Not sure what to do. Please advise.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Not sure what to do. Please advise.

I am into the 2nd year of my 2nd marriage. It has been challenging since the word go. After moving to be near my kids to a place neither one of us like, she had to change careers, deal with someone else's kids for the first time and a venomous ex wife, it's been challenging. I tried to tell her how difficult it could be, but I should have known not to bring someone into all of this.

She's become increasingly cold and cut off to me even though we rarely fight now. She hates talking about feelings, especially hers, so I never really know what's going on. She carries the same very calm/quiet attitude when she is content as when she is unhappy, so I don't know the difference. We almost split up last year on several occasions, so I'm a bit paranoid about it now.

I guess I'm one of those weirdos who likes some closeness, sex and affection in the marriage. These don't seem very important to her. I try to do all I can to be a good husband/father. I help out around the house all the time, cook most of the meals. I pay most of the bills and am financially responsible. I give her compliments on her looks and tell her I love her. I am supportive when she is having a difficult time with something. She is generally supportive back, helpful with the kids and cares about my well-being. However, she acts as if she prefers a strictly platonic relationship or at least could do without sex/affection. The relationship is completely devoid of it, but it's fairly far and few between. Maybe I just happen to be a big fan of giving/receiving affection and she's not, but to me if you don't share that kind of thing, what's the point?

I confronted her on this a few weeks ago because it was bugging me too much to stay quiet. I was calm and gave her credit for the good things she brings to the marriage, but told her I don't think she is "in-love" with me anymore - or romantically attracted to me. She didn't deny it, but then tried real hard for a couple of days before going back to status quo.

I love her very much and am in love with her. I find her very attractive and want us to be happy and have more fun together. I would do just about anything, but she's told me she doesn't want me to do anything romantic -- not into it. Which sucks, because I actually enjoy doing that stuff.

At times I think I have very valid points, but other times I wonder if I'm just over-reacting to this.

If my kids weren't involved, I'd probably shut the door on this thing or confront it very strongly until it was resolved one way or the other. But the marriage provides financial and family stability to the kids' lives and they need that. I vacillate between just seeing this out at least until they're out of high school and getting out.

I'm too close to this situation to see it straight. I haven't gotten great feedback from friends on this, so I'm looking for other points of view.

We did try marriage counseling last year when things were really bad and it didn't help too much and she is not interested in trying that again.

Any helpful/constructive feedback is welcome. I don't mind blunt answers.
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

I have never really been able to wrap my head around those relationships, where one person seems to be doing all they can, loving, affectionate, helps out with kids, chores, bills, kind to their spouse etc etc, and WHY it is the other spouse isn't responsive to that.

Now, if you were a person who, didn't help out, who didn't help with bills, kids and chores, wasn't kind to your spouse, verbally abusive etc, etc, then I might couldn't understand how or why the other spouse might not feel close to or in love with or holds resentment towards you and would show those signs of disinterest.

Doesn't seem you are doing any of that. Seems like you are trying to do all the right things, and haven't caused her to feel resentment of any kind, or at least to your knowledge. So with that being said, I'm wondering if you're just with the wrong person, period. OH and BTW, never just stay because kids are involved. IMO it hurts them more in the long run, and its not as beneficial as you might think.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

How was she when you were dating? Was she sexually similar to how you are now? How do you dress around her? Do you need a make over? People tend to let there hair down at home. Which can be a bad thing. We get dressed up and do our hair for the people at work, but change to sweats and an undershirt when we get home. If they only ever see you dressed down, they tend to loose the interest.

Just a thought
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

Have you cruised around the Men's Clubhouse forum and checked out any of these threads:

The Man Up and Nice Guy Reference

The thermostat - the ultimate barometer of your R

Do you see any of yourself in them?

How old are you and your wife?

Has she ever been married before or have any children? If not, this whole experience with ex-wives and step-kids could be overwhelming to her.

God Bless.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

Gigong, your wife is not into you anymore. She is going through the motions, perhaps feeling stuck in a rutt of a marriage. Not saying you caused this...just letting you know how it sounds to me. I think she emotionally checked out of the marriage a while ago. Her cutting you off sexually shows that, and she does not seem to care if this destresses you or not. She no longer cares for you nor loves you. Perhaps she is still in the game for other reasons, financial, or until she can find a Bigger Better Deal. Perhaps she is biding her time, shopping for the next guy. She sounds selfish, and insensitive. Perhaps your baggage killed it off. One thing is for sure, don't go too long in this mode...shake it out one way or the other because stayin in this soup is not good for the children, not for you, and not for your wife (she's now your new ex-wife).
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

@CallaLily: Thank you for your comments. I'm not really getting it either. If there is something wrong with my attitude, appearance, or whatever ... just let me know and I can change or at least work on it. I can't change if I don't know about.

That thought (are we right for each other?) has crossed my mind many times. I love that she's calm, stable, logical, etc. and she helps me see more clearly how best to deal with the kids and the ex which is great, but she's too quiet, doesn't like meeting new people and I'm just the opposite. I like quiet evenings, but also enjoy going out and great conversation. We seemed really well matched during courtship. We do share a lot of values, not all. But I'm not sure what's going on now. Frankly I want someone who is as into me as I am them and that I feel very comfortable being "me" around that person.

Thanks.


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Originally Posted by CallaLily View Post
I have never really been able to wrap my head around those relationships, where one person seems to be doing all they can, loving, affectionate, helps out with kids, chores, bills, kind to their spouse etc etc, and WHY it is the other spouse isn't responsive to that.

Now, if you were a person who, didn't help out, who didn't help with bills, kids and chores, wasn't kind to your spouse, verbally abusive etc, etc, then I might couldn't understand how or why the other spouse might not feel close to or in love with or holds resentment towards you and would show those signs of disinterest.

Doesn't seem you are doing any of that. Seems like you are trying to do all the right things, and haven't caused her to feel resentment of any kind, or at least to your knowledge. So with that being said, I'm wondering if you're just with the wrong person, period. OH and BTW, never just stay because kids are involved. IMO it hurts them more in the long run, and its not as beneficial as you might think.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

@riki: She was all over me when we were dating and very physical with each other. Seemed like a match to me. I work from home, so I don't always look my best. I am aware of this will at times dress up to look/feel good. One time I was in a suit/tie for a business meeting and left it on the rest of the day so she could see me. She casually noticed it. Honestly, it doesn't seem that what I do helps in the slightest.

Thanks for your feedback!

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Originally Posted by rikithemonk View Post
How was she when you were dating? Was she sexually similar to how you are now? How do you dress around her? Do you need a make over? People tend to let there hair down at home. Which can be a bad thing. We get dressed up and do our hair for the people at work, but change to sweats and an undershirt when we get home. If they only ever see you dressed down, they tend to loose the interest.

Just a thought
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

I'm not demonstrative. I hate romance. I'd rather have my husband fix a door than get jewelry or perfume from him. He'd rather have cologne than tools. We have different love languages.

Do you really know her? Maybe that's just how she is. Was she always that way?

Try this. Get the Love Buster and Emotional Needs questionnaires from marriagebuilders.com (avoid their forums). Ask her to fill it out with you - you both fill out one of each. Then share. It will tell you how you make her unhappy (LBs) so you can stop those things, and what her top ENs are so you can make sure you're meeting them. Hopefully, she'll be willing to read yours and see what SHE can do to make the marriage better.

Also, what are YOU doing to help her find a job she likes better, since she had to give up what she liked for you. I imagine this is a BIG issue with her.

Finally, look into getting the book The Five Love Languages. It will explain how different people express and receive love differently. You need to learn what hers is, and hopefully she'll want to learn YOURS, so you both can get better at making each other happy.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

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Originally Posted by qigong View Post
@riki: She was all over me when we were dating and very physical with each other. Seemed like a match to me. I work from home, so I don't always look my best. I am aware of this will at times dress up to look/feel good. One time I was in a suit/tie for a business meeting and left it on the rest of the day so she could see me. She casually noticed it. Honestly, it doesn't seem that what I do helps in the slightest.

Thanks for your feedback!
I'm guessing that moving her to this place has simply filled her with too much resentment for her to be able to see past it to care about you right now. You need to have an open talk about what your physical (location) future should be.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

I disagree Turnera...it's not his job to find her a new job. That just smacks of a lack of accountability on her part, if she expects that.

I think this is nu mystery. She was into him during courtship, and now for some reason she is not. It is very telling that he alone is distressed by this lack of romance, and she is not. It is exceedingly obvious that she no longer cares for him. Hey, if she is unhappy about moving to a bad place, or not having a job, she has a right to feel sad about that, but to take it out on him the way she is is NEVER acceptable. This shows she is retarded when it comes to relationships, and men. She does not know how to take care of a man, and I mean beyond watching his kids. Sad but I think this guy made a huge mistake getting married to this cold fridged insensitive tw@t. Life is too short to put up with that BS...I've been there done that. My fiance is awesome and I look forward to getting married in April, but if she starts pulling that sheet on me, end game, baby...END GAME...I'm 51 and life is too short to put up with that BS. I give 110% and I expect nearly as much back.

Gigong, here is a last chance Hail Mary strategy for you to try: Buy your wife Dr. Laura's book "The Care and Feeding of Husbands" and ask her to read it. If that book does not turn things around, get the heck out!!!

Too often a woman knows nothing about taking care and living with a man and making him feel happy. He needs to be sexed up big time, respected, appreciated, and supported. We are very simple creatures yet too many women these days are stupid this way. Of course one could say the same thing about most men. You are not happy because you are not sexed up, respected, valued, appreciated.....she gets a big fat F! Do accordingly!

Last edited by ThirdTimeACharm; 09-02-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

@Enchantment: Those are good posts! There are times when I've felt that way, being too nice, doing too much. There was a time when I pulled away and almost broke it off and she came back in and tried harder. These days I keep to myself. I don't try too hard, try to maintain a balance. She does her part around the house too. I'm just not a lazy POC. Frankly I don't come to her for much of anything and she seems okay with that and doesn't want to share much with me most days. She is stressed with work and the kids/ex have been tough at times, but we've been at this almost 2 years now and we're in a routine, so it shouldn't be any more of a surprise.

However, the truth is, I'm not happy in my job/career and am in the process of changing that. Perhaps that my improved attitude will change hers. We'll see.

I don't understand why we can't still enjoy and appreciate each other now in the moment. I believe it's my duty as husband to make 1/2 the effort on my part, but it doesn't break down equally with her.

Perhaps I should just do whatever makes me happy in the moment and if she wants to be a part of it great, if not, then see ya?

I'm 41, she's 34. Her first marriage, no kids or desire for kids. I've often thought that I should be with someone whose been through this before.

Comments?

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Originally Posted by Enchantment View Post
Have you cruised around the Men's Clubhouse forum and checked out any of these threads:

The Man Up and Nice Guy Reference

The thermostat - the ultimate barometer of your R

Do you see any of yourself in them?

How old are you and your wife?

Has she ever been married before or have any children? If not, this whole experience with ex-wives and step-kids could be overwhelming to her.

God Bless.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

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I'm guessing that moving her to this place has simply filled her with too much resentment for her to be able to see past it to care about you right now. You need to have an open talk about what your physical (location) future should be.
It sounds like you're suggesting he treat her like a child, and it's all his fault. Hey, so she hates the new digs....deal with it!! Her handling of it is wrong and disrespectful to him....and so now he has to "talk to her"? I think he needs to talk to a lawyer! She lacks communication skills, basic ones at that, and if that is the case, then this man has NOTHING. It's dead.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

Huh? How is caring what she feels treating her like a child? What's missing in their marriage is communication. And, from the sound of it, time together as a couple. You have to nurture a marriage - if you get married and just plop right into raising kids and dealing with crazy exes...well, what's the point?

WHY does she lack communication skills? She was a different person altogether when they were dating. The only thing that changed was she got moved into a place she doesn't like, a house she doesn't like, took on responsibility of kids she never wanted, lost the job she liked to accommodate the marriage, has to deal with his crazy ex...and you wonder why she shut down?
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qigong View Post
She's become increasingly cold and cut off to me even though we rarely fight now.
btw, this usually means that she's given up. If she used to fight but now doesn't, she has moved from unhappiness to anger to apathy, and that usually comes when they simply don't care any more.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not sure what to do. Please advise.

@ternera: Thank you for your response. If I thought she hated romance and being open with each other, trust me I never would have proposed. She seemed to like the nice dates I planned back in the day and she loved the romantic proposal, but now she says she's not into that. Why?? Her response is she just isn't.

We do have different love languages, learned that in counseling. She feels loved if we are in the same room whether or not we are interacting. Mine is more physical (not necessarily sex, but I like it) and verbal. I'm not overgushing with it or need to hear it everyday. I just like the little things that she systematically has stopped doing over time: a kiss goodnight at bed, kiss goodbye in the morning etc. She used to do those things automatically, not anymore. Shoot, I'd be thrilled with a hand on the shoulder now and then.

Btw, she had to sign a contract with work and seemed apprehensive. I told her there are always options and I'd support them. I told her not to feel trapped by this one opportunity, but if you take it, it's YOUR choice. I'll support you, but not if you act unhappy about that choice all the time. I've also helped her with her resume and applied her to jobs with her permission.



Quote:
Originally Posted by turnera View Post
I'm not demonstrative. I hate romance. I'd rather have my husband fix a door than get jewelry or perfume from him. He'd rather have cologne than tools. We have different love languages.

Do you really know her? Maybe that's just how she is. Was she always that way?

Try this. Get the Love Buster and Emotional Needs questionnaires from marriagebuilders.com (avoid their forums). Ask her to fill it out with you - you both fill out one of each. Then share. It will tell you how you make her unhappy (LBs) so you can stop those things, and what her top ENs are so you can make sure you're meeting them. Hopefully, she'll be willing to read yours and see what SHE can do to make the marriage better.

Also, what are YOU doing to help her find a job she likes better, since she had to give up what she liked for you. I imagine this is a BIG issue with her.

Finally, look into getting the book The Five Love Languages. It will explain how different people express and receive love differently. You need to learn what hers is, and hopefully she'll want to learn YOURS, so you both can get better at making each other happy.
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