My story - a triage too late

Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338
edited January 20 in 911 Relationship ER

Hi there. This is my first time here and I really need some help. I’m not sure where to start so please excuse me – everything seems like such a mess right now. I’ll do a summary and then provide the triage questions if that’s ok. 

I feel like I have totally screwed up. I have made the critical mistake of bringing up the issue of no sex with my wife (before I became aware of the MAP). If only I had come across the Primer and MAP book many months ago (even years), things may be totally different now. I’ve started reading “No More Mr Nice Guy” and I fit the Nice Guy Syndrome profile.

My wife is so offended I have made a big deal about this she is prepared to end the marriage. All she seems to want is for me to leave the house so she can "have some space". If only I had known I could have worked on the MAP and hopefully turned things around. To complicate things only a few weeks ago she has gotten back in touch with an “old friend” via Facebook. They met the other night (Saturday 11th Jan) and I made things worse by looking like a possessive loser to her and pushing her further away (I was monitoring her chats and knew she was planning to meet). I am pretty certain they did something physical that night but can't be sure. Regardless I confronted her and she didn't even care. 

I feel like I've pushed her to this point through my actions. Now we're in some kind of no man's land waiting for the final curtain. I'm really worried about our 4 year old son - I don't want to get shafted if we separate. All I know is I'm not leaving the house until we sort this out and I want to share the care equally for our boy if we end things. I am willing to work on our marriage but I am so confused how things escalated so quickly. I need a reality check. I'm building the courage to get a session with Athol - even if it is just to get some kind of reality check in this insanity. I would appreciate your thoughts. We have a counselling session (pre-booked) tomorrow. I have no idea what will happen with this.

[Deleted User]


  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 1:

    • My wife and I are both 41 years old (she’s 1 month older). We have been married for 5 years and have been together for 8 years. We have a 4 year old boy who is healthy. I am 6’2” and 90kg (around 198 pounds) and probably 5-6kg overweight. I don’t know my wife’s weight but she is probably around 5kg overweight. I think we are both a 7??


  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 2:

    • My health: I could certainly lose 5kg and be fitter. Since having our child I did less and less but was never a big exercise person. I suffer from intermittent mild depression and anxiety - just like everyone does. I tend to respond to the moods of my wife which is unfortunate (eg: when she’s happy, I’m happy and vice versa). I needed to take a short course of anti-depressants when my wife had post-natal depression. We both stopped smoking when my wife became pregnant and unfortunately both of us resumed when he was around 2 years old. We managed to quit again 4 months ago. I was originally 99kg and lost 12kg (around 24 pounds) by diet alone when I did a diet with my wife (she lost around 4kg). We usually have a small amount of marijuana in the evenings after dinner (the boy is in bed). I have stopped this in the last week but my wife is still using it. One of my concerns is that I take Nurofen Plus (ibubrofen and codeine) 2 tabs in the morning to ease off back pain and generally to “pepp me up”. I think I have been doing this for years. I know it’s not ideal. I plan to reduce this to 1 tab daily for a week then stop totally.

    • My wife’s health: As mentioned my wife is a little over-weight and doesn’t exercise. We had a miscarriage which devastated us and she took antidepressants which helped. When she got pregnant again she managed to come off them and had an uneventful pregnancy. Our boy was overdue and had to be induced. Unfortunately he was distressed and emergency caesarean required. Our boy was healthy however my wife’s milk didn’t come in and we had a whole heap of trouble sorting out feeds. We seemed to get all this mixed information until finally after the hospital a midwife told us to persist with breast feeding alone which worked. Overall it was a pretty horrible and negative hospital experience at a time when you’d expect to be all happy at having your first child.       

    • My wife suffered terribly with post-natal depression (PND). I spent a lot of time off work looking after her and our boy. We ended up changing him to formula as her milk supply just stopped. During this time her gynae convinced her to have a Mirena (hormone IUD) which set off an acute anxiety which didn’t settle when it was removed. The problem is that antidepressants just made her anxiety worse, or if one helped (mirtazapine) it made her gain weight, so we had to try something else. Oxazepam seemed to be the best helping her settle. Eventually we found a general practitioner who specialised in hormone issues and he said there was an imbalance triggering the PND (too much oestrogen, not enough progesterone). So she tried progesterone and some other expensive pills. It may have helped who knows. Personally I think as our son grew older and we managed to sort out his sleep issues we just got more sleep – things just naturally settled down. By settle down I mean her anxiety and low mood, but we still seemed to have arguments over silly things – to the point where she’d smash things or say things like “you’re half the man you used to be” (in hindsight this was probably her sensing me being weak as I was genuinely suffering from carer fatigue). The thing which worked best seemed to be oxazepam which chilled her out enough to sleep ok (sorry I’ve already mentioned this). She got taken of the progesterone because I believe the levels were ok. The specialist often mentioned that she may be at risk of early menopause but this was never confirmed or officially diagnosed. I certainly remember him saying that she should NEVER have another child.

    • She did manage to come off antidepressants for a little while but when she managed to resume work (when our son was around 1 and a half) at 2 days a week she struggled with work issues and restarted them. The oxazepam came and went but I think that just made her more moody. She ended up getting a new GP who told her to come off birth control because she was at risk of stroke (smoking at the time). She restarted a different antidepressant and convinced her to consider the Mirena implant again. My wife decided to try the Mirena and I could tell the day it was put in she was different. She was instantly moody and anxious. She tolerated this for a week and because it was worsening she had it taken out. She hasn’t really been herself since then (mind you I’m not sure what her normal self is anymore).

    • I think it is important to mention that we have both decided not to have any more children, mainly due to the trauma of our peri-natal experience. Our age and money concerns would be minor reasons. 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 3:

    I have a decent job. It is quite flexible and I consider myself very fortunate to have it. I make around 100K AUS$ a year. I am full time Monday to Friday business hours. We have a substantial mortgage however manage ok and have been relatively debt free, except for this Christmas where there is around $1000 on the credit card (which bothers me). We own 2 cars (no finance - but one of them is on the mortgage) and live in a safe neighbourhood. Our house needs a new kitchen and bathroom however they are fully functional and this is not critical.

    My wife started working again at 2 days per week when my son turned around 1 and half. I don’t think we’d be able to manage well at all if she didn’t work. My wife has always had “issues” with work, whether it be with other staff members or the work load. A major sticking point is when she returned to work she lost her portfolio to someone else and was relegated to “general” duties (although she maintains the same wage and has substantially less work to do). Shefrequently gets upset about work her work, she hates it wanting to leave and would much prefer to just be a stay at home mum and look after our son whilst he’s young and enjoy their time together. The problem is that we wouldn’t be able to survive comfortably on just my wage. I’ve crunched the numbers and have once suggested that we could give it a try – but we never followed through. She’s looked for other jobs but nothing suitable has come up (particularly at the same pay scale). She’d like to be a counsellor as she likes to help people, however once again part time study and paying the fees would be very difficult at present.

    • We wanted to send our son to a private school and he started a private kindy last year – although some of the fees are subsidised it still makes a fair dent on finances and he will be doing more days this year, which will cost more and as he starts school proper the fees will increase significantly. Going back to the Christmas debt – this bothers me as a few years ago it took some time to get out of debt before our son was born and we have been relatively comfortable until now. It worries me a little that we are getting to the end of the pay cycle with only a few $100 left in the main account. I have been asking my wife repeatedly to come with me to open a joint savings account to put away at least $200 a fortnight for unexpected expenses but she keeps putting it off – I’m thinking I will just open one myself, but have been reluctant because she may see it as me siphoning money away.
    • Essentially I am not massively overweight and unfit so I don’t see this as a major attraction issue/deal breaker. Our finances could be better and if they were I do think my wife would be more comfortable with this – particularly if she didn’t have to work. In my mind I don’t think she’d be happy either way. Nothing seems to make her happy. 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 4:

    • I made the critical mistake of bringing up lack of sex. Yes I know – the worst mistake you can make. I first did this around 6-8 months ago (around May 2015). It dawned on me how bad our sex life was. I mean maybe 5 times at most in 5 years (I’ll get to that). So I brought it up. It resulted in a massive argument.

    • She couldn’t understand why sex was important to me and I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t important to her. All I wanted to know was why. She didn’t know why. She said it’s not you it’s me. She said she just didn’t feel like it and wasn’t important to her at the time. She was happy. We had a young child and that was normal. It wasn’t normal to me. I explained that it wasn’t just sex it was any type of intimacy. I missed her touch, her walking past and touching my shoulder, giving me a quick kiss – that sort of thing. She said that she didn’t do that because I might misinterpret that as her initiating sex. This confused me even more. In the heat of the arguments around this issue she even suggested that I find someone else for sex. When I asked her if she seriously meant this, she said no she wouldn’t like me to do this. Eventually I told her I wasn’t going to initiate sex to take pressure off of her and when she was ready to let me know. I hit the internet and read numerous articles about men with similar issues. I wish so much that I had stumbled across this site first (never saw it until now!). Instead I tried harder at the nice guy stuff. I bought flowers, wrote lovely notes, the odd gift, etc. I read the 5 Love Languages and managed to get her to do the quiz and established that her top 2 were Quality Time and Words of Affirmation. I tried to compliment her more, listen more – but to be honest I don’t think I looked deep enough into this or even understood it properly. I felt like the whole situation was unfair (to me of course).

    • When my wife had the Mirena implant out again in around October this year her GP said she should try a copper IUD instead. I seriously didn’t want any more health dramas. I told her not to do it. She said something like “what are we going to do for contraception now?” I stupidly responded by saying “it doesn’t matter because we don’t have sex anyway”. You can imagine her response to this. To save myself I tried to bring up the vasectomy option, but she turned this around on me and said that I had outright refused this when she suggested it after the birth of our son. I tried to argue that at that time it was too early for such a permanent option but that feel on deaf ears. She’d said her piece and walked away. I am not going to have a vasectomy.

    • Various family conflicts (my side of the family vs my wife). On my son’s birthday in November my cousin said that she was having Christmas at her place and could she make a dessert. What ensued was a backwards and forwards text war between them. Basically my wife was saying we were going to be with her parents this year, we could drop in to my cousin’s later but she wouldn’t have time to make dessert. My cousin obviously didn’t like this response (her response was something like “I’m a single mum so I’d appreciate the help” – you can imagine it was inflammatory on both sides). Ultimately it stressed my wife out a lot and she took it out on me because 1) it was my family and I should sort them out and 2) why don’t you show some support for your own wife and take control of the situation. To me it was a conversation had between them and she needed to take responsibility for her actions (ie: aggressive comments). Before she told my cousin basically where to go she could have simply asked me to callher and I could have helped. I can’t do everything and if you’re going to start a family fight then you finish it. To me we’re all part of the same family and it should she be questioning whose side I’m on – after all we’ve been through???

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338
    Question 4 Cont:

    • Time certainly passed and December 2015 rolled around (no intimacy). It’s weird because the no sex thing always comes up because of an argument over something else (keep in mind the argument with the cousin and also that her dad wasn’t well and no one knew what was wrong with him). The argument is usually over something about our son - and my resistance for change. We have had a lot of issue around sleep with our boy. My wife decided to night train him (has been day trained since 2.5 years) and she could see I was resistant (I’m the one having to get up to him most of the time during the night + his nappy is always soaked overnight). I said maybe we should wait until he gets over his cold/fever at the time and the stress of Christmas then try. She blew up and said “if it were up to you, you’d still have him in newborn nappies and breast feeding”. In my mind I was totally fed up with being berated and disrespected, especially in front of our son. Me!! Me, who had done so much to help her through the post-natal issues, listened to her work problems, helped equally with bringing up our child, tolerated her abusive mood swings, felt totally alone and abandoned intimately. When our son was asleep we took it outside and the conversation quickly turned to our non-existent sex life. She said “here we go”. I said my piece about not feeling loved, it wasn’t just about sex but any kind of love, I was unhappy. She said that she couldn’t help how she felt and that if all I was interested in was sex then perhaps I should leave. I left the house at that point. She seemed weirdly calm the next day. We got through Christmas but on Boxing Day I have no idea how it came up but we argued again. She smashed her coffee cup and slammed our back door breaking the glass. Our son saw all of this. I was so mad I kept taking the bait about her saying that she would rather leave me that I said perhaps we should. I said that I wanted a wife not a house mate – well this infuriated her even more and she couldn’t believe that it was all about sex after everything she had done for our family - as a wife and mother. She also said that if we ever broke up it would be over something my family did (related to the cousin comment above - more on this later). She left the house and returned later that evening. I don’t think we talked until the next day. I apologised for making it such a big issue and we agreed to go to counselling. I seriously thought that she would leave me. I was devastated. I found the link to TMMSLP 2011 and started reading. I wish I could reverse time and start again, go back to 8 months ago and MAP.

    • We went to the counselling session this week. I said my piece and she said hers. She said that she was just so surprised about the sex issue. Yes she felt guilty that we weren’t having it, but just assumed it would get better over time. I explained that it wasn’t just about sex for me, it was about our overall lack of intimacy. She was afraid to touch me in any way because I might mistake this for an initiation. Our counsellor recommended that we agree to exclude sex totally for 3 months to create a safe environment to start connecting physically, starting with simple hand touch exercises every day. I could see that although she agreed to this, she was still angry. She said I was a great father and a great husband, but she didn’t know if she could forgive me about making the sex thing such a big deal and she needed time to process everything. That night she remained angry. I said I was sorry she felt that way and never intended to get things to this point. She didn’t want to do the exercises and just wanted me to “stop pressuring” her. I started reading the MAP book and felt absolutely terrible about how stupidly I had approached the whole thing. Four days after counselling she’s still weird. She doesn’t want to go again. I’m kind of in agreeance and would prefer to work on my MAP instead.

    • I believe my wife blames me for pressuring her to breast feed our son. I honestly thought this was the best thing for both of them – at the time.

    • My wife also sees me as selfish by bringing this up (the no sex issue) at a time when her Dad wasn’t well, when Christmas was approaching, my family was being a bitch to her, etc. I didn’t mean to bring it up. To me it just came out after years of pent up frustration, grief and anger.

    • I perceive my wife feels that I am not supportive of her, particularly where my family is involved (I’m on their side not hers) 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 5:

    • I am not interested in looking outside our marriage for sex. I don’t get a lot out of masturbating to porn and feel bad having to masturbate because I’d rather be with my wife. Saying that when things really build up I masturbate (maybe once a week??). I’ve always been worried about PE but when I’m relaxed it doesn’t bother me. I haven’t been relaxed in the last 5 years.

    • My wife rejoined Facebook about 6 months ago after deactivating it many years ago (work related people kept bugging her). She is spending a lot of time on it lately. Just after Christmas I was on our laptop and noticed a FB conversation coming up with a guy I didn’t know. I went into the next room and asked who it was and to let her know her conversation was coming up on the laptop (she was messaging on her phone). She acted pretty cool and said it was an old friend and she had nothing to hide. We talked about it a few days later when I asked if she talked about our problems with anyone else. She didn’t want to tell her parents (at this stage), but she had told a female friend and this FB guy, who she knew from years ago. He just happened to be going through a messy custody battle and was lending a supportive ear. I just played it cool and left it at that – until........

    • I have been monitoring her conversations on Facebook. Bad I know but I need to know what’s going on. She has been saying how bad things are for her, how I’m pressuring her so much, how our parenting differs, that maybe we’d be better apart, that I said that if we split up we’d have to sell the house, send our boy to a private school and things would be bad (yes I did say this but I was saying that this was a reason to work on our marriage – it wasn’t a threat). She was asking him about how custody would work. I could see she was making little remarks fishing for compliments – however he wasn’t biting probably because he knew if I saw the messages what might happen. They were trying to make plans to catch up. My wife kept on talking about how bad things were and how lost she was. On Saturday (11th Jan) she was complaining of feeling unwell and anxious since increasing her antidepressant dose. I went shopping with our son without her. She used this opportunity to chat freely with him over FB. She wrote “I feigned illness” to get me out of the house. The messages continued over the day and she said she needed to get out. She would put our son to bed and then go for a walk and let him know where to meet. I was devastated at this. I knew she was around the time of ovulation and I was panicking. I tried to keep her from going out but I couldn’t stop her. She went out and they made plans to meet on the beach. About an hour later I gave in and rang her. I told her I was concerned that something wasn’t right and was concerned for her safety. I asked if anyone was with her and she denied it. I asked her to come home. She said that she would walk back to the car but would then go for a drive. I repeated I wanted to come home. 2 hours later I range her again. She denied being with anyone. As you can see I’m looking like a freak at this stage. She eventually came home and I told her that I wouldn’t be angry with her, just to tell me what was one her mind. She said that she had met with this guy. I said that she had said she wasn’t with anyone when I had rung her twice. She said that she contacted him basically because I was being a freak and pestering her. So she lied. She said that nothing happened. I respectfully asked her to not contact him again if she had any respect for working on our marriage. She reluctantly agreed. She still wouldn’t indicate if she was willing to work on our marriage. I looked at her messages the next day. She deleted most of the ones around her plans to catch up with him. He is saying that he needs to back off to not inflame the situation...until...
    • She contacted him 2 days later. She was making small talk then mentioned some things that alluded to a physical encounter that night. Nothing specific but enough to convince me such as "it wasn't the best place" and "maybe another time". I was so devastated I didn't know what to do. I did the stupidest thing and rang her mother - not to tell her but to work out what she thought was going on with her daughter. Her mother was so cold on the phone so I ended up saying that I thought there was a third party trying to sabotage our attempts to salvage our marriage. She basically called me a lunatic (I was being quite calm). I realised it was a massive mistake. It was like I was downing in quicksand and her mother just kicked my hands away from the only rope...
    • I came home late. I confronted my wife about it and she of course denied it. She absolutely denied it. I said that I wasn't sure if we could salvage this if she was willing to deceive and lie. She said that that was it then. I was mortified. She kept saying that I should leave and I refused.
    • The next day neither of us went to work. We started talking about how we would proceed. I said if we were to separate then what did she think would be a reasonable shared plan of care for our boy. She said that she thought I would have him every second weekend. I said that was ludicrous - he'd never cope with that and either would I. He needs his Dad!!! She kept saying that we had to think of what's best for him and he was too your for 50/50 parenting, and that she was the "primary carer" and that's what she was entitled to. I started looking up parenting plans and sent them to her. We agreed we would both go to our parents houses to cool off.
    • When we both returned she was pretty emotional. I thought she had turned around a bit and it seems that her dad had talked some sense in to her. However she did keep implying that everything was my fault (pretty much from when our son was born). She was still pushing for me to leave for a few nights so she could think properly but I refused. I said that if she really need space she could go away for a little while and I would look after our son. She said that if she had to do that he would be going with her. Ultimately we both agreed things were moving too fast and that we both needed more time....

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 6:

    • I have put some pretty deep thought into this. Sex between us slowly dwindled over a fair period of time. It quite quickly went to once a week, which I was fairly happy with. She got pregnant and miscarried shortly after which was devastating. She went on antidepressants which helped her recover. We got engaged. We didn’t have sex the night of the proposal. It took a while for anything to really happen again (I thought because of the miscarriage), we probably had sex a few times until she got pregnant again around 6 months later. We got married 3 months into the pregnancy because we felt that we’d never get the chance to get married once our child was born. It was a lovely day. We didn’t have sex on the wedding night. I wasn’t hugely concerned because she was pregnant but I was disappointed. We may have had sex perhaps once during the whole pregnancy (I am struggling to remember if we did or not). Once our child was born obviously it was a very traumatic time with post-natal depression. Once again it’s hazy but it wasn’t until our boy was nearly 2 that we had sex (so yeah I reckon over 2 years without sex at this time). Our boy is now 4 and I think in the last 5 years I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve had sex. We haven’t had sex at all for the last 8 months. The very last time it was awkward as I mentioned in Question 4. She made me believe that I just banged her anyway when she indicated that she didn’t want it. The few times that we have had sex in the past years I must say I felt nervous because we hardly ever did it and I was so excited that I was afraid of coming too quick, which I think also tarnished the experience (ie: lack of confidence)

    Question 7:

    • Sex was great at the start of the relationship – however I must point out that this ties into Question 8. There was frequent sex and of good quality to begin with (that well established 2 years golden age of a relationship). BJ’s were frequent. She never really liked me going down on her, it made her feel uncomfortable although she liked it sometimes. To my discredit I just stopped offering it. Even before she miscarried and before we got engaged it started to get less frequent (weekly as I mentioned). Obviously I was concerned about not having sex on our wedding night, but she was pregnant so that was fine in mind (sort of). Naturally medical issues with post-natal depression prevented a sex life during this time, but I would expect 4 years later to be a reasonable time to resume a fairly normal sex life. There is of course other medical issues to consider such as low testosterone and early menopause however my wife is not interested looking any further into this due to previous issues with hormones and related medications. 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 8:

    • It’s not that I don’t want to tell anyone about this, but it’s very significant and you’re about to discover why. I met my current wife while I was with someone else. We worked together, we got on well. She was fun and carefree. I actually MARRIED that someone else despite having feelings for my current wife. I can’t explain it. I was confused. I felt trapped. I felt like I had gone too far and couldn’t pull out of getting married. My current wife ended up having a relationship with a friend of mine during all of this, however we started cheating again. Now it was me cheating and she was cheating on my friend. I know how bad this all sounds. All because I couldn’t man up and end what I was in to be with someone else. She called it off with my friend and I’m pretty sure she told him what was happening. 3 months into the marriage I told my wife I was having an affair. It was the lowest point in my life. Everything fell apart. We tried a bit of counselling but I knew I’d never be able to live in that relationship. It destroyed many things. We separated and I was in disgrace. All I could think about was her. About 3 months later I got back in touch and expressed my love to her. Naturally is was pretty rough integrating her into my circle after all that history but we managed to.

    • I’ll talk about my family now. They were obviously cut up about my cheating but being family they supported me regardless (they never like my first wife). They were more than happy to support my new relationship but obviously they were a bit guarded. It took a long time for things to settle but I honestly believe they got to a reasonable point. My wife has a totally different relationship with her parents. She’s not very close to her mother and doesn’t feel like she can really open up to her. I don’t think there was a lot of love nor touch there throughout her childhood. She appears to be closer with her dad, but things still appear pretty superficial. She could go weeks without talking to her parents and it wouldn’t be an issue. On the other hand my mum would probably get upset if she didn’t talk to me at least weekly. I think my wife sees me as a mummies boy and is pretty much under her control. That leads me back to the comment “I always thought if we broke up it would be over your family”. She sees me being on my families side and not hers. For example, we are often invited to dinner at my parents place. Often dinner won’t be served until 9pm, which is way too late for us with our child. Even if we help prepare it would still be late. I’ve constantly said that we would love to come around for lunch instead, but my mum always seems to prefer the dinner option (probably to stir us up). To us my family is being inflexible, to them we are being inflexible. To us we are the one carting a young child around, to them we are not relaxing enough and testing the waters with our strict routine (ie: to bed at a reasonable hour given the sleep issues we’ve had). To my wife I am keeping the peace too much and not standing up for myself (basically saying to my family “well we won’t see you at all then if you don’t compromise for us”) and therefore not supporting her. To my wife, I should be dealing with my family if they cross the line and vice versa. The thing is her family never appears to cross the line because they don’t really communicate any issues or like to rock the boat – most likely because they know my wife will chuck a fruity. Slowly I have gleaned from her parents that this has been an ongoing issue since childhood – stubbornness, moodiness, etc. Her mother found out that she had smashed our back door and didn’t seem all that surprised. My wife has a younger brother who lives out of town (works on a farm) and is basically is a bachelor. They rarely talk and when they do they argue. Their relationship deteriorated because he didn’t support her during her PND (just get over it attitude) and he’s pissed at us because we never travelled to him for 4 hours so we could see him (during a time we were in turmoil). To her mother’s credit though she picked up her game during my wife’s PND and was unbelievable. It took her a while but she set aside her mother issues and really supported my wife. They have certainly become closer since then. My wife has apparently discussed our current relationship issues with her parents and they have simply said that they will “support us both” - well so I thought...

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    Question 9:

    • I would say my wife is the leader in our marriage. I think she would prefer it the other way around. I kept pestering for answers about why we had a sexless marriage. She eventually said I was always so negative. I always resisted any of her suggestions. I would never take the lead and say “right let’s go out for the day” or “let’s do something different”. She wants to spend quality time as a family, to see the smile on my son’s face having fun. We haven’t had a proper holiday as a family.

    • To me I was doing so much to help the family. I would get our son up to let her sleep in because she couldn’t get up when she was so sick with PND. I would bath him, dress him, feed him bottles, sort out the formula when she could no longer breast feed. I took all this time off from work to be with the family and help. And as the years have passed I still find myself tearing away from work so I don’t get home too late – so I can help out, give our boy his dinner, give him his bath, just be there. I cook all the dinners because my wife never cooked. I cook my son’s meals (we still eat separately as he eats too early). I manage the finances. I pay the bills. I get the cars serviced. There’s nothing that needs fixing around the house. I maintain the garden and help with the housework when I can. I would have to say that I do more in the relationship, even though I think she is a wonderful mother and does a lot around the house (washing, ironing, cleaning) whilst working two days a week. I just feel like I’m putting so much in to this but I’m just making it worse. She’s pulling further away.

    Question 10:

    • I know this all sounds like a horrible relationship, but I’m not stupid. There have been good times before and after marriage. PND was a nightmare, but there were fleeting moments when we saw the light ahead. Great walks with the family, that odd occasion when we wear able to go and see a movie with just the two of us. Recently our boy had his first sleepover with her parents and it was fantastic. I took her out for dinner and we saw a musical. I really felt alive then. But to be honest I can’t help thinking “what kind of mood will she be in when I get home” and that always gets me. I pray for just one month without some kind of drama. 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338

    So there you go. A long story and probably somewhat stilted as I found the flow of the questions took me off on tangents. You're probably laughing at why I bothered to spend so much time writing this all as it seems so unfixable and pointless. I realise that statistically relationships from affairs don’t do well but I honestly think we can be happy, and the last thing I want to do is bring our boy up as single parents. Now I have started reading “No More Mr Nice Guy” I am terribly worried that I have Nice Guy Syndrome - all good information but I’m getting trapped in my viscous cycle now the question of infidelity has come in to play. Too much good information, but way too late to help my marriage now. It's like a living nightmare existing in this limbo.

    But you know what? Regardless I have started to MAP. I've already done 4 gym sessions and am walking nightly. I already feel better and when I'm not crying I feel like it has given me the strength I need to face whatever this is. But I need to be prepared more than that. I just need to know if there is a glimmer of hope here...something.....

    I Have sought legal advice - was told not to leave the house and that she is probably trying to get me out so that I can never return. I can't believe she would do something like this, but I will take the advice....but what next?

    P.S. This is what I was going to do before everything came crashing down:

      • MAP for me and to turn the marriage around - not to get sex.

      • Not mention sex in any shape or form

      • Keep cool and don’t cry

      • Walk for 45 minutes most nights

      • Gym three times per week – therefore work on physical fitness in a big way

      • Have a positive outlook

      • No more marijuana

      • Ween off ibuprofen/codeine 

      • Not to be drawn into arguments or be seen to be “needy”

      • I’ve seen STFU mentioned quite a bit – I think I understand this

      • Monitor the potential “other FB guy” thing

      • Take the family somewhere when things have hopefully settled down

      • Opening another savings account and sort out the finances

      • Booking a session with Athol 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338
    edited January 17
    Thanks to both of you for your responses. We had a counseling session today. It went around and around for 2.5 hours. My wife kept saying she needed space. My counsellor tried to negotiate an alternative way of giving her space without me leaving. She wouldn't have it and kept changing the goal posts. In the end she wasn't sure she needed space anymore. But she wasn't willing to say this is the end either. She said that me bringing up a sexless marriage made her think about all the negative things in the marriage, including me pushing her to breastfeed, me not accepting change and in particular me not listening to her. I accepted my misgivings but to her it's too late. its like running against an un-winnable race. 

    We agreed to remain civil and to listen to each other properly during the week until our next session in 1 week. Oh - and for me to wear pants in bed. I guess that's just another thing I can do just for her.  

    I feel so sad - it feels like I could be hit by a bus and she wouldn't care. 
  • SomeDudeSomeDude Silver Member Posts: 833
    We usually have a small amount of marijuana in the evenings after dinner (the boy is in bed). I have stopped this in the last week but my wife is still using it. One of my concerns is that I take Nurofen Plus (ibubrofen and codeine) 2 tabs in the morning to ease off back pain and generally to “pepp me up”. I think I have been doing this for years. I know it’s not ideal. I plan to reduce this to 1 tab daily for a week then stop totally.

    @Under_Construction the pot and the back pain may be related... regular pot smoking can cause muscle spasms I believe... I noticed this years ago, and then when I mentioned this theory to some other regular smokers they were able to make the same correlation. Try stopping smoking for a couple of weeks and see if the back pain eases up. 

  • Under_ConstructionUnder_Construction Australia Silver Member Posts: 338
    edited January 19
    @EANx yes I totally agree with you and thank you for taking the time to comment. I am having conflict with the lawyer's advice regarding locking down my evenings. Because things are this serious I have been advised to not go out at night and be seen to be at home - so there's no argument that "he's out every night do x". I also need to step up activities with my son as well which doesn't leave a lot of time for me. I guess I need to work out a way to stop being a nice guy and remain totally dedicated to my son at the same time.

    @sf64 thank you for encouraging words too. One of the hardest parts for me to deal with is trying to get out of the mindset that this is ALL my fault. I own many things - like having Nice Guy Syndrome, but at least I'm trying to do something about it - at least for me and no one else. One thing I DO understand is that what I'm doing is definitely NOT a covert contract. I'm seriously doubting if my wife will come around but I'm doing this for me and it can only help my ability to deal with this situation. If we do separate hopefully I will be able to manage an ongoing amicable relationship with the best interests of our son at heart. I totally agree with you, everything I have been doing has been to make my wife happy - and look where it has got me.... It will be hard to manage the DARVO, the mood and trying to maintain a positive frame. I'm saying I can do it but at the moment it's all like one step forward and two steps back. I keep messing up and falling into traps. However, I DO feel better just with a lot of exercise. I AM in a crisis and I'm hurting deeply. I really want to arrange a call with Athol - just trying to work out the financial side of it, also so she doesn't see what I'm up to by seeing it on our bank statement...

    @SomeDude I'm trying not to go back to the pot - I've been 2 weeks without it and aim to remain off it indefinitely. Next step is the codeine, however I need to do that slowly  - if I do everything at one I'm going to crash and burn. It is a very interesting theory though regarding the link

  • TenneeTennee Next Stop: AwesomevilleSilver Member Posts: 5,963
    "One of the hardest parts for me to deal with is trying to get out of the mindset that this is ALL my fault. I own many things - like having Nice Guy Syndrome, but at least I'm trying to do something about it - at least for me and no one else. "

    So, as you learn, and read, and as the Red Pill takes effect (no spitting it out now - you can't 'unsee') you'll have to be able to separate some things.  For me personally, I needed to own lots and lots of screw-ups (BTW - Add Athol's Married Man Sex Life Primer - MMSLP - to your reading list.  Opens your eyes) without getting angry at myself.  Or taking it out on others.  I had lots of Homer Simpson DOH!  kinda moments.   That's OK.  Own what needs owning, but not to the point of martyrdom. 

    When you need to blow the pressure valve, do it here.  Lots of people will help you - gain perspective, learn from our mistakes and experience, and offer the occasional 2x4 upside the head (I got lots of marks).  This is a solid community of helpful folks - use it. 

    Remember this - you can only fix what's in front of you.  Yesterday is gone. 

    Welcome aboard.
    "Fall down seven times, stand up eight"  Japanese Proverb

    How will you live well today?
  • CartB4HorseCartB4Horse Southwest USASilver Member Posts: 4,155
    Great triage; have you read any of the books?  I believe you said you are reading NMMNG now, can you follow it up with the two from Athol?

    You have a bit of work to do, primarily on Nice Guy issues.  It can be done (I'm a recovering Nice Guy).

    I'm not sure if this post is in 911 but @Angeline may be able to move it if she thinks it should be there - I believe your wife is cheating and this needs to stop the right way as soon as possible....

    Put back on course via a 'One Hour Call' with Athol.  Seriously worth 10 times the cost, but don't tell him that....

    “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Victor Frankl 

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