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Where to start!? (My wife and I).

(82 Posts)
diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 12:21:55

Hi everyone. Long time lurker first time poster (I think). I'm a house husband who needs some advice, really. Obviously, as a dude I am expecting at least a little bit of flack, but as long as it's basically constructive, it's all good! smile

My wife is wonderful. I love her very much and still fancy her very much. We have two boys; one of 12 and one of 2 (the age gap was my fault, lol). Anyway, I would say I am the communicator in the relationship, which makes things difficult sometimes.

Until about a year ago, I worked in a warehouse bringing home enough money to help keep a roof over our head and pay the bills, but it was certainly not a 'career'. The plan was for me to leave and look after the kids and the house, and for her to pursue midwifery, which seemed like a calling. A far better career destiny than mine! So that's what I did, and although it can be a little isolating, I like spending time with the little'un and quite enjoy housework.

My wife tells me she loves me all the time and we cuddle a lot. But there's something in me, some insecurity that will suddenly make me dread her leaving me. And I guess I'm a bit of a control freak, who wishes you could make someone never leave you, but all I can do is try to be a good husband.

We were both virgins when we got together. I had no shortage of female interest in school, but I think I was just...a bit scared of women or something (cringe, lol). I think because of our start, we kind of both link sex and love together, which I'm not sure is good or bad?

In our past my wife has left me briefly twice. The first time was aaaaages ago (before we had our first child) I think it was to do with her sister breaking up with her husband and my wife panicking and experiencing a sort of 'early mid-life crisis'. I can only assume this because however gently I have ever approached the subject she can't talk about it.

I responded, at the time, by tracking down a local nightclub that she was frequenting, pulling an attractive women in front of her, and the next day she came back home. (By all means really put the boot in here, but I was following an impulse telling me what to do to get her back and it seemed to work in the short term). I'm sure it was a horrific thing to do (maybe she wasn't ready to come back) but she actually admitted years after that it did make her want to be with me again.

The second time was more recently (about 3 years ago) and was because she wanted another child and I was dragging my feet. She said that unless I gave her another child it was all over. This time I did not cry over her, and despite everyone (mates, parents, etc) telling me to just 'give her a baby, it's what ya have to do' I did not cave. I thought I should want the baby too, before committing to it. I held out and she stayed. Later on, I decided I was happy to have another baby, and we did.

I am no angel. A long, long time ago I kissed someone else, mostly due to my ego rather than any urge to have a full blown extra-marital affair. I sincerely apologised to her and she genuinely forgave me. As I have gotten older I have become much more trustworthy since I realised the indiscretion was due to my low self-esteem, which improved vastly when I started going to the gym and learning to like myself. My wife is a tiny bit overweight, but I don't care or really notice it. In face I love her sexy little post-baby belly! However, it does impact her self-esteem, so sometimes it would probably be good for her to lose weight. To be fair she has lost half a stone recently, on the Paleo diet. Good on her, imo.

I feel that I have pros and cons as a husband. I quite rightly do all the housework (it's my job) and she's glad because she hated it, lol. I am improving daily as a cook and play constructively with the little one. I am in better shape than most of my mates. I do resistance training and can lift and push more than my own weight. I'd like to think I would put my life on the line for her. My wife and I have similar intelligence levels and share similar philosophies and ideologies.

However, my flaws are usually related to procrastination, over-active sex drive, maybe my lack of vocational motivation?

What do you think? Should I be prepared for her to do the off, lol!? Is there anyway you can prepare for that when you really love the person and need them?

Yikes.

Dahlen Thu 06-Feb-14 12:51:24

To summarise, within the parameters of some fairly typical ups and downs, you have a reasonably normal-sounding marriage but you worry if your DW is going to leave you? wink

No one here can answer that. People leave seemingly great marriages all the time, and others stick with really awful ones for life.

Maybe it would benefit you more to focus on what's making you feel insecure and see if you can work on that. While it's normal and healthy to get a cold rush of blood at the thought of losing our nearest and dearest, if it's occupying your thoughts to this disagree you need to do something to break that pattern. Time for a new, all-consuming hobby perhaps?

TinselTownley Thu 06-Feb-14 13:31:23

Were I your wife, my first reservation would be that you are not working when your youngest is old enough to begin enjoying the socialisation offered by quality childcare. Surely you could work some hours each week? Even if it barely covers nursery fees, you'd benefit from the confidence and sense of purpose it offers. Either that or start training or studying towards a new goal.

My second would be the LOL thing.

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:31:48

Cheers! That's actually a pretty sensible reply. I'll think on it.

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:32:36

That's aimed at Dahlen, btw.

Clouddancer Thu 06-Feb-14 13:33:08

Hmmmm, I am not sure about needing someone. Wanting to be with them because they enrich your life and you theirs, yes, but in what way do you need her? Give her space, give yourself space, and be together because you want to be, not because of some deep insecurity.

I think part of the issue might be that she has gone twice already, and you have not really talking about the underlying issues there. Walking out the door is what you do when communication has broken down, it is not a form of communication. I think if your worries stem from that, then talk to her about it, ask her if she is happy with your lives together, talk about your fears, listen to hers.

That apart, yes, as Dahlen says, also look to your life outside the house, do you get time to yourself (well, the gym suggests you do), what about seeing friends, do you spend time as a couple together without the children, what are you doing to do job-wise in a couple of years, etc. I'm guessing you feel a bit adrift and you are looking to her to anchor you, and really, she can't, because no one person can be all and everything to another.

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:35:53

Hmm...well I didn't say I don't work did I? You seem to have inferred that from somewhere?

Also, my wife doesn't want to send the youngest to nursery. I source friends and socialization externally. I assume you're someone who doesn't believe in the traditional housewife role, either?

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:36:24

That reply is for Tinsel

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:41:18

Clouddancer, I don't actually go to the gym anymore, I just don't have the time. I workout at home when I can.

I don't really have time to myself. I look after the home and kids when my wife is off, because, that should be her day off. I do very occasionally get time to my self, my wife is good like that.

MadBusLady Thu 06-Feb-14 13:41:39

I think you sound like an ordinary, decent person with the usual mix of some great qualities and flaws and some past errors. Domestic life sounds harmonious and well-balanced. Your marriage sounds like it works.

There's a couple of things peeking out that would concern me, though not in the way that you might think. "Over-active sex drive"? Unless you mean every twenty minutes, I don't think there's any such thing. There's only how much sex you want, everyone's different, there's nothing wrong with wanting it more than your partner does, or less. If you have different drives, that's something to discuss and compromise on together maybe.

But the heart of your question is really not something we can answer. You being a decent person, the marriage being functional, none of these things can prevent a change of feeling. We're all prone to over-induct how much we figure in other people's emotional decisions. The truth is, if someone does leave you, it's probably not nearly as much about you and your unique qualities as you think. It's about them, and their qualities.

That said, there is nothing in your OP to suggest her feelings have/are changing. Unless there are things that haven't quite made it onto the page here?

MadBusLady Thu 06-Feb-14 13:41:55

I think you sound like an ordinary, decent person with the usual mix of some great qualities and flaws and some past errors. Domestic life sounds harmonious and well-balanced. Your marriage sounds like it works.

There's a couple of things peeking out that would concern me, though not in the way that you might think. "Over-active sex drive"? Unless you mean every twenty minutes, I don't think there's any such thing. There's only how much sex you want, everyone's different, there's nothing wrong with wanting it more than your partner does, or less. If you have different drives, that's something to discuss and compromise on together maybe.

But the heart of your question is really not something we can answer. You being a decent person, the marriage being functional, none of these things can prevent a change of feeling. We're all prone to over-induct how much we figure in other people's emotional decisions. The truth is, if someone does leave you, it's probably not nearly as much about you and your unique qualities as you think. It's about them, and their qualities.

That said, there is nothing in your OP to suggest her feelings have/are changing. Unless there are things that haven't quite made it onto the page here?

MadBusLady Thu 06-Feb-14 13:42:11

Bah, sorry.

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:45:02

That's cool! Great replies. (Although, not sure about Mrs Conservative, but she's entitled to her opinion).

Quitelikely Thu 06-Feb-14 13:49:44

Perhaps you are feeling threatened because she's away at university and gaining a degree? It's not too late for you to do this either.

Also the fear of the other partner leaving, what you need to do is confront that thought and imagine it happening, yes it would be hard but it would not kill you. Life would go on, just as it does now. Btw I don't think she is going to but just think to yourself that if she does leave you can enjoy here and now! If that makes sense.

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 13:54:13

Yeah, Quitelikely, I was studying an open degree, but have put it on hold to look after little one. I think you're also right about living in the moment and knowing it wouldn't be the end of the world.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Thu 06-Feb-14 14:01:07

I think a lack of security can be quite waring so I'd counsel you to get on with living in the here and now and enjoying life together.
No one can ever predict the future, but you can fall into behaving in such a way as to make your fears become a self fulfilling prophecy.

I don't see any problem in parenting your children full time if that's what suits you both, but perhaps you'd be well advised to start thinking about the future from the point of view of a career in the longer term for you too?

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 14:13:08

Agreed.

ShowMeSaturn Thu 06-Feb-14 14:18:25

That your wife refuses to open up and talk about either of her infidelities in the past, shows there is a communication glitch. It's not acceptable.

It's all sounding a bit complacent on her side.

JanineStHubbins Thu 06-Feb-14 14:31:04

ShowMeSaturn where does it say his wife was unfaithful?

Clouddancer Thu 06-Feb-14 14:46:02

How long till your little one gets to the free nursery age? I understand that you say you do stuff when it is your wife's day off, but you also need time to yourself, and you need your own interests (otherwise what are you going to talk about with your wife beyond the children and her life and the house and maybe what is in the papers, on TV).

I don't think there is anything intrinsically wrong with looking after the little one and the house etc all the time, but I think an awareness of life beyond that and how you might begin to carve out a bit of time and life for yourself again might help with the insecurity.

Clouddancer Thu 06-Feb-14 14:47:05

Sorry, that was not clear, I mean, I understand you saying you look after the house and children when it is her day off, because that is her day off, but you also need time off, that is what I meant.

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 15:42:02

That's cool. No, just to clarify, she has never been unfaithful. Not really her style.

CailinDana Thu 06-Feb-14 15:51:26

You need to talk openly and honestly to each other. She seems to have treated you quite badly and I think your fear is understandable given that she won't talk about why she left before and that she tried to manipulate you into having another child. Does she have issues with you? What are they?

diagnostic Thu 06-Feb-14 18:34:39

This thread has actually been quite cathartic for me so far, I must admit. Helps to just let it out.

CailinDana, I know you're probably right, but when a person clams up the way she does in regards to an issue, there is nothing you can physically do to make them talk sad

I'm sure its usually blokes who are supposed to be the quiet ones grin

springysofa Fri 07-Feb-14 02:42:06

The two times she left sound quite plausible to me: the first time because she was young and had only ever had a significant relationship/sex with one person (you!); the second time because you dragged your feet over having a second child. Ten years is h-u-g-e gap imo (unless it can't be avoided) - that was a mighty long time to 'wait'. I'm not surprised that in her desperation she took a look at her biological clock and said 'right, I'm off'. Only she didn't go off. That looks like significant commitment to me, to somehow overcome her (probably intense) need for another child and stay with you. Major tick in the right box.

So, out of interest, why did it take so long for you to agree to another child?

You say you can be controlling. That's not a small thing btw, just to clarify. It's not a little idiosyncracy, it's actually a killer.

Her clamming up and refusing to talk - has she always been like that? Was she like that when you met?

Though let's not be looking for trouble - your relationship, from what you've said, sounds pretty bog standard ie highs and lows, some things very good, some things crap, a lot of things in the middle. Marriages, eh, you gotta work on them all along the line, moreorless. Lol (solidarity on the lol front)

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