Very true. Right now, it's a matter of where to begin. It was really awkward when the MC asked about simple things like, 'So, what do you talk about over dinner?' and we had to admit that most of the time we don't even eat together. Or, if we do, we'll sit in the living room (him on the couch, me on the loveseat) while the t.v. is on - no real conversation.
Did you know that you are JUST the kind of person I enjoy talking to? Know why? Because hey--NO ONE is perfect, and in your case you did something awful that you regret and you have the guts to look at yourself and say "Darn what did I do? What can I do different now?" See in this quote how you're not saying "Hubby never talks to me!" or "He ignores me".... it's "WE don't talk" and "WE don't even eat together!"
Red, in real life what I find the gigantic, vast majority of the time is that people meet each other, like each other, grow to love each other, get married...and then being young and naive-ish they sort of play "grown up house" and life really gradually throws in things that little-by-little tear you two apart. In real life, the one spouse goes to school to have a career and the other "puts them through school" by working at the 7-Eleven for nights while watching the baby during the day. He works graveyards...she works days and they never see each other. A couple more kids and the bills pile up so he works longer hours. Pretty soon, she wants to go back to school to get her career going and they can't afford it so she's resentful... and he wants to have a wife who understands him and sympathizes with how hard he works, but his secretary spends more time with him and works on the projects with him! Add boy scouts, soccer practice and work seminars...and can you see how they spend no time together, aren't even friends, and sort of gradually drifted apart?
Soooo...you find yourself looking at your hubby and realizing "My god we don't really talk to each other about anything!" wondering where to start, right? I suggest quizzes, cuz you can ask the question ... you answer for you--he answers for him...and you can discuss why you picked that or how surprised you are at his answer or whatever.
Here's a bunch: Marriage Quizzes « For Your Marriage
This page has some under Relationships and Sexuality, and a few more under Personality: Psychological Tests and Quizzes
And finally not to boast but I like the page on my site for assessments: Assessments « AFFAIRCARE
Hey...it's a start and pretty fun!
I mean, it can't be me, that's weird, right? We sleep in the same bed, still have sex, take care of the baby but really don't spend time together just talking or doing something.
Nope it's not just you. ZILLIONS of married Americans do just that and it is kind of weird. Not unusual at all...but weird
It is so much better to be married to your best friend.
He has access to everything - we've had some discussions about some of that and questions that he had about some of the emails between me and another male colleague (not the xOM). It's taking a lot of self-awareness from me to realize I've been a HUGE flirt which has really caused a lot of the problems.
I will be you money you're an EXTROVERT!!!!! with a capital E...and he's either an introvert or a extrovert with a lower case e. Bear in mind that those are just natural differences in personality, not one of you being "right" and the other being "wrong"--you just are not the same! The thing to being married, though, is that in every action you do and everything you say you've promised to consider your spouse and include them in everything. Every. Thing.
I do have to admit that much of this past year hasn't been spent focusing on repairing this marriage. It's been since our son was born 4 months ago that I'm realizing if I don't work to fix this, it's going to go back to what it was pre-EA.
It sounds like prior to all this you were thinking that marriage would coast along and not really get better or worse...just be. And now you're realizing that if you want to have an emotionally and physically close relationship with each other, you have to actually put effort into being a good partner, studying him, and being a wife. Cool! Nothing personal but that is a HUGE life lesson. Marriages that truly recover and are intimate means you show your True Self to your partner, warts and all, and make the effort to see all their warts and both of you promise to keep working at loving the other.
I suggest two things:
#1--take a small vacation. I know, I know. I've heard this a thousand times: "We just can't right now. Money is tight! I have to work. No babysitter. (Insert excuse here.)" Can you afford a divorce? Can you afford to lose half your time with your children and half your income? Then find a way to take a small vacation. Just the two of you and it doesn't have to be a trip to Europe. Do a cabin in the woods...or a long weekend at a fancy hotel...whatever is your thing. And during that vacation you don't have to be lovers and all romantic. The point of the vacation is to change the scenery just for the break from it all, and to do ONE THING you both like to do. For example, get tickets to the Jimmy Buffett concert, get a hotel room the night before the concert, go out for nice dinner, and then just have a blast at the concert WITH EACH OTHER. Or go to a car show. A dog show. A tennis tournament. A ball game. An amusement park. Whatever it is that you two BOTH enjoy...go do that for once, and have fun like he is your friend from college whom you could tell anything.
#2--Do the quizzes and things to get some topics to talk about, but while you do them remember that honesty is something you want to ENCOURAGE and reward. If he's honest and then you yell at him and screech, you will have taught him it is not safe to tell the truth! So if you're doing a quiz and he's honest...and it hurts, memorize this: "Thank you for being honest. I really do want to hear the truth but that last part hurt. I'm going to ask for a time out to think about what you said." Then whatever you were talking about, just stop for about 15 minutes and go get ahold of your feelings. Remember when he's honest,even if what he thinks or feels is "factually inaccurate" it is still what he thinks or how he feels AND he just opened up and shared with you like you've been asking.