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mrgreenlawn

Roommates or Husband / Wife?

mrgreenlawn
14 years ago

First a little context about the relationship. In general, life is good for us. My wife and I are both mid-30's and in good health. We have a beautiful one year old daughter. This is the first marriage for both of us. We live in a nice home (with nice landscaping - thanks GardenWeb ;) ) and both work full time and earn good incomes.

Pre Marriage

We met at church about nine years ago and began dating very shortly thereafter. Out of respect for our religious beliefs and her wishes, we were not sexually involved during the two years we dated prior to marriage. I had had a small number of experiences prior to meeting my future spouse and she had had none. It was difficult (for me at least, she seemed to have an easier time) to be chaste during our dating and engagement but we managed based on the promise of a robust, rich and fulfilling love life in our marriage.

Wedding to Baby

She and I got along very well early on. We were very close emotionally although sex was infrequent (once every month or two). This was a source of tension as I would frequently (several times a week) try to initiate and be rejected. The times we talked about it she would say sex shouldn't be so important to me.

A few years into the marriage when we were trying to conceive we had sex more regularly (once a month when her calculations indicated ovulation).

Conception to baby's first birthday

Not surprisingly pregnancy and baby put our sex life on (temporary?) hiatus. More surprisingly my wife became more distant. She actually recoiled at any affection even non-sexual contacts like hugs or pecks on the cheek. We fell into a situation where any contact initiated by me was rebuffed and left me feeling rejected and frustrated. If I hold off and allow her to initiate any contact, we simply don't have any at all - that's been the status quo for the last six months or so.

Recent Developments

A couple weeks ago we had a minor "breakthrough" which gave me some hope that things can improve for us. We were going through our usual routine of my wife showering our baby affection prior to us leaving for daycare and I said something to the effect of "what about me, don't I even get a 'good-bye' or 'have a good day'?" Her reply was that I am her roommate not her husband. When I asked why she felt that way I was floored when she said "because YOU have been rejecting ME sexually since the baby came". We had little time to talk further and I didn't want to argue but rather to use the opening to make positive progress. I suggested that we plan to have a "date" to spend time together that evening after the baby was put to bed and she agreed.

Well, evening came and I made sure all of the household chores were done but I was disappointed to discover that she was in "don't touch me" mode once again. She said she was tired and wanted to be left alone. I can sympathize with being tired so I suggested we take a rain check until the following evening. The following evening - more of the same. And the next. Rather than provoke conflict I just haven't pursued the subject with her since then.

On one hand, if my wife has needs (physical, emotional, or otherwise) that aren't being met I want to understand and do my best to meet them. On the other hand, I'm beginning to feel manipulated and used (as a sperm donor, a live-in au pair, and a maid). All of the rejection and confusion are having a negative impact on my emotional well being and even my job performance. I really need to make some progress. I've been doing a LOT of reading and I hope that people in this forum can give suggestions that will help. So, am I missing something? What can I do? Or am I just deluding myself hoping that things can improve?

Comments (150)

  • theroselvr
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Have not read the whole post, read pieces of comments left plus all of the OP's posts.

    I do think he's telling the truth and feel he made this account specifically for this post; to get help with his marriage.

    I honestly feel that for whatever reason, you 2 are not compatible and probably will never be. What I've found is that yes, there is a perfect fit so to speak between women & men; with my hubby, and he says the same thing, sex has never been this good with anyone else; it was like we were made for each other. It's possible you are too big for her; possible she has female issues - fwiw, she may not be fully healed down there after the baby. If the man is larger, yes it's going to hurt where she had stitches after delivering.

    Then it's possible that due to your size/shape she can not experience an "O" with intercourse. The comment that said she very well may have a great sex life with someone else if you 2 split is right, she may find someone that fits her better.

    My 1st impression when I found this post yesterday was you probably can't fix this; and after reading more, I still think so. You've invested a lot of time with her; nothing has changed, it may be time to move on and find someone that will make you happy; move on to let her find someone to make her happy.

    All relationships change with time depending on ages; at one point the male may want it more, or the woman may want it more; sexual drives can not always be in sync. With you 2, it doesn't sound like it ever was.

    I realize we only have one side of the story but from what was posted, you've done a lot of giving; what has she given? She's holding a grudge because you were afraid to have sex with her in her last trimester? If she's a Dr, she knows that is common.

    Sexual abuse? possible.
    Lesbian? possible.
    Medical problems? possible (common to be depressed after having a baby.)
    Maybe you 2 are not compatible sexually? also possible

    Staying together for the kids? Please don't. I'm the product of one of those marriages, it did not set a good example for any of us.

    Last advice - give a certain amount of time to find a resolution; if you do not, separate. Do tell her this though so that she knows this is serious. If she knows the marriage might end she might get serious and seek counseling. If she's a known Dr, she might feel ashamed in counseling; so you may have to adjust for that.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    this is not about sex, this woman doesn't like you, she doesn't wnat to even give you a hug or a kiss, she doesn't want you to touch her. this is not about orgasm. what don't you understand...it is not about sex. even when i do not want sex I still hug my partner on a regular basis, nothing to do with sex, it is about affection and love. your wife doesn't feel any of that. it is not about open lip kissing (plenty of people do not kiss) or other minor details. your wife is not attracted to you. how much more proof do you need?

    i don't think you are for real, nobody in real life is that naive. I am getting annoyed wiht this thread, you don't listen to anything hat people tell you. and you are either making it all up or enjoy your current situation. it is ridiculous.

    one does not need to be sexually experienced to know what is affection and warmth in a relationship, your marriage had none of that that from the very beginning and you keep talking about orgasm. there is no warmth/afection/love/ respect in this marriage and you keep talking about orgasms. open your eyes. what you describe is awful.

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  • lowspark
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Is it possible ... that she has been lying to me for seven years about the causes of our problems? Possible, yes. Likely, no.

    Actually... it IS possible and even somewhat likely. Look at it from her point of view. She's been hearing her whole life about how great sex is from movies, TV, etc. Finally she experiences it and for some reason, whatever that reason, she doesn't enjoy it. It's NOT the wonderful experience she's been led to believe it would be. What conclusion is she to arrive at? One possibility is that it's her fault, that there is something wrong with her. But that's very hard to face up to. So rather than face that possibility, she lies - to herself and subsequently to you.

    She's in denial. Sex is supposed to be wonderful. The whole world seems to think so. But her experience is the opposite. She doesn't want to think there might be something wrong - really wrong - with her. So... she's too tired, it hurts, you rejected her during the pregnancy, etc. and on and on... Excuses about why sex is not living up to its promise.

    Whatever the REAL reason is, whether it's religion-based repression that she can't overcome, sexual incompatibility, abuse as a child, whatever, therapy is most likely the only way for her to come to that realization. Until she actually does face up to and understand the problem, it cannot be solved.

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I see a lot of red flags extending back through when we were dating."

    "....aversion to coming into contact with pre-ejaculate or semen."

    ".....she has been lying to me for seven years about the causes of our problems? Possible, yes."

    "Things definitely seem to be off chemistry / compatibility-wise in my marriage and that seems to have been the case since day one of our marriage."

    "....an unwilling spouse."

    I hear hoofbeats. Anyone else hear hoofbeats? Your continuing revelations are incredible. If you want to do the Occam's Razor thing, it seems to me that she doesn't like sex and she doesn't like you. She does know herself and has, from the beginning, presented herself deceitfully in this way. She has obtained what she sought and has been successful so far in managing it. From what you've written, she will continue to be and you'll continue to go along with it.

    Nine years in. Medical professional. Mid-thirties. Lot's of very successful experience managing you. And you think she's going to change to some version of satisfactory quickly, slowly, or ever? Via religion, introspection, counseling, or phases of the moon this isn't going to happen. Obviously it's been more-or-less OK with you for nine years. In another nine, you'll still be writing stuff just like this.

    I actually do wish you well in your efforts but I think you're being utterly unrealistic. This is how your life's going to be. Accept it or don't. Or maybe analyze it continually for the rest of your life like you're doing now. You'll never run out of curiosity and new theories and she'll never run out of new reasons to maintain her distance.

    This is going nowhere. I'm moving to the bleachers.

  • golddust
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    greenlawn,

    I believe you. Can't quite figure out *why* but I do. Forget your wife for a minute. Let's talk about you. You are hanging on to this woman who doesn't like you, isn't attracted to you and treats you mean. You don't appear to trust her with your child.

    What makes you cling so hard to your miserable life? A clingy man with no boundaries just isn't attractive to me. I've dated men like this a time or two and I end up feeling smothered. While I believe you, I'm starting to get that clingy vibe and the smothered feeling.

    Do you have friends outside of your relationship? Hobbies or passions? Are you an interesting person? Sociable? Do you bring great conversation into your marriage? Good sex starts a long way from the bedroom.

    Just asking...

  • abundantblessings
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    greenlawn, you've gotten a lot of honest feedback yesterday and today. Your willingness to try to make your relationship work is commendable, as is your rejection of adultery as an easy fix. For most, escaping into an outside relationship may provide sexual release, but will not solve what ails the marriage.

    Ponder whether you are committed to a concept of marriage or whether you are committed to the woman you married. If the former, it's time to grow up and take the blinders off. If the latter, then you must try to find a way to honestly communicate and become each other's best friend. Implicit is total reciprocity: the willingness of both parties to ensure his/her actions support the well-being of the other. How do you envision a healthy relationship aside from sex? Do you have enough of those elements that are critical to you that you can honestly see your relationship with this woman working? Not your wishful vision of her, but this woman as she essentially is. If so, then maybe you have a shot at a good marriage if the two of you can learn to treat each other with respect, in public and behind closed doors. So far, you seem to be skidding into destructive patterns that will get progressively worse unless they're addressed. No one has the right to trample your dignity, nor can they without your complicity. Time for each of you to do a time out and learn better coping skills.

    The thing is, as others have flat out told you, the problem in your relationship is not about sex. As your therapist indicated, some people live together quite satisfactorily without sex. If two people can tolerate each other's interest or lack thereof, fine. It's not fine when sex is used as a form of manipulation. It's not fine when one enters into marriage withholding essential information about one's self, one's intentions or one's ability to love wholeheartedly, i.e., without reservations promote the welfare of the other in such a way that one's own dignity is not compromised. When a marriage is entered upon false premises, it is not a valid marriage according to many religious teachings, if that's important to you.

    From what you've shared, all indications are that your marriage may not have a healthy foundation. It may be that your wife has never learned how to treat others with consideration, and that she has been too heavily invested in role-playing instead of learning to navigate the roles she undertakes. At the very least, your wife has enormous sexual hang-ups and emotional problems and has not learned to successfully deal with them. She may never. If she doesn't, do you like her as she is anyway? It seems not. Marriage is more than two people working to acquire a nice home, having a child, or even dedication to the institution. Re-read the last paragraph of your initial post.

    "On one hand, if my wife has needs (physical, emotional, or otherwise) that aren't being met I want to understand and do my best to meet them. On the other hand, I'm beginning to feel manipulated and used (as a sperm donor, a live-in au pair, and a maid). All of the rejection and confusion are having a negative impact on my emotional well being and even my job performance. I really need to make some progress. I've been doing a LOT of reading and I hope that people in this forum can give suggestions that will help. So, am I missing something? What can I do? Or am I just deluding myself hoping that things can improve?"

    You've tried to accommodate without directly addressing these concerns to the only person that matters: your wife. It's time to stop deluding yourself that your relationship will improve without consistent and concerted effort from each of you. Marriage is not a 50% /50% proposition; at minimum, it's 100% from each. If one of you is not in it for the right reasons, based on respect and true friendship, it will not be optimal. In your case, it doesn't sound as if the foundation is there, but only the two of you can determine that.

    Staying or leaving will take courage; both courses have enormous ramifications. Too bad you didn't address these problems before bringing a child into the world, but now that you have a daughter you must consider what course will best provide for her emotional well-being. You've read testimony from children of unhealthy marriages who did not feel that their parents sticking it out benefitted them. Others may see it differently. There is no certain path that others can recommend as working for everyone. Only you and your wife can determine which course has the most potential to serve the highest good for all concerned?

    You have the ability to communicate quite effectively. Do so honestly with your wife. Give her a chance to consider what it is she wants from life and whether the two of you can re-frame your interaction so that both of your emotional and physical needs can be met. It may be that the best solution is parting, but you owe it to yourselves to ask the hard questions, be honest in your assessments, and to act with grace in moving forward.

  • abundantblessings
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Always good to do a self-check, but I don't sense Greenlawn is not socially aware or adept. In fact, I give him kudos for exploring these tough questions and yearning for change.

    His analysis so far seems that he has given thought to his contributions to the marriage, and that his wife has been taking advantage of his laid-back personality. They both seem ready to burst from the anger and resentment each feels toward the other. Rather than confront the issues and work toward resolution, each has been childishly holding on to corrosive baggage all married folks encounter at one time of another.

    The vibe I'm getting is that he's too willing to accept her domination, not because he enjoys the role but because he has been afraid of confronting the issues with her. It's not easy for the non-aggressive types to go up against bullies, but they can learn to and must do so if there's any hope for an adult relationship.

    Now greenlawn, that's not to say you don't need to improve in the areas golddust recommends, but I really think you need to learn to approach your relationship as an adult by learning how to come to a resolution with your wife over the myriad conflicts and hurt feelings that are damaging your marriage. These may or may not be resolvable, depending on how badly damaged her psyche is, but if you approach her with concern and consideration you'll find out if it's worth investing further.

  • mrgreenlawn
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "The vibe I'm getting is that he's too willing to accept her domination, not because he enjoys the role but because he has been afraid of confronting the issues with her."

    In business or situations outside marriage, I am very good at influencing decisions and holding a hard line in negotiations. There is one big difference in marriage. In business, no negotiation has ever ended with "Well Mr. Greenlawn, you make a very strong case for your viewpoint. I can't refute your logic so we will proceed as you recommend. By the way, you're not going to be having sex for a very, very long time."

    Nor has anyone in business ever threatened to take my child and move out of state.

    These kind of threats or "trump cards" only need to be mentioned once or twice before they lurk behind every glare and echo in every pregnant pause in marriage. The no sex threat first was dealt on our honeymoon still remains in the air. It isn't truly a "trump card" in that I will generally choose my dignity over sex in most cases.

    From the legal research I have done, she likely would be able to leave and get primary custody of the child. I could make a strong case that I am the child's primary caregiver but that would be a roll of the dice. So, it isn't so much that I am afraid of confronting my wife as that I potentially have a lot to lose. The discussion / negotiation process is very skewed and not very effective if one party is overly dedicated to keeping the marriage together and the other is ready to walk at the drop of a hat if they don't get their way.

    The most likely end to this marriage isn't me leaving or things slowly fizzling out. It is me sticking up for myself and her leaving as a result.

  • mrgreenlawn
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "What I do see is that you are lowering your expectations..."

    "she doesn't like sex and she doesn't like you"

    "Ponder whether you are committed to a concept of marriage or whether you are committed to the woman you married."

    This whole thread has been very thought provoking and has opened my eyes to the larger scope and context of what I perceived as the initial problem. On Jul 15 (the date of the OP) I had never heard of the concept of emotional abuse but now I understand that it is something I have been living with for most of my marriage. The comments above have really been on my mind for the last day.

    Do I enjoy being treated poorly? What is my motivaion for sticking around in a bad marriage?

    I think I may be committed to solving the puzzle of why our marriage doesn't work. In my career, researchers spend years and often decades working to solve scientific problems. In that context, dogged determination is a positive trait. In a marriage, I think it may be a maladaptive trait. It may just be ego on my part - the feeling that given sufficient time, data, and resources that I can solve any problem and that a failing marriage should be no exception.

    OTOH, my parents have been married for about 40 years. They were really unhappy and dysfunctional for much of that time (~years 5-25). But they pulled it together through counseling and willingness to make changes in their lives and have been very happy together for the last 15 years or so. I guess that has been example to me and I hope to replicate that success. Again, perhaps I am deluding myself.

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The reason I've been beating on you so hard is that what you've been describing is so very similar to my former marriage. Medical professional; religious; promising; deceptive; hidden agenda.

    She didn't like sex or typical displays of affection but pretended she did during courtship. Upon proposal and acceptance, she changed instantly insisting abstinence during the engagement would "make our wedding night special." On our wedding night she dropped the bomb -- sex was a problem for her. She didn't like it and didn't want to do it anymore. All kinds of religious stuff (catholic) thrown in to justify it. Except she did want a baby! I owed her a baby! I bore with it for more than a year figuring, like you, that things would evolve "naturally" upon my continued exemplary conduct. Of course they didn't.

    Thankfully, she was unable to conceive although she blamed me for that, too, notwithstanding all the test results to the contrary. When the divorce got rolling, I learned that she -- with her mother as mentor -- had orchestrated the fraud from the beginning. I was the means for mother to get her troublesome daughter out her house and the means by which the daughter could have a "normal", "acceptable" married life -- beginning with quitting her job and "retiring" to be a home-maker. Except she had no home-making skills and wasn't interested in acquiring any. The entire thing was a conscientious deception from the beginning.

    As you've made each of your disclosures along the way, the similarities hit me like a gong. In that way I am, of course, personally biased in my opinions of what you've described. I thought fessing up about that might be appropriate.

    On the other hand, you've described having been made a virtual slave to your own wife's agenda. That's no good for you and won't be any good for your daughter. You have all the evidence you need to confirm the truth of it. I would recommend leaving.

    People like your wife don't like having their plans foiled. I suspect your divorce will be a barn-burner.

  • theroselvr
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    If one leaves, the outcome depends on the people, the attorneys and what state/county you are in. I have a SIL that was in N. Carolina that got screwed; he has not been allowed to take his daughter out of the state on vacation; but I think finally has been granted that right. In NJ, it's a little more fair; depending on who you speak to.

    You have to know your rights and what to ask for. Her not taking the child out of say a 50/100 mile radius without your consent is fair to ask for. You can also specify she can't move out of state without your ok. I'm currently stuck in NJ due to it.

    I know someone in Mass that had custody of the son with the wife having the girls until she screwed up so bad; I think he has all of the kids. You remind me of him; the way you write. Most men do not write like you, I can tell you are a successful man; just like the guy I know.

    He has been documenting everything using google blogger. His blog is private, you can make it so that no one but you sees it. You would not believe the stuff he has documented. She's a huge computer user; let's just say, nothing is private that she does. He sees it ALL.

    I know why you stay, as I'm guilty of it too. I spent an extra 3 or 4 years in a bad marriage hoping things would change, and they did for a bit, then it would go back to the same old.

  • abundantblessings
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You've gotten two perspectives which are useful if your marriage doesn't survive. Divorce is certainly an option if your wife cannot bring a healthy attitude to the relationship, and shared custody is the minimum that you can pursue. Unfortunately, some people are simply too toxic and too damaged to change, and separation is the best solution. You don't yet feel that you're ready to leave, so it's time to deal with this in a different, mature way.

    No, to answer your last question, I don't think it's delusional to work toward a successful and happy marriage despite a rocky start. It just requires an entirely new way of responding to the current dynamics. Both of you are highly intelligent professionals, perhaps with similar emotional constructs despite her being more high strung. As a scientist you can appreciate that dogged replication of the same variables will produce the same result and not achieve the desired breakthrough. Your challenge, sir, is to change the variables to try to achieve the desired result. Capiche?

    One approach to consider is simply opening your heart and spirit, even though that certainly does not guarantee success. Forget the layers of learned inappropriate interaction, and give your wife the opportunity to recapture her bearings and become again "the woman I knew nine years ago - funny, caring, interesting, passionate."

    Your situation is hardly unique -- okay, maybe the sex "rules" are a bit much-- but it seems we all enter relationships with lessons to learn. Whether we learn what we need to in order to have a joyful experience is highly dependent on our willingness to move beyond the petty limitations or stay mired in the muck of hurt feelings and resentment.

    Often we are challenged to provide the unconditional love and support each of us truly wants.

    That's not definitely the same as allowing yourself to be exploited. Shake off the victimhood and deal with your wife as an adult. She cannot control what you do not allow. If you have set too low expectations in the past, raise them!

    There's no benefit to accepting disrespect as it impedes your growth as well as diminishes the offender. Your child certainly does not benefit by seeing a shrewish mother or a submissive father. She needs to see two people who effectively work to resolve inevitable conflicts.

    Sometimes, it helps to let the other person know that the rotten behavior of the past decade won't be tolerated. Apologize sincerely for whatever you have contributed to her resentment, but firmly indicate that it's time to grow up and model better, healthier behavior for your child. Acknowledge the inner wounds you both have brought to the relationship, then unequivocably break the pattern. It takes two to tangle, but it only takes one to change the response.

    Assuming that your wife is not psychotic but merely neurotic, in your shoes, given the perspective you've shared which may or may not fairly and accurately depict her, I'd find someone to care for my daughter for a week while my spouse and I took a trip to a relatively secluded and peaceful spot. Minimize the distractions and allow whatever good feelings still exist to manifest. Now that you have time to relax in a changed -- and hopefully beautiful -- setting, I'd begin to have an honest exchange about my hopes, dreams and expectations and explore whether there is any common ground on which to build anew. There may be a lot of resistance and reluctance on both your parts to make a fresh start as it means dropping defenses and set patterns, but if you truly want to grow you have to come clean. You also have to be willing to accept that she may not want to change the dynamics or she may actually prefer to move on. For some, it's far easier to leave rather than change and for others it's far easier to be afraid to rock the boat. Neither path leads to a breakthrough.

    You cannot control her responses; you can only change yours. Giving in to emotional blackmail has only reinforced the pattern so you know that's ineffective. Stop, though it may lead to divorce and separation from your daughter. While that potential is not what you hope for, it may best the best solution. It need not be as detrimental for your daughter as you fear or as bleak for you. Growing up in a dysfunctional home may be far more difficult than being reared in separate households knowing you are well-loved by both parents. At least you will have a shot a building a happier life for yourself and with your daughter rather than merely struggling with a facade that serves no one well.

    Although your parents have a happier ending than some, clearly their difficulties helped shape your emotional framework which only illustrates my point about considering the skills your daughter will acquire from your example. Perseverance is admirable, but so is living joyfully. The key to your parents' success is that both were willing to change. If you find that not to be true in your marriage, then your outcome will not be as positive.

  • yborgal
    14 years ago

    OP, you say you want "the woman I knew nine years ago - funny, caring, interesting, passionate"....Did she ever exist?

    I see nothing in your description of your years with this woman that indicates any sense of passion between the two of you during any time you've been with her.

    1. no premarital sex ( that's okay, but I imagine there was little kissing or touching)
    2. before the baby was born sex was infrequent (once every month or two).
    3. while attempting conception, intercourse was limited to once a month
    4. during pregnancy she recoiled at any affection, even non-sexual contacts like hugs or pecks on the cheek.
    5. you mention a dry spell of 2 years

    AND:
    - no open lip kissing, only occasional closed lip
    - only missionary or occasionally woman on top
    - my genitalia may not contact any part of her body other than her genitalia or sometimes her hand
    - no artificial lubricants

    My goodness, sir! Tell me which of these behaviors or rules spells out PASSIONATE BEHAVIOR to you.

    You're living in a fantasy world that exists only in your imagination. What you're looking for isn't in a marriage with this woman, and I don't think it ever was.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    life is too short to be anything but happy, I know it sounds a bit clishe but really who says one has to endure this kind of life, what for? church says divorce is a sin or what? who needs this kind of life, you won't live 200 years right? it is much healthier for everyone including this child to move on. and yes alienation of affection good enough reason for divorce. I would contact a lawyer now. after initial shock you will be a happy person. it is prefectly fine to be single or persue new relationships or do whatever else, who the heck needs this misery?

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "...yes alienation of affection good enough reason for divorce..."

    Oops...mistake. I'm not Joe Legal, but I believe this is a tort action against a third party, not husband or wife. Try wikipedia for starters.

    Don't know where OP lives but in most states you basically don't need a reason. If you want out you can get out. Division of assets and child support remain as contentious as ever but the divorce itself cannot be prevented for lack of "cause". You cannot be legally forced to stay married if you don't want to be but your financial picture will certainly change.

  • lowspark
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    From the legal research I have done, she likely would be able to leave and get primary custody of the child.
    I don't know what legal research you've done, but have you seen a lawyer? I know you're not interested in pursuing divorce at this time but most lawyers will give a free first visit during which you can ask these kinds of questions and get good information based on your specific case.

    But they pulled it together through counseling and willingness to make changes in their lives and have been very happy together for the last 15 years or so.
    The key words here are "counseling and willingness to make changes".

    The discussion / negotiation process is very skewed and not very effective if one party is overly dedicated to keeping the marriage together and the other is ready to walk at the drop of a hat if they don't get their way.
    Your wife holds all the "trump" cards, or so it seems. She can withhold sex, she can threaten to take the child away. It's possible that since she does hold all the "trump" cards, she is counting on the fact that you aren't going to play your hand. And her bet is paying off.

    You can stay in this misrable situation for who knows how many more wasted years (waiting for your daughter to grow up?) but one thing is certain, the marriage will end sooner or later if nothing changes. And since she has no incentive to change, it won't.

    I'm just wondering if seeing a lawyer which will get you some definite facts, in addition to making it clear to your wife that you are seriously thinking of ending it, won't put at least some of the "trump" cards back into your hand.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I misspoke asolo. I guess I typed in a hurry. "Alienation" was the wrong word. In some states refusal of sexual intercourse and lack (that's what I meant) of affection falls under "extreme cruelty" and is good enough reason.

    I was not talking about reasons legally per se, I meant if she objects and says nothing is wrong in our marriage then he can always say: we have no sex and no affection, how is that OK? no affection and no sex doesn't indicate any kind of marital relationship at all (at least for me it doesn't).

    And who knows. She works outside the house and possibly has an affair.

  • sweeby
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Ponder whether you are committed to a concept of marriage or whether you are committed to the woman you married."

    --------------------------------------------------

    Near the end of my first marriage (to someone who sounds remarkably like your wife in many ways), I told my then husband that our marriage was in serious trouble, and that I was going to make an appointment with a counsellor. I then said that he could go with me to discuss how to save our marriage, or that I would go alone and discuss if our marriage was worth trying to save.

    It was a very effective tactic, and is one I would recommend most seriously.

    At that point in my life, there was nothing I feared more than trying to raise my two-year-old son as a single mother. I felt that allowing my marriage to 'fail' was the worst kind of personal failure. There had never been a divorce in my immediate family, and like your parents, mine had made it through a lengthy 'rough spell' thanks mainly to my mother's dogged determination outlasting my father's 'difficult' disposition...

    But counselling proved to be a godsend! Finally having the validation that my Ex's treatment was truly as unkind as it felt! Counselling helped me realize that his abusive actions were the result of his own limitations as a person -- not of any flaws of mine. (He always had 'reasons' why it was my fault, and those reasons always contained a 'grain' of truth.) And eventually, I was able to make the decision to walk away, knowing that I was choosing between a life of known degradation and unhappiness and a 'second chance'.

    Anyway -- Our son began to thrive when I began to heal. And when I kicked that emotionally abusive jerk out of the house, gave him half of my (oops - legally 'our') money, and began living life without the constant drain of walking on eggshells -- wow! The sense of strength, of competence, of freedom! It was intoxicating. Once I had that freedom, I met and married the man of my dreams within a year, and my son grew up knowing the security of a loving marriage and watching two people treat each other with love, kindness and respect.

    I wish you the very best, Greenlawn.
    There's a chance you might find it with your wife IF she is willing to go to counselling and really work at her issues.
    But if she's not, know that your only chance for finding personal happiness and for showing your daughter a healthy, loving marriage lies in 'fishing elsewhere'.

  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There is so much to wade through; I can't read it all. But I will say this, no-sex is a symptom of the larger problem seen in this marriage, lack of any intimacy. May (lowspark) is probably the closest with the non-compatability thing. And any sex or affection just heightens the differences in how you approach the lack of intimacy (on every level, not just sex). It may make the chasm more obvious to and for her. Worse, more painful. She may not have any issues, except specific to this marriage. Hope, I hate to say it, but there is little hope for changing. She may be perfectly fine, but not perfect for you. I wish the best and that you find your other half instead of a room-mate! Life is too short to blame or to live with less than what can make you both happy.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    People certainly can change and once he goes to a marriage counselor with her, then he will know whether she is capable and willing to change. There may be deep unresolved issues in her past that need to be dealt with first before concentrating on their relationship.

  • golddust
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    She has refused to attend counseling, bumblebee. How can he get her there?
    Looks like *he* is the one having trouble with their loveless marriage, not her.

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Where will her motivation to change come from? She's got everything she wants. All that's left is to get her slave-husband to leave her entirely alone instead almost-entirely alone while he continues to do all his other chores.

    She won't go near a counselor. Put it in the bank. She knows what she's doing.

  • sweeby
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Where will her motivation to change come from? She's got everything she wants."

    I'm glad you shared more about your personal history Asolo, as it sheds light on why/how you think the way you do. While I'm certainly not disputing your version of your own marital history and Ex's motives, I suspect it's far more common for the woman to genuinely not know how she feels about sex and intimacy pre-marriage than to go into a marriage under knowingly false circumstances with a devious plan. Now she may be deliberately ignorant or suspect that she may not be all that 'hot' for the physical and 'messy' aspects of marriage -- but I doubt most women are as deliberately deceptive as your experience would cause you to suspect. But regardless of her intent -- The result is the same.

    Though I don't think she has everything she wants at all. I suspect she'd truly love to feel the same level of desire for you that you feel/felt for her. That she'd love to somehow discover that 'fairy tale' happiness she always heard about! But can't admit that to experience it, she has to take emotional and physical risks in ways that make her profoundly uncomfortable...

    Counseling --

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "...regardless of her intent -- The result is the same."

    If you think a counselor of some ilk is going to re-orient a physician with nine years of this marital experience already under her belt, all I can do is wish you well. If you've got the bread and are willing to spend the rest of your life on that merry-go-round all I can say is tra-la-la. Might even be a tweedle-dee in there somewhere.

  • midwestmom
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sorry, I didn't make it all the way through the comments, but IMO "She's just not that into you". Seriously. Move on. Life is short, you deserve someone that wants you like you want them. Period.

  • scarlett2001
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wanted to congratulate you on your green lawn. Mine is now brown, thanks to the drought.

    You know, we all have a belief system: religion, professional ethics or just what mommy and daddy role modeled for us. But when our core beliefs clash with reality - that is painful. And confusing.

    Seems to me that your beliefs sort of lead you into accepting this situation and they are now keeping you in it. You want to do the Right Thing, according to what you believe, but it just isn't working. It isn't making you happy and it isn't solving the problem.

    How long can you continue to suck it up in the name of doing what you think is the right thing? And is there an alternative that you can use? Last question: the counseling you are receiving, is it from religious people? Are they really helping you see all the alternatives?Because at some point, you are going to have to "think outside the box."

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Last question: the counseling you are receiving, is it from religious people? Are they really helping you see all the alternatives?"

    good point.

    Nothing against religious type of counselling...But i have a collegue who is staying in absuive marriage (way worse than OP described). She isnsited they go to counselling because otherwise she was inclined to file for divorce.

    They both are very religious so her DH insisted they go to strictly Christian counselling, more so counsellor that he personally knows and the same one that attends their church. Mind you every session they attend and every complains she has ends up wiht their counsellor saying: no matter what you made a vow, no matter what God is on your side, no matter what you do the right thing, when you have problems just go to Church and tlak to God, just go pray some more....

    She becomes increasinly frustrated because she gets nothing out of session, but her Dh gets everything: she is told to stay no matter what. Now he is still abusive and she is still miserable.

    My other colleague asked her why wouldn't they go see a secular counsellor. she said she'd love to, maybe it would help but her DH says absolutelly no. probably because he knows that they would no suggest staying in abusive marriage and pray it gets better.

  • mrgreenlawn
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In the past week or so I have been trying a two pronged approach:
    1) Being extra conscientious in how I treat my wife and an extra good listener (in case I am contributing to the problem without realizing it)
    2) Not tolerating any derisive or abusive treatment; not letting any snide remarks go unchallenged

    The result:
    Initially a lot of raised voices and shouting for the first few days. But things have settled down in the past couple days and things seem to be getting better. We have had company the past week so I may just be seeing her public persona which is generally a lot nicer and friendlier than the private persona.

  • abundantblessings
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So glad you're taking better care of yourself. It will get easier, by the way, once you simply start being true to yourself and treating your wife like an adult instead of tolerating childish BS. If she slides back into the unpleasant private persona, simply call her on it. Tell her you'd appreciate her modeling better behavior for everyone's, especially your child's, sake and to bring back the public, more likable persona as she's not being her best. Maybe the two of you can find a funny name that serves as a gentle reminder when the evil twin starts to emerge.

    Regain your center and refuse to interact on less than a mature level. If she starts down a path trying to belittle you, simply tell her you won't deal with her on a petty level but will happily explore the subject when she's able to so in a mature way. Then disengage. Each and every time, until it becomes clear that the game is over. Be kind, but be firm. Your marriage might get stronger, but you definitely will. You will feel much, much better in the long run.

    It's okay to be who you are as long as you're guided by compassion, integrity. and goodwill. If the other person attempts to diminish your spirit, don't acquiesce. Once you learn to treat each other with civility, perhaps there's a chance that she can unravel her sexual hang-ups. If not, you have to decide if you want a fuller, happier life and, if so, go after it. Picture such a life, and then take the steps necessary to achieve as close to your ideal as possible

    You can't rewrite history, but a couple of examples from your earlier days: "Sex shouldn't be that important t you!" (How dare she!!! Whenever you hear "shoulds" that are a denial of who you are, unless in the area of truly harmful addictions or dangerous behaviors, it signals the other person has overstepped respectful boundaries. Conceding seldom leads to constructive results.) "Well, it is, and why is it not important to you? I want a normal, healthy marriage. Do you?"

    Honeymoon threat: "That's not a game I intend to play. Do you want to be married or did you just want a wedding?"

    Your tone need not be condescending or adversarial, but sincere promptings to her better self. Nine years in, you can still stop the blackmail. No, you can't force her to be what she doesn't want to become, but you can make it clear that you want a good marriage, are willing to be a good husband, and if she can't be a good wife, that you will end the charade..

    Life is very short, and you've lost a decade to BS. While you've acquired some trappings and truly delight in your daughter, you've lost so much time and opportunities for a richly rewarding marriage. Live and learn. But don't just mark time; this is the only go-round we're certain of so learn to live fully, love wholeheartedly, laugh till you feel it deep down and surround yourself with like-minded types who are committed to building a better world.

    I choose not to spend my life with folks who are too selfish to give their best. My husband and I are far from perfect, but we've built a good life together because we early on learned to cherish and support each other's strengths, overlook or at least tolerate our shortcomings, and try to treat each other kindly. When we have our rough moments, we've learned to not cut into each other, apologize and move past the hurt feelings. This formula seems to work for many and in all types of relationships. We have friends from myriad backgrounds and disparate interests, but those we're closest to share the desire to live with gusto, joy and compassion. They're also willing to help others find their way. Though none of us can be happy all the time, we can all try to bring out the best in ourselves and others. You'll get there, greenlawn, and the rewards will make up for the last few years of being stuck.

  • theroselvr
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The result:
    Initially a lot of raised voices and shouting for the first few days. But things have settled down in the past couple days and things seem to be getting better. We have had company the past week so I may just be seeing her public persona which is generally a lot nicer and friendlier than the private persona.

    After 10 years, do you really think things are going to change?
    If they do, for how long?
    Then you go back to the way it was, do what you posted again, and it's good again, but for how long?

    Do you see where I'm going with this?
    I did this for almost a year.
    Eventually he told me he wanted out.
    That's a year of my life I can never get back.

    Post back if it got you sex because I doubt that changed.

  • mara_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Personally I think it's a red flag (not to mention, totally unfair) when the abusive partner chooses the counselor (whether secular or faith-based) -- come on, that's asking for trouble!

    I know a lot of pastors and trained counselors whose counseling is faith-based, and not even one of them condones any abuse at all, particularly physical abuse.

    Not one of them would give the wife the advice which was related above. I know for a fact that every one of them has advised such women to GET OUT and not come back (or else require the husband to find another place to live -- her choice) unless/until the abusive husband is willing to change and DOES change. Period.

    In such situations, a prolonged separation is advised, with the husband being required to submit to Biblical teaching re: loving his wife as he loves himself, and also being accountable to more than one man of integrity.

    If the husband is willing to do this, if he is willing to be gut-level honest about himself, there is a good chance he and the marriage can be changed. If he is not, that tells the wife what she needs to know.

  • mara_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    re: "If her whole family is religious it [abuse] would be covered up or not believed."

    dilly_dally, this is your opinion, to which you are entitled. I did want to point out, though, it is not fact.

    Having been involved in education for several decades, I have seen at least as much evidence of abuse (to be honest, I've seen more) in families who were non-religious as I have in families who claimed a faith.

    I've noticed several posts in this thread which reveal anti-faith bias -- thus, I thought it pertinent to point out this truth.

  • scarlett2001
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Not necessarily ant-faith, but pro-common sense. For example, I don't see how a person who has never experienced sex or marriage or even living daily with someone in an intimate relationship can help a couple. Yes, he may be trained, etc. but it's still second hand info, and there is an agenda that he is supposed to encourage the couple to follow.

    I have been to church weddings where the officiant asked the congregation to pray for the new wife to be subserviant to her husband. I sure would not like to have to depend on that philosophy in a counseling relationship.

  • mara_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    scarlett, the pastors and counselors I mentioned are all married.

    The Bible commands both husbands and wives to submit to one another in mutual submission to God. Also, for husbands to love their wives as Christ Jesus loves his people and gave himself for them.

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yawn.

    Jeez, people, we don't even know what religion they are!

  • yborgal
    14 years ago

    The OP wasn't asking for religious advice, he was asking for advice on how to get his wife to become a participant in marital relations.
    In spite of all of our suggestions, I think he's still right where he was when he originally started this thread.

    This situation reminds me of being on a merry-go-round. If you want a change of scenery you just have to get off the ride.

    The OP's wife is, among other things, a control freak and a bully. She has threatened him into submission and that's how he's living his life.

    As long as he's in fear of his wife leaving, and the wife knows this, he'll never be in a position to negotiate any kind of deal with her.

    As we've told him before, any change will have to begin with him. I just don't see he has the strength to make the changes.

    By the way, mrgreenlaw, you say you're an "easy-going and passive" person. Sir, I'd say you're way beyond passive.

    You say you can be a tough negotiator in business matters. You need to bring those skills into your home.

    You say the outcome of tough negotiating at home would be no sex for a long time? Right now, it sounds like the well ran dry long ago.

    And, though you are a successful business man, obviously educated, seem to be well informed.....you say that until 7/15/09 you were unaware of the term "emotional abuse".
    Now, that's hard to believe.

  • lowspark
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As long as he's in fear of his wife leaving, and the wife knows this, he'll never be in a position to negotiate any kind of deal with her.

    That pretty much summarizes the whole thing in one sentence. Until Mrgreenlawn makes up his mind to end the marriage if necessary, nothing will ever get resolved. He has to actually begin proceedings of some kind so that the wife knows he means business.

    This won't necessarily make the marriage better, it's no guarantee that she will actually take steps to improve things. The marriage probably will, in fact, end. But I don't see any other chance for things to improve. As long as you continue to do nothing and accept the way things are, nothing will never change.

  • yborgal
    14 years ago

    You haven't been back. Are you living with the public persona or the private persona? And have things gotten better for you?

  • shannonaz
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am new to this thread, but I had to comment because it looks like no one else has touched on this:

    Am I understanding correctly that your wife wanted to be intimate with you during the end of her pregnancy? You guys had very little sex/intimacy for years and then when she was pregnant she suddenly wanted sex and you refused for not a medically valid reason, but a hang-up of your own? OR is she just saying she wanted to have sex, but at the time she didn't or something else. You didn't expand on that...

    My marriage at times had a lot of similarities to yours, but no where near that extreme. AT times I had trouble with even rudimentary affection when I thought my husband only wanted sex, etc. I felt very sensuous as I got more pregnant and my sex drive was also up. It would have done great damage if my husband had rejected me sexually at this time. Also, this time period helped me understand that sex drive is a very physiological thing. Some women don't need a lot of sex. Hormones play a role.

    Anyway, I have a different perspective on this. I am sure your wife has a different take on the situation you presented. I think you and others on this thread are pretty sinister in framing the situation as deception worthy of you scheming to leave her and take her child with you. In light of that, it is hard for me to see you as innocent victim here.

    I do think that it is fixable. It sounds like your wife has some (now major?) hang-ups about sex and you have one as well.

  • mrgreenlawn
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Regarding scheming, my only scheme is to get my marriage on track. This is accompanied by discussion of the consequences of allowing a marriage to fail.

    Regarding any comments from other posters about not trusting my wife with the child, I don't believe that is the case. I think the child is better off with two happily married parents than any of the alternatives. Thus a healthy marriage is the goal I wish to achieve. I do think Mrs. Greenlawn lays a guilt trip on me sometimes on the (rare) occasions I get away for an afternoon with friends. But I trust the child is in safe hands.

    BTW, Mrs. Greenlawn discovered this thread whilst rummaging the browsing history on Mr. Greenlawn's laptop. :-o Welcome to GardenWeb

    Mrs. Greenlawn is preparing an extensive rebuttle for posting.

    I think the discovery of this topic could be used as a positive thing. It's a lot to put on the table all at once and the presentation is, well, indelicate given that it was intended for anonymous eyes only. Fortunately, I believe we have agreement to try MC which I think is a positive step.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm glad your wife is going to participate. I have always thought you should have just shown her this thread anyway.

    I would start a new post ...this one is about to close
    and that would keep her posts on her own thread.

  • mrsmrgreenlawn
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    As Mrgreenlawn says, while trying to find webpages I'd previously veiwed while planning our vacation, I pressed the wrong button, or did DD? Anyway all the pages came up as tabs and here was the original post. I glance at it and think, "this sounds familiar". I start to read it then DD whacks the computer again and it is gone. I tell DH about it when he came home. Later I read this thread. You all seem to enjoy the soap opera. Some of you seem to be considering the problem and offering advice and well wishes. Thank you for your concern. I was going to write an huge rebuttal but I'm not really interested in airing dirty laundry nor do I feel I need to defend myself by detailing what I consider personal. I will say that I disagree with parts of his account. Also, I was not truamatized, not homosexual, not medically or mentally ill. I love and like my DH, want to be intimate with him. I agree that I'm stubborn, complacent and can be selfish. From his posts I see that he is distressed and I already know there is a problem. If he wants to do couples counseling, fine, I'm not opposed. Our communication clearly needs an overhaul as what I perceived as an off hand comment (during a tense moment or arguement? can't truly remember) was to him a genuine invitation to therapy. If mrgreenlawn wants to continue this discussion with you, I'll stay out of it. I have no intention of creating my own posting.

  • asolo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Whoa! Guess that's about the end of that!

    Kinda like getting caught whacking only much, much worse.

    Vast amounts of "no comment" to both of you.

  • sweeby
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I hope you will both go to counseling and really give it a fair shake --

    There is so much more to marriage than just "being nice" (this is mostly to MrsGreenlawn). True intimacy is more emotional than physical -- a precursur -- and it involves taking a very big risk. From what he's written, it's clear he loves you very much and wants to make your marriage work. I hope you'll forgive him (in the short run) for posting here until you're able to actually thank him for somehow bringing this all to a head.

    I wish you both the very best --
    It is out there, and available to those willing to take the plunge.

  • amyfiddler
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Interesting. It is rarely identified as a betrayal for folks to discuss their business on these boards - but now he's been caught, and he's in big trouble and suddenly he's not worthy of comment. Because he was caught.

    Seems odd...? Was it wrong or not, for him to come here and get some answers and support? And can you imagine being her, reading all these "projections" and commentary on her sexuality? Wow, my heart goes out to her with this. (PS I still think this is an anger issue). I hope these two can figure this stuff out and be happy.

  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm trying to figure out what part of what she says is bothering y'all. Is it that she said you were all wrong about her "dysfunction" (if you'll read my above comment, I never said it was her problem, but a marital problem), or that he is "caught"?

    She said thank you for your concern. I take that at face value. She said he overreacted and I take that at face value. She said she "disagree[d] with parts of his account", and boy have I been there! I get ya Mrs. Greenlawn.

    You may have noticed, I comment on this often in my responses here. It's awfully tempting to be one-sided when the other spouse isn't present and it occured to me a long time ago (from my own personal experiences!), some may mirepresent the hardships in order to garner favor here. It's not helpful to the marriage for the person to lie, but serves nothing more than validation purposes. It's a shame when that happens as it indicates the person writing has no interest in changing the marriage, but only more wants to change the person about whom they're writing.

    That reflects a total lack of acceptance for the non-represented person's shortcomings when that happens, and boy is that wrong! Just my $0.02.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    plenty of people post their personal problems here and that's what these forums are for. nothing wrong with that. at least he was not lying.

    somebody was caught on stepfamily forum, bioparent came across steparent's postings. stepparent was lying about custody, child support, stepkids etc. plus making unpleasant comments about stepkids. bioparent was furious! no wonder.

    mrgreenlawn seems to be truthful but then again i feel for her, I would be devastated to find such posts out. well it reminds all of us that nothing is anonymous or private on the Internet. have to think twice every time we post.

    but maybe somehting good would come out of it. mrs greenlawn will either work on her issues or mrgreen lawn will move on as her finding his posts was a good push!

  • mara_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm sure this was not exactly a pleasant discovery for mrsgreenlawn -- and of course mrgreenlawn has dealt with unpleasantness himself.

    I sincerely hope this discussion helps them to open up to each other, both with a counselor and alone, and helps to bring healing to their marriage.

    All the best to both of you, mr & mrsgreenlawn.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "It's not helpful to the marriage for the person to lie, but serves nothing more than validation purposes. It's a shame when that happens as it indicates the person writing has no interest in changing the marriage, but only more wants to change the person about whom they're writing."

    I think the issue might be with different interpretation of the same events rather than lying. It is not the first time when spouses/partners/lovers see the same events in a completelly different light.

    And although I understand how mrsgreenlawn feels knowing that he shared it here, i hope she understands that most (all?) men after 9 of years of THIS (all of this, not just no emotional intimacy) would be out of the door long time ago, but he didn't sleep around and didn't leave but actually made an effort to ask for honest advice and go to therapy. Hopefully mrs greenlawn can appreciate it.

  • thermometer
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, I hope she can appreciate he didn't leave and didn't sleep around. That is, if those things would have mattered to her. I cannot say for certain how she would have felt. Nevertheless, I don't believe he wanted help or honest advice. He rejected even the slightest suggestion(s) that he, himself, might be the reason for his wife's unresponsiveness. And, the more Asolo and others villainized and demonized his wife as devious, deceptive, and diabolical, the more he posted things she has done or new things that she did. I still keep wondering why so many people jumped and continued to blame her when no one knows anything about him or the things that he did. For example, there couldn't possibly have been any reason for her public outburst or embarrassing him in front of company. No one even wondered because she is so awful and unstable. He painted himself the loyal, subserviant, loving, long-suffering, extremely patient husband and father, while very skillfully and intelligently guiding opinion and garnering favor. I hope this thread and this, my last response to it, opened her eyes to what she has been living with. I'll bet she has been very confused for an awful long time. Yep, maybe she is abundantly grateful he did not sleep around (as if we know....waaaaay too many assumptions in here) and that he didn't leave. But if I were she, he'd be out on his a$$ tomorrow.

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