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A minor addendum... [Sep. 25th, 2002|08:27 am]
Okay... if nobody's done anything wrong, why would I be ending a marriage? No one's asked that, but I still feel almost like it should.

The key is that Chris can't do whatever it would require to make me feel loved and appreciated and an important part of her life. It's now almost two full years that I can point to this lack, but it was present before 1/1/2001, as well.

And, part of it could be me. It could be that I'm not creating the openings she'd need to do these kinds of things. It could be that she is doing some things that should make me feel loved or cared about, but that I'm just unable to see them.

But... the overall perception (and remember, "perception" implies that this is my own 'twist' on things, so this doesn't have to mirror reality) is that she doesn't care... that I could be anyone putting a roof over her head, food on the table, and providing money for expenses, and things would be exactly the same.

Frankly, I think she stopped loving me as a husband a long time ago, but has internalized the "one doesn't get divorced" meme from her family, so the concept that she doesn't love her husband isn't one she can deal with. But, I also know that there's no way to know that. The key here was that, at some point, I had to decide that it didn't matter if she *DID* love me, if I couldn't tell. And I couldn't, and can't. So, there we are.

From: ex_serenejo
2002-09-25 09:25 am (UTC)
*sigh* This sounds sad. I'm sorry things are difficult.

If you don't mind saying, what kinds of things would show you that she loves you (if, indeed, she does)?
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:04 pm (UTC)
Well... of course, that's a nearly impossible question to answer, really. I was tempted to say "well, you know, the usual... suspension bondage from the Sistine Chapel ceiling once a week or so... not like I insist on it EVERY DAY, or anything..." because the default is to say things that are oh-so-reasonable to make one's self look good.

But... she's nearly non-responsive. I come home, say "Hey, beautiful, how's it going?" and, frequently, she doesn't even look up from the computer screen; sometimes the only response I get is a grunt. I can go the entire evening without hearing a single word from her. I had my possibly final "Talk" with her on the 24th, 13 days after my birthday, and the sum total of celebration was a hug, and the words "Happy birthday" from her.

Okay, that's a set of worst examples, specifically cherry picked to illustrate my worst memories. Clearly there's a middle ground between that and perfect levels of attention (whatever those might be).

I'd hope I'd be satisfied with multiple hugs and kisses daily, weekly reminders that, although sex is still out of the question, she really wishes it wasn't, occasional not-quite-sex play when she's up for it (BDSM stuff; I'll tell you if you're interested), and her seeking out opportunities to let me know that she's thinking about me once in a while. (Stuff like "You know that Special Treat you like at the grocery store? Well, I bought some for you today...".)

I don't know what it is, but I *DO* think that this is part of her medical problems. Maybe it's depression, maybe it's despair, maybe it's part of her ADHD, maybe it's a combination of those with other problems. The key is, it's not just "doing things for me" that she falls down on. She doesn't really do anything, except watch TV and get on the internet. (And write fan fiction for the Invisible Man TV series...)
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From: ex_serenejo
2002-10-02 11:19 am (UTC)
Is she getting aggressive treatment, I hope?

At any rate, I have had some difficulties in my current live-in relationship surrounding some of the issues you talk about here. Sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) there's less sex than I would choose if I got to choose. But if there were no affection? That would be a dealbreaker for me.

(I should say, too, though I'm worried that it will sound like unsolicited advice, that asking directly for what I want sometimes helps us with some of these things -- whether it's "when you go to the store, I really want you to get me something special, even if it's just a can of my favorite beets for 89 cents" or "I'm gonna masturbate now, and I really want you to hold me while I do it.")

*hugs* if you want them. Saying goodbye, even when it's time, is so very hard.
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From: fractalmind
2002-09-25 09:26 am (UTC)
sorry to intrude... it is interesting to read your journal - your thoughts mirror my own but i am the wife who seems to the world to not appreciate the food put on the table, the "sacrifices" made by my hubby... but what it boils down to is that we are not in love, haven't been in love and i feel terribly unappreciated.

so i know where you are coming from.

i wish you luck (both of you) getting through this. divorce is rarely a breeze whether love is there or not. take care.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:13 pm (UTC)
Okay, and thanks for the good wishes... I *DO* hope that I wasn't unclear in what I was saying about Chris (my wife). It's not that she's unappreciative, per se, and I sure as heck don't expect love and adoration for being the working member of the couple. Her illness really complicates the situation... she literally can't do a lot of things one might expect from a healthy person.

But, for all that I love her, and for all that I don't blame her for not showing her affection better, the fact of the matter is that it's hurting too badly to go on, without getting more affection (hugs, kisses, words, etc.. Sure, sex is great, but sexless love is better than loveless sex). Plus... well, I'm afraid I'm covering for her. She'll never have to learn to be responsible if I pay off the debts that she creates (by not calling doctors to give insurance information, etc..), keep her from needing to work, keeping the house from falling apart, etc..
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From: fractalmind
2002-10-01 05:48 pm (UTC)
no i do understand where you are coming from. i am sorry to hear of her health problems but you are right - enabling her is the worst thing you could do for her. i know this must be tough for you.

my estranged hubby and i have a strange arrangement. we still share living space albeit not bedrooms and thanks to our schedules have little time together. we coparent and our daughter has the luxury of having two parents at home. this arrangement is quickly becoming less than ideal.

i also understand the craving affection - we finally agreed to start seeing other people before we both dried up emotionally from lack of affection. even a date with hand holding helps. take care of yourself and if you ever need to vent, feel free to chat anytime. it is hard meandering through divorce much less dealing with it without people to talk to.
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From: griffen
2002-09-25 12:53 pm (UTC)
Sometimes, the concept of no-fault is very helpful.

As is the concept of "irreconcilable differences."

My ex and I couldn't point to anything specific; there was no (documented) spousal abuse, nothing that would make it "for cause." We just -- didn't get along. We grew in different directions after we got married, and we didn't want the same things out of life.

Hence, divorce.

Please don't beat yourself up over something you couldn't have fixed, or about the fact that you couldn't fix it. I wanted things he couldn't give me, and he had no interest in learning how to give me those things. I don't see that there's any fault there, either in my situation or in yours.

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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:16 pm (UTC)
Yes... no fault is good on both sides, here. It's good not to have to blame her, *OR* me, for the way things have gone. I don't have any blame, but I do have a lot of mourning over what could have been.
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