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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Guy's Breaking Point

 My Story: A Guy's Breaking Point

"The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep"
- E. Joseph Cossman

May 9, 2002

Hi everyone,
I was so happy to find this site.  I literally feel like I might go insane with my problem and I really needed an outlet for the frustration and confusion. So.... here is My Story. I hope some of you can relate.

Some background,  I am 44, and married 1 year now, to my 4th wife.  We were together 7 years before we married.  I know I am a rescuer, past  relationships and current.  My childhood really wasn't particularly
bad,  but I know something must have triggered my caretaking ways. My wife was  sexually abused by her father as a child and is still VERY angry, although she has been in counseling twice in 10 years (a year each time)  and says she is fine with all of it now.  We are both professionals in our community, she is well liked and respected it seems. But at home things are soooo different.  We have struggled the entire 8 years, one way or another.

She  is a master at avoiding anything she doesn't want to do: talking, sex, going someplace I want to go, etc... She virtually ignores me when I am upset and want to talk about something that's bothering me. She will chat with me, but if or when it turns into a serious discussion, she just  throws her arms up and walks away.  She tells me all the time that  I am selfish and mean and arrogant and a jerk and frustrating and hard to live with. Can't help but wonder if that's at least some kind of modified verbal abuse.  She has literal fits when I so much as even look at another woman in passing, I'm sometimes told who I can and cannot associate with, and my plans are usually never as important as hers. She loves to sleep on the weekends, sometimes on and off all day, and consistently complains of aches and pains for as long as I've known her.  I tip toe around doing things around the house because she gets angry if I'm too loud and wake  her up. She takes numerous medications (all prescribed by doctors) every day,  for everything from chronic back pain to allergies to  headaches.....etc.... She is only 35 and seems to have all kinds of energy for outdoor things that she wants to do.

She has wanted to have a baby for several years now but so far we have had no luck. Of course, she blames me solely for this too.  I have caught her in lies many times but she denies it every time (very well in fact). I suspect she has cheated 3, maybe 4  times (she is very pretty and outgoing), but have never found any solid proof.....  (probably  just my imagination anyway). She is notorious for putting me off, acting like she never even remembered previous discussions/decisions. She is not very affectionate, except maybe in public, around friends or co-workers. I can not remember  the last time she surprised me with anything, seemed concerned when I  didn't feel well or initiated sex. She is perfectly happy with sex maybe once a month, lasting 5 minutes. We have had endless talks about this and she promises to try harder, but I don't see much change.

About 3 weeks before we got married a friend posed a question to me that about shook me  to my knees. He asked me to explain in one word, how I would feel if she suddenly called off the wedding. Instantly, I blurted, "relieved"!!  I couldn't believe that word flew out of my mouth so quickly. For the next 3  weeks I was constantly filled with anxiety, fear, doubt, and  restlessness..... despite constant praying.  I tried discussing it with  her, all she did was get pissed, which was the usual, but still very hurtful. I went through with the wedding obviously, (and it was actually very nice, she seemed very happy all day). I couldn't even think about the guilt I  would have if I called it off and the pain I would cause her. 

Now that I've gone on and on about her, please know that I DO realize that I allow this to continue. It is my fault. I know I don't have to be a  victim, and I have read some good books (that I pretty much have to hide from her. The repercussions just aren't worth it)  and have learned a lot. She tells me that all our problems are my fault anyway.....she probably is right. But I honestly have never felt more paralyzed in my entire life. In fact, 2 of my previous divorces were instigated by me and those marriages, by comparison, weren't nearly as empty feeling as this one. I finally found the strength back then but NOW I  fear that I am actually getting worse over the years, instead of better,  because I feel so powerless to help myself, but  I so desperately want to feel loved and wanted.  I do love her, (but not in love with her) she has some good points, but I think I know in my heart that this marriage will never work (or will it???) I feel constantly confused and frustrated, and the last 3 months or so I have been filled with a strong sense of complete emptiness that I never had before. Oh, you don't sound soooo confused...

Then it is immediately followed by a sense that I mustn't quit after just one year, but stay true to my commitment. (The thought of the fallout  literally scares me to death). I started reading a book recently,  "Addiction to Love", and found out that these type of "addictions" (if that's what I have) actually go through a progression.  Now you sound confused.

Apparently the next  level on the list for me is turning to some other addiction as a way to offset the pain of this relationship. Well, I don't drink, smoke, do  drugs, gamble or overeat. I do, however, love to work out daily and usually only keep from it if I am out of town or my wife needs me for something else after work. I admit that when I first met her she seemed like a wounded bird. Her husband of 5 years had recently left her because he caught her cheating. She seemed truly sorry and was heart broken for a long time. She was underpaid at a job she hated, and within 2 weeks of meeting she shared with me the heartache of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her  father. I guess I really felt like her knight in shining armor. And yes,  my previous wives, AFTER I looked back, had VERY sad stories from their pasts (or presents) too.

Everything I read and hear says this will end only when I'm "sick and  tired of being sick and tired". I know I "did it again"!! I take full blame responsibility for that. I know I need to work on myself, but my wife says she is  "perfectly happy" and the thought of another divorce is killing me, although we have "worked on it"  for 8 years, had counseling, and endless talks.  Sometimes I feel SO ready,  but my feet won't move.  I have been in this  relationship longer than all 3 of my previous marriages put together and I  think I'm thinking that if I was ever going to have the strength to leave  I would have done it LONG before now. I keep thinking either I sense that  things really will get better in time.....or.......I am just slowly becoming nothing but a shell of a person, like slowly dying and have no emotional or physical energy left. Somehow, it just seems easier to keep my mouth shut and appease her every whim.  Sometimes I truly feel these are the cards I've been dealt and I just need to tough it out and learn to adapt. But.......I want to be happy so badly...I want to freely give and  receive love, no limitations, no hesitation, no more confusion. I wonder constantly if I am getting closer to that breaking point or actually further away. It's all beginning to feel truly hopeless.

I would NEVER wish this feeling on even my worst enemy and hope that maybe some of you who read this (and might only be on marriage #1 or #2) will see how fast it can all snowball and then one day you wake up and you're right back at it AGAIN. Get help, a lot of help, EARLY......before you just don't have the energy anymore.
 With sincerity and prayers for us all,

Ouchhhh! Dear Readers, what do you think?  Any suggestions for Bryan? Doc


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