Supporting Your Spouse

After I was told we would divorce, someone on Facebook posted that my ex-wife was fake. This was the husband of a longtime friend of hers. I do not know what prompted the comment. Frankly, I don’t think she knew either. It bothered her and she sought advice from me, which I provided.

There were lots of things like that over two decades together. I was a sounding board for her troubles and questions. I did my best to comfort, answer, etc.

It didn’t work the other way around. I was told to “Be a man!” once when I asked her for help with something.

Before we broke up, I recall telling her that I felt alone. Anytime she had a problem or was bothered by something, she would bounce it off me or more frequently her family. Her family was always her parents, brothers, and sister. She did not consider her husband and children her family.

Meanwhile, I had no support system. She told me not to talk to her about my problems at work. I have no friends. I don’t talk to my mother or sister about stuff like this. I was expected to negotiate it all alone.

I was in Toastmasters for eight years. The vast majority of the speeches I delivered were given less than five minutes from our house. She never heard me speak.

In 2011 I was assaulted by the owner of the gym that we attended. Her response was, “I am not quitting the gym.” And she didn’t. She booked Fritz‘s birthday party there and made me play nice with my attacker for several hours.

During our marriage, I could never keep up with her in arguments. She would say things like, “Well, on Tuesday three months ago you said this and that,” and I would be so confused as to what we were arguing about that I could never logically respond.

More than a year after the divorce, I am seeing how messed up this relationship actually was.

I shared with her on numerous occasions that I always felt less than a man around her. It is the above that did that. I was expected to be there for her (understandably), but I was absolutely alone in our marriage as far as my thoughts and needs were concerned.

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