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Feeling alone in the relationship.
Hello all, first post, long time lurker. Brief introduction - 8 years ago diagnosed with anxiety (and depression as a symptom of the anxiety). Went through therapy, all good now. Still on mild medication and regular visits with my GP, but for all intents and purposes my life is good - good job, steady income, education coming along. Personally I feel great. Issue I am feeling is with my wife. We have two lovely children, both work etc. However just over 3 years ago I found she was having an emotional affair with an old friend (inter state). Inappropriate pictures/texts being sent back and forth. Long story short I force the couples counselling. So she stopped going about 8 months ago, and went haphazardly prior to then, I was committed to every session and for many many sessions I was going alone to couples counselling (definition of irony).
Now for a bit longer than 3 years we've had little way of interpersonal connection (intimacy, just plain talk, time together etc). It has been a topic of contention that she can spent all evening chatting on facebook, but have no time to converse with me. Success rate for intimacy is about 5% all initiated by me, and having had/have social anxiety the constant knock-back is really starting to feel personal, especially given her emotional affair. Too much work, too tired, can't be bothered are common excuses given for any time together (including family time), but if a friend wants a visit....woooosh off she goes leaving me and the children.
I'm committed in this relationship, but it feels I have a flat mate whom we share custody of the children and the bills. She is a person who I feel doesn't know the value of something until it is gone. Now I'm not looking for answers, I am here seeking comments from people who have experienced similar. How long does one usually work at a relationship problem before deciding enough is enough? If/when it is time to move on, do you really have to think about it, or does one just know when it is the right time and they just make it happen? I know it may seem harsh, but years of oodles of arguments, emails, reading, counselling.......there is only so much I see I can do to try and resolve things. Unfortunately it doesn't just impact me, it will impact the children for the rest of their life what decision I make. Relationships are a two way street requiring two people to commit, unfortunately I feel very alone with this.
Thanks for reading.
I know you're not looking for answers but Google Athol Kay and his work regarding increasing your attractiveness and stamping out affairs - it might shed some light on your situation. It's worth a look. Personally I'm at the tail end of my marriage but lost in trying to save the unsaveable so I'm not much help there I'm afraid, but I know exactly how you're feeling and you are not alone. I wish I knew what I know now 4 years ago....I confronted my wife and wasn't prepared for her to call my bluff and my marriage exploded.
However I must say that you need to give your partner a good chance to turn things around. Make it loud and clear with fair warning.
Are you sure she's not having an affair? Is there any way you can check? If she is there is very little chance of you making any positive impact. I know you probably have done so but do your research and get yourself into a good position before you act.
I am interested in what you mean by oodles of emails, reading, etc
Thanks for the reply. I will look into Athol Kay. I haven't gone down the attractiveness path as I didn't believe that was an issue.
When say 'oodles of emails, reading etc' I refer to the fact that she has difficulty in talking about a problem, instead prefers email as a method. I have spent considerable time emailing back and forth with her trying to resolve stuff. I have read numerous books and credible website literature in looking for strategies, both in the relationship and myself alone at trying to make it work.
I know with 99.9% certainty that she is not having a physical affair. Unless she is having it during work time, then I doubt it is happening. I know it isn't happening outside of work as when she leaves to go visit her friends they go horse riding etc. There may be a new or continued emotional affair going, I don't know. I know many an hour is wasted on facebook.
by attractiveness I don't mean just physical attraction. You should check Athol out. Is there a way you can gain access to her FB messages to be 100% certain nothing is going on?? If there is it needs to be stamped out
Hi again, CalculatedRisk. Reading through Apollo Black's post, I can't help but agree with it up to a point. If you can indeed access wife's fb to read what's being written, it should give you an idea what to say to her. Perhaps whoever is writing to her is saying what she wants to hear, not necessarily 'chatting' her up, but just saying really nice, personal comments that you should be making. We all like to know how special and loved we are. Maybe you could email wife and say the things you want to say, but feel a bit shy about saying them. I was 'scammed' recently, the thing that I did appreciate (even though it was b*****) was the nice things he said. He made me feel special, he called me beautiful. Okay, he tried to get money, but the lead up was what was so nice. Don't worry, no money was exchanged, and I have no contact with him now, the point I'm making is, every woman likes to be told how beautiful she is. I know you said you've already tried emailing her to resolve issues, have you told her via email that you love her?
you mention you were diagnosed 8 years ago and noticed your marriage slipping awY 3 years ago. How were things in between? I'm not suggesting an emotional affair is acceptable but is it possible that those years you were unwell she felt lonely, unsupported, not sure how to help you? How was your relationship during the lead up to your discovery? Were you withdrawn, unable to bring much to the relationship because of your anxiety and depression? I think people seek emotional support if for some reason they can't get that from their partner. How was she whilst you were not well? Was she supportive? When my marriage fell apart I was like your wife, on Facebook, going out occaisionLly with work friends, not talking to my partner but the lead up was I felt unappreciated and was often put down by him and told I shouldn't have a social life as I was home with kids and not working therefore why should I be able to go out? I was very hurt about how I was treated and put down. After I had the kids he stopped helping around the house because I didn't work etc. we didn't connect anymore. I suddenly didn't deserve a life out of the home if he had to look after the kids. I'm not suggesting that you do these things but wondering how she felt during those years and the lead up. Did she feel she had lost her partner? How old are your children? If the lines of communication have broken down and you've tried everything with no success then I think you eec to consider your future happiness and that if your children. You deserve happiness and you children deserve happy parents. I think in your heart you will know when it's time to move on, you children will adjust. How do you think she will react if you suggest a separation? You mention she doesn't know the value till its gone? Maybe a temporary separation to see how you both really feel?