Completely drained and unable to move forward

Reply Mon 10 Jan, 2022 10:06 pm
I don't know why I'm posting this. I don't expect to find any solutions. I think I want to just vent. I hope someone out there can relate. I hope someone has been where I am and is able to tell me it all gets better with time. That's what I was told and I'm barely able to hold on to that hope.

This is all started a few years ago. My wife and I had been together for nearly 10 years (at the time) when she broke news to me that she has been talking online to a guy that she wants to meet. She said she wants to separate and see other people. I was shocked. We spent days and nights arguing and begging and pleading. Finally, on valentine's day, 2018, I tried to line up romantic gestures and she agreed to give us another chance and not meet anyone. I was over the moon. I thought I could see the light of the end of the tunnel. But that light turned out to be a freight train that ran right over me a few days later when she went back and said she can't do it, she's done. Her birthday was just around the corner. I took the day off and we went out and told her all day, we will do anything she wants. We had lunch and then she said she's needs to go home because she's going on a date that night, on her birthday.

Things went downhill pretty quickly from there, with her going on dates and meeting other guys. I was still hopeful that we could fix things but I could not bear seeing strangers waiting outside to pick her up. I told her one of us has to move out and after a bunch of fighting, she got an apartment and moved out. Not much longer after that, I accepted the situation and thought this was it. It was time to move on. I told her we should probably look at divorce procedures and started trying to meet other girls and went on a few dates. After a few months and I had made peace with it and told her we need to sit down to do paperwork to file for divorce. I was finally ready. She wasn't.

She broke down and started pleading to come back. She had gone out and tried to find happiness and love out there but she couldn't find anything, she said. It was worse. Everything was worse and it was the worst decision she ever made. She wanted back. Every bone in my body wanted to say no. But a piece of me outside my body wanted said yes... we have a son together. All my life, I had firmly believed that if it were ever up to me, I would never break my family and let my kids grow up in a broken home. He was only 4. He had no idea what was going on. He would ask me sometimes so innocently "why doesn't mom sleep at home anymore?". I couldn't say no. I took her back.

We did counselling for a while at a couple of different places. I was told time heals. There will be a scar but the cut will heal. I trusted that and committed to trying to make this work. I told her we can try. She moved back in. She was a different person. It was honeymoon phase but one sided. She tried to do everything she possibly can to please me. I started to remember all the memories and softened. I was optimistic and I thought I could see myself healing. We kept working on our relationship and things seemed to be getting better. Unfortunately, that didn't last. It's not what you think. After a few months, I hit a brick wall. I simply could not go any further.

It has been 3 years now and I'm still stuck trying to bring that wall down, but I can't. Things are actually getting worse. When I was first trying to pick up the pieces, I would look at old pictures of us together and listen to some of "our songs" and it would give me hope. Maybe we can be at that place again. But now, these pictures make me angry. They make me think: Why did you throw all this away? How could you? The songs and the pictures bring nothing but anger so that stopped. I hate Valentine's day. It reminds me of Valentine's day before sh*t hit the fan when I gave it all thinking I could save it. I have to pretend that everything is ok, that I'm healing, which is almost more exhausting than the actual anger. I hate her birthday. I remember it like it was yesterday; sitting having lunch thinking I might have bough myself a day by taking it off and spending the day together only to find out she had a date that same day.

I'm stuck. I sometimes barely scratch the surface and let on a little of how I feel and she just sobs and apologizes for the 'pain she put me through'. Crocodile tears? I don't think they are but that's irrelevant at this point. I have no intention of leaving for the sake of my son. I have to pretend every day that we are moving forward or at the very least staying still in a good place. I feel completely drained. I want to love her again but I can't. I care about her a great deal but I have no romantic love for her. I have no idea how to get it back. I have no idea how to get rid of the anger. I want to love like this again. I miss how things where but there is no way to go back and I can't move forward. God knows I've tried. Am I condemned to feeling like this forever?
Reply Tue 11 Jan, 2022 06:12 am
I think you need counselling.

Don't stick together just for the children. Kids are better off in a stable home with one parent than with both parents who are fighting.

My youngest was four when my wife died. He's autistic and had problems understanding what was going on.

I brought them upon my own, and they're doing fine, everybody points out how happy my youngest is, how he cheers everyone up.

Good luck, I don't know how I would have handled what you're going through. It can't be easy.
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Reply Tue 11 Jan, 2022 06:14 am
You don't have to pretend everything is getting better. Frankly, I am surprised that you are.

Why would you ever think that was a good idea?

It's been 3 years. You said you've been to counseling. Then go back there, either together or by yourself. Vent and get this poison out of you before the stress puts you in an early grave.

Will you stay together? I have no idea. But the way you are living right now-- all three of you-- is toxic and can't be sustained.

You are sacrificing your happiness and your health (even if you don't feel anything right now, stress is a killer). She is probably waiting for the other shoe to drop with you. That's not a great way for her to live, either.

And your son? He picks up on way more than you think. He's well aware that things are frosty between you, even if you think you're hiding it well.

And what's the lesson he's getting from your marriage?

It's that love and happiness don't matter, in the face of the almighty children. And he's learning that expressing real emotions gets you nothing but trouble. He's also learning that stress is a constant companion.

Life doesn't have to be this way for you, and it doesn't have to turn out that way for him.

Go back to counseling and start releasing this anger and resentment before they consume you.

bobsal u1553115
Reply Tue 11 Jan, 2022 08:16 am
You need counseling.
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Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2022 08:19 pm
Thank you all

I know it is probably hard to believe, but for better and for worse (mostly for worse I guess), I'm pretty good at bottling things up. They have no idea that this is how I feel. My wife knows that I'm not completely healed but that is the extent of it. My wife and I are appropriately affectionate in front our son so what he sees is a healthy marriage (or at least the appearance of one). Dad loves mom and mom loves dad. And she thinks the worst is behind us.

That said, I know it isn't sustainable. I can't pretend forever. I don't know how much longer I can last. I will eventually snap and shut down. I need to find a solution but I don't know what that is.

I've tried counseling, although not alone. Maybe I need that. I never thought pretending was a good idea or intended to do that. It happened when she was moving much faster in the recovery than I was and I didn't have the heart to tell her that I've hit a wall.
Reply Wed 12 Jan, 2022 10:34 pm
I would suggest seeing a counselor by yourself for yourself. Your wife hurt you terribly, don't pretend it didn't hurt, especially not to her. But a counselor could really help you get this all out in the open in the best way possible. You might even begin to forgive her, I don't know. I do know that you shouldn't be unhappy for the rest of your life and many of us do bottle up our feelings for reasons we don't even fathom. Hopefully a good counselor will help you unravel all this in the best way possible. Honestly, I don't blame you for being angry and feeling unattached.....that was a big shock to your well-being. I hope things begin to get better quickly for you, good luck to you.
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Reply Mon 17 Jan, 2022 03:40 pm
I've always found "cut and run" works very well.
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Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2022 05:40 am
Yeah, I understand the need to vent.

Btw, I set up a similar thread in the religion section. I too am completely drained and unable to move forward.

From mt experience, I can't say that it does get better with time. It seems to get better when you have people to talk to.

Offhand, it sounds like she was wanting to leave, and it had nothing to do with you doing better. Though I dunno the specifics of the Valentine's Day date, it sounds probable that she was determined to leave, and it was not about you being good enough.

No. She treated you like dirt. She comes begging when it's time to divorce. Aaargh, you should have divorced her and remarried later. Time doesn't heal a damned thing from my experience. It just makes you older. Only experience can heal wounds like that.

Ask her for a divorce. This isn't a good relationship. This is worse than a so-called broken home. You can remarry, and you deserve someone better in your life. The only upside of this is there doesn't seem to be her telling you about how it was youe fault (i.e. the pain you put her through). Your son needs a loving household more than a together one. He would prefer you stay together, but calmly explain that you and his mother don't love each other anymore, and you've been trying to stay together for his sake but you can't keep it up anymore. Finalize the divorce. Start dating again. You will be condemned as long as you live a lie.
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Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2022 05:51 am
I think she's hoping to get something out of the OP. Either your place, your kid, or your money. She's hoping you'll get frustrated and mess around or something.

Go to court. Make your case, that you took her back, despite being a terrible idea, for the sake of the child's happiness, and that since then, no progress at all. With any luck, she gets nothing at all.

Start with telling her you hit a wall. If there is any, ANY hope for a real marriage, it starts by knowing she truly cares for you and has your back. If feelings are real, she will help you through that wall. If they are not, you'll know pretty quick as her advice will not help anything (usually unreasonable expectations or outright trying to trap you).

Yes, your cute kid misses his mother.Explain that she left him, without a second thought, to go play with other boy. Ask him if he wants another father to steal his home. No?

Then you're agreeing to no-fault divorce. She has visitation rights but it's your house.
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Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2022 05:10 pm
You should hate her birthday and her. You will someday realize the pain has been relieved, but the hate will remain
Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2022 07:15 am
It only gets better once you understand.
The hate goes away after that.
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Reply Mon 28 Feb, 2022 07:23 am
One analogy I heard was that of Charlie and the Chocholate factory. Augustus Gloop gets sucked into a machine, processed and spat out the other side.

That's what emotions are like if you don't process them, you're stuck with them. And you're currently stuck with an Augustus Gloop sized blockage.
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Reply Fri 23 Jun, 2023 04:09 am
It's only going to get better if you say it's going too. Happiness starts from within.
If you aren't happy inside your not going to be making anyone else happy either.
Set her free. She'll survive.
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