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My Wife Is Headed Out


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My apologies in advance for how long this is. I've held onto this long enough. Thank you for your patience. 


I've been married to my wife for 8 years. We got married after having an unexpected pregnancy 3 months into dating. It's important to note some things here - my wife is Asian and so am I, but I'm korean-american and i grew up in a very abusive culture, whereas my wife did not. Our cultures often contradict each other in philosophy and lifestyle, but in spite of all that, my wife and I are very good about fusing both cultures together for us and our kids. 

Our first 3 years of marriage sets the stage. 
It wasn't that we didn't love each other, it was that I spiraled out. I lost control of myself and I started to take it out on my wife. I became abusive. I never thought I would be that guy who hit his wife or harm her. I never even thought I would be the guy to insult a lady. But over time of constant frustration and fear, I did terrible things to her. I failed miserably at being the husband I thought I would always be. 

We fought like little siblings except we as adults - and I shouldn't have let that happen - this I take full responsibility for. Why? Because of my background. I grew up in a Korean family, where we fought like this all the time - yelling, hitting, manipulating - I remember plenty of times I couldn't go to school because of the bruises on my arms and face -- usually because I got a B instead of an A. I can remember times where I saw my father throwing a book at my mother or my mother throwing glass at my face or when my mother would hit my father on the head. 

I can hold pity competitions with fellow Korean peers b/c we all experienced this kind of tough experience. And believe it or not, we all were faithful church goers too. It's the culture we grew up in but it was not void of compassion or love. My parents did these things because they loved each other but were ill-equipped on how to manage stressful situations that brought them to a halt. And my folks were very strict, and as a child, I didn't know how to navigate that no matter how many times my parents tried to show me. I bottled it up and never spoke of it growing up. Again, don't get me wrong, my parents are lovely people and they changed a lot. None of us knew I had this in me - I didn't know what I did to manage my experiences would erupt like this. 

My wife, she didn't grow up like that and she's not Korean. She's Asian but her country has a very different approach to marriage and family relationships / expectations. She also didn't have a father growing up - lot of mistrust in males as it was just her, her sisters and mother. So marrying me was a huge thing for my wife. She put so much trust in me. She had a hard life growing up poor and never finished school b/c she wanted to work and make money. When she came to America, she came to learn English and go back to her country afterwards, but we met and fell in love. Got preggers and then she became dependent on me. See, when we first met, she didn't work, didn't have any education. When I met her, she was an escort (I was not a customer) but I met her casually at a restaurant. She later told me her dark secret to keep herself afloat. I took this cautiously, but still couldn't stop seeing her - I had fallen for her. 

And after we married, she refused to get a part-time job to help pay for bills. She thought she was better than that. And I would remind her of the realities of living in America. She was still in the honeymoon dream that immigrants have when they hear about America. She had no idea how hard it is to live here and be successful, especially when there is only one income. 

So I had a lot on shoulders that I was not prepared for. As a single person, I lived life on the edge - I was in a touring band, painted for 3 weeks on the beach - this was my lifestyle. All of this came to screeching halt after we got pregnant. 

When we first got married, my folks were totally against it. My mother hated her as soon as she heard we were pregnant. She didn't even know her. That hatred grew and that sparked a lot of the issues between me and my wife, as I felt completely in the middle between my folks and her. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get either side to see reason and I just flipped. I snapped back at my parents and back at my wife. From that day on, we started 3 years of hell. Until one night, everything blew up in my face. 

She was very drunk, as was I, and we started fighting. To keep it short, it got physical. I paid the price. I went to jail, served my time and then went through "rehab" classes - psychiatrist, marriage counselor, yoga, domestic violence classes, and AA. We separated for a few months and that tore me apart. But I knew I deserved it b/c I led us down this path of self-destruction. My folks and I unpackaged so much of my childhood and the abuse I grew up with - we didn't know back how scarring this would be b/c we're Asian and my parents grew up with their culture from the 70's, where such culture and behavior was acceptable. 

I no longer drink and I'm aware of my actions from the past. I live with this heavy guilt each day and over the years, that responsibility felt lighter to carry - until the lockdown. 3 weeks into the Lockdown, my wife started getting annoyed with my presence. It's not that I'm abusive like before - in fact, quite the opposite. I try to cater to her as much as possible, keep her comfortable and let her do her thing. But she's used to me going to work and missing me during the day. And now, she feels like she's lost her romantic love for me, even though she loves me as a father and as a husband. 

Now, she sees me 24/7. The start of this week, my wife said she wants to separate. That seeing me this frequently is only bringing up the pain of the past. Little arguments remind her of the past. And while nothing has blown up like in the past, it's too close for her comfort. I get it. So I asked her if we could plan to make moves after the lockdown. She agreed. 

Yesterday, she wanted to go back home - her country. It's still the lockdown, but what can I do? I supported her decision. She bought the ticket and then we realized her country has closed its borders. So we tried to get a full refund, only to get half back. So now she feels stuck and guilty to purchasing a ticket. Again, I say it's not a problm. Lesson learned. That's all. 

But it wasn't all. Last night, she rhethorically asked me, "we're going to get a divorce, huh?" To which I replied, "I don't want one, but if that's where you want to go then I can't force you to stay." Her response was simply, "I'm not a marriage person. I did this for almost 10 years b/c I trusted you, but I don't anymore." 

So that's where we are. After sitting in bed for few hours next to my wife, I finally just got up and cried myself to sleep on the couch. I couldn't bear the pain and crying in front of my wife. So it's been a lot of crying by myself, while trying to keep a normal face for our kids. 

I'm in fear this is it between my wife and I. 

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