I think the categories aren't rigid.
At one time, I had what I thought was a "romantic" marriage. I did all sorts of corny romantic sh-t, but it was well received. We were extremely close, best friends, the whole thing.
Then, it turned into what was probably perceived by my wife to be a "sponge" relationship. The "romantic" stuff was no longer well received. There was no interest in being close. Increasing the "romantic" load did not bring us closer, it created additional tension.
Later, it turned by default into an "independent" relationship. I mainly try to let go of my desire to connect and seek happiness elsewhere. On the whole, I think I am a more complete person as a result of going through this.
However, I'm not sure there is any real "relationship" in a truly independent existence. It's like, if you expect nothing from the other person, what sort of relationship is it really? The charitable view, I guess, is that it's like a parent/child relationship in which you give but expect nothing back. The not so charitable view is that it's nothing and a total waste of any energy you apply to it.
From time to time, I still "relapse" into seeking a connection. I almost always regret this because I am almost always rejected.
I laugh at the "15 hrs per week" supposed requirement. My wife would rather read by herself or go to the gym by herself or text with her friends than connect with me on any level. I would say we spend less than 30 minutes per week total where we actually interact 1 on 1.
And then the real catch 22 is that she will tell me that she does not feel close to me because we lack an "emotional connection."
I can't even get angry over this anymore because it is all so absurd. I am doing this to myself at this point so I only blame myself for having any expectation that it could be different.
it's not that I want to give you a
for this.. it's just that what you have laid out here is THE OTHER SIDE of this
..it's a very dark side.. a painful side... how a couple can start out one way, Romantic & full of hope..... then little by little...it can be eaten away and the 2 that felt "one" find themselves as nothing more than roommates, content to seek other people out to fill their days.. ignoring each other, blame shifting, making excuses ..and just "enduring" a marriage.
I don't know your story...it almost sounds as though you don't have a problem with Harley or what he says.. just that you're experience is SHE isn't budging......
I do believe us women can be hard nosed & hurt our men, probably easier to hurt a softer man, taking him for granted ....it always takes 2....the seed could have been started by either... then we start "reacting".. and it snowballs from there, at this point.. it's always "the other's fault".
I think it would be awful to feel your hands are tied here.. who wants further rejection..
Anytime I read something like this. ...my 1st thought is...RESENTMENT
... what happened years ago... even if they were little things, maybe they were bigger TO HER .... What seed was started here that grew & grew strangling your emotional connection with each other.... there are answers to these questions.. once resentment gets so embedded.. some couples can never find their way back...this is why they need the help of a counselor to dig that up.. the grudge holding effects have to be worked through and forgiven.. basically...
I liked that you brought up the "Romantic marriage" sort of model.. I know this is what Harley speaks of, it seems very obvious from his writings (at least to me)... even if he isn't using these terms... (more in the next post on this)...