Woke up as a Different Man


#1

Hello,

I have been married 10 years. In the 1st year I had a brain tumor in the frontal lobe of my brain partially removed. After that I changed in that I asked myself why did I ever marry this woman I call my wife. With me thinking clearer without the tumor clouding my judgements I think I made a mistake. We have 2 kids but I do not feel in love with her. I am committed but do not, nor ever have since the initial surgey felt feeling of affection towards her. Sometimes it makes me sad that I missed out on life. I can't do anything, I am not leaving. What is a man like me supposed to do? I have no where to turn to a woman it seems. She loves me but I can't say I feel the same. I say I do but it is all to appease her.


#2

That is truly a very difficult situation. And I feel for you.

I don't think that your brain tumor had anything to do with the decision you made to marry this woman. Since I don't have any information about your life situation when you married her, I make an assumption: You were desperate, for whatever reason, and tried to "cure" that with a relationship you didn 't really want.

Now, ten years later you are at a point, where this marriage becomes a burdon to you and the fact, that you lie to your wife, every time you tell her that you love her, takes its toll too.

In my mind, you need help, professional help. I suggest Catholic marriage counseling.

Maybe you can learn to love your wife, you have childern together and alone that fact is worth to try every thing you can to make it work.


#3

She came at a time when I felt very alone and she pushed hard for marriage. Back then I was very laid back, did not think of the future. Now I do and I am not laid back. I know I woke up a different person and said to myself ""what have I done!" I was afraid and tried to not think of it and live the lie myself. It may be a combination of where I was before and the tumor. Looking back I did have some other strange behaviors that are documented taht I will not go into. I need to learn to love her. Again I am alone, moreso than before. I would never take her to counseling as she would not be able to handle the truth. She can believe a lie but the truth would crush her and make her not function at all. I don't know where I am supposed to go but The Lord has to help me!

[quote="JoanneArch, post:2, topic:229304"]
That is truly a very difficult situation. And I feel for you.

I don't think that your brain tumor had anything to do with the decision you made to marry this woman. Since I don't have any information about your life situation when you married her, I make an assumption: You were desperate, for whatever reason, and tried to "cure" that with a relationship you didn 't really want.

Now, ten years later you are at a point, where this marriage becomes a burdon to you and the fact, that you lie to your wife, every time you tell her that you love her, takes its toll too.

In my mind, you need help, professional help. I suggest Catholic marriage counseling.

Maybe you can learn to love your wife, you have childern together and alone that fact is worth to try every thing you can to make it work.

[/quote]


#4

I realize this might sound ridiculous after being married to her for 10 years, but maybe you don't really know her too well, meaning that once you do get to know her better you will fall in love with her again. I'm not sure how one would go about that but at least you can pray about it. Pray that the Lord makes your heart yearn for her. The Lord will open your eyes to something you have not seen about her before. Trust the Lord in this matter, after all he knows all about Love.

"God is love."
(1 John 4:8)


#5

[quote="Nightfly, post:1, topic:229304"]
Hello,

I have been married 10 years. In the 1st year I had a brain tumor in the frontal lobe of my brain partially removed. After that I changed in that I asked myself why did I ever marry this woman I call my wife. With me thinking clearer without the tumor clouding my judgements I think I made a mistake. We have 2 kids but I do not feel in love with her. I am committed but do not, nor ever have since the initial surgey felt feeling of affection towards her. Sometimes it makes me sad that I missed out on life. I can't do anything, I am not leaving. What is a man like me supposed to do? I have no where to turn to a woman it seems. She loves me but I can't say I feel the same. I say I do but it is all to appease her.

[/quote]

I didn't need a brain tumor / brain surgery to experience the same change of heart after getting married. About a year into my marriage, I felt that youth had clouded my judgment and I had made a mistake. We divorced, I dated other people. I gradually realized that regardless of how we ended up married or how I ended up falling out of love, for some reason God had put us together. (In my case, I didn't know why, but I trusted that God must've had some reason. In your case, you already know one of the reasons God put you together--to raise your two children.) We went through the Retrouvaille program (which I strongly recommend) and gradually we learned how to love each other, not "love, a feeling" but "love, a verb." Within 10 months of starting to "date" again, we felt more "in love" than ever before and remarried. We know that there may come a time when we fall out of love again, but now we know that "falling out of love" is an obstacle we can overcome.

Maybe that could be your story. Maybe your marriage wasn't valid from the beginning. I don't know. But I do know that through conscious effort, two people can choose to love each other and "fall in love" deeper than ever before.

I'll be praying for you.

Edited to add one additional piece of advice that I wish someone had given me: don't waste time analyzing how things got the way they are. Focus your energy on solving the problem, not analyzing it.


#6

[quote="Nightfly, post:3, topic:229304"]
She came at a time when I felt very alone and she pushed hard for marriage. Back then I was very laid back, did not think of the future. Now I do and I am not laid back. I know I woke up a different person and said to myself ""what have I done!" I was afraid and tried to not think of it and live the lie myself. It may be a combination of where I was before and the tumor. Looking back I did have some other strange behaviors that are documented taht I will not go into. I need to learn to love her. Again I am alone, moreso than before. I would never take her to counseling as she would not be able to handle the truth. She can believe a lie but the truth would crush her and make her not function at all. I don't know where I am supposed to go but The Lord has to help me!

[/quote]

First of all: :grouphug: to make you feel a little less alone.

What you describe is exactly what I thought. You were lonely at the time and so you just wanted some companionship. And it was good at the moment, but not really satisfying even then. You were missing something important and you just ignored it.

I think, the fact that you were then facing a life threatning condition made you realize, that there is only one life that should be lived to the fullest, with all senses the Lord gave you.

Now, you are in the situation and no matter what - somehow somebody will be hurt or at least uncomfortable, no matter which decision you make.

And I understand your problem: how do you tell somebody you lived a lie for so long, who trusts and loves you.

On the other hand - are you sure, your wife doesn't at least sense something? I think I would know, if my husband wasn't honest with me and would not act accordingly to what he tells me: that he loves me.

YOU definitly need some counseling! Just to talk about it with someone might give you some relief and open up another perspective on your situation.

I will pray for you! May the Lord help and guide you through this difficult time!


#7

@Augusta Sans

don't waste time analyzing how things got the way they are. Focus your energy on solving the problem, not analyzing it

:thumbsup: Very true! A very good advice!


#8

You are right in that I do not need to dwell on past mistakes. Counseling has never helped me. It seems to go on forever soI would pass. Plus I don't have the time or money for that. I should realize that she has helped our family through tough times and learn what she is about.


#9

[quote="Nightfly, post:8, topic:229304"]
You are right in that I do not need to dwell on past mistakes. Counseling has never helped me. It seems to go on forever soI would pass. Plus I don't have the time or money for that. I should realize that she has helped our family through tough times and learn what she is about.

[/quote]

Do you think you know what love is?


#10

I'd say you need to be honest with her, and yes, learn to love her -- love is much more than feelings of affection or sexual interest.

She's your wife, so you should come to understand that the two of you are "one flesh" and should be functioning as "one being" until death parts you, so you should be hiding nothing from each other -- just as you see each other naked in the bedroom, you should be completely open, vulnerable, exposing your naked thoughts and emotions -- she's to be your life partner, your "other half" as one flesh, not "an acquaintance that you somehow wound up living with under the legal circumstances of marriage".

Also, read about the frontal lobes of your brain; there is good material freely available online, and books you can borrow from your public library. The frontal lobes do have a part to play in judgment, carefulness and reason, so if you are missing sections of it, be aware that you might do, say or think rash, thoughtless things or exhibit poor judgment, even if you think you're not, so you must be careful -- again living with your wife as one being, she should be helping you with important matters; I'd be discussing everything with my "other half"/partner-for-life (if I had one -- working on it ...) regardless of whether I'm missing pieces of my brain (which anyone could be ...)


#11

No I do not think I know what love is. At least not for another woman. My children yes, but never for other women. I hear songs and have no clue what the writer is experiencing.

[quote="grandfather, post:9, topic:229304"]
Do you think you know what love is?

[/quote]


#12

I agree, I have lost what we call a filter. I say things that are very innapropraite and would make Howard Stern blush. She knows this but I know I can never open that can of worms with her. Once I said I didn't really like her, trying to be honest, and the repurcuussions lasted many months.

[quote="ethereality, post:10, topic:229304"]
I'd say you need to be honest with her, and yes, learn to love her -- love is much more than feelings of affection or sexual interest.

She's your wife, so you should come to understand that the two of you are "one flesh" and should be functioning as "one being" until death parts you, so you should be hiding nothing from each other -- just as you see each other naked in the bedroom, you should be completely open, vulnerable, exposing your naked thoughts and emotions -- she's to be your life partner, your "other half" as one flesh, not "an acquaintance that you somehow wound up living with under the legal circumstances of marriage".

Also, read about the frontal lobes of your brain; there is good material freely available online, and books you can borrow from your public library. The frontal lobes do have a part to play in judgment, carefulness and reason, so if you are missing sections of it, be aware that you might do, say or think rash, thoughtless things or exhibit poor judgment, even if you think you're not, so you must be careful -- again living with your wife as one being, she should be helping you with important matters; I'd be discussing everything with my "other half"/partner-for-life (if I had one -- working on it ...) regardless of whether I'm missing pieces of my brain (which anyone could be ...)

[/quote]


#13

[quote="Nightfly, post:1, topic:229304"]
Hello,
? I have no where to turn to a woman it seems. She loves me but I can't say I feel the same. I say I do but it is all to appease her.

[/quote]

start loving her
that is, start doing purposeful acts of love, concern, care and devotion daily for her, without expecting thanks, acknowledgement or gratitude

when you go do work say a prayer telling God you are doing it for his greater honor and glory, and for love of her and your kids
when you play, ditto
when you cut the grass, ditto

say a morning offering and make a re-affirmation of your love for her and your children part of your daily prayer

pray for her morning and night

if she is amenable, pray together each night

love is an act of the will that translates to purposeful actions for the beloved, it is not an emotion, a chemical response in the brain, or a physical thrill

you are married, that is for life, there is no alternative so drop that line of thinking entirely and focus entirely on love

blessings for the gift of life you received with your surgery, now resolve to make that life everything God wants it to be for you. Love

read 1 Cor. 13 daily until you get the hang of it


#14

[quote="Nightfly, post:1, topic:229304"]
Hello,

I have been married 10 years. In the 1st year I had a brain tumor in the frontal lobe of my brain partially removed. After that I changed in that I asked myself why did I ever marry this woman I call my wife. With me thinking clearer without the tumor clouding my judgements I think I made a mistake. We have 2 kids but I do not feel in love with her. I am committed but do not, nor ever have since the initial surgey felt feeling of affection towards her. Sometimes it makes me sad that I missed out on life. I can't do anything, I am not leaving. What is a man like me supposed to do? I have no where to turn to a woman it seems. She loves me but I can't say I feel the same. I say I do but it is all to appease her.

[/quote]

How charitable of you to say such things about the mother of your children be hind her back. Your children will one day (if they don’t already) know how you felt about their mother. The woman you chose to bear them. Yes, the truth always is revealed.

Sometimes it makes me sad that I missed out on life.

You didn’t die, yet you say this. God sent this woman to you obviously to take care of you. I suppose she was living it up in the waiting room of the hospital, so she could go home and take care of an invalid. Then she bore you children. I am wondering who the fool is here? It will be only a matter of time before she acts on it, for truly you are not so foolish as to think she is unaware?

I pray that your children are more influenced by her charity, than by your lack of it. For if not, should your retirement be the length of one day, it will be long and lonely.

puzzleannie:
start loving her
that is, start doing purposeful acts of love, concern, care and devotion daily for her, without expecting thanks, acknowledgement or gratitude

when you go do work say a prayer telling God you are doing it for his greater honor and glory, and for love of her and your kids
when you play, ditto
when you cut the grass, ditto

say a morning offering and make a re-affirmation of your love for her and your children part of your daily prayer

pray for her morning and night

if she is amenable, pray together each night

love is an act of the will that translates to purposeful actions for the beloved, it is not an emotion, a chemical response in the brain, or a physical thrill

you are married, that is for life, there is no alternative so drop that line of thinking entirely and focus entirely on love

blessings for the gift of life you received with your surgery, now resolve to make that life everything God wants it to be for you. Love

read 1 Cor. 13 daily until you get the hang of it

I agree without reservation.

You owe it to God, to ask Him to send the grace necessary to love her as He would have you. FOR YOUR SAKE!


#15

[quote="Nightfly, post:11, topic:229304"]
No I do not think I know what love is. At least not for another woman. My children yes, but never for other women. I hear songs and have no clue what the writer is experiencing.

[/quote]

You won't find genuine love described in pop song lyrics or Hollywood movies. Those things are about 'infatuation' which is a transitory experience. The American cultural definition of love is pure narcissistic fantasy and is, in fact, an attitude fatal to the cultivation of real love. Love isn't about GETTING a fuzzy/gooey feeling inside, its about choosing to place somebody else higher in life's priorities than yourself.

My advice: get a journal and hide it carefully. In that journal, you are to write down only POSITIVE observations about your wife. Write in it daily and also daily consciously and purposely do something to serve her that does nothing to gratify you. After a month, read through it and rediscover the unique person God created in your wife. Repeat until no longer necessary.

And read what St. Paul says about love and spouses to the Ephesians. No offense, but snap out of it and man up. You're having a self-absorbed pity party which can never end in anything good. Good outcomes only come when you learn to focus outwards instead of inward.


#16

[quote="manualman, post:15, topic:229304"]
You won't find genuine love described in pop song lyrics or Hollywood movies. Those things are about 'infatuation' which is a transitory experience. The American cultural definition of love is pure narcissistic fantasy and is, in fact, an attitude fatal to the cultivation of real love. Love isn't about GETTING a fuzzy/gooey feeling inside, its about choosing to place somebody else higher in life's priorities than yourself.

My advice: get a journal and hide it carefully. In that journal, you are to write down only POSITIVE observations about your wife. Write in it daily and also daily consciously and purposely do something to serve her that does nothing to gratify you. After a month, read through it and rediscover the unique person God created in your wife. Repeat until no longer necessary.

[/quote]

Both of these paragraphs really hit the nail on the head. The same advice was given to me when I first joined this forum. It took me a long time to actually try it. In fact, I think I started following the advice just to prove that it was worthless. I felt like I was being dishonest by "acting lovingly" when I didn't "feel love." But somehow, over a few months of "acting lovingly" and documenting my husband's positive attributes, I started to "feel love" again.


#17

Are you sure it's not depression. While I've never been depressed myself I've watched other family members go through it and some ended up divorced only to realize later that what they thought was lack of love in the relationship was really clouded emotions and confusion due to depression taking over. Just a thought. :confused:


#18

Everyone leave this guy alone, he's going through a hard time!


#19

[quote="Nightfly, post:12, topic:229304"]
I agree, I have lost what we call a filter. I say things that are very innapropraite and would make Howard Stern blush. She knows this but I know I can never open that can of worms with her. Once I said I didn't really like her, trying to be honest, and the repurcuussions lasted many months.

[/quote]

It is possible that the brain tumor and surgery has left you impaired in some way.

From the outside you appear to be very selfish. Although you were seriously ill, a woman came into your life and agrred to marry you. While you were very ill she made promises to love you and share life with you, for better or worse, and she had your children. Now tht you seem to have gotten through the health crisis with her by your side, you have decided she does not please you and you don't love or want her and, because of her you have missed out on something better.

Again from the outside, you seem to either be a very selfish person, or mentally ill, perhaps as a result of your brain tumor and surgery, or something else.

Happiness comes from living for others, giving our lives for others. In the case of husbands and fathers that means giving themselves for their wives and children, immitating Saint Joseph. It does not come from doing whatever we think will make us happy, seeking our own happiness, but seeking the good of others.

You have a responsiblity to God, to yourself and your wife and children. You need to love them and care for them as best you can, and if you do that you will be happy in life. If you fail to do that things will not go well. You will seek happiness in something else, but not find it. You will keep trying, but fail again and again.

It is possible that the trauma of cancer and treatment has left you physically or psychologically incapable of being a loving husband and father. Even if that is the case you have to try. Pray for and accept the grace to be what God made you to be in your family. Tell your wife you are sorry for hurting her and mean it. Be kind to her. Seek ways to show kindness and be considerate of her.


#20

[quote="grandfather, post:19, topic:229304"]
It is possible that the brain tumor and surgery has left you impaired in some way.

From the outside you appear to be very selfish. Although you were seriously ill, a woman came into your life and agrred to marry you. While you were very ill she made promises to love you and share life with you, for better or worse, and she had your children. Now tht you seem to have gotten through the health crisis with her by your side, you have decided she does not please you and you don't love or want her and, because of her you have missed out on something better.

Again from the outside, you seem to either be a very selfish person, or mentally ill, perhaps as a result of your brain tumor and surgery, or something else.

Happiness comes from living for others, giving our lives for others. In the case of husbands and fathers that means giving themselves for their wives and children, immitating Saint Joseph. It does not come from doing whatever we think will make us happy, seeking our own happiness, but seeking the good of others.

You have a responsiblity to God, to yourself and your wife and children. You need to love them and care for them as best you can, and if you do that you will be happy in life. If you fail to do that things will not go well. You will seek happiness in something else, but not find it. You will keep trying, but fail again and again.

It is possible that the trauma of cancer and treatment has left you physically or psychologically incapable of being a loving husband and father. Even if that is the case you have to try. Pray for and accept the grace to be what God made you to be in your family. Tell your wife you are sorry for hurting her and mean it. Be kind to her. Seek ways to show kindness and be considerate of her.

[/quote]

He stated in the first post that he will remain committed. That does not say "selfish" to me.

Manualman, again, hitting the nail on the head, gave a practical way to "get through this". Try it!


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