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Sinking Fast

by Rodney
(Bicknell, IN, USA)

I am now unemployed, currently going through with a divorce. I have three kids and I have my ex telling me that they are afraid of me, but when they are with me I honestly don't see that fear. Just this summer I took the kids with me to my home town and tried to spend some quality time with them. When they were with me they seemed to be happy, but when their mother would talk to me on the phone she would tell me that they are miserable and wanted to go home.

Our marriage was quick to start, we really didn't date to get to know each other. The relationship started more physical than emotional. She got pregnant and we got married. Probably really all for the wrong reasons. We fought most of the time and to be honest we didn't have much in common. With all of our fights she is never in the wrong and tries to have it to where I'm to blame for everything. She's good at it. But on the times that she is in the wrong and she knows it, she refuses to admit fault and apologize for it.

We do both agree that we had our faults, and no longer have any trust for each other. Two years after our marriage she decided to "come out of the closet" and I had no clue. She tells me that she has every right to explore her inner self and expects me to just go along with it. I have told her that I do have issues with that and it seems like she doesn't care what I think or how I feel. I tell you this to give some background.

I do have both anger issues and a degree of depression. However, I do keep my depression under control. I lost my father when I was still a toddler. I have throughout the years lost family members and good friends. While I was working, I dealt with death very frequently.

My two major careers were in the following: I served in the US Marine Corps for 4 years of active service and 1 year in the active reserves, and I've been working in the Critical Care areas of nursing for 7 of my 8 years as an RN. Prior to that I worked as an LPN for almost 2 1/2 years. Fortunately while in the Marines I never saw combat, but working in the medical field I have seen many people take their last breath, weather it be from natural causes or from accidents.

I have helped families deal with their loved ones either actively dying or with sudden deaths. There have been a few that I have gotten close to or that the circumstances were too close to the deaths of my family members of years past. As far as anger, I do express it more so verbally than physically. I had chosen to work long distances from work and home so that I can either scream or cry before arriving either at home or work. I am a firm believer to try to keep the problems of home and work separate from each other, but have on occasion allowed the two to mix.

As I mentioned, I am going through with a divorce. This is actually the second time around with the same person. The first time my wife filed and we were separated for a short time, but did get back together. The divorce was not actually finalized, but put on the back burner. The second time around she filed again and now we have been waiting for it to become finalized. Right now I have moved back in with her and the kids to try one last time to work on the marriage, but with the depression and anger over the years, it isn't going so well.

Some more background on why she filed for the divorce both times. She filed for the divorce because we grew apart, she found someone else to be with, and then informed me that she wanted the divorce so that she and her new partner could make a go at starting a new relationship. With all of her relationships that she has had whether we were married or separated, none of them have lasted very long, and none of them made her happy.

She filed for divorce because I no longer made her happy. I do have resentment and anger towards her for cheating on me while we were married and together. And as mentioned earlier, she decided to "come out of the closet" while we were already married for two years and then acted on it, and after having her first female to female experience, she decided to tell me. Yes it made me very upset with her. No I'm not completely innocent.

Before she had her first female encounter she threatened me with divorce from about a year into our marriage. Just prior to her female relationship she wanted to file for divorce, so I decided to put out a personal ad. Yes I was wrong for doing so, and yes she did find it. Immediately after she found it, I did delete it and have not created any personal ads during any times that we were together, yes I created them during our time of separation, but when we got back together, I deleted them.
Even while we were together, she had personal ads out actively seeking other women to have a relationship with. I told her that I didn't approve of them, but they were never removed.

Yes, I have an anger issue and yes I want help, but I also want to know if my anger was all for nothing. My wife keeps telling me that I have no right to be angry and that she now has given me the ultimatum, either get help with my anger management or get out of the house. She has told me that she and the kids should be able to live in a happy house. Yes I know that I have anger issues, but she too also has a very short temper. She has a very sharp tongue with me, the kids, and her mother and siblings. Do I not have a right to defend myself, do I not have the right to be angry? I know that it's not healthy, but what am I supposed to do?

We have tried marriage counseling, but she quickly stopped going, especially when she was told that she too had faults and was in the wrong. Help me please. If you need more, I will try to accommodate. I am feeling that finalizing the divorce is the only answer to some of these problems. I love my kids with all of my heart and would not do anything to hurt them or allow them to be hurt by anyone, including myself.

If the divorce is finalized, then my kids and I will be about 1200 miles apart. I can't stay in the area where my wife (ex) is at. I know that I will need to have some distance between her and I to keep things as civil as possible.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Rodney, and thanks for telling your story on this site. You said, "I am feeling that finalizing the divorce is the only answer to some of these problems." From all that you've written here, I think you're right about that. Your marriage just does not look viable, for a lot of reasons.

For marriage problems to be resolved, all affairs and behavior toward extramarital affairs has to stop completely. Also, both people have to be willing to take full responsibility for their part of the problems. It appears that you don't have either of those ingredients.

If letting go of the relationship is difficult for you, you might find some help on this page dealing with that topic.

If you just can't let go, or if you really think there is a good chance that you and your wife can be happy and stable together, then take a look at this page on relationship advice.

Anger just does not work for communication. I suggest you try to keep all anger out of your interactions with your wife. And I encourage you to consider that the best thing might be to end the relationship.

Make up your mind to connect with the goodness inside you, and make your decisions from there.

I wish you all the best on your journey, Rodney.

Dr. DeFoore

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