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post #121 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:05 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

You say you withdraw?

Never do that. See my signature.


One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #122 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

First, I want to thank you again for engaging with me. This thread has been very helpful. I feel like I should be paying you all or something, lol.

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Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
Your MC doesn't sound very helpful, TBH.
Whelp, better than the counselor several years ago who essentially said, 'Have you tried not having needs?' lol

When I brought up to her that the lack of sex in my life was really hurting me, she asked, 'What else could you focus on instead of needing sex?' I felt like I was being treated like a sex addict (something my wife accused me of once, also). It's hard to get any validation for the idea that a lack of sex (which, for me, is nearly equivalent to a lack of intimacy, since my experience is that sex and intimacy often go hand in hand) might actually be an issue. Talking about my desire for sex (or a sexual relationship more generally) always leaves me feeling like I'm some primitive brute or horny teenager...

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For most people, their marriage is the most important relationship in their life (or it should be).
While I can see this being true, I definitely now feel like one's marriage shouldn't be the most important thing in their life. I feel like my biggest mistake in life was looking at my marriage as my crowning achievement. I used to talk with such pride about how beautiful and 'special' I felt my marriage was. That just seems pathetic and cringey now. I invested way too much of my emotional life into my wife and my marriage, when I should have been building my own independent life up instead.

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How can we not get depressed when that person is no longer interested in meeting needs that ONLY they should meet? If we turn to others to meet our needs for affection, intimate conversation, sex, and companionship, we're being unfaithful.
Well, you won't see any argument from me on this, lol. This has been my struggle, the question I've been trying to answer, ever since it all fell apart. You and I certainly seem to be in the minority with this question, as I haven't found much support for this view.

Quote:
I think you'd find a lot of help in Marriage Builders. His Needs, Her Needs covers this.
I read the PDF, and I have to say that he does seem to be striking to the heart of the matter. He is addressing the issue I've had with a lot of relationship books since the beginning - if the 'love', or the feelings of being 'in love' aren't there, how much can really be accomplished in 'doing' more (communicating, problem solving, speaking 'love languages', etc) when what is being done isn't motivated by feelings of love?

Quote:
Your wife does not want to do this because she's not in love with you. You think that is all your fault. It's not.
Well, it's tough, because my wife won't ever say that she isn't in love with me, and it hurts her to hear that I'm not feeling in love with her. She claims that she still loves me, but that our relationship is fundamentally different now, and I need to accept the new reality. It's not about me, it's not even about 'us' anymore - it's about our son (primarily), our careers, our living situation, etc. She is very goal oriented, so she tends to focus her main energies on achieving goals in life.

Quote:
You said a while back that your wife just wants you to be happy. If this is true, and the only issue she has with the marriage, then why won't she meet your needs?
She wants me to find something that makes me happy besides her and our marriage. She wants to see me have my own goals. Like doing more projects for the family, for example, or finding a new career that I can focus my energies on. I think she very much wants me to be more independent, though I also have a feeling that it really isn't a carte blanche to do whatever I want. Anything that doesn't make a direct contribution to the family gets looked at skeptically and critically (which, of course, includes my 'obsession' with reading marriage books and even participating in online conversations like this one).

She also thinks that my 'needs' are unrealistic, unreasonable and exhausting, the result of my being narcissistically-inclined and emotionally unhealthy/dependent. She wishes I'd stop thinking about how I feel - especially about her and our marriage - and just focus on the practicalities of life. I wish I could do that more, too.

Quote:
I think you might need to investigate an EA. To many, sexting is enough evidence of an EA. Have you considered that?
Not to worry - I've always had an eye out for that. To be honest, for a long time I was almost hoping to discover that sort of thing, as it would provide some easy answers and would help me make sense of what happened (as well as letting me off the hook for our marital problems).

But the thing is - an EA just doesn't fit her MO. Not because she is some girl scout/saint who 'would never do that sort of thing' (though I do think she does place a great deal of importance on integrity - part of why I got so upset with her deleting the texts), but because she's not one inclined to indulge in such 'touchy-feely' stuff, and she doesn't 'catch feelz' much, if at all.

She doesn't like to talk about feelings, and she rarely, if ever, 'opens up' to anyone emotionally (including me), even her girlfriends. I would say that she has a fraught relationship with intimacy, and too much 'intimate talk' can make her uncomfortable. While she is very sociable, and everyone loves her (like, moreso than any other person I know), she keeps herself at a distance from almost everyone except her family (she is very close with her family, and puts most of her social energy there). Her socializing is pretty much limited to the women she works with and other mothers. It's really not in her to develop close, intimate friendships (her closest friend lives in a nearby city, and they only see each other once or twice a year).

If anything, I would suspect a PA before I would suspect an EA, and there is even less evidence of/justification for a PA (though you never know, of course).

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Are you sure they're no longer in contact?
As sure as I can be (and my eyes are open). But the thing is, even the 'contact' they did/do have is a once-in-a-blue-moon sort of thing, so it's hardly a significant part of her life, and I wouldn't expect there to be another contact again for several months. The last contact they had was last summer, and there was no further contact until a couple weeks ago (contact which involved about 20 texts back and forth).

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I'm concerned that you are not willing to tell your wife to end all contact with the guy she was sexting with, but simply to stop with the sexting.
Well, again, their contact has mostly been the occasional sext, and it's been very intermittent (eight months between contacts this last time). I feel like there is already almost no contact to speak of, so I haven't made a bigger deal about no contact (instead, the big deal is her reaction to it when it did happen this last time).

As far as I can tell (and I've looked), these bi-annual one-offs are the only contact of that type she has with *anyone*.

Quote:
If that's the case, she might have feelings for this guy that she is not telling you about (most don't) and that could also be another BIG issue affecting your marriage.
She might. It's highly unlikely, knowing her, him, the nature of their contact/relationship, and her expressed feelings about him, but you can never know for sure what is in someone else's head.

Additionally, the text exchanges have the emotional depth of your average porn video, so if she does have feelings (besides the desire to feel desired), they aren't being shared in the texts (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Again, if she were having an affair - EA or PA - our friend is a very unlikely candidate for an AP. I feel confident that, if her energy is going to someone else, it's not him.

Now, the fact that she did what she did does introduce an element of doubt as to what *else* she might be capable of doing, but there just aren't any red flags that I can find, other than trouble in our marriage (which she tends to see as a result of my unhappiness, not hers).
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post #123 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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You say you withdraw?

Never do that. See my signature.
I understand. It's a coping mechanism on my part. It's hard to not let the criticism and rejection and contempt get to me, even though some of that may now just be in my head (as my wife claims it is).

But I've got to get strong enough that I don't take her behavior and attitude personally, or let it affect how I behave. I can't let her view of me become who I am. That's my goal.

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post #124 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:06 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
I understand. It's a coping mechanism on my part. It's hard to not let the criticism and rejection and contempt get to me, even though some of that may now just be in my head (as my wife claims it is).

But I've got to get strong enough that I don't take her behavior and attitude personally, or let it affect how I behave. That's my goal.
It is a good one.

But if you cannot do it, at least be honest with her without blaming her for your feelings.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #125 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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It is a good one.

But if you cannot do it, at least be honest with her without blaming her for your feelings.
Well, if there is one thing I have learned, it's that the only things I can control or change are my reactions and my responses. She's going to be who she is going to be, doing what she does, feelings as she feels. If I can become less sensitive and emotionally dependent on her (or anyone, for that matter), I will have the freedom to react and respond in ways that reflect who I want to be as a person. I have to stop thinking so much about things like 'her' and 'us', and start focusing on 'me.'

For example, we had a brief interaction (all of our interactions are brief) yesterday where she gave me **** about spending so much time on this thread. I personally can see the benefit I've gained from participating here, and I just have to focus on that (while still being responsible for everything else, of course). I gotta do what I gotta do to get me where I need to be, even if sometimes the road is long, winding, lonely, and not immediately 'productive.'
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post #126 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:46 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
First, I want to thank you again for engaging with me. This thread has been very helpful. I feel like I should be paying you all or something, lol.



Whelp, better than the counselor several years ago who essentially said, 'Have you tried not having needs?' lol

When I brought up to her that the lack of sex in my life was really hurting me, she asked, 'What else could you focus on instead of needing sex?' I felt like I was being treated like a sex addict (something my wife accused me of once, also). It's hard to get any validation for the idea that a lack of sex (which, for me, is nearly equivalent to a lack of intimacy, since my experience is that sex and intimacy often go hand in hand) might actually be an issue. Talking about my desire for sex (or a sexual relationship more generally) always leaves me feeling like I'm some primitive brute or horny teenager...

I can imagine! I think you're actually doing quite well considering that you had to sit through that rejection of valid needs. I do want to ask a personal question though- how often are you approaching your wife for sex? Is it unreasonable to her or is it normal? I'm guessing normal, but to an overwhelmed mom, even 2-3xs a week could be a lot for her. If it's like 1-2 xs though, I think your wife is unreasonable to expect you to live without that in marriage, especially given all you do to make family life run smoothly.

While I can see this being true, I definitely now feel like one's marriage shouldn't be the most important thing in their life. I feel like my biggest mistake in life was looking at my marriage as my crowning achievement. I used to talk with such pride about how beautiful and 'special' I felt my marriage was. That just seems pathetic and cringey now. I invested way too much of my emotional life into my wife and my marriage, when I should have been building my own independent life up instead.

I find this very sad, but given the above, not surprising. After learning more, I don't think you're being treated fairly AT ALL.

Well, you won't see any argument from me on this, lol. This has been my struggle, the question I've been trying to answer, ever since it all fell apart. You and I certainly seem to be in the minority with this question, as I haven't found much support for this view.

There is a ton of expert evidence showing that couples in successful marriages turn towards each other to meet needs as opposed to turning away. Turning away from our partners is a sign of future divorce, according to Dr. Gottman.


I read the PDF, and I have to say that he does seem to be striking to the heart of the matter. He is addressing the issue I've had with a lot of relationship books since the beginning - if the 'love', or the feelings of being 'in love' aren't there, how much can really be accomplished in 'doing' more (communicating, problem solving, speaking 'love languages', etc) when what is being done isn't motivated by feelings of love?

That's why I like Dr. Harley- he believes marriages can be turned around once the feeling of being in love comes back, and his plan shows how to do that.

Well, it's tough, because my wife won't ever say that she isn't in love with me, and it hurts her to hear that I'm not feeling in love with her. She claims that she still loves me, but that our relationship is fundamentally different now, and I need to accept the new reality. It's not about me, it's not even about 'us' anymore - it's about our son (primarily), our careers, our living situation, etc. She is very goal oriented, so she tends to focus her main energies on achieving goals in life.

Her approach to marriage sounds wrong and unfair to me. And I'd argue that it isn't working out well for her- her husband is unhappy in the marriage, with good reason.

She wants me to find something that makes me happy besides her and our marriage. She wants to see me have my own goals. Like doing more projects for the family, for example, or finding a new career that I can focus my energies on. I think she very much wants me to be more independent, though I also have a feeling that it really isn't a carte blanche to do whatever I want. Anything that doesn't make a direct contribution to the family gets looked at skeptically and critically (which, of course, includes my 'obsession' with reading marriage books and even participating in online conversations like this one).

And live like a monk who expects nothing from his wife to meet his emotional needs? She's mistaken. Your wife is guilty of independent behavior and does not understand how interdependence is important in marriage. GET THE BOOK

She also thinks that my 'needs' are unrealistic, unreasonable and exhausting, the result of my being narcissistically-inclined and emotionally unhealthy/dependent. She wishes I'd stop thinking about how I feel - especially about her and our marriage - and just focus on the practicalities of life. I wish I could do that more, too.

I'd ask her why bother to be married then? She can do all of that as a single woman. Why have a husband at all?Again, your wife sounds incredibly insensitive. Does she have emotional needs that she expects you to meet at all? Or does she turn to others to meet them (conversation, affection, companionship, sex)?

Not to worry - I've always had an eye out for that. To be honest, for a long time I was almost hoping to discover that sort of thing, as it would provide some easy answers and would help me make sense of what happened (as well as letting me off the hook for our marital problems).

But the thing is - an EA just doesn't fit her MO. Not because she is some girl scout/saint who 'would never do that sort of thing' (though I do think she does place a great deal of importance on integrity - part of why I got so upset with her deleting the texts), but because she's not one inclined to indulge in such 'touchy-feely' stuff, and she doesn't 'catch feelz' much, if at all.

It fits a spouse who does not want her husband to meet her emotional needs.

She doesn't like to talk about feelings, and she rarely, if ever, 'opens up' to anyone emotionally (including me), even her girlfriends. I would say that she has a fraught relationship with intimacy, and too much 'intimate talk' can make her uncomfortable. While she is very sociable, and everyone loves her (like, moreso than any other person I know), she keeps herself at a distance from almost everyone except her family (she is very close with her family, and puts most of her social energy there). Her socializing is pretty much limited to the women she works with and other mothers. It's really not in her to develop close, intimate friendships (her closest friend lives in a nearby city, and they only see each other once or twice a year).

If anything, I would suspect a PA before I would suspect an EA, and there is even less evidence of/justification for a PA (though you never know, of course).



As sure as I can be (and my eyes are open). But the thing is, even the 'contact' they did/do have is a once-in-a-blue-moon sort of thing, so it's hardly a significant part of her life, and I wouldn't expect there to be another contact again for several months. The last contact they had was last summer, and there was no further contact until a couple weeks ago (contact which involved about 20 texts back and forth).



Well, again, their contact has mostly been the occasional sext, and it's been very intermittent (eight months between contacts this last time). I feel like there is already almost no contact to speak of, so I haven't made a bigger deal about no contact (instead, the big deal is her reaction to it when it did happen this last time).

As far as I can tell (and I've looked), these bi-annual one-offs are the only contact of that type she has with *anyone*.



She might. It's highly unlikely, knowing her, him, the nature of their contact/relationship, and her expressed feelings about him, but you can never know for sure what is in someone else's head.

Additionally, the text exchanges have the emotional depth of your average porn video, so if she does have feelings (besides the desire to feel desired), they aren't being shared in the texts (or anywhere else, for that matter).

Again, if she were having an affair - EA or PA - our friend is a very unlikely candidate for an AP. I feel confident that, if her energy is going to someone else, it's not him.

Now, the fact that she did what she did does introduce an element of doubt as to what *else* she might be capable of doing, but there just aren't any red flags that I can find, other than trouble in our marriage (which she tends to see as a result of my unhappiness, not hers).
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post #127 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 01:47 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Well, if there is one thing I have learned, it's that the only things I can control or change are my reactions and my responses. She's going to be who she is going to be, doing what she does, feelings as she feels. If I can become less sensitive and emotionally dependent on her (or anyone, for that matter), I will have the freedom to react and respond in ways that reflect who I want to be as a person. I have to stop thinking so much about things like 'her' and 'us', and start focusing on 'me.'

For example, we had a brief interaction (all of our interactions are brief) yesterday where she gave me **** about spending so much time on this thread. I personally can see the benefit I've gained from participating here, and I just have to focus on that (while still being responsible for everything else, of course). I gotta do what I gotta do to get me where I need to be, even if sometimes the road is long, winding, lonely, and not immediately 'productive.'
Were you defensive with her?

How about asking her to tell you more about what bothers her about your participation here?

Hint: Listen to the feelings behind her words.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #128 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Were you defensive with her?
At first, yes. I felt like she was wanting me to justify how I was spending my time.

Quote:
How about asking her to tell you more about what bothers her about your participation here?
I think she was fairly clear. I believe her words were, "I just wonder what you might be able to get done if you weren't spending time on this stuff. Is this really how you want to use your time? Just sayin'..."


Quote:
Hint: Listen to the feelings behind her words.
Frustration? Contempt? Disappointment? I don't think it's any great mystery.

It's been a long-standing wish of hers that I would stop worrying about our marriage and start focusing on doing more in life.
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post #129 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 03:47 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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I think she was fairly clear. I believe her words were, "I just wonder what you might be able to get done if you weren't spending time on this stuff. Is this really how you want to use your time? Just sayin'..."

Frustration? Contempt? Disappointment? I don't think it's any great mystery.

It's been a long-standing wish of hers that I would stop worrying about our marriage and start focusing on doing more in life.
Her statement is passive aggressive.

"Wife, how I choose to prioritize my tasks and spend my time is up to me. For someone who tells me I should focus more on managing my own happiness while simultaneously claiming to be too busy to consider meeting my needs in the marriage, you seem to have plenty of time to be concerned about what I do and how I choose to do it. Help me understand the inconsistency."

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #130 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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I do want to ask a personal question though- how often are you approaching your wife for sex?
I don't really, anymore. I stopped approaching, for the most part, a few years back. I tried again a few months ago when our son was at his grandparents for the night, given that we had been doing some work on our marriage, but she told me that she didn't feel safe enough or comfortable enough to have sex with me at that point, so that was the last time I approached (and I hadn't approached for at least a year prior to that).

Of course, looking back, I could have handled things a bit better, but I just couldn't deal with the rejection and the frustration anymore, and I actively worked to 'kill off' my desire for her (and for sex in general) rather than continue to suffer in my celibacy, as well as to mitigate the frustration of being married to someone who seemed to have both minimal, and sometimes capricious, sexual interest in me. That 'killing off' action was not a good move, as it just further drove a wedge between us sexually and intimately, and came across as a punitive action on my part. I'm doing my best to correct that now, though it is a hard mindset to break, made harder by the fact that she is in no way interested in trying to convince someone to have sex with her (understandable).

I rarely turned down her approaches, though. With only a few exceptions, I would have sex with her any time she wanted. A couple of exceptions were when I was feeling really hurt and confused by her, and I lashed out by rejecting her approach. Bad move, as that one rejection from me probably equaled a hundred rejections from her. I figured that, as many times as she had rejected me, she would understand how I might feel in rejecting her, but that was a horrible miscalculation on my part... :smh:

To be fair to her, there were also some issues on her side that I wasn't fully aware of, like just how awful her pregnancy was and the fact that sex was really painful for her for at least a year after our son was born (though our slow slide into a sexless marriage started long before the pregnancy and birth of our son). But she never really talked about what was happening or let me in on it (again, she tends to be incredibly closed-off and private about her feelings and problems). She never really expressed remorse that we couldn't be sexual, and she didn't really offer any alternatives (I would have taken anything at that point, even just a make-out session), so I just assumed that either had gone completely asexual or that she wasn't attracted to me (or both, though I'm pretty sure the latter is true also).

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After learning more, I don't think you're being treated fairly AT ALL.
Of course, you are only getting one side of the story, lol. I'm sure if you talked to my wife, she would say that *she* isn't being treated fairly at all.

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There is a ton of expert evidence showing that couples in successful marriages turn towards each other to meet needs as opposed to turning away
Oh yeah, I'm aware of that.

That comes back, though, to questions of what 'needs' can be considered legitimate, when is someone being overly dependent, and the fact that you shouldn't look to others for your happiness.

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Her approach to marriage sounds wrong and unfair to me.
I understand, but this is only one-side here, lol.

I will clarify, too - I shouldn't say that the new reality 'isn't about us'. It's more 'it's now about you, me, and our son and our future.' So the 'us' now just includes a couple other entities as well.

Quote:
And I'd argue that it isn't working out well for her- her husband is unhappy in the marriage, with good reason.
Which is why she is really hoping I find something that makes me happy. As far as with good reason? That is debatable, apparently.

So many people challenge me when I talk about my unhappiness in my marriage. They usually say, "You have a great life! You have a nice house, a great kid, a good (if maybe imperfect) wife - what more are you really looking for?" It makes me feel like I'm delusional or broken, like my unhappiness is that of a spoiled child. I never know what to think...

------------------------------

Thanks for your response. My son needs me right now, so I'm sorry but I can't finish this tonight. I will respond to the second part of your comments as soon as I have some time tomorrow. G'night!


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post #131 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 05:54 AM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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At first, yes. I felt like she was wanting me to justify how I was spending my time.
Did you admit you were defensive and apologize for it, then ask her to please continue to share her thoughts?

That kind of empathetic, responsible and genuinely interested response can go a long way towards deepening her trust in you, and keeping communication lines open. It takes a lot of inner strength to do, but can pay big dividends.

Quote:
I think she was fairly clear. I believe her words were, "I just wonder what you might be able to get done if you weren't spending time on this stuff. Is this really how you want to use your time? Just sayin'..."
I understand it is tempting to be defensive when you hear those words. But responding in a self-justifying way, and being aggressive back to her, is unlikely to earn her trust and deepen the relationship.

Instead, take an inner deep breath, and with genuine interest, either engage in Active Listening (the easiest way is to repeat her words back to her, or paraphrase them), or just say, "Tell me more," and then sincerely listen to what she has to say.

Quote:
Frustration? Contempt? Disappointment? I don't think it's any great mystery.

It's been a long-standing wish of hers that I would stop worrying about our marriage and start focusing on doing more in life.
How about reflecting this back to her?

"Wife, you feel I may not be spending my time as profitably as possible by spending time on TAM. You feel it might be wiser to spend it doing x,y,z? If I did those things instead, it might make you feel a,b,c? Is that correct? If not, please help me understand."

Again, the idea is to open up genuine, heartfelt communication by being open to whatever she may be feeling. It does not mean you have to agree with it. But you want her to feel comfortable telling you whatever she may be feeling, without worrying you will get defensive in any way.

You are trying to create emotional safety in the relationship for her. That can start the process of deepening your connection. And it definitely shows intelligence, emotional leadership and inner strength on your part--all likely very attractive to a smart woman like your wife.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #132 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 06:14 AM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Just read your response to Jessica. You show a lot of self-awareness in your post, Dazed. You are someone who can be worked with with, and your wife realizes that. That is surely why she continues to try in the marriage.

Do you remember the other day when you made the comment that she would see something as "just another way she has to accommodate my sensitive ass"? That shows self-awareness right there, and a lack of "right-fighting." You do not try to defend yourself; you know your sensitivity is likely to be a pain to her.

Question: Have you ever admitted that to her? Just said it straight out, just that directly? What was her response?

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #133 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 07:49 AM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Dazed:

What is your wife actually putting into the marriage?

Here's the thing, dude. Your wife is in a roommate type relationship with you. She seems perfectly content with that, and any attempt by you to get more effort from her is met by you being accused of being needy?

Did I read that right that you have not had sex in 3 years?

You don't have a marriage. You have a business arrangement. I don't care how much your wife or your counselor may say this is your problem to fix. This dynamic was created by both of you. I see a willingness from you to try and work for improvement. I see no such thing from her.

Show me where I am wrong.

In fact, why don't you do your very best present her side. Help me understand how any of this is justified in her head.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #134 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 10:26 AM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Dazed:

What is your wife actually putting into the marriage?

Here's the thing, dude. Your wife is in a roommate type relationship with you. She seems perfectly content with that, and any attempt by you to get more effort from her is met by you being accused of being needy?

Did I read that right that you have not had sex in 3 years?

You don't have a marriage. You have a business arrangement. I don't care how much your wife or your counselor may say this is your problem to fix. This dynamic was created by both of you. I see a willingness from you to try and work for improvement. I see no such thing from her.

Show me where I am wrong.

In fact, why don't you do your very best present her side. Help me understand how any of this is justified in her head.
This x100. Bottom line: Your wife is not responding to you the way a woman in love with her husband would respond. You admit that you're not in love at this point either. Start here. It's fixable, but it will require that she work to improve the marriage too. Here's how, if you follow the Marriage Builders plan in His Needs, Her Needs and Lovebusters:

1. Schedule 15 hours a week together to meet the top 4 emotional needs: intimate conversation, affection, recreational companionship, and sex. If she is not interested in sex, start with the other things and see if you can get there. If not, realize this is temporary. It's your best-shot effort to improve the marriage.

2. Eliminate all lovebusters: withdrawal, criticism, contempt, anger, annoying habits. You can lead by example here- if you change how you respond to your wife, she will likely change how she responds to you. Stay positive in your interactions with her.

3. Continue investigating her interaction/texts/contact with other men- if she has feelings for someone else (an EA) none of this will work. You'd have to bust up any relationship where another man is possibly meeting her emotional needs first, otherwise you're in competition with him and it will be hard to compete when he's a fun release from real life and you're....real life.

4. Give it a time frame to see if this works (6 months, 1 year). If not, you may need to consider separating, unless you intend to live in a sexless roommate situation for another decade. Keep in mind that your son is watching your relationship to learn what it means to be married. I'm all for trying to fix the marriage first, but you can't do it alone.

In all of this, the ONE area I think you need to focus on independent of your marriage is fixing the job situation. This will not only make you more attractive to your wife, but it will prepare you to move on without her if she does not work with you to fix the marriage.
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post #135 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Her statement is passive aggressive.
Ya think? lol

Yeah, it pissed me off. I made it clear that taking pot shots and then running away doesn't fly, I don't care what the problem is. Seems like that is what occurs between us the most - problems are brought up (or hinte at) and then never followed up on or resolved.

Quote:
"Wife, how I choose to prioritize my tasks and spend my time is up to me. For someone who tells me I should focus more on managing my own happiness while simultaneously claiming to be too busy to consider meeting my needs in the marriage, you seem to have plenty of time to be concerned about what I do and how I choose to do it. Help me understand the inconsistency."
Not my wife, but I can imagine some of the responses to this...

"Is what you are doing actually making you happy? You don't seem to be much happier. Is it enabling you to accomplish anything? What have you been able to achieve as a result of all your time investment? What goals are you fulfilling through all this activity?"

"While it's up to you how you prioritize your tasks and spend your time, what you do or don't do has a direct impact on your family. Is what you are doing the best thing you can be doing for your family who needs you? Everything I do is for the benefit of our family, and I want a partner who takes the family and it's needs as seriously as I do."

"I don't have time to meet all your needs because your needs demand a lot of time and energy, time and energy I don't have right now. That doesn't mean I'm completely unaware of what you are doing or how you choose to spend your time."

Those are just a few off the top of my head...
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