Well, this is a complete shock to me. I'm only 2 weeks postpartum and night before last, DH let me know that he is in complete at the end of his rope. He has hit 50 and is feeling his midlife crisis. His work has always been the most important thing to him and he is realizing that having a family is taking too much time and energy away from getting done what he want so do before he dies.
He had been saying that after the baby came we really needed to talk about things. I knew that he was burned out and needed to get back on track and reconnected to his inspiration. But I didn't know that he was so frustrated and resentful in the relationship. Of course, we have a lot of issues. I complain way to much about my unmet needs (especially physical intimacy). He feels that he has sacrificed a lot to meet my needs (especially having children which he describes as the biggest sacrifice of his life).
The biggest issues, I think, is that I pulled back from working together with him in our business. But it was so hard to work together. He has such fixed ideas about how things should be that I felt there was no room for me to bring my ideas (without really big fights). And I felt that my main value to him was what I could provide in the business. I actually thought that things were getting better in our space together since I stepped out and let him take the lead completely. Things got better for the business too when I stepped out of the way. But it was the final straw for him, I guess.
So, he feels that his need for undivided attention to his work isn't getting met. He also sees that my needs for relationship intimacy are not getting met. He just feels that I should be free to find a relationship that will meet those needs. It is so clear to him. Black and white.
The problem with that is I don't want my needs met with just anyone. He is the one that I want to have them met with. We have been friends for 20 years and married for 11 years. He has just been in my life for my whole adult life. I love him so deeply. Although there are a lot of surface issues that don't match up well, I have always felt that at the core spiritual/soul level we are really meant for each other.
Well, I should be sleeping now. I'm so exhausted from new baby lack of sleep and the emotional bomb that has just gone off in my life.
I will say that he has agreed to wait until the end of the year before moving out or making a final decision, although it is pretty clear that his mind is made up. (And I know that for someone with AS once something has been decided, it is a done deal.) I am hoping for a miracle. He is also willing to see a therapist so that we can work through some of the really most resentful feelings that we both have. There are so many things that we just haven't been able to talk about because our thinking is so different. I just didn't realize how much it had built up in him. I just assumed that we would one day get around to dealing with them. And, to be honest, I had given up on some things because it was just too hard to discuss. We would just see things so differently and he just seemed unable to believe that my perception of things might be valid too. I just didn't realize how much it was eating away at him (for years, I now learn). His heart is hardened now.
He says that he still loves me and cares about me. But he also just wants to look objectively at the relationship and our needs. He just doesn't think that our needs are compatible.
His parents separated when he was a child. So this isn't unfamiliar to him. He didn't feel it really had an emotional impact on him, so he is a bit surprised that I'm so upset. He is also really surprised that I'm so shocked. He thought that there were really clear signs all along the way. I really didn't get the clues, although looking back I can see them. I just didn't know he was this far down the road.
I felt so positive about us being able to make things work. Getting the AS diagnosis was a huge shift for me. It had allowed me to see him with new eyes and really appreciate so many things that I didn't before. I felt that with understanding and compromise we would be able to make our marriage work out. It would never look like a "normal" marriage (whatever that is), but it would still work.
Perhaps there will be room for things to shift. Maybe once he has his deep resentments heard and once he gets some more time and space things can begin to heal. But that will take some really big miracles it feels like. I'm so sad to feel like this is such an emotionally disconnected thing for him. I feel so vulnerable right now. I feel so sad to imagine my life without him as my partner. I feel sad to thing of my girls growing up without their dad around the house.
This has just caught me so off guard. Please everyone, go tell your partners/spouses just all the ways that they DO meet your needs and how important they are to you. I can see now that I spent too much time complaining about my needs not getting met instead of focusing on what needs were getting met and looking for positive ways to approach our challenges.