Not willing to give up

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-19-2010
Not willing to give up
Sun, 06-06-2010 - 2:10am

Tonight my wife told me that I was acting like I was young, childless, and without responsibility and that she wants us to take some time apart.

The thing is that my life is all responsibility. I do all that I have to do to provide for our family and care for our children. I'm no deadbeat dad. So if I want to go out once a month when my friends are around (who also all have families) after the kids go to bed, why shouldn't I have the right to?

I have been going out more recently and I never do so without first coming to her about it. I wouldn't go if she had a problem with it, and she hasn't seemed to until now. I stay out late and have no problem getting up with the kids in the morning so she can sleep.

We have had a long string of problems, more so lately. We have been through 2 long-term separations but always have fallen back in love with one another (if we were ever really out).

She is suggesting that she goes and takes a vacation to her old neighborhood to visit her friends for a week. She is choosing this over using the week of vacation for family time because she has just started a new job and doesn't get much vacation.

She doesn't have many friends here but the people that she wants to visit haven't been in communication with her in 20 years. She doesn't have many close friends at all come to think of it.

I meet a lot of people through my job that I can relate to and we have hit it off. I have tried to get her to be friends with their wives so that we can all do activities together (such as the vacation that we're supposed to go on next week) but she is very shy and has never seemed to warm up.

I'm not saying that I don't agree but I feel like she is doing it to get away from me which I don't think is right for us right now. I feel like we're growing apart.

Our wants and needs for our future together differ and there doesn't seem to be a middle ground. That frightens me but no matter how bad it gets, I have a lot of fight left in me. I don't want to give up. The concept of therapy freaks me out too so I'm not sure if that's an option. I just want to be able to work it out together.

Thoughts anyone? I don't know what I'm looking for, maybe if just to hear a mutual parties thoughts..

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 06-06-2010 - 11:04am

I do think that you should "let" (if that is the word) your DW go on vacation to see her old friends, since you go out w/ your friends whenever you want. You might think well, she hasn't seen these people in 20 yrs, but I have to say that sometimes the people you made friends w/ when you were younger are the most meaningful. I recently went to my 35th class reunion & I hadn't seen most of the people in 15 yrs, and it was just great to see everyone. Maybe she will be much happier after she comes back. I also think that you can't force friendships on people--maybe she doesn't feel she has much in common w/ the wives of your friends. You get to know these people from work, but it doesn't necessarily follow that the spouses would get along.

What I really think you need is therapy--I don't know why you are afraid of going. I don't know why people think they can work everything out w/o help--wouldn't you go to a doctor if you were sick instead of thinking that you could cure yourself? If you & your wife could work everything out by yourselves, you wouldn't be in the problem you have now (and it doesn't seem like your marriage has been smooth sailing) so I think you should give it a chance. I found therapy very useful for myself. A good therapist will help you get down to the real issues. I think you going out w/ your friends once in a while doesn't sound like a big deal, so I bet there is some bigger underlying issue that your DW isn't expressing. Wouldn't it be good to find out what it is?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2005
Sun, 06-06-2010 - 5:18pm

you said it yourself she doesn't really have friends. maybe you are what she'd term as her only one and she's jealous of the friends you do have and the time you are away. if you go out ask her to go with you and if she chooses not to then she can't really argue with you going. if you want to spend time with her during the vacation maybe you should ask if you can go along and meet her friends since she has met yours. maybe she can go half the week to her friends and then the other half with just you two doing something together. does she have a job? maybe she's stuck with the kids all day while your gone and then you come home just to leave again? you should look at it from her point of view as well before you get to worried about things. sit down and have a serious talk to her about it. tell her you feel like she's pushing you away and you don't want that.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 3:11pm

Along with the obvious suggestion of MC (marriage counseling), I have a couple quick thoughts.

Guessing if she does not have real friends where you live now, she probably does feel like you are her only friend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Mon, 06-07-2010 - 9:10pm

Tell her this: I will fight for you. I will fight for us. I love you. I want you.

Tell her that everyday. Once a day :-)

If she is having an issue with you going out ... then try to cut back a bit.

Have you been drinking more? All I can say is ... if it's the alcohol ... well ... please cut back. I wish my ex-husband had loved me as much as he loved his bottle :-( I wish he would come back to me whole. We had the most amazing love. Alcohol destroys lives ... so ... I don't know if it has a grip on you - but if it does - please get help. She is worth it. You are worth it - and together, you are more than the sum of your parts.

It sounds like you are only going out ONCE a month - so that shouldn't be the issue. I can't imagine that is REALLY what she is upset about.

What is behind her frustration?