Love and Marriage

You know, I really do have a great wife. She’s beautiful, smart, caring, fun, a wonderful baker, and genuinely a very nice person. She is a doctor as of a couple of years ago, and loves helping people. Although not the tallest person she is really good looking. She has the most beautiful smile and can light up a room upon entering. She naturally connects with people and genuinely cares about them. It makes her a gracious host and care taker.

She is also a good mother. A really good mother. She has wanted to be a mother since before I can remember. Due to school and then fertility problems it took us 12 years to finally get pregnant. But now we have two small children. A little girl and a little boy. She loves our children as do I, and she will do anything for them. 

My wife is full of energy. She brings a lot to the table, especially when it comes to daily life. She is the energy to keep the household moving and organized. She can’t help but tidy everywhere she goes, and generally brings energy into the house. It’s very positive energy on the average.

She loves me. I mean it’s kind of crazy how much in love with me she is. It’s not a normal amount. Perhaps it’s because of her manic personality but she is beyond a normal level of in love with me. She lets me know frequently. From a day to day practical perspective I really don’t bring that much to the table, but it doesn’t matter because she can take care of that. What she needs is fully attentive emotional support. I provide that in spades.

To my friends, and probably some of hers, it seems like an odd relationship. They constantly marvel at my sheer ineptitude for participating in household duties, and the fact that I’m married at all. I’m not sure what their marriages are like but they must be more of a working relationship. Ours is not. Chores are not divided equally. I know this is true. Yet, even with that I give up much more of myself in this marriage.

Because our marriage is more than the physical work involved. In fact I would bet most are, and if they are not then it doesn’t seem like much of a marriage at all. Emotional needs and life goals are a big part. The needs of the souls of the individuals in a marriage. I feed my wife’s soul. I make her feel safe, understood, and loved. There is no dish washing chore that can come close to the value of feeding ones soul. That is the secret that so many miss about me and about my marriage. My wife does not stay with me for what I can do with my body but what I can do for her soul.

My wife and I have been told on countless occasions that people want to emulate our marriage. Its steadfastness. Its continual support. The way we just make things happen and seem very at peace with eachother. I don’t disagree. I want that marriage too. We do appear that way because I work hard to make it look that way. 

Although I love my wife dearly I have begun to feel that she is not for me. The feelings started years ago but I could not understand what they were at the time. We moved back from the east coast and I assumed my life would come into focus. When it did not my anxiety began to grow. I struggled with it for several years not knowing what was causing it.

There were times when I looked for solutions outside my marriage. I’m not proud of them, and I wasn’t looking for relationships. Just rendezvous’ to fill the void that I could not understand. They never got far. I never fully slept with any of them but it was close on a couple occasions.

You see there are two big things missing for me. The first is my soul. I have hopes and dreams and life goals that had to be put on hold for 8 years. I was happy to do it to support my wife but I thought they were just on hold. In reality they were never going to happen. Because my wife cannot feed my soul the way I feed hers. She does not understand me. In fact, in many ways she does not even know me. It makes me feel very lonely.

The second is related to sex. We have very different aspirations there as well. They are not close. I won’t go into detail today, but know that it is a major problem and one that only a spouse can fix.

After waiting those 8 years and traveling across country for half of them I thought for sure when she became a doctor and we bought a house and started our life up again everything would be fine. But it wasn’t. Then another year past and we had a kid. It was still not fine. I began to push harder for the things I need and I met both resistance and a lack of understanding. Everything was fine – for my wife.

Now we are 14 years into a marriage that I have put myself on hold for more than half of it, and I’ve discovered that I’m incompatible with this marriage. This is not how I envisioned my life. This is not what I wanted for my family. To be quite honest I’m not sure what to do now.

If I leave I will break up our family. If I stay I will be perpetually unhappy and eventually probably break up the family anyway. I will need to think long and hard about this. 

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