I have a problem that is probably all my own doing though I think it is largely caused by my family.
I have a stable job, a good income, no major debts, and my wife looks after the house. I am unhappy, even resentful, my wife has made no effort to find even a part-time job. If I were to leave my family now, how would my wife support herself?
My relationship with my nearly adult children is difficult. My daughter was a moody teenager who rebuffed my efforts at communicating with her. Now in her last year at university, she has become tolerable. My son has struggled academically. I have been frustrated at my failure to help him. In the early stages, I tried hard, really I did.
I do not feel any burning passion for my wife and children. We hardly ever do things as a family. After dinner they get up and leave the room or watch TV. They choose the channel. I am never asked if there is something I would like to watch.
I am saddened, perhaps even disbelieving or envious, when I read or hear of men who live for their family.
A year or two ago it all became too much for me and I retreated into my study. Initially I watched movies on my computer, then for social interaction I started writing online pen pals.
I became friendly with a lady in Asia. After several months we met briefly. We are culturally different. She speaks little English. I only speak English. Yet we have a nice time and I feel warmth when I am with her physically and online.
I admire her optimistic philosophy, and she accepts my current situation, though she hopes it will change. Sometimes I have moments thinking it might be a fun challenge to learn another language and this relationship just might work. Stranger things have happened.
The reality is my wife has done little wrong; she does not deserve this. Then I say to myself, is this the life I must endure? Almost every night I go to bed to escape into some novel, and in the morning I wake up sad.
Ed, you are talking to a woman you can hardly communicate with. At zero right now, a .0001 attracts you. But that doesn’t make it right. That you are thinking about a woman whose language you can’t speak tells us how bad your circumstances are.
Take the other woman out of the equation. No plans can be made based on her. Sitting in your study, clandestinely communicating with someone, she is an option. If you were not married, she probably would not be an option. You would never have opened lines of communication with her.
You have things to decide, assessments to do, conclusions to reach.
Did you love your wife in the beginning, or was your marriage simply the next thing to do? Did you mistake like for love? Was that also your wife’s mistake? Did she marry because it was the next thing to do or because she wanted someone to support her?
Once she had children did she lose interest in you? If you feel disconnected from your wife, maybe that led to disconnection from your children as well.
Love deepens over time… I love my wife more because she is the mother of my children… I love my wife more now that we have been together so long. That’s what love is like. Do you love your wife?
You have every right to look for love. People are allowed to make these decisions.
Make yourself available for a life that gives you meaning. Now you are imagining. What you need are facts. Weigh the legal, financial, social and emotional facts of divorce.
Doing that will clarify your thinking and the next steps will begin to appear.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of September 8, 2014
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