenue, so I wouldn't feel like I was giving up. I was scared ... What if I'd given up too soon? Basically ... What if he changed? I kept waiting and waiting for that to happen until finally, enough was enough. It came one weekend when I was away at a conference. I was angry because he hadn't called at all, all weekend; he never asked where I was staying or called my cell phone to see I'd gotten there or anything. So, of course, I interpreted that as, once again, he didn't care. Well, whether he did or not, he wasn't showing it so I decided not come home that Sunday and stay an extra night. I suppose I was testing him, but he never called when I didn't come home. I finally called him Monday at noon and asked "Did you wonder why I didn't come home?" He said, "Sure, but I figured you were ok. If I hadn't heard from you by this evening, I would have called." HA! Well, that was IT for me. I stopped by an apartment complex on the way home and went about renting an apartment. I moved out a week later; he thought I was "playing" him all week and didn't take me seriously - not until the movers showed up Saturday morning! But ... it was still hard for me, even though I was angry. I had to live with him that week, wondering if I was making the right choice, wondering if I could make it on my own, etc. There were times I wanted to just forget it but something inside kept saying I needed to do this. I needed to do it for me. But, I still wasn't ready to give up. It doesn't have to be so black and white as, stay and work through it or leave and get a divorce. You can leave because that is what is best for you and your kids (or ask him to leave) and see what happens from there. I never once told my ex that I was even comtemplating divorce; I wasn't. I wanted to see if some distance wouldn't help us to work things out; for both of us to stop taking each other for granted. It took about a year before I came to the conclusion that I was better off moving on. He begged me to come back, but as I was trying to work through my issues, he wasn't really working on his. He thought if I would just come back, things would change. I became secure enough at that point to realize things don't work that way. I don't know what your husband's issues are. Maybe he doesn't even know or doesn't want to deal with them. I find a lot of men don't want to deal with feelings; many weren't taught HOW to deal with them. But, you can't keep sitting around, putting your own growth and development on hold, waiting for him to come to his senses. You need to find what you can do for yourself, NOW. You need to take care of yourself and give yourself what you need, because after all, you have to live with yourself the rest of your life. You don't HAVE to live with him. As far as male input, I asked my current husband what he thought about your husband taking off on the weekends and all he could offer was "Obviously, there is some reason why he doesn't want to be at home." Just don't automatically think the reason is you.
Kristina

February 20, 2004
4:04 pm
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torero
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Hi trose. I understand your reluctance to walk away from so many years of a relationship. I would never recommend that just from reading what I have on this group discussion. There are SO many more issues to consider. It seems to me that you are not ready, and if you think you're not, then you're not. It seems that you are ready for counseling (if you're not already there), not just to help with your relationship, but to help yourself. This is something I would recommend to anyone. You know, we have maintenance schedules for our automoblies to change the oil every three months or three thousand miles, and yet we don't take care of our own maintenance. A visit to the counselor ought to be required at least once per year. The big question is your spouse. Will he accept counseling? If not, why? In my case, my spouse "tried" counseling (very little and poor quality at that) until it became clear that she would need to come clean about what her real intentions were. She had another relationship, which of course she denied, and did for many years. So if your husband is so adverse to the idea of counseling, it may be he does not want things to get better, or he has some other ulterior motive. If that is the case, then counseling for yourself is still the best course.
That is why I said before that the decision needs to be made, as difficult as it may seem, what each of you wants. If one or both of you is unsure of what you want, guess what? Counseling. It will take a great deal of courage to decide, but do so only when there is not the slightest doubt. And when there is no doubt, the decision takes care of itself. As for him, if he is indeed having an affair, he needs to have the courage to own up to it so that both your lives can move forward. If he hasn't the courage and you're absolutely sure there is another relationship, then there's no decision to be made. You would need to move on for two reasons. First he's having an affair. Second, he's a weak man. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I still think we as a society dissolve marriages as though we were washing floors. As Z. has said, marriage takes work, but it takes a great deal of caring as well. If you care, then being open to honest communication may be difficult, but one does it because one cares. If you care, you contact the spouse while away on trips. If you care, you balance your time so that your spouse comes first. If you care, you bring flowers, or make dinner, or take off to the lake in the middle of the night to swim! Talk about quality time! And caring is not always easy. All the garbage that fills up our lives can overwhelm us so easily. I still have to remember to take time to care, and to play with my wife. Why? Because I know I have a bunch of debt, and dental work still to come, and work, and the mortgage, and the dogs need shots, and all the other junk that will fill up my mind unless I remember to care for her. Yet, all the junk will still be there tomorrow, but that moment that I let slip away to show I care may be the most important moment of my life.
You must never stop caring, even if he does. Caring helps you too. Your caring even helps me! I must run. Take care of yourself. torero

February 22, 2004
1:10 am
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trose
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Thank you all for your insights. From those of you have chosen to give me your advice or life experience on this issue I am extremely grateful. You have all helped me in trying to renew my strength in the person I was and the one that I will start becoming. I must say this is one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make in my life in quite a while and that is why I have been treading so slowing. Regarding counseling, this has been as good as any counseling I have received in the past. Counseling is a sounding board, because no social worker, psycologist, I know I spelled that wrong, but there is no spell check with this program, pyscharitrist or counselor that will give me the answer, they only try to work to get you to find your own answer which is exactly what this has done. I will still be treading slowly but you all have given me much food for thought. The last time I spoke to the spouse he pretty much has said that all his feelings are numb. Sexually, romatically, friendship wise and anything else that would relate to both me and the children. He has agreed to try and talk with me tomorrow night. Hopefully I won't cry because when I did on the phone he said don't. He did say he was "sorry", but I wasn't quite sure how to take it. He also said he doesn't understand this "last ditch" effort. I was offended by his term but am looking forward to a conversation with him, hopefully it may answer some of my questions in one form or another. Again, I appreciate all your time and responses. They really helped me get through the past couple of days, which would have been much rougher without all your words. Thank you.

February 22, 2004
3:01 am
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Zinnie
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Hello Trose,

Try to stay as calm as possible. It seems that if I can do that I manage to get more accomplished.

Good luck, and let me know how things turn out for you.

Love,

Z.

February 22, 2004
9:27 am
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Wanttobewell
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Hi Trose, I was just reading the thread here. Sounds like you're a very kind and giving person. I hope things take a turn for the better. 24 years is a long time to be with someone. Everyone gave great input. Actually, it helped me too to read this. Good Luck to you!!! You deserve something better. W.

February 23, 2004
10:15 am
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trose
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Just an update. He came home last night, but he didn't want to talk. He is side tracked with a big project for work and had to do more work when he came home. The project seems to be me then what he bargained for and since he has been short staffed it is all falling on him. He said that tonight we will talk. I hope he will be in better mood to deal with this. I will let you know if anything comes about. Hope everyone will have a good day today.

February 24, 2004
3:39 pm
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trose
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Well... there was a discussion.

Actually started out relatively well in comparision to other times we have tried to talk. He still has a hard time sticking with the subject matter and yawned throughout the whole discussion, which he made comment to, but in general, some things may have been realized and only on my part.

He really does consider this a last dig effort and he sees no point in this. He says since I withdrew sex from the relationship, which was over a year ago that that was my big mistake. When I stated that I withdrew in the bedroom or bed I was hoping that maybe he would open his ears and eyes to see what was really going on in the relationship between us and his children his thought process is one doesn't have anything to do with the other. This still just blows me away. Do men truly not understand that a majority of women don't separate their sexual feelings from their living experience.

Any way he did bring up again that he has spoken with an attorney and that he really didn't like it, because they try to go after the other partner. I was happy to hear that this was not something he agreed with. I mentioned to him as well that I know that is how attorney's look at things and that was another reason why I have not even tried to contact any attorney in regards to a separation or divorce.

I tried to open up as much as possible to him to let him know that I am hurt by his lack of effort in trying to make the marriage work. That I miss him, I miss an adult to share things with. I miss physical contact. A touch, a hug. Knowing that he cares, unable to let him know that I care. I asked him how his health was. If he has been talking with anyone. He says his health is fine. He had some pain a few weeks back (he comes from a history of heart condition in his family and so far he has been fine no problems, but I know that he has had pain and numbness)but that he is basically fine.

He reiterated that he is not comfortable here. He only comes here Sunday night through Thursday night to see the kids. Which I found strange, since when he is here, they only ask questions of where he has been and why can't he and I just get along. There are only two children currently at home. He doesn't answer their questions. He also states that he doesn't sleep well when he is here.

About six weeks ago I had removed myself from the bed because I had wanted affection and he stated that he couldn't. I was hurt and left the bed and room, haven't been back since. Oh but I want too. I want to be physically close to him. I want to feel loved. He asked me how it felt to be rejected. I told him I didn't like it. He said now I know how he feels.

I've asked why we both can't work together to sort this out at the same time. Verses, I have tried, he has tried and different times, but when either one or the other of us has chosen not to try. He didn't answer that.

I continually am getting I don't want to be here, I don't want to hurt you, but I don't know how I feel. But I am happier when I am not here.

He really feels that this is a game.

He still will not answer if he is having a relationship whether it is male or female, he said it has no bearing. And the only reason I believe he will not be staight forward on this, is because as far as he is concerned at this point in his life, he sees no future with us and therefore there is no reason to let me know if there is or isn't a relationship outside of this marriage, because I believe he believes that he is already outside of the marriage.

Any input from anyone will be appreciated. Thanks for letting me air some of my feelings.

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