Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Facade

Posted by Anonymous.

We have been married for nearly 15 years.

We stopped having sex 10 years ago, right after the baby was born.

You were dishonest with me.

You used me.

You married me because you wanted to have a child.

You knew that I was scarred from my divorce and the distance from my oldest child.

You knew I wasn't the kind of man who would walk away from his own child.

I know that you like me. I know that you are fond of me. I know that you might have some feelings of love for me... but the truth is that you don't really respect me.

Do you know, or would you even care if you knew, that I get sex elsewhere? Probably not.

You know... in blogland, most people think that I have the greatest life. I should be more honest with the people that read me... but I guess I am as dishonest with them as you have been with me. We have a nice home. We have nice, responsible, respectable jobs. We are active in our church and community. We take family vacations and smile in the pictures.

We are full of shit.

You may be happy with all of this, but I'm not.

It's 7 A.M. on Sunday... and in two and a half hours, I'll be at church, teaching Sunday school... I haven't been to bed yet. I don't know what to do. I just don't. I am fucking miserable.

When our child graduates from high school in eight years, she will be going off to college. When she leaves, I'm leaving, too. I gave you the best years of my life, and as much as I still love you, deep down, I hate you for it... but, you probably don't care about that, either.


Hayley said...

I'm sorry. Hang in there.

ewe are here said...

I'm so sorry...

Have you asked her to try marital counseling with you? To see if there's any feelings of love and committment on her behalf re your partnership to resurrect? Because this is no way to live.

Anonymous said...

If this is truly how you feel and how you truly think she feels, I think you need to have a sit down talk with her now. And depending on how the conversation goes, go into couples therapy together, or split up. You can not continue living a lie for the next 8 years, its not fair to you, your wife or your child.

Mr Lady said...


I won't presume to know the inner-workings of your family, but if I know one thing ever it's that staying for the kids doesn't ever work.

I'm so sorry for your situation. I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I don't know what else to say.

I'd really encourage you to not sell 8 more years of your life away. You're not getting anything in return.

The day my father left, and he swore he'd never get divorced, never leave his kids, that day was the happiest day of our lives. We got our father back. He wasn't angry anymore, he wasn't miserable anymore, he actually could give us something of himself because he finally had something to give. We preferred only seeing him on the weekends, seeing him with his new girlfriend and their kids, and really BEING with him than the shell of the man who came home and was so angry all he could do was scream at our mother and beat us.

We never ONCE wanted him to come back. We wanted our father, and we knew our mother sucked the life out of him. And we were 5 and 7.

Anonymous said...

@Mr.Lady -
"we knew our mother sucked the life out of him" - could it just be that they were NOT compatible? That's it? Nothing else? Could it be she wasn't a devil spawn? It's wonderful how we encourage men to move on, but the women are left out to dry. She's left to raise the kids by herself while he gets a brand new family and his old kids are on his side because mom is frustrated and tired as hell and the kids don't get to see HER happy. I know you haven't said how you feel about your mom, but that statement just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe you didn't mean it the way you wrote it.

As for the poster, if you're willing to invest 8 years to wait for your daughter, then do it. But don't think that it will be less painful for her. Especially during a time of transition, where she's just coming into adulthood. I'm sending you my best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I think you should leave now. It seems the damage is irreperable at this point. My parents "stayed together for the kids" and have nothing to show for it.

Nissa Nicole said...

If you're as miserable as this sounds, do your child a favor. Leave now.

Actually, that's a favor to all three of you. It doesn't make sense to wait it out. That's just delaying the inevitable. More years equals more pain, more fixing that will have to be done. She doesn't deserve that, your wife doesn't deserve that and neither do you.

I haven't been married 15 years, but I was the child of an unhappy marriage. And I'm saying,for your daughter's sake, teach her how to love, lose, and do the right thing.

I will be wishing the very best for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Staying together in a loveless marriage and raising your child with that example is worse than exposing the child to divorce. People who stay together for their children are many times staying together for the wrong reason.

Just my two cents, I hope you can come to some decision, because your happiness should be important, too.

Anonymous said...

For the person who felt the need to rip MR Lady a new one:

Go read. Read the archives of her blog. Go now. You'll realize it wasn't that they were just incompatible. There was a lot more to it than that. Her mother was/is nuts.

Anonymous said...

me too. but i'm the wife. my son will be a year old next week and the last time we had sex was the night he was concieved. and it was 8 months before that. and six months before that. not even on our wedding night. i'm in a loveless marriage too and am here for the kids, because they love their daddy and because i can't provide them with the same kind of life they have now if i'm doing it on my own. just know you're not alone in this. good luck.

Anonymous said...

oh and by the way, i wouldn't give a rat's ass if he was getting sex elsewhere as long as nobody gets pregnant and its not taking food from my kids' mouths.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually comment, but I feel like I have to this time. I think that you are making a huge mistake to wait until your child leaves for college (for yourself, your wife, and your child). My father did that, and I don't think I will ever forgive him. I think he was a coward, and the fact that he waited until I left? I thought that it was especially mean to my mom. More importantly, for your decision at least, it made me feel that I was at fault for my father's unhappiness. Because, if it hadn't been for me, he would have left sooner. I don't think you want your child to feel that way too. You will serve your family much better by being honest with everyone, and living with your decision.

Anonymous said...

too damn bad that people who are in opposing situations can't get together. Come Sunday, my husband will be teaching Sunday School, too - but it is he who hasn't touched me in 4 years.

I'd love to grow old with a man who loved me mind, soul, and body - but that ain't happening for either of us. Pity.

Mr Lady said...

To clarify:

My mother was a horrendous piece of shit who shouldn't have been allowed to breed in the first place. My mother is a waste of oxygen. Thanks for asking.

My father left us and moved 2 blocks away until we were all older. By then, my mother had frightened us all so much that we wouldn't talk about the things happening behind our doors, and so he accepted a job far away.

So, yes, maybe he got the better end of the stick, but he stopped beating us until we bled the day he left, and that was an improvement. A big one.

Thanks for asking, really.

Mr Lady said...

And for the dad who asked the question, I'm not implying that YOU would take out anything on your kids, I was simply trying to illustrate a point that sometimes children aren't scarred forever by divorce. That sometimes, a happy father and mother make a child's life better. If your wife hasn't had sex in 5 years, I doubt she's very happy, either.

I just can't imagine that if this weight was lifted, that maybe you'd have more emotionally to give to your children, and maybe your wife would, too. People do deserve happiness.

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that the problems in your marriage are discussed here entirely in terms of something your wife did ten years ago. I'm sure that there's more to the situation than what you've mentioned here, but it still seems symptomatic to me that the unforgivable sin she committed then is more prominent in your mind than whatever day-to-day problems are occurring in your marriage now.

Are you staying in this marriage to be noble? Or because her lie provides a convenient justification for all that sex you're getting elsewhere? It seems like you perceive yourself as a victim of her choices, but you're making decisions of your own here: decisions to hold onto resentment rather than to forgive, decisions to stay and have affairs rather than to forge a meaningful relationship with your wife or with someone else.

Jane said...

This was very moving to read. I'm sorry this is your situation.
My parents split when I was 8. And maybe that's why I think that, sometimes, staying together for the kids is the best thing for kids. Hope you get the strength you need for the road you are on.

Avalon said...

Did anyone actually read what this man wrote? About how has already suffered through a traumatic divorce and the loss of a close relationship with his older child.

If you had actually read that, maybe you wouldn't be so quick to toss out simplistic advice like "leave now", "don't stay together for your child".

He obviously knows, all to well, how much he stands to lose again. I bet he wishes his decisions were that easy.

To the poster, I wish you luck and strength no matter what you decide.

Maggie, Dammit said...


Peace to you.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, here's the problem with this situation: "...would you even care..." and " probably don't care..."

Why are people recommending that he leave his wife and child, because she doesn't care, when no-one knows what his wife really thinks.

I know a man who was poised to have an affair because he thought his wife didn't care, that it wouldn't matter to her; turns out she cared a tremendous amount. What was missing was the open communication for the two people to say how they really felt, and what they wanted out of life, and out of the relationship e.g love, connectedness, someone who has your back, loyalty, time spent together, a kind word, an authentic relationship. Ask and reveal. Ask how she feels and reveal how you feel. Why not see a professional to help you sort out where the relationship is at and where you both want it to go? Long suffering is NOT a reason to leave a relationship. IF you have turned over EVERY stone of rehabilitation and it still is not working for you, then you can choose to leave. It does not sound to me like you have done that. Why would anyone recommend that you leave with out any evidence that you have done that???????????? In the center of this mess is a very young child. Does she not deserve at least this much, I think so.

Anonymous said...

This is a tough situation and given that I'm in the process of ending my marriage, I can empathize.

In the end, a happy parent is a better parent. If counseling won't work, the best thing to be isn't necessarily married or divorced. The best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and set yourself on a path to be the best "you" you can be. If that's with your wife and she's willing to help "pull the wagon", great. If not, you need to start yourself on a new path.

It's a tough call, I know.

And as for the shock to those who think you have a great marriage? I was recently told this...

"The happiest people we know are the ones we don't know well."

God bless.


Anonymous said...

"You knew I wasn't the kind of man who would walk away from his own child.

I know that you like me. I know that you are fond of me. I know that you might have some feelings of love for me... but the truth is that you don't really respect me.

Do you know, or would you even care if you knew, that I get sex elsewhere? Probably not."

Let me get this straight, you say, and I quote " don't really respect me." and yet you also say, and I quote you again "...I get sex elsewhere..." So here is my question to you "who is disrespecting whom?". Additionally, you say "You knew I wasn't the kind of man who would walk away from his own child" do you think she knows you're the kind of man who would choose to behave to "get sex elsewhere"? If so, would she have chosen to get together with you? Would she choose to stay together with someone who "gets sex elsewhere"? EVERYONE has a deal breaker, and for most people it is "I GET SEX ELSEWHERE"! Perhaps instead of being so concerned about when you're going to leave her; you should be concerned about when she is going to leave you. You say you are scarred from your first divorce and yet you choose to behave in a way that causes most partners to become scarred. How do you explain that? Do you and your wife have an open sexual relationship or are you breaking the commitment of an exclusive relationship? I'm not talking about what you are physically getting at home, you have said you aren't getting any. I am asking about what the perceived commitment / agreement between the two of you are. If I asked your wife if you and she have an open marriage, what would her impression be. Have you even discussed it?

Anonymous said...


the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.

to show regard or consideration for

esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability

deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment

to show regard or consideration for

RESPECT: to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.

RESPECT, have you earned it?????

Anonymous said...

"I get sex elsewhere"

"I gave you the best years of my life..."

You call that BEST? Let me know if I have miss quoted you.

The Grown Up Teenager said...

I'm not married, nor am I a parent, so I won't even venture to give you advice from that perspective because I've never been there. But I'm in my early 20s and made the jump from living at home high schooler to living outside of home university student not that long ago, so I can shed some light on that side.

It won't be any easier on your child if you leave at that point. Moving away from home and changing to a new academic environment is a huge change, and personally speaking, I clung to the security that home was still waiting for me, just like it had always been.

What I'm trying to say is that there is no "good" time for a child to see their parents divorce. But I think its unhealthier for a child to grow up in the type of environment that an unhappy marriage creates.

No one is happy in a home where the parents resent each other, Dad is finding sex elsewhere. Give your child some credit. They know when things aren't right.

I suggest you take any steps necessary to make things better, or call it quits if you don't think its working. Don't wait years. Its just giving your child a bad model of what marriage is, and that does no one any favours.

Anonymous said...

Human communication theory would tell you that I am not responsible for responding to something about which I do not know. It would also tell you that when there is discord between two people it is because someone feels disregarded. When you next feel disregarded discuss it with the spouse. Keep the conversation on the present incident. Do not dredge up the past by saying things like "you always..." Don't tit-for-tat a person, i.e. when the other persons says "I feel X when you Y" don't hijack the conversation by saying well tit-for-tat I feel A when you B. Keep the topic of conversation on X and Y. Don't get into a character assassination with "you always...". Watch your tone. Research shows that if the other persons infers, even if you don't mean to imply, but if the other person infers, that you are saying they are doing something wrong, the human default reaction is not to co-operate. The average person would dig their hills in, become stubborn, that leads to stalemate or fighting where the conversation and the relationship spiral downhill. So, watch your tone and body language. You are here to openly and maturely discuss, not to accuse or bully or play the victim. You are here to discuss, to move forward. It helps it in that moment you can remember something you like about the person so you can stay focused on being reasonable in the conversation. And always remember, that the truth without COMPASSION can damage a relationship.

I am not responsible for responding to something I don't know about. Talk to me. Learn how to talk fair. Get help and guidance in learning how to discuss fair.

Signed, spouses everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Is nobody else bothered by the fact that this man is not only "getting sex elsewhere" but he claims to be active in his church and is teaching Sunday School? I for one would be irate if I found out that I had a man teaching my kids sunday school who so disregards the sanctity of marriage and has a mouth like a dirty sailor.

Her Bad Mother said...

Everyone: this is space for sharing and frank discussion and so it requires that we be respectful and that we exercise judgment carefully and considerately.

Got that? Good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the advice, folks.

Avalon: Thanks for the thorough reading.

Others: I make no case for my own saintliness. I'll tell you this, though... I made no agreement on celebate marriage when my wife and I got married. I told her so, years ago. She looked me in the face and laughed. So, yes, we have talked about it. More than once.

Am I an ogre for teaching Sunday school while having had affairs? Maybe, but if I recall scripture clearly "there is none righteous, not one", so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Should I leave? Maybe I would be happier, personally. Would my absence be better for my child? Would it be better for her to have her parents seperated with thwo households? Would it be better for her if her mother and I would have fewer resources than we currently do to provide for her? Is it wrong for me to want my daughter to have better things than she would have if her mother and I parted?

Yes. I confess. I have a "girlfriend" of sorts who is in a similar situation. We see each other from time to time. Neither of us are particularly rpoud, and we don't make excuses. It is what it is... but as I said: I have no intentions of being celebate. That might do for some... but not for me.

"I get sex elsewhere"

"I gave you the best years of my life..."

"You call that BEST? Let me know if I have miss quoted you."

Yes, I do. I'm not a priest. I didn't sign on for celebate marriage. Did you? My family still gets everything I have.

"RESPECT, have you earned it?????"

I have, indeed.

"If I asked your wife if you and she have an open marriage, what would her impression be. Have you even discussed it?"

Actually, we have, thank you very much. Having said that, let me say that you are probably asking the wrong question. I don't blame you for that, because most people, and lets be clear... most of you are women, so you aren't looking past "I get sex elsewhere"

About conselling. She doesn't think that we need it.

Hayley, Ewe, Mr Lady... thanks. We'll get through this... we have to. I appreciate the open ears and the generous hearts.

"I for one would be irate if I found out that I had a man teaching my kids sunday school who so disregards the sanctity of marriage and has a mouth like a dirty sailor."

I suspect that you, madame, probably get irate about a great many things. Having said that, let me say that my commitment to the children in our congregation is undying, despite my domestic situation. Maybe I shouldn't tell them about about being saved by grace, no matter what our sins are, because I am sure that is the message of Christ is. Perhaps the Sunday school teacher at your church is free from sin. How wonderful for all of you, I'm sure. Oh, and I'm not a sailor... but I spent eight years as a United States Marine. Want to see my combat scars?

I appreciate all the thoughts that have been expressed... for those of you who are of the praying variety, I would appreciate your prayers... especially from the the lady who presumes to know my views on the "sanctity of marriage" I'll be praying for her, too. I suspect she may need that more than me.

Anonymous said...

I understand. :(

Anonymous said...

An update from the Original Poster.

Things are looking up since I posted the original piece. No, we aren't all of a sudden shagging like randy teenagers... but we are talking.

I needed to let some things out that I had been bottling up, and I feel much better.

My marriage is going to survive all of this, folks... do you know why? Because neither one of us is a quitter, and at the end of the day, making a strong effort on both fronts is probably going to be enough. We're strong. We're committed, and we are leaning on our faith and each other.

I appreciate all of the advice, constructive and otherwise.

Peace be with you.

PS: Catherine... I don't have enough words of thanks.

Oh... and yes, we have talked about my needs, her needs, and what I have been doing about them.

Anonymous said...

An update from the original poster.

It's been seven months since I wrote this. Guess what? I'm still here, and our lives together are much happier.

I sleep better.

We talk more.

I still teach Sunday school.

I told my wife about the girlfriend, who understood when I told her we were through.

Again, thanks to those who wished us well. Those who sat in judgement? Well, bless your hearts.