Will I survive Divorce?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends and Relationships' started by reprehendiballs, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. OK, I've spent the whole night awake and have nobody to talk to, so here goes...

    I met my wife more than 25 years ago, and we've been together ever since. When I asked her to marry me she refused on the grounds that I was not a Christian. I continued to see her, but also went to church and found myself agreeing with the aims and philosophies I found there. Some months after that I was baptised and at the same time became engaged. I truly believed in God, still do, at least I think so. We married in June 1986 without having had sex or really discovering much about each other physically.

    Once we were married things did not go well for us, as if often the case I suppose. I left my job in psychiatric nursing, and with it all my friends, largely to find a job closer to our new home. We discovered that my wife had a condition known as Vaginismus which is defined by the NHS as :

    Vaginismus is when the muscles around the vagina tighten involuntarily when penetration of the vagina is attempted. It makes sexual intercourse difficult or impossible (the vagina can completely close up) and it can be painful.

    We worked together at trying to overcome this problem and sought professional help. During that period, no matter how much time or effort I expended on trying to interest or excite her, all attempts at intercourse were of course, rejected. It became difficult for me to initiate sex at all, since it would only end in rejection and frustration. Eventually about 18 months after our marriage we finally managed to consummate it with intercourse. Despite all our efforts we were never really able to enjoy a satisfactory sex-life until 1989 or so when my wife became desperate to have children. At this point she began to initiate sex with me and we enjoyed what I would consider to be a normal sex life until she fell pregnant a few weeks later. Once she was pregnant sex effectively stopped altogether until she was ready to conceive a second child 2 years later.

    I feel I should say at this point that marriage is not just about sex. In many ways our relationship was very good. We have never really shared many interests, but seem quite capable of pursuing our own whilst maintaining a stable home for our children. Despite which, when my wife fell pregnant a second time, and the same thing happened again, I became rather resentful. I think I blamed her religious beliefs for our sexual problems, and gradually drifted away from the church. I concentrated more on my career than on my children whilst my wife built a loving home and cultivated her relationships in the church and local community.

    I became the manager of a successful shop just off Piccadilly Circus in London and made many good friends around there. However, when the freehold of the shop was bought by new landlords they yanked the rug out from beneath us causing the company to cease trading. I changed jobs a few times and commuted sometimes huge distances, to keep our home together.

    We eventually moved to Bedford where I opened my own shop. Once here I became involved with my wife's new Church and things seemed to get better. Shortly after moving here my wife wanted to train as a teacher and began her training. My shop did not do terribly well since the area became fairly depressed after we moved here, and about 6 years ago we decided that we should cut our losses and close it. I suffered a near total breakdown at this point. Worry over debts and the failure of my business combining to overwhelm me, but with support (both financial and spiritual) from our church I recovered. Perversely enough I then felt unable to continue going to church for a number of reasons, both physical and psychological so once more I drifted away.

    I took a part-time job driving school buses and became a house-husband so that my wife could concentrate on her studies, an arrangement that was ideal since I was able to take holidays with both wife and children. My wife graduated with distinction in 2006, getting a job straight away and receiving promotion less than a year later to head of IT. This is where we are right now, my wife has a successful career ahead of her. She effectively earns all the money in our household, whilst my career is gone and without the church or a real career I have no way to build friendships or roots in the community.

    I feel completely trapped by my circumstances, utterly dependent on my wife's income, no real friends to speak of. I recently began receiving treatment for depression, something I should probably have done when I lost my business. Now I find the depression has lifted, my mind is clear for the first time in years and I have regained some of my old creativity and drive. Nonetheless I still feel trapped and unable to initiate sex with my wife. We share almost nothing in common with but our mutual background and house full of grown-up children who are rapidly heading toward complete independence. With this sudden reawakening of my mind, I am desperate to make new relationships and find a life again.

    I won't ask whether I should break up with my wife, I feel that is my decision to make and in due course I will make it. What I do want to know however, is where do I go from here? How does one rebuild a life from scratch, with a job that pays so badly it is barely even feasible to pay rent on a single room, far less eat or enjoy any kind of social life. How do people survive marriage breakup? What happens next? I feel so very alone and vulnerable, it sounds weak and foolish, even to me, but after 25 years with the same woman I am simply not sure I will cope out there alone.

    If anyone has had the stamina to get this far without falling asleep or moving on I want to thank you profoundly for sticking with me. You obviously care a lot more than most people. If you can offer me any advice or hope then I could really use the encouragement right now.
  2. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    Hey there.. I wanted to let you know that I read this, and I feel for you. That sounds like a really tricky situation. I'm not sure I have any advice, I just wanted to let you know I feel for you.

    As far as finding new relationships and a life for yourself again - do you have time to do some sort of volunteer work? I don't know what your hobbies/interests are, but doing something - maybe habitat for humanity or something? - could help you meet people. Do you think you could look for a job as a psychiatric nurse again? I don't know if this is possible - but is there volunteer work within that field? The nice thing about volunteer work is that it gives a person confidence and helps them to feel good for helping others, whiel at the same time there is the potential to meet new people. And these new people are doing volunteer work - so they're kind of self screened to be good, non-selfish people.

    Good luck! Whether you stay with your wife or not, I believe you can still make a satisfying life for yourself.
  3. Tealc

    Tealc Banned Member

    whatever you decide to do i think that you need to do it for yourself, for your happiness and peace of mind.
    if you decide on divorce then it will be hard on both of you but you can and will survive.

    my advice would be really think about what you plan to do, forget women / sex etc, concentrate on yourself, where will you go ? live? etc, all the practical aspects.
    once you have that then spend some time alone and get into a rountine of doing things you want.

    then you will be ready to expand your life in other areas, sounds easy ! not really, i have done it many times and the loneliness can really suck so find YOURSELF first and keep your interests.

    good luck
  4. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    Hi..I am so glad you decided to join the world again...everything takes time...we put one foot in front of the other, and hopefully, get somewhere...I think the best way to find company is to do what you enjoy...go to a bookstore or a specialty shop and see who is there...build slowly your acquaintances that way...and know that it will take time for you to redefine yourself and to be comfortable in this new role...best of luck and please let us know how it goes, J
  5. I am not even sure there is a 'me' any more. Or if there ever was. I have always defined myself in the context of the people around me and never been comfortable pleasing myself. Now I find my malleability is coming back to bite me in the bottom. I am not rushing into anything at the moment anyway since I am waiting to receive an appointment with a psycho-something or other. I am worried that like my suicidal urges, the desire to explode my social and family life is purely self-destructive.

    In fact it makes more sense to die than to leave, since having no family around me (added to no friends) would almost certainly lead to the other thing anyway.
  6. Tealc

    Tealc Banned Member

    mate, there is a ' you ' to find, i have been thru this before and having no friends, like you, can make it all look unobtainable, but it can be done.

    sort out your mental health first, remember it will take a few months for ad's, if prescribed to work. once you are thinking a bit more clearly then make your desision, i am not sure if your family know how you feel but if not then maybe its best to keep them out of it untill your ready.

    find a hobby if you need to be active around others, going to footie, a quick drink now and then, or as i do go fishing. anything to get you out there.

    dont give up tho, there is a life out there for you, alone or with your family.