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Marriage probably over

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vauxhallastra

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I posted a thread about my wife and our problems over a year ago on this forum, it seems like an appropriate place, because it is, indeed, a lonely life.

We've probably broken up for good, and it ended with a whimper rather than a bang. She went away to visit family, and we've stopped communicating altogether. When she left, it was sweet how sad she was, but, as is almost always the way with her, something then upset her - I don't know what, if I had to guess I'd say it was some completely avoidable argument with a family member - and she become sullen and uncommunicative towards me, before a curt 'goodbye forever' message. This kind of thing has happened a lot in our relationship. Then weeks later she sends me another message telling me that her situation is entirely my fault (of course), and I should apologise, etc etc.

I haven't responded, and I'm not going to. It's pointless. Indulging this kind of behaviour from her has been our pattern, and part of the reason she treats me like s**t, is because I let her.

She does have genuine mental health problems, but equally, she doesn't make much effort to restrain her volatility, and I don't see why I should have to sacrifice my life at the alter of her feelings. If you'll forgive me a little misogyny, she is manipulative in that female way, she must always get her own way and she never accepts responsibility no matter how clearly badly she has behaved (up to and including physical violence with no provocation), it's just that with my wife's mental illness it's more like 'the wires are exposed' on her unreasonableness, she reminds me of that kid at school who gets their own way by threatening a tantrum, because the adults are just so exhausted and terrified of having to deal with it that they let the kid get away with anything. That's our relationship: I enable her, and she indulges herself at my expense.

But, I do love her and miss her a lot. Despite all that I just said, she's a sweetheart, she just either can't or won't (I suspect a bit of both) restrain herself when she feels some upset, no matter how inconsequential the cause. And I'd be lying if I didn't say it's somewhat of a relief to be on my own, to not constantly be walking on eggshells and have that knowledge that if I say the 'wrong' thing (or sometimes, say nothing), we'll be in sulky town for the duration, at best.

If anybody is reading this, I imagine that you might be thinking, 'Just be honest with her, tell her that you love her, but lay down the law, tell her she has to start respecting your feelings starting from now, or else', and I think that would be excellent advice, for a normal person. But she's not normal, and I have tried saying such things to her, but when she's angry at me, she regards even the idea that I have feelings, never mind that they're important, as being beneath contempt. The only way to bring her back to sanity is to give in to her, which is tacitly approving the behaviour, which obviously sends entirely the wrong message.

So I guess I'll end up dying alone, which doesn't really bother me that much at the moment. I'm quite good at being on my own. I do worry about being a bad person, about not doing my duty by others, with the obvious corollary of allowing myself to be taken advantage of.

I could go on, but this is too long already. Peace and Love.
 
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JJW

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It sounds like we've married the same person. My wife doesn't really fight. We have a habit of sulking off to our own corners. But everything else you've mentioned... yep. I'd like to say something that you might agree with, at least in my case, my wife has no ability to compromise.

We ended nearly 15 years ago. We have agreed to splitting up. It was her idea. There was no emotion in it. We sold our last house and when she bought her new one I agreed to work on it to get it up to code. But she never stops at the end of anything. The work goes on and on.

I've started to leave several times over the years, but I can't without her being able to stand on her own. I can't commit her to that catch 22 of over due bills. Me either, for that matter.

I don't contribute much as I've been on disability for nearly 20 years. She takes almost all of my social security for bills. And I've saved her tens of thousands by being handy. She tends to buy houses that really really need handy. I kind of feel as if I pay about ten grand a year to be her handyman, because there is nothing else in the relationship. But I can't get away because she spends every dime. She insists on brand new cars and other expenses that most would manage without. She's an accountant so every penny is measured and devoted to credit payments. There was a time when she had taken our credit so far that half of our household income was spent on interest.

If there is extra money, she'll find a way to take on another bill as not to bother with a savings account.

So I feel I'm stuck until I can buy my way out. As long as I leave without crashing her security, what she does afterwards is on her.

But I'm getting signals that she doesn't want me to go. She talks about things involving both of us that are years in the future. She makes little jokes about sex even though it's been over a decade since we've so much as kissed. I seriously doubt it has anything to do with love. She might be thinking about being truly alone and feeling the loneliness to come. Or maybe she doesn't want to lose free house, car and appliance repair.

Early on I stayed for her pitiful plea for me not to leave. We were fighting, one of the few. She called me selfish for wanting to leave her. Personally I saw it a chance for us both to find new people to be happy with... kind of not selfish. As I tried to walk out the door she jumped on me and wouldn't let go. I didn't have the strength to crush her. She was a model wife for a little while after that.

When it was back to the same old same old I was ready to leave again. She became pregnant. We had tried for twelve years and were told it was a million to one. I took it as a sign and I stayed. She was absolutely radiant during her pregnancy. She possessed none of the typical with baby horror traits. We did okay until the kid was two. Then it got hard again. Leaving, staying, leaving staying. There has always been one of those reasons to wait.

Well, the kid is nearly thirty now. He has never had a job and doesn't seem interested in finding one. He doesn't help around the house. He has no respect for me or the things I do for them both. But she has never permitted me to discipline him or even complain of his lack of responsibility. Talk about your helicopter mom.

She has learned how to manipulate my sense of guilt, over the years. She's never given in to me. Short of beating the crap out of her (not that I ever have outside of the occasional fantasy) I don't know how to take my due.

So I sit quietly performing my chores. Biding my time. Working toward my big break when I can afford to split the household and go my separate way.

I wouldn't call her mental. She is quite intelligent. She is just extremely self centered and has no tolerance for the things she doesn't want, no matter what they mean to me.

We get along mostly. She brings in the money, I cook and work on what needs work. Other than hours of TV in the evening (which she will pout about if I don't), we share a house, but we don't live together.

It is truly a shame to be lonely when you have people in the house.
 

vauxhallastra

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I’m sorry you are having a hard time. Yes, we do seem to be in quite similar relationship positions.

‘Compromise’ is not a word my wife understands. As far as she’s concerned, heterosexual relationships exist for females to be indulged, and men should just be grateful if their partner doesn’t kick them, because she'd be justified if she wanted to.

I’ll give an example, about a year ago, she was yelling in my face about what I ‘owe’ her as a husband, ya know, men have an obligation and responsibility to their wife to take care of her, reassure her insecurities, fulfil her emotional needs, etc etc (and how I am failing at these things), a list as long as your arm. To which I said,

‘And what obligations do wives have to their husbands?’

She looked dumbstruck for a few seconds, as if the idea had never even occurred to her, and then she mumbled something about ‘kindness’.

I don’t say this because it was a ‘win’ for me (it wasn’t, it makes no difference to anything how good a point I make - and if I’d been on the ball I would have retorted that in that case she was failing at the only duty she had assigned herself), but because it demonstrates her fundamental attitude - I have all kinds of duties and obligations towards her, no matter how appallingly she treats me, but she has no obligations towards me.

The tragedy of my wife and I, is that we’re actually very well suited, and we usually get along very well, except for one thing, and that is her temper, or her borderline personality disorder, or her mental health problems, or however you want to term it.

Living with her was absolute hell for a couple of years. Hell. I struggle to even describe what it was like on the receiving end. She terrorised me, and that is an entirely appropriate word. I think she was having genuine psychotic episodes, she was so volatile and just off the planet, she would become utterly enraged at the most bizarre things. You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff if I told you.

Then she finally was prescribed a medication that worked, by a psych. The frequency and violence of her rampages decreased significantly, and apart from a horrifying couple of weeks in 2018 when she ran out of pills and didn’t tell me until it was too late, and I had to desperately try and get hold of a new prescription for her all while being kicked and screamed at and told I was the most evil human being that ever lived, she is much more ‘normal’.

This is a quandary of course, because this must mean that her appalling behaviour is at least in large part a mental health problem (although honestly, there’s no way a rational person could behave the way that she used to). She takes the pills? Some violence, but it’s rare and minimal. She doesn’t take the pills? Hell.

So this is a big problem for me. On the one hand, my wife who I love very much, has clear mental health problems. On the other, she DOES act entitled and use her disposition to take advantage of me, and it’s very difficult to do anything about it.

Example, so this was quite recently, wife taking the pills and everything, so no excuses. I work longer hours than she does, I pay most of the bills etc, but I also cook all the meals, and I do all the dishes (and many other things). So I make my wife dinner and put it down in front of her, and she complains that she isn’t eating enough vegetables at the moment - in other words, this is my fault. subtext: I should know she’s insecure about (whatever), and that she wants to be eating more vegetables, so why aren’t I doing my job, and buying more vegetables, cooking more vegetables etc?

I make a joke about it as a kind of warning to back off, and told her to complain to the management. She still complains about not eating enough vegetables a further three times over the next few days. And I only really pick this example because it's pretty innocuous and nothing came of it.

Now, I think what most reasonable people would say is that in those circumstances I should politely tell her to go **** herself. She’s an adult, if she wants more vegetables that’s perfectly within her capabilities, why the fudge is she not considerate of the person who cooks, cleans for her etc?

I think that, too. That’s the advice I would give. But it won’t work. Because once she ‘flips’ and becomes ‘Mr Hyde’, absolutely nothing will get through to her, no matter how clearly in the wrong she is. It won’t be about vegetables anymore, it’ll be about how I’m an asshole because I don’t care about her insecurities, then it will be about how men are pigs and women are always the innocent victims because she read it on the internet, and then it’ll be about……….etc. So long as it’s a rationalisation that makes it my fault.

It sounds ridiculous, but when she ‘flips’ into this kind of mood, she reminds me of the bit in the Terminator movie where Reese says to the police officers, about the Terminator - “Look, you don’t understand, this thing can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, it doesn’t feel pity or remorse”.

There is nothing that you can say to her. There is literally no argument, bargain, discussion or injunction you can make to her that will get her to acknowledge, “I’m sorry, I understand I was in the wrong, I won’t do that again, because your feelings are just as important as mine.”

It’s not just me that she does this too (although I bear the brunt of it), she does it to other people close to her. If they don’t go along with what she considers correct, they have betrayed her. She used to tell me that her youngest brother was an appalling individual with no redeeming qualities, but now, she likes him again and he’s great, and it’s her older brother who is irredeemably cruel and awful.

I could give so many examples of this kind of nonsense, and it’s indescribably frustrating, because it’s so avoidable. All she needs to do is restrain herself, and understand that other people have feelings too.

Like I say, I know how pathetic I sound with this, but she and I could have such a nice relationship if she’d just stop with this BS and show some consideration. But, she always has to get her own way, she always has to rationalise her own behaviour and be the victim, in spite of all evidence.

95% of the time she’s great. But the 5% utterly ruins it. I can't trust her, because when she’s mad, anything goes. And of course, she would consider this an appalling failing of mine (How could you not trust me?? How can you do this to me??), when it is her responsibility to show herself to be trustworthy.

It grinds you down.
 

Efbee

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I posted a thread about my wife and our problems over a year ago on this forum, it seems like an appropriate place, because it is, indeed, a lonely life.

We've probably broken up for good, and it ended with a whimper rather than a bang. She went away to visit family, and we've stopped communicating altogether. When she left, it was sweet how sad she was, but, as is almost always the way with her, something then upset her - I don't know what, if I had to guess I'd say it was some completely avoidable argument with a family member - and she become sullen and uncommunicative towards me, before a curt 'goodbye forever' message. This kind of thing has happened a lot in our relationship. Then weeks later she sends me another message telling me that her situation is entirely my fault (of course), and I should apologise, etc etc.

I haven't responded, and I'm not going to. It's pointless. Indulging this kind of behaviour from her has been our pattern, and part of the reason she treats me like s**t, is because I let her.

She does have genuine mental health problems, but equally, she doesn't make much effort to restrain her volatility, and I don't see why I should have to sacrifice my life at the alter of her feelings. If you'll forgive me a little misogyny, she is manipulative in that female way, she must always get her own way and she never accepts responsibility no matter how clearly badly she has behaved (up to and including physical violence with no provocation), it's just that with my wife's mental illness it's more like 'the wires are exposed' on her unreasonableness, she reminds me of that kid at school who gets their own way by threatening a tantrum, because the adults are just so exhausted and terrified of having to deal with it that they let the kid get away with anything. That's our relationship: I enable her, and she indulges herself at my expense.

But, I do love her and miss her a lot. Despite all that I just said, she's a sweetheart, she just either can't or won't (I suspect a bit of both) restrain herself when she feels some upset, no matter how inconsequential the cause. And I'd be lying if I didn't say it's somewhat of a relief to be on my own, to not constantly be walking on eggshells and have that knowledge that if I say the 'wrong' thing (or sometimes, say nothing), we'll be in sulky town for the duration, at best.

If anybody is reading this, I imagine that you might be thinking, 'Just be honest with her, tell her that you love her, but lay down the law, tell her she has to start respecting your feelings starting from now, or else', and I think that would be excellent advice, for a normal person. But she's not normal, and I have tried saying such things to her, but when she's angry at me, she regards even the idea that I have feelings, never mind that they're important, as being beneath contempt. The only way to bring her back to sanity is to give in to her, which is tacitly approving the behaviour, which obviously sends entirely the wrong message.

So I guess I'll end up dying alone, which doesn't really bother me that much at the moment. I'm quite good at being on my own. I do worry about being a bad person, about not doing my duty by others, with the obvious corollary of allowing myself to be taken advantage of.

I could go on, but this is too long already. Peace and Love.
Violence is never ok, no matter who does the violence. Your marriage was over the minute she put her hands on you.
I wish you a good gettinOver-it and your self-esteem back.
Peace
 

Memyself

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Guys, what you allow will continue. Both sound like codependent relationships, a tango between a victim and a hero. Don’t try to save her, fix her, by now you know you can’t. Time is ticking.
 

shoothechit

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She sounds like a narcissist. The two of you need professional relationship counselling. A therapist can help navigate the relationship best. Pride and family are not helping it sounds like. If she cannot seek help with you, then it is likely that you must part ways, as it takes two to repair a relationship. One cannot do so alone.
I am sorry that you’re going through this. Life is too short to be miserable though. Find joy. ☀️
 

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