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Knowing When To Call It Quits

SoDisappointed's picture

I have tried. I really have. Therapists, couples counseling (in the beginning), medications, meditation, support groups (thank God for steptalk ), and even disengagement (both partial and total). But whatever I try, it’s never enough and somehow I end up coming out as the bad guy. The total lack of support and understanding from my DW is something I cannot bear because having been married once, and not having that was something that made me into someone I did not recognize. I cannot and will not go down that road again. I am a better person than that and I deserve more.

While I am still open to see if couples counseling can salvage anything from this marriage, I am only met with resistance. That tells me just about all I need to know. She is willing to throw away whatever we had in an attempt to keep her disfunctional family happy. We are not responsible for our adult children’s happiness. My regret is not listening to my gut and heading the warning signs earlier. She is not ready to be married and probably never will be. Her children clearly do not care about her happiness because early on one of her sons said he “has never seen her so happy and you (me) are the reason for that.” Oh how things change when the NPD 30SS starts to exert his will and opinions on everyone.

I just never thought it would spill over into how my DW viewed me. But now that is gone too and I am to blame for all of this. WTF? Not my disfunctional family that worked so hard to come between us. I’m the one making all the sacrifices and trying to come to a workable solution. I’m the one looking to try to salvage whatever is left of the marriage. I have given all I can, and still it’s not enough, and it never will be.

A brief 10 months of marriage, and only 6 weeks before all this sh!t storm started raining down on me. I will not sacrifice my mental health or long term happiness for this disfunctional group any longer. If the DW does not feel the need to seek outside help, she can seek other living arrangements. For all I care she can move in with her mini-husband since she cares so much about his happiness.

I am so done with all this right now and while I regret wasting so much time and effort on this, I can at least take solace in the fact that I did everything I possibly could to try to recover from the damage they inflicted on our marriage. But in the end a marriage is a true partnership in every sense of the word. When one partner is not committed to the partnership anymore, it is over. They should have a chance to make corrections if they are able to see that they are not living up to their commitment. But if they cannot see that, there really is no hope and no reason to continue.

Count me in the group of those that tried disengagement and in the end, the marriage did not last because it cannot be all about one person. Oh well...

Rags's picture

The beauty of an end in this situation is that it is also a beginning.  Embrace that and enjoy the new phase of your life adventure.  Rags' three day rule is in order.  A break up only hurts the worst for about three days.  Then each day after day three it hurts just a little bit less untill eventually it is just a passing occassional unpleasant memory that highlights the great things in your life.  Unless you re-engage. Then it all starts over again.

Take care of you.

young_step_mom's picture

I am sorry you are going through this.  I have been following your posts since you joined and I know how hard you have tried to hold on to your marriage, but some things just aren't meant to be.  Please take what you can from this experience and move on.  You seem like such a nice man, so willing to put in the effort and I am so sorry that your wife doesn't appreciate you and isn't trying to meet you halfway.  Love can make you weak, and I truly believe that it takes much more courage to leave than to stay.  I hope that you find the courage to walk away from this and that you find the happiness that you deserve. 

mapitout's picture

You have been gracious in allowing us here on STALK get a close up look at a marriage in peril in real time, I'm sure someone has benefited from your openness and you've helped someone by asking for help. That's pretty much making lemonade outta lemons. 

SoDisappointed's picture

As my my mother taught me, in every bad situation, there is something good. Find it and learn from it. Crisis comes to those who use it as fuel to grow into a better version of themselves. And most of all... it is in times of crisis that a person’s true self is revealed. It’s hard to keep up any facade when dealing with stress and emotions.

Clearly the woman I fell in love with is the person she perceives herself to be. But in crisis she has shown me she is not who she thinks or pretends to be. She  is not ready to be married, and more importantly, her kids are not ready to let her have any life of her own. It’s very sad really  

As for me, I will never again compromise my core values and let anyone define my value. Not even someone I am married to. There are too many people in this so called marriage, and that’s not for me. 

Moving on... A new and better version of myself. 

SacrificialLamb's picture

Doesn't look like you are getting anything beneficial out of the marriage. Your wife does not seem to want to take the steps to save the marriage. Why would you want to stay with this person, other than the loss of a dream? I guess you've come to that conclusion too. I'd cut my losses and move on.

At our wedding reception, DH's two daughters stood up and gave a speech (I later learned that they think they need to give a speech at every function, since they think they are so cute)  and said they had never seen their father happier than what he was with me.  There was not a bit that was sincere. Just the night before OSD, in her late 20's, complained to a group of people that now she could not just go to her dad's house whenever she wanted. The "you make my parent so happy" act is just to look so nice to the parent and others and that is all. My narcissistic OSD was already undermining me and my own bio children to her father. 


SoDisappointed's picture

Very telling when through any and all of our talks there’s not a single “I’m sorry” from DW.  I say “I’m sorry” more than I say “I love you” now. All these things add up and if she is unwilling to seek counseling, it’s done. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Stop being sorry. There is nothing to apologize for! Keep your head up and know that you are standing in your truth and not jeapordizing your values for anyone, not even your W. You think your W or step kids are feeling sorry for you? Its not a healthy emotion, so shake that off and start thinking of what you are going to do for your future and focus on that.

jrpartner's picture

Sorry about your troubles, and I feel like we have a lot in common.  From what you've said it sounds like you've done all the right things and you should be able to move forward with a clear conscience.  I have dealt with a tremendous amount of SS drama, and my SO has been for the most part unable to repair the relationship with her son.  I too have wanted to call it quits, but been unable to take that step.  Good for you, for deciding enough was enough and taking care of yourself.  I can learn something from you- thanks for sharing your story.

SoDisappointed's picture

Sometimes the right thing to do is also the hardest thing to do. I stayed way too long in my first marriage because I didn’t have the courage to end it. I know who I am, how I care, and how much I love my wife. But sometimes that’s not enough. I have to care about myself enough to know what is no longer healthy and when the other person just doesn’t put the same value on the relationship. I can say I did my best and gave the marriage (and her) every chance. But in the end when all 3 skids fell for the toxic rhetoric from their NPD brother, and they all wanted it to be over, it was done. And sadly, that was 3 weeks ago. Too much has been said and done to save anything from this huge mistake. 

fairyo's picture

There is never any going back- only seven weeks since I left the X I still wonder, 'What if I had done this,'  'What if I had said that?' but these thoughts are getting fewer and fewer, and now I know that I am where I should be.

Even if these things are patched up the cracks will re-appear on a regular basis, those skids will still be there, and you cannot control them or the relationship they have with their mother. That is the reality of Steplife lived by the people on here day after day, and sometimes year after year. 

Last time I went back to the house the X was there, again, in the daytime when he could never take even an afternoon off work for me, that spoke volumes to me- and he went upstairs and hid himself in 'his' room like a teenager and we didn't even speak. He is, and always was, an emotionally sterile individual with equally emotionally damaged children. I am away from that now- it will take time of course, but every morning I wake up to a day that is mine, and if I want company I can go see my family or old friends that have welcomed me back with open arms. I even have conversations!

The X was married 3 times before he met me- I thought I would be the last because I loved him more. But, when people don't learn from their mistakes they are set to repeat them, and repeat them he did. It was never the wives, I come to see that now, but him, and he will probably already searching for number 5.

Things await you you never dreamed about- they may not be what you are wanting or thinking about right now but they will come, and one day you will not think of your X at all. I'm still waiting for that- but it will come. I have taken heart, like many others, from your honest and heartfelt story so please, you take care and please also keep us informed how you are getting on.

SoDisappointed's picture

This has been rough and things have gotten pretty raw for me. But I realize things will never change. My thoughts about going to therapy were to determine if there is anything left to salvage in this and if that would be enough to stay together. But the resistance and placing blame on me was the last straw. I am done and moving on. 

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

I am sorry you have reached this point, but at some time it crystalises that your situation is hopeless. It will not change because your spouse has no intention of changing. They can not help but be who they are - to your detriment. Your heart hurts but dont lose the new found truth in a quest to make that hurt go away.

Be careful now because if you do pull the trigger, your spouse may agree to counselling to stall a divorce, to stall you leaving, or say things that give you a false sense of hope. You are me, when I was in your very position 6 months ago. And yes, the issue was the kids, but mainly SD21. My spouse wanted counselling, it was court ordered, so I went through the motions, but nothing would change my mind. I had seen a history and pattern of actions that no different future would make up for - no matter how sincerely promised. I was done. 

I wish you well because your journey forward is going to be hard and hurtful. However every hurt you feel is one less when the sun rises on the next day.
I dont hate my STBXH. Neither do I feel anger towards him. I am sad for him because he chooses to live in his diminished world focussed on his daughter who uses him because she refuses to grow up and stand on her own feet. You know what you want and need from a relationship or marriage: to feel valued, loved, respected, cherished. Not second to meddling children coddled by your spouse. When your marriage is crowded by people you havent invited in, and can not kick out, its time to find the courage and strength to say say good bye. Do it for you.   



SoDisappointed's picture

i have accepted the situation for what it is. Sad. And I have realized it will never change. What I have finally realized is that there is nothing here to move forward with. I am really sad for all these disfunctional people, but I cannot sacrifice any more of my life in this hopeless situation. It is time to separate and go our own ways. It’s all very sad because of how happy we use to make each other. And now it’s just very sad.

futurobrillante99's picture

When do you plan to have her out of the house and file for divorce? It's your house, right?

SoDisappointed's picture

It is my house. She’s not talking to me right now. I am making plans and getting my things in order. I expect that in the next day or so, or at least by this weekend, I will tell her to make other living arrangements because web need to separate. 

sammigirl's picture

Do what I did....after you get your business in order, go to the door, hold it open, and ask her to leave and make arrangements to pick up her things on your schedule (no 30 day notice).  Then have the locks re-keyed and tolerate nothing further. 

It worked for me; but it is not an easy task.  It takes more courage than I thought I ever had. The pain in your heart is almost intolerable. 

My marriage came back around and is doing better.  It is different and not what I wanted or what it could have been.  But I have my own life now and it is peaceful.  My DH is totally disabled and my story is different for different reasons; but it can be better for you than what you are living. 

Sorry for you pain and suffering.  It will pass.


disrestep's picture

I am sorry for all you are going through. I would be doing the same as you, in making plans and getting things in order to get on with my life assuming my spouse will be leaving. I guess I would of asked my spouse to leave even sooner, met with a good attorney and made sure my spouse did not have access to any of my bank accounts, credit cards, etc.

You have to do what is best for you. Think of this as a new adventure. There are so many good people out there. Do what you enjoy and be happy you will not have to deal with mean, narcissistic people. I find keeping busy with work and hobbies, relatives and friends keeps my mind off of things.

Good luck with everything.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

may be quite surprised to find her son has no room for her once you ask her to move out.

Mini wives and mini husbands can be very selfish creatures. But thankfully, that won't be your problem any longer.

SoDisappointed's picture

I already know she doesn’t want to live there. And he won’t want anyone impeding on his space. 

CLove's picture

Why things changed almost as soon as you got married, and everything was peachy-keen-perfect right before? I dont know ANYTHING about your situation, except what you have shared, but if you are the one with more resources, get out now, she is a gold-digger. Hopefully, if you own your home, she wont be entitled to anything. Please be certain that all joint everythings are closed and blocked, before THE TALK. Then get locks changed. All the time and energy you have spent on trying to save your marriage, channel that into protecting yourself. I am out in California where it is community property and no-fault, so I have heard many stories.

I am sorry to read of your pain, and hope that you experience a better future!

Keep us posted.

Rags's picture

My XW pulled the Jekyl to Hyde change ... the night we married.  I married what I thought was a sweet, intelligent beautiful young woman and literally when we got to the hotel after the reception she locked herself in the bathroom, came out an hour later in ratty granny panties and a hole riddled T-shirt looking like she crawled out of a dumpster with the frightening personality to match.

For the 2.5 years of that marriage I never again saw the sweet beauty that I had married.

Who knows why crazy is what it is?

sammigirl's picture

This is exactly what happened when I booted DH to SD's.  It is what they "thought" they wanted, NOT.  That is when I realized it was their problem and I was not going to ever make it mine again.  Even though my DH is back home and our marriage survived, it is not my problem and it is never will be again.


SoDisappointed's picture

It all came to a head and I can do nothing right. Whatever I say is an attack against her family. I cannot live my life as someone’s disappointment and constantly have everything I do be turned against me. I don’t know this person anymore and she clearly has no feelings for me. She has made her choice and it’s not me that made her choose, that’s on her kids. She can keep telling herself that I am all the things she hears from her kids because that makes it easier than admitting they are being rue, selfish, and spoiled little brats. It’s finally over and I know there will be a sense of relief as I pick up the pieces of my shattered life and move on. Alone. Guess we fell into the 72% of second marriages that fail. I tried, but it really takes two to alexi any marriage work. When you add in three spoiled kids that want to break it up and a mother that puts her kids above the marriage, it has little chance of ever succeeding. Done. She’s moving out. 

Rags's picture

Do not go forward with the perspective that you life is shattered. Congratulations on the start of your new life adventure!  Take some time to rediscover the SoDissapointed you like being and embrace that part of your journey.  When you are in a good place and least expect it.... you will find the equity life partner for you.  I have found that the next amazing woman has all of the best qualities of her predicessors with several amazing things that are uniquely hers with few to none of the baggage of her predicessors.   The filter of our own experience in those prior relationships helps make this happen.


At least that is how it worked for me following my divorce nearly 28 years ago.  3yrs later I met my incredible bride and nearly 4 years to the day after I was divorced my bride and I eloped and have never looked back.  We both learned from our past relationship experiences and brought that experience to our marriage.  Those experiences are part of who we are and are in large part what make each of us the person the other loves so much.  I would not be the man and husband that I am today if it were not for the experiences I brought to our marriage and the experiences we have had together over the past nearly 24 years.  The same will happen for you when the time is right.

Now for Rags' Three Day Rule... A breakup only hurts the worst for 3 days. Then each day after that it hurts just a bit less until eventually it is just an occassional unpleasant memory that wrinkles your brow.  Unless you re-engage.  Then the whole process resets and you have to go through the process again. I don't recommend that part.

Your situation just dredged up a memory from my own divorce.  The night of the day my XW moved out... I had a date.  I called an old GF and we went do dinner and ended up spending several days together.  During that time I rekeyed the locks on the house.  XW came banging on the door a few days after she left and I answered the door with a towel wrapped around my waste.  I would not let her in.  When she was winding up for a shreek fest my companion came walking out of the bedroom wrapped in a sheet.  It was classic.  By that time my give-a-shit about my then STBXW was less than zero.  She had been cheating on me for the whole 27mos of our marriage to that point.  I just closed the door and locked it and went back to the bedroom with a huge grin on my face.  While the demise of your marriage is far different than mine was... your STBXW was never all in as you were.  So... get that straight in your head and move on.  You have nothing to regret other than the wasted time. IMHO of course.

Take care of you and the best of journeys to you as you move forward.

fairyo's picture

I have followed your story SoDisappointed from the start. I am sorry it has ended but I think we all had a feeling this was inevitable. 

What Rags is saying is spot on- stop being disappointed and now be hopeful. I also believe the three day rule, but mine is to do nothing, put your life on hold, do the basics- eat, sleep, go to work and on the third day take action. It was something I was taught and it does work.

Now it truly is only about one person- and that person is you. Only you know yourself well enough to know what you enjoy, who your friends are, what opportunities you missed whilst you gave/shared your life with another. Grab your life now with both hands and wring every last drop of joy from it. None of us should be defined by the partners we have but by who we are as unique people. Celebrate your uniqeness! 

I am only saying this because 6 months ago I could not see a way through my situation with theX, but six months down the line it is coming to its full resolution with the sale of our joint home. Now I am moving on, enjoying my family and friends, my job and my freedom to be the person I really am, instead of that sad reflection of someone else that I had become.

Unlike Rags I doubt there will be anyone else for me- the lessons I've learned have told me I overlook the faults of SOs at my peril, and they all have them- the other side is finding someone who can overlook my quite considerable faults, which I am no longer prepared to correct, as they make me who I am.

Push open the door and walk through it with your pride and integrity intact, as these are more precious than someone who could never have appreciated them, and who knows where it will lead?  I wish you all the happiness that is to come.



Rags's picture

Just take care of you fairyo.  The future  has a tendency to take care of itself.  And... I for one am not ready to give up on your findng happiness and the right person to continue your life's journey with. 

I swore I was done.  But... I was wrong.  I even shelved this incredible woman I have been married to for the past 24 years.  I just didn't have the energy or courage to make another run at a marriage after the gutting I took the first time.  Then my dad called me.  My brother had told  him that I was considering getting married again but had decided against it.   My dad is a man of few words and his words during that call changed my life.  "Son, you have a choice.  Go through life with a series of partners or take one more shot at building a life with someone."  Followed by the Click of the phone hanging up.  Thanks dad!

Not long after that call we eloped and the rest is our story.  It is a good story and it continues.

So, deep breaths and enjoy your new journey.  Take care of you... the future will happen and .... when you least expect it...... Yahoo