when do you say that a relationship is still worth fighting for and worth ending

March 13, 2007 6:54am CST
I have been married for almost seven years to a woman who was my girlfriend first for two years and a half. When we were getting married, I noticed that she really can't keep up with me in terms of handling responsibilities. I ended up organizing our wedding and not her as the bride organizing it. This frustrated me a lot as my concept of marriage is partnership. As she is older than me by thirteen years and that I am such a competitive person, I thought then that maybe I was "competing" with her and that if i slow down and let her take part in the relationship, things would be a lot better. As a product of a broken home, I really wanted the marriage to work and was willing to try anything. So i did slow down and let her take part in the relationship. I noticed however that she really has tendencies to take things well too lightly and not think of her responsibilities. Occassions like spending the money we were supposed to use for our rent, payment of our electric bills, using too much call time of her sister's cell phone which i end up paying, not doing her part in setting up our business, not doing her part in running the business, etc. etc. keep cropping up through out the marriage. I would also think of ways to earn and save money while she always think of ways to spend them. What made things worse is that the very values i fell in love with her turned out to be not so real after all. I met her at a time that I was strange with my own family, i.e., parents and siblings. I saw that she was from this happy family and I thought this is what I need. During the early years of our marriage, we would spend holidays and weekends with her family and well it was ok. When I made peace with my family, however, I thought we would be spending some of our holidays and weekends with my family. What i discovered later however is that while I was all too willing to share my time with her family, she was not with mine. She would complain about going to my mother's or father's place or having my brother as a visitor or even my lending some money to my sister or letting my brother sleep over. These are things I wholeheartedly did to her family and it hurt me a lot knowing she was not willing to return the favor. I have to stand for my family and we always end up fighting. The fights have been getting more frequent and has scalated to bigger fights. I have reached the point where I am no longer with the marriage but can't let go of it as I have put too much of my emotions and I feel like i will fall apart if the marriage falls apart. I don't wanna go old lonely, I don't think I will be happy with her again, but I was told its unfair to her if I find someone else without breaking it first with her. I am confused, please help.
2 responses
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
Hi, niceguyjoey, I really appreciate your message. So I'll try to give you a constructive advice. AT first, I may say from your message you came tru as a very genuine person to me, in need of desperate advise, answers, solutions... and a shoulder to cry on, so you may get it of your chest. But from what I have red, you have searched for answers in the wrong places, or maybe have done things for the wrong reasons. First, here is my story, so I will be fair to you. I do understand your present situation and what you feel because I have been thru this before, my husband and I separated 3 years ago. I know that from the start we married for the wrong reason. (1) Because my family situation was not that harmonious, and (2)I run away that time, I thought I would be more secure with him because he was 9 years older than me. (3)I was pregnant.(4)I wanted to prove to my family that they were wrong. (5) Thefore, I believe so much that I would be able to build a family of my own and be happy. I ignored the signs or whispers that told me, there is something wrong. I wanted my marriage to be successful, even if from the start we had so many differences. He didn't even want to get married at first because of the lack of money. But my parents push us thru, as long as, I had really thoroughly decided and made up my mind about it. So make the story short. It started badly and I fought for it, but he left me, hanging with questions, and a situation that was hard to accept at first. But I have made it. Now from your post, I think, you had the same signs. I don't blame you for pushing thru with your plans and decisions. I admire your integrity. But the way to healing for me, is analyzing your situation first, so you may understand or see things that you may have not seen before. Primarily, you met her at a time, you needed a person, where you wanted to feel loved.(which lack from your family at that moment). You have seen her family happy so you assumed you'll be happy together. You have admitted to be a competitive and a responsible person. And said that she can't keep up with you. I sense too that you have a great expectation about marriage because you came from a broken home. From my point of view, may be you have expected to much of her, especially because she is older than you. And may be the reason she didn't help for your wedding, it's because she knew that you'll prepare it well. She knows that you are a responsible person. It doesn't necessarily means that she didn't care. Maybe her expectations were not as great as yours because she was already in her late 30's. For her spendings, may be she is not aware of your financial situation, or how bad it really is. May be she relies on you too much that's why she doesnt worry. For housechores, may be she is not able to work that well, I think because she may be in her mid 40's by now. May be she is tired easily. And not every woman is a good housewife or housekeeper. For your family, you have said that you have met her at a time where you were bestranged with them. May be she still has a first impression of your family in her. Because you may have quoted your family badly, or because of the past situation, she got a wrong feeling about them. Or she may have seen that you were hurt badly, that why it is not easy for her to thrust your family, that they won't hurt you again. My advice is talk to her, communicate more. Lay your cards on the table. Make a HE and SHE chart of your present post. Bring her to a place that you are not surrounded by negative energies. Your home is not the best place at this moment because it contains too much memories that may blurr your points of discussions. And have you too much fired up. Pick a place where no one would disturb you, or lock yourself up if you want in a hotel room, where you set that no one would get out until you come with a mutual solution. But don't say it to her verbally it might ruined the atmosphere or put too much pressure on her. Because if you still have doubt, your marriage is still worth fighting for. May be you have just misquoted her actions or even she has misquoted you. Be honest to one another, poured your heart to her. I don't think she'll be that insensitive to your feelings. May be she just doesn't know what to do to or what to say. AND IF, after you have tried my suggestions and you come to a mutual agreement to end it. At least you have no remorse, no regrets, no hanging feelings or questions. You have no doubt about your decision because you have talked about it, settle your issues and have agreed together. AND IF that time arrived, I shall advise you to..,if ever it happens ha. Take time for yourself, live for yourself, search your own happiness, not with or in another person. No one can complete you if he/she has nothing to complete. Take time to reflect and heal that's the only way you can start as NEW.
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
Wow, Thank you very much. I must say I received the most intelligent and sensible advice from you. I am in the process of getting advices from people not only to get different points of view but more because I really wanted to get this off my chest. I've been hurting a lot for so long now. I must say that I really am starting to hate her more than love her. The reason I seek advice is to give me a clearer perspective as I know my judgement is impaired right now. And that I do not want to make decisions in this emotional state i am in. The truth is doubts came in as early as two years in the marriage. The truth is I have not been happy with the relationship for the last two years and a half. I have pleading to her that she's making it harder and harder for me to enjoy and to want to stay in the marriage. I have been pleading to her to stop causing problems in the relationship. I have been asking her to please start taking my pleadings seriously - to no avail. To some extent, I feel liked I have reached my boiling point. Thus, my decision to start looking for another partner. My present date, however, though I feel she has feelings for me as well, hesitates at the fact that I am married. Thus, my decision to seek people's advice. As much as I want to share this matter to my family and friends, I choose not to. I still respect her as a person and I do not want my friends nor my family to start seeing her in a negative light. I also believe that if I start sharing this to my family, it would hasten the breakup as my family would surely encourage me to do so. As to my friends, most of them just got married and I do not want my marital problems to cause fear in their respective relationships. As such, as hard as it is, I found myself seeking advice from people I don't know through the internet. Stupid ha? hehehhehe, I don't know, I am just burdened and all that. I have been praying a lot recently and I consider strangers like you who give me good advices as God's messenger. Yes I have been reflecting a lot, spending most of my nights at Luneta and Quiapo Church just talking with God. I must admit that I have not done some of those things you suggested and I must say they're worth trying. I must say though that I have already poured my heart to her - a lot of times already. I did it in a very calm voice and avoided using strong words. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible. I have done that. I really feel bad about this. As a product of a broken home, I really wanted a happy married life. Before I got married, I talked with my father and told him that I will not compete with the kind of husband he was but I will try my best to become an ideal one. Being a successful family man with a contented wife and happy healthy kids was one of my most important goal in life - and I am about to fail. The last time I talked with my wife in our bedroom, I told her everything. I told her how I felt about her careless spending, how she treats my family, how I view marriage as partnership - for better or for worse - but I can not feel her during hardships. I told her how I decided to slowly released my hold of the commitment of marriage as I no longer feel like our relationship is going to last. I told her everything. Through it all, she did not respond. She did not tell me what's on her mind. She just laid down there in silence. The following day, she talked to me like nothing happened and acted as if everything is normal. I just wanted to shout. Everything's not normal damn it! Everything's not fine! she acts like this will just go away. It won't just go away! She's obviously trying to stay in the marriage but is not willing to admit mistakes or at least explain her side. I am not a horrible person. However, with the way things are going, I am afraid this will force me to do horrible things. I do not want that to happen to me. I am trying to keep my sanity through it all but everyday's a mental torture right now. I am very grateful for the advice. At least now, I have other options to pursue. Your probably beautiful as your nickname suggest but I would love to consider you as God's angel who offered me a new light. Thank you and please continue sharing your wisdom. I will keep you posted of any developments in the future. Thank you once again. God bless!
• Philippines
23 Mar 07
I am thankful and I appreciate that you see me as one of your angels. It would be a much too great citation to receive. I have only done what it's in the best of my knowledge to help you. And honestly, I even wondered if I hadn't said too much or went overboard. I felt from your post that you are deeply hurt. It is not an easy situation and I know it. But as long as you have doubts and hopes for your marriage there are still many solutions or answers. You have already tried to talk to her, but try again in a more private setting, not in your bedroom, may be you had already too many discussions there so her mind automatically shut down because she knows it would be another endless one. That' s why she wasn't able to say anything. And also because you have mentionned that you had decided to release your hold of the commitment of marriage. It may have sounded pretty heavy to her, and she might have felt blamed or guilty of whatever you have said. And it seemed like you had already made up your mind. She may know that she has played an awful part in the situation. But she can't admit it to herself and tends to ignore it because she can't handle the pressure. It doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't care, maybe she just doesn't know what to do. Try to talk to your family, your friends, her friends especially. Maybe they had already noticed something wrong with her. Or she had confided to them of any of her other own problems. Maybe she has also many issues of her own. That's why she can't cope up with the situation. It is possible that she mentionned something to them. And they have not told you because you did not seeked for advice or help. And there is still a probability that they won't promt you automatically to break up. They are the closest persons to you and they know both of you better than anyone. I know they will understand the situation. And it will also prepare them to what may eventually happen. And given her age, maybe she is also to proud to admit to herself that she wasn't succesful in her marriage. She can't bear what will be her family's reaction, your family, her friends, the society. The pressure is pretty heavy when you think of becoming a seperated woman. So as long as you have many "maybe" and "if" on your mind, you haven't made up your decision yet. For your date, I think she is not that clear with her feelings. I think her intuition senses that you have not yet decided on your situation. She may feel for you. But, try to focus, maybe is just infatuation, and the human aspect of longing for someone to love or care when you hurt deep inside. Just beware, to not add more problems in your life. It is an heavy situation already to handle. Beware of the load you can carry, of the load your heart may carry. And I think that a good way to avoid thinking of horrible things to do, is to accept whatever may happen with your marriage. Maybe you were just not ment to be together. Things happen for a reason, and there is a Greater Being out there who watch over us. He will always be there for you, whatever happen and whatever your decision will be. Feel His love and embrace, and you will be just fine. Have Faith.
@Mbirck (73)
• United States
13 Mar 07
You need to truly decide what you want in life. If you want your marriage to work you need to make it work as best as you can. I would talk to your wife about counseling. It seems you both need it for marriage issues, but she also needs it for her spending problems. Its not normal to want to blow money set aside for basic living expenses. But as for being unfair to find someone else until you break it off, not only is it unfair to the women you took vows with its immoral and would make you a cheater. So wait until you know if your marriage is over or not and you both know this and end the relationship. Once you are seperated from your wife you are free to do as you wish but you have to finish what you started first with your wife. About your family. She is wrong here and hopefully some counseling can make her see that. Goodd luck to you.