LTW: Unhappiness

In preparation for discussions with my wife I’m going to write her some letters (“Letters To Wife”) here to help organize my thoughts in a way that I can communicate to her. I have not sent these to her, but perhaps in the future I will. 

****

Dear Wife,

I think it’s no surprise that I’m fairly unhappy with the way things are. But I’ve been unhappy for a long time. When I look back and try to piece it together I can see that it started at least in 2009 if not earlier. 

When we moved back to the west coast I thought my unhappiness would go away. The reason I thought this would happen is because I attributed my unhappiness to many other things. I found all kinds of reasons to blame it on. There was just no way, in my mind, that it could be with our marriage. We had a textbook marriage. You are a perfect woman. How could it possibly be the marriage?

Instead I blamed it on homesickness. I blamed it on working from home; to not agreeing on a church; to lack of friend support while away; to using all our vacation to travel home and not actually vacation; on not having much money because of you going to school; to you being too busy with school; later to you being too busy with residency. In summary I found many places to blame for how I felt. If I could just wait until we moved back I would feel better. If I could just wait until you were working full time and not acting as a student then I would feel better. 

When we moved back things didn’t get better. In fact I got much worse. My anxiety shot up as you well know. We were back home. My friends were there. We lived in a great spot. My job was going well. Except for you being gone in residency life was much improved. But I was extremely unhappy. It was the worst it had ever been. 

It didn’t help that you were not around, but even with friends and family around something was off. I found myself pushing you to do more sexually, and felt your resistance increase accordingly. I also found myself fishing around online for ways to find a play partner on the side. I’m not proud of that, and nothing serious came of it, but there were a couple of close calls. 

I should have confronted you about our marriage at that point, but I just couldn’t see it for what it was. In my head I thought I just needed to wait a bit longer, and it would all work out. I don’t know why but I couldn’t admit to myself that this perfect woman may not be perfect for me. Even when I was looking for other avenues of desire. 

Residency did come to an end, and with it I assumed the next chapter of our lives would be what I was looking for. But it wasn’t like that. You were working a lot, and stressed from your new job. I was again made to put my thoughts and dreams on hold while you adjusted to work life. 

As we are now advanced in years we pushed to have children. It was the obvious thing to do, and something we have both wanted for a long time. At no point was I second guessing this decision. Ideally we should’ve had them many years prior, but life does not always work as planned. However I always wanted children so this seemed to fit right into our perfect life we were building. 

A year later things were just not right. We had the kid, the house, the careers, a textbook marriage. Yet I was still extremely unhappy. In late 2015 I was able to finally start piecing it together. Although I married a perfect woman, and I think I’ve become a pretty great husband, we do not have a perfect marriage. Relationships can be funny that way. Our relationship was making me unhappy. I could not be me within our relationship. 

After finally checking off all the boxes on what our perfect life was supposed to be it stood out clearly. Finally there were no more “just wait a little longer” options. Where we are is where we are going to be. I fell into a bit of a depression upon realizing that last year, but tried my best to keep it from you. I know you were not dealing well with the news, and I apologize for that. It was a rough year for both of us. 

I’m not trying to make any excuses or to blame you for anything. I’m just looking at myself, and trying to understand why I’ve been so unhappy. With that, I’m going to go see a counselor, and I’m glad you are as well. Perhaps we can come out the other side of this stronger. At minimum hopefully we will have a better understanding of each other, and support our futures – whatever they may be. 

Love,

Your Husband

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10 thoughts on “LTW: Unhappiness

  1. It sounds like you’ve been dealing with depression for a long time. I don’t think your wife, children, location, financial status, sexual desires met or unmet will cure that. Could you be self medicating with sex or the thought of it? You have to be happy within yourself to be happy. Believe me I am preaching to the choir as I have to understand and live that as well.
    Just a thought.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah I don’t know. I’m not sure if it was ever depression levels. Maybe the last year. But there was sure a lot of anxiety and unhappiness. And you are right they will not cure it. I tried! But there are things that make it worse for sure. Right now I think the thing that hurts me the most is my marriage. It really brings me down. That’s why I will be seeing a therapist. See what the hell to do about all this. I know you’ve gone through this. Probably at a much deeper level. I appreciate your advice. Maybe I’ll learn how to use it one day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is a very kind letter. There is not one negative thing about her in it. Whatever your decision just keep in mind that other people are going to be at your mercy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think your letter is kind also but it does sound like a good bye letter to me. There is no room for change or improvement, simply a statement of facts as to why it doesn’t and can’t work.

    If that is in fact how you feel about it should she not know? If she is in counselling to help herself with the idea of saving the marriage putting this in front of her after the fact might just undo all the work she will hopefully accomplish.

    Just a thought ….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I certainly didn’t mean for it to sound like that. But perhaps that is a bit how I’m feeling. The point was to lay out exactly how I’m feeling without reservation and without a prescriptive solution. I think that is the part my wife struggles with. I can’t tell her how I’m feeling if it’s negative unless I have already thought of a solution. Otherwise she does not handle it well. But I don’t have solutions to this problem. She needs counseling to learn how to hear the messages I need to tell her. And I need counseling to learn how to tell her in a way she can hear. Our communication sucks. If I were to tell her all this now she would fall into a deep depression, stop talking to me and get ready for divorce. We wouldn’t even talk about it! She would go crazy from the first hint. It’s not healthy for a relationship and she knows it. So yes. I need to tell her. But she also needs to be able to listen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A man posted on his blog about his wife’s affair. I think marriages don’t recover from them and neither did he. One caveat, a man who suffers from sex addiction, WITHOUT narcissism, can keep a marriage if his wife truly understand that he loves her. The success rate is low but there are bloggers who have managed to separate the behavior from the husband’s love. Your affair is different because you have moved on emotionally.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There is something that strikes me as somewhat final about this letter as well. It could be coloured by your last post, but I think it is the line: “Our relationship was making me unhappy.” You are well within your rights to need to express that, but there is something about it that strikes me as unfixable. Combined with the last line where you speak of your futures (plural), it suggests that in your heart you already think the answer is separation…

    Liked by 1 person

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