- 5 years ago
- Wedding: January 2010
Very frequent poster going anonymous to protect identities.
I have many girlfriends but I’m afraid to disclose to anyone that there is trouble within my marriage. I realize that seeking opinions about such a serious subject via an internet board might seem silly, but I feel stuck, scared, and with nowhere to turn for solid advice.
I have been married a little over 3 years to a wonderful, smart man. There is no infidelity on either side, of that I am sure. However, things have deteriorated rapidly. For brevity’s sake I will try to hit the high spots.
My husband works a very demanding and competitive job. One of the things I first loved about him was his drive to succeed and to become well-respected at his firm. However, in the past few years that drive seems to have taken priority. He is reluctant to spend evenings or weekends with me, preferring instead to work through the evening. I know he is not using work as an alibi for cheating because he frequently does this work from home. We have seen 2 different marriage counselors, the most recent of whom suggested that we specifically schedule time to reconnect with each other every day. My husband has taken that to mean that he should allot me one hour per day to spend time together (usually to eat dinner at a restaurant) and then resume his work. At this point, I have begun to feel like a child being given an allowance. To know that it is Friday night and I am allotted exactly 2 hours to see my husband all weekend makes me feel rejected and sad.
To complicate matters, we are both very active in helping our families, and both sides of our family struggle with a lot of mental health and financial issues. There is so much more I could tell here, but suffice it to say that we both sacrifice a lot of ourselves for other people, in both our families and in our careers. We are also at a point at which we must decide whether to have a biological child in the next few years (I am nearly 35) and we are both very afraid to commit to that. The idea of being childless forever is so sad to me, but at the same time the idea of taking on more responsibility when we are already struggling in our marriage (and with our respective families) is very scary.
There is no physical violence, but we argue a LOT. At least once weekly, he tells me I am too needy, I tell him he is too distant, and he gets mad and leaves. Usually this is followed by a text message from him saying that he wants a divorce, and me begging him not to throw our marriage away. Our counselor suggested that he stop sending such emotionally charged text messages, and to his credit he has stopped in the last few weeks, but the memory of this behavior is so fresh that whenver he storms out I combat very high anxiety as I anticipate getting an “I’m leaving your ass” text.
I am not perfect. I am the first to admit that I struggle with my own depression, but he knows that I ALWAYS seek treatment (counseling, medication) when it starts to negatively impact our relationship. I have not been in a true depressive episode in quite some time, so that cannot be named as the sole culprit of our recent arguments and his threats of divorce.
There is SO MUCH MORE I could say, but will stop here for now.
I’m afraid of the following:
-That the whole rest of my life will involve me vying for his attention and wishing our relationship came before his work.
-If I make peace with being allotted one hour of his time per night, I’ll be ‘settling’ for someone who doesn’t value our marriage the way I do.
-If we have children, we will be bringing innocent parties into this mess.
-If we divorce, we will face the embarrassment and shame of having all our friends and colleagues know.
-If we stay together, I will always be unhappy and the ‘needy’ wife.
Can any bees relate? Should I walk away now? What else can I do to save this marriage?