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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Help him find his confidence and Alphaness. Its your job as a wife to help him. Are u "good enough" to do that for this "poor guy"?
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Okay... I have heard this come out of other people, books, etc but w/ no samples of how to help build up confidence other then authentically appreciate effort and praise him. What suggestions would you have for her? Examples... please.

@Synthetic
It sounds like it is bothering her the way she feels about him... I have heard men bash their wives on here worse than that and not get such a harsh reply by someone I feel is usually a caring poster (yes, you usually come off w/ more compassion).

Book suggestions?

To the OP - you both maybe in MC but are you both getting IC. It sounds like it would help. There are several posters on this site that suggest books in their signatures. There's one His needs/her needs or something like that.There are several books. If you love him and know you are losing respect for him, find out why.

Putting a kid through separation/divorce (I have 3 little ones) horrible. Do what you can to fix what you have, while you can. Some of us here have lost that chance or never had a choice.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would be fine if we both just came to an understanding that out marriage will be sexless. I can live with that. what I can't live with is a man who literally begs for it showering me with how all he wants is to please me... So I give in and he's done on the first pump...then cries. 1) I feel like meat 2) he feels like a failure 3) it is a complete turn off for a woman to be begged and or have him cry due to poor performance. ....GAAAAhhhhh...

I tell him we are having problems in the bed room, he loses 20 lbs...legs shake "uncontrollably" when we discuss separation. Hes shoulders sag and he rubs his hands like a beaten man. I didn't do this to him...I'm just noticing it now. And I hate it. Oooh god. Why does this have to be so difficult. I don't feel like I'm asking to much. I'm just asking him to love himself so I don't have to prove that I love him all the time.
Has he had a thorough physical?
If all his health checks out there is always sex therapy?
IC?
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Mamatomany,

You're right I'm usually a lot softer and more compassionate. The reason for my somewhat harsh reply was the vibe I got from the OP's post. She later confirmed that it was indeed the wrong choice of words for a husband of 10 years and father of her 3 children.

I don't think she's wrong to desire a more confident, more capable and more competitive husband, but I have a hard time believing she played no part in the decline of her husband's self-confidence. They've been together for 15 years. That means, they are now purely a product of their marriage (unless they spent a lot of time apart which doesn't seem to be true).

In any case, the husband needs a massive wake up call and in the process this marriage may end up breaking.

Just a small thing I want to bring up to the OP's attention:

The "poking" you speak of has roots in your husband's resentments and insecurities. It's his defense mechanism against possible attacks on his personality. It's his way of avenging some sort of a humiliation he might have suffered in the past or may still be suffering today. In the 15 years that you've been together, has your husband ever said anything that may lead you to where all this fear stems from?

I understand you're tired of dealing with him, but believe me, a divorce is no easy route either. If you're still not fully checked out of the marriage, keep trying.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Mamatomany,

You're right I'm usually a lot softer and more compassionate. The reason for my somewhat harsh reply was the vibe I got from the OP's post. She later confirmed that it was indeed the wrong choice of words for a husband of 10 years and father of her 3 children.

I don't think she's wrong to desire a more confident, more capable and more competitive husband, but I have a hard time believing she played no part in the decline of her husband's self-confidence. They've been together for 15 years. That means, they are now purely a product of their marriage (unless they spent a lot of time apart which doesn't seem to be true).

In any case, the husband needs a massive wake up call and in the process this marriage may end up breaking.

Just a small thing I want to bring up to the OP's attention:

The "poking" you speak of has roots in your husband's resentments and insecurities.
It's his defense mechanism against possible attacks on his personality. It's his way of avenging some sort of a humiliation he might have suffered in the past or may still be suffering today. In the 15 years that you've been together, has your husband ever said anything that may lead you to where all this fear stems from?

I understand you're tired of dealing with him, but believe me, a divorce is no easy route either. If you're still not fully checked out of the marriage, keep trying.
I saw her better explanation/details later too.
Synthetic is right on several things and because they become so routine for us we don't think much about them. Like a little nagging/poking etc.

I had several epiphanies when our fight started 10 wks ago, they came rather quickly in about 3 days one right after another.

1) Sometimes when we complain say about work (just what we think of as venting) they take it like they are to blame because they can't provide us the ability to stay home and it hurts their self-esteem etc.

2) I was not only growing hypercritical of myself but him too. It truly hurt him. I didn't use to be that way, but I allowed my expectations go rampant w/o keeping in touch w/ reality.

3)Separation/Divorce is so hard on the family unit.


Try one day at a time to not point out flaws but what he did well and on his own.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with a lot of what synthetic has to say. I also agree with several points that Trying180 made in her posts. Her husband needs to grow a set and take charge of his marriage, pure and simple. My problem with Trying180 is that she comes across to me as sort of a "bully". She seems to be the kind of person that likes to believe that she has no real fault in their marital problems and that all her husband's problems are somehow the result of some childhood trama or his upbringing and she had no part in it. She seems like she is more intent on convincing herself that he is the real problem so if she divorces him she won't feel guilty about it. Maybe if she was less critical of him and spent more time running towards him instead of away from him, he would be inspired to do the same. If she is as "strong" of a woman as she claims this should be no problem for her right? I'm not saying that she should give in to him and his needy ways or tell him all day how great he is, I'm just saying maybe she should make him feel like he has a wife and a best friend in his corner. In my opinion she sounds like she is as hurtful to him as he is to her, just in different ways.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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She seems to be the kind of person that likes to believe that she has no real fault in their marital problems and that all her husband's problems are somehow the result of some childhood trama or his upbringing and she had no part in it.
I take 50/50 responsibility in where my marriage has headed. Have I always been the wife I wanted to be....Hell no. The issues that I am having is that I am willing to admit my faults...at least to my husband (everyone here seems to think I beleive I am the queen, hardly true.) I'm harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. My husband has spent most of his life denying that he is at fault for anything or passing the buck. For the first 10 years of our relationship is apology were like this... "I'm sorry you took what I said wrong". Or I'm sorry you miss understood what I was saying". "I'm sorry you feel like that." Until recently (because we talk A LOT) he didn't even know he was hurting me with his statements. The poking began as cute banter. Then became more hurtful as private things were said in public in front of friends (Something his family does with no mercy). We actually had to create a code word when one or the other was poking to hard or hurtful.
I don't want divorce...I value our vows. To the core. If he makes a mistake I want him to own up to it...that way the angry wife in me doesn't stumble upon it and flip out. If I screw up...the first thing I do when he comes home is explain the situation and apologize for my mistake...then ask him to help (if needed) to fix it. He is not one to admit that he doesn't know how to do something. (always been this way, I didn't "bully" him into silence.) He pushes on without any knowledge and worse...doesn't seek the knowledge to do it proper. With the internet at our disposal there is no excuse for this. Some of these situations have cost us tens of thousands of dollars.
So I've decided...to love him for who he is. Not what I thought he was, or, what he wanted me to think he was. What he actually is. The only person who knows him is me. He continues to struggle to with finding his identity. I say his past plays a big part in his issues because unless you have been the oldest boy with a mother suffering from paranoid Schizophrenia and a father who tells you to pray about everything rather than take action, then you can't deny that its had a huge impact on him. Something he has never faced until recently.
I am the best thing that has happened to him...I've just remembered he is my best thing too. This has been the hardest time in my life...harder than having 3 kids under 5 and losing our everything. You will have to excuse me if I wear my emotions on my sleeve during this situation but I don't apologize for expressing myself completely on a site where I thought I was available to do so. So again please excuse me for speaking my mind freely when I felt attacked in a moment where I could go no lower.
I know I have said very hurtful things to him in a moment of anger... I feel like cup that has been dripped into for 15 years and is finally over flowing. He is a drip...I am a tsunami. Over time the drip can break levies that cause the same damage as a tsunami. But the tsunami is the one everyone fears.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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T180, I definitely understand what you say and, except for the long "disappearances" pulled by your husband (which is horribly abusive to you and the kids), I could have written your post, too.

People who have not been in this situation cannot appreciate how hard you have tried and how much you have tried. If you are like me, you've read the books, you've done the counseling, you have tried everything--and when nothing worked, and he remains unwilling to change despite your loving expression of having needs that he-well-needs to meet, well, then the shut down, withdrawal, and anger start to creep in. When you see how his dysfunction is hurting your kids, it gets harder to stay. Being torn between which is worse, living in such dysfunction or separating/divorcing; who wants to live in that state for long? But many of us (male and female) have tried and tried and tried. Yes, I made mistakes--and I corrected them, to the best of my ability. Yes, I made other mistakes, and again I worked to make changes. Pretty soon you realize that no matter what you do and how you approach things, nothing on his side is going to change.

My ex could never hear an expression of my need as anything but criticism of himself, his ego was so fragile. I cannot change that. I cannot stop having needs (although I tried, trust me!).

So you are not alone. If your kids are being affected, then you probably know it is time to go. Do you stay out of fear of how he will react? It can get bad, really bad. Be prepared. The guilt is awful. But I *still* don't regret doing it. I think my kids and me are sooooo much better off, and that makes me happy.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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T180, I definitely understand what you say and, except for the long "disappearances" pulled by your husband (which is horribly abusive to you and the kids), I could have written your post, too.

People who have not been in this situation cannot appreciate how hard you have tried and how much you have tried. If you are like me, you've read the books, you've done the counseling, you have tried everything--and when nothing worked, and he remains unwilling to change despite your loving expression of having needs that he-well-needs to meet, well, then the shut down, withdrawal, and anger start to creep in. When you see how his dysfunction is hurting your kids, it gets harder to stay. Being torn between which is worse, living in such dysfunction or separating/divorcing; who wants to live in that state for long? But many of us (male and female) have tried and tried and tried. Yes, I made mistakes--and I corrected them, to the best of my ability. Yes, I made other mistakes, and again I worked to make changes. Pretty soon you realize that no matter what you do and how you approach things, nothing on his side is going to change.

My ex could never hear an expression of my need as anything but criticism of himself, his ego was so fragile. I cannot change that. I cannot stop having needs (although I tried, trust me!).
It's always about him and I can't say ANYTHING w/o him taking it as a criticism or that I am controlling him. What's up w/ that!!???

Those long disappearances ... we are going through now. For the kids sake I say "daddy is a way for work"
But they are cruel it's always on his terms and he says that I am controlling!

He will not tell the kids he wants to leave us. His idea of spending time w/ them is coming over for an hour watching them play/tv and leaving.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I am a man in the same situation and as my mother put it we are unequally yoked. My wife is smart and beautiful but lacks a number of quintessential personality traits to succeed in life. She blames my choices for all of our problems. She joking (poking fun) calls me a looser and takes every chance to try and berate me. I am in my thirties, earn 6 figures since late twenties, and have put together one hell of a career and wonderful children. You are clearly fed up and want someone else (not in terms of an affair). As you stated what attracted you to him is now repulsive because as you grew in life your needs/wants/desires changed (like me). Now you have a mate you bring out the worst in you. It is time for you to decide what do you want and do you love (and except/ value) who he has become. If you do not you run a serious risk of becoming a bitter hateful BiT** toward you husband. Figure out who you are and what you want and take an honest self assessment and decide if he is the one for you and can you (do you want) value and respect him. Or is all lost…. Make sure you feeling toward him are honest and not driven by selfish motives……
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Trying180;591013] So I've decided...to love him for who he is. Not what I thought he was, or, what he wanted me to think he was. What he actually is.

I have so much respect for you right now for even being willing to do this, knowing how hard it is to do given what it's like living with men like these. I hope your husband one day realizes how lucky he is that you stayed by his side and were willing to work through things.


The only person who knows him is me. He continues to struggle to with finding his identity. I say his past plays a big part in his issues because unless you have been the oldest boy with a mother suffering from paranoid Schizophrenia and a father who tells you to pray about everything rather than take action, then you can't deny that its had a huge impact on him. Something he has never faced until recently.

Your mention of him still needing to find his identity reminds me of a conversation I had with my counselor the other night, because my husband has huge issues in this area. She said that my husband suffers not only from passive-aggressiveness -- which I already suspected/self-diagnosed -- but that a lot of personality "quirks" that I described to her were often traits that those with borderline personality disorder suffer from, and it usually stems from an event in childhood and is easily exacerbated in other interactions. Never would I have suspected this.

She had me read an article "Have we met before?" from the gettinbetter website that talks about the relationship dynamics of partnering narcissists and borderlines. I NEVER in a million years would have considered myself a narcissist, but I saw too much of our situation in that article. I especially related to the part that talks about us wanting to fix them. Not saying this is your husband's problems, but so many of our SO's behaviors are the same it's downright scary!!



I know I have said very hurtful things to him in a moment of anger...

I think all of us who are married to men like this are guilty of doing this...even though it's not right. But you can only deal with so much before you've reached the brink of insanity. Like you, some of my husband's antics have cost us thousands and thousands of dollars, and when he just sits there and acts like he has no clue what the problem is or why I would dare be angry, I admit that I'm guilty of not really caring about his feelings in that moment. I'm more worried about how he has just screwed up yet again and what I need to do to fix it (because Lord knows he isn't going to worry about it), as it sounds like you have been on more than one occasion.

I feel like cup that has been dripped into for 15 years and is finally over flowing. He is a drip...I am a tsunami. Over time the drip can break levies that cause the same damage as a tsunami. But the tsunami is the one everyone fears.

I have often felt like this but have never been able to summarize it so beautifully. I absolutely love how you described this!!!

I hope that we can all read on here in the coming months that your taking the first step to change the tide in your marriage is all it took to go from blah to fantastic. I would love to follow your story, as a ray of hope. Every time I have tried what you are doing now, it doesn't take long before I feel like I'm settling again.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:14 PM   #26 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=nomoretogive;591084]
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[B]
I hope that we can all read on here in the coming months that your taking the first step to change the tide in your marriage is all it took to go from blah to fantastic. I would love to follow your story, as a ray of hope. Every time I have tried what you are doing now, it doesn't take long before I feel like I'm settling again.
Please don't give me any praise yet. The first step is putting in writing what my goals are. I know myself and unless I write goals I never keep myself accountable. I do have a wonderful man.

I've decided to play the role I must in this marriage. I must be the leader. Now I'm not saying being bossy...or aggressive. But I'm the one who cares if we are late to the party, then I need to be sure to get everyone ready earlier. He doesn't care. So why should he have to take blame for being late (even if he does start clipping his nails as we all are headed for the car). I'm tired of being sad...So I choose to laugh and live. If he wants to join me then he has to get in the car with the rest of us or we will go on without him.

I totally get what you are saying about helping our H find them self. The problems is, if we didn't pressure them to search or change ...they would lead a very happy life anyway (ignorant but happy, not a bad choice when we consider some peoples past). I just hope he can snap out of his own head long enough to see how GREAT this will be if he stopped trying to be something he's not. All I want is the REAL him.

I gained 60 lbs with our first child. I was Large and in charge. I used to tell him "man, I sure duped you. Here in collage I was this lean, strong and very limber and now look at me." He always responded, "I'd love you no matter what". I've learned things about my husband over the years that had made me feel duped. What he said and spoke did not match his actions. He may not have gained weight but his personality was very much a projection of something he could not keep up with. Why didn't I say "I would love you no matter what"? I've sense lost all the weight and given him his (slightly altered after 3 kids) collage girl back...and he is working on letting me see the real him. I think that is all I can ask for as of right now.

As for the sex... I'm a bit stumped. Being completely open...I just really want to be taken hard and long. Sorry for the graphic...but that is what I am missing. I'm thinking of making a mental goal of doing it every day for 2 weeks (can't write that one down)...no matter what. I think this will return his confidence and probably help his staying power. Its been suggested in the past but I was to angry to comply. I felt that he would be the only one who gained anything out of it. Well, with that attitude I would be right. So here we go...with a new attitude I will hopefully reach my goal. (I am in no way saying I will give up my feisty Spirit..I will just channel it (no promises for PMS week)).

I've already started my turn around. I've emptied my cup. Yesterday up until about 4pm I was still in the dumps about things. We had a pretty upsetting discussion about splitting the night before. I had pondered and tried to envision my life without him. I pictured the kids and I at a pumpkin patch picking out there perfect kins...and I could not get him out of the vision. I visioned my eldest at graduation and tried to force him out of it by adding a "step" father into the picture. Still he was there and made the other man fade into the distance. It was then that I realized I could not see my life without him. Imperfectly perfect for me.
Later that day:
He had texted me that he didn't want to go to the finance class that we signed up for a few weeks ago. I said ok, Assuming it was because he didn't want to go anywhere with me. I asked him to pick up some money from the bank on his way for "food". During the next few hours I got a baby sitter and my little black dress out.

When he got home I was still in the process of putting my face on and he shouted from the other room what was up. I simply told him to get in the shower but don't look at me. This went on as he dressed and redyed himself as I instructed. "Don't look at me" I reminded. Right before we left the house I stepped in front of him and he smiled big. "You look SO beautiful" he said. We stepped out the door and I said..."where should we go". "Anywhere with you is good with me". he replied.

Who could let a man like that go?


I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, because I'm blessed.

I will continue posting, I'm sure There will be moments of weakness on my part and his. Please allow me to express them as a means to understand them. Good luck to you Nomoretogive. I hope your man sees what he has...right in front of him. Honesty is always the best option.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:49 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Has he had a thorough physical?
If all his health checks out there is always sex therapy?
IC?
Yes 3 years ago when this all started...no problems..including blood work. We have another scheduled.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Mamatomany,
The "poking" you speak of has roots in your husband's resentments and insecurities. It's his defense mechanism against possible attacks on his personality. It's his way of avenging some sort of a humiliation he might have suffered in the past or may still be suffering today. In the 15 years that you've been together, has your husband ever said anything that may lead you to where all this fear stems from?
That is what we are working on at the moment....Its very hard to peal away the pride and thick skin he has placed over it as a defense. He did this way before I entered the picture...Something his father does relentlessly to his mother.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:45 AM   #29 (permalink)
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That is what we are working on at the moment....Its very hard to peal away the pride and thick skin he has placed over it as a defense. He did this way before I entered the picture...Something his father does relentlessly to his mother.
I'm curious does he exercise/lift weights? I can tell you that makes a difference in how a man feels. In my younger years I remember being painfully shy around girls. To the point that girls would some times almost have bright neon signs around their neck saying 'hello i'm begging you here' and i still didn't know how to approach them. LoL

In my 20's I tried to transform myself. Hair, wardrobe, working out very seriously. It all made a difference but I think the working out was huge. It gave me purpose and not just in the changes in my body but it gave me a huge boost of confidence and transformed my mentality. I definitely felt like a different man.

What I'm trying to say is, guys are capable of transforming themselves through self help and some outside encouragement.

There are books and websites out there about how to take unmanly guys and make them manly.

If I were you I would do this. Talk about this with him .. in a positive manner. Tell him about what it is that drew you to him in the first place. Surely he had manly qualities that you liked in the first place.

Then talk about how he has veered off the path. Whether its his weight, his style, his demeanor etc.

The bedroom stuff is different and I'm hardly an authority but I will try and give you my 2 c anyway. With my wife and I (whom if you read my previous posts) we are having different set of difficluties than you but nonetheless what I want to do I think can help you. Set time to explore body and relearn what you both like. * don't put pressure on each other to have it end in sex necessarily. Make each other feel good.

Tell him this is what you want to see out of him and see how he responds... not with his words but his actions. If his actions do not respond even though he knows how serious it is then you may want to at that point decide if it is worth it being with him.
Ultimately you have to do what you think makes you most happy.

I also think it is more than reasonable since you seem to have reached a pt of desparation.. to set goals. They should motivate him if he cares about you. If he doesn't you have major problems imo.

Final thought, b/c I am a physician by trade.. have you ever taken him in to see if he is diagnosed with depression or anxiety?
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:18 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I'm curious does he exercise/lift weights? I can tell you that makes a difference in how a man feels. In my younger years I remember being painfully shy around girls. To the point that girls would some times almost have bright neon signs around their neck saying 'hello i'm begging you here' and i still didn't know how to approach them. LoL

He has attempted to, it seem that he really would like to. I've signed him up (extended my membership to family for an extra 45 per month at the YMCA) just to have him go 2-3 times and quit. He has good intentions but his follow through is crap...heh. At this point I would say 10 lbs of fat would be real good for him.

In my 20's I tried to transform myself. Hair, wardrobe, working out very seriously. It all made a difference but I think the working out was huge. It gave me purpose and not just in the changes in my body but it gave me a huge boost of confidence and transformed my mentality. I definitely felt like a different man.
I helped him do this when he was in collage too. He was going to school all week, working every weekend and handing most of that money over to his parents to help them with bills. So I took it upon myself to buy him clothes that I though he deserved. He was extremely thankful because until that point he had never spent money on himself. To this day still has a hard time doing it. I was the gift giver... the whoower

What I'm trying to say is, guys are capable of transforming themselves through self help and some outside encouragement.

I encourage, when I see him slipping as he has done in the past I remind him of what he "said" he wanted to to...then it becomes nagging...then just another thing he didn't finish.

There are books and websites out there about how to take unmanly guys and make them manly.

If I were you I would do this. Talk about this with him .. in a positive manner. Tell him about what it is that drew you to him in the first place. Surely he had manly qualities that you liked in the first place.

He is the most amazing hugger...but he needs 20 lbs back on, I feel like I'm being squeezed by a pasta press now. hah

Then talk about how he has veered off the path. Whether its his weight, his style, his demeanor etc.

The bedroom stuff is different and I'm hardly an authority but I will try and give you my 2 c anyway. With my wife and I (whom if you read my previous posts) we are having different set of difficulties than you but nonetheless what I want to do I think can help you. Set time to explore body and relearn what you both like. * don't put pressure on each other to have it end in sex necessarily. Make each other feel good.

This is part of what had us in this situation. He would take me out for dinner or a night with friends (doesn't happen nearly as often as it needs to) and when we returned home he would assume the position. Hands behind his head naked on the bed. If he was to drink more than 2-3 drinks at a friends house he would automatically assume we were going to bang some where in there house. Then he stared being down right mean about it. (we have discussed this and so far is no longer expecting anything. I consider myself (sex) a gift and do not give in to pressure, especially sexual pressure.

Tell him this is what you want to see out of him and see how he responds... not with his words but his actions. If his actions do not respond even though he knows how serious it is then you may want to at that point decide if it is worth it being with him.
Ultimately you have to do what you think makes you most happy.

I also think it is more than reasonable since you seem to have reached a pt of desperation.. to set goals. They should motivate him if he cares about you. If he doesn't you have major problems imo.

Final thought, b/c I am a physician by trade.. have you ever taken him in to see if he is diagnosed with depression or anxiety?
We started MC about 3 months ago and fell into that because we had visited a group depression meeting. It was clear that we were not having the same problems as the group was having. So The H and I searched out a counselor that we felt fit his personal needs and our needs. My H went for one session alone, as did I. then we went together. Its nice to talk about things and get validation for our feelings but I don't see my husband opening up. We have had a few break throughs (him telling me stuff that he has lied to me for 15 years about, small things that should never have been kept from before me that would never effect my love for him) Now the lie grows and I wonder what more he didn't share. In other words I hear him talk in MC and I think he's "getting it" then we get home and its the same thing different day. BUT at least he is willing to go with me.

Thanks for your input Adlock. I love to hear different views... I truly do.
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