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Me: 29, good paying job, driven towards next goal, SVM 7 Her: 27, ok job, not happy with job likely will change careers soon, SVM 7 I met my wife about 5 years ago, and it was bliss. Everything was working smoothly, it was fun, it was easy, the sex was great. Everything besides our location. She was in the Northeast and I was in the Midwest. After we met on a one off dinner with friends, we saw each other a handful of times. This was a collection of convenient work trips or a dedicated weekend getaway. Each trip was intense, it just felt right. For context, before her I was seeing multiple woman living my own life, which mostly revolved around work (military). After a month of getting hot and heavy, but still uncertain of the future (she was moving cross country, my location and deployments complicate things, etc), her dad passed away. She had a complicated relationship with both her parents, and deals with some level of abandonment issues. A lot of this I learned later, when her dad passes away he had known each other for a couple months and spent a handful of weekends together. I was in a weird spot, unsure of how to convey to her my desire for her and a potential relationship but also not pushing myself onto her during a difficult time. We had a conversation about this and it ended with her telling me she didn’t care if I slept with other people but she wanted to keep me in her life. I read this as friendzone and she would hit me up one day in the future if it was convenient. We had plans for her to visit me a week after this conversation. I slept with an old hook up shortly after that conversation. It was a mixture of rejection, confusion, and me wanting to see what it felt like to be with someone else. I felt this sense of guilt if I took her time at such a weird time for her without being a staple in her life, but also I felt this sense of entitlement to feel separate from her and be alone after that conversation where she said she didn’t care. I ended up feeling completely disgusted with myself sleeping with someone else and felt like I wanted to wait things out for this girl. I never told her about this girl. Fast forward, we started dating, long distance, got married, and one day she asks about my past sexual history, specifically about my last sexual partner. And so I told her. It didn’t go well. In fact, I’m afraid it’s broken us. She sees it as me cheating on her, a complete betrayal of not only sleeping with someone during that time but also not trusting her enough to tell her my feelings. The bottom line now is she doesn’t trust what kind of person I am, and is afraid I could feel so intensely with her but still turn around and sleep with someone the next day and she would never know. And for the record, since we’ve been actually dating and married, I haven’t messed around or fucked up at all. We’ve fought about this, and tried to talk through it, for almost two years. Each fight ends horrible with her hitting herself and expressing suicidal thoughts, and me feeling like absolute garbage. She is definitely depressed, and I think I am also depressed. This is the backdrop. I’ve had some hard conversations with her recently because I’ve gotten fed up with our situation. I’m not happy with the relationship, I don’t feel sexual passion for her, I’m afraid to argue with her. She has a strong victim mentality, so when I criticize something it is immediately met with “well I am a shitty wife so of course I don’t fill-in-the-blank”. I’m finally realizing it’s not my job the fix her. I want to help her but I don’t know how. During our ‘good times’ when we’re not fighting, things are good. But during the struggle is when our relationship really shows it’s ugly head. There’s no trust or respect. I want to put my energy towards getting better snd my career and my future, not constantly fighting and dealing with the emotional hurricane. I know that alone makes me feel more resentful. She wants to feel close to me and know me, but all I feel from her is that she is too sensitive and judges me for my decision and desires. I feel like I have good self-value, and I feel like she does not have good self value. I think I am more driven than her, and want to attack something to find resolution, and then move on. I very much want to seize the fucking day, live in the past only to learn from it and then forget the rest. My question: for someone living together in a marriage, at what point in a disagreement and inability to see eye to eye on something, do you jump off the train? If I could ask a second question, it would be, what advice in managing her while living with her and trying to make the marriage work? Thank you a million. I work closely with some Canadian forces in my job, and they are good dudes. I can pick up on your accent mostly because of them.

My heart goes out to you. I feel your pain and the discouragement in your words. It seems like you are digging deep to find resolution to this situation.

My son is your age and one of his friends went through a similar situation. I spent a lot of time talking it through with him. So, I feel like I know where you are coming from to some degree.

It sounds like two things need to happen:

As for you. You need to forgive yourself. Right, wrong, or indifferent, you made your choice to be with an old girlfriend based on the information you were given at the time. You realized after the fact, it was a mistake for YOU based on your feelings for her. Notice, you didn't say you felt like you cheated on her. At that moment, you trusted her words in that, you were in the friend zone. It sounds like your guilt stems from betraying your own heart by sleeping with someone while you were in love with somewhere else. That guilt was later compounded by the fact that you now realize how much pain your mistake caused her, and the affect it has had on your marriage. You learned several valuable lessons. Don't be too hard on yourself. Remember, that one act does not define you or the man you are. The definition of the man you are comes after the mistake you made, which is: 1. how you dealt with it, 2. what you learned from it, and 3. how you apply it to the rest of your life. It is also important to note that when faced with the question, you owned it. You should be proud of yourself for your openness and honesty.

As for her. Her issues are rooted much deeper than that one act. Granted, what you did, didn't earn you any gold stars, but that is not the root problem. It is the problem that revealed the issues she has been suffering through. She needs your compassion, support, and help right now. Don't join her in the fights. Take a deep breath and try to de-escalate the situation, do not add to it.

My grandmother said true love doesn't die, but it does change and shifts as you get older. The hope is when you get to the other side of this, your love will be deeper.

My suggestion is to tie a knot and hang on a little longer. She needs to find a counselor to help her with her childhood abandonment and trust issues. Couples counseling would help too. Another suggestion would be to find an older couple that you both admire and trust. Maybe they can help mentor you as a couple. Sometimes we see happy couples that have been married 30+ years and think they have always been that way. Guaranteed they have been through some serous trials too that always broke their marriage.

Please remember she, nor your relationship, got this way overnight so, it will not be fixed over night either. Re-evaluate where you are in a few months.

Good luck!


Answered 3 months ago

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