Redditor gonewild9676 has found himself in quite the predicament. His wife had a few ideas regarding their marriage and now he's a bit perplexed, to say the least.Take a listen...
I'm confused, torn, and a mess right now. We've been married for 11 years, and for the last year she has been all but shunning me. She asked for space, I've given it to her. She's had a friend with at least an emotional affair.
We've had marriage counseling that went nowhere. It seems like every olive branch I've extended to her has been shot off. I've been raising our 8 year old almost as a single father for the past year. She's been sleeping in another room and locking herself in it. She's been coming home late and pretending I don't exist. She sold her business late last year and hasn't worked a steady gig since. She has a STEM degree and experience running a business, so she can get a decent job.
Last year I was working at a toxic company and knew my job was in jeopardy. Frankly I was a nervous mess, but was hoping to finish one last project and bail, but was laid off with a nice severance. Meanwhile I've landed a new gig at a much nicer company.
Anyways, a few weeks ago she ended counseling and filed for divorce. Then last night I got a call from a friend who said she broke down and said she didn't really want it she thought I'd fight it.
I don't really want one, but if she wants out I'm not holding her hostage. She went through all kinds of abuse as a kid and I figured I triggered something and she had checked out of the marriage. I've talked to several people and they came to that decision and that she's kind of lost in life right now. Frankly if the divorce goes through she's getting the short stick in the deal. Maybe cold feet?
I'm willing to go talk with the friend and her with an open mind. What's the best way for me to navigate this? On one side I'm sick of her treatment of me. On the other side we had 10 really good years and I'd rather not split custody of our daughter. How should I handle this?
My wife has filed for divorce but told a friend she doesn't really want one. What do I do?
she didn't really want it she thought I'd fight it
You're old enough to remember "WarGames" and how it ended, yes?
The only winning move is not to play.
Yes, I agree with this assessment as well.
I'm at the point now where I sincerely believe actions speak louder than words.
That's a hot mess honey!
Sheesh this is a mess. First, I'd like to ask, why don't you want a divorce? I'm having a hard time seeing any compelling reason to continue living this relatively miserable existence. I'm sure your answer is a long the lines of "I still love her deeply" or "we had 10 year together that were wonderful, surely we can get back to that." Before you tell me why you want to stay, allow me to present a few points:
- the staggering immaturity displayed by her is truly amazing. She asked for a divorce because she "wanted you to fight it/fight for her." That's so high school/college dating crap. You know the type: tells her boyfriend she's fine, he accepts it, then she gets pissed at him for not forcing her to talk/ she breaks up with guy over trivial reason, he accepts it, she gets mad he didn't fight for the relationship. Point being, it's all a test. And something a woman her age should not being doing to a long term partner, out of what I believe is complacency and boredom in your marriage.
- she has actively avoided you and ignored you while living in the same house, and sounds like she avoided your daughter too. If for no other reason then giving your daughter a healthy upbringing where she's not actively living in the same house as a emotionally neglectful mother, you should want to get out.
- you can't save her or make her suddenly not be lost in life. Deciding to not get divorced won't help her find herself. In fact, getting divorced and having a chance to explore who she is and life could be best for her.
- she had at least one emotional affair on you. That should bother you considerably more. It's not like she doesn't have love to give, she just has no desire to give it to you. By all accounts, it sounds like she wasn't terribly engaged in couples therapy, which means what issues do exist, she has no desire to change. This won't change if you decide not to divorce.
As to how to navigate this when you talk, ask her why she felt the need to file for divorce if she didn't want one. If she says she wanted you to fight for her, tell her it is ridiculous and immature to "test" you after 10 years of marriage. By all accounts you did the mature thing. You accepted it as what she wanted, and wanted what she wanted. There's no excuse for her actions. Personally, if it were me, I'd deeply ponder the points above and consider what you really need. I would likely come to the conclusion that divorce is for the best, and tell her as much.
The mother of your daughter has to not want that for herself. You already have a child to take care of. You can't adopt an adult too. Especially one who has proven herself perfectly capable of functioning when she wants to.
You can't read her mind. You know that she's checked out and you know that she filed for divorce. Act on what you know, not speculation. If she doesn't really want the divorce, she can use her big girl words and talk to you. Otherwise, it's time to protect yourself and your child.
Hello Dr. Phil...
Sounds like your wife had a really tough start on life, and while doing really well for the past 10 years, she may be coming apart now. But, sad as it is, you can't save her. She can only save herself, and you can only support her if she lets you, and if you feel it is something that you want to do and can do. It is important to consider your daughter too, and what is best for her in terms of the environment she grows up in and the kinds of adults and behaviour that she sees and experiences. It's not just about having both your parents in the same house, but having a safe, secure and loving environment to grow up in. The current situation sounds very unhealthy - and don't think for a moment your daughter can't see what's going on or doesn't suffer because of it. Children appear resilient because they have no choice, not because they wouldn't be breaking apart inside.
To me it seems like your wife needs individual therapy to deal with her childhood, but it can take years to process and develop healthy attachment and communication models. And it is very hard work and can be very painful, so she has to be very committed to the process.
In any case it might be best for your wife to move away for a while, as that will give everyone a bit of breathing space, and as she is struggling to be a partner and a mother, will give her a break from those responsibilities so that she can focus on herself.
Can you go to one more session with your couples therapist to discuss your options? I don't think talking to your wife and her friend will help, as the friend will only take your wife's side.
Having said that, going through with the divorce may still be the best option for everyone.
Only actions and facts matter...
Deal with facts and not wishes. Deal with the fact she's filed for divorce and act accordingly. That means preparing for all aspects, family, legal, otherwise. It doesn't matter what you've heard. Words are useless while the process is in effect. If she doesn't want to divorce then she needs to follow through and withdraw it, if that can be done. The fact she's filed already takes this past certain points of no return. Maybe you can rebuild but any life with her after this will be affected by what she's done.
Personally I'd take that information as all the MORE reason to divorce because it means this must be some kind of half-assed fucked-up badly-planned brinskmanship ploy to get some specific reaction out of you. And it's not like SHE told you this to your face. (Either that or she paniced when she realised the financial implications.)
I guess you could sign up for couples counselling to try to get to the bottom of what she's actually up to, what she actually wants, but IMHO that's unlikely to work: plus as you say, she's shot herself in the foot here by shooting down all your attempts to resolve this.
TBH I think you'd be happier not married to someone who plays stupid games and makes you feel like crap.
No reason to live unhappy, unwanted, or unloved. Life is too short. Your 8 year old sees it as well. Keep that in mind. Do what is best for you and your child.
Right now nobody is winning...
I fully appreciate the soft spot in your heart that you have for your wife regarding her terrible childhood. I really do. That being said, there is a point for every adult who has been abused in childhood that they must recognize the damage done and learn to mitigate its effects on their adult lives. I am not saying that your wife shouldn't have difficulties based on her past, but that she has to acknowledge these obstacles and learn to deal with them as an adult that wants to thrive in spite of the trauma. You can't use her past as an excuse for her current behavior. She has to accept some responsibility and act as a partner to you and as a mother to your daughter. It doesn't sound like she's doing either of those things and that she is in dire need of intensive therapy.
I don't know that you can save her from her past if she's not willing to work on it herself. I wish you the best. ♡
She didn't tell you this directly so it's not really your responsibility to deal with. It's just manipulative. If she wants to improve things she could have come to you. Or gone to counseling herself. But instead she's been pretty terrible for a year.
I don't think you can trust what she told a friend as true either... She may just be trying to save face as "not the bad guy" to this person while she's the one who withdrew effort from fixing things.
Best of luck to you!
You and your daughter first...
Listen, the way she treated you this last year was basically emotional and psychological abuse. Look it up. She shunned you for the entire year and had emotional affairs. The onus isn't on you to make her a well adjusted and healthy person to be a good mom and a good wife. The onus is on her to keep that shit under control.
I tell this to a lot of people as I'm involved in mental health wellness. Your responsibility isn't to fix someone with mental health issues so they can stay with you. Your responsibility is to support them. When she unilaterally decides she's going to hurt you and the family its not your responsibility to tolerate it and allow her to hurt you and your child in the process. Its your responsibility to protect that child at all costs.
If she wants out and its a bad situation let her have it. If she couldn't come to her senses a year ago and realize how badly she was hurting her child then I don't think she deserves a second or third chance from you. All that's going to happen is your child is going to end up hurt again. You don't think this last year of her mom being pretty much absent and rejecting her hasn't just destroyed her self-esteem and emotions?
Your wife went through some terrible things. Now she's doing them to your daughter. Get her out of both your lives and fight as hard as you can for majority custody. That poor little baby is suffering right now and the best thing you can do is get her mom out of the house to protect her. At least this way you can start to regain some form of normalcy around the house and work forward through all the hurt she's just gone through.
Your biggest responsibility is to protect your child. You're not doing that right now. Having a mom who is actively rejecting her in the house is a lot worse for her than a mom who isn't in the house at all.
How you approach life's many trials and tribulations can say a lot about who you are. However, many of us don't necessarily learn some lessons so easily.
Life is complicated. It's messy. Few, if any things, go according to plan. On top of that, sometimes the way we handle our relationships or our obligations might not be the most healthy one.
You live, you learn... or so the saying goes.
People shared their stories after Redditor ryanblumenow asked the online community,
"What did you learn at great personal cost?"
"I broke three..."
"Never trust a ladder set up by someone else. I broke three of my lumbar vertebrae. Thankfully I recovered fully, but damn was that scary. I also bit through my lower lip. I have a nice scar as a memento."
This is terrifying. Glad you're still alive–that you healed is miraculous!
"Even if you work your hardest..."
"Even if you work your hardest, do everything right, and are a great employee… you may still be seen as expendable."
This is true. Your company will never be loyal to you. Don't bend over backwards. Do your job–don't sell your soul.
"That you need to be careful..."
"That you need to be careful what you put up with as it teaches people how to treat you. I lost a lot of 'friends' once I started to set boundaries."
This is very true. I can relate: I definitely lost a few so-called "friends" the second I began standing up for myself.
"This goes for all relationships..."
"Don't listen to what people say, but what they do. This goes for all relationships, both professional and personal."
Amen to that. It's a cliche, but actions absolutely do speak louder than words.
"Family can be just as toxic..."
"Family can be just as toxic for you as anyone else. Sometimes it's best to cut them out."
Ain't that the truth.
Are we trading toxic family stories now?
"If someone gets upset..."
"If someone gets upset at you for trying to establish boundaries with them, it's not you being mean or unreasonable, it's them not caring about your happiness."
This is spot on. Don't trust people who violate your boundaries. Your gut won't lie to you, not about this.
"You can't convince them."
"You cannot, even subtly, force someone to love you. You can't convince them. They either do or they don't, and it's on you to decide what to do with that unchangeable position in mind."
I feel like many people go through their 20s without learning this.
Not that I know anything about this... or anything like that.
"Just because you try to be a good friend..."
"That people aren't always your friend. Gaslighting is real. Just because you try to be a good person doesn't mean good things will happen to you."
Very true. Be very careful about what you put out there. Not everyone has good intentions, though this is not in anyway meant to imply that the world is terrible.
It isn't. Just be judicious.
"You can accomplish..."
"You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Doesn't mean you should. Everything will cost more than you anticipate in ways you can't imagine."
That's a poetic way to put it! Spot on. Everything costs something, even your success.
"That you don't have to run off and get married. A marriage that only lasted one year cost me more than $10K. Life is not a race and you don't need to be married by a certain point or at all for that matter."
"Be patient, make yourself available, gravitate to those who understand you the most."
Awful. It sounds like you have peace of mind now, however, which is priceless.
Don't be so hard on yourself, by the way. We all learn at our own pace.
Here's a tip before we go: Your education is never complete. Life always something to teach you, so just accept it, be open to it, and go in grace.
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Is there anyone who loved high school?
High school is a disaster. That is true for like... 95% of us.
it's like being branded. "I survived high school because of this!!"
The past is never really past, is it? What did you see?
Redditor HelloProxima wanted to go back and visit the teenage years, by asking:
"What is the most f**ked up thing that happened in your high school?"
I'm on the fence about high school. I want to hate it, but nostalgia haunts me. I saw a lot of violence, there is that.
We were on CNN.don lemon nodding GIF by Red Table TalkGiphy
"They started charging us for ketchup in the cafeteria. Most of the school boycotted cafeteria lunch and brought all manner of condiments from home. We were on CNN. They eventually caved." ~ Ash3Monti
No one liked him.
"I was big into drama club and musical theatre when I was in high school. There was a girl in the drama club in her freshmen or sophomore year who was super nice and everyone loved her. Her older brother on the the other hand, was a complete and total douchebag. No one liked him."
"He always made inappropriate comments or jokes and no one liked to be around him. One night, he was driving him and his sister back from school when he took a steep curve going around 100 mph. He lost control and hit a telephone pole. His sister died instantly and he was in a coma for a few weeks but ultimately survived."
"Myself and my friends in the drama club were devastated. She was one of the sweetest girls you'll ever met and we all loved her. A year or two later, the brother messages my sister and tries to use his sister's death as leverage to get laid. F**k you, you piece of crap." ~ FearTheKeflex
"Guidance counselor was taking bribes to change grades (Both money and sexual favors). Invited one male student over to his house. Had the student tie him up and hang him by chains in his basement "dungeon." Student was homophobic and while the counselor was tied up, bludgeoned him to death." ~ monthos
"This is not that extreme, but it's still disgusting. We have drinking water taps instead of fountains. One parent was suspicious of whether they were cleaning the tanks or not. So they made an announcement that the tank was being cleaned every single day."
"A lot of us didn't believe it, so a group of boys decided to see for themselves if it was true or not. So they put a dead frog in the tank when there was no one around. I don't even know where they found the frog but they swear they didn't kill it. Anyway the frog was there for a few weeks. And obviously the water started tasting weird."
"After the teachers got multiple complaints, they opened the tank and found the frog. The boys were punished, but they fired back with the fact that they lied about cleaning the tanks. They were still punished, because they proved it in a disgusting way. They could've put literally anything in the tank, but they chose a dead frog." ~ R00mTemperature
The QuadAcds2 Look Away GIF by Anime Crimes DivisionGiphy
"A worker doing stuff on the roof. He fell off. Landed in the 'quad' at lunch. A large piece of machinery fell and squished his head. Like a cartoon, only funny. Like 150 Kids saw this." ~ LordInventus
"The Latin kings gang threatened my cousin and his friends and they had 10 squad cars guarding the whole school and dismissed us the same day early." ~ Terrykrinkle
“it’s gonna blow”
"I had just moved in from Egypt to the states in my senior year of high school. A teacher thought it would be funny to fold a bunch of papers and wrap them in duck tape to make it look like a bomb and threw it my direction and went under his desk saying 'it’s gonna blow.' Everybody started laughing and I was so clueless then I just laughed along. It infuriates me to this day that I didn’t call him out on it or report him." ~ ezzabousaif
"Someone somehow made a bomb threat on a Swedish fish candy. Like one single piece. I don’t know how it happened but he got arrested." ~ ts_13_
"A couple weeks before graduation, this kid hacked into the school system and put a Hitler quote and a Boston bomber reference in the senior quotes for the yearbook. One of the affected parties was a trans girl, and we're still not sure if it was a targeted act because of that."
"Administration didn't find out until the entire senior class had received their books. Some people turned theirs in to get their pages replaced, but some kept it because it was a 'limited edition item' or some stupid sh*t like that. Kid got arrested and charged with cybercrime, since he hacked everyone in our school system's school passwords."
"He was so close to graduating too, but got expelled like two weeks before he could. Looked like a rat too. It was all over the news, and everyone in the state of CT basically knows about this now. Got out on bail for $5000." ~ kocorpsie
Good God!Season 3 What GIF by On My BlockGiphy
"We had a huge fight happen in the girls bathroom."
"Apparently one student brought drugs to school and was selling it to her friends. A completely unrelated student caught on and stole the drugs while everyone else was in class. She was caught snorting the drugs in the bathroom by the group selling the drugs and got the crap beat out of her."
"We also had a recently graduated student murder his parents for insurance money . He hid the bodies in a chicken coop and told everybody they were on vacation. It wasn't until 7 months later the bodies were found by the landlord because the rent was late." ~ randomgenericcow
Enjoy high school, at least try too. Maybe if more kids do that, it wouldn't be so insane.
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You're hungry one night, so you order food. You select your items, go to place your order, and see that the order has an extra $15 in fees tacked on to it, and that's not even including tip!
Believe it or not, there was a time before delivery services. You can very easily just call the restaurant you want and place the order directly. It's pretty easy–and you and the restaurant get to avoid the middle man.
But delivery services have become so ubiquitous over the years that many of us just put up with it. They're legitimate services but honestly, when you see the final price tag, how could you not feel like you've been totally scammed?
People shared their thoughts after Redditor AnnFaulskabek asked the online community,
"What is a legitimate product / service that still feels like a scam?"
"At first I didn't mind..."
"YouTube Premium. At first I didn’t mind the single ad you could skip but now it’s up to two long ads you can’t skip with the mid-roll ads thrown in. They keep upping the ante to force you to subscribe to Premium."
Given the increasingly high number of ads on YouTube, it's pretty astounding that I haven't signed up for Premium yet.
"When you work out..."
"Overdraft fees. When you work out the effective interest rates on overdraft fees, you find there’s a lot of hurting people paying interest that would make a loan shark blush."
Yep, what's up with those?
They're actually a thing. Just try explaining to someone who doesn't know how you get punished for having no money so you have to pay more money and see how they react.
"Phones that no longer..."
"Phones that no longer come with Micro SD card slots so you have to pay for cloud storage if you need more."
One of the most frustrating things. It was so much easier before!
"In the U.S..."
"In the U.S. Having to do my own taxes or pay a company to do my taxes even though the IRS already has all the relevant information."
Well, let's be clear: They don't have everything. What happens if you have items you need to deduct? They definitely don't know how much you've donated to charity.
"There used to be restrictions..."
"Credit/interest rates. There used to be restrictions on who gets a loan and what the rates could be, but private enterprise I guess."
When it comes to having no credit or bad credit, I would choose no credit every single time.
"Insanely good prices..."
"Humble Bundle. Insanely good prices and I can select where my payment goes, so I could donate 100% to the charity. It feels like it's too good to be true. I'm still blown away by it."
Never heard of this before and now I will be on the prowl. Going to do some reading and see if it lives up to the hype.
"Enjoy your entry level job..."
"Oh, you graduated cum laude? Enjoy your entry level job that barely covers the interest on your monthly payment."
Hahahaha don't make me cry.
"THE ABSURDITY OF THE BATTERY LIFE."
"Dell laptops. THE ABSURDITY OF THE BATTERY LIFE."
"Like how the f**k are people are still buying them is beyond me but like, I have one for school and that motherf**ker dies an hour after taking it off the charger. And I don’t even keep background tabs running."
"The whole Dell company is literally a f**king scam."
I think I forget that Dell laptops exist until I see comments like these.
I'll go back to being ignorant, thanks.
"The 15 different streaming services..."
"The 15 different streaming services that you have to sign up for to watch the one good exclusive show on each one instead of just being able to watch them all in one place."
Streaming could have put an end to piracy but then they got so greedy.
"You can't really get away from them."
"My electric company also providing water, natural gas, landline phone and internet."
"You can't really get away from them. Even if you live in an area of town where you can get AT&T or Suddenlink, you still have to pay the electric company for everything else."
Say what! They really have a perfect monopoly going on, don't they?
Well, well, well... there are many things we could add to the list, to be fair.
Like health insurance in the United States. What's up with that? It would be comical if it wasn't so evil.
What do you think is missing from this list? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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When you really think about it, childhood is actually just rife with trauma.
The things we see as children, are things we are never going to escape. And nobody fully prepares you for it.
Every child born should be assigned a therapist along with a pediatrician.
Life is going to bombard us with memories we'll never unsee, because the actions of humans are random and as a child we're forced to watch.
The mark is left. So let's hear about some trauma.
Redditor Banjoman653 wanted to hear from everybody willing to share some childhood tales, by asking:
"What’s a really f**ked up thing you’ve witnessed as a kid but didn’t realise it was until you were older?"
I've seen too much. I wish I could go back, just so I could look away. But, here I am. And you?
"My dad grabbing a knife while punishing my brother. Dad had him sit at the kitchen table and ordered him to put his hands on the table. Dad then put the knife edge on one of my brother's thumbs and threatened to cut his thumbs off. Can't remember what it was about, but this caused me to fear my father from a very young age. My brother was only around 9 or 10 years old at the time." ~ toothbelt
"When I was 8, I took care of my father in home who was dying of AIDS. Mom wasn’t in the picture. None of the adult family wanted to be near him and help out because they all said it was contagious (this was the 90’s and HIV ignorance was still at an all time high.) I changed his diapers, showered him, fed him, gave him his pills. Until he died. As a kid, that was my 'normal.' I didn’t realize it at the time, but it really f**ked me up."
"He was my hero and the strongest man alive to me, and seeing him in such a vulnerable state and reduced to nothing really messed up my brain. It just kinda numbed me. Literally did not/could not cry for 12 whole years after that. I still struggle nowadays to 'feel what I’m supposed to feel' in certain situations, but I’ve gotten a lot better and am definitely more in touch with my emotions." ~ Celery-Bandit
"My mother used to drive home from the hospital she worked at high as hell from the morphine she had stolen and then crawl into my bed and pass out. I used to scream at my dad to come get her out of my room so I could finish my homework and go to sleep for school the next day. It’s a miracle the woman didn’t kill anyone on her drives home." ~ emotionallyallergic
"My dad and I were at an airshow in Toronto in the 90s. We watched this huge plane go up and do a maneuver, and then go into a dive, going nose first into the lake, with a massive splash. My dad was a photographer and had managed to capture the seconds before and after impact, and told me we had to go right away (he booked it to the newspaper with the film roll to get it developed). I said I wanted to watch the rest of the show, because I thought it had just dropped a bomb and flown off. Didn't realize that I had just witnessed 7 people die." ~ nothing_fits
"When I was in elementary school, I became close friends with a family that had children similar in age to me. I only ever saw them at school with their mom and my dad. The oldest daughter and son couldn't stand me and I never knew why, so I would cry and talk to my dad about it and he would reassure me that they did in fact like me."
"During this time, we had a landline at the house and I happened to pick it up one day and heard my dad on the other line with the mom of that family. He was talking about giving her roses and spending time with her. When I asked my dad who that was, because it clearly wasn't my mom, he disconnected all the landlines in the house."
"Turns out, he was absolutely cheating on my mom with this woman and I was inadvertently involved by becoming their friends. Was a pretty sh*t situation in the end." ~ InsomniacCats
"My friend had a lock on the outside of her bedroom door. I thought it was weird but didn't really think much about it. It turned out her parents would literally lock her in her room for long periods of time as punishment." ~ katiegaga87
That's a lot. I was hoping for a few light hearted moments, but as always, life is darker than usual.
"My older brother overdosing, always thought it was normal. Throughout my life (I’m 20) I’ve saved him from dying maybe 3 times I can remember. Always put him in his side, never called the cops. All of my brothers and sister have seen it happen. If he were to die tomorrow I don’t think I could cry, as I’ve cried to many times over his death and… he ended up living. He’s still alive, currently in a sober home." ~ srcapp-
"Lived in a townhouse. In my bedroom at night I would hear the kids next door scream and scream and cry. My parents called the police once, but the man claimed he was 'playing with his kids' and didn't let them in & apparently the police couldn't do anything. Found out when I was older that the man had later tried to kill the whole family, kids, baby included, with a pair of scissors." ~ hokusmouse
"I saw a small child being smothered under a sort of beanbag/giant soft-play thing? facedown in a indoor play area sandpit, other very small children were all playing and jumping on it without realising someone was under it myself included. I was about 5 and the rest of the children were the same age or younger."
After some time an adult noticed and pulled him out unconscious, a women was screaming presumably the mother and i remember the kid being worked on by a doctor or paramedic I’m guessing. I remember my dad asking me very calmly if I saw what happened."
"I’m actually too afraid to bring this up with my parents because i have no idea if the kid died or not or how that might have affected them all these years, as it’s never been brought up. for whatever reason it’s been on my mind lately." ~ doublespiral
"My parents fighting. Whoever was losing would say to me 'I’m going to run away and kill/drown myself if mummy/daddy don’t stop shouting. I can’t take it anymore' and then proceed to leave the house. They’re both still alive and in hindsight I don’t know if they ever meant what they said but now I’m about to have a child of my own I can’t EVER imagine doing that to a child, let alone my own child." ~ allhailsmoothie
The lesson learned? Everyone get a therapist!
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