One thing we are dealing with now is an imbalance in our relationship. I am sure it happens often when one spouse makes a lot of mistakes and the other not so much. Since I am the confessed screw up my wife has become a little self-righteous. It is not a good place to be and anyone who has ever experienced this understands where I am coming from. I feel diminished. It is one of the things that keeps me thinking about getting out. Why do I want to stay where I always feel like the bad guy? Does the future hold anything but this? I want to be in a relationship where I feel equal value. Maybe I am just kidding myself and relationships will always have this imbalance with one person always feeling less than their spouse. What do you think?
It is amazing the amount of bad advice there is out there. Maybe it is not bad advice per se. Advice is situation dependent. That is the problem with marriage books–they are a one size fits all solution. What you really need is a marriage tome that has many paths through it like those books you read as a kid that had different stories depending on the choices you made while reading it. Marriage books should at least give the reader caveats in the introduction such as “the information contained herein only works if the husband and wife are still attracted to each other.” Maybe I should write one. The title would be “How A Husband Can Win Back The Heart Of His Wife After Being A Jerk For Years Or Move On.” I am doing the very best I can but at the end of the day I will not stay with someone who cannot truly love me. Candy and flowers won’t do it but in fact may hurt. Giving her attention won’t work but will definitely hurt. Compliments won’t work. It is so counter intuitive (to me at least) to do the opposite of what you want to do. My biggest mistake during separation has been to show any weakness at all. I wish I could have taken it all in stride although my wife said she thought I was handling it better than she expected I would. Small victory.
One of the worst things in my opinion in today’s culture is the lack of commitment. It seems to me that a lot of people give up on their marriages too easily. We make our vows out of tradition not out of their true meaning. I have to give my wife a lot of credit. There have been a lot of things that could have caused her to quit a long time ago. A lot of women would see porn use by their husband as enough of a reason to divorce. My controlling ways were plenty of reasons too. And other stuff. She did what she thought she had to–she shoved it deep down and moved on. She kept doing what she thought she had to do as a good wife including regular sex with me. This did not come without a cost. It certainly hardened her heart for me.
I give myself some credit too. When feeling unhappy with the way things were going I staid. I see how much she is hurting and how far I have to go to get her heart back. I am doing everything I can to change and not just for her. I will be a much better person if I can make these changes stick. I could easily say that I will just leave and find someone new. I want to make it work because of all our shared history. I want to make it work because of our kids. I want it to work for financial reasons! I want it to work because I love her and am still attracted to her. I am not staying because of oneitus. I know I could find someone new. Not to brag but I still have a lot of desirable attributes left even if I am 42. I want to believe that I can keep a commitment even in the face of major headwinds.
My three week separation is about half over. I had not initiated contact but wife did. Each time she was very angry. I made the mistake of pushing back some the first time by pointing out errors about our history together. This was a mistake. She is not in a good place and just needed me to just accept it. She is very fragile about how she feels about me and cannot take any conflict. I just felt I could not let what I felt were lies to hang out there because I would be bitter moving forward. I guess that will work its way out over time.
She went to counseling today and said she is sad and confused. She says it is hard to admit and own that we have a bad and messed up marriage. I think she has been in denial for years. I have been feeling it myself for a very long time but she made me feel like I just being too sensitive. I am 99% the cause of it I admit but I am learning to change how I am and how I treat her. For a very long time she did things just to keep the peace at the expense of what she desired. I totally understand how that can just be soul destroying. I guess the force of my personality has been too much for too long. Now all her friends are telling her that they saw it all along from me. This crushes me. I truly want to be someone that my wife is proud of in public and around her friends. I truly want to be someone my wife feels comfortable around and relaxed. It is so hard not to feel so bad about myself through all this. Some people probably are not the type to get married and maybe I should not have. Or maybe I should have married someone who would not take my crap.
Anyone who has ever been a relationship that has started to tank has probably experienced the rewriting of relationship history. People who want out will often see the relationship history through dark glasses. I am experiencing that currently although I don’t think my wife wants out. It is just that I have done some things wrong and know she wants to believe that I have always been that way. I should be more patient with her but I pushed back. I couldn’t just sit here and let her denigrate all our past history. That was a mistake. I should have just let it go. She completely blew up and said I should have just sat on it and give her a chance to heal. She is right.
Oneitus is the concept that you will never find someone like the person you are with, that they are unique and irreplaceable. This is a very destructive belief. It is something I have struggled with for a long time. It makes you give up yourself. It is a factor in creating neediness and making you clingy. I have felt that way about my wife. No more. I want to be with her and I want everything to work out in the end. We have been together for a long time and have experienced so much together. I want it for my children. This does mean I have given up at all. I am still doing everything I can to save my marriage. But I will no longer sit here in despair scared about the future. If things don’t work out I will survive. I will still have my children. I will still have some of my friends. I may find someone else down the road but even if I don’t I have a life worth living. I think eventually I could be happy for my wife if she found someone new that made her happy. Maybe if I keep telling myself this I might believe it!
I have been doing well during the separation for the most part. I have had to deal with a lot of fear–fear that she will want to extend the separation and eventually divorce. It is very hard to accept responsibility for being the cause of this mess. I am coming to a new place in my thinking. I have to accept that she may not want to continue this relationship but I am letting go of this fear. I think it would be sinful on her part to end it. I have faith in her that she does not want to do this. She might rationalize that I caused it, it was my fault, and that I was unfaithful by using porn. I would disagree with that and could walk away with my head held high. I have done everything I can to change. I can be forgiven by God and be clean. I can lean on God and he can carry me through this.