For ten years I have been stuck like a hamster on a wheel, in the same pattern, over and over again. How do I break it?
STEP ONE: I started with hope and excitement that my marriage could be fulfilling and with the confidence in myself to be the loving wife I want to be.
STEP TWO: After a period of time, onto frustration b/c I was working alone - not only could I not figure out and make him happy, but I got none of my needs met - I had to do everything, I had no partner in life like I dreamed of.
STEP THREE: Onto anger towards my husband for the lack of connection. Seriously how many times do I have to nicely say how I'm feeling only to have you sit there and stare at me with no emotion whatsoever? Or how many times do I have to ask for some physical touch only to have you oblige for one day and think you have done your duty for a lifetime?
STEP FOUR: After getting angry, quickly comes the strong guilt for getting upset and not being the bigger person and loving him for who he was. I should be able to put up with it, get my needs met by God and friends, change my expectations of what marriage is. Plus in the anger stage he almost always points out why it's my fault or what I could/should do differently. Armed with this new knowledge that if "I'd only do this, or this, or this....he'd be happy and we'd be better" I'd feel some sense of control and then.....
IT STARTS AGAIN.....Back to step one, hope, back to giving control over to God and having hope.
The cycle sometimes took months, if I prayed and stayed solidly in the Word. Sometimes weeks. But it's the same cycle.
Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results right? I'm smart and logical, so why do I continue to tell him how I'm feeling, beg for attention, grovel for love.
After eight years of it, I decided to set boundaries, to accept him how he was and take care of myself. As soon as I did the accusations from him about me "changing" grew strong and our relationship grew worse. Though there was no intention of doing anything other than getting off the hamster wheel, unfortunately it led to an affair. I hate myself for it, tried to get away often, but it was hard b/c it was so nice to finally have an escape - albeit a horrible one.
I tried and wanted to tell him right away, but I was warned me against it. So I fought a long battle to get through it alone. More alone. In February of this year I read You, Me, and ADD and was shocked that I was not alone in how I felt - the stories fit me to a tee. I asked him to see a doctor and get on medication. It took a lot of fights and threatening, but he ultimately did. I saw a quick improvement. We still had the pain of the past to work through and given he wouldn't admit he had ADD, he was just taking a pill b/c I made him - we quickly went back to the hamster wheel.
I finally came clean a couple months ago about the affair. He found things that set him off again and even though the physical affair had ended, I still spoke with the person, though less often. So against others judgment, I told him and fully cut off the other person. But of course now we are dealing with the pain he is feeling from the affair, and I'm back on the wheel.
One moment I am sick and remorseful and just want to be a good wife to him - the next I try to express my needs and the "why" behind the affair - when not heard I get angry - and then back to guilt.
I REALLY want to accept him for who he is, to adjust my expectations about marriage. But if I'm being logical - ten years of experience shows that I can't. I can't be/stay happy like this and in turn I make us miserable. I want to be a good example for my girls, but I don't want them to think this is normal or something they should marry into. But I don't want to leave either - I am being stubborn I guess. I want the relationship I want and in the face of not being able to have it.....I continue to run on the wheel.
Any advice from someone who has escaped from their wheel and is onto a more positive future?