Recently the missus and I have changed our marital patterns to something less chaotic. However, we're also dealing with each other's changes in personality. For her, she's dealing with a reformed ex-alcoholic with withdrawal symptons, for me, I'm dealing with deep guilt every day at her changes... I'll explain, it's a bit complex...
In the past, dominance was very difficult to achieve with my wife, she was rather playful with it too which was great and stimulating even but also annoying sometimes. I'm still assertive, don't get me wrong, but there were times when the missus ends up getting her way before I realised how the hell she managed to do it.
She used to be always trying to test me, I can see that now, waiting for the right moment to pounce each time. It was so imbued in her that she didn't even notice it until I mentioned it to her (and then she just denies most of the time). She has a real dark side that she can't seem to control when she wants something. It's a game we've played for years and played it without noticing; the game of "who gets to be on top?" When we're of the same mind things go very well, when we're not however we can end up fighting and seperating over something so stupid!
But, things change...
The fighting has hurt us both, and for her it really cut her up over the years. Looking back I still remember her spirit; strong, unrelenting, and passionate. After the times I've hurt her (including seperation), I notice that she's became more and more passive, submissive, and rather too dependent on me. Sure we still fought, sure her spirit never really goes away but... sometimes I feel that it's my fault that the fire that was in her is pretty much 'meh' nowadays. She has so much fear and insecurity and although things are getting better, I still feel like sh-t and like it's my fault.
I really miss the ferocity of her spirit. And even if she won't admit it, I'm sure she misses how fun I can be with a few drinks. For me, it's healthier for us if I continue to stay off the booze, but for her, personally I don't want her to continue like this.
I understand completely that I've been a complete ass, but just as her patience is running thin with my brain going haywire over the withdrawal, my patience is running thin with the amount of T.L.C. she requires to heal and become the awesomeness that she used to be. At least for her she can see some improvement with me, but for me, I can't see sh-t!
The ironic thing is that, I once encouraged her to live free, stand tall, and walk proud... encouraging her fire and stubborness, and that was great when we were bf/gf, but in marriage it's f--ked. "Manning up" must have confused her too.
I think if she is a recovering alcoholic I guess it must be very difficult and you drinking in her presence can't be good from her point of view.
We all change as we get older anyhow and the person you were as a 20 something is not the same as the 50 something.
We can't go back to the heady days in an early relationship simple because our lives change for good or bad and we we want a successful relationship we need to change with it to the benefit of both people.
Maybe you could play some "physical" competition typish games, instead of the mental ones??
An example... just out of the blue one night when You can maybe tell that both of you are feeling somewhat frisky... say "Hey, You wanna arm wrestle to see who gets to be on top!?"
Then, the arm wrestling.. you could "let" her win if you want her on top, etc... plus it would bring back a little bit of the old game. Would kind of introduce where you would agree to have her old playful self back... (but stay away from emotional fighting.. to get each others way).
I really think you need to stay away from the alcohol. Don't even TRY to think that she misses how fun you'd be with a few drinks. Don't even go there. Too dangerous. Plus, honestly, that one sentence just screamed out that you want a scapegoat/ reason to pick up at least one drink. Like you are fooling yourself into thinking that you just want one to relax & loosen a little & have some fun. Nope , Nada. Pretend you already had the drink... Act like you would have if you DID have the drink... But.. do NOT use it as an excuse. Please!.
Sorry if I mis-read that sentence, but it just seemed to say so much more underneath the words than what you actually said. Hope I mis-interpreted it!
But... otherwise, go ahead & have some physical fun, trying to pull out some competition within her.
Hmmm, competition, THAT's the word, that is exactly what we are missing. We are very physical as a couple, and we also wrestle each other for fun and training (she's learning JJJ as well), but it's not real competition - not yet, not until she gets better, and unfortunately she's also lacking the fighting spirit. I also don't want to 'let' her win, I'd rather allow her the opportunity to impress me.
And when she does, I fall in love with her all over again. Otherwise, meh... I'm like that - I love challenges, if no challenges I get bored. In the past she was very fierce too, in the bedroom as well (to my frustration as it's impossible to get away from her once she had her strong toned legs wrapped around me in the morning). We had really passionate encounters, we still do from time to time, but it was always full of dramas in the past.