Read what this newly separated man has to say about his marriage ending, followed by my advice.
I have been with my wife for over a decade. We have 2 young kids. kids. We met, went out on a date and hit it off instantly. We couldn’t get enough of each other. She had come off an abusive relationship, then found me. I had the same situation minus the abuse. A year later we moved in together. We eventually got married and had kids.
I have never been unfaithful to her. I never lost emotional or physical attraction to her. I have focused my entire life on making sure her and the kids have a good home, are happy and healthy. In doing so, I have neglected her emotional needs. I got so hung up on trying to make a good life for my family that I wasn’t seeing her drift away. She tried to get my to go to counseling a month ago, I foolishly refused.
She has dealt with a lot of childhood abuse and neglect that has influenced her adulthood. My childhood was very loving and happy…. That’s why I refused the counseling “I’m too healthy of a person for that”…. Mistake.
Now she thinks she got with me for the wrong reasons. I was what she needed at the time… Someone healthy, responsible, logical, safe. She told me she started having these feelings before my first son was born. Now I have to try to figure out how to let her go. My family means everything to me. I feel so betrayed. There is no place for me to escape the pain. Everything I have invested in has been taken from me. I feel so bad for my kids.
I have a lot to say about this situation. First and foremost, I want to give this guy a big hug and say I’m sorry this is happening to him. I also want to tell him that I don’t know the situation other than this letter, but based on what I read, he needs to stop beating himself up and see what is really going on.
Twice in this letter it states that his wife has faced abuse: in the relationship she was in before him, and in childhood. This is a huge factor in this divorce. It seems like before she met her husband, she emulated her pattern by dating someone abusive (and who knows if there were more before that guy). She then made a healthy choice to marry her now husband. And soon after that, (before their first child was born) she fell back into her pattern of not feeling comfortable married to someone who was not abusive.
Remember that I am just speculating based on this letter, and that I have not heard her side of the story. But my question is, why didn’t she talk to him? Tell him she was unhappy? Did she ever go to counseling by herself?
What bothers me so much is that this guy is blaming himself for everything! I’m not saying I think he was perfect in the marriage (no one is) but he is saying that he refused to go to counseling a month ago. A MONTH AGO. So, is that it? After a month she is going to say “Sorry, Honey, you blew it. You had one shot to say yes to counseling and you said no, so I’m out of here???” What I’m trying to say is, since she isn’t asking him again, she already checked out. It is out of his control.
She also told him she ended up with him for all the wrong reasons: someone healthy, responsible, logical, safe… Yeah, those really sound like bad reasons to marry someone. When I get married again, I want to marry someone who is unhealthy, irresponsible, not logical, and who makes me feel unsafe. (This is enthusiastic sarcasm, by the way if you haven’t noticed.)
I guess what I really want to say is, WTF????? I know 100 women who would love this guy, and what I want to say to him is, it’s time to place a little bit of blame on your spouse. You are clearly blaming yourself and it is unwarranted. Not saying you shouldn’t take any blame (I wasn’t there) but at least put your ex at fault for SOMETHING! Most newly separated men and women blame their soon-to-be ex for everything, which isn’t good either, but this is the other extreme. I’m not saying you should get angry and bitter and contentious, but I want you to get tough and see the truth, which is that a lot of what happened was out of your control, and based on your wife’s messed up past that she obviously has not dealt with.
In closing, I believe this guy will do very well in life. He will lean on his loving family, continue to be a devoted father, date, heal in a productive way and eventually find love again. It is the wife I worry about. She will end up regretting her decision to divorce him (I think) and will get into abusive relationships unless she comes gets therapy and comes to grips with her past.
This guy writes: “There is no place for me to escape the pain,” and my response is, yes there is. Through faith, family, being with your kids, and your future. It is bright. I feel it!