17 years and it seems we are drifting apart
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

First time writer here on this topic, so please excuse the verbiage.

I am a 41 year old male, in good shape, and a good father of 11 year old twins. I have been with my wife for 17 years. We are both hard working professionals, but my wife is working harder than me right now. Shes working more hours at home, on the BB, and on the laptop in bed sometimes. We have an intimate relationship which includes sex at least once a week, but there is nothing in between. I get no kisses; I get no hugs, or touch from her. I know Iím a man and should suck it up, but I need affection too, but I guess my wife not so much.

I do a lot around the house, clean bathrooms, cook, yard work, and kidís activities and on and on. So doing all these things does not impress her, because it is a mutual agreement that we both help out. We talk over dinner and when we get home from work, so there is intellectual conversation, but thatís it. The problem gets back to me and what I need even after doing all the above things.

I am to the point where I have started to look at other woman, and have crazy thoughts. I donít want to ruin my marriage and relationship, or hurt the kids. Do I need to be the better person and just suck it up and take the intimacy when it happens. Ive tried talking to her, but its always my fault, or I'm whining and not being the man. She is the worst person to speak with - shes an educated counselor of education and always spins off topic. Any help and direction would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

Do you suck it up? No.

If you are a good husband and a good father, you should use that power to create the marriage you want to have.

If you want affection, give her affection and if you wife refuses or pulls away you state that marriages are physical relationships.

IF you don't want her working so much you tell her that work is meant to enhance and improve the life of the entire family and her work is taking away from the enjoyment of the family.

You have to decide what you want a marriage to be, what the ideal husband does, what the ideal father does, do those things, and then hold your wife accountable to the standards you require from a wife and mother.

When you say "I get no kisses, I get no Hugs", this means you are waiting for her to "give", but you should be "taking".
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

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I am to the point where I have started to look at other woman, and have crazy thoughts. I donít want to ruin my marriage and relationship, or hurt the kids. Do I need to be the better person and just suck it up
No. You need to have your emotional needs met before things get any farther out of control. I had to really lay this on the line to my wife and we actually have an agreed to (daily) schedule which we always exceed to my great happiness. And remember, it's best to treat your spouse the way you would like her to treat you.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

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I do a lot around the house, clean bathrooms, cook, yard work, and kidís activities and on and on. So doing all these things does not impress her, because it is a mutual agreement that we both help out. We talk over dinner and when we get home from work, so there is intellectual conversation, but thatís it. The problem gets back to me and what I need even after doing all the above things.
remer,
Stick around for any length of time and you'll see that this problem is pretty common.

there are many good posts, especially in the Men's Clubhouse, about some of the classic dynamics that go on in a marriage. Maybe some might apply, and help you with a new approach.

In a nutshell, I think that if you look at the things that you can control (not her), maybe it will help to ask what you currently think that she is looking for to spice up the intimacy, and whether your approach meets those needs.

You are right in saying that helping with the chores will not make her want to be more affectionate. In the Men's Clubhouse, these are the behaviors often demonstrated by Nice Guys. It does along the lines of a motto of, "if I make your life easier, you'll make my life happier". Not gonna happen in the real world, though.

A common comment that you will hear from women on this site who are in similar situations is that their husband tries equate chores with getting sex. Or basically, his goal in almost everything is sex, sex, sex. I'm not at all suggesting that your approach is this simplistic. But I will suggest that if you place a vastly greater priority on pursuing her, pampering, listening, and boldly sweeping her off her feet, than on having sex, she'll notice the difference. In fact, let her know that on some afternoons or nights, you want nothing more than to just give her a massage, or to read her a poem from one of the great romanticists, or something that she likes. Surprise her with small gifts and notes. In other owrds, let her know that she is the goal, not sex.

Consider that if these types of things are missing, many of us avoid them because they are 'just not us.' But maybe this is what she is missing.

Of course, this might not be an issue. Not alot of detail in the post. If she has expressed issues in the past, make sure you are not an avoider. Let her know that you no longer fear working on the big issues.

Basically, I'm just listing ideas. I think you should also look into the Manning up threads in the Men's Clubhouse to see if the whole Nice Guy thing applies.

Anyway, maybe this is a starter.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

I understand the daily grind of family and the overwhelming pressure of work can distract spouses from concentrating on the marriage....

my suggestion... you know her routine, and the kids routine... find a slot of time once a week just to show her that you care, that you are worried that she is working too hard... and that you share some alone down time... perhaps a date... something casual, quiet, intimate and personal. I know as a woman going through life full bore with kids, home, work and now school... and men too of course, they do need their down time... sharing it together would be a wonderful bonding event.
No talking of work, kids, family, just talk of gentle things, fun things, like when you were dating... you will tell when she starts to relax... and then make her laugh... laughter cures SO much!

you start this ball bouncing... she will look foreward to the time together and recipocate with creating and sharing alone time with you... keep the ball bouncing!!!
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

Good words all and thanks. I posted with the thought I knew what to do, but with no one to get feedback from I wanted to put my thoughts out there for opinions. You all hit on some really great advice and I think it points at me bouncing the ball. I will continue to read some of the great advice on this site and stick with it. Over time like the past 17 years things will mature and get better.

If we sit back and wait for things to happen they may never come. In my regard, I always pictured the woman as being the intimate, emotional, and starting the action type of person. But in fact, this is not the case for woman and it sometimes takes a man to get them to acknowledge this, by doing.

I have told my wife I want her to grab my hand and show some public affection, but this still has not happened and I dont know how to tackle it. I told her a kiss when I get home would be good, but that doesnt happen. I just get confused because I feel she should be giving. The fact is I should be giving and then she will start to do the same. Im gonna take the advice and be the stronger guy and try the give route tonight. Lets see what happens.
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

Quote:
Originally Posted by remer View Post
First time writer here on this topic, so please excuse the verbiage.

I am a 41 year old male, in good shape, and a good father of 11 year old twins. I have been with my wife for 17 years. We are both hard working professionals, but my wife is working harder than me right now. Shes working more hours at home, on the BB, and on the laptop in bed sometimes. We have an intimate relationship which includes sex at least once a week, but there is nothing in between. I get no kisses; I get no hugs, or touch from her. I know I’m a man and should suck it up, but I need affection too, but I guess my wife not so much.

I do a lot around the house, clean bathrooms, cook, yard work, and kid’s activities and on and on. So doing all these things does not impress her, because it is a mutual agreement that we both help out. We talk over dinner and when we get home from work, so there is intellectual conversation, but that’s it. The problem gets back to me and what I need even after doing all the above things.

I am to the point where I have started to look at other woman, and have crazy thoughts. I don’t want to ruin my marriage and relationship, or hurt the kids. Do I need to be the better person and just suck it up and take the intimacy when it happens. Ive tried talking to her, but its always my fault, or I'm whining and not being the man. She is the worst person to speak with - shes an educated counselor of education and always spins off topic. Any help and direction would be greatly appreciated.
Then what you have to do is organize your lives better. Set a time every day where the work ends and the TV is off. Set this rule as no exceptions. I would suggest the last two hours before bed. Use that time to talk and bond. Set a "Date night" Every Sat evening at 9 PM, go out on a real date. Just the two of you.

If she isn't willing to do this, then you have a problem that you need to look deeper into.

Stop showing her worry, Stop begging her to hold your hand. These sorts of behaviors lower your value in her eyes. If you want a kiss, grab her and get one. If you want her touch, run your hands down her thighs. (But not in a creepy sort of way.)

Get a hobby or something that gets you out of the house more on your own. By going straight to work and straight home every day tells her that there is zero chance of any competition. When we know we have no competition, we stop putting in effort. Buy a new wardrobe and dress up more often. If you dress nice, change your style in some way. If Grey, die your hair. If glasses, get contacts. By improving your own life and widening your interests, you ill be doing a lot to improve your marriage.

Last edited by rikithemonk; 09-13-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

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Good words all and thanks. I posted with the thought I knew what to do, but with no one to get feedback from I wanted to put my thoughts out there for opinions. You all hit on some really great advice and I think it points at me bouncing the ball. I will continue to read some of the great advice on this site and stick with it. Over time like the past 17 years things will mature and get better.

If we sit back and wait for things to happen they may never come. In my regard, I always pictured the woman as being the intimate, emotional, and starting the action type of person. But in fact, this is not the case for woman and it sometimes takes a man to get them to acknowledge this, by doing.

I have told my wife I want her to grab my hand and show some public affection, but this still has not happened and I dont know how to tackle it. I told her a kiss when I get home would be good, but that doesnt happen. I just get confused because I feel she should be giving. The fact is I should be giving and then she will start to do the same. Im gonna take the advice and be the stronger guy and try the give route tonight. Lets see what happens.
EXACTLY! Sitting around waiting for what you expect is fruitless! Asking her to show you affection with hand holding and pecks on the cheek, to a career woman, mother, another demand on her ever growing list of to-do's. Do you want the affection to be given from your wife born of your wants, or do you want it to be given freely from your wife, in love? Give to her what you expect in return. Understand though, this is a process, what you try may not work, but after 17 years, you have a good starting point! Be patient, understanding and OBSERVANT! Woman can be very obvious with their body language, you just need to watch for it. Understand there may still be underlying issues... be open and receptive. As for women being the masters of the care, nuturing and emotions.... we can be... and usually are... but that doesn't make man an emotionless lump of coal. Somewhere you do have a romantic side... let it shine! We (husbands and wives)devote so much time and energy to work, kids, home, we forget who should be #1 on our list!

Good luck! I look forward to hearing your results.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

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Originally Posted by rikithemonk View Post
Then what you have to do is organize your lives better. Set a time every day where the work ends and the TV is off. Set this rule as no exceptions. I would suggest the last two hours before bed. Use that time to talk and bond. Set a "Date night" Every Sat evening at 9 PM, go out on a real date. Just the two of you.

If she isn't willing to do this, then you have a problem that you need to look deeper into.

Stop showing her worry, Stop begging her to hold your hand. These sorts of behaviors lower your value in her eyes. If you want a kiss, grab her and get one. If you want her touch, run your hands down her thighs. (But not in a creepy sort of way.)

Get a hobby or something that gets you out of the house more on your own. By going straight to work and straight home every day tells her that there is zero chance of any competition. When we know we have no competition, we stop putting in effort. Buy a new wardrobe and dress up more often. If you dress nice, change your style in some way. If Grey, die your hair. If glasses, get contacts. By improving your own life and widening your interests, you ill be doing a lot to improve your marriage.
What you said is very true. It reminds me about movie Crazy Stupid Love.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

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Originally Posted by rikithemonk View Post
Then what you have to do is organize your lives better. Set a time every day where the work ends and the TV is off. Set this rule as no exceptions. I would suggest the last two hours before bed. Use that time to talk and bond. Set a "Date night" Every Sat evening at 9 PM, go out on a real date. Just the two of you.

If she isn't willing to do this, then you have a problem that you need to look deeper into.

Stop showing her worry, Stop begging her to hold your hand. These sorts of behaviors lower your value in her eyes. If you want a kiss, grab her and get one. If you want her touch, run your hands down her thighs. (But not in a creepy sort of way.)

Get a hobby or something that gets you out of the house more on your own. By going straight to work and straight home every day tells her that there is zero chance of any competition. When we know we have no competition, we stop putting in effort. Buy a new wardrobe and dress up more often. If you dress nice, change your style in some way. If Grey, die your hair. If glasses, get contacts. By improving your own life and widening your interests, you ill be doing a lot to improve your marriage.
Great advice, but can we keep the glasses? I paid $700 for these things, and my wife said I only look intelligent when I wear them.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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In fact, let her know that on some afternoons or nights, you want nothing more than to just give her a massage, or to read her a poem from one of the great romanticists, or something that she likes.
I think this is a great suggestion. If you offer her a massage & she accepts, she will probably really appreciate and enjoy it & in return, you will have that closeness and touch you are missing.
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Great advice, but can we keep the glasses? I paid $700 for these things, and my wife said I only look intelligent when I wear them.
Sure can, Keep them if you like.

We just tend to fall into the habit of getting dressed up, grooming to perfection to go to work, just to jump into a old t-shirt and tattered sweatpants as soon as we get home. Our spouses never see us at our best. They start to think of us as that dumpy person they are always watching picking their toes on the sofa. Its hard to get excited with that image in your mind.

The red flag for you is if she simply dismisses the work free zones. That will tell you volumes about her commitment to your relationship and the level of importance you have in her life.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: 17 years and it seems we are drifting apart

Has your wife ever been affectionate to you in your marriage? Some people aren't naturally affectionate and it can be hard for them to learn how to be so - they may not even understand the need for another person to have that affection.

A good resource for both of you to discover these things about each other is the following: Home - The 5 Love Languagesģ

You can get the book and you can take the quiz together.

How willing is she to work on things with you? Or does she think that everything is just fine? You should let her know that it is NOT fine.

Do you routinely try and hug and kiss her? Do you think that she may feel smothered? Here's a good post covering that topic if you think it may apply to your situation: The thermostat - the ultimate barometer of your R

Best wishes.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Has your wife ever been affectionate to you in your marriage? Some people aren't naturally affectionate and it can be hard for them to learn how to be so - they may not even understand the need for another person to have that affection.
^ I was thinking similarly too. And as swedish and Halien have suggested, if you offer her a massage and she accepts, then it's highly likely she loves touch herself. The way you approach this can also make a difference. My suggestion would be TELL her something along the lines of "Monday night is a screen-free night as I'm giving you a back massage after dinner." Assuming she accepts, text her during the Monday and remind her you're looking forward to spoiling her. Do not attempt to make this sexual at all. This is about getting back to basics with touch and having time together.

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But I will suggest that if you place a vastly greater priority on pursuing her, pampering, listening, and boldly sweeping her off her feet, than on having sex, she'll notice the difference. In fact, let her know that on some afternoons or nights, you want nothing more than to just give her a massage, or to read her a poem from one of the great romanticists, or something that she likes.


Take the lead with affection, hold her hand, kiss her hand! while out in public, offer to wash her back in the shower (this is not meant as foreplay but to increase loving touch between you), maybe shampoo her hair, if you have a bath offer her a foot rub while she's in the tub etc.

I agree with Enchantment to let her know this is important to your marriage. My take on this is to approach her gently, SHOW her your affection regularly first (and without smothering her) and give her the chance to start reciprocating. If she does, which may take a few weeks, then tell her how much her touch and affection means to you when she does. Others might disagree with this approach and suggest you should be upfront with her about your needs but this is my 0.02 cents. Best wishes!!
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am to the point where I have started to look at other woman, and have crazy thoughts. I donít want to ruin my marriage and relationship, or hurt the kids.
And (yes, I came back into your thread to write this) .....it's definitely time to curb those thoughts. Discipline. Focus on your wife. Use the Force Luke. If she's outwardly focused right now, primarily with work and you begin to also outwardly focus with daydreams of other women, then your relationship will inevitably derail completely.

Focus inwardly to your wife and marriage again. The fact that you're posting here and looking for ideas shows you're on the right path. Neither of you should "suck it up" if you're not happy with the way things are and want to have a deeply loving and connected marriage.
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