can we really live in the same house and live apart?

enough

MyPTSD Pro
has anyone been able to avoid divorce by just living seperately in the same home?
i have no problem with being platonic and faithful to my vowes, I have so many hobbies and interests and projects that being free of my responsibility (Felt by me) to be a part of her life will allow me to do more of what i enjoy.
And not caring that she lies about anything that will make the next ten minutes of her life easier will reduce my stress levels greatly.
I have nursed her through 4 hip replacements and the infection that caused the extra two surgeries. I have put my life on hold for the last 10 years to try to help her through so many struggles, but i cannot stand the lies and disrespect and lack of gratitude for all of it.
I am being told I have to get my life back and if she isnt going to be a part of it thats her loss. She can sit and color in her adult coloring books, smoking her cigarettes and feeling sorry for herself. I am planning fishing trips and travel and a life free of the frustration of caring for her.
Or, I can just flat disappear.
there can be mo more love for her, I cannot forgive the sum total of lies I have been told, marriage counseling only works if both parties want to try and i am past thinking I could ever forgive enough of it to continue caring.
I have to end the life i thought i wanted and fine one that wont make me hate myself for tolerating it.
Does anyone here have any experience with making someting similar work?
 
Thank you for being so honest and candid @enough , I think I've gotten to know a little bit of you here to say you are fiercely independent, tremendously self-sacrificing and profoundly determined in your helping your wife. If what I say below doesn't resonate at all just toss it of course.

I am just wondering out loud, if it's less the lies than the realities of what the lies represent? In other words, shortening her future, disregard for you and her family (kids/ grandkids), your future as you say. Taking for granted you will be there, you will continue to pick up the pieces, even that you will forgive. (It makes sense with trust, it's built in small events x many.)

But as equally, you've made it together over mountains. in many respects you've built a life and dreams together (though probably doesn't feel like it now. When things are rocky even past memories are viewed in a negative lens).

At risk of negative feelings towards me, I will say I started smoking at 12, quit twice. Switched to vaping, Idk, about 7 years ago. I will say I quit drinking and gambling with less difficulty. I also realized the internal self-blaming with failed attempts to quit I should have lived without for their uselessness. I believe, in the case of many I know, beyond addiction it's self-medicating, often for ADD. (Current research for ADD meds is based on using the Nicotinamide molecule). I think ADD meds would easily remove my need to vape (I do choose the word 'need'. Probably also the 20+ cups of coffee I drink daily if given the opportunity also. At this point also likely cheaper!)

What I am saying is, it may be more complicated than anything anyone realizes or even the medical community understands. But also, you deserve an honest, mature conversation. (And I agree, if she was afraid of your temper I think she would be less likely to lie, tbh, i.e. she'd walk on eggshells.) At some point, without rancor or defensiveness, and hopefully trying to understand, it's your legitimate right to have a mature conversation about what is happening, and what is expected. You went in to this expecting (or having) a wife/ partner/ lover. Regardless if she smokes, regardless of her medical challenges, you have needs too, and a right to planning together with a reasonable expectation of mutual responsibility (to one's capacities) like two adult partners, which you have been to accomplish what you have. I'm sure you would love to have your partner and wife back, and she might need to hear that from you, also.

If her pain meds are too incapacitating, I think the transitional housing is a better suggestion to try to revisit.

I am so sorry you feel so frustrated, angry and disheartened. It feels very hurtful when you have given her so much. I hope you can find a peaceful solution.

ETA, women (I'm one) are less likely to break addictions because of self-pity (so it's said).
 
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And the farriers I know say it is getting worse because the average horse owners are less responsible and involved than ever before.
That's something that seems to be very true. I don't understand it at all, but I see it all the time. (Some of the stories are actually kind of funny and the last 2 weeks have been particularily extreme.)

Been sitting here thinking about all that you've written. Where my brain goes is that you're dealing with someone who's a narcissist. Those are the people who have made MY life the most complicated, so I'm not sure if I'm reading things right or just jumping to conclusions. I'm really not sure and it could be either. It matters because it will affect what you end up dealing with. A narcissist isn't going to play fair. For example. The deal with reaching for something on the bottom shelf right after surgery, rather than asking for help. My mom, who my T used to refer to as a "passive aggressive narcissist", might have done something like that. She would have been more likely to do it when she didn't feel like she was getting enough attention. After the fall, she would have been apologetic and would have gone on about how "poor little her" didn't want to bother anyone etc. I might have done something like that because I really didn't want to ask for help. Although I have a pretty well developed sense of preservation and my own limits. I would more than likely have come up with a creative way of not asking for help what, while it would actually work, I suppose it might be equally annoying. The difference, for you is that if it's a narcissist you're dealing with, she won't play nice. Because they don't. In my experience, they don't quit either.

The deal with the lying...... I WAS able to quit caring if my ex was lying to me or not. It's kind of ironic. When we first talked about getting married, I said I had one deal breaker and it was being lied to. He said he understood exactly what I meant..... So, I kind of divide people into categories based on how much I can trust them. In a perfect world, the person I'm married to would be someone I could trust. They can make mistakes, they can be wrong, but I HAVE to know they're telling me the truth as they know it. Other people? I have to be able to trust that my mechanic will do a good job on my vehicle, don't need to be able to trust him further than that. Random people? Don't have to be able to trust them at all. They can say what they want, it goes in one ear and out the other. It registers as "information" and if they're consistent it might move them up or down the ladder of trustability, but it doesn't matter much because I don't have any skin in that particular game. So, if you can somehow move your wife into that "I don't care" category, seems like it could work. That means letting go of a lot it seems. But you'd have to let go of the same stuff if you got divorced.

For the record, I'd like to think it's possible for someone with PTSD to love someone. I can't see anything about PTSD that would keep people from loving. The situation with your wife seems really complicated though. She'll accept help from the cousin but not from you? That seems weird. Having the cousin there might be the ticket. As long as you both can learn to live your lives without...... I'm not even sure what the word is, really. I guess you'd both have to understand the rules and be willing to play by them. That should be possible, I guess, but it might be harder than you'd think. I have a feeling there are more layers to this than are obvious. Maybe even you don't know all the layers. Honestly, I'd like to see a resolution that leaves both of you with the possibility of actually being happy. It seems like there ought to be a way to do that........
 
Honestly, I'd like to see a resolution that leaves both of you with the possibility of actually being happy.
It is right there, close but out of reach, and i can only control my own actions. But thanks.
I am talking to my T tomorrow and it will be about happiness and my coming to grips with the idea that unless i can find it alone but tethered to this marriage, it isnt in my future. It would have to be a happiness I am not familiar with, outside of happily married, outside of happily supporting my kids and being a dad, I dont know what happily retiring to a life of solitude even looks like. Happy traveller sounds possible, happy concert goer, happy home owner and maintainer, and happy grandpa is a great thought, but I am not sure what these happy things will be like unless i find the happy outside of the types i have experience with.
First I have to get past being angry and resentful, and past the idea that happiness is clothes, truck, gone. Then maybe i find a happy.
 
I am so sorry you feel so frustrated, angry and disheartened. It feels very hurtful when you have given her so much. I hope you can find a peaceful solution.
The whole “ giving her so much” thing is kind of beside the point for me. Not that your perception is wrong or to invalidate your opinion, but i give her what she needs because it is what i signed up for, my grandfathers all did it for my grandmothers and i expect my son and sons in law to do the same.
My mom died when i was young and I cant really speak for how she would see this mess, but my grandmothers and great-grandmothers would be clear about their feelings about partnership and mutual support. I have no elder family that i am in contact with, there is a religion barrier firmly in place. Maybe if i did I would have to deal with trusted people telling me to get the hell out too. And maybe i would have listened long ago.
All i wanted was a happy recipient of everything i have to give, all i wanted in return was a happy reciprocation consisting mainly of honesty and trustability. All i wanted was to be a good husband and not feel like a f’n schmuck for doing it.
the peaceful solution is right there. All she has to do is be a real person.
 
You are kind and gracious @enough , thank you for being so diplomatic too to my response. I did not mean to put words in your mouth, and I apologize for not finding all the ones I wanted.

I can only say from MHO, I do not know how your wife is. I DO know much of what you've done, and don't knock the commitment, fidelity and integrity it took for you and the men in your family to do it. That is in many ways a Real Man (old as the saying is) to me. And a gentleman. Your wife, well Idk where her head is at, but you are right, you can only make decisions based on your mind, gut and heart. Much as I recall my mom saying her relationship to my dad was rarely 50-50, it was 70-30, 30-70, 90-10 at times, you can't have a relationship of one. I have never heard of gratitude or appreciation causing grief. The head-is-in-your-as* term can apply to anyone and mostly everyone at some times. But, maybe @scout86 is correct in wondering if there's other stuff going on with her. Maybe she will agree to speak honestly to you about what these changes have meant for her, and what she has planned. In many ways it sounds like you have been overburdened with her care, and she also needs to do some care for herself.

I was thinking, maybe every time she has a smoke she needs to get dressed, and go outside? (..For the grandkids sake, and yours.. ?)

I am still and will be pulling for you whether I'm on here or not. I appreciate the update. Good luck tomorrow, and do something nice for yourself too.
 
Something else occurred to me @enough : commitment and love are separate; that is, you can have love without commitment, and commitment without love. That being said, actions are what counts vs empty words, however loving they may be. Every time you went to work for example, you showed your love (sacrifice) and commitment.

I know this is not the same, but you reminded me of something. I learned in my family to not expect love. Therefore I (though not always, certainly more so as the years went on however) gave love with no expectation, mostly acts of service and words, gifts too I suppose though I am not rich so not in Big ways. Which I suppose is what love is, it isn't giving to get. But the problem was, I didn't expect love, but I did hope for a modicum of neutrality. That is, I knew there wouldn't be love, but somewhere I hoped for workable normalcy. Which didn't come and set a low bar for my relationships the rest of my life. And I learned no matter how badly others acted, how disrespectful, uncaring, or violent or abusive to ignore or minimize it. Just as you said, to keep doing it. I think it was simply trying to get peace. And always giving others justification: they are too stressed, they are too tired, they are too worried, they are too pressured, they are too sore, maybe they forgot, maybe they meant well, etc etc and if nothing else just forgive it. It's no good and very destructive. I don't actually think it helps either person grow as a person. I think I can relate to you as I am simply a Work Unit also. And trapped. And the peace remains elusive. It also doesn't cause harm for people to consider one another, I think. But people have to choose what they prioritize. When you give without expectation you rarely prioritize yourself. Or sometimes, not enough.

Hope that makes sense. I'm too tired. If not useful just toss it of course.
 
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I know this is not the same, but you reminded me of something. I learned in my family to not expect love.
That is a lot right there. Our birth families were both less than desirable. I definitely had to "filter" the really awful stuff out of my relationship with my parents when I was around them, and after I was able to leave it wasn't much. I let them back into my life when they were old and needed help and it showed up pretty quickly that they had nothing but awful stuff and when filtered out there wasn't anything left. They had to go to my stepsisters for their needs, I don't know how that worked out but they weren't without options, I just wasn't going to be one anymore.

Tinyflame showed me a big warming fire today, thank you. Clues to the puzzle are always welcome

Hope that makes sense. I'm too tired. If not useful just toss it of course.
You say this a lot in your posts. I have not seen any reason to even think it. This was very insightful.
 
Thank you for your kindness @enough. Yes, I guess I don't have much confidence in my opinions, but I suppose I have allowed that to be influenced by family also. I always think of the saying, ~'Opinions are like as*es, everyone has one.' (Though I do think some are better formed than others. 🤣 )

In all seriousness though, I don't want to misrepresent family who weren't the same as others in it, or where it was more complicated. But you're right, some things never change. I am glad when your parents had resources you made a kinder choice for yourself. Abuse leads to nothing good.

It came to me, at least it's MHE, that what I (and from what I've seen, others) focus on if they are the type, gets the lion's share of emotion. Personally I think it comes from going through stuff, being aware, having some times too much intellect put in to it, and/or being responsible for what others aren't. So when we think of or notice something, we know where it can lead (because it has), or we are thinking of often cleaning up the consequences (when we know others won't). When others are thinking This Will Never Happen To Me, we know it can, we may feel it will Likely Happen To Me, given the facts.
But the negative thoughts are strong, whether they come out in despair or anger or hopelessness, etc.

I was also thinking though, if 70+% of problems are unsolvable, or rather perpetual, then what do we do? And I think you are right on to do things that bring you joy, peace or purpose.

I am often reminded of the Woody Allen skit where the guy says he is going to kill himself Saturday, and his friend says, "Hmmm, what are you doing friday?" 😊🙄

I also think something with ptsd-managing people that is often misunderstood, is perhaps seeing what is occurring as attempting to get perfection or control. IME it isn't the first one, I think it's very reasonable if someone is trying, improvement is great and appreciated, as we hope others would view our attempts, too. It's the feeling of, ~what else is this about, what is happening, where is the next trauma going to come from? (Probably a heavy dose of amygdala warning bells in there a lot of the time). The second, control, may yes be seen or interpreted as superficially like control, but I'm guessing comes more from a place of 'controlling' (impossible) future traumas or repetitions. And also feeling way too tired, way too worn out, and/or way too out of resources to go through another.

But really what we are thinking will influence how we feel and vice versa. I can only say I try, when I am obviously going down a negative diatribe of what someone has done, and here are all the examples and I can feel myself getting angrier or ashes-in-the-mouth, to think of what they've done the opposite, or what I am grateful for they do or have done. I also know if either one of us were on our deathbed it might not matter. But I don't want to be left with indifference either, and sometimes that's hard not to feel with hurt or betrayal or abandonment. When I feel that much doubt, I try to not think of it at all. Maybe time will change things, or the other person may grow or put in effort, or even want to (though I don't hold my breath). But what I can change is how I think about it and what I choose or how I react, and what I focus on. And recognize my limitations, not only where I fail or am guilty of the same but where I know it's not up to me to invest more than I have. After many years of trying for a solution and learning and working on myself, one sister said calmly, ~"It sounds like you've done a lot of work on yourself. Have you ever thought the problem may be only you?" It was at that moment that I thought, give it up, it could be, but one thing relationships are is 2 people, each one has a part to play. In a sense it was freeing. When I no longer had to protect others from others it also lost some impact.

Or at work, a situation disturbs me lately, the coworkers due the equivalent of leaving a plastic bag with a baby in a crib. For obvious reasons it's banned. It's hard to not think of it as lazy. Then I thought, the person, me and God see otherwise, I'll do what I want. Not only because I don't want them to suffer potentially serious harm, but also because it's not right to treat someone that way, esp someone who can't help themself. Your integrity has been the same; just because you've had that example doesn't mean you'd automatically choose it. But you have. Hopefully they will start to choose with your well being (including feelings) in mind a little more too. But whether they do or not you must, even if you start with small things.

Hope it went well yesterday. Enjoy something nice for yourself today! 😉
 
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This Will Never Happen To Me, we know it can, we may feel it will Likely Happen To Me
If you look at some of my older posts I use this exact same language. This is the most common I thing heard from MVA victims that chose to talk to the unfamiliar and never to be seen again first responder (me) about it. And from that I know it can happen to me and I feel it every time I drive.
Applied to the subject of this thread it means that when a situation requires a compromise or an agreement between my wife and I, I am already halfway to knowing it is a temporary appeasement or an outright lie and when it is, as is often the case, it just shores up the belief, ready to see another one coming.

always remember and never forget, I told my kids as they entered their marriages, the opposite of love is not anger. But the functional opposite of both is Apathy. Watch out for apathy. And now, I have to add, watch your dad try to master it like a new tool.

And thanks, I am being kind to myself today. I did the grocery shopping so I could hit all the specials early and get home, and I brought home a great big roast that I am slow cooking as soon as the pit is ready, to be smelled all day as it simmers into medium rare, while playing a guitar and maybe drinking some wine from a dusty bottle. Happy fourth to you and thanks for the wisdom
 
I can't see anything about PTSD that would keep people from loving.
It depends on the time of onset I am told. By the time I even felt anything like attraction, my experience with love was not a normal one. Love for someone else is probably stunted by the mistrust in all things associated with love instilled by my stepmother. I can't explain how I feel it to someone else any more than I can explain how I see a color or feel a warmth, but I carry a sense that it is different for people who have never felt the absence as long and as harshly as I did. I think that if people who have had love all of their life were suddenly dipped in the ink of having it purposely removed at the young age that I experienced it, it would tear them apart, they would simply cry their eyes out.
Trust is the foundation for anything on the love side of apathy, and not being able to feel trust is most certainly a symptom of my trauma.
 
The whole subject of "love" seems like a tricky one. Honestly, it's a word I avoid using. My T used to talk about how "loving and being loved" was what life is about. That always made me roll my eyes, which made him laugh. What it made me think, though, was "Oh, I hope not!" Because it's not something I've very good at. In my case, the "being loved part" is a problem. First, because it's rare to run across someone who actually thinks I'm "lovable" as opposed to "useful". Second because I tend to think of it as a trick. From your writing, you sound like someone who has plenty of love for others.

Something I was thinking about the other day. What happens to your property if you die before your wife does? It sounds like that's not likely, but I'm wondering if she shares your feeling that it's important to be able to pass it along to the next generations.

The roast sounds great! (And it's something I'd through into the category of "acts of love".)
 
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