Originally Posted by EternalPatriot View Post
While I appreciate the suggestions so far, I think there may be more to the solution than simple acceptance. I say this because a good friend of mine mentioned to me not long ago that she and her husband are going through a similar, almost identical situation. In her situation, she has gone well out of the way to try and make him understand how much she still loves and appreciates him but has received little in return. She is a fitness expert and has been trying to help her husband with his lifestyle changes and assist where possible in helping him lose weight and eat right. In response, he apparently closes in even tighter. Prior to the weight gain, he too slowly began to show less and less interest in her.
In the end, our stories are similar in that we both want things to be like they were in the past. Yet, somewhere, something changed.
For me, there have been several times where we have discussed these issues and when she responded, I have very excited to encourage and helped wherever possible. However, as mentioned, this only lasts for a short while and then things return to where they are now. At this point, it's hard to be encouraging when I have a difficult time believing that it will be any different than the multiple occasions in the recent past.
I spent my first fifteen years married destroying the trust my wife had in me because I set expectations exactly as you are now, die-hard dress right dress, ready, front. My wife fell out of love with me at year 7, planned to stay with me until the kids left the house... I almost lost them all because of my type-A military (over)bearing.
I've spent the last ten doing everything in my ability to rebuild that... still married and it has been an awakening in all the damage I've caused, a hard lesson in humility in accepting all the troubles, but it took acceptance to open the doors I needed because nothing is permanent, not even the troubles we create.
The Buddha said "In our lives, change is unavoidable, loss is unavoidable. In the adaptability and ease with which we experience change lies our happiness and freedom".
Your military mind has trained you differently sir, your wife is a different audience than your soldiers, they cannot be treated the same without loss.
Things are always in change... whether we are the cause or the effect, it's how we promote the positive that builds people up or the negative breaks them down.
You won't "command" this love and closeness back... but good leaders are also good followers, can you step back and show her that you truly understand what your part in this has done?
Our lives are forever changing, our growing with them is up to us.