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What the hell is going on with my wife?

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My Story – By Sick of my life:

My wife and I have been married for nine years this month. I’m 32 and she’s 33 and we have two beautiful children. We currently have a serious dilemma which I cannot seem to rectify through talking to her. Let me start by telling you that my wife was a stay at home mom for eight years. She was loving towards me and the kids and acted like a respectable, nice woman through most of that time. She had some abuse (emotional) when she was a child and parents who by her accounts were very hard on her. My parents were generally loving, but my dad was very controlling and still is to this day.

When we first were married, we had plenty of money and happiness. I lost my job through a layoff and ended up having to work a lot to make up for what we lost in income. My wife was getting increasingly unhappy being cooped up in our home (she ran a home day care) and in September of 1998 went out to work outside the home. She got a retail job, but also was substitute teaching at the local high school. Due to some bills that accumulated, I thought it would be a good idea for her to work the two jobs for a while, until we were sure that the substitute work would be steady. It did get steady, as a matter of fact, in November she got a permanent sub job in special ed at the high school and took over a class.

That’s when everything started to change. She lost a whole lot of weight, changed her appearance and worked feverishly at both jobs. I took over the ‘mom’ role, taking care of the kids and seeing her a little at night after the second job. I thought at first that the changes were really good. She seemed to gain confidence in herself and was beginning to really come out of the depression she was in. She sometimes would go unaccounted for a few hours and not call or leave a note, but she sometimes did that in the past. I was OK with all of this until I began to see the depression creep back in.

I asked what was wrong, and she finally told me that she had a crush on one of her students (a nineteen year old) and that he got a girlfriend. I could accept this bit of emotional infidelity on her part as long as nothing really happened between them. She assured me that it was all one sided and that the boy never knew how she had been feeling. Then a situation arose at school where one student threatened her and she reported him (a different boy), and he turned around and accused her of sleeping with some of the students (one of which was the 19 year old). I found out by talking to her and others, that the students have painted her with a bit of this type of reputation. I began to get suspicious, but I tried to leave it alone and support her, as her contention all along is that the reputation is totally undeserved.

Some weeks later, she had written a steamy letter which was unaddressed, but was clearly to this 19 year old, as some of the references were things that she had mentioned about him. I was totally heartbroken, and immediately confronted her with it. She told me that it was simply a fantasy, fiction she called it, and nothing was going on. Our relationship seems to have deteriorated from there. She has become very distant to both me and the children.

During all of her time working outside the home, I have tried to compensate by becoming much more loving and remembering important dates by giving her gifts. ( I was not much for exchanging gifts earlier in our relationship and was somewhat callous about it) I have confronted her with my feelings, of raw hurt and anger. I also confronted the reputation she has developed and that I feel as though, even if she didn’t physically cheat, I feel like she did. I began looking for signs of infidelity, and found another letter which she denied was hers.

To add, I must also say that during this time she got in a car accident in the 19 year old’s home town, somewhere near his home during one of her half days, and I am still unsure as why she was really out there.

She contends she has not broken our vows and that she has been feeling ambivalent about everything in her life, including me, the kids, and her jobs. She said that she sees no future, not one with me in it, or any future for that matter. For a few days, she refused to tell me she loved me and only that she likes me and does not want to hurt me or the kids. She has wondered whether she should leave. I have asked her to stay. We have arranged for counseling and she has agreed to go, but I am so distraught about this that I can’t be with her without trying to find out what the hell happened to us. She has said that I am smothering her and if I keep asking questions (before we see the counselor), that I will drive her away. I am deeply afraid that she has a serious character flaw, and that this problem is only the tip of the iceberg.

I have regretted discovering this flaw and I have lost weight, hair from my head and have been driven into a bit of a depression myself. I truly love her and I feel so betrayed , hurt and angry that I feel I have nowhere to go. I tried to go back to her,telling her I wanted to come home, and that I would open my heart to her, if she’d do the same for me but she doesn’t seem ready for that.

She wants me to act as if nothing is really wrong, and that this is an overreaction by me. My question, after all of that, is do you think she has a character flaw, or is it possible that she’s actually telling me the truth? Have the two jobs have become oppressive and tiring, leading her to this fantasy (if it is) and to become distant? I’m just not sure how to handle this mess. Should I kick her out of the house, or simply support her and hope she comes around and comes clean with her feelings? Do you think she might honestly love me and the kids? Thanks for your time.

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1 thought on “What the hell is going on with my wife?”

  1. There seems to be plenty of evidence of a serious problem here, and I’d say you are not blowing things out of proportion. Letters, accusations, confessions of fantasy crushes, an unexplained accident in the young man’s hometown. There is something going on. If she hasn’t been intimate with the young man, she appears to be very obsessed with him. Her statement about not having a future is disturbing. It’s possible she may be contemplating suicide. It could be that her depression has driven her to seek relief anywhere she can find it and she may feel an affair with a young man would heal her spirit.

    Certainly working two jobs and changing roles can stress one out, but she is still responsible for her behavior. Lots of people work hard and don’t have affairs.

    She needs professional help. Be sure the counselor is aware of the depression, stress, fantasy and suspicious behavior. This is important because depression is very treatable. Not only is her behavior possibly adulterous, but may be unethical or even illegal. (Although the young man is of adult age, he is her student.) These are serious issues.

    How will this turn out? Much depends on her ability to enter counseling with a good attitude, willing to examine her behavior, her feelings and the marriage. If she is clinically depressed, treatment may help set things right, although some issues between the two of you may still need working on.

    You may want to read Dr. Dobson’s book entitled Love Must Be Tough which deals with many similar issues and outlines ways to deal with them.

    If you have reason to believe she may hurt herself, get help for her immediately. If you can’t persuade her to call a crisis line or admit herself, seek help for her. Usually there are procedures in place in most communities to hospitalize someone immediately for observation and evaluation.


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