My wife and I have been married for fifteen years. As with any marriage we have had our ups and downs, dealt with family deaths and went through 8 invitro cycles. While very trying and draining, the invitro brought us a son who is now 7 years old. Not so very different from any other marriage I guess, but I feel that I am in this all by myself of late. I have always tried to keep things upbeat, fun and active in our relation ship especially on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries.
For her B-day I have hired a private chef, on several occasions, to cook dinner in our home for her and her friends. I have hired a limo and sent them downtown for dinner and a night out as well for her B-day. I always did something for her B-Day even if it was just a small thing just to let her know I love her.
The same thing went for other special days and regular days. I would "kidnap" her from work and take her to Michigan for the weekend or rent a condo in downtown Chicago for the weekend. I would send packages to her office with custom made lingerie and letters of my fantasies about her. Anything to keep her on her toes and engaged in our relationship.
As a husband, the only thing I really expected in return was her to acknowledge my special days in some small way. She has never done anything for our anniversary, Valentines Day or even my birthday in the time we have been married. It has even gotten to the point where I had to ask for a B-Day and Fathers Day from my son so I can save it. I have brought this up to her but her response is she is not willing to put herself out there.
When we got married she would initiate sex as much as I. I understand that our sex drive will lessen over the years but it got to the point where I practically had to beg every time. For one of her birthdays I asked for over two months to give her a massage. Her answer was always not tonight or maybe next week. I gave up on that and asked her to give me one, after 3 weeks of asking, I gave up on that as well. Finally a few weeks later on a Sunday morning I asked for some oral, she said no and got up and went to the bathroom. While she was there she was obviously thinking about it as she came out and gave me some. She gave me some not because she loved me and not because she wanted to make me feel good. She gave me some because she felt she had to. I knew at that point I would never ask her for sex again. That was over 20 months ago. While I have broken a couple of times, she seems clueless to fact that I don't ask for anything anymore. While I withdrew from her in this regard I began to think about our past sexual relationship. I realized that it was over ten years ago that she went out and bought some lingerie and wore it for me. Of course me being a guy I have bought many things for her but most have never left the bottom of her drawer. I have also brought this up with her and again the response is that she is not willing to put herself out there.
I am guessing that "I am not willing to put myself out there" is code for you are not really worth the effort.
In talking with my buddies it seems like I am the only one in this position out of all of us.
Am I wrong to expect her to acknowledge these special days? Am I wrong to expect her to initiate some intimacy every now and then?
Am I wrong to expect our marriage to be a two way street?
My withdrawal has lead to a great deterioration of our relationship. We barely talk about anything other than our son and she doesn't seem to mind.
I am in a very similar situation and it has compelled me to actually post instead of lurk. Here are some thoughts.
First, what do you suspect her argument would be for her side of the story if someone asked?
Aside from buying things and arrangements and such, are you giving her any other reason for her to lose her attraction to you?
Either way, I can't help but feel sympathy for you (especially because I know how it feels) but also resentment towards women who do this. Not to bring up a cliche, but from what I have seen all too often, an attitude seems to emerge in some women in which their value of the man in their life diminishes once certain conditions are met (marriage, material gains, security). This surfaces primarily as a lack of affection and intimacy. Marriage begins to resemble that of roommates.
For both of our situations, this may just be the case. It may just be broken and no amount of rekindling is going to bring that nourishment and connection back for real. At least, that is what I have resigned to.
hockey_dad, I would burn down small villages to have a husband that gives even half as much thought to holidays as you do. Seriously, how callous can that woman be? Unless there is some egregious behavior you are not letting on about, your wife is being awful, and you have my sympathy.
But seriously, any woman in her right mind would die to have one-tenth the attention you say you've given your wife. My husband doesn't even attempt to remember special days, let alone my birthday. If someone was nice enough to do that for me, I'd be very happy. You should probably file for divorce seeing as you aren't happy with things the way they are. She has gotten a little too spoiled and is probably a witch with a b by nature. I'm sorry you got a bad pick out of all of us that would love a man who treats us well.
You both conditioned yourself to this situation. She by not doing anything and you by not saying anything and now it's the norm.
She'll be happy to go on like this until you're both old and grey. I put my foot down a couple of years back (we were in the same situation) and things came to a head big time. Alot of yelling, crying (me yelling, her and I crying) but in the end she compromised.
She used to lay down like a dead fish at times (before the talk) during sex. She no longer does that anymore. Before when it was just do it and get it over with on both our parts, sex lasted 2 minutes tops. Who wants to keep going when their partner just lays there and says hurry up.
Now a days she's an active participant and we go 20-30 minutes when she usually cries uncle and the bed sheets have been soaked And it's at least once a week, although I sneak a couple here and there once in a while. Plus we have a growing sexual toy collection.
You MUST address this with her pronto, otherwise you will find the weeks turn to months turn to years and you'll just become more and more withdrawn and resentful of each other and continue to live as roommates. If you want/need moreout of your marriage (and it seems you do), then you need to address it right now and find out just what the problems are. In the meantime, take care of yourself and be a good father to your son...stop going out of your way for her and being a doormat!!
i am a bit distressed at the last part of your post.
While we are only getting one side of the story (and we always need to keep that in mind) if a woman posted the same story as the OP and a male answered with "You sound like a wife every husband would want, but are you indeed this perfect?
Are you sure you haven't done anything in the past to destroy him?" we'd get slammed!
Dune Trader - I am glad my post brought you out of the shadows. Hopefully we both can gain some insight into our problems and get our marriages back on track.
To answer your first question, I do not know what her reply would be. I can only speculate that the answer one would get would be the standard " I am not willing to put myself out there". One of my friends has speculated that her selfishness and indifference to me might stem from her being an only child with divorced parents. While we all know of spoiled kids from these circumstances, I do not believe this is the case with her. She lived with her mother after the separation and they were of limited means at the time. Her mother was also a very hard working physician and was a great role model for my wife growing up. What might have come out of this situation is her reluctance to share herself with others.
As for your second question I can't think of anything that would cause her to lose her attraction to me. We both work so we share the house work evenly. We have a rule in our home that if you cook, you don't do the dishes. I don't mind doing either and rather look forward to doing the grilling out on the deck. We share the responsibility of our son as well. My wife preferred to work early and get our son in the afternoon. I have him in the morning. I wake him, make his lunch and drop him at school every day. I also take him to many of his extracurricular activities and coach one of his hockey teams as well. My wife and I went through the emotional and physical hell of invitro to have him and greatly appreciate the gift we were given. There is no problem with the amount of time we spend together as a family.
There has been no infidelity nor any emotional, physical or verbal abuse. Physically I am not much different from when we wed (5'11" and 180 lbs). I play hockey a couple of times a week and try get to the club during the week for some treadmill time. So it is not like I have let myself gain a ton of weight since we got married.
There might be some truth to your statement about reaching milestones in a marriage. I know that having our son was HUGE milestone for my wife. Unless the dollar collapses, we are pretty secure financially and my wife has no wants for more of anything. I guess that the only thing left to work after reaching these milestones together is your marriage.
I am sorry to hear that you are in the same boat as I. I know how this grinds on you and how you argue with yourself sometimes that you are making a big deal out of nothing. Best of luck to you in resolving this with your wife.