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Joined: May 2002
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Wife and I have separated a total of four times in 12 years of marriage. She is currently living in an apartment. We have been living apart about 5 months this time (the longest stretch).

We have a 7 and an 8 year old which we split custody on 50/50.

No drama, fights, arguments, screaming or otherwise. Split has been amicable as always.

She's been seeing another guy for a while since about a month or two after she moved out. She's had some great times with this guy (clubs, organizing singles parties, etc. He's 27 yrs old, she's 30).

She contends I never wanted to have fun with her during the marriage. I contend I was too busy trying to make a good living and raise two newborns and therefore, at the time, was very serious about building a solid foundation.. so we could have a lot of FUN later. Admittedly I could have had more fun. I was pretty serious a lot of the time.

But that was then and this is now. I've grown, I have good work, a house, all the stuff I was trying to put in place for all of those years. And now, yes, I am ready to have some fun.

Anyways, I haven't really dated since the split. I had dinner with a lady a few times and we hung out, but nothing really intimate as my wife has now on several occasions. :vomit:

I want to keep trying to save the marriage and have told her I am far more willing to have some fun now, but perhaps not by going to singles parties and hanging out at hiphop clubs. Seems like fun can be in MANY forms if two people truly want to be together..?

But she is in her comfort zone and enjoying her independence and control of her life which she says she didn't let herself exercise in the marriage .. apparently because she became complacent and subsequently dependent on me too much.

Recently I expressed to her that I love her revived independence and control and THAT is who I married and THAT is who I want to spend my life with. Her response was that if we move back in together, she fears she'd get too dependent on me again and lose that control and then end up not having any fun again and that I'd be too serious.

She says she loves me and of course I love her and care for her deeply. I miss her immensely and she obviously misses me, too, because she invited me to a big singles party this coming Friday to "see how we do together around my friends" .. to "see if you can adapt to my lifestyle..."

I feel like I'm being test driven... ? She has repeatedly said things like "If you can adapt to my lifestyle" and even suggested living in two different houses next door to each other if we ultimately decide to save our marriage.

What are your thoughts? To ME, it sounds like she wants to have her cake and eat it, too. Doesn;t really sound like a person who is focused on saving a marriage and meeting the other HALF way. Seems like she wants to stay in the singles scene and around those kind of people and try to integrate me in somehow.

Bear in mind this is a woman who said to me just THIS MORNING (after learning we don't have daycare this week and she will need to pick kids up from school) "I'm dreading picking them up at 2pm every day this week. They are a pain in the @ss. And they can't stand being with me all day."

Please help.

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Well at least she wants to include you, that is a plus. But it does sound like she wants the single independent life.,

My x said some of the same things too, that I was boring. Her and om where doing all kind of things like sneaking into to private swim club, going away any time they felt like it. That is easy if you don't have kids and responsiblities.

I thought we did the normal things when we were married like going to the movies or dinner(never both because she didn't want to be away from the kids that much!). We usually took vacations and visited her parents. But she worked weekends and wouldn't/couldn't take off.

That all changed with om, she changed jobs and wasn't working weekends and she left the kids with me.

You said your w is 30 so thats seems young for mid-life crisis, which is what I think my x had/has.

I don't have any advice to ease your situation other than to follow the MB principals. It will take time for her to see what she is missing with her kids as she puts herself before them.

Now that her om/x is gone, my x sits home alone every night. My kids don't want to go over because its a hassle to pack and unpack for a nite or two.

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Good points.

Don't know what I should do. Don't know if I should go or not.

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irrational or selfish? its hard to judge. just my 2cents...
sounds like you have been a responsible family man. have your other separations been over the same issue(s)? it isn't always easy to make fun a priority. the singles lifestyle on the other hand is tough to embrace. afterall, you aren't single.
have either of you tried therapy? it might help take away some of the fear your wife has of things going back to old ways, her not feeling independence and control in your marriage. Sure, fun CAN be in many forms, just don't forget about compromise. Maybe you'd be comfortable doing some of the things she enjoys, then invite her to join you for your idea of fun. do you think maybe she has just been missing out on fun times together with you in such a desperate way that she ended up thinking this is the good life?
it sounds a bit scary when you say she wants to see if you can adapt to her lifestyle though. just how different are your lifestyles? do you think there is more to this than her fatuation with single life?
it can't feel good to feel like you are being test driven. i've found therapy helpful with boundaries. you deserve to feel confidence, it sounds as if you are really trying to do your part in making your marriage work. it doesn't sound as if she has found confidence in herself as a mother.
one more thought. through all of this, you two really have no arguments? do you think you might be making this too easy on her to, in your words, have her cake and it it too? a suggestion from my therapist i've found helpful is to set aside some time once/week to discuss issues. i guess there are studies that show couples who have conflict (this should be done with the 'good communication skills' of course) an average of once/week have the healthiest relationships. do you two try to talk about your issues and work toward resolutions?
good luck and better times to you.

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But should I just compromise and go to these parties with her because she likes doing it ... and see where it goes...?

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I say go, you have to at least meet her half way. IF you say no flat out, that will prove her point to her self.

It's not immoral and can be used as a date, what's the harm??

To make it a regular, weekly routine, I guess thats when I would have problems with out, but once a month or so should not be a problem.

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Most excellent advice RWD. Thank you. I guess I have nothing to lose.

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i agree with rwd. it doesn't seem harmful. do you have an idea of the vibe of the party? just a feeling, are you not comfortable with it? if not, what specifically are you questioning?

again, is there more to the 'lifestyle'?

is OM going to be there?

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Just a typical singles party. No, nothing freaky involved (geez, as far as I know.. hehehe). No, OM won't be there. Oh HECK no. That would not be cool.

I've re-decided though. I'm not going to go. I'm a romantic, peaceful, personal, intimate, affectionate guy and I prefer a dinner/movie kind of woman, not one who needs loads of attenti0on (X is a knockout) to get fulfillment. I'm fooling myself into thinking I could somehow like her shallow lifestyle... and it is VERY fake... like her boobs <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" />

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well. glad OM won't be there <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> not freaky is good too, its just that i've learned that what might seem freaky to one might not to another.

its interesting that you changed your mind so quickly. you are saying she is shallow and fake. you fell in love with her and chose to marry her. the romantic, peaceful qualities you have are probably some of the reasons she fell in love with you. that doesn't however mean that is how she is, obviously. it has sounded like you don't want to lose your marriage but you are not embracing her as she is. i am not saying i don't agree with your values. its just that it does sound a little contradictory to say you are in love with her and then judge her harshly on what she enjoys or needs in her life. The compromising i was referring to is just that. Go to the party with her with an agreement from her to go to dinner/movie with you. You do something she enjoys, she does something you enjoy. No?

If that is a problem then maybe you are reconsidering the type of woman you prefer (dinner/movie type). are you changing your mind on her? i'm assuming she hasn't changed her needs (attention?) so much from when you first met. again, all just thoughts to hopefully help you figure out things for yourself.

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IMO being separated does not give one a license to go out and screw around. The time apart should be used to give each other time to reflect on improving oneself and to decide to rebuild the marriage or to divorce. It seems that your wife has placed a higher priority on being a party girl than on resolving the problems in the marriage and building a stable home for the children. You are right in refusing to go to the party so she can see whether you can adapt to her new lifestyle. By going you would also be signaling her that you support her inappropriate behaviour.It doesn't sound like she wants to be married. She is rejecting her responsibility and obligation to be a faithful loving wife and a good mother to her children. Unfortunately there is nothing you will be able to do to help her grow up to be a responsible adult. She will have to do that by herself this maturing process may take many years. From the sound of it she may be receptive to giving you primary custody of the children so that she can be more free to live as a single woman. Right now she is enjoying herself and having flings with other men because she believes that you will take her back to the marriage. IMO that is the problem.

<small>[ December 08, 2003, 08:54 PM: Message edited by: yosh ]</small>

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Yosh, I couldn't agree more with what you said. That is why I decided not to go. She wants to party ALL THE TIME. Even on nights she has the kids she pawns them off on her family. When she IS with them my daughter says she is on the phone 24/7.

For 12 years I was a loving, fdaithful husband who tried to spend a lot of quality time together going on daytrips, dinners, movies, romance... all of which bored her to tears. She always wanted to be at a hiphop club getting loads of attention and guys falling all over her.

At this point she is having a VERY physical affair with some brother she met in a club. Before that, it was some hiphop producer that would come over to her apartment for "booty calls."

This woman has acted like a teenager and completely run my name through the mud over and over and over. I can't believe I was even considering trying again.

I sent her THIS today as it speaks to the significance between what is on the outside and what is on the inside.

...Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Thanks to all for your advice.

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HighRise
I could understand you not wanting to stoop to her life style but keep one thing in mind.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> I prefer a dinner/movie kind of woman, </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Would you expect her to do this with you

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Intellectual stuff like that is going to go over her head. A big ****** might get her attention. If your wife had any depth she wouldn't be behaving like the ******.

<small>[ December 11, 2003, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: MBMagnolia ]</small>


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