How to start over when my wife doesn't want to
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Hello all,

I have a problem in my marriage which I hope y'all can give me some advice. My goal is to get my marriage going again in a good way, but it seems like I've tried everything and nothing seems to work. Let me paint you the picture:

We've been married for 7 years, and together for 5 years before that. We have a 9 year old daughter, plus two boys which are my step-sons, they are 19 and 22. In the past the biggest problem in our relationship is that I used porn to fill in gaps in our sex life, and lied to her about it (I said I wasn't, she found out, oops!) As far as I know there has never been any infidelity, unless you count the porn, which my wife definitely does.

About a year ago, things came to a crashing halt, literally. I had a very serious motorcycle accident while she and our daughter saw the whole thing. They were driving a car behind me at the time. Spent 3 months in the hospital, etc. I really feel like I owe her my life, the phrase "I am lucky to be alive" has new and profound meaning to me, and in a lot of ways I think my luck was her doing.

Now things are sort-of back to normal. I got a new job, we moved to a new house, I can walk and do pretty much everything that normal men can.

But before the accident, things weren't good between us, and now they are worse. I sleep in the "guest room" on the floor with an inflatable mattress. She sleeps in the master bedroom. I am not welcome to sleep with her. Sex? That's funny. We had sex one time last year, that was before the accident. I can't even hug/kiss her without her acting like I'm doing something wrong.

I really do love her and I want to make this work, somehow. But I'm at my wits end, and I feel like my love for her is one-way.

Why does she even let me around, you ask? Well there are only two reasons I can think of: 1. Money. (I make a good wage, she makes some but less) 2. Fatherhood. She wants me around to do fatherhood kinda things, even though she tells me all the time that I suck as a father.

So my question to you is, how can I get this thing re-started? I am willing to do anything. Counseling is really out of the question, I've made 2 appointments which she canceled because she "was busy" and she doesn't seem interested in that. Really anything involving talking to her about it won't work. Somehow it seems like I need to slip in under the radar with changes to my life/activities which might improve things.

I appreciate any advice you can give.

--Ivan
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Until you can get her to either talk about it or go to counseling, you're going to be hard pressed to figure out what to do. You can a) change one thing at a time until you finally figure out what it is, or b) find some way to get her to open up. (a) is not really much of an option is it? You know your wife as much as anyone, and if you can't figure it out without her talking about it, no one else will I'm afraid. If you keep changing yourself without direction, all you're doing is blindly grasping for straws in the dark. Something that could take years and may very well never work at all. You could very well have some decent guesses from people, but they're still guesses. There is something major going on because your marriage is definitely NOT on track at all, but you'll never know what for sure unless she tells you.

I really think slipping "in under the radar with changes" is a bad option. You'll be constantly changing yourself for someone else and the more and more things aren't affected the more rejected you will feel. A much more focused direction would be to find ways to get her to communicate and tell you what's going on. Find out how to get her to open up and then you'll know exactly what needs to be done.

I don't know what you've tried so far, but here are a few ideas.

"Talk" via email or letters/cards about it. Some people feel much more comfortable writing out their issues than talking about it. You will eventually need to have real dialog, but it might be a way to loosen her up.

She keeps bailing on counseling, but is there someone she trusts? A close girlfriend or a sister who can be that third party? She may just need it to be someone she is completely comfortable with and trusts to be on her side. And that's fine for you, all you need is that catalyst to get her to open up.

Come up with a list of what you *think* she may need changed. And set her down and ask her about everything on that list. You'll probably be wrong on half of it, and even if you are, it might prove the opening she can take to offer up her own reasons for what's going on.

Hopefully some others will give you more ideas.

All that said, the unfortunate reality is that some people flat out refuse to talk. For whatever reason they are pathologically driven by fear, personal history, or some other reason to protect themselves by hiding their deepest feelings or issues. It's a self defense mechanism that becomes simply part of who they are as a person. Getting people like this to open can be incredibly difficult and highly frustrating. If this is what it boils down to for your wife and nothing works, and if you know you can't live like this: simply tell her that. Tell her you want things to be better and are willing to do whatever it takes to change your lives for the better, but you deserve a great life with what you have left and whether she joins you on this new and better adventure all depends on whether she can decide to open up to you or not.

So that's my 2 cents. Best of luck to you!
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

I can see what you mean about the fact that many people refuse to talk. It's always hard to get her to talk about her own feelings about anything. Conversations usually end up with her talking endlessly about my problematic history, and me just listening and apologizing. But what really needs to be talked about is how to move forward, and that never happens.

I think your "Here's what I think needs to be changed" plan might have some promise. I think what I'll do is put together a list like that and post it here first to see if you have suggestions on improvements, as well as a method of presentation.

--Ivan
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

badger-

I liked your under the radar idea.

But I think you need to be direct on this occasion. Ask her why it is that you are married to her and yet sleeping in the guest room. If she won't answer, or she gives you a really bad answer you need to go away and think about it.

Then you need to decide if you want to stay in a sexless relationship. At the moment your answer seems to be yes. When you reach the point where the answer is absolutly no, then one of two things can happen. You and her can start working on it, or you can move out.

Until you reach this clarity, this woman will continue to call all the shots.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Two things I would do.

1) date ~ Lite the fire again like when you first met her. It can start slow with a dinner date and move up to the things you use to enjoy.

2) COmmunication ~ You need to start talking to her and listening to what she says.

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Old 08-15-2008, 06:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Well....

Thanks everyone for thinking about me and my problems. I really appreciate it, it made me think about things in a lot of new ways.

Today our marriage took a big turn for the worse, and I think I am giving up. She told me that she doesn't love me anymore, and wants to just be roommates. We agreed that our daughter is the #1 priority, and that we needed to keep up appearances for her sake.

So I am now moved permanently into the guest room, which is no longer a guest room. I used to use the master bathroom for showering, I'm moving my stuff out of there too like she asked. We both work at home, previously in a nice "home office" room, which is now hers. I am using my bedroom as a home office.

Bottom line, things are really terrible, and will never improve. She told me she isn't interested at all in marriage counseling. I hope that we can make it through the next 10 years or so to see our daughter through to adulthood, I'll try. I'm lucky to be alive.

I think it's best to close this topic down. Again, thanks very much for your thoughts and comments.

--Ivan
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Sorry to hear what you are going thru.

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Old 08-15-2008, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Badger,

Don't give up yet! You're still living under the same roof, which is more than I can say. My husband moved out in April and I'm still hoping. And my husband even says there is always hope.

Also, this forum is a great place for you to find strength and encouragement. You're going to need it!

So, she won't go to counseling....then go alone. A great counselor can make a huge difference in your life. Go to the counselor for YOU and always leave the door open for her to join you.

I do see one thing going on and it could be related to the accident. She is definately distancing herself from you. I would really try to figure out WHY. That's going to be tough since she isn't communicating. Can you talk to any of her family and/or friends?

If you really want to save your marriage, I recommend you read a couple of books. The first one is "The Five Love Languages" and the other one is "Hope for the Separated". Both books were written by Gary Chapman. They will give you so much insight into what has been going on in your marriage. They will even give you techinques to use on an "unwilling" spouse. The second book, "Hope for the Separated", his full of biblical references. I realize it may not be for everyone, but it has given me much hope.

Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger View Post

We've been married for 7 years, and together for 5 years before that. We have a 9 year old daughter, plus two boys which are my step-sons, they are 19 and 22. In the past the biggest problem in our relationship is that I used porn to fill in gaps in our sex life, and lied to her about it (I said I wasn't, she found out, oops!) As far as I know there has never been any infidelity, unless you count the porn, which my wife definitely does.

About a year ago, things came to a crashing halt, literally. I had a very serious motorcycle accident while she and our daughter saw the whole thing. They were driving a car behind me at the time. Spent 3 months in the hospital, etc. I really feel like I owe her my life, the phrase "I am lucky to be alive" has new and profound meaning to me, and in a lot of ways I think my luck was her doing.

Now things are sort-of back to normal. I got a new job, we moved to a new house, I can walk and do pretty much everything that normal men can.

But before the accident, things weren't good between us, and now they are worse. I sleep in the "guest room" on the floor with an inflatable mattress. She sleeps in the master bedroom. I am not welcome to sleep with her. Sex? That's funny. We had sex one time last year, that was before the accident. I can't even hug/kiss her without her acting like I'm doing something wrong.

I really do love her and I want to make this work, somehow. But I'm at my wits end, and I feel like my love for her is one-way.

Why does she even let me around, you ask? Well there are only two reasons I can think of: 1. Money. (I make a good wage, she makes some but less) 2. Fatherhood. She wants me around to do fatherhood kinda things, even though she tells me all the time that I suck as a father.

So my question to you is, how can I get this thing re-started? I am willing to do anything. Counseling is really out of the question, I've made 2 appointments which she canceled because she "was busy" and she doesn't seem interested in that. Really anything involving talking to her about it won't work. Somehow it seems like I need to slip in under the radar with changes to my life/activities which might improve things.

I appreciate any advice you can give.

--Ivan
yeah, if those things (stated above) are the reasons why she IS keeping you around, be THE BEST provider and THE BEST FATHER that you can.

then, build a strategy for making up lost ground. living transparent, you may have heard the phrase. give her your passwords, clean up your act and LET HER HAVE ACCESS TO EVERYTHING...because she is going to be suspicious of everything for a long time. cherish her and honor her and your family...you think rehabbing from your crash was loonnnnggg and harrrddd...fixing what's broken is gonna take alot of work too. that's ok though. you've learned from your crash...time is all you've got bro. i know, i had a stroke and am gonna come back all the way. marriage too.

oh yeah, say a prayer. He listens.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Hi Badger,

Even if you aren't in the frame of mind to continue this thread, I would recommend you look at Voivod's original post. He has been down a very similar path and you may find all hope is not lost. If your wife has built resentment over the years compounded by the hurt when discovering the porn use, it will take a lot of patience on your part to get through. She has most likely built a pretty strong wall to protect her emotional state. If you are living in the same house, I absolutely agree with the above that it will only help you to be the best father/provider you can.
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Old 11-04-2008, 09:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to start over when my wife doesn't want to

Have you looked in to the "Fireproof" movie Welcome To FireproofTheMovie.com - In Theaters September 26, 2008
and the book associated with it.
The Love Dare Official Site: Get the book from the movie Fireproof

It's an under-the-radar approach that really can't hurt. It doesn't sound like things can get much worse aside from moving out completely.

I wish my husband would do it for me...
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