Want to get divorced in my late 30s, what to do?Dec 2, 2018
Male, in my late 30s, 2 little daughters. Have personality conflict with my wife and we have quarrels almost daily, mostly on trivial stuff or if we want to have any serious conversation. The only reasons that I got married in the first place was fear of loneliness and good sex. And we were in a long distance relationship at the time when she asked me to either get married or part ways. Long distance created less tension and gave me false hopes. I was young and naive.
Hoped things could get better over time but it just didn't. Even vacations became big pains that we have big quarrels every time we go on vacation because she got too invested into it and became nervous and irritable for any little thing that didn't go as she planned or any doubt that I have about her choices during the vacation. I don't taking yelling well as I got traumatized by violence from my father when growing up.
Now with 2 kids it gets much harder to divorce. My girls are adorable and I love them very much. I want to be with them when they grow up. But it's just difficult to feel genuinely happy as I recover slowly from quarrels. Sometimes I feel 2 weeks of business trip can make me much happier overall.
With the bay area house price, maintaining another house nearby so that I can take turns on taking care of my kids is hard. Also it'll be hard to find love again as an Asian male at this age with kids.
What shall I do?
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- eBay Vbwe46Marriage is hard work... for everyone... Just do some plain-speak with your wife and encourage her to do the same. Pledge to try and resolve conflicts and to make your marriage work. Have some patience and give it time. Getting out is the easiest thing to do. Staying in is the hard part and more necessary for the young kids.... they deserve a healthy upbringing.
Tomorrow, just bring a single red rose to her and just say you felt like giving it. Take the first step.
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- You could get a job where travelling happens all the time so you have time to decompress.
- Amazon / OtherDingdmoreWe were in similar situation about a year back . However, we decided that divorce is off the table, may be we were looking for ways to part ways and used to get annoyed with each other on every small thing. Once we made a decision, whatever the situation is we won’t divorce and work to resolve calmly. It’s been working for us. We do still get annoyed but don’t fight anymore rather tell each other the reason to avoid doing it again. It’s a lot of work. But It will be stupid to think, next marriage will not have these problems. Good luck.
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- Cadence YikeszThere must be more reasons why you married your wife? Similar values? Her personality complementing yours? Good companionship? Marriage is a marathon. When things go rough, try to think of why you fell in love with this person in the first place. Is she just frazzled because she’s overwhelmed with everything she has to manage: 2 small kids, plus vacation planning, plus household? Does she get to have business trips too? Are there less arguments when she has more time to relax?
- The only thing that we loved both and had almost no conflict was sex. We had a lot of sex in our 20s. That's part of the reason I couldn't leave her, despite trying multiple times. Now I have less sex drive and our quarrels simply turns me down. It's clear that sex isn't the long term solution.
- What is compatibility 70pc 80pc 90pc?
A lot of men I see grow away from their spouse over time as their careers take off. Then they want an upgrade and pick fights as they expect their war-worn spouses to be more “ideal”, usually in appearance.
Make the relationship a priority and block out time for the reconnection, and appreciate what you have built together with your spouse.
Kids need stability.
- OP, consider sustained therapy for your wife along with meds. A close friend ended up marrying a woman with strong BPD. The poor guy went through hell. They nearly divorced until my friend managed to get his wife to take help (therapy and meds). The hard part will be getting your wife to admit that she has a medical problem. If you can get her to a psychiatrist that would be a good step in the right direction. I will also recommend taking detailed notes about her behavior, past, present and future. Keep in mind that you have children and your wife might actually have a treatable medical condition. Good luck!
- The marriage counselor your wife visited BY HERSELF works for her, not for you, or your marriage. Make no mistake, many of these counselors are just crap. You need to get your wife and yourself to a psychiatrist who has handled BPD and even Bipolar cases. I mention Bipolar because BPD and Bipolar Type 2 has a lot of symptoms in common. So, it is possible someone could have one or the other, or perhaps both.
Let me talk to my friend and ask him for recommendations about psychiatrists.
Also, when you guys visit the psychiatrist, if you do, make sure both of you talk to him/her. Tell him/her how difficult this has become for you and why you think your wife might have BPD.
In any case, I will get back after I speak to my friend. I do not believe he is on blind. I am sure he will have more concrete suggestions.
- Just realized that BPD is a medical term. Checked online about the descriptions it seems like she isn't that bad yet. But she does get angry more easily than regular people but returns back to normal quickly if I chose to ignore. But it's very hard for me to take her abusive verbal behavior without being unhappy and not wanting to talk to her or being impatient with her, which accumulates stress on her side and it's only a matter of time for her to explode again.
She does that only to her boyfriend/partner. She speaks to her friends, especially newer ones extremely softly to a point of faking. Social interactions like this takes up a lot of her energy because it's not her natual state. With an intimate partner, she tends to be more irritable, especially when our relationship gets better after a period of relative peace that she takes me more for granted.
- [I was going to PM this to OP, but given the number of related posts here on blind, posting here in case someone else might find the information helpful]
OP, here is what I typed up after speaking with my friend. He does not want me to mention his psychiatrist's name on a public forum so I will respect his request. But he says you should look for someone with a PhD and previous experience with BPD, Bipolar cases. He was also kind enough to email me some links that might help you.
Take detailed notes of her behavior. This is extremely important.
Look up the symptoms of BPD online and find concrete reasons why you think your wife has BPD. Come up with matching examples for each symptom, if applicable. Write all of this down.
Tell the wife you are grateful she went to a marriage counselor and both of you would like to go to a psychiatrist. Tell her a psychiatrist and not counselor because of the credentials. Look for someone who has a PhD and has worked with BPD and Bipolar patients. If necessary, call this person's office to verify their prior experience.
It would help to read the books:
"Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder"
"Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life".
There are more books to read, but these are a good start.
Some forum posts and articles that might help:
Keep in mind that these links are all mostly targeting the worst case scenario - divorce. Based on what I have inferred from your posts, both me and my friend sincerely believe that your situation is not so dire. The very fact that your wife agreed to go see a marriage counselor should give you hope. Also, she could very well take meds for the rest of her life and you guys could be happy. Since you already have children, there is no issue of having to pause meds during pregnancy, assuming you guys are not planning any more kids.
Based on your latest comment, it is possible that she may have been raised in an environment where she learnt "bad behavior". That may or may not constitute BPD. In general, women's brains work very differently than men's in social situations, notwithstanding what ideologues might say. You have to take that into account. That being said, it is also possible your wife is a high-functioning BPD. What you have described seems to be a classic case of "push me away - pull me back". Which typically the BPD'er does to those close to them - yourself in this case. The cyclical good and bad periods also appear to be textbook. The eventual diagnosis would of course have to be given by a mental health professional. Not someone on blind.
FWIW, my friend is now in a much better place in his marriage. I see both him and his wife often and even I have noticed discernible positive changes in his wife after she started taking meds. Truly fascinating how some pills affect human behavior by manipulating brain chemistry. BTW, I recommend taking into confidence someone close to you, some family member and/or close friend as you go through this process.
- Op- yes the guys above seems to have given valuable information so do go through it.
Even if she's not a bpd she could be a hugh conflict personality type who thrive on drama/chaos. So look into that. Also since you've been married so long she must have shared details on her childhood?
How was it. Most of these issues are based in that. Also if you can try to find a good *male* therapist/psychologist.
- Tell me something. The very first time you met her in person and spoke with her, did you feel she was the one for you intuitively? Or was there something that didn't feel right? Was she perfect for you on paper (all check marks ticked) but something didn't feel right? Compatibility is a complicated function of too many non verbal variables that are not easily understood and perceived. At some level you might have known that the two of you are not compatible from the start. Let me know if this is your case and I'll give my 2 cents on what I would do if I were you
- Actually I did feel the incompatibility from the very start. I didn't like the way she talked very much as she often gets over excited and tend to exaggerate and over generalize. But she did check all the marks and I was lonely and horny and didn't realize what an emotional disaster it is to live with someone like this. Our relationship has made both our personalities more aggressive and it cost me dearly both personally and professionally.
- Do you have family in the US? Relationships are hard for individuals in the US without families nearby. You need to be super compatible in order to run the family without a support system nearby.
Do you talk about your relationship problems with your family, her family and close friends? It is not wise to put up a happy face with others so they assume you are leading a happy life. It helps sharing with these groups about your challenges. You will be amazed how much good advice you get.
Dealing with 2 kids amidst this is hard. Have you tried to be apart for short term? At least 2 months would really put things in perspective for both of you and will also give you a glimpse of how life can be when you are not together. If you prefer, you can adjust your living situation that works for both of you. You don't need the legal system to determine how you live.
Finally, changing our personalities for the sake of kids is not easy. If you have to continue the marriage, try meditation (vipassana retreats, TM/NSR have helped some of my friends in your situation). I know it sound cliche but you will be amazed how much you can discover about yourself when you go within.
- I had a long distance relationship which am just ending, and he kind of is the same way you describe. Similar to you one of the big factors of surviving as long as I did was loneliness and off the charts sexual chemistry. Your story is making me feel very close to home, except that mine just ended :( wish you the best, OP!
- We live in the US without family or relatives in this country. And with kids it's super hard.
Both of our parents know our problem first hand when they come to visit but their presence only makes things worse as my wife gets nervous around them (the pressure to behave as they expected and for me to behave as she expects her parents would like). I don't share with my friends as I find it hard to open up to them, or none of them are close enough for me to share with.
Thought of living apart but the kids are the challenge. I would imagine it being much easier if we have other family members to support us.
- Meditation saved my ass. I was on the brink of mental breakdown from stress from home and work. Meditation saved me. But it's hard to keep up at it daily and a lot of the times it doesn't work. But I'm glad I did it to prevent me from getting insane and be able to detach more from my thoughts and emotions. However, this doesn't solve the fundamental problem between us.
- Kids make any option of breaking up the relationship too difficult (if not impossible to some). At the same time, hoping and wishing for things to improve on its own is just putting off the inevitable. One option is to move to where your families are for a few years and see if that change helps heal the wounds and give some peace to all involved. If not, at a minimum, just travel somewhere away regularly, just to decompress and handle the stress.
- I have considered divorce many a times, but kids factor doesn’t allow me. She is manipulative, lies most of the times, keeps on flipping her stand and words. However try to keep a great image in friends.. she is ultra abusive, shouting girl alone.. but wants to do in 4 walls and wants to be nice outside. This has ripped me apart in last few years and not sure how to handle the situation and lead a normal life. Late 30’s right now..
- Looks like you are my brother! I am also noise sensitive and she uses it to pester me. She is abusing at home and outside she is the cutest of all her friends. She always says everyone says She is good. Of course they will say she is good as she is good to them.
I think feminism is being misused 😐. Feminism means equality in rights and responsibilities, and not threatening that ‘I will go to police..I will divorce you and say you abused/ beaten me.’
It’s tough for a person like me who is quiet and doesn’t like shouting, to handle such loud people.
- And its not just with me, it happens with a lot of people. Once I visited a friend of mine and overheard her wife shouting like hell at him. He is shy and introvert by nature. So he did not utter a word and just bear all the scolding. When they came out of the room, she thought I did not heard them and was trying to be super sweet with him in front of me. And the guy was looking very upset. I behaved as if I was unaware of what just happened.
- You could try to get her to agree to a rule that the first one that raises the tone has to give the other $10 every time and try to talk things through peacefully instead
- Op.. I have exactly the same situation. I m noise sensitive but wife is always threatening shouting when she wants her way. This is only for cases related to her family or my family. She wants zero connection with my family and full time connection with hers. 2 growing kids have made me live through hell for last few years.
- Bose JustMeHaI’m in same 🚣♀️ as you , except I make less , and am in a cheaper location . One kid who I want to be with and wife quarrels about everything . I don’t think you should worry about finding another partner , it will come with time . Only reason I’m
Not divorcing right now is me and my wife pretend to be fine in front of other people and my baby 👶 and when that stops happening I’ll pull the trigger
- The thing that's common between us is that we both grew up in families with overly strict and violent parents. I become very angry when she yells at me and she is easily irritated when I complain about things that I wish she could have done differently or I don't agree with her opinion on any serious topic.
I am naturally an alpha male and I have tried to tame myself down and bear with her yellings and be very careful not to irritate her but it only lead to more yelling and my deteriorating mental health and dwindling self confidence, which almost destroyed me irreversibly.
We have tried couple therapy but all the therapist did was trying to get us talk about our own feelings and asking us to talk to each other differently. However, it's very hard to change your knee jerk reactions and there's no rule that we could agree to obey.
Sometimes things get so bad that I seriously wanted to consider a divorce. I slept in a different room, take care of the kids in the morning but don't come back for dinner at night. After a week or 2 she couldn't stand it anymore and came to me and beg my pardon in tears and on her knees, telling me that she forgot the right way to treat me and begs me to sleep with her again. It's hard to turn that down and the cycle gets reset again.
- Apple WatchStep1: Relationships don’t exist when both are equal, it’s a bad myth but it’s true. One has to be better than the other so that one follows the others lead.
Step2: Once you have realized that understand that your wife is better than you in certain decisions and judgements and that you are better than her in others.
Step3: Discuss the step2 with your wife to come to an agreement on a mutually exclusive set. Follow her lead and judgement in things she is better at but ask her to do the same for your stronger suits.
Step4(for being alpha): Forget your ego and respect her decision on the first set of items. Be proud that she is so better at those. But also use your command for the things you think you are better at and try to excel at those.
There is only one way to overcome resentment and frustration and that’s through creating command and self confidence. Don’t live a weak’s life.
- In marriage there is no alpha or beta or gamma. Two vulnerable people. Two faulty individuals. Trying to live and love. Neither of them are dominating. Both are crying for help in their own ways and are struggling emotionally with each other.
Can tell you've never been married!
- Google pOwOugSome of the comments here are just disturbing. Take it from someone whose parents did not divorce when I was young and I wish they did. My parents did not get along but they stayed together for my siblings and I. The best thing you can do for your kids is to be happy. When you're happy, you're a better parent. Now this doesn't mean to give up quickly on a marriage. You should try your best to work it out but for some people, they'll come to the realization that the best solution is to part ways. Some people get married when they're young and dumb (my parents for example). You should be there for your kids but this doesn't mean you need to give up on your own life. Sometimes I look at my parents and feel sad that they didn't get to live the lives that could've made them happier people.
- I completely agree with this comment. I know so many couples in my family who are perfectly fine individuals of great character but just incompatible personalities to be together. Sooner or later, the personalities clash and ruin the peace for everyone involved.
Being together for the children may not be the best idea depending on the amount of stress at home. My nephew grew up in one such family and now that he has grown up to be an adult, says he wished both his parents divorced early so he would have had a happy childhood with good time with each of them separately.
- Osmo uaDX03Louis CK take on divorce is incredibly insightful: https://youtu.be/ex7_VWgNmOg
He says staying for the kids is wrong because it teaches the kids that they should stay in a relationship even when the partner is abusive and there is no love. This sets a bad example for them.
My parents divorced when I was 5. It was really though at the time but it was much better a few years after. Before the divorce, I was growing up in a miserable and abusive household. After the divorce, I got to see both my mother and my father happy for the first time in my life which was great. It made all the difference.
- Salesforce GfR35moreThinke - are you able to communicate with your wife?
Have you both discussed and agree on your shared values/objectives? If not, carve out some time and discuss it - the objective being "here's our #1 problem and let's agree on solving without finger pointing". First understand if you both are missing tools and perspective to handle it, or if you really are two separate people who want different things fundamentally.
Logistically, you are better off working things out with her - you are not getting any younger and there's no such thing as a perfect marriage.
- Pure Storage / EngblingboobmoreI don't think you're looking past yourself and your needs. I understand they're important but in marriage, there needs to be a little sacrifice and a lot of frank communication.
You've brought a couple of kids on board as well so it is up to you to step up and take charge of your home. Crying about how you were naive back then tells me you're wallowing in self pity about the hole you dug for yourself.
Wake the f up. Your life is in your hands and as long as you're using it to blame others and get angry over nothing, it is minutes/weeks/months lost.
Look past yourself and at the bigger picture. Keep emotions to one side and be practical. If you find yourself getting annoyed or feel you're at the beginning of a 'sulk', let your partner know why immediately. It helps. Trust me.
- OP, I’m going to take a different approach. It takes two to fight, and if it’s little stuff, just don’t engage. Be a model for your kids to “not sweat the small stuff”.
When it comes to the deep conversations and issues, then it’s definitely ok to argue—but not in front of the kids and you must fight fair. The issue should be only about the issue at hand and not drag any others into the mix.
With social media and social comparisons, there is a pressure to be perfect. And we aren’t. Real life isn’t close. Help your wife see that there are things worth fighting about and things that aren’t.
You should dig into the root cause of why your wife is picking fights. She may be as miserable as you are, or she may be upset about something completely outside her control and is taking things out on you. If this is the case, then if you divorce, she will take it out on your girls.
I’m not arguing for you to stay or to go, but to figure out what’s going on. Get the data and then figure out what to do.
- Totally true. This is likely a case of you two not meeting each other’s needs. As in, you want sex and doesn’t give it to you or not enough sex because you are giving her affection or love as you did when you dated or hot married.
Read the book his needs her needs and it’ll quickly make sense to you. It’s the best marriage councling book of all time.
- Taming something out on someone is projecting your feelings/issues with one person into another. Again, doesn’t scream abuse, but it does show bad behavior.
Raj, you’re right that no one in a happy, adult, loving relationship should ever experience. But we already know that. The question is if it’s bad enough it can’t be remediated; the first step to that is understanding and finding out why.
- Juniper NishitIn the same boat. I thought that having a family would be more of a blessing but things get worse between me and my wife.
I realize now when you live together for many years, there’s more tension around the house. Nothing you do as a husband regardless of how hard you do and try can satisfy or make your wife happy or appreciate the things you do.
I have thought of ways to end my life many times thinking this is the only way to escape my problems but my kids are what keeps me here.
- Microsoft msxDad, I want to get married.
Ask for forgiveness first!
I haven't done anything yet, just going to get married.
Ask for forgiveness first!
You don't get it. I'm going to get married.
You don't get it, ask for forgiveness first.
Okay, please forgive me. But tell me why?!
Now your are ready to get married.
- I think you are having expectations of being a reasonable person from your wife because you expect her to be a partner to you. If you just expected her to be a friend and co-parent would you guys fight so much? It's important to think about this.
Sometimes marriages don't work out to serve our romantic and partner needs. But people stay in them for kids and stability. In my view these are honorable reasons. Go to couples counseling. Be open minded that maybe you might not be compatible as husband and wife, but if you are on the same page with finances and bringing up kids, I think you both are still better off than large number of marriages. It's ok to be friends under the same roof. Yes you may not have much more family vacations and most of it will be with one or the other set of grand parents, but they always say, "you need a village to raise a child", so it's not that bad. You might want to get other people home (parents from home country for example) to live with you so you have less opportunity to fight and can also pursue each of your individual goals without as much pressure.
In case you do go this way, try to be compassionate with each other and discuss alternate structures like opening up the marriage to what's comfortable to both of you. It could just be having an emotionally intimate friend of the opposite gender where you get to share stuff - it might help your equation with your marital partner.
Of course, first go to couples counseling! Maybe you can salvage this to be a marriage with partnership and romance. You don't know that yet.
- In our society we try to binarize everything. Either it's working (1) or not working (0). This puts tremendous strain on marriages which are not working completely as needed, but fulfill some partial constraints. Pain is essentially the mismatch between expectation and reality.
- Qualcomm rmat62Your honesty is really applaudable. May be your wife is not doing her share into this relationship as well. Since you are an engineer, may be you should spend some time thinking what she actually wants in life. On the side, you can try different things to stir up and see how she reacts. Think of her as your experiment. Of course, it's not hard to find love at any age. Being Asian doesn't hurt either. You should always project your strengths if anything bothers you. But honestly, I feel there is something you can still explore here.