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Marriage problems

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by OpenHeart, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. OpenHeart

    OpenHeart New Member

    You're going to have to forgive the dumb name and even that I'm posting this ... I'm just torn up in side. My marriage has been rocky for a while, and I think we may have just hit the breaking point. I think a separation is going to have to happen soon, and I don't have a lot of faith that we're going to come out of that being able to fix our marriage. I'm flat-out stunned at how things have fallen apart; we were happily married for many years and even now get along, albeit mostly as friends and not as a married couple, in a way that I think a lot of couples would envy. But when things are bad, they're bad in a way that's more intense and ugly than ever, and I just can't keep doing it.

    We tried counseling, and we did little more than rehash old fights and old hurts. That got us nowhere, as you might imagine. It probably even made things worse.

    I guess I'm wondering, has anyone's marriage ever come out of something like this alive? And if mine doesn't, how do I escape the pain that feels like it's crushing me? For so many reasons ... My vows were sacred to me. I thought we were forever. We have two kids who mean the world to us. I just never, ever imagined being in this situation, until suddenly I was.

    Thanks a million for reading and for anything helpful you might be offer. Please feel free to PM if you'd be more comfortable doing that than posting.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    If this wasn't a result of one of y'all straying, then it seems it would be better for the kids for them to be co-parented apart. But only y'all can determine if the situation is truly irrevocable. Is there a root cause you can pinpoint?
  3. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    I remember talking with an oldtimer a few years ago after he gave my wife and I a special tour of his museum that I was writing about. We sat down for coffee and muffins with he and his wife, to whom he had been married for about 55 years. "How did you do it?" we asked, wanting a sincere piece of wisdom.

    "We work at it. Every single day."
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Yogi Berra?
  5. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Honestly, until I saw the reference to two kids, I thought my brother-in-law had stumbled over here. This is admittedly just a second-degree story, and nobody observing a relationship in shambles can have the perspective of someone going thru it, but therapy/counseling just delayed the inevitable for my sister and brother-in-law. It's all over but the paperwork now. I feel awful for everyone involved, especially my nephew, and I'm frustrated with both my sister and brother-in-law for not figuring a way to work it out. I also understand that's easy to feel from the outside.

    As Dooley said, trying to establish a root cause is essential. It might not make you feel any better, but at least maybe you can find some explanation. For my sister and brother-in-law, I know it was the (undiagnosed) nervous breakdown she had after the two-year span in which she took care of our Mom as she battled cancer, took care of our Dad after Mom died and then took care of Dad after he almost died of a bacterial illness and had to spend the next several months recovering at her house. She and her husband ended up sleeping apart for several months b/c my Dad needed their bed (biggest one in the house, nearest a bathroom, all that). I'm sure the complete removal of intimacy was a huge factor in fucking up their marriage.

    Therapy of course revealed some other underlying issues and deep-rooted grudges each was holding against the other. It also got the quack docs offering some truly insane explanations for why my sister and brother-in-law are fucked up. But both say therapy has been more good than bad, and that hopefully it leads to more healthy relationships from here on out.

    Good luck. There are no easy answers.
  6. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    I know way too much about this subject. My brother is soon going to be the latest in a long list of men in my family who have gotten divorced. He and his wife have been separated for well over a year and my brother has a girlfriend he thinks he's going to marry someday.

    They have three children, though it is less of an issue for the older ones, who are graduating from college this spring. The yougest is in middle school, but from what I can tell, he's actually handling it better than his older siblings. That said, staying together for him just wasn't an option for them.

    My parents got divorced when I was in high school. Honestly, it was a relief. Their relationship had been a mess most of my life and my brother and I both knew it. For us, it was the best thing they could have done.

    So what does that mean? Sometimes staying together for the kids is bad for the kids. But not always. It depends on a lot of things, like how old they are and how toxic your marriage has really become. Just be open to the idea that the best thing for them might be for you two to split up.

    As far as the vows are concerned? Well, that's between you and G-d. Bottom line is you didn't have the information then that you have now. You didn't know these problems were coming. If the problems really are that bad, I don't think you should let the vows get in your way, but that's my morality, not yours.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    At my first newspaper job, I did a Valentine's Day story on this couple who'd been married for 50 or so years, and I asked them the same question. They gave the exact same answer.
  8. OpenHeart

    OpenHeart New Member

    I'm curious, if counseling only delayed the inevitable, how you think they could have worked it out? Did they not try hard enough in counseling? Did they already have their minds made up?

    Sometimes I feel like part of the problem is worrying that every fight could mean the end. I wonder sometimes if we had the perspective -- which I always did until recently -- that there's not going to be an end, that we're in this together, forever, if it might take the heat off some of the fights and force us to figure out how to cut the crap. Does that make any sense? It just seems almost like rather than really, truly commit to finding ways to communicate and satisfy both our needs, it's OK to just say "Eh, this isn't working, let's move on."

    I truly don't want to be that person. There is definitely still a lot of love there and just having not talked other than practical things these past few days, I miss being able to share stories and funny things. Not just with "someone," but with the person I married.

    As for the root problems someone mentioned, there were a couple of major family deaths, new jobs and the birth of two kids, all within four years. I think we both did our best to handle them but inadvertently -- and unintentionally -- caused a lot of harm to our marriage.
  9. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    I'm going through the same thing, and the trouble began three years ago when I learned I would be losing my job.
    The human cost of this economy and layoff mania.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sounds like part of the problem is that you were getting along "happily" for years as mostly friends. I think that's a situation that maybe seems fine to one of you but not the other.

    It's an easy rut to get into, especially with kids.

    Marriage is a lot like life, sometimes you see the trouble coming; other times it's out of the blue and you don't know what just happened.
  11. OpenHeart

    OpenHeart New Member

    I think I may have just awkwardly constructed that. What I meant was that since the troubles really started spilling over earlier this year, we started living more as friends (separate rooms, etc.) than as a married couple. We still go out to eat, we still watch shows, that sort of thing. And we really click well -- we laugh, we talk, we do nice things for each other, we both help around the house, we bounce work stuff off each other, etc.

    What's missing is the intimacy and emotion. It was there throughout our marriage, then evaporated at the beginning of the year as the fights got worse.

    Hope that made sense.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    So are you in counseling to see why, if you like each other so much, you are getting into fights that are destroying the marriage?
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