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Old 01-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
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Trying to save marriage

Hi. I'm not accustomed to doing these type of boards, especially about such sensitive topics, but I need to try. I have been married since 2000 and find myself facing divorce. I'm a stay at home dad, have been since 2002. It was a decision that both me and my wife made because we didn't want to put our kids in daycare. Our kids are now 8, 6, and just shy of 4. As with most relationships I'm sure, we've had problems. My wife has been fighting depression for a year or two. She's been seeing a therapist for almost a year. Tuesday night she said she can't take the anxiety anymore and wants a divorce. I'm trying to simplify things as much as possible here, otherwise this post could be longer than War and Peace. I have instances of being verbally abusive to her, never physical. I know it's just as bad. She said she feels like she's going to completely lose her mind and she is taking numerous meds to control it and the anxiety, but she can't stand coming home from work anymore. We've had 2 instances over the last 10 months were she has said what I need to do, which was basically get into therapy myself. I told her I'd be able to change on my own. I now realize she was right, I was wrong, but she feels things are beyond fixing, that the damage is done. She has agreed to couple counseling, so I'm thrilled. She has made it clear that she is hurt and doesn't see a way to forget it, or forgive it. She said I love you, but doesn't see why she should stay with someone who belittles her way too often, and makes her feel like she's walking on eggshells all the time.
My thing is I know I can't take back a thing. I'm finally at the point I wish i was at a year ago, realizing I have a anger issue and my own issues with depression. i don't even know anymore what I'm trying to ask here. Maybe I'm just trying to vent. How can I show that I am going to take the steps needed to change for myself, her, and us without putting pressure on her? Like I said, she has a terrible time even listening to me right now. Can I expect her to be more open in therapy? I'm furious at myself for being pig-headed about seeing a therapist for my own issues before now.

 
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:49 AM   #2
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Re: Trying to save marriage

you cant manage your anger issues on your own you have proved that. tell her you will go see a anger therapist or some sort of therapist aswell as marriage counselling but once you say it , DO go along with it and don't mention it just prove it. actions speak louder than words. show you her you mean it. you are going to lose her forever if you dont so what choice do you have. why are you mean to her though? shes your wife you should respect her and love her she is seriously depressed and you are not been supportive to her, you are making it worse. another short term way to try help you control is tell yourself that everytime you are about to snap count to 20 before saying a word. then in that time take a deep breath and offer to make you and her a cup of tea and tell her you don't want to argue as you are trying to change. relationships are about supporting eachother. when i used to argue with my boyfriend i taught myself 20 seconds and cup of tea. it seemed to calm my boyfriend down aswell as me and he could see i was trying to relieve any tension and make the situation a little more comfortable, i would drink my tea and tell him i love him and THEN talk to him. it might not work with everybody but its worth a try and maybe try out a few little ideas of your own. maybe when your about to be mean to her say in your mind ''shes my wife i love her'' that should be enough to stop you and calm you because you are realising you cant be mean to someone who you claim to love and that she has feelings and shes already hurt. can i ask, are you devoted to your wife? if answers yes PROVE IT to her. good luck.

Last edited by cryingforever; 01-08-2011 at 03:53 AM.

 
Old 01-08-2011, 07:25 AM   #3
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Re: Trying to save marriage

Thanks for responding. My appointment with a therapist is set up, as well as our appointment together with a marriage counselor. I told her I have finally woken up and I'm here to show her. Unfortunately she's in a place right now where she can't see a chance of fixing things. I pray we get to that point together so we can try.

Why was I mean? I don't know. I think in general I have anger management issues, which I hope to find out about in therapy. All I know is when I do it, in my head I'm trying to stop but I just can't. I'm owning up to it and want to fix it for me, us, and our children.

Yes I'm devoted to my wife. We talked a bit this morning and while it still pains her to even hear me express my feelings, we both listened to each other. I know she still has little hope in us. I have to go now but I hope to discuss it more with you, if you don't mind, and anyone else willing to comment.

 
Old 01-08-2011, 12:28 PM   #4
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Re: Trying to save marriage

maybe theres too much water under the bridge. hope you can rebuild your marriage. well done for getting help for it.

 
Old 01-08-2011, 12:44 PM   #5
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Re: Trying to save marriage

As said by crying, I too think you need to speak with your actions and not your words. I want to reemphasize that. Words can mean so little after broken promises, or talking can seem futile after a thousand arguments. Maybe part of the problem is too much talking?

Whenever you feel angry maybe try reminding yourself that your wife, kids, and relationship all need your respect in order to be happy and healthy, and in some sense so do you.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:45 AM   #6
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Re: Trying to save marriage

I'm at a point now that I understand so much more than I did a week ago. My wife said I should read about the circle of violence in regards to emotional abuse. What a horrible feeling to recognize so much of myself there, and to finally realize what I've been doing to the woman I love.

Anyone familiar with it understands what I mean that I am now in the "honeymoon" phase of the circle, where I am wanting to do everything right. It seems that most people who emotionally abuse don't really admit to it fully and are not really willing to take the necessary steps to fix it.

I'm already signed up for therapy on my own and us together and it can't start soon enough for me. I know I need to show her with actions, that words alone don't do it. I'm so concerned, however, that at this point she has a hard time being around me because of my past behavior that she wont see that I am changing, assuming of course that I do. It's a process and I am pretty confident that she wants to see, but she has a hard time letting herself because of the pain I caused her.

I am no longer the fool who thinks that I can fix myself. Yes, I am hoping to find people here to cheer me on, to vent to, and even put me in my place whenever necessary. I have nothing but good feelings toward my wife and yet I never show her. I thought her going out with a friend or group of friends without me was a cut on me.

How can I show her how committed to this I am without making her feel smothered? What if I don't do enough? I want to find the middle ground.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
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Re: Trying to save marriage

dont keep talking about the changes you will make. just do it. every now and again tell her you love her and do something to make her smile again nothing major and not all the time.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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Re: Trying to save marriage

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Originally Posted by cryingforever View Post
dont keep talking about the changes you will make. just do it. every now and again tell her you love her and do something to make her smile again nothing major and not all the time.
Do you know much about emotional abuse? I ask only to get a perspective on where you are coming from. There seems to be so little info to be found online about people who have come out of something like this together successfully and I wish I could hear what made them successful where others failed. You are right, I'm just doing and hopefully without it seeming like a token gesture. This is a life long change I want to make.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 10:07 AM   #9
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Re: Trying to save marriage

[QUOTE=linguist1;4656981]As said by crying, I too think you need to speak with your actions and not your words. I want to reemphasize that. Words can mean so little after broken promises, or talking can seem futile after a thousand arguments. Maybe part of the problem is too much talking?

Hi. Well good job. The first step is honesty and it seems you are ready to be honest with your part. There's been a lot of good advice here and ill pray for u today that this week starts a brand new start for u and ur family.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #10
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Re: Trying to save marriage

It may be too late. It is too bad that it took her saying that she was done for you to wake up.

All that you can do is change yourself. The only person that you have control over is yourself.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 12:41 PM   #11
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Re: Trying to save marriage

have i experienced emotional abuse??? definately its the story of my life. ive had all kinds of abuse that you could possibly name. all i can say is emotional abuse etc...is very damaging and it scars people. im sensing shes given up, maybe too much water under the bridge. seems your only changing because shes said shes seriously had enough. but i still wish you luck on getting your marriage back together but if i am honest i have never seen it work out with any people in relationships when theres been some form of abuse but obviously i have not seen everyone in the world. if i was you i would not say anything shes probably sick of talking and just wants a peaceful life and not to listen to what your going to do as she won't believe you at the moment so its pointless mentioning it ,when you are attending counselling just say to her ''right honey i am going to my counselling session i will see you soon''...words are nothing , actions show proof and shows you care. also if shes in a good mood one day do something nice for her but like i said before not anything big just something small,simple and sweet maybe cook dinner or help round the house and let her put her feet up and relax. SHOW her you care and that you have learnt BIG TIME and that your serious and show her you can and will make her proud of you and happy. at moment she won't believe it but in time she may see it then believe it.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #12
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Re: Trying to save marriage

trystme, I know you could be right. I can't make excuses for not realizing sooner. I do now and I'm pointing myself in the right direction.

cryingforever, I'm so sorry it's the story of your life. It's so not fair to you. I appreciate your kind words even though people like myself are the source of the problems you've been through. She does want to give up, I'm sure. She's agreed to go to therapy together so I hope that gives me the time to show her. And you're right that she's sick of talking about it at home for sure. It gives her a lot of anxiety. I will be doing things that I should have been doing all along and was too foolish not to know it. It's a commitment I'm taking very seriously and something that I'll stick to for life. It may sound silly, but I'm looking to work on this just like I did when I quit smoking 15 months ago. When I would wake up in the morning, I'd stop, think, and realize I didn't smoke yesterday, so why would I today? Helped me much more than thinking, well, it's been another week. There's no reason I can't do today that I successfully did yesterday, and that will be my attitude with my abusing ways. I don't smoke anymore, and I wont again even after 20 years of smoking. My goal is to say the same thing about emotionally abusing my wife or anyone else 20 years from today. I have a lot to learn and oddly enough I look forward to it.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 02:33 PM   #13
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Re: Trying to save marriage

well i think your doing good. you have realized and are prepared to do something about it thats a positive step. im interested to know if you will not talk about it anymore and just attend individual/marriage counselling??? to show her and to give her a break.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 10:46 PM   #14
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Re: Trying to save marriage

Don't have much else to add that hasn't already been said. I will say that I'm glad you're going to take action. I hope that things work out for you and will pray that they do. Keep us posted on how things go (if you feel up to it) and know we're here to help support you if/when you need it.

 
Old 01-12-2011, 07:08 AM   #15
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Re: Trying to save marriage

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Originally Posted by cryingforever View Post
well i think your doing good. you have realized and are prepared to do something about it thats a positive step. im interested to know if you will not talk about it anymore and just attend individual/marriage counselling??? to show her and to give her a break.

I needed to step away from this a bit. Yesterday, Tuesday, I didn't say a thing about any of it to her, very difficult for me but I was able to do it. I noticed her mood though seemed to get worse as the night went on. No idea why.

I talked with a church director who has counseling experience and training yesterday afternoon. He was helpful, or at least it was helpful being able to just talk to someone. He talked about the fact God forgives and so should everyone else and that if I'm working in improving, she should be able to see that. I don't know, religion is a wonderful thing but even I think God's forgiveness is something totally different from one person forgiving another for things done directly toward them.

I'd like her to know that I don't want to go to the marriage therapist next week one time and then my wife say that's it. I really want her to be open to talking things out in several sessions. She was talkative Monday night at home, she talked about the fact that even if we go for the divorce, it's going to take a long time even for that process. This is for various reasons, part of which for us I think is economics. So for me, it seems it can only help us going to the marriage therapist on a regular basis. I mean why not? I realize too that me saying these ideas makes it sound like I'm trying to be controlling because of my history but I'm not, I just don't want to make any decision too quickly out of anger that can be eased over time with a lot of work on my part to gain her trust back. If we divorce and my kids ever ask about it, I want to be able to tell them truthfully that we tried everything we could, but it just didn't work. I also feel like if we go to several sessions and it doesn't work out they way I'd like, then I'm sure we'd still benefit from the sessions as we raise our kids.

 
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