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PhillyB

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i won't bore you with the details, but today on our three-year wedding anniversary my wife and i ended up getting in a massive argument that saw a bunch of long-suppressed problems bubble to the surface and it was something of a battlefield for a while there (not physically, of course.) and suddenly i'm forced to face some pretty serious problems that i've previously been able to simply sweep under the rug.

 

my wife and i met a half a decade ago. we were different in our interests in a lot of ways back then, but we shared the same views on everything from politics to religion to an affinity for travel. these things were the glue that kept us attracted to each other (that and she's hot) and made up for any differences in interests. to that end, i was interested in intellectual pursuits and exploring questions i had begun to ask, and she was interested in hanging out with her friends' babies and talking about gossip girl. no big deal.

 

as the years have passed we have, i now realized tonight, grown widely apart in a lot of ways. on the surface it's because we have a five-month-old and, well, when you have a five-month-old you generally don't have much spare time on your hands. couple that with the fact that we're both still in school (and we're both embarking on masters programs in less than a year) and both of us are working full time (i pull 50-60 hours a week on average, pulling 80 hours this week) and you've got a serious time shortage on your hands. but that's just on the surface; there are much deeper forces at play, and tonight i realized that i have changed enormously over the past five years and she has changed very little.

 

it's a lot to go into, but both of us are products of deep south fundamentalist christian ideological and political systems, and as my posts in the tinderbox reflect, i have moved away from those beliefs in a lot of ways; while i've refused to throw the baby out with the bathwater as far as religion goes (i'm still interested in the functional aspects of the positive ends of religious belief) we have arrived at an enormous gulf between us and what we believe. and now i find myself constantly seeking out individuals with whom i can carry on conversation about deeper things (regardless of position on them) and thrive on that kind of dialogue while she plays candy crush and watches dumb tv shows. and recently i have come to the very scary realization that if i met her for the first time today i honestly don't think i'd want to date her.

 

that's really just the tip of the iceberg, but it's the most succinct summation i can muster without going all tl;dr on everyone.  has anyone dealt with these sorts of conundrums in the past, or dealing with it in present? if so, how did or do you deal with it?

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additional thoughts:

 

i don't want to make this as "my wife is dumb i'm super smart me me me" because i re-read this and realized that's how it comes across... and that's not at all what i mean. there's simply a disconnect, and the root cause of it is that my passion about and pursuit of the kinds of things i care about have marked my change and growth into a new person, while she has remained largely the same; given that these things that i'm passionate about are something i value in a friend and find to be the most conducive to interpersonal connection, it's something conspicuously lacking in our relationship.

 

also we do still have certain things in common; a love for travel, for instance, and both of our long-term goals are as one: to buy a piece of property and build a large house on it for the purpose of using foster care/adoption and the construction of a planned community to enrich and invest in the greater local and global community around us, enabling and equipping individuals passionate about helping humanity to do so without the constraints of rent, food, work, etc. this isn't something either of us want to give up, and frankly it's probably the single greatest thing holding us together right now. regardless of ideological differences it's something we can both believe in and pursue.

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While I'm young I've never personally had this problem but I will drop some type of advice and you can take from it what you will.

My dad passed away July 3rd of this year. He was married to my mom for around 20 years before getting divorced. He was one of the smartest guys I've met so far. We were driving some place I forget where but we get on the subject of my mom and he disclosed to me a problem very similar to what you are currently going through. He's was a workaholic trying to build a life for us and was deeply intellectual. My mom for lack of a better term is a typical blonde airhead. He said he wanted to be more challenged by her mentality which I assume is what you want from her too. It causes a lot of fights which ultimately led to them splitting. He later went on to tell me he regretted letting that come between them. He wished he didn't focus on that as much.

I guess my advice is to not focus so much on the differences. There is obvious reasons you married her and you probably knew long before marrying her she doesn't challenge you in that way. Put that in the back of your mind. Find the common ground you do still have and focus on that.

Hope that helps

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you know what I've learned...and need to preach what I practice a little more....but....

 

 

no matter how busy you are, you always have to make time for each other

 

 

simple as that.  easier said than done ohhh so often...but, if your spouse (and kids) can't be the most important thing(s) in your life, then there's issues.  Make time!!!

 

Communication is the key.  Good luck

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 " for better or worse"

 

 If I was you and I was several years ago I would do whatever it takes to keep my family together, even if that's taking time off from school or work. Your wife had a baby 5 months ago and her life/hormones has changed dramatically maybe you both need some private time to work this out.

 

 
 I recommend marriage counseling.
 
 
I hope the best for you both.

 

 

 

 

 

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If this is the low point then buy all the stock now and turn it into an empire. You might not know how to work through this situation but you will and you should. Its part of your family's journey.

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Sorry to hear, Phil, especially because my perspective on this probably won't be all that encouraging.

 

I have experience being in a relationship exactly like that on more than one occasion.  None of them survived.  Happily, they were just relationship, not marriages, and no children.  The one time I was married...well, that's a long story that does no good here.

 

The one positive thing I can say: Jason is right.  Take his advice.

 

There was a reason you feel in love in the first place.  Maybe you can find that again when things calm down a little (they will; they always do).

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The old and wise beyond his years is going to check in here....

 

Your time together pre-child is the time of exploration, the time of living together, the time of complete and total attention and devotion to each other. Obviously, having a child is far more than just adding to the family. Another person has entered your collective world and is demanding some of your time. One simply does not add to the family without sacrifices and compromises and you both have no choice as to whether you decide to spend time with the child- you have to because his survival is totally dependent upon you both.

 

Regardless of the number of hours you both work, the child still requires your attention. Regardless of school and outside interests, the child still requires your attention. And, don't forget, regardless of school, work, child and outside interests, your partner still requires your attention as well. Because while everything else that's going on in your life is demanding of your attention, the fact is you are both still growing and learning and the less time you make for each other means you don't share in these experiences, and you start "growing apart," as the cliche goes.

 

The travel interests you share, the common goal of building your own place are both rather telling and symbolize your current situation rather obviously. The travel is an escape, a distraction while at the same time serving as a means forcing the both of you to spend time together. The goal of building your own place serves as a castle, a walled fortress, if you will, that will serve as your sanctuary away from all the outside influences, distractions and become a safe haven that may, again, require the both of you to spend time together.

 

Your wife is tired. Tired enough to allow the mindless entertainment and distraction of candy crush (no idea what that is, btw) and network TV to repolace your conversation and emotional involvement. She doesn't have to think, she doesn't have to intellectually or emotionally invest anything in TV or candy crush- it's simply a time filler to temporarily allow her to escape the void that exists when you don't make time for each other.

 

When you do not make the time for each other, the natural survival instinct takes over and your partner will adapt and learn how to carry on without you, requiring less dependence upon you, whether it be emotional or physical or tangible support. This is the most common reason for the relatively high divorce rate in the military and I can tell you first-hand, without reservation, this is the way it is. When I left for 6-12 months at a time, my wife obviously had to deal with everything herself. She has no choice but to carry on and maintain the entire household in my absence. And we're talking about every minute detail, every mundane, seemingly unimportant detail of managing a household. When you're gone and she has to assume all those responsibilities, she also learns and gains the confidence she can do it on her own, thereby rendering you somewhat useless. When I returned home and wanted to re-assume all those responsibilities and tried to pick up where I left off, there's some resentment there on her part. Rightfully so because she has learned how to manage everything on her own and now I think I can just come back home and take over again. Been there- done that, my friend.

 

While you both may not be physically separated by thousands of miles, the emotional stake is no different than if you were. As spontaneous as you both may be, as willing to try the new and unexpected as you sound as though you are, you absolutely have to make a conscious effort and accept no excuses for scheduling some time together. The next thing that happens is the guilt you'll feel for selfishly making time for each other that does not include the child. Get over it and understand this is about your relationship surviving and rather than subject the child to the tensions resulting from your disintegrating relationship, this will always be better for him/her in the long run. Spending 3-4 hours away from child, just you and the wife is far better off for the kid than spending those 3-4 hours "discussing" the issues in your relationship with the child present.   

 

 

 

 

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(that and she's hot)

 

 

 

 

pics or stfu!!!

 

 

I joke...but at the same time, it's part of my response too....you have to laugh together and have fun! 

 

 

now...pics?

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additional thoughts:

 

i don't want to make this as "my wife is dumb i'm super smart me me me" because i re-read this and realized that's how it comes across... and that's not at all what i mean. there's simply a disconnect, and the root cause of it is that my passion about and pursuit of the kinds of things i care about have marked my change and growth into a new person, while she has remained largely the same; given that these things that i'm passionate about are something i value in a friend and find to be the most conducive to interpersonal connection, it's something conspicuously lacking in our relationship.

 

also we do still have certain things in common; a love for travel, for instance, and both of our long-term goals are as one: to buy a piece of property and build a large house on it for the purpose of using foster care/adoption and the construction of a planned community to enrich and invest in the greater local and global community around us, enabling and equipping individuals passionate about helping humanity to do so without the constraints of rent, food, work, etc. this isn't something either of us want to give up, and frankly it's probably the single greatest thing holding us together right now. regardless of ideological differences it's something we can both believe in and pursue.

 

Philly, 

 

another old-guy advice bit here. I was married for 15 years and lived through two babies. Don't discount the amount of energy that having a baby consumes in both of your lives. It also looks like you both have a poo-ton of stuff on your plates right now. Stress and conflict are unavoidable and understandable. When I read your laundry list of what you are both doing, plus with a five month old, I thought "well no poo they were arguing".  You both have to get past this point in your lives (and it gets a whole lot better, in about 6 months or a year, trust me).  When I was married for the first time our interests were similar, we thought the same about things and did everything together. Just because this was the case, it did nothing to save our marriage - the reasons we are no longer together went much deeper than that and without boring you with details, it ultimately revolved around respect (or lack thereof) for one another.  You say that you have changed and she has not.  Maybe so (and I'm willing to bet that she has changed, too, its not possible to remain static).  The trick though, is to embrace those changes and celebrate the variety and diversity that you each bring, or will bring, to the relationship. 

 

Now I am married again and very happy. My wife has her evening interest/pursuits.  I have other interests and pursue those. Not to say we are completely different, we do have lots in common (music, family, some political views, etc.) but frankly if I'm constantly around my wife doing/thinking the same thing she's doing (or vice versa) we'd drive each other crazy probably.  I think couples need space and different viewpoints between them honestly.  My parents have been married for 56 years and consistently, in every presidential election, their votes have cancelled each others. 

 

The baby though.  They can suck the life out of a marriage if you let them.  You need to make an effort to get together with her alone and have some time together. It may not be easy and the first time or two you are alone it may not even be enjoyable, you might even fight.    But do it.  

 

Someone told me once that you should work on a marriage just like you work at your job.  I've found this to be true. Nobody exists together perfectly happy forever and ever, not without a lot of work on both sides. 

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Best advice. You should go on a good date. Go to a nice restaurant where u can easely spend 2-3 hours talking. Then go do some fun activities. When u get home make passionate love to her. This will make her feel loved and appreciated. Remember, happy wife happy life.

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