Emotionally Detached Wife
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Emotionally Detached Wife

My wife of 18 years it seems has checked out of our marriage. She has slept on the couch for 5 months now, it was supposed to be because I snored too loud. She had asked for a divorce two months prior to sleeping on the couch,because at that time she thought I treated her mean and was selfish, and to a degree I was. In that 7 month span we have had sex once. That sexual experience 2 months ago was when I knew that our marriage was in trouble. She didn't feel right inside, and she seemed rushed and bothered. She mentioned to me as we were having sex that "I need to understand a woman's body" WTF??? I don't study women's bodies, but after 18 years I think I would have a clue about her body. So we continued after that experience of no intimacy or sex and light conversation. I would ask about sex and she would say, NO because you don't listen to me and you like to do your thing without respecting my wishes. We had some financial issues with our mortgage and the IRS, due to some of my doings with finances. So a month ago we finally sat down and talked about the future, and she said that she wasnt interested in having sex with me or anyone else, In fact she said she would'nt stop me if I wanted to have sex with someone else. She says she isn't having an affair, but I'm beginning to wonder. She also said that maybe MC would help us. So far we have had two sessions, and it seemed to help us with talking about our problems, and we have good days where we are talking and having great conversations, and then days when she doesn't want to talk at all and just lays on the couch with her SONY reader. I have tried to initiate intimacy with mixed results. So far she has kissed me on the lips once since going to the MC two weeks ago. She is only comfortable with the cheek, hugs and hand holding are off the table. If I compliment her she gets annoyed with me. She also has stopped wearing her ring, and now claims she can't find it. If she doesn't want to work on our marriage, I wish she would just say that and stop with the melodrama. I love her, but realize that I have to give her space, and limit my communication to her. I have two kids 17 yo girl and 11 yo boy, it saddens me that they have to witness this spectacle of a marriage.I'm at my wits end in showing her that I understand my part in the breakdown of our marriage, and she has even mentioned that it wasn't all my fault. But I'm slowly dying inside to have the woman I love slowly push me away until I have no love left to give.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

Wow I'm really sorry this is going on. I really do not know what to tell you. I'm sure its hard to try to work on a marriage where one spouse seems to be a little more committed to working on it than the other.

When she tells you she isn't interested in having sex with you or anyone else, did she say why? Her sex drive has diminished because.........finances, and you being mean and selfish awhile back?

Can you give examples of why she says you were mean and selfish, what did you do exactly? Also it seems regardless of what she has told you, you continue on with trying for intimacy when she clearly told you it wasn't gonna happen. IMO, lay off that right now. I understand you may be sexually frustrated, but you have got to get to the root of the issue first.

When she told you she wasn't interested in sex with anyone else and she wasn't having an affair and that she wouldn't stop you if you had sex with someone else, did she volunteer that info to you out of the blue or did you ask if that was what was going on?
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

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Originally Posted by HiddenSoul View Post
My wife of 18 years it seems has checked out of our marriage. She has slept on the couch for 5 months now, it was supposed to be because I snored too loud. She had asked for a divorce two months prior to sleeping on the couch,because at that time she thought I treated her mean and was selfish, and to a degree I was. In that 7 month span we have had sex once. That sexual experience 2 months ago was when I knew that our marriage was in trouble. She didn't feel right inside, and she seemed rushed and bothered. She mentioned to me as we were having sex that "I need to understand a woman's body" WTF??? I don't study women's bodies, but after 18 years I think I would have a clue about her body. So we continued after that experience of no intimacy or sex and light conversation. I would ask about sex and she would say, NO because you don't listen to me and you like to do your thing without respecting my wishes. We had some financial issues with our mortgage and the IRS, due to some of my doings with finances. So a month ago we finally sat down and talked about the future, and she said that she wasnt interested in having sex with me or anyone else, In fact she said she would'nt stop me if I wanted to have sex with someone else. She says she isn't having an affair, but I'm beginning to wonder. She also said that maybe MC would help us. So far we have had two sessions, and it seemed to help us with talking about our problems, and we have good days where we are talking and having great conversations, and then days when she doesn't want to talk at all and just lays on the couch with her SONY reader. I have tried to initiate intimacy with mixed results. So far she has kissed me on the lips once since going to the MC two weeks ago. She is only comfortable with the cheek, hugs and hand holding are off the table. If I compliment her she gets annoyed with me. She also has stopped wearing her ring, and now claims she can't find it. If she doesn't want to work on our marriage, I wish she would just say that and stop with the melodrama. I love her, but realize that I have to give her space, and limit my communication to her. I have two kids 17 yo girl and 11 yo boy, it saddens me that they have to witness this spectacle of a marriage.I'm at my wits end in showing her that I understand my part in the breakdown of our marriage, and she has even mentioned that it wasn't all my fault. But I'm slowly dying inside to have the woman I love slowly push me away until I have no love left to give.
Hi! Being a "emotionally detached wife" myself, I want to give you my perspective.

Over the years, my H has slowly stopped giving me what I need. I've sat down w/him trying to get him on board with making some changes. It would be good for a couple of weeks and slowly regress back to the old ways.

I have (over time) built up bitterness and resentment towards him. I've been rejected (sexually) and it hit me hard. First I dwelled on it being me...I'm ugly, I'm fat, I'm unattractive etc.
But then, I woke up. I get compliments from men (some half my age) all the time. When I was on Facebook, had people hit on me all the time and realized, maybe it's NOT me. Anyway....I put up a wall. I said, "This man (who is supposed to love and want me like no other) isn't going to hurt me anymore".....and here I am....separated and trying to figure it all out.

If you haven't read "The Five Love Languages", please do.
Could be your not loving her the way she feels loved and visa versa. Seriously, give it a read...it's not a very long book at all.

As far as an affair, I would say it's possible. Shoot...anything is possible. You need to know if she is, because that could be clouding her judgement and keeping your MC sessions from really helping.

Stay in therapy, my H refuses to go and I go alone. It helps, I really believe it will.

I wish you the best of luck....come here often to get some insight and support.

Be kind to your wife, but don't let her walk all over you. Remember the man she married....she loved him and had NO walls up for him
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

*Sleeping on the couch
*Asking for a divorce
*telling you she wouldn't stop you if you had sex with someone else
*Not wearing her wedding rings
*Kissing on the cheek only
*No holding hands and hugs
*Doesn't want to have sex

Yeah I would say she is detached. Also would say some of these things seem like red flags! Other than what is listed above, have you noticed anything else, such as her cell phone calls, texts, emails, computer usage, leaving the house alot? It very well could be, (and no I'm not saying for sure) but it could be she is involved in a EA (Emotional Affair) with someone. Maybe that person is where her interest is at right now, and that's the reason for the emotional disconnect from you?

BTW, if its because of something you did or haven't done, instead of her just shutting down or saying "You need to understand a womans body" she needs to communicate to you what that is. Exactly what is she needs from you. Her communication skills need working on. It seems she hasn't told you anything she needs from you, instead she just tells you what she doesn't want.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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She didnt say why exactly as to why, I personally think it was depression and she said in MC that she looked at her life and didn't feel like she had anything to show for it. I'm 42 she's 41. Her sex drive diminished due to the stress of the finances. I was was mean and selfish in that she would mention things that she would like to do with money like savings, but I was living paycheck to paycheck and would ignore her requests. She always has these great ideas especially with the house, we should paint the house, get new roof, install new bathroom. But she wasn't willing to help me in doing those things. Im a man and I should do it by myself is her thinking. I was mean and selfish because I would only consider my projects (man cave) never hers.

Sorry I meant intimacy in the form of kissing and hugs, and hand holding, not sex... We are a no where close to that.. That I know. I just would like to have a connection with her. even in small doses at this point. I asked if she was having an affair, at first she said it wasn't me it was her. Nothing I did, she was dealing with some things in her head. Couple of weeks go by and still the same distant behavior, sio I ask again and she gets mildly upset and says I told once NO! So I don't dare bring that up again. I dont know what to think?????
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

Ok so what about the other things I had asked...the cell phone, computer, her not being home alot etc? Anything you have noticed with any of that?

You mentioned her feeling stressed from the finances...does she work?
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

Sit your wife down tonight. Not tomorrow but tonight. Make it very clear to her what you want and need. Tell her you love her and really would like to save this marriage. Tell her you would like to get back to what you once had.

Regardless of what you have or haven't done, tell her you're sorry, sorry for whatever you might have said or done in the past and you'd like to try to make it right. Discuss the finances, let her know you hear her and understand her on things she would like do to the house. Tell her it can happen, in time, and that you would like her help/input as well. Tell it it can be a team project, that maybe it can bring you both closer etc.

Tell her you are hoping at some point the both of you can be close again, not just physically but emotionally as well. You value her and the family. I know you might be thing, "well I do tell her this stuff, I do this and that", well tell her again. Make sure she is actually listening and hearing you. You listen and hear her as well. If she mentions you don't listen to her, you ask her what she means and for her to give you an example. If she does, tell her you want to make it right.

Pull out the stops. Connect with her on an eye to eye level. She needs to know you are serious in helping to fix things but that she has to meet you half way if she wants to fix things as well. If after all that, she still is disconnected and just isn't into trying to fix it, you need to dig deeper and see exactly where her interest is at. then you will need to make a decision at some point.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've checked the cell phones and nothing really suspicious there, and she only uses the computer at work. E-mails are all either work related or her gfs. She is really busy after work with the kids, so I don't see how she could fit the time in. She has to run my son to B-ball practices on Mondays and Wednesdays and she has school functions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The problem is I don't know what she wants anymore, she doesn't engage in conversation regarding the relationship. She will shut down, she told the MC last week that she doesn't want me to come to her, but she would come to me. Well when the hell is that going to happen? I will bring it up in our session this week.

I'm trying to be strong, but it is soooooo hard to get my emotions in check. Im all over the place right now, because I feel like on a yo-yo and she is playing with the string.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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She does work and she works very hard she has a very stressful job at that. She's going through some things at work and I also think the stress from work is depressing her also. She appears to be going through the "boss thinks I'm an idiot, and I've let my focus slip" deal.

She is working late today, I think I would like to have that talk at the next session with the MC on Thursday. Good idea? I sent her a Valentine's gift (flowers and chocolate) had it delivered to her job. She called back to thank me for it, and I was on such a high. Only to wake up this morning and it was back to the same distant chill. I'm confused....
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How late is working? Stop by her work unannounced to surprise her. Tell her you were thinking about her and just wanted to stop by.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That's a good idea.. I just might do that
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

HiddenSoul,

I don't know all of the details of your marriage...there may be more to the story than you've written here, and she may have a legitimate reason to be detached. Maybe she tried to change things for years with no response for you and has now given lost interest in trying. I can tell you, though, if my BF even showed the slightest interest in working on things the way you have described I would respond to him. You say you've tried counseling and that you've tried to show her that you know you've contributed to the problem...you're clearly introspective and self aware, which is far more than I can say for my BF. A husband who is aware and cares enough to save his marriage AND takes steps to do so is a keeper, so her detachment seems strange to me. It is possible that your wife is depressed. She's too young to lose interest in sex and the lying around on the couch reading sounds like lethargy and depression to me.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAGirl View Post
I have (over time) built up bitterness and resentment towards him. I've been rejected (sexually) and it hit me hard. First I dwelled on it being me...I'm ugly, I'm fat, I'm unattractive etc.
But then, I woke up. I get compliments from men (some half my age) all the time. When I was on Facebook, had people hit on me all the time and realized, maybe it's NOT me. Anyway....I put up a wall. I said, "This man (who is supposed to love and want me like no other) isn't going to hurt me anymore".....and here I am....separated and trying to figure it all out.
Hiddensoul, this is the crux of the issue. You were "mean and selfish" to your wife and she has reached breaking point. Complacent men all over this forum are going through the same thing after years of not listening. Have you heard of the 'Walk Away Wife Syndrome'? I would google it.

It's good you are ready to make changes but honestly, after years expecting change, she may have a hard time believing you can be true to your word. Why were you ever mean and selfish in the first place? How can stop yourself from reverting to your old ways if you manage to recover from this? How can you prove that to her? Really think about these questions. Now is not the time for empty words and promises. Things do need to change. Good on you for realising that, but the important part is sticking to it.

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Happy wife = happy life.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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your situation with your wife is eerily similar to mine, although my situation is not quite as bad as yours. My wife and I are both in our forties and she has built up resentment toward me over the years due to the fact that she has to work (she feels that she should not have to work and the man should provide everything that the women wants) and due to the fact that she thought she would be in a better place by this time in her life (bigger house, newer car, big vacations every year etc.)

Don't get me wrong, we are not poor. We have 3 kids all going to private school, we live in a nice middle class neighborhood (although in a smaller ranch home), and we both drive older model cars ( 7 and 9 year models). Her sex drive over the last 6 years has diminished greatly. She will still have sex with me once or twice a month, but it is only out of obligation (she knows that it is a dealbreaker for me, if there is no sex whatsoever, then I am done with the marriage). She basically just lays there and waits until I am done. There is no kissing (she told me 6 years ago she did not want to do this anymore), no foreplay, nothing. This kind of sex sucks! But I guess it is better than nothing.

I truley believe that some of it has to do with her going through menopause last year, but a great deal of it has to do with her resentment towards me and the kind of life she feels she has to live. If we did not have kids, she would have left this marriage years ago. The only reason she stays is because of not wanting to split up the kids. Resentment is a KILLER in a marriage. I wish I had good advice to give you, but the others on this post have already done that. I will follow this post to see how you guys turn out. I definitely feel your pain!
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Emotionally Detached Wife

I agree that resentment is a big marriage/sex killer.

I do think some of what you are describing is related to her saying you were "mean and selfish" and maybe she feels like the things she has said to you before fell on deaf ears. HOWEVER, for whatever reason, I'm not so sure that's all of it, but maybe only part of the issue.

I know in the past, there were many times where my husband would or wouldn't do something that bothered me, or that I held resentment towards him for, but some of the things you said she was doing etc, I did not do. Such as, I might have been upset at him but not to the point of sleeping on the couch for months, taking my ring off, telling him he could sleep with someone else and it would be ok. So some of those things is what leads me to believe things might be deeper here than her just feeling like you weren't listening.
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