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Marriage nearing the end - how to deal with it?

 
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Spiegelmann
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Marriage nearing the end - how to deal with it? Reply with quote

I'll try to make this as brief as possible.

I met my wife on the internet. We went out a few times and started dating. Everything was great, even if we were together only at weekends (her city was 160 miles from mine). We got along amazingly well, could talk about everything, laughed all the time and the sex was pretty damn good.

I thought this was the one and we got married 15 months later.

But problems were on their way...
I consider there are three main factors responsible for my marriage's current situation:

1 - Her commitment to a certain cause, and the consequent lack of time and energy for me and the marriage.
Allow me to explain.
My wife has a heart of gold. In fact, she's one of the nicest people I've ever met. She loves to help.
The thing is, she can't bear the fact that there's a stray dog or cat within a 10 mile radius that she isn't helping. She lives this kind of situation very intensely, totally focusing her energy on helping said animal, and even crying desperately. Obviously enough, the mood around the house is far from the best. But that is not all.
She belongs to an animal care association for about one year and a half. Well, she about every other weekend entirely on this association's campaigns: leaves saturday morning at 7 a.m., comes back at 11 p.m., repeats on sunday. She also cleans the association's dog pound on mondays and goes to the weekly meeting on thursdays.
I'm all for her having other activities, it's just that the marriage is far from being a priority for her.
My attempts at talking about this usually end up with her promising that she'll try to spend less time with the association - which is fine by me, as I don't want her to abandon it. She has broken this promise time and time again.
Another example: we picked up four stray kittens shortly before getting married. I made it clear that we would only keep one, and would never have more than one pet indoors. She agreed.
One year later, she picks up another kitten and tries to convince me to keep it as well, to which I refuse. She tries to convince me with an out of the ordinary sex session. Again, I refuse.
On the morning after she says she's bringing the kitten home anyway.
Again, we made a deal: no more pets.
In November 2007, she found a dog in the middle of the road, sick and nearly dead. She brings it home, takes care of it, and - you guessed it - into my living room the dog goes, apparently because the animal's health doesn't allow it to live outdoors. My opinion was hardly thought of, and to this very day the dog is in my living room. To make matters worse, any attempts at training the dog to do its "things" only when we take it outdoors failed, which means that having dinner or lunch in the living room without the creature defecating right beside you is a matter of luck. Needless to say, it's been about a year since I last invited anyone to have dinner at my place.
Four months ago: she finds another stray kitten, two days old. She feeds it, takes care of it - and yes, you got it right: it's staying too. Now we had a major argument over this. I basically told her that I didn't feel comfortable in my own place and would never raise my children (no kids yet, btw) in such a home. But if the kitten made her happy, I couldn't obviously force her to anythign. The kitten is still here.

2 - Doesn't look for a better job.
Ever since I know her she's complained about her job: she doesn't like it, is poorly paid (and too late, at times, too), etc. All these years go by and she hasn't tried to find a better job. Doesn't apply to job offers, doesn't send her resumé, etc. Which means that she often has no money, which in turn means that I have to financially support the home on my own: bills, rent, gas, food, clothing, insurance...the four animals, you name it.
Whenever I tell her that she should look for a new job and that I'd gladly help her, she says she's tired of talking about this and is feeling pressured.

3 - Sex (or lack thereof).
Right after I proposed to her things began to get a little worse. Almost immediately after the day I proposed to her, sex got less frequent and not so good, and she got a little more distant. She said it had to do with the arrangements for the wedding and that she was too tired and nervous.
The honeymoon was a complete disaster in this aspect: during one week and a half we had sex twice. Yes, you read right: I only had sex twice on my honeymoon.
Three and a half years later, sex is getting even worse and less frequent, no matter what I try. Always at the same time, same place, same position. No matter what I do, say or try. Once a week, if I'm lucky.
Everytime I discuss this with her she either a), promises she'll look for help to see what's going on or b), claims that she doesn't have any problem whatsoever and she's only tired with lots of stuff on her mind.

I've had enough this Tuesday. I had spent a week away from home for professional reasons, and it would be only natural for us to miss each other. For starters, she went to a vet because of a stray dog on the same day I got back. To make matters worse, when she got home she spent two hours sending e-mails about a pack of stray dogs.

I talked to her openly, said everything I felt and that things couldn't go on. I basically told her that I was leaving.
She freaked out, started crying and saying that I couldn't do that, that I couldn't be serious. Then said something along the lines of "no one ever understood me, everyone thinks I'm mentally ill because my life is devoted to helping animals, everybody wants me to play the perfect housewive", after which she cried even more.

I asked her if she was willing to fight for this marriage. She asked me what she'd have to do and I asked her to work the three factors that I mentioned above, to which she remained silent and simply answered "I'll try".

Honestly, she's "tried" to change several times during our marriage. This was the only time I threatened to leave.

I don't know what else to do. I make my best to be a caring, loving, tender, hard working husband. If I know something will make her happy, I'll do it.

After she said she'd try, I've decided her to give her some more time. I think that the damage is done, though. The relation has become saturated, and I must confess that at times I feel as if I'm only staying for pity. I think about leaving all the time (nothing new, really), and I find myself getting interested in other women - I never acted upon it, though.

I mean, I do recognize in myself all the signs that I'm not "feeling" this marriage anymore.

I honestly don't know what to do.

Any input or opinions would be more than welcome, and sorry for the wall of text.
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Lisa843
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

from what you've said she sounds very selfish toward you and your relationship. sounds like it is NOT a priority with her. yes, she may have a good heart and be kind to animals..but that does not help ease your mind and make you feel needed and appreciated.

I know there's always two side of a story....

but from what you've stated, she needs to do better in keeping promises and making time for the two of you and the relationship.
I would give her an ultimatum and stick to it. There's no reason at all you should be that far down on her list (IMO)

good luck. I hope things work out the way you want and need them to.
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Spiegelmann
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it.

Well, I had to leave home for a week again - left yesterday morning (tuesday).

Even knowing that I'd leave Tuesday morning, she went to the dog pound on Monday, after work.

And even knowing that I intend to go back home this weekend, she asked me if it'd be ok to go to one of the association's campaigns this Sunday morning...after all the talking, she still had to ask? I can't believe it.
I mean, every time she goes to one of these campaigns she gets exhausted, and doesn't have the energy to do anything else.

Next Monday it'll be a holiday over here. It'd be expected for her to try and spend some time with me, but no - she's still going to the dog pound. Again, whenever she goes to the pound, she lacks the strength to do anything else.

Which means that despite her constant claims that she's making a great effort to change (she keeps throwing this at my face, by the way), I just can't see it.

Just one more thing that just doesn't seem rational to me: after having told her that I was ready to leave, she still talks and acts as if nothing ever happened - she still talks about having kids, she's set up the christmas tree, still talks about having my parents over for christmas, etc.
She says it's her way to bring things back to normality, but it's driving me crazy.
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Lisa843
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry to hear you are still having troubles. I guess you have to consider some people refuse to live in reality...they'd rather live in denial and in their own little world. You need to think long and hard about what you want, what you are willing to put up with..and what you're not willing to put up with.

If you really want to save your marriage...i would suggest seeing someone. It doesn't have to be a high priced therapist...you can talk with a clergy...or someone that would listen objectively to both side and give you fair and honest advice. I think it would be worth a try. Then if things didn't work out...at least you know in your heart you did try...

good luck, take care. Smile
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Wolfey
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would continue to listen to Lisa but, here is my two cents worth and that is probably all it is worth. If your are not happy and don't see your happiness getting better you might want to find it somewhere else.
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stp23
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Counselling as a couple.
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Lisa843
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="stp23"]Counselling as a couple.[/quote]

agree...that is great advice....
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jennytom88
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:13 pm    Post subject: i believe this will help you also Reply with quote

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Good luck.
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