Despite the gray, down day, I think though you may not be winning, you definitely have not lost. He is still living in the same house, in counselling, interacting.
He is expressing his anger and disappointment, but is still with you and your family. If at dinner he asks you to pass the salt rather than asking a child to ask mom for the salt I think he wants to believe that you have changed for your sake and have realized the error of your ways.
Keep doing what you've been doing, keep listening, and remember the most beautiful expression in English after "A Spring Day", is "You're right".
He is both husband and father, he knows what divorce will bring, he may even feel that to some extent he has failed. You know better than any of us he wants your marriage to continue.
He undoubtedly realizes if he leaves, many of his dreams will be dashed, along with starting dating and all that entails. I doubt he wants to do this on many levels, though he probably shares my male fantasy of the pleasures new partners could bring, along with realizing that a bird in hand may be better than two in the bush.
Since we've "spoken", let me offer a current update - my wife, who has been very remote and distant these past few years, is making a serious attempt to remind me of how we used to be, last night after a very pleasant encounter she initiated, she spoke openly of how much she loves me. It is very difficult to answer "yes, I still want a divorce" when breathing hard and oxytocin levels have peaked, when what I want is the core of the woman she was for most of our marriage and her willingness to move. I should have said "we'll see", clearly I couldn't, wouldn't, didn't say "I don't love you".
As I said at the start, you haven't lost, I'll skip the sports analogies.
Having a down day...feeling some anxiety and quite a bit "blue"...and it doesn't help that it's grey and gross outside...
From those of you who know my "I-neglected-my-husband-and-family-for-several-years-for-my-dead-end-job-and-now-my-husband-has-lost-passion-for-me" story, I'm continuing to forge ahead with my new, corrected priorities, showing through solid, chartable actions and efforts that my husband and marriage are most important in my life. My husband continues to be willing to go to marriage counseling, which I'm very grateful for. We've been to 4 sessions so far, and he's finally started to talk about those things that have been eating him up for years. He's angry. He's resentful. He still says he doesn't know if he'll be able to feel any passion toward me again. But he says he's willing to try. And that's something.
For the past couple of weeks, we've been living as more "friends" than anything, with him expressing that he needs space... to work out his feelings, to start to trust that these changes in our marriage are real and permanent, to "come back" to us on his terms and as he feels it. Pressuring him doesn't work. He likes to be in control and so needs to have the space to make his "decisions" regarding his feelings about me and our marriage on his own. You can lead a mule to water...
We've been having fun together and the house has been more peaceful than it's been in years. I'm happier with myself, feeling that I'm back to who I truly am, which is huge. My husband is giving me tidbits of credit when he can muster it (once again, he feels the need, according to our counselor, to maintain control after so many years of feeling out of control) but says that he doesn't yet automatically see the woman he fell in love with years ago when he closes his eyes -- he still sees the miserable, nasty woman I've been in recent years. The counselor keeps assuring me to give him time... that he needs to get beyond his anger before he can turn a corner to start to let his wall down.
I've been most frustrated with our lack of intimacy but know this is something he needs to feel in control of. He asked that we put the pressure of sex aside for now and just work on building our marriage for a while. He still teases me physically sometimes (pinches my butt, etc. when the mood strikes him) but he's loving telling me "no -- the Dr. said no pressure" if I ask for something more intimate. He always does it with a grin, which tells me it's part of his "game" and I just have to play along for a while. Thank God for Valium on those nights when I'd kill for a snuggle or a poke
I'm hanging in there, but just a bit down today... Wish that my marriage was on firmer ground. I see the progress but don't know if he does. He's still very leery to show any type of confidence in the marriage or provide a firm positive that he thinks he's still "in love" with me. Part of me is scared to keep on like this for the fear that 6 months from now he'll say, "Your a nice gal, but I still don't feel that way toward you anymore." But I guess that's part of the risk with love. Nothing is certain. Nothing can be taken for granted. And you have to trust in it for the chance that it will work out. Even when being in limbo sucks hard...
Thanks for reading today. I just needed a sounding board. And you folks have saved me during my darkest moments these past few weeks. It's nice to have somewhere to turn when those nasty doubts are eating you alive...