Cnsl1 wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:42 am
Call me and optimist but I think, based on what I've read about your situation, that your marriage is salvageable and that bliss is possible.
Of course, I'm like one blind man touching an elephant. I only have a small picture and only the small picture you've opened up.
Still, there are a few things suggesting hope, particularly that she wouldn't want to spilt up. Still, she admits being incapable of doing the things. Hmm, then maybe ask her what she CAN give? What are the things she does that you like? Can she do more of those things? Compromise. Can she be happy with you spending time with your brother?
If she REALLY has a personality disorder, I don't think you'd had been married this long. I would bet against any PD marriage lasting 25 years.
I could be wrong, but what if I'm not? If the approach you've been making isn't working, try a different approach. What about trying hard to fill her emotional buckets for a month and see if she's more receptive to giving you a compliment. Does she usually initiate sex?
And the hard question that nobody asked... Do you already have someone else you're interested in?
I really appreciate your optimism! I’m a very positive person myself, and prior to a few years ago I had never experienced depression.
She doesn’t want to split up because there are many things she’d have to confront that are outside her comfort zone. In a way, I’ve spoiled her. I always felt that by doing everything she asks was how I earned her love. I went with the obedience=love teaching of the church and used that in many of my relationships, using people pleasing behavior. I’ve been changing that over the last few years by establishing boundaries and it’s caused more friction in our marriage.
She wasn’t like the way she is now when we first married, and I’ve told her that she has changed. Except for the last 7 years (which is when I first opened up to her about my change in beliefs), we’ve had the church and the kids to keep us glued together. I kept the “eternal perspective” that any issues in our marriage would be worked out with our being together forever. I never allowed myself to explore relationships much before meeting her, and I was ignorant about what a healthy relationship should be. I didn't even know what I wanted in a relationship when I first met her, other than a "happy" Mormon temple marriage.
I’ve asked her what she can give. She said she would go through a mixed-faith marriage workbook with me, that she would spend some time talking to me and giving me more focus. She said she would find other things besides physical touch that we could do to connect. None of that happened.
No, she won’t compromise on me doing more things with my siblings and I have no close friends. A few years ago, I wanted to join Bill Reel's local group. She was so upset, and I feared her wrath enough that I didn't join.
There are not many things she does that I like and it feels as though there are not many things that I do that she likes. Almost everything she does with me feels like it is about her or for her.
When I first told her about my change in beliefs, it was me who feared the end of our marriage. It took me months before I finally had the courage to tell her. I was so relieved that she said she wasn’t going to leave me if I left the church, and I committed myself to trying to deepen our relationship, to try to find ways we could connect that didn’t involve Mormon beliefs or the church.
That worked for a while, until I realized I was doing the majority of the heavy lifting and there wasn’t much reciprocated. I did what you’re saying, I tried to fill her emotional buckets for a long time. I’m never one to lose hope or give up easily.
Her and I think so differently and I can see now that we always have. I just masked some parts of what I think and feel for a long time, because I thought I had to. She outright denies parts of who I am…denies I’m a people pleaser, denies we’re in a codependent relationship, denies I’m an empath.
My sense of humor annoys her, she dislikes the poetry I write and criticizes it, sometimes criticizes me in front of the kids, gaslights, manipulates, says I’m unworthy, has said she’s accepted that we’re just friends in this life since we won’t be together in the eternities, has told me to just get our temple marriage annulled since I don’t believe in it, and so many other things. All of this has been pushing me away for the last 7 years.
She has refused to go to marriage counseling, and still does even though she knows I’m contemplating leaving her. So, for the last few years I’ve been going on my own at times, when depression hits, and started to put together what my marriage entailed, all the dynamics. It’s where I learned I was in a co-dependent relationship with her, that I’ve been enabling her for years. My last therapist said that me leaving is an opportunity for my wife’s growth, and I believe that is needed. Me staying…those changes for her will not happen, I’ve lost hope that they will.
No, I don’t have someone else I’m interested in.