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Am I just hanging onto her?

I’m currently in 2nd marriage that has been nothing but a bad rollercoaster for 6 years and I don’t know what to do. I’m a mess and my marriage is a mess. I started dating my wife not long after a divorce and I actually broke up with her for selfish reasons after a few weeks of dating and found out two weeks later that she was pregnant, so I went over to her place and asked her to marry me because I wanted my child to have both her parents together and that’s what everyone does in the military… A few months later she had a miscarriage and that was rough but we stayed together, tried again, and now I have a 4yr old daughter and a 15yr old step son.

When I met my wife in 2012 I had recently divorce and I was also diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and adjustment disorder. (12yr army veteran with 3 deployments). I was off and on medication for a little while. While I was off the medication I was under a lot of stress at work and I was failing to perform at the standard that I should have, even though I was trying my best. I never got any mentorship or guidance from my boss and I ended up getting fired and moved to another position that was less stress. Even though it was an easier job for me, I still felt stupid, worthless, and a failure. My boss was overseas when he told me via email and I replied and told him I wanted to kill myself. Within a few days I was at home with another boss and my wife found out about my suicidal ideation. She had no idea I was going though this much stress and since then she’s “lived in fear that I’m going to kill myself.” I went back on medication (Lexapro) and although I wasn’t depressed anymore I also wasn’t feeling happy either.

For the next 4 years I was emotionless, disconnected and numb. I was unable to show any empathy and started having the same arguments with my wife about me changing but I didn’t know how. She told me she wanted someone “on the same wave length.” While we were going though a hard time I was talking to someone online without any plan of meeting. My wife found out and she called me a cheater for that.

I moved to another company in the army and continued to have problems at work. I had a boss I didn’t get along with and in front of my whole platoon he called me out and told me I wasn’t doing my job and that no one had any respect for me. I would have angry outburst while alone, not towards anyone except myself. I punched the side of my car, I punched my windshield and cracked it, I threw things and punched myself in the head. This would usually happen when I ran out of my Medication. Lexapro (an SSRI) works but if I ran out I get very emotional, get these weird zap feelings, and I feel sick like I had the flu within a few days. My wife didn’t like me being on medication to begin with and it became a fight when I would run out and behave this way.

I fell into a deep angry depression, and I didn’t care about myself or anyone. I felt like a failure as a husband and as a coworker. One day someone left a wallet at work and I had the great idea of stealing a debit card and using it. I figured he would report it and the bank would give the money back, which they did but I also got caught and charged with a felony larceny (I spent 700), which later was dropped to a misdemeanor and I paid restitution. I was lucky that I only had to deal with local court and not military court (UCMJ). Everyday I live with guilt and embarrassment for that stupid decision.

We have these same fights, where she says I cheated on her, and “robbed a store” (credit card theft). Its like she keeps ripping open these wounds that I want to heal.

While I was going though the court process I also started a medical board from the military. So I had legal issues and I was also loosing my job. I was a mess, and my wife decided she was going to go on a cross country trip with the kids while I finished up court and processing my med retirement out of the military and then return. I hadn’t told my parents what I was going through so my wife called them for me. My parents and my sister had a disagreement over the phone with my wife about her leaving me. Suddenly I was getting upset calls from my wife that I must call my family and “fix it.” I called my family and they said my wife started the disagreement and she put my mom and my sister in tears. I took my wife’s side, calling my family and telling them that I supported her being gone for a while because I was not fun to be around… Since then my wife and I have had the same fight about me fixing the relationship between her and my family. Yet she refuses to put it behind her and never wants to visit my family. Now is two years later and she still feels the same way. For almost two years I didn’t talk to my sister because I was frustrated with her even though it wasn’t her fault.

Recently the conversation came up again about my family and I pointed the finger at my her for starting the fight…At times she has gotten out of hand. After one fight she told me to leave (leave for a few hours and return I thought), well when I went to leave she started yelling and wanting to fight me… I would never put my hands on her and I always try to leave the situation or try to calm her down. She has put her hands on me more than once. I have always felt like I was the cause for it and that she was just angry but lately her words have started to bother me and I feel like she can me emotionally abusive. It started with her calling me a coward for not wanting to fight her and walking away, and recently she called me a “fing stupid idiot” and that I’m “dragging her along” and “won’t let her leave.” She has her own problems too and I blame some of her anger on the way she was physically and emotionally abused by her mom.

About 6 months ago I had an X message me and express feelings for me, which I told my wife about. This was someone I dated for a month after I left for the military and was best friends with before I left for the military. . Her and I just connected well and I would talk to her a few times a year, and we talk about how she’s doing and the kids. I wouldn’t talk about my relationship because I knew that would be inappropriate. In the last year she had been on my mind after developing health issues. I have no intention of being with her, she’s married, 3 kids and has a chronic illness. I think I was most worried about her dying because she had already stopped breathing a few times. Anyway I saw a post on face book about soul mates and I wrote a reply and talked about this friend. I didn’t tag this friend or expect it to show up on my feed, but it did and my wife read it. My wife wrote my friend, told her what I said and that I was available because we were over… I’ve since said a prayer and wrote her an email apologizing. For once she actually liked what I said. Most of the time when I apologize she says that I’m just defending myself and making excuses and that me saying I’m sorry doesn’t’ mean anything.

I got out of the military in 2017 and got off the medication in 2018 which has been the best thing for my health. I still get depressed at times but I do my best to stay positive and take things one day at a time. I just recently moved to the middle east for a contracting job for a year before this last fight happened involving my friend/X. For the next year I’m trying to avoid anymore drama, and show repentance in my heart so that I really make a change. This way if it does end in divorce I will know I tried my best. I’m wondering if it’s healthy for my wife, my kids, and I to keep trying at this broken relationship though? I’m afraid to go home in a year and have problems. I would almost rather it be done now, but I still love my wife and want my daughter to have her parents together. I think the real test is when my daughter is old enough to understand our fights, since it’s already effected my step son and I don’t my daughter to go though listening to us fight. Thank you for taking the time to read this long post.

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@MarkC

I’m sorry you had gone through those difficult times. I wish I can cheer you up, but I have nothing. Once again, I’m sorry.

I think people often times try to stay together for their kids, even though they are miserable, and it can honestly just make things worse. For one, you deserve complete happiness, and no one should be stuck in a marriage where they have doubts, and don’t feel complete. Your wife deserves that as well. Your daughter will benefit more from seeing both of her parents happy, even if that means they aren’t together. I’m not telling you what to do, because you need to follow your heart, but it sounds like this whole things is kind of stemming from a relationship that you aren’t sure about. You and your wife both could be so much happier your situations were different.
It’s completely up to you, however, I do not feel that it is healthy for your child to continue to see her parents unhappy. It just demonstrates unhealthy relationships.

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@larynjoy
Thanks for reading.Your not the first person to say separation maybe better for all involved. I’ve lost count how many times she has brought up divorce during an argument. I never know what to say except I’m sorry and I’ll change, but I think never be the person she wants me to be. I’ve come to realize that her anger is part of the problem as well but I try to excuse it with how she was raised. It’s just hard to let her go, especially right now while we aren’t in a place financially. After I got out of the army she bought land in AZ and for the last two years we have been living on it in our RV. Our plan was to build a house on it as soon as we got out of debt, but now I don’t know how that’s going to happen since we get in an argument about little things when we are together. My plan would be to get out debt paid off and get her into a home in the next two years, regardless of if we are together. The only hard part is deciding if I want to sign a mortgage with someone I may divorce?!

I think my biggest fear is being lonely and getting into another bad relationship. For the next year maybe two I’m working overseas and won’t be dating anyone. I need to learn how to be happy alone. I know how to it’s just net letting loneliness get the best of me.

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I think you just really need to take time to think what’s best for you and your daughter. It’s okay to put your happiness first.

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