05-31-2012, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
| | Do you agree with our marriage counselor?
My story has been around a while but the bottom line is that my SAHM wife hit me with the "I'm not happy" speech 5 months ago in the midst of some pretty mitigating circumstances that she was going through but decided that it was me that was making her unhappy. I ultimately conceded her position (though she re-wrote history to get there) in the hopes of correcting my percieved wrongs and to just be a better overall dad and husband (I always thought I was). Everything has gotten much better and my understanding of marriage, men and women is extensive now (yes I read most of the books recommended on here).
Alright, to the point. When evaluating how I could be a better husband and meet her needs I decided I not only wanted this marriage to be better, I wanted it to be the best possible marriage ever. In order for it to be that, I have been ignoring (and allowing her to ignore) my own unmet needs. Specifically affection.
My wife doesn't kiss me, cuddle me, hold my hand or say I love you unless I do it first. She will never initiate any kind of contact besides a half heated one arm hug when I get home from work. Our sex lif is OK (about once a week) but that is it for any evidence that we are a married couple (besides the kids). My wife used to be very affectionate but somewhere along the way it disapeared and I never addressed it. Until now.
So at counceling I have been leaving every session with my "marching orders" and my wife isn't required to do anything. My wifes attitude is that she is not affectionate with me because I shut her out for four years and that hopefully with my changes she will get those urges back, someday. Our counselor seems to agree with this. Once again, "shutting her out" is a complete re-write of history that I just have to swallow to not seem defensive. I have no problem admitting when I am wrong but I have been a good husband. Flawed at times, but always there and available.
My thinking is that maybe she could make some sort of effort and be more proactive and by the nature of her action and my re-action, those feelings might come quicker. It can be just baby steps, I'm not asking her to throw herself at me when I come home, just a little something to make me feel loved. Just one peck on the cheek after work would mean the world to me but she just won't do it unless she "feels" like it. Just once saying "I love you" first would make my day but she won't do it.
The counselor says that if she was to just "act as if" and give me that peck or "I love you" then it would simply be mechanical and have no meaning and "you don't want that".
I don't understand the big difference about why the changes I have had to make were ones predicated on a pro-active effort meanwhile hers are completely based on reactive effort and only in the context of when she feels like it.
If I am off base please set me straight. I'm going to try to go through this one more time tonight but then I'm done talking about my needs. It's irritating my wife and since the only thing I can do seems to be being a great husband and just wait this out until she decides to be more affectionate.