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Joined: Feb 2007
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Ninive Offline OP
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I am at my wits end. My husband started 2 new businesses 2 years ago and he works 24/7 on them. I am left totally alone. I have a day job but I spend every evening and weekend alone. I have to go to parties alone, we don't have vacations (I do not like the idea of travelling alone). I understand he needs to work hard right now to make his business succeed but it's too much. I have female friends and grown kids(who have their own lives) and I try to do other things but the reality is that I miss having a companion, a partner, a husband. I have to do everything alone. I feel like a widow or a divorced woman, without the benefit of being able to pursue men.

I am being very patient and supportive, but this whole thing is costing me my mental health. I do not know when and if it will get better. He now wants to invest in a new enterprise, since he is being so successful. I don't care for having a lot of money, but I do care for quality of life.

I also noticed that he loves being there, where he is the king and surrounded by devoted employees. He is very very close to his employees and they are like his family. When I go there I notice they know everything about our lives. He meshed work life with social and emotional life. There is very little left for me.

He has always had a tendency to run away from intimacy. years ago he would bury himself in computers and leave me to my own devices. It seems he does not like the sense of partnership with a woman. I was married before and my first husband was a great companion, so I it is hard to accept this kind of marriage.

I got tired of nagging and complaining about feeling abandoned and lonely and neglected. Not always he is always phsyically there he rarely calls me or sends me emails. I feel like I don't exist to him. Of course I have told him that but it goes in one ear and leaves the other. People compliment him all the time over his achievements in such a short period of time and he thrives in those compliments (like many men, he has a huge ego).

The last drop was when I was alone in a friend's bday party and sprang my ankle. He only arrived at the party at 10:30 PM, when it was ending. The single men there thought I was single and were annoying me. Even with my wedding band (funny how men never notice these things-women do).

I don't know what to do. I wanted this second marriage to last and be forever. But I can't go on like this.

Any women here dealing with workaholic men?

PS: he calls himself workaholic with pride!

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Hi, Nin...

I hesitate to post to you. I see some great advice given to you from your previous posts and no responses from you to their questions, or comments on their offerings.

What I see as your big picture issue is boundaries...learning about them, understanding, choosing and enforcing them. I see this with your girl friends who flirt with your DH...I see it in the prenup choices, the current financial and working all the time issues, also in your own resentment issues inside.

I learned in MC that there are three parts to every marriage...there's me, my DH and The Marriage. Each part has their own boundaries and the union, the whole, has its own, as well. Healthy boundaries mean thriving, fulfilling marriages.

Like your choice in friends. Not having your own friends...having friends of your marriage is a healthy boundary to pursue.

Just a couple of things I wanted to share. If you are committed to changing your life, growing and studying how relationships work, then I think you will respond. Okay, either way. Your life matters...you are important...significant. So is your marriage.

I hope you will.

Could you give the time lines for your first marriage, divorce times, maybe some background on your first marriage?

LA

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Quote
he has a huge ego

Bingo! The ego strokes come through accomplishments in his career. Been there, done that, got it tattooed on my tushie.

Speaking from my own experience, it's a tough cycle for a guy to break. For me, it wasn't until I looked around in my marriage & realized how I had alienated my wife that I started to wake up. No matter what she said, it didn't quite sink in, because I was doing it 'for the family'.

Maybe if she had pulled me aside & said "I appreciuate what you're doing to help us get ahead, but what I really want is XXXXXX ....", it might have tripped the lights for me.

There's probably a better way to put it, but ... I;m a guy. I'm dense. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


"It's a jungle out there, kiddies. Have a very fruitful day." -- Jimmy Buffett
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I was married for 20 years with first husband. I was only 23 when we married. Divorced 2003.

I don't get your post. I do not check this site very often-very busy. I don't understand your comment about my friends-they are his friends too and know him well and I always include him on weekend outings. However, since I am alone all the time, these women are great buddies for working out, going to the movies, having a drink together and stuff like that. If it weren't for them I would go crazy. It's him who keeps the distance, if he was around I wouldn't need them. He made his own world too in his town. There are people who I don't know.

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Thanks for your reply, Nin.

I advised you to make and enforce healthy boundaries...personal ones that go around you...which you hold yourself to...and marital ones as well.

Then enforce those boundaries.

You seem to be at an important juncture personally. You said you are now tired of nagging and complaining about feeling abandoned and lonely and neglected. That's terrific. Stating is your first boundary enforcement. Sounds like you did that. Instead of moving on to the second predetermined one, you stayed on the first and repeated it. Boundary enforcements are progressive.

"Not always he is always phsyically there he rarely calls me or sends me emails."

Sounds like you're saying is that communication is important to you. Would you say conversation is one of your top ENs?

"I feel like I don't exist to him. Of course I have told him that but it goes in one ear and leaves the other."

Have you read all of Harley's articles here on this website...about Love Busters, especially? You can choose to believe you don't exist to him...doesn't make it reality. You don't know if you matter to him or not...what you can see is that his marriage is not his top priority right now. You already said he fears intimacy. You knew that three or four years ago. Why choose to make this about your existence instead of his fears, which you do not control?

How well do you meet his ENs? Sounds like you're describing Admiration as a top EN. Do you compliment him a lot? Do you call and email him...stay connected, sharing your stuff...your appreciation and admiration for him with him?

Alanon would be a great support for you...workaholism has the same roots of other addictions. Alanon is for the partner of the addict.

Do you believe that some men are good companions and others are not the way they were created or the choices they made?

Your first husband chose to be a good companion. He made you a priority, sounds like to me. Why did you divorce?

LA

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I divorced because I met my firt husband at 18. He and I were so young and had not dated others. We changed over the decades and our marriage was devoid of affection, communication and intimacy. We were really brother and sister, roomates. He never showed his emotions and was a very quiet man. Yes, I need a lot of conversation, and my second husband still supplies that, only over the phone. We do cuddle weekend mornings for hours and talk a lot, that is the moment to recharge our batteries.

I compliment him when we are together, when I am in his arms. I tell him how handsome he is (not true, but for me he is), and I compliment his intelligence and savviness from time to time. He is the kind of man who needs constant praise from people.
But I have resentments: the way he was torn between his ex-wife and me in the beginning our dating, the way he never says he loves me and calls me sweet names (he does that to his daughter all the time), the prenup he imposed as condition to marry which does not let me grow financially with him during marriage-everything is separate-and he prides himself in having protected himself, which hurts me.

And the fact that he was commitment phobic for 71/2 years and made me wait so long for marriage and made me feel it was something he was doing because I wanted it, so he wouldn't lose me, but not because he was proud of having me as his wife.

So I have many ghosts with this man, while we have some good things too (communication, affection, faithfulness, loyalty).

Sometimes I look back and wish my self esteem had been higher and that I could have given him the boot when he misbehaved, so he could change his ways. But I often took him back without demanding anything in return. I was so afraid of being alone in a new country and not having enought to provide for my children. And I rationalized that if he wasn't unfaithful nor violent or abusive, there was no reason to live. All the time I knew I had a lot to offer to any man and that I could find many willing men to marry. I had a good self confidence in that sense, but still couldn't leave him.

His professional life is ups and downs and I see him trying to succeed and getting a lot of blows. He loves challenges and is always looking for new ones, and they often make him be away from me. Maybe we are too different and he really doesn't enjoy my company that much. I did try to date other men the few times we split but I always missed him very much. There is a side of him that is familiar to me and makes me feel very safe. He is a strong person who doesn't see lives obstacles as problems but as opportunities, while I am not ambitious or street smart. So I feel protected with him.

Anyhow, my sitation is not perfect but is not very bad either. I think that when we finally live together, without our kids next year, we may feel more married.
Thanks to all of you for listening to my venting.

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"I appreciuate what you're doing to help us get ahead, but what I really want is XXXXXX ....",

Dan-O, what is the XXXXX? Maybe I should try that approach. He has been telling me he wants to slow down too. He has told me he doens't want to work like this forever. I don't know if it is true or not, but...

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Nin,

I don't understand your math. From what you've posted, you were with your 1stH for 25 years, and divorced four years ago. You say your current husband was commitment phobic for 7 1/2 years. Were you dating your 2ndH before you had divorced your 1stH?

And I don't understand what you consider a good companion--you said your 1stH was...and now you say that your marriage to 1stH was devoid of affection, communication and intimacy...what would being a good companion involve for you? (You hit my three parts for good companionship.)

You chose to sign a pre-nup which says you won't share in what you build with your 2ndH. You have chosen to create, nurture and maintain resentment...no one has the power to make us resent...and I really relate to that, since that was 17 years of my own marriage...my own choice. When I didn't know I was doing it to me and my half of the marriage.

You said "Not always he is always phsyically there he rarely calls me or sends me emails."

And in your last post responding to mine, you said "Yes, I need a lot of conversation, and my second husband still supplies that, only over the phone. We do cuddle weekend mornings for hours and talk a lot, that is the moment to recharge our batteries."

I'm confused.

LA

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You're confused because nothing is black and white. My second husband likes to talk a lot, but it is often by phone, since we are living apart. My first husband was always there glued to me, but was a bad communicator and never showed his feelings.

I was only legally separated for 8 1/2 years. I only decided to divorce my first husband when there was a need to remarry. We just didn't go ahead with divorce, since we already were phsysically and financially separated.

And I also dated my ex-husband for 5 years before I married him, so I sometimes count that as the time I spent with him.

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My husband has his own biz, he works about 70 hours a week, I also worked that much as an independant contractor. The time we did not spend together caused a lot of resentment from me that would come out in anger, in return he would work more to avoid coming home. He asked me repeatedly to come work with him (my biz was not so good and his is growing fast) I refused because of pride, etc. We seperated just over a month ago and I have learned a lot since then. If I could go back in time the changes I would have made, but I can't and can only hope and pray.

I guess what I am trying to say (even though I am in no position to give advice and this is more relevent to my situation, only you really know what you are going through) Is try to communicate how you are feeling, you may be doing that just fine, and try to find some sort of compromise. Also do your best to be someone you would want to come home to. I now know how I was and I would not have wanted to come home to me either. I hope this makes sense?!

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worthsaving, your advice is precious. I also can see everything you are saying. If we turn ourselves into complaining and nagging creatures, work will become more and more attractive to them. On the other hand, it is very difficult to swallow your hurt and loneliness and not say anything. WHat a catch 22.

I am trying to do that. I have been trying to not complain at all and just do my thing. I have many friends but I feel I am leading a separate life with other people and relying more and more on them, which makes our connection weaker. I know that one day I will also have enough and go. Working with him would be an option, but that has its perils too (conflicts can arise). I think marriages with workaholics have a high risk. Not only his business comes first, his daughter also comes first. He confides in her and treats her more like a wife then a daughter. He complains to her about me-which makes her feel very powerful and not respect me very much or our marriage. I think he feels torn between showing me love and annoying her.

He is a smart man but when it comes to emotional intelligence he is lacking in many ways. I am the type that likes a close marriage and companionship. He likes independance and freedom. In many ways this is a common thing between men and women. I see that set up quite frequently.

So now I do not complain. I just do my thing. And if that includes a party with friends and some other man hits on me, so be it. I behave myself but of course I am exposed. I understand that he has to work to survive, but I question the choices he made.

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Starting a business is a tough thing, and most couples are not ready for it, in many ways. Did you sit down in advance and set some boundaries for how far it could affect your marriage? I suspect not. Well, do it now.

He doesn't want to be a failure, in business or in his marriage. You can't make him feel like he gets more respect from his clients and coworkers than he does at home, or he won't come home. But he needs to recognize when he is trying too hard to make something go that just isn't ready to go - an d that may not mean he is a "failure". He may need to go back to work somewhere, run this part time (very small, choicest clients), or just come back to it or something else later when he has more experience, skills, and objectivity... and a happier wife and children.


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