When Marriage Sours

This is a post about marital disappointment and cheating. Not a post I planned to ever write.

But I introduced the topic  HERE, so really something needs to be said about it.

After removing myself from that pernicious hospitalization, I drifted aimlessly in sadness for two years, never allowing myself to care for anyone or even accepting a date. I felt unworthy and critically flawed.  The depression waxed and waned, but, over time, became more ingrained until I began to see that if I didn’t change something, everything, then I was going to find myself right back at square one, only this time I would engage that horrible suicide plan.  I was not in treatment for bipolar disorder and this has been the driving point of most of the mistakes in my life.

I felt like this

I wanted to feel like this!


I began to think about what my life was missing.  Working nights at an enormous hospital, the days were one dreary mix of stress at work and insomnia at home.  I missed the feeling of belonging that S and I had together and wanted emotional closeness with another soul again in the worst way.  But there was no one who seemed appropriate.  Of course I was too hard on everyone and wouldn’t allow a guy a chance with even one date.  All of them had something Wrong.  I needed a good swift kick in the A.  I did not rely on God to meet my needs, nor did I ever ask for His guidance.  A critical mistake.

Brent an I became re-aquainted two years after my hospitalization at a wedding. As a former boyfriend,  I was reasonably comfortable with him, and he had never dated anyone after we broke up.  We quickly decided to get married and I figured it would change my circumstances enough that my depression would go away.  See My Mother’s Prophesy was True: I WAS Late To My Own Wedding for a very funny post on my wedding day.

We had a comfortable marriage shell wrapped in loads of baggage.  Both of us came with problems related to a rejected relationship.  Neither of us were honest with the other. I didn’t tell Brent about fibromyalgia and bipolar problems, and he didn’t tell me about his spending and computer game addiction.  Further, Brent has an unfortunate romantic type.  He is better at long distance relationships.

Our best friends were our neighbors across the street.  We did everything with them.  Over time, their marriage failed and we had to watch it falter and fall apart.  Brent was always closer to the wife and she began to lean heavily on him, calling him at all hours.  When she left the state, a new woman took over, one who lived in another country.  Now Brent lived on email and I realized that their relationship was a problem when I intercepted an IM.  He admitted that she wanted him to run away with her but he wasn’t going to leave me.

I had two tiny children at the time.  And I was furious.  I condescended to marry him at a time when I had the money and the beauty and everything and this what I get in return.  A spendthrift who fantasizes about other relationships and all the while I was a drudge juggling everything including a very tough job with call.

This ate at me for years.  Then I got ill, really ill.  So ill I couldn’t go from my bedroom to the laundry room without feeling faint.  I couldn’t get up without severe pain in my joints.  My hands were very swollen in the morning and I had to take three-hour naps.  After a year-long workup I was diagnosed with multiple medical conditions requiring many medications and treatments.

I turned 40.

I used to laugh at mid-life crisis,  but now I certainly do not.  It is a powerful time in a person’s life.  The turning point, the last hurrah for fertility for women, the last easiest point for major change.  At least that is how I saw it.  My husband did not support me with my illnesses and I was a drudge.  I could barely keep up and it took all my sagging energy to manage the house and my job.  His spending was dragging us deeper into debt.  I was better off without him, at least then I would have an easier load.  He could have all the stuff, the kids, everything.   I would leave with nothing and just try to take care of me.

For the 15 years of our marriage we had not hardly been to church.  I tried several times, even becoming a member of a very large church and an Awana leader, but I never stayed or became very active.   I decided that was my first goal and I wasn’t letting him lead me astray again.  So I started attending a church.  And made plans to separate.  I didn’t want counseling, I just wanted to re-start my life.

Right at this time a friend who I have known for my whole life re-entered my sphere and we leaned heavilyon each other as he was separating from his wife.  Or so he told me.  Long story short, she did not know that he wanted a divorce.  I told Brent and we fought constantly about it.  The friend said nothing to his wife at all.  After six months, our long distance friendship ended drastically and Brent and I decided to stay together one day at a time.  The one day has turned into 5 years, and we are amicable.  The wife found out through snooping on my friend’s computer that he had intentions to divorce and made it a reality for him.

Ouch.  My fault.

I am married because my husband was tenacious at refusing to let me or our marriage go.  We are not a perfect couple and struggle daily with communication.  But he really is devoted to the marriage, even if he isn’t always devoted to me, and we share a whimsical sense of humor.  We have both re-dedicated our lives to Christ and our goals are less ME focused and more God focused.  And that helps with those feelings of drudgery that I get when I feel taken for granted.  Now I say something and most of the time he will help, eventually.  I try and let go of the bad as much as I can.  I try and put limits on spending and ignore the computer game irritation.  This blog is a good place to vent and I try and do it in a humorous way.  It helps.

I hope that marriage for us will deepen someday from a wary, amicable friendship to a true connection of mind and heart.  I am young enough to hope for more.  I hope that reading this rather sad history will help you in some way, whether it is to find help for your own marriage, or to realize that marriage shouldn’t ever be entered into for reasons of loneliness or depression.

I have at times been sadder and lonelier in marriage than I ever was out of it.


14 comments on “When Marriage Sours

  1. I discovered the hard way that there is something much worse than being lonely, alone, and single- being married to the wrong person.

  2. There is nothing more lonely than being lonely together. You’re amazing that you’ve stuck with it so long. I hope you find happiness at last!

  3. Living in a marriage that is loveless is the loneliest of places to be. i feel I am an expert in this field. But you know what I think. What are you two going to be like in your 80’s?

    • I wont live that long! I have short lived relatives! LOL. M, I take it one day at a time and have now for 5 years. Life is quiet and sometimes slightly sad. I know we have talked ad nauseum over this, I wrote it as a response to a comment, not to drag it back up again. Nothing bad is going on, other than my suppressed grieving. Grieving for a loved one brings all grieving to the surface I suppose, so perhaps this post is pertinent after all. Sometimes I dream of being with someone that I cant wait to run home to and throw my arms around but then I think that I could never be that way Im so dried up inside and so chock full of illness that I already am 80. He doesn’t deserve to have to live with someone like me but he chooses to so for that I am grateful.

  4. I’m sorry you’ve had it so rough Lori.Having stuck together this long and found a shared direction maybe things will start to change for the better as his addictions ease and your sadness ends. Maybe you can grow into each other and find a settled and lasting love for each other.
    xxx I send Hugs Hugs xxx

  5. Very well expressed. I think you hit the nail on the head, your current grief brings a lot of thoughts to the surface. Losing someone you love is a sad time in your life and can change our perspective. hang in there, it sounds as if you’ve found a way through. I’ve learned over the years that no one has everything.

  6. Two can be the loneliest number. I have a great roommate just not a great life partner.

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