I could have written this question myself. Every detail, down to the near 15 years of marriage, multiple children, whispers of “it’s not right”, first terrible few months of marriage spent crying, apply to my situation with my husband. I feel lost and alone most of the time, and my husband’s dedication is to his work. I feel for you sweet sister, and although I’m sorry to hear that you are in the same boat as me, I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I wish I could talk to you.
Hold on a minute! I was in the same situation. I stayed. I don't regret it. My husband is a good person, worked every day, remained faithful and did the best he knew how. He still has problems that he brought into our marriage. He never was and never will be the guy that I felt that I needed.I decided that my husband isn't responsibly for my happiness. That's a choice that I make. I chose to surround myself with good friends and to turn my problems over to God, who has greatly sustained me.Have you considered that you may never find this person that you long for , that many men wouldn't take on four children of another man, that single mothers are far more likely to end up in poverty?Maybe you believe in fairy tales, as I did for a long time. As President Uctdorf said, a lot happens between Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After. Don't give up on your marriage. Hold on. It may work out, as mine did.By the way, we just celebrated our 63rd anniversary.
I was married for 15 years in a destructive relationship. I determined to stay in the marriage until my children reached age 18, wanting to give them a stable family and at least the illusion of a happy family. I stuffed my unhappiness, I thought successfully until my 11-year-old told me that it was time to get a divorce. Later he was angry with me because, he said, I had waited too long to leave and if I had divorced his father sooner, he could have believed that his father was a good man but now he knew how bad he was. Both of my sons have suffered more than the divorce with the concept of what it takes to be a real man, a good man. They’ve tried out being the abused and the abuser, believing that sons should learn to be men from their fathers. They still struggle decades later in determining their role. I meant to help my children by staying in an emotionally destructive relationship, and staying was the worst decision I could have made, not only for me but for my children. How many times do women stay for the children and cause more pain and confusion than they could imagine. Children hear and see and know much more than we think.
Could he be on the autism spectrum?
Geoff, I usually enjoy your counsel but this time it was vague and unhelpful. “Man [woman] is that ‘she’ might have joy”. This dear sister has been miserable from her wedding day. I can’t imagine that the children are faring any better. Since the husband is obviously taking care of himself, he will continue to do so quite nicely. This female slave needs to break free. She is obviously capable, and the dark cloud she currently lives under could dissolve into sunshine. This relationship will not be sealed in heaven. Dear sister, recognize your mistake, accept responsibility, stop being a martyr and move on.
"But I know, that once the kids are gone, if life continues this way, we will end up divorced anyways and I will have lived another 15 years unhappy." That line says it all. I think deep down, this woman already knows the husband wont change and that divorce is only a matter of time. She has spent 13 years pouring more and more effort in and getting nothing back. She has already very clearly discussed her unhappiness with the spouse, and they have even gone to counseling. He changed nothing, which tells her everything she needs to know. If you tell someone that their behavior is hurting you and needs to change, and they don't do anything about it, they don't respect you or value your relationship. And they definitely aren't a good person. PERIOD. It takes two people to make a marriage work. The woman says she wants to keep her marriage covenants, which is honorable. But she seems to be ignoring the fact that if she continues this course and makes it to the celestial kingdom, this guy definitely wont be there because he is incredibly selfish and not a good person. So she wont have an eternal marriage anyway, and will need to find someone else to make that happen. It takes both partners honoring their covenants and being good people to achieve a celestial marriage. Its time for this woman to leave and find a good man who will reciprocate her efforts, love, and appreciate her.
The writer of this letter could probably learn from my friend. I have a good friend who is into 40+ years of a marriage to a woman who is exactly like the husband described in this letter. He is the loneliest man I know. Even when he had major surgery, his wife took care of his body, but there was no emotional support. No sympathy or compassion. He has held on and hoped all these years that she might come around, but in truth as his body gets older and he can't do as much for her as she requires, she is turning away from him even more. When I ask him if he ever wishes he'd got out of the relationship while the was still "time". All he says is that there won't be another major surgery because he could not do that again without emotional support and someone to care about him. He will die never knowing the unconditional love and charity that is supposed to happen in marriage.
I'm sorry - but this husband is *not* a "nice person", and that needs to be exposed. Look at the substance of his behaviors towards his wife, not the surface. "Wolf in sheep's clothing" as a simile comes to mind. Nice guys don't demand their wives do everything to please them (re: treat them like a servant), while they do nothing to please their wife.Based upon his "substance" - I would urge this wife to learn about narcissistic spouses. There is a LDS narcissistic abuse survivors FB page she might find very enlightening, and support that only comes from those who've "been there" because we understand how these "nice" people - really aren't. (and just how vicious they can become to their immediate family members - while appearing such a "nice" person to outsiders.)
This advice was so vague that I don't think it's very helpful. A few suggestions or ideas about HOW to "change patterns" that are destroying her happiness would have been more productive for this sister.
Leave him. He's a narcissist. He isn't concerned about you and probably never will be. Eternity isn't some distant future, it is now. If you can't imagine eternity with him then you should leave him.
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