Letter from a reader - How to empower yourself when all hope seems lost

Dear Save My Marriage Today team,

We have been married for almost 12 fantastic years; it is the second marriage for both of us. In my opinion our disagreements fights were over pathetic and inconsequential issues but unfortunately we were never able to address them properly or put them to rest.

Needless to say, in every new disagreement my wife would bring up the past over and over, and it felt like fighting ghosts.

I am a firm believer that it takes two to tango, and I would never give her exclusive responsibility for our fights. Believe me I am not a saint. She has the nasty habit of sharing our personal life (disagreements/ fights) with so-called friends and you know how that goes, depending on the friend.

In some instances she tried that with my own family and needless to say they did not appreciate their son or brother being bashed. Also, my wife thinks she is the reincarnation of Mother Teresa, so she will never take any accountability for our fights, and it is always my fault.

We also have tried professional help, although for the most part, they concentrate on the negatives rather than focus on the here now and the future. I find it very strange that a professional marriage counselor would dare to ask why I did this or that 2 years ago, some days I wish I could remember what I had for dinner the previous night.

Over a recent stupid fight in Chicago (decided to invite my family over to our home for one night, I am proud of our home, and to see the kids), with my family that I had not seen over 12 years my whole world crumbled. She left me in Chicago, and before the car got cold depleted our joint accounts.

I got a ride back home with my sister and husband, and my sister got the riot act from Laura once at the house. By the way, a couple of those so-called friends were there. Stupid me for thinking the argument was with me. Anyways, they decided to stay at a nearby hotel, can’t blame them for that, and I stayed with them.

Anyways, I decided to return home the next day and to my surprise the locks had been changed and I could not enter in my own house. I also learned the police was called the previous night and obtained the report, still can not understand why she allowed those so-called friends to call the law.

I did not say a word that night; my wife said it all, unfortunately to the wrong person. After two nights at a hotel, and consulting with an attorney about my rights to return home, I got an apartment. I refuse to break into my own home.

Two weeks later I filed for divorce, I let my emotions run high. I was hoping Laura would come to her senses and stop acting irrationally, but I lost. I can not justify my actions. I just think it was a cry for help, for both of us to realize that we need help. 45 days have lapsed, we had a hearing, and I am to move back to my home and Laura goes out, God knows where.

I did not follow the advice in your book; then again I just got it last night. I tried to reach out four times, I am in love with Laura, but got no answer. These last 10 weeks have been a rollercoaster for me, but without reading your book I knew I had to take care of myself, and be happy, or try to do the best I can. There is not much I can do anymore, just hope and maybe pray, although I am not much into that.

It is hard to summarize 12 years on a few paragraphs. My marriage was 90% awesome, 10% unhealthy. She is a wonderful lady, and I miss her. She is also a very insecure individual, and this I learned via counseling and it is an area that I can do very little, I was told. I can see according to your book that it is never too late, but you must live together or have some sort of interaction for anything to work.

I do not expect your answer if any will solve my problem. Although you may lead me on a direction that can be of help for me.

MY REPLY:

I understand you when you say it is hard to summarize 12 years of marriage in a few paragraphs, but I feel you stumbled on something very powerful when you mentioned that your marriage was 90% awesome, 10% unhealthy.

That doesn’t make your marriage unusual. In fact, it makes your marriage very normal. If you read through my books you will see that perfection is a very dangerous illusion, and that it is normal to disagree, and even fight over issues in your marriage. What this tells me is that you are both passionate people, you stand up for yourselves, and that there is scope for growth.

If we never made mistakes, we would never learn, and even the most secure relationship has its fair share of mistakes. What makes it healthy or unhealthy is how you choose to react to them as a couple.

When your wife decided to run you down to friends and family, she went outside the relationship. Instead of confiding her feelings in you, she sought the support of others in her effort to be right. That was wrong.

One day, whether the lesson comes from you or someone else, she will realize the opinions of others have very little relevance for how she should conduct a relationship. It really doesn’t matter if her friends don’t like you. Her friends aren’t going to be the one counting the cost of a divorce or finding alternative accommodation now that she is out of your house. The support of friends only takes you so far, then the rest of your life is determined by the actions you take.

One of the crucial lessons we teach is that when you enter into marriage or a deep, committed relationship, you need to give up the need to be right. It’s about making the transition from being an individual to being part of a couple. It’s okay to be wrong. Being wrong exposes vulnerability, but within a loving relationship this is okay. In fact, exposing vulnerability can be an incredibly sexy and empowering exercise.

You are right when you say that you both need to share the responsibility for this one, and from what you have written I can see two people who are screaming to be heard. Laura left you in Chicago, depleted your joint accounts, locked you out of the home, and called the police to get your attention.

It certainly got your attention, but the method was flawed. In addition to getting your attention, it pushed you to react and hurt her in the way that she hurt you. So you filed for divorce to get her attention. Tit-for-tat.

The lesson for both of you here is to find ways of getting each other’s attention and listening to each other without having to resort to negative actions.

You mention reaching out to her four times. What did that involve?

It’s never too late to respond with love. Love and hate are very close on the emotional spectrum, and if he has any feeling for you, good or bad, it means that she still cares about you or cares what you think. It’s when we look at our partners and feel nothing that the marriage is in real trouble.

Have you tried writing her a letter? Have you tried talking to her about the fact that both of you make mistakes and that it is possible for both of you to get each other’s attention without hurting each other?

What specifically is it about the marriage that your wife feels the need to change? What is her motivation? What is the issue for her? What is the issue for you?

I want you to look at what makes you react the way you do. Does her need to always be right make you feel inadequate? Does it make you feel as though you never do anything right?

When I delve into past disagreements, it is often easy to identify patterns of behavior. The fact that your wife never lets anything go tells me she has a point-scoring mentality when it comes to the marriage, and may point towards self-esteem issues or similar feelings of inadequacy. It may also be a control issue.

If you want to save your marriage you have to take the first step. There will be plenty of opportunities to see her and interact with her as you negotiate your separation, and you need to focus on ways to make every interaction as positive as possible. Acknowledge her when you see her.

Acknowledge that both of you are hurting. Tell her that you will always be her friend, even if she doesn’t want to be yours. Tell her that no matter what, you love her. Even if she continues to be angry, continue to love her.

You can’t control her actions, but you have complete control over how you choose to react to her. You have the choice to participate in her anger and let the problem escalate, or to simply love her.


*** What are your thoughts? Is he right to react this way? Should he wait for her to apologize? Feel free to share your own thoughts and perceptions in the comments box below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

5 comments on “Letter from a reader - How to empower yourself when all hope seems lost”

  1. I understand what you are going through. Please act while this is fresh and there is time. I think that unfortunately I learned how I should deal with situations like this a little too late for my relationship and I deeply regret that. My husband of 15 years is out of the house and has someone else. The other woman is a former friend of mine who had always hit on my husband when a guest in our house. She jumped in to help when we were having problems and now my husband is in love with her. Even though she lives in another country, they text or facetime all the time. every 2-3 weeks he goes on a paid for business trip, stays some extra days and takes her with him. We have had many negative interactions as we are both hurt and full of resentment. We are not divorced but I seems like it will eventually happen. Try not to remember resentments when you meet her. Positive interactions are crucial at this point

  2. Right now my ex husband does not talk with me and I have decided not to call him or look for him until he calls me or looks for me...I have tried and lowered my self even my self respect many times to let my ex husband know I still loved him, that I was sorry to have talked with relatives about our problems. He still said he did not love me any more and wanted the divorce. I agreed to it because at the end I can not make him love me. I suffer a lot and in reality he was the one that had the affair, who was unfaithful, who gave "a friend " in Mexico a lot of our money for a "loan". I am afraid the money is gone already... who told me that when he said he was working over night he was really with prostitutes, he told me that he married me for my properties and the hard worker I am and how I could make him money....
    I believe in marriage, in love, in commitment and forgiveness however he obviously does not. He is already involved with another woman.
    So I have come to conclude that it takes two to make a marriage work if he does not want to love me or be with me, if in fact he married me for the finances and now he has them ( we divided the properties and money etc as the law was going to do any how including my properties which I had placed in his name thinking we had married for life in a no context divorce, because I did not want to fight in a public court for money)
    So what can I do but to accept as hard as it is that the marriage is over and keep on living with my kids and when they leave after college, alone?
    I of course have a very hard time believing any man now and do not want to talk about what I have and do not want to share my finances with any one any more except my children.
    If he later looks for me and wants to come back, how can I trust him?

  3. When my marriage failed and my estranged husband refused to reconciled, I thought my life has ended. I seek refuge from my Higher Power, my God and He lead me to support groups that taught me about powerlessness over another person and on the acceptance that I cannot change him the way I want him to be. Instead of changing him, I changed myself by taking care of myself and loving myself.
    Talking about how one empower thyself, that's what I did. I identify and list down the things that I want to do and the things that I am good at and focus my time, money and effort there. And I never felt happier for doing it. It gave me the chance to really know myself and have learned to love myself and now truly living my life.
    I let go of what I can no longer have with love. I let go and let God.

  4. @Unicor: Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully you've moved on in your life and made the most of things in spite of what happened. I believe the only way to prevent cheating is by seeing a counselor together and go through steps to gain closure for both of you.

  5. @Susan: I hope you have gone through the steps to address the issues in your marriage, especially the infidelity. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the matter.

Recent Posts
"The biggest benefit I have gained from “Save My Marriage Today” was perspective. There were so many lessons about how to look at what was happening in my life from a different angle. I needed clarity and hope and “Save My Marriage Today” gave me that. They used practical tips and things that I could really work on to be proactive in salvaging my relationship with my husband. The true examples from real people gave me insight that you can really survive an affair! This web site is different from many others in that the focus of the “advice” and help really reflects the name ---- “Save My Marriage Today.” Other web sites may not have that as a goal, but the salvation of my marriage was definitely what I was looking for."

-- Rhonda K. (Cottageville, SC)*
"Save My Marriage was very instrumental in helping my husband and myself understand each other by learning to communicate love words, to respect each others space, and to speak up when annoyed and not harbor anger. We were on the verge of divorce, thinking there was no way to repair the damage. Save My Marriage was a God send and we thank you so very much. After years of misgivings we are happy that we joined Save My Marriage and we worked it out and stayed together. We will celebrate our 27th anniversary this year!"

-- Fred and Maureen B.
(Putnam Valley, NY) *
"Since I began reading your Save My Marriage Today newsletters I am changed and I have also given him some newsletters to go through. He has also improved. Thanks so much for your advice and help! Our relationship has made some great breakthroughs and we are soon getting married! After reading your articles we are now in love again and we do as much as we can to create quality time for one another."

--Maureen M.
(Kakamega, Kenya)*
"Save My Marriage Today put it together for me, it made sense and got me to slow down, live in the moment and think about what is really important and how I can achieve it. The weekly bonus emails are great too because they remind me to stay focused and cover new topics I might not have thought about or realized. It takes work and it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever been through but with the right tools I know I can do it"

-- Brett P. (Longmount, CO)*
"Im glad I came across your Save My Marriage Today website. The situations and solutions presented are real, practical and simple to implement. Other websites painted a picture that marriage should be absolutely perfect and have no problems but we all know that's impossible to achieve. However your website has shown me that marriage needs work and a change in certain attitudes and behaviors, and after that things are not as complicated as we like to think. Thanks Save My Marriage Today for a wonderful website and for helping me get my marriage back on track!"

-- Elsa K.
(Nelspruit, South Africa) *
"I found the Save My Marriage Today articles to be very helpful and insightful, and there were times that I thought there was a spy in our home as the articles were so personally related.

We have gone from "I should divorce you" to "Maybe I will keep you around for another 30 years." Marriage is hard work and if you have the right tools and are willing to work with them, you can make it last forever. I think my wife and I are soulmates and I think I would be completely lost without her."

-- Robert and Joanne H.
(Powell River, BC, Canada) *
"My marriage is experiencing a tremendous transformation. I, on behalf of my wife am very grateful to "Save My Marriage Today" for practically saving ours. What makes "Save My Marriage Today"different from other sites is that it is very simple and practicable to even a layman's understanding."

-- Inemobong U.
(Akwa Ibom, Nigeria) *
"My relationship with my husband had been going downhill for far too long, and I purchased your book in a desperate bid to fix things. After reading your info I discovered that I had been guilty of a number of the things that you identified as being warning signs of a problem marriage. I've been following your methods for remedying the situation, and I have been staggered by the success. Our marriage is now well on its way to becoming better than it ever was before and I can see us being happily married forever now. My eternal thanks!

-- Mary Evans, (Seattle, WA) *
"I found the biggest benefit from Save My Marriage Today was that you are educators in life, love, and happiness and that someone out there is human and understands the demands of the common family in society today, including struggles with money, intimacy, and your life not just your marriage.

I have spent countless dollars trying to get help and was sadly disappointed in all until now with you.. Save My Marriage Today has been a blessing to our family and we all thank you."

-- Doug M. (Davie, Florida) *
"I've been married to my wife for 15 years now and I was at a total loss as to what was going wrong with our marriage. She just seemed to stop loving me. Thanks to your book, I've totally changed the way I approach the situation, it was not easy, but during the last three months, the turn around in our relationship has been simply amazing! And her friends are a lot more supportive of our marriage too... I am so grateful!"

-- Steven Kitchen, Edmonton, Canada*
Disclaimer: This information is not designed to replace the advice of a registered relationship counselor. While SaveMyMarriageToday endeavors to provide helpful and workable advice for dating and relationships, face-to-face consultations with a registered professional are still recommended. Information contained on this website is provided 'as is,' without warranty of any kind. The entire risk as to the results and the performance of the information is assumed by the user, and in no event shall SaveMyMarriageToday be liable for any consequential, incidental or direct damages suffered in the course of using the information on this website. The information and recommendations are intended as an informative guide only and do not guarantee any kind of success or permanent fix. Results may vary.

© 2020 SaveMyMarriageToday.com All Rights Reserved. "SaveMyMarriageToday" are trademarks used by Unica Publications. By entering, you agree to our terms and conditions. By entering your email address you are also requesting and agreeing to subscribe to our free email newsletter. You must be 18 or older to enter.To contact support use the Contact Us link above.
bars