My angry outbursts messed up my marriage

I rarely ever do this, but I came across this page and thought I’d give it a shot to get some advice.

My wife of 7+ years has decided to divorce me. I’m her first love, first husband, and first of many things. We got married young in our 20’s while I was in the Marine Corps. We’ve been through a lot together and have built many amazing memories in our marriage.

We did have normal issues in marriage like arguments over cleaning, finances, etc, but sometimes she would make things out to be bigger that what they are and push my buttons by using the blame game tactics. There have been times during our arguments that after a while of feeling put down as a man or feel like she’s demeaning me as a man, I go all Marine on her and say a bunch of hurtful things although none of it is true. I’ve had a few episodes of throwing stuff at the wall, slamming doors, and breaking things but I never laid a finger on her.

I rarely ever lose my temper without some kind of issue that sparks from my wife. I’ve been very loving, loyal, faithful, you name it. I don’t drink nor smoke, I took care of our finances as she would forget to pay the bills on time, and I feel like I’ve done all the duties a husband should do for his wife.

Sex wasn’t an issue, romance wasn’t an issue, no other thing was an issue except for my outburst during our arguments. These arguments stem from really petty issues such as cleaning the microwave, yet she would continuously become persistent in making me feel guilty for not cleaning the microwave when she wants me to. Stupid right?

Anyhow, she told me she’s closed off her heart to ever work things out with me because of the mean and hurtful things I said during our arguments. I understand words hurt but my actions have spoken otherwise. We are currently separated and through this separation process things seem to have gotten worse between us. I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I did act desperate and I did beg her to give us one last chance. I even told her to give me 90 days to prove to her that I can get her heart to remember the love she had for me. I’ve offered to do counseling, go to church to live a Godlier life together as her parents do being that they’re really religious.

I’ve tried everything and have said everything. I wrote a long letter to her, I’ve acknowledged her feelings and told her I understand multiple times and I’ve also sent many text messages to ask her what I can do to save our marriage.

She’s given no effort back, she’s gone on more than a couple dates with other men just "coffee meet ups" as she says but I can’t honestly believe that as now I have trust issues and believe maybe she could have done more. She’s denied me multiple times and she actually just went to get the divorce papers the other day.

Her parents don’t agree, nor do they recognize how she is anymore being that she’s deciding to put no effort into bettering her marriage nor save it. Her sister and mother have been comforting me throughout this process and tell me that hopefully she comes to her senses before she divorces me.

I’ve done everything I could to be the best husband I could for her and I would love for people to give me advice on how to deal with all this and possibly better myself in a way that I can’t see that maybe my wife can so that maybe she can rethink about divorcing me.

Again, I don’t do drugs, smoke, drink, I’m a full time college student, disabled veteran that can pay to support my wife, I’m ambitious, I have goals, I can be funny, loving, and give a lot to her more than she gives to me, I fulfill her needs in the bedroom, I am overweight but at least go to the gym to build a better physique, I volunteer at my local dog shelter giving back to other dogs, and many other things. My only flaw is that I’ve verbally abused my wife and I’ve shown lots of remorse over my words by showing her through actions that I’m very sorry.

What can I do to save my marriage? I know I have no control and must be patient but is there something I’m missing or is she just blind and really doesn’t care about the things I do for her as she wants a divorce. Is there ways to win her back and open back up her heart? Again, I rarely every come-on stuff like this site and post a question but I guess you could say I’m desperate to save the love of my life. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Response:

This situation is truly heartbreaking. You clearly want the chance to work at saving your relationship, but your wife has made it clear that she’s not interested in going down that path.

The research on this isn’t encouraging. It takes two people working toward the same goal to make a relationship work. Your wife no longer shares that goal. If this is the case, the best you can do is to tell her that you love her, and you respect her decision.

It doesn’t matter what you want or what other people think is best for your wife. What matters to her is that she feels that she’s being treated with love and respect—especially, when it comes to decisions about the most important aspect of her life—whether she wants to be in a relationship with you.

If you really want to show her that you love her, honor and respect her decision. Trying to convince her to give you another chance or talking about the problem with other people in her life, probably comes across as being disrespectful. In short, the harder you try, the more disrespectful it probably feels to her.

If you can respect her wishes, she may consider giving you a second chance (or she may not). However, by respecting her point of view, you’re showing her how much you love and value her.

While this may seem harsh, our intent is to be helpful. Research shows that people can and do fall in love again. By letting go (and going through the suffering that entails), you’ll be free to move on as well.

If your relationship does come to an end (or you somehow get back together), please keep in mind that ANGER kills a relationship. Outbursts of anger do serious and lasting damage to a relationship (see healthy relationships and how to talk about problems).

Everyone in a relationship gets frustrated and angry from time to time. How that anger and frustration is consistently dealt with makes all of the difference in the world. Learning how to deal with feelings of anger when you’re at your breaking point is critical for making a relationship work.

For your own wellbeing and happiness, we recommend working with a counselor to help you manage intense feelings of anger as they arise. A little counseling can go a long way to resolving this issue in the future.

There probably isn’t much you can do to change what’s already happened. You can, however, take a few steps to prevent yourself from ending up in a similar situation again.

 end of relationship | hostility

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