Would this upset most women?
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Would this upset most women?

Are most wives happy as long as they get what they want even if their husband doesn't participate?

My wife recently divorced me after 18 years. She gave a 100 various reasons. One was my recent lack of participation in things she liked to do, but I didn't try to prevent her from doing it.

One example is our vacation to the beach last year. The beach had been her choice of vacation spots the last few years, and I had grown tired of it. We went with her sisters and their families.

I let her know that i wasn't too excited about going, but decided we could go anyway. I payed for the trip and participated in every activity we did except go to the beach every day. Instead, I chose to just hang out at the room and relax while the beach activity was going on.

She would ask "if" I was going each day, but never once said it would mean a lot to her if I did; she mentioned after we got back, however, that me not going ruined her vacation.

Another example: A big thing in her family is playing board games. When we gather with her family, that is all they want to do. I participated for years, but grew a little tired of it, so I started watching tv or something while everyone played scrabble. They could play games for hours. She said my lack of participation robbed her of a great pleasure.

When I talk to other people about this they ask, "Did you tell her she couldn't do it?" My answer is no. I have spoken with women who say they are satisfied as long as their husband doesn't try to stop them from doing what they want. One woman told me, "If my husband payed for a vacation and drove me there, I wouldn't care whether he wanted to do everything or not, especially if my sisters were there."

Would this be a big deal to those here? I realize it could be a rough area, but would it be a big, big, deal to you?
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

It depends on a woman's love language. Sounds like hers is quality time. She wants to do things WITH you. Instead, you were just sort of there, but not showing that you wanted to spend time with her. I would be upset by it big time. I get offended when my H is home and doesn't want to go somewhere with us. Or if he comes along somewhere but then sits by himself and doesn't participate. I asked him along so that we could be together, not just to be a warm body in the room.

You also mentioned how you used to do those things but then grew tired of them. So what your relationship and happy times were founded on, suddenly became boring. But she still wanted that time to bond.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

It would be a big deal to me. If I went on vacation with my husband, (and others) it would still hurt my feelings if he was not "present" when we participated in various activities. It would feel as if something was wrong...........it would be uncomfortable and quite frankly a bit embarrassing. It almost seems as if you were wanting to make some sort of "statement" or something. To be honest, if you did not want to "join in" I am surprised to went and did not just send her to go and enjoy her family. Again, for you to not go would seem strange if it were my husband. On the flip side, did they or you ever suggest an activity that YOU would enjoy doing? On vacation, all need to be flexible and sometimes people "go their own ways" but meet up for meals, etc. Did you say there WERE things you did participate in with everyone? Sounds like you guys need to sit down well BEFORE a trip, and kind of discuss what each of you would enjoy doing, but make sure there are things (maybe something neither of you have ever done) that you can enjoy together so she does not feel uncomfortable or slighted. ALL should be able to enjoy a vacation not necessarily doing every single thing together. Good luck on your next trip
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

I do a lot of things with my husband that he likes to do and he wants me to do with him, like watching cricket. Luckily for me (or for him), I don't mind much because I end up getting interested in those things too.

I love biking, biking trips.. He doesn't like doing sports things much. Normally I don't care. I go biking by myself. It's actually better for me that way.

But sometimes the realization that he doesn't seem to want to make himself do things I like with me and for me (and this is something I do for him and with him) chafes.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

My guess is that she was having an affair and these are excuses, OR, the two of you have a long history of poor communication and/or you ignoring her needs. In the latter case, she may have been very good at meeting your needs just because you asked, without you having to explain or beg. Google "Walk Away Wife" syndrome and see if that applies at all, and be honest with yourself--no one here cares if you were or were not part of the problem. You need to care, however, b/c it will affect your future.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

It depends on the person. For me, yes. I figure I'm not really into NFL, NBA, NCAA, PGA, NASCAR... you name it (yes, they're boring!). And yet, I try to have the get togethers over at our place because it's important to him. And I cook whatever menu I think everyone (mostly guys) would like.

Now I'm a busy career woman with kids and that isn't exactly my idea of a great time, either the cooking, the yelling at the tv, or the cleaning part, but I make the best of it and participate because it's important to me to make my husband happy. Does he have to ask me if he can do it? Does he have to tell me that it's important to him or that it would mean a lot if I participated? Does he have to give me a hard time if I don't? Does this have to become one of our issues that eventually lands us either in counseling or divorce court? Not from my end.

So it would be nice if he reciprocated. He doesn't, and it actually reflects in many ways throughout our marriage mainly in the selfish attitude that says he only cares if he's happy. Sorry... but it does matter. And I'm close to following your ex-wife out the door...
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

She enjoyed your company, and spending time with you. When you didn't participate you sent the message you didn't enjoy it, therefore didn't want to spend as much time with her.

I married my husband to be with him, not live under the same roof, but go separate ways.

It is a big deal to me. My H and I are having this same issue in our marriage. We had an argument about it last night. The result: me crying, him saying "get over it."
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

I agree it depends on the person. You can't categorize all women as being the same. There are things that you do that I am sure that your wife does not like to do just as there are things your wife does that you don't like to do. Part of growing closer together is showing appreciation towards one another's interests. This helps you guys get closer. Going on a trip and actually going to those events is a thumbs up! That shows you are taking interest, however, you need to push yourself further and try to get engaged in the activities that she does because it means a lot to her. Just as there are probably things that she does that mean a lot to you. Being in a relationship means showing interest in one another because in the end it will help show one another that even though you might not like the activity, you love that person so much that you are willing to do something that you don't like.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

A lot of it depends on the person and it sounds as if you and your wife have poor communication. But here is a hint - if she was asking you every day if you were going to the beach, get a clue she wanted you to go.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

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Originally Posted by southbound View Post
Would this be a big deal to those here? I realize it could be a rough area, but would it be a big, big, deal to you?
Ok, I'm going to be honest - I am kind of selfish, and I LIKE being with my man, NO, scratch that, I LOVE being with my man, and if he didn't want to do things I carefully planned (vacation choices) and hang right along with me, if I felt he was not there "in spirit", I would likely be VERY disturbed (but very unlike your wife, I would have let him know)- because for me, I am not the type to hang with the girls, I have no sisters, and I crave the romantic togetherness of being with my best friend/lover.

I have a friend who does NOT at all need alot of time with her husband, she is always hanging out with her Mom & family -while he is in the garage with his buddies, it WORKS for THEM. So to each marriage , their own. Nothing wrong with that.

If he was my husband, my family would be totally the last people I would want to drag on vacation & you'd find me hanging out with the guys in the garage. Which might have annoyed him !

So always a ++ to marry someone with the same Love Languages in these areas & good communication skills when these things are not meshing as one may like.

Maybe you would have enjoyed these vacations more so if her family was not along? Maybe you could have suggested this. Personally if I had my family or a bunch of women with me on vacation, chances are I would NOT be upset if my husband wanted to stay back as he would assume I was having fun with them. I can understand WHERE you are coming from also. She should have let you know in some manner.

I understand your tiring of "Board games". I never cared for them much. I do it from time to time for the kids, I have to PUSH myself. Inevitably, I start yawning (especially Monopoly) , I sometimes throw myself on the floor saying "I cant take it anymore, when is this going to end?!! ". Yes, these things are terrible, but when husband wants me to join the kids, I still do it. For a short time. Probably should have continued to join in from time to time -just to show a connection with their fun.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

Do you ever suggest activities?

Maybe that is what is bugging her.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

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Originally Posted by LonelyNLost View Post
It depends on a woman's love language. Sounds like hers is quality time. She wants to do things WITH you. Instead, you were just sort of there, but not showing that you wanted to spend time with her. I would be upset by it big time. I get offended when my H is home and doesn't want to go somewhere with us. Or if he comes along somewhere but then sits by himself and doesn't participate. I asked him along so that we could be together, not just to be a warm body in the room.

You also mentioned how you used to do those things but then grew tired of them. So what your relationship and happy times were founded on, suddenly became boring. But she still wanted that time to bond.

That's exactly the case.

I was in that situation for more than twenty years. My "love tank" was on empty because the estranged husband never wanted to spend time doing things together.
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Old 04-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

Do you have things you like to do? Did your wife participate in those? That's my situation. I'm expected to everything she wants to but then she doesn't like to do my stuff - ever.

In our group of couples there is one husband that absolutely WILL NOT participate in board games. He will sit and watch something on TV and make comments about this person or that person. His wife doesn't like it, but she accepts it. It's either accept it, fight about it or divorce him. She accepts it. She does a lot of stuff that he doesn't like either and he accepts it by *****ing about it a lot. Everyone just accepts that's the way he is.

Funny thing. She like to decorate. Her house is always very nice but he *****es that they is "too much stuff" on the walls, counters, tables, bookshelves, etc. She finally got so mad that she took EVERYTHING down and put it in boxes. The house had furniture but NOTHING ELSE. It really looked weird. He finally gave in and they came to a compromise.

What's even funny is that her mom is just like her and she is just like her DH. WTH you ask? Well, we went with them and another couple to Colorado for vacation one year. They stayed at her parents cabin with her parents (retired) and we rented a cabin. Her mom had the coolest cabin decorated with all kind of neat western paraphenilia that she had collected over the years. I thought it was really cool. She thought her mom had TOO MUCH STUFF and started sneaking it out and giving it to charity. SHE WAS ACTING JUST LIKE HER HUSBAND DOES TO HER. I mentioned this to her and its like she never realized it before. People are funny.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

This is a tough question because I see both sides of it. On the one hand it was something your wife obviously enjoyed and she wanted you to be a part of it. On the other hand spending that much time with the in-laws makes me cringe. Forget that it was doing things that you didn't like (beach, board games). But that's where communication should have come in. I've been married for 19 years and what we do with families has evolved. In the beginning it was more about them and less about us but then both of us got sick of it. Like we used to visit his family a lot and they live 550 miles away. I spoke up, we compromised and now we go less. We used to spend a lot of time in the sun, then dh spoke up and said that really wasn't his thing, we compromised and now I put him under an umbrella or go alone.

Did you try to offer up a compromise like yes we will go and I agree to TWO beach days not all five. I'll play board games once a month not every week that kinda thing. Or did you just assume if she went alone you were off the hook?
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Would this upset most women?

I appreciate all the comments. I am to the point that If someone can tell me that I was the biggest idiot-husband in the world and they fully understand why my wife divorced me, I am willing to accept that. Marriage is sacred to me, so I the idea of not playing board games and going to the beach as part of why i am divorced is strange to me and most that I talk to, but if others seem to understand, it helps me understand.

I suppose poor communication was our downfall. I obviously knew she enjoyed these things, but i never knew they were that important to her. If she had made me know early on that things like this was what she needed, it could have made a difference. I didn't realize the importance because it's not my love language, and there are plenty of things that I don't get to do, but I wouldn't divorce over it. To be honest, if I had known those things were that important to her, I would have gladly done them.

I tend to remember the commercial a few years ago that showed the family on vacation where the man was always shown sleeping while the mother and kids did their thing. I suppose I thought that was ok.

I think these situations could be viewed two ways. It didn't seem she was very interested in what I wanted either. I suggested doing something else for vacation, such as a trip to Washington D.C. She wasn't against the idea at all, but in talking with her sisters, the beach just seemed to win out.

Also, I never knew about the "love language" thing until recently, but have come to realize that sexual intimacy is my love language. My wife didn't look at vacations as a time for sexual intimacy. It wasn't like she was having wild sex with me every night and then I refused to give her her needs by being a lazy bum. It's difficult to remember who started slacking first. Did I stop doing what she wanted, so she lost interest in sex, or did she stop wanting sex and then I slacked off on what she wanted?

To be honest, I don't think I slacked off intentionally with a "I'll show you" attitude. Being that the beach isn't my thing anyway, for example, I suppose in the back of my mind I just didn't have the drive being that she didn't seem interested in my needs.

This also proves to me that relationships are waaaaaaaay more complicated than they should be. We teach and learn a lot of things in school, but relationships were never mentioned; where was I supposed to learn all this stuff? It seems my "on-the-job" training didn't work out so well.

I know I have rambled.
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